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Meghan McCain Eulogizes Her Father; Former Presidents Honor McCain with Words Aimed at Trump; Bob Dole Comments on McCain; Giuliani Working on Rebuttal to Potential Mueller Findings; Vietnam Pays Its Respects to John McCain. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired September 1, 2018 - 15:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[15:00:07] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for continuing our coverage with me. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York.

And today, we remember an American hero, whose life was full not because he achieved fame or power or success, but because, in the words of his daughter, "John McCain was good. He was defined by love and because he always believed America was great."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEGHAN MCCAIN, DAUGHTER OF JOHN MCCAIN: John Sidney McCain III was many things. He was a sailor. He was an aviator. He was a husband. He was a warrior. He was a prisoner. He was a hero. He was a congressman. He was a Senator. He was a nominee for president of the United States. These are all the titles and the roles of a life that has been well lived, but they are not the greatest of his titles, nor the most important of his roles. He was a great man.

We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness, the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served. He was a great fire who burned bright.

The America of John McCain is generous and welcoming and bold. She is resourceful and confident and secure. She meets her responsibilities. She speaks quietly because she is strong. America does not boast because she has no need to. The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.

(APPLAUSE)

MCCAIN: Dad, I know you were not perfect. We live in an era where we knock down old American heroes for all their imperfections, when no leader wants to admit to fault or failure. You were an exception, and you gave us an ideal to strive for.

Look. I know you can see this gathering here in this cathedral. The nation is here to remember you. Like so many other heroes, you leave us draped in the flag you loved. You defended it, you sacrificed it, you have always honored it. It is good to remember we are Americans. We don't put our heroes on pedestals just to remember them. We raise them up because we want to emulate their virtues. This is how we honor them, and this is how we will honor you.

My father is gone. My father is gone, and my sorrow is immense, but I know his life, and I know it was great because it was good. And as much as I hate to see him go, I do know how it ended. I know that on the afternoon of August 25th, in front of Oak Creek in Cornville, Arizona, surrounded by the family he loved so much, an old man shook off the scars of battle one last time and arose a new man, to pilot one last flight up and up and up, busting clouds left and right, straight on through to the kingdom of heaven, and he slipped the earthly bonds, put out his hand, and touched the face of God.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Powerful words from Meghan McCain as she eulogized her father, the late Senator and former prisoner of war, who died last week at the age of 81.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Just a glance at the crowd gathered at the National Cathedral in Washington, a testament to how McCain spent his last days, fighting for honor, civility, unity. So much so that he asked two men who at different times denied him of the presidency to speak at his funeral, and they used their words to take aim at one person who wasn't there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It showed his irreverence, his sense of humor, a little bit of a mischievous streak. After all, what better way to get a last laugh than to make George and I say nice things about him to a national audience.

(LAUGHTER)

And most of all, it showed a largeness of spirit, an ability to see past differences in search of common ground.

[15:05:32] GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He was honest, no matter whom it offended. Presidents were not spared.

(LAUGHTER)

He was honorable. Always recognizing that his opponents were still patriots and human beings. He loved freedom with a passion of a man who knew its absence. He respected the dignity inherent in every life, a dignity that does not stop at borders and cannot be erased by dictators. Perhaps above all, John detested the abuse of power. He could not abide bigots and swaggering despots.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: Joining us now, David Axelrod and Jeff Zeleny. Jeff, of course, is our senior White House correspondent. David was the chief strategist for President Obama's presidential campaigns and his senior adviser in the White House.

Jeff, before we get into the politics of everything that was said today, I want to get to the reason Democrats and Republicans gathered in that same cathedral in Washington, and that is to honor the life of an American hero, a man who dedicated his life to service and to this country. What moment seemed to reverberate through the church the most?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, I think there's no question it was a celebration of the patriotism and the heroics and just the life service of John McCain. I think, you know, there are few characters in Washington who are like John McCain. He was an American original in every respect. But I think that in today's very loud political moment, if you will, the sense that John McCain was giving a bit of a parting lesson in civility, in comedy, perhaps making one last effort to try and tell those gathered before him, both Republicans and Democrats, that, look, it does not have to be such a divided moment here.

I think what was so instructive was the fact that Senator McCain planned every movement, moment in this service, really throughout the week. And the fact that he wanted his two rivals, the two men who stopped his dream for the presidency, to essentially tell his story, I think that spoke volumes, and you saw people listening, certainly, in the cathedral. You saw Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, a Republican, sitting next to Democrats there, Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader. So I think throughout the partisan labels were dropped for a day, at least, as Washington came together to celebrate John McCain.

CABRERA: David, is there a moment that stands out most to you?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR & CNN HOST, "THE AXE FILES": Well, look, that searing, searing eulogy that you played at the top of the hour, excerpts of it, from Meghan McCain was just overwhelming. And you know, I think you saw echoes of her father in her remarks. She was both tender and tough. She talked about him as a father, as a person, but also talked about what he represented as a leader, and delivered, you know, what was an unmistakable blow at the prevailing politics of Washington and the politics of President Trump.

There was a very tender moment later when the -- Renee Fleming, the opera star, sang "Danny Boy," and just to watch Cindy McCain gently put her head on her son's shoulder and dissolve into tears was something that was really moving.

And, obviously, as Jeff said, the entire effect of the day was to deliver a message. I said earlier this week that Senator McCain had created kind of a civic communion here in which we reconnected or he hoped we would reconnect with the fundamental values of our democracy and recognize that, beyond party, beyond whatever ideological differences we have are -- is this bond that comes from the inheritance of this democracy. And that point was made so, so emphatically, not just by the words of the two presidents who spoke, but by their very presence on the stage today.

CABRERA: Jeff, I want to talk more about the fact that John McCain chose President Obama and President George W. Bush to deliver eulogies. He also made a point to say President Trump, I do not want you at my funeral. There was a lot of thought that went into who showed up, who participated, who was or wasn't there.

You have some reporting about how he came to make this decision. And really, the fact of the matter is he wasn't that close with President Obama or President Bush in his latter years so it made it even more, I guess, revealing that he chose them.

[15:10:26] ZELENY: No doubt. I mean, this was not necessarily a roster of John McCain's closest friends standing on the high altar there delivering eulogies. Of course, everyone who was there was actually labeled in the program as a friend, and I think they would all consider themselves friends now. But I think it was so pointed and poignant, rather, that Senator McCain reached out in early April to both Barack Obama and George W. Bush and asked them directly and bluntly if they would speak at the funeral service. And it's something that, you know, he didn't know when it would happen, obviously. They didn't know when it would happen. But President Obama accepted immediately. President Bush, of course, accepted immediately as well. And I think that I was sort of struck by President Obama was very honest about this today when he was talking in his address. He said that, you know, Senator McCain liked to shake things up. He was a contrarian. And I think that the sheer fact that they were asked to give his testimony, his life story was very compelling.

But I think, Ana, the day was also mixed with a bit of humor and you know, some real moments and John McCain would have liked that. I'm struck by one, remembering that President Bush was talking about the moments right before the -- his final debate in the '04 campaign and he said, I looked up, and John McCain was six inches away from my face screaming, "relax, relax." And then President Obama also was saying - saying -- he said there was seldom a day went by in his presidency when John McCain did not give him a lecture or disagreement, but he also allowed that they had private conversations. And of course, there are differences in policy. That is, you know, always been true. But what's different now is just the tribal nature and the coarse nature. There's just not a bipartisan spirit. So I think that's what Senator McCain wanted to develop, at least for a day today.

CABRERA: Let me play a clip from President Obama. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage. It's a politics that pretends to be brave and tough but, in fact, it's born of fear. John called on us to be bigger than that. He called on us to be better than that. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: David, obviously, you know Obama well. Those words carefully chosen, I assume.

AXELROD: Without question. And I think the other thing that he said in addition to those remarks, which were clearly a pointed reference to the way our politics are operating now, the way, perhaps, this president operates, is that he talked about his relationship with John McCain and the fact that they had deep disagreements, but they never questioned each other's motives or failed to understand that, at the end of the day, they were on the same team, that, you know, team America, as it were. And that, I think, above all else, was the message that John McCain wanted to impart, which is that we can disagree vigorously and still respect each other as Americans, as people who care deeply about this country, that we don't have to impeach each other -- no play on words intended -- as human beings, as patriots, simply because we have different points of view. And of course, he was famous for having titanic battles on the Senate floor and elsewhere where people and still making, you know, having warm friendships with them. Ted Kennedy, for example, was a close friend with whom he worked on some issues and fought on many other issues. But never ceased to respect. And the same -- and that was a mutual regard, and I think that's what Senator McCain was really trying to communicate with every little detail of this whole week that was planned, as I said, as civic communion to try and reconnect us with those values.

CABRERA: David Axelrod and Jeff Zeleny, so glad you could both be with us. Thank you.

AXELROD: Thank you.

[15:15:01] CABRERA: As we head to break, we leave you with this moment, a performance of the Irish ballad John McCain loved, "Danny Boy."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:19:58] JIMMY MCCAIN, SON OF JOHN MCCAIN: Under the wide and starry sky, dig the grave and let me lie. Gladly did I live and gladly die, and I laid me down with the will. Be this the verse you grieve for me, here he lies where he longed to be. Home is the sailor, home from the sea, and the hunter home from the hill.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Senator John McCain's son, Jimmy, a sergeant in the Arizona National Guard, former combat Marine, reading a poem his father loved, "Requiem," by Robert Lewis Stevenson. Senator McCain recited that poem at his own father's funeral back in 1981. Perfectly appropriate for the man his friends called a poet warrior. A romantic to the end.

On the phone with us now, former Senate majority leader and World War II veteran, Bob Dole.

Senator Dole, what a day, what a man. Your thoughts about today's service. What stood out most to you?

BOB DOLE, (R), FORMER SENATOR & FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (via telephone): Well, I think when President Bush said he'd been to hell and back, that's the right term. And I appreciated Obama talking about equality and how McCain was a great help on civil rights bills.

CABRERA: Why was it important for you to be there at the funeral today?

DOLE: Well, he's my friend and my hero, and we -- I was his leader for 10 years when he first came to the Senate, and then I left in '96, but we had a special relationship. I think we were the only two Republicans with a pretty bad disability and of course, Dan Inouye on the other side, and we were all good friends, all three of us.

CABRERA: And of course, that was another member who we've lost, who was also able to be lain in state prior to John McCain and having that honor yesterday.

You referenced the tributes we heard from two presidents who happened to be the two people who kept John McCain himself from the presidency. How significant was that?

DOLE: Well, I don't know. John ran four years after I run -- ran and lost, and then he ran again in 2008, but that was all a race today about any competition.

CABRERA: When we spoke last weekend, it was right after John McCain's death, and now we've had this whole week of mourning, of tributes and reflection. Do you think America's yearning for more leaders like John McCain?

DOLE: Oh, I think so. Whether Democrat or Republican or Independent, yes, we need strong leaders, and we need leaders in both parties who can work together.

CABRERA: That does seem to be missing, doesn't it?

DOLE: Yes, it is. I don't know what happened, but it's now a fairly -- or quite controversial, and --

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: Why do you think that is?

DOLE: I don't know whether it's the leadership on each side or the -- you know, Senator Schumer, within his rights, has kind of held up the process. There's still 300 or 400 nominees who haven't been approved.

CABRERA: It was notable that President Trump was not there at today's service. He was not invited by John McCain. What should President Trump learn from the life and legacy of John McCain?

DOLE: Well, President Trump made a mistake in one of the debates when he said John McCain was not a hero. He's the only one in America, probably, who thought that way, but -- and John didn't want him to come to the funeral, so he said nice things and stayed away.

CABRERA: Former Senator Bob Dole, thank you for sharing your thoughts today as we remember John McCain. We appreciate it.

DOLE: OK. Thank you.

[15:24:47] CABRERA: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: -- make sure if we get short on time.

This is a moment outside the National Cathedral a short time ago, the mother of Senator John McCain, Roberta McCain, 106 years old, watching her son's casket being loaded on to the hearse after the funeral service. A uniformed naval officer took her back inside after the hearse left the cathedral. And that was just one of many touching moments we have witnessed today.

Let me bring in our political commentator, S.E. Cupp.

S.E., I want to talk more about the McCain family, particularly the Senator's daughter, Meghan. Because I know you are very close with her. You've said your families vacation together. Have you spoken to her this week? How is she doing?

[15:30:02] S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR & CNN HOST, "S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED": I just spoke with her. You know, this is a very emotional week, obviously, not just because she has to bury her father but because of this outpouring of support that we've heard from both sides of the aisle, people who knew him personally, his family, his friends, his colleagues, people who went to battle with him. That is emotional in and of itself. And then to somehow summon the courage today to deliver those very potent, powerful words to such an incredibly dignified and esteemed audience, and to a nation, just makes her -- I'm so in awe of her. I'm proud of her. She is an absolute warrior goddess, and you know, she likes to joke that she is John McCain in a dress because she's every bit the fighter that he was, and I think you saw that ferocity from her.

CABRERA: We played a few of her emotional tributes, a few moments of that tribute earlier. But I want to play a key line again. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEGHAN MCCAIN, DAUGHTER OF JOHN MCCAIN: The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Didn't name any names there, but that was clearly directed at President Trump, who was not invited to the funeral.

CUPP: Right.

CABRERA: Why was it important for Meghan to make this point?

CUPP: Well, we didn't talk about this, so I don't want to presume to know. But based on years of friendship and what I know of her, I think she did this because her dad would have done this. Her dad would have made this point himself. And she is nothing if not a walking, living, breathing tribute to him in every way. And so this is something -- we have spoken about, this issue, not what she said today, but we have spoken about this issue, the lack of civility, the lack of decency, the lack of honor, the lack of integrity in American politics today. It's something she and I take deeply personally. And I'm not surprised that in her father's final moments, she channeled his anger and her own anger at the state of politics today, that we can't talk to each other as humans, that there's so much fear mongering and outrage fomenting in this country. She takes that very, very personally. And I think she honored her father by pointing that out so emotionally and passionately today.

CABRERA: Well, and she did mention something along the lines of having discussed what she was going to say with her father at his funeral. As we were discussing previously, the fact that John McCain began planning his funeral, wanted to really choreograph it, and had very strong intentions in every little aspect of that funeral. So you know that line may have been something that was discussed with him directly, to your point, about channeling him in those words.

President Trump's children were there, even though he wasn't. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, they were sitting just a few rows back. Daughter to daughter, do you think it was important for Ivanka to hear what Meghan had to say?

CUPP: You know, I think Ivanka is a very, in many ways, a gracious and, for lack of another word, classy woman, and I think she thought it was important that she pay tribute and honor to someone I think she does believe is a hero. Maybe her father doesn't or maybe her father just, you know, used that to sort of prop himself up, but I think she does recognize the contributions that John McCain gave to this country, both in sacrifice and service. And I think she probably thought it was important that she be there for that.

CABRERA: At the end of the day, does this change Washington at all?

CUPP: You know, I was there, and I was looking around the National Cathedral at all of these incredible people from politics, from media, from history, and from McCain's family, and I thought, gosh, if this can't do it, if this isn't going to sort of knock some sense into it, into us, I don't know who can. I don't know what moment could. You hope it doesn't take a tragedy, but maybe in this man's final sort of message to us and his final parting gift, we can maybe take away some of his civility and decency and dignity and show it back to honor him. [15:35:18] CABRERA: S.E. Cupp, good to have you with us. Thank you

so much.

CUPP: Thanks, Ana.

CABRERA: Tune in to S.E.'s show at 6:00. She'll be joined by Meghan's long-time speech writer and biographer, Mark Salter, on "S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED," 6:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:41:10] CABRERA: New developments in the Russia probe. An ex- Trump campaign adviser publicly contradicts sworn testimony given by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to Congress. In new court documents, George Papadopoulos says Sessions supported his proposal for a summit between then-Candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 2016 campaign. Quoting from the documents here, "George announced at the meeting that he had connections that could facilitate a foreign policy meeting between Mr. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. While some of the room rebuffed George's offer, Mr. Trump nodded with approval and deferred to Mr. Sessions, who appeared to like the idea and stated that the campaign should look into it."

Why that's important? Sessions told Congress, under oath, he actually pushed back on the idea of the Putin summit.

Papadopoulos' description comes as he fights to avoid jail time after being convicted of lying to investigators. His sentencing is scheduled for September 7th.

And all of this comes as CNN learns President Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is already drafting a rebuttal to the potential findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Now, Giuliani says the report will focus on three things, suspected collusion by members of the Trump campaign with Russia, the firing of national security adviser, Michael Flynn, as well as obstruction of justice allegations.

CNN's Sara Murray has more details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With little sign the Russia probe is wrapping up, Rudy Giuliani is hatching a back-up plan. The president's lawyer telling CNN's Dana Bash the legal team is already halfway through preparing a report to rebut a number of possible findings from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It's slated to include sections on everything from collusion with Russia in the 2016 election to fired national security adviser, Michael Flynn, to obstruction of justice. The report, all part of Giuliani's strategy to dull the blow of whatever Mueller makes public.

RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: I'll be here with my version of the report and they'll have their version of the report and the American people, in that sense, are going to decide it. MURRAY: Once adamant that Mueller must wrap up his investigation well

before the 2018 midterms.

GIULIANI: If it isn't over by September, then we have a very, very serious violation of the Justice Department rules that you shouldn't be conducting one of these investigations in the 60-day period.

MURRAY: Giuliani now admitting to CNN he has no idea what Mueller's time line is. It's customary for the Justice Department prosecutors to go quiet for 60 days before an election, but it's up to U.S. attorneys to ensure they don't take overt investigative steps that could impact an election.

As the investigation stretches on, Trump continues to rail against the Justice Department.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People are angry. People are angry.

MURRAY: Especially one of his favorite new targets.

TRUMP: I think Bruce Ohr is a disgrace.

MURRAY: Bruce Ohr is the career Justice Department official who met with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the now infamous dossier. Ohr testifying to a congressional committee this week that Steele told him at a July 2016 breakfast that Russian intelligence believed they had then-Candidate Trump "over a barrel," according to a source familiar with the testimony. A claim that's in line with allegations Steele included in his dossier. But its broad assertion that Russia aimed to interfere in the 2016 election has been accepted as fact by the U.S. Intelligence Community.

(on camera): When it comes to that report that the president's legal team has been working so diligently on, Rudy Giuliani acknowledged to CNN on Friday afternoon that it may never see the light of day, but he wants to be prepared no matter what Mueller is up to.

Sara Murray, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[15:44:49] CABRERA: Remembered as a friend, not an enemy. Coming up, Vietnam pays its respects to John McCain, the former fighter pilot and prisoner of war. And wait until you hear the remarkable comments from the man who helped capture McCain all those years ago.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:49:44] CABRERA: Welcome back. The wife of the late Senator John McCain tweeting a short time ago after her husband's funeral, "Today, we lost our hero, our friend, our mentor, our father, our grandfather and husband. Together we mourn and together we go on."

Senator McCain, who died last week at the age of 81 after a battle with brain cancer, will be laid to rest tomorrow at the U.S. Naval Academy cemetery in Annapolis. Earlier today, the family of John McCain laid a wreath at the Vietnam War Memorial paying tribute to his service to the country.

And showing how far the legacy of the late Senator reached, more than 8,000 miles away in a country where he was prisoner of war, the Vietnamese people pay tribute to a man who was once sent to bomb their country.

CNN's Ivan Watson has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IVAN WATSON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ana, John McCain's story is very deeply intertwined with Vietnam. And it's been fascinating to see how the Vietnamese responded to the news of Senator McCain's death.

(voice-over): On a raining morning in the Vietnamese capital it's hard to imagine anything disturbing the serenity of this lake. But this is where Lieutenant Commander John McCain splashed down terribly wounded after a surface to air missile hit his plane during a bombing run in 1967. The Vietnamese erected a monument to celebrate his capture.

(on camera): Look how people ponded to the passing. They took this trophy celebrating the day he was shot down and turned it into a make shift shrine, with flowers honors a former enemy who became this country's friend.

(voice-over): The day Lutron Lua (ph) first saw McCain he says he wanted to kill him.

LUTRON LUA (ph), FORMER VIETNAMESE SOLDIER (through translation): I wanted to stab him with the knife but people nearby shouted stop. I thought this was an invader who was trying to destroy our city.

WATSON: And 51 years after he helped capture McCain, Lua (ph) laments the death of the former U.S. pilot.

"I'm sad because I never got to meet him again," Lua (ph) tells me. "McCain came back to Vietnam and did good things here."

After his capture, McCain was brought here to this prison, better known by the nickname Hanoi Hilton. It's a museum now. But during the war, McCain spent much of his five-and-a-half-year experience as a prisoner within these walls enduring torture, which he describes in his memoirs.

JOHN MCCAIN, FORMER SENATOR (voice-over): One guard would hold me while the others pounded away. Most blows were directed at my shoulders, chest and stomach. Occasionally, when I had fallen on the floor, they kicked me in the head. They cracked several of my ribs and broke a couple of teeth.

WATSON: Trantrong Duet (ph), the former warden of the prison, first met McCain in 1967. TRANTRONG DUET (ph), FORMER VIETNAMESE PRISON WARDEN (through

translation): He was a tough and strong man, who was loyal to his ideology.

WATSON: He denies that U.S. prisoners were tortured here.

DUET (ph): McCain told a lie in his book.

DANIEL KRITENBRINK, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO VIETNAM: I think it's absolute and clear and indisputable the torture many of our veterans suffered.

WATSON: The U.S. ambassador to Vietnam opened the embassy to the public, allowing well-wishers to sign a book of condolences.

KRITENBRINK: Great patriot, great warrior, who fought and suffered here for years, becomes a Senator and statesman, and I would argue a peacemaker. He was one of the leaders in the United States who brought our countries together.

WATSON: In the decades after his release, McCain visited Vietnam more than 20 times.

MCCAIN (voice-over): I put the Vietnam War behind me a long time ago. I harbor no anger, no rancor. I'm a better man for my experience. And grateful for having the opportunity of serving.

WATSON: In another Hanoi lake lies the wreckage of a downed U.S. B-52 bomber. It's the testament to the extraordinary legacy of John McCain that the Vietnamese now admire and mourn a man who was once sent to bomb their cities.

(on camera): Ana, it is really is dramatic when you look at the evolution of the relationship between Vietnam and the U.S. since the dark days of the Vietnam War to today when the U.S. ambassador describes the relationship as one of friendship and partnership and credits McCain himself with being central to the improvement of that bilateral relationship.

[15:54:26] Meanwhile, the foreign minister of Vietnam, he describes McCain as part of a generation of lawmakers and veterans who have helped heal the wounds between two countries that were once adversaries -- Ana?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: When this week's "CNN Hero" first earned his pilot's license, he had no idea what he would end up doing. But now twice a month, Paul Steklenski spends his own money to fly dogs from high-kill shelters in the south to no-kill shelters in the north. Check out the lifesaving and very adorable missions of love.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL STEKLENSKI, CNN HERO: You just look like my Tessa. You're just a baby girl.

I try to greet every passenger before we load them on the aircraft to spend a few moments with me.

You ready to go?

So they can see me and smell me.

Load the airplane up and then we'll make stops along the eastern coast.

I'm quite certain they know things are about to change.

Hey, buddy. He is so calm right now.

They know things are getting better and not ending up in the pound.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[16:00:06] CABRERA: To see more of how Paul gives his "pawsengers" first-class treatment, or to nominate someone you think should be a "CNN Hero," logon to CNNheroes.com.