tv CNN Special Report CNN August 25, 2018 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
inhumane, cruel, words used to describe his last hours alive. there is videotape onight almost start to finish. >> what you realize is that you're watching him slowly die. what happened in that house and who was responsible. >> dozens of fraternity brothers face charges. one of the largest against a frat in history. >> they dosed him with with alcohol and then treated him like road kill, like a rag doll. stkpwhrrs one of the fraternity brothers ledgedly deleted the footage.
>> a scathing grand jury report putting a fame under staougzs in the hot seat. if penn state had been lissing. >> tim would be alive right now, yes. >> what happens that makes you go to the police? >> no one should die just because they want to join a fraternity. >> tonight a cnn special report "a deadly haze inside the fraternity crisis." penn state university with its legendary football team. it's often ranked as one of the finest institutions in the country. penn state pride runs deep.
despite its recent scandals. >> a former assistant football coach -- >> penn state was really just beginning to exit the tunnel of one of the largest university scandals in history. tpwrrs. >> they found top university officials failed to act on and in some cases actively conseal information about sandusky's behavior. >> for penn state to be in the national news once again is another blow to their reputation for sure. >> they say when you love penn state, you bleed blue and white. and that was the case for the piazza family. tim's older brother, mike, chose penn state first. the next year tim followed. >> what was it like dropping tim off that freshman year? >> my baby.
>> i felt luck tee have two good kids doing good things and they were going to i believe had great careers. >> do great in the world. >> doing good is something tim piazza did very well. in high school he was a peer to peer counselor for safe sex and drug education. friends described him as sweet and kind. at 6'1", they called him a gentle giant. he ran for homecoming king and made the varsity track and football teams. >> he was athletic, smart, funny, humble. >> tim checked out greek like just like thousands offinger undertkpwradz do on campuses across the country. 1,000 young men are initiated into fraternities every year. when did he tell you he was
interested joining the fraternity? >> i wasn't a brig proponent off it. i viewed it as -- >> a distraction. >> a distraction. >> as kind of a party scene i didn't think was him. >> and did you try dissuede him? >> i tried but we didn't fight. i just kept saying i don't know why you need do that. believe me i'm king myself now. >> tim got his offer from his top choice fraternity. did you know beta pheta pi. >> a nondrinking, nonhazing fraternity. >> our mission is a principaled life. stkpwhrrs established in 88, it was one of the oldest tprats at penn state. its members boasted one of the highest pa's on campus and strong alumni collection.
cordel davis pledged the falloff 2016, just one semester before tim. >> when i first walked in, it was so beautiful. it felt like my future was going to be bright. >> one made majestic by a wealthy elum in one of the most expensive renovations in history. but beyond the perfect venear this beta chapter had a checkered past at penn state, dating back to 2009. >> they were shut down by the national fraternity for alcohol violations but they were able to come back on the condition they would be dry. >> in 2010 beta reopened as a no alcohol, no hazing frat. but by 2013 bad habier had returned with alcohol violations. abbey decided he was going to
install cameras inside the house as a deterrent to make sure that brothers behaved. >> and by early 2017 beta's reputation was back on top. >> all indicators suggested beta theta pi was a model fraternity. >> so when the brothers aeroed tim a bid to join them, he jumped at the chance. >> he was kind of excited. because you get chosen. i think that was important to him that you be chosen. that meant he was wanted. >> thursday, february 2nd, 2017. tim and the other pledges receive a text from beta pledge master, daniel casey. be outside the kitchen doors behind the house at 907:00. dress code is shirt, tie skpw jacket. >> before he left, he was trying to finish up his homework,
frantically trying to get that done before it was due the next morning so he could go to the acceptance. >> when he arrived at the beta house that night he no idea he would never walk out again. it would take investigators months to piece thaorgt full story of what happened that night and the alleged cover up that ensued. friday, february 3rd, 2017. >> when he woke up the next morning and he wasn't there, we were able to get in contact with a brother in beta house and asked where tim was and one of them talked to one of my roommates and said he went to the hospital that morning. >> immediately bennant called tim's older brother, mike. who rushed to the local hospital. >> he was totally alone. >> nobody had gone with him to
the hospital? >> the ambulance brought him to the hospital alone. >> did you res there level of crisis when you were in the room with him? >> being in that room is something i'll always be thankful for but it's also something that's always going to haunt me. i was able to see how bad it was. he was on full life support. and his eyes were half open. and he was banged up really bad. >> unconscious and gravely injured, tim was air lifted to hershey medical center. so you arrive at the hospital and what happened? >> the doctor said i'm sorry to tell youilities rar non-recoverable brain injury.
>> i was holding tim's hand and we were all talking to him and saying we love you. and a tear came to his left eye and rolled down his cheek and i looked that doctor and said is there any chance he could hear us and the doctor said maybe because we relieved the pressure in his left brain. so maybe he heard us there and knew he was not alone. but if he heard us, then he heard the people around him and he knew he was going to die. >> at 1:23 a.m. on february 4th, just 29 hours after he walked into the beta theta pi house, 19-year-old tim piazza died. traumatic brain injury resulting from several falls. they also found a shattered spleen and severe abdominal bleeding. you asked whether tim would have
stood a chance if somebody had called 911. >> i said if he would have gotten help sooner, would we have a different outcome here and the doctor looked at me and he said yeah. >> that has to be really hard o hear. >> yeah. >> it was knife through my heart. >> if somebody had done the right thing. >> one person. one person. >> coming up what hand in that house and who was responsible? >> the shocking details of what really happened that night. (vo) love.
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for them. for all. get unlimited for as low at 30 bucks per line for four lines at t-mobile. the death of 19-year-old tim piazza launched an intense and wide-ranging investigation. it would become one of the largest criminal indictments in history against a fraternity and its members. >> morning, guys. >> the natural secrecy off a fraternity often prevents prosecution. >> but this case was different. there is videotape of that night almost start to finish. immediately our detectives learn
that there was some sort of recording system in the house. when we started to watch it, we were literally stopped. >> stunning video combine would text messages, smart phone records and hours of witness interviews, a pennsylvania grand jury detailed the tkpwraouszm events of that night in a 65-page report. you could absolutely hear a pin drop in the courtroom. >> cnn correspondent has reported extensively on the piazza case. she's one of the few to see video taken from more than 12 high quality cameras positioned all throughout the house. edited excerpts shown in court but kept from the public at the piazza family's request. have you seen the video? >> no, i have no interest in seeing it. >> thursday, february 2nd. the pledges arrive.
the brothers sing songs and read from a book. tim green looks on. he actually watched the acceptance ceremony from a balcony. what did he see? he would be forced to testify in the hearing months later but that night, immediately after the ceremony, 14 pledges, 12 of them under the age of 21 march into the basement. brothers subsequently told tkbs the cameras down there were broken. it turns out a little bit later in the investigation police realize they were working. the fbi would later recover the video from the basement. that's where the gauntlet begins. can you describe what the gauntlet is. >> you're basically run through house and there's like stations of alcohol and you're supposed to drink as fast as you can and people are yelling at you. >> encouraging you to drink.
>> encouraging you to drink as fast as you can. >> it begins with a handle of vodka. the brothers are are made the to stand in a line and drink it until it's gone. >> next they run through stations manned by the brothers. shotgun a beer, run upstairs, khug from wine bag, then back down stairs for beer pong. in a house that's supposed to be call the free, tim piazza goes from zero to 18 drinks in 82 minutes. his blood alcohol was nearly five times the legal limit to drive in pennsylvania. >> approximately 10:45 p.m., the brothers party on as he staggered towards the basement stairs. >> he's walking almost like a zombie. he fell down the steps.
he was unconscious. >> four brothers carry tim's limp body into the great hall. >> when they carry him back up the stairs to put him on the couch, you can see a bruise on his abdomen and it's very clear they're trying to wake him up. so someone throws some kind of liquid on his face, somebody shakes him. at 1.1 brother sits on his legs so he can't roll over. you can see the brother checking his phone and he told police he was checking sports scores while tim is laying is there. he's agtaeutd, he's trying to move. >> less than half an hour after the first fall, cordel davis walks in. what did you see? >> people standing around the couch pointing a lot. so i walk over and right away i kind of look over tim. he looked horrible. and he was flashing around making awkward phaoubmentes and
he was making sounds and they're like he's going to be fine. and i said we actually need call 911. >> you were trying to sound the alarm. what was their response to you? >> the response was you are over reacting and at that point someone gets off the couch, they're just very angry. they shove me against the wall. i wasn't expecting my own fraternity brother to assault me. so i'm like honestly tim could have a concussion. we need wake him up, call 911 and get him to a hospital. they said thats rar myth. we're biology majors. this is what we do. >> cnn reached out to both beta brothers for comment. neither they or their lawyers responded. close to midnight. a brother sends a group text message. piazza might actually be a problem. he fell 15 feet down a flight of
stairs, hair-first, going to need help. but no help arrived and no one calls 911 that night. another brother throw as shoe at him and another appears to hit him near that bruise on his stomach. they're dining things to look like they're trying to get him to snap out of it. >> in the we hours, tim is left alone. >> it's now the middle of the night and tim piazza is no longer unconscious. he's going for the door and several times he falls into the door or furniture near the door. he clearly hits his head metal stair case. he's simply rolling around on the floor, clearly in pain and what you realize from waing that portion of the tape is that you're watching him slowly die. >> nobody stayed with him and he got up.
he tried to escape so many times. he tried to live. they all got a good night's sleep. >> around 7:00 a.m., tim makes his way back to the same steps that he fell down before. he's unable to even take a few steps without falling and he disappears off the screen. they're very steep steps and then you nothing for a few hours. >> around 10:00 a.m. brothers find him in the basement and carry him upstairs for a second time. >> timothy appears frankly -- he appears deceased and they put him on the couch. >> this time he's completely motionless. and he's white as a ghost. >> the brothers search google on their phones with terms like true or false a person with a concussion should be kept awake? and cold extremties in drunk
person. >> you could see them looking at his stiff hands and trying to kind of pull them apart. pushing his hands back and then his hands folding back. >> about 45 minutes after they bring him up for the second time, brothers start to clean up the house and then someone calls 911. police later said is that they were directed to clean up before 911 was called. >> there's a friend who's unconscious. he hasn't moved. he probably needs an ambulance. >> more than 12 hours after his first fall, help is on the way, but it would be too late. >> they killed him. they fed him lethal doses of alcohol and they killed him and
treated him like road kill, like a rag doll. >> coming up an inside look at fraternity pledges. >> the brothers can do anything to you. it's the sears labor day event! ...where you can shop with confidence and convenience plus get these 4 benefits from kenmore at sears. up to fifty percent off appliances with your sears card. like this washer and dryer for $539.99 each. and this refrigerator for $899.99. hurry in to sears today. booking a flight doesn't have to be expensive. just go to priceline. it's the best place to book a flight a few days before my trip and still save up to 40%. just tap and go... for the best savings on flights, go to priceline. until i held her. managing my type 2 diabetes wasn't my top priority. i found my tresiba® reason. now i'm doing more to lower my a1c. i take tresiba® once a day. tresiba® controls blood sugar for 24 hours for powerful a1c reduction.
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captain he was shot down over north vietnam, held there as a prisoner off war for more than five years. he ran for president twice. in 2008 he became the republican nominee for president. eventually losing to barack obama. most recently he has been an out spoken critic of president donald trump. our dana bash has a look back at his distinguished political career. >> reporter: his dramatic senate return against doctor's orders after being diagnosed with brain
cancer. >> i've been a member of the united states senate for 30 years. >> reporter: the thumbs down that single handedly crushed the party's push to repeal and replace obamacare. it captured so many nof complexities of his character. a stubborn man who survived many a brush with death, who spent a lifetime looking for moments to shine as a leader and put country first. yet forever a hot dog fighter pilot with dramatic flair and white knuckle political instincts. john sidney mccain iii was born with a storied legacy of service to live up to. his father and grandfather were both four-star admirals. >> his father grandfather instilled in him a sense of duty, honor and country. >> reporter: young cane's passion was literature. >> hemmingway's always been my favorite author and in many ways
a larger than life figure i always admired a lot. >> reporter: yet he followed the path of larger than life figures in his family enrolling in the naval academy where he stood out for being a trouble maker. he became a fighter pilot. his first combat mission during the vet tphaurpl war was aboard the uss bar stall. on deck his plane was accidentally struck by a missile, causing a huge inferno. 134 fellow sailers died. a few months later mccain was on a routine bombing mission. his plane was shut down. >> i was gyrating very violently almost straight down. i was knocked unconscious. >> he found himself surround bide angry villagers swinging bayonets. they forced him to give this interview exchange for life
saving treatment. >> he was beaten on a regular pwaeurbgsz being hung by his arms from the sealing rr, sockets pulled out. >> when his father was made commander of pacific forces, the vietnamese offered john mccain freedom. relief for capture. >> there was correlation between nigh refuse tool accept early release and my treatment. the treatment got worse. stkpwhrrs ultimately they broke mccain, getting him to admit to claims against him, which he regretted the rest of his life. >> after he signed it i think he wanted just to die. he felt ashamed that he had let the country down. >> reporter: finally after nearly stkpwaoeufb a half years in prison mccain was released. >> you can still see the impact of that today, the way he was tied, the way he can't raise his
arms, can't comb his hair. the things we take for granted. >> his marriage to first wife carol fell apart. captain mccain became a naval liaison to the u.s. senate where he caught the political bug. in 1982 he ran for the house from arizona, home with new wife cindy, and won. four years later it was on to the u.s. senate. early on, controversy. the ceting five. mccain and four other senators met regulators investigating the failed savings and loan bank a mccain contributor. >> i of course am relieved i have been exonerated. >> an investigation rebuked him before judgment. it sent mccain on a crusade to clean up washington. pushing finance reform, fighting big tobacco, railing against ear marks. >> that's our duty to the american people.
>> everything with with passion, humor. >> he's very direct. he has a way of teasing people he likes. >> thanks for the question you little jerk. he was a little jerk. >> and a famous temper. >> be a complete jerk to his closest friends and hug you dearly next. >> in the falloff 1999, mccain announced his candidacy for president. he got attention by being constantly available for reporters aboard his bus, the straight talk express. he troupbsed frontrunner gorge w. bush in the primaries but lost south carolina where it got ugly and personal. mccain soon dropped out and returned to the senate even more determined to work across the aisle with democrats like ted kennedy on issues like immigration reform and paschabout's bill of rights. >> i announce my candidacy for president of the united states.
>> in 2008 his second presidential bid. this time he was the heir apparent. but a surge of troops in iraq and bipartisan work on immigration reform hurt heuplt with gop voters. he held town halls in new hampshire, talked boarder security instead of immigration reform and climbed back. >> that fact you're getting a second chance, what does that say to you? >> we're happy how far we've can come. >> after securing the gop nomination, thee pick a nomination. joe lieberman was his first choice. >> so i hear. stkpwhrrs he never told you that? >> no, he did. >> they convinced him that lieberman's stance on abortion rights made him -- at first palin helped him draw support he was lacking. but a liability.
>> putin tkphz to the airspace off the united states. >> mccain would never say he regretted choosing palin. >> he never talks about it, no, and he never will. >> the acan lapse in 2008 ultimately saoeld mccain's defeat. still, he worked to stay out of gutter politics, take thing mike from voter who claim canned barack obama was it -- >> no, ma'am. >> i recognize the special significance it has for african americans and for it special pride that must be theirs tonight. >> mccain settled into life as statesman and travelled around the world every chance he got. an informal diplomat and an informed senator. when president trump was elected, mccain took it on him staofl reassure world leaders.
visiting 26 countries and six continents in the first six months of 2017 alone. even at 80 he liked to travel with and mentor young senators forgeige close relationships. >> he is loyal to his friends. he loves his country and if hes to the stand up to his party for his country, so be it. he would die for this country. i love him to death. >> his july 2017 brain cancer diagnoses and treatment forced mccain to slow down but this is how he always wanted to be remembered. paraphrasing his political hero, teddy roosevelt. >> i rr had the most wonderful life and career of anybody you will ever meet. >> thank you. >> cnn, washington. >> a man who kept that positive attitude until the end, who kept his sense of humor, who kept his
appreciation for hraoeufp, for service. let me read you the statement we got from senator mccain's office this evening. it reads "senator john sidney mccain iii died october 25th, 2018. with the senator when he pass said was his wife, cindy and their family. at his death he auz served the united states of america faithfully for skeublgt years. and dana, i know you've been close with john mccain, with his family. kwroufrb rr been keeping in touch with those close to him in his final days and hours. what do we know about what's been happening with that friend and family and all of these people who have been rallying around him in these last few moments? >> well, what happens unfortunately so many oufs know from frenz and fami suffered ths horrible disease from cancer that when the end comes and in the case of senator mccain as we
heard officially from his office yesterday. he decided to stop treatment. everybody gathers for what obviously is something that they knew was inevitable. but it's obviously not the same as knowing as it happening. and senator mccain has a father, a grandfather. he's got a loving wife, kids and friendships that are so close, somebody who can knows him very well said that they're like love affairs, the friendships he forged over his entire lifetime. speaking of friends, i just wanted to read you a tweet we just saw from lindsey graham saying america and freedom have lost one of her greatest champions and i've lost one of my dearest friends and mentor. that's coming from lindsey graham and i want to, as we soak in this news and you talked about his final moments and his family being around him.
one of the gifts his dear friend has given to us is insight into how he thought, how he felt about the world, but also about his own mortality, particularly towards the ends and in his most recent book "restless wave" he wrote i'd like the go back to our valley and see the creek after the rain and their cotton woods whisper in the wind. he's talking about his beloved home, really the only home he knew because me was a military kid and travelled around all his life. arizona this particular house he passed away, he lubbed so much he wrote i want to smell the rose skepbtd breeze and feel the sun on my shoulders, watch the hawk hunt from the sick more and take my leave bound for a place near my old friend, chuck hrars cemetery back where it began.
so referring to the river near the naval academy where he went, where his father and grandfather, admirals both also attended and where we believe he's going to be buried. >> i'm going to let you go so you can continue to gather more information. i do want to again read that tweet from lindsey graham. so poignant. america and freedom have lost one of her greatest champions and i have lost one of my dearest friends and mentor. "we're also hearing from other members across the aisle. tweeting "we will never forget the unparalleled curage, heart and service with john mccain. my thoughts are with his family as they mourn this great loss and celebrate his inkredzable life. it was a privilege to serve beside john in the senate and he will be miss said." it really was an incred canable life, wolf.
he was somebody who was known as a fighter in every aspect of his life, from his service in the military to his service as a u.s. senator first selected in 1986 serving six terms. somebody who worked across the aisle and always, always stayed true to his conviction no matter if it was along the same lines as the majority of his party. >> he was so honest with his national security and even though he was conservative republican, even though he was loyal to the conservative movement, he was always weulging to work with democrats, including liberal democrats. if there's an area they can work together, especially in the area of national security. i covered him for a long, long
time tprrbgs and interviewed him dozens and dozens of times. spent a lot of quality time with him over the years and when you compare this pallation to so many other politician, he was really unique. in that he was willing to speak up and what he felt was the truth, not play games. he was always,all there and he will certainly be missed. because he was such an unusual man, a great american, a great patriot. someone who was always, always working for the american people and you can agree with him, disagree with him but youall swraeuz to respect him and especially what he went through during his life. he didn't make a big deal about it. it's really amazing to think of of the stkpwaoeufb a half years he was pow in vietnam and then he was one of the leaders working to restore relations with a new vietnam. it's so sad when you think about the fact he's now gone and i
think i speak for everyone here at cnn, certainly everyone in the united states and around the world who knew him, admired him loved him. we express our deepest, deepest condolences to his very loving family. >> absolutely. do you have any memories that are top of mind of john mccain in the time that you covered him and knew him as a senator? >> you know years and years ago there was a democrat who was close and he was an anti-war protester. very out spoken, very active and as we know john mccain had been in the navy and was serving, flying missions in vietnam and eventually was a pow for more than five years. i remember that they became close in later years.
even though it john mccain was a republican and david had opposed the war in vietnam and john mccain fought in the vietnam war. and it was one of the most riveting moments. i remember david as a young man he pass said away and i went to his funeral here in the d.c. area and john mccain gave the eulogy. there was such a kind jester on his part, even though they were so different during the vietnam war, they did become friends in later years. it was just a boughtful eulogy he tkhreufrbed at his funeral. and it's indicative. it underscores the man that john mccain was, that he could get beyond, move beyond a reasonable doubt and work together, especially when he thought it in american national interest to do so and he was so bold, so curages and it's just very sad
for all of us that knew him, admired him, covered him, interviewed heurpl. to know he's now gone 81 years old, almost 82. but it's a sad, sad moment and i'm sure his family, they've been preparing for this more than a year. when it happens, it's -- it happens. those of us have gone through the family member's notes. you can get ready, you prepare but once it's really there, it's so, so sad. >> no doubt about it. he was diagnosed in july 2017. he has spoken about how he has survived longer than family thought he might because of what doctors had told him given his very aggressive brain cancer that he was suffering from. we have new reporting, wolf, stand by, about john mccain's plans for his funeral service. something that apparently had begun over the last year. he had been planning for his
services. often discussing the plans with close friends who livered and visited his arizona ranch. two people close to mccain say he wanted three locations for services inkhraoutdzing arizona, the national cathedral in washington and annapolis. this is reporting from our jeff sellany and as we've previously reported, he did not want president trump to be at his funeral and that apparently is a wish that he held true to the very end. he's also asked that some of the eulogies at theuz funeral come from former presidents from barack obama as well as george w. bush. the plans continue in the works for what happens next for john mccain, for his family. a close group of friends are planning to be with him next wednesday which would have been his kwebgdz birthday but they were told wednesday he wouldn't make it that long. we just got a statement from
megan mccain. john mccain's daughter. let me traoed to you. "my father, united states senator, john sidney mccain iii departed this life today. i was with my father at his end as he was with me at moo beginning. 33 years we shared together he raised me, taught me, corrected me, comforted me, encouraged me and sou ported me in all things. he loved me and i loved him. he taught me how to live, always unfailing. took me from girl to a woman and he showed me what the is to be a man. all that i am is thanks to him now that he is gone the task of my lifetime is to live up to his example, his expectations and his love. my father's passing comes with sorrow and grief for me, my mother, my brothers and sisters. he was a great fire that burned bright and we lived in his warm lgt and light for so very long.
we know his flame lives on in each of us. the years and days will not be the same without my dad but they will be good days because of the example he left for us. ofor our family your prayers are extremely appreciated. my father is gone and i miss him as only an adoring daughter can. but i take comfort in this. john mccain hero of the republic and to little girl wakes today to something more glorious than anything on this earth. today the warrior enters his true and external life, an eternal life greeted by those who have gone before him, rising to meet the author of all things. "and then "the dream has ended. "again that statement from megan mccain, reaction to his death from his daughter. she is one of seven children that mccain leaves behinds from two different marriages and just now we have a statement from the
president of the united states, donald trump who just tweeted this "my deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of senator john mccain. our hearts and prayers are with you." and wolf, getting that statement from the president, that's notable because since it was announced that john mccain had terminated his medical treatment, the president had not commented. on him at all. >> had not commented and the was a long history, unfortunately, of animosity of president trump, including over this past year that was often repeatedly at various campaign rallies and those who were going after john mccain, because john mccain voted in the end for the complete repeal of pwaupl the president would often talk about that. but going back to 2015 when john mccain was surtsenly a national hero and everybody remembered
his service in the u.s. military and navy and five 1/2 years he was a pow. but allf of us remember and it's hard to talk about this that in 2015 he was a candidate, he was in iowa and said john mccain was not a hero because he was a po it was just a sad, awful moment and he never regretted it. the president never apologized, never reached out. it was just a very, very disturbing moment in american history. glad he's issued a statement finally. the mccain family has made it clear they really don't want president trump to come to the funeral. they don't want him involleyballed. there is tension there and it certainly is understandability. >> and of course john mccain, he ran to be president twice. did not succeed but in 2008, the second ran -- the second time was in the race.
in 2008 he did receive his party's nomination and we're hearing from the man he ran against in that case, now former president barack obama who released a statement along with michelle obama. "john mccain and i were members of different generations, came from completely different backgrounds and competed at highest level of politics but we shared, for all our differences, a fedealt to something higher, the ideals for which generations of americans and immigrants alike have marched, sat and sacrificed. we saw our political sacrifice as an opportunity to serve as stewards of those high ideals at home and to advance them arounds the world. we saw this country as a place anything is possible and citizenship as our pate reattic obtkpwaoeugz insthur forever remains that way. few of us have been tested the way john once was or required to show the kinds of curage he did
but all of us can aspire to the curage to put the greater good above our own. at john's best he showed us what that means and for that we're all in his debt. michelle and i send our most heart felt condolences to cindy and their family." again a statement from former president barack obama. he talks about his he was captured in october of 1967. was held prisoner until march of 1973. we know his captors what i really find amazing that
i think speaks so much to his character is he had declined an offer of early release because he wanted other people who had been prisoner longer to be let go first. >> it underscored the nature of this wonderful man that when he was a pow that his father, who was well-known, he was ready to be released even though there were other americans held longer and mccain said that's not happening. i'll wait my turn. i'm not going to get special service because my father is a retired u.s. navy admiral. he stayed put. he didn't have to. he could have left. it shows what kind of man he was. he was a true american hero, someone that was so widely respected. the other day, yesterday, i was interviewing senator jack reed of rhode island.
senator reed, a democrat, when he was speaking about senator mccain, the man he traveled with and went to vietnam with and traveled all over the world with and served in the armed services committee, you could see how sad senator reed was. i've spoken over these past couple of days now with a bunch of leaders in the u.s. senate, democrats and republicans, everyone is going to be so concerned. it's not a huge surprise. he had a terminal form of brain cancer and he lived for 15 months with that brain tumor. normally that particular type of brain cancer, maybe you can live 14 months. he did live 13 months with it with treatment, but in the end this is what's going to happen.
this is not a form of cancer that is usually treatable. so everyone knew this was just a matter of time and everyone was ready for it, but still the outpouring of grief and the outpouring of sadness coupled with an enormous amount of tribute and praise for this man, even if you disagreed with him on sensitive issues and there were plenty of people that disagreed with him, for example, in support of the iraq war, but still you never questioned his honesty. >> absolutely. we're starting to see the sentiments pouring out over social media right now. in fact, his wife just tweeted as well writing my heart is broken. i am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years. he passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved in the place he loved best. we're hearing from his fellow
senator from the state of arizona. words cannot express the sorrow i feel. cindy and family have lost a loving father. i have lost a wonderful friend. he was a friend to so many, so many commenting on his spirit and joy that he brought to those around him, but also that he really showed in his own life, there is a quote i want to read, maybe i'll be gone before you read this. i'm getting prepared. i have some things i'd like to take care of first, some work that needs finishing, some people i need to see. i made a small place for myself in the story of america and the history of my times. the bell tolls for me. i knew it would. i hope those who mourn my passing and those who don't will celebrate as i celebrate a happy life lived in imperfect service
to a country made of ideas and whose continued success is the hope of the world and i wish all of your great adventures, good company and lives as lucky as mine. lives as lucky as mine. given everything he experienced in life, things that you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy, he still had such an appreciation for all of his life, including those trying years as a prisoner of war. what strikes me, wolf, in that quote, and in his final interviews is how much he speaks to celebrating a wonderful life and the joy that he lived with. >> he appreciated every moment given the fact he had been so close to death at a relatively early age in his life when he was shot down over vietnam. he survived. he survived 5 1/2 years as a pow. he appreciated life.
he wanted to live life to its fullest and he could have gone into a different direction and simply gone out there and made some money, but his patroitism and his service, it was always built in to his blood. he couldn't believe that. he wanted to serve. he wanted to do whatever he could for the country and that certainly came through in 2008 when he was running for president of the united states. everybody will always remember that exchange he had with that woman at a town hall when she was going after then democratic candidate barack obama and he said he is an arab and mccain said he's not an arab. he rejected that whole notion. it was indicative of who john
mccain was that he was a politician, he had different views than obama and he had different issues, but he wasn't going to let it be said about his political rivarivals. when i would sbrinterview him, never knew what to expect. even when he got defensive, you could see a smile on his face then. he enjoyed a give and take and then we'd talk about it afterwards and it was just something that was in his nature. he was considered a maverick, but he was always so appreciative of the american news media. he was always, even when he
disagreed and even when he was being criticized, he was always available. he was always willing to talk to reporters and do interviews. he was very aware of the amazing role, the unique and critical role that a free press has in any democratic. those of us who have journalists, we always appreciated how much he appreciated what we were doing and our role in democracy and that's something that always stuck out in my mind. >> i want to bring in former assist governor jan brewer. governor, thank you for joining us right now. what are your thoughts about john mccain tonight? >> my heart is broken. it just doesn't seem real to me. john and i have known each other for a long time.
we did so many things together collectively and he was such an honorable man and had so much courage and lived a full life. it's so hard to be able to even talk about it. my heart -- i know the country, the world's heart is breaking, but he was endeared by so many of us in arizona and the united states and around the world that it's almost -- you can't put it into words. you know, we campaigned together. we worked together. we took care of the military together. we talked about our families together. he was always the kind of guy that when you were having a crisis or you lost -- i had a couple of bad deaths in my family and he always called me and gave me sympathy and understanding and called back. he was just a wonderful man.
truly a wonderful, wonderful man. and he was a man. he was a hero, but he was a man and loved his family and i wish everybody could have known him the way so many people that have been able to get to know him. >> no kidding. >> a huge loss today. a huge loss. i hope that god has him in his hand and keeps him safe. >> governor, stay with me. i want to welcome our viewers who are just joining us at the top of the hour here. if you are just joining us, we are following breaking news here on cnn. u.s. senator john mccain has died at the age of 81. his passing comes after a battle with brain cancer first