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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Family, Friends To Celebrate Mccain's Life Today; John Mccain's Legacy Of Reaching Across The Aisle; Former Presidents Obama, G.W. Bush To Eulogize Mccain; Biden: Decency And Respect Were Important To Mccain; Celebrating The Life Of The "Queen Of Soul"; Ex-Trump Campaign Adviser Contradicts Sessions' Testimony; Giuliani Prepping Report To Rebut Mueller Findings; Nation Finally Says Goodbye to John McCain; Former Presidents Obama, George W. Bush to Eulogize McCain; Warren Beatty, VP Joe Biden Chosen Among McCain's Pallbearers; Stars, Dignitaries and Fans Honor the Queen of Soul; Entrepreneur Turns Old Boats into Luxury Floating Homes. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired September 1, 2018 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We gather here today to honor an American patriot, served a cause greater than himself.
PAUL RYAN, SPEAKER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: This is one of the bravest souls our nation has ever produced.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John McCain, I think, really represented the best in our country.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Didn't always agree with him politically, but I respect the man. There was nobody who was as heroic as he was.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He would fight tooth and nail for his vision of the common good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need people to step up and to follow that model that he set.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), S.C.: If you want to help the country, be more like John McCain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY WEEKEND: Good morning to you. So grateful to have you here. I'm Christi Paul, live in Atlanta. Victor Blackwell is in Washington. Good morning, Victor.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY WEEKEND: Good morning to you, Christi. Good morning to you at home. I am live outside the Washington National Cathedral where the nation today prepares to honor Senator John McCain at his memorial service. Today, the nation will say good- bye to the Senator and the global statesman.
This is a day of services for the Arizona Republican who spent much of his life in public service and we'll be talking a lot about that today. He was shot down during the Vietnam War and tortured over five and half years as a prisoner of war.
It is the Senator's contributions to this country through his political life as a Congressman and then as a Senator that secured his place in American history. And now, he lies in state at the U.S. Capitol, an honor afforded to only 30 people before him, a tribute from a grateful nation.
Suzanne Malveaux joins us now from the Capitol. Suzanne, what can you tell us about what will happen today, today's services?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sure. Good morning, Victor. Well, it is a muggy morning and it's a hot morning here in Washington, D.C. and it is eerily quiet. You can really feel the power, however, and the loss of Senator John McCain. We're at the east Capitol steps. This is where he lies in state in the rotunda just behind me, the flag at half-staff.
And what will happen in just hours from now is that the hearse will pull up with the family members and they will get out and they will watch as that casket goes down the stairs step-by-step. The body of Senator John McCain has been guarded overnight, an honor guard at his post, at her post, beside that casket. A turnover every 20 minutes to another individual who is watching at hand.
They will go ahead and they will head first to the Vietnam Memorial and that is where Cindy McCain, his wife, will place a ceremonial wreath at that memorial site. Of course, very significant to Senator McCain. They will then head to the national memorial service at Washington's National Cathedral.
As you know, Victor, this is going to be an extraordinary moment. A time of bipartisanship, a time to honor his legacy. And if you just take a look at who is going to be speaking, delivering the eulogies, it says a lot about who this man was.
First, President George W. Bush, the man who took away his presidential bid in the primary back in 2000. And then President Barack Obama, again, one of his bitter opponents who he came to truly respect in the process as an opponent. Also, we'll be hearing from former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Senator Kelly Ayotte. Also, Senator Joseph Lieberman and his dear, dear friend, Senator Lindsey Graham among them. We will also hear from his adult children, including Meghan McCain.
Notable, as well, if you take a look, will be the pallbearers. These are people who represent professions and are successful individuals in their own right throughout the spectrum here. So we are talking about actor and friend Warren Beatty, Vice President Joe Biden, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, among many of the others. Victor?
BLACKWELL: And Suzanne, from your years on Capitol Hill, you covered Senator McCain. What are you thinking? What are you feeling today?
MALVEAUX: Well, this is one of those times where you really believe and can feel what he was about. And one of my favorites memories was in 2000, when he essentially had given up the race. He invited all of the reporters down to his ranch in Sedona, and he loved that place. And he and Cindy McCain hosted, had a little kind of impromptu barbecue, and all of them realizing that he had lost this bitter primary to George W. Bush. What was next?
He took his Blackberry, and they all took their Blackberrys, and they just tossed them over the side, really kind of symbolically, but also realistically saying, look, this is a new part of my life, this is a new step, and I'm going to do something else.
[06:05:02] I'm going to look ahead, look forward, at how I can contribute to my country. And that was really a wonderful moment to remember.
BLACKWELL: And contribute he did. Absolutely. Suzanne Malveaux there from the Capitol. We'll check back. Thank you so much. Joining me now is CNN presidential historian and former Director of the Nixon Presidential Library, Tim Naftali, and Max Boot, CNN global affairs analyst and, "Washington Post" columnist.
I want to talk about, first, the man, but also the moment here today. And Max, let me start with you. You worked as a foreign policy adviser to the candidate during the 2008 campaign. And I read that you said that he was more impressive in person than he was on television. Talk to us about that.
MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Absolutely. I mean, John McCain certainly had this larger-than-life persona. He was on TV all the time. I think he set records for appearing on major Sunday morning television programs. So everybody was kind of familiar with him and he had that kind of persona of the kind of irreverent truth-teller that he cultivated on TV.
Well, you know what? He had that very same persona in private. But it was also -- he also had a very irreverent sense of humor that came out in privacy settings and he was also very knowledgeable.
I mean this is something that we don't talk enough about. The fact is that he read major works of history all the time. He traveled around the world all the time. He just knew a lot of things. It wasn't simply that he was a man of character and of courage and somebody who had been in the Senate for a long time. He was also very effective because he had cultivated a lot of knowledge and a lot of understanding.
And at the end of the day, what was most impressive to me about him was that he was just a great guy to talk to. I mean, he really could step back from his public persona.
BOOT: He had a great sense of humor, a sense of irony. He understood that it was all kind of a performance art that we were engaged in and he could be a very real person. And let me tell you, I mean, I'm sure others can attest to this as well, just talking to a lot of public figures ...
BLACKWELL: Yes. BOOT: They can never really turn it off. And when you talk to a lot of senators or congressmen in private, all you hear is basically their stump speeches regurgitated back at you, and that was not John McCain at all.
BLACKWELL: Not John McCain. Let's talk, also, about the history that's going to be made here today with two former presidents now eulogizing Senator McCain.
TIMOTHY NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISORIAN: Well, this is a powerful moment for a number of reasons. The nation is going to say good-bye to a hero. Senator McCain decided that -- because he made all the arrangements. We are watching a series of ceremonies that Senator McCain thought about and authorized. He wanted not only two presidents to speak, but two presidents from different parties, Victor. This is the first time that's ever happened, that two presidents from different parties are speaking and eulogizing the same man.
And by so doing, there's an understanding between them and the late Senator McCain. Senator McCain said, I want this vision of bipartisanship.
NAFTALI: And these two men, George W. Bush and President Obama, are saying we respect John McCain and we respect the bipartisanship that he fought for.
BLACKWELL: And he was eulogized earlier in the week by a democratic vice president, former Vice President Joe Biden. Let's listen to former Vice President Biden. This was in Phoenix earlier this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATED: He could disagree on substance, but it was the underlying values that animated everything John did, everything he was. You'd come to a different conclusion, but where he'd part company with you, if you lacked the basic values of decency, respect, knowing that this project is bigger than yourself.
(END BEGIN CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Service to something bigger than one's self, a recurring theme in his speeches and his books, in his life.
BOOT: Absolutely. I mean, that was really what John McCain was about, and a lot of politicians talk about service to the country, they talk about patriotism. John McCain lived it, as we know. I mean, he showed his dedication to the country during those five and half hellish years in the Hanoi Hilton when he could have been released, but he chose not to because it would have been dishonorable to leave ahead of his fellow POWs who had gotten there earlier.
And he also, I might add, showed that kind of dedication to the country repeatedly during his service in the Senate when he took positions that were at odds with the mainstream view of the Republican party, challenging Republicans, for example, on climate change, on torture, opposing the Bush tax cuts last year, as we remember, opposing the repeal of Obamacare.
But it wasn't just challenging his own party. He was also willing to challenge mainstream Washington convention.
[06:09:57] And I remember, for example, in 2006, 2007, when he was getting ready to run for the presidency and it would have been very politically expedient for him at that point to back off his support for the Iraq War, as so many other politicians were doing, but he refused to do it. He ran on a no surrender pledge and he said, I would rather lose a campaign than lose a war. There are not a lot of leaders who have that kind of character in our national life.
BLACKWELL: Tim, we were talking about this before the show started, about the series of events that the Senator planned meticulously for this week, but they are supported by sincere mourning. There is genuine, a feeling of loss here. We have not seen this tribute for many other senators, and some U.S. presidents have not seen this type of memorializing.
NAFTALI: You know, if I recommend to folks who are, perhaps, trying to find a way to come to grips with the loss of Senator McCain, that they actually read "The Restless Wave," his last book. What you see in it is described, his respect for many of his colleagues, most of his colleagues.
NAFTALI: You know, one of the things we don't get from the outside is the interpersonal relationships among the people in power. And what's clear is that behind the scenes, though, Senator McCain was known for a temper and that people not only liked him, but they trusted him.
And so, what you're seeing today and what you saw yesterday and the day before was people returning that trust. They're showing, it's not a -- it's not theater, it's real. They are showing the trust and affection and respect they had for Senator McCain. It's coming right back to Senator McCain as people say good-bye.
BLACKWELL: Yes. We will talk about that this morning. Also, with the list, as Suzanne pointed out, the pallbearers, those who will be speaking today, democrats, republicans, a mix across politics, Warren Beatty here as well, an old friend. We have the list here on the screen. And we'll be talking next hour with Mark Salter who has known the Senator for 30 years, co-authored seven books with him, a speechwriter, Chief of Staff. And stay with us this morning as we continue our special coverage. Tim Naftali, Max Boot, thank you both.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Remembering an American hero, CNN's special coverage, the funeral of Senator John McCain starts at 8:00 A.M. Eastern with Wolf Blitzer and Dana Bash. Christi, I'll send it back to you. Paul: All righty. Hey, Victor, thank you so much. Listen, a late-night court filing could potentially cause more trouble for the U.S. Attorney General this morning. A convicted ex-Trump campaign adviser is contradicting what Jeff Sessions said under oath about a proposed meeting with Vladimir Putin. We'll talk to you about that also.
Yes, a funeral fit for a queen. Family and lifelong friends paying tribute to Aretha Franklin.
PAUL: Well, a late-night court filing shows convicted former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos has directly contradicted sworn testimony by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Papadopoulos claims Donald Trump, quote, "nodded with approval" at the suggestion of a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin. This was during the 2016 campaign. Also asserting that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, quote, "appeared to like the idea".
Now, let's remember, in testimony under oath to congress, Sessions said he had, quote, "pushed back on that plan when asked about the meeting".
CNN White House correspondent Boris Sanchez with us now. So, you couple this latest news about Papadopoulos with word now that the President's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has a new strategy to defend President Trump in the Mueller probe and it all seems to be just one big convoluted mess. Tell us about what's happening.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Christi. Yes, just based on this new revelation coming from George Papadopoulos' legal team, you can imagine why the President's legal team wants to develop a strategy early on to try to defend the President from more damning allegations and testimony to come from the Mueller probe.
Essentially, what Papadopoulos is accusing the administration of here is of having the President approve, noddingly, of a potential meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. And then the President, then candidate Trump, delegating that to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Here's the specific excerpt from this legal filing from George Papadopoulos' attorneys. They write, quote, "while some in 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. George's giddiness over Mr. Trump's recognition was prominent during the days that followed."
Now, the White House has dismissed the former Trump aide as a coffee boy and his testimony as, essentially, dishonest, but it's clear that the White House is in damage control. Rudy Giuliani confirming to CNN that his team is preparing a rebuttal, a report that could cover any number of accusations and testimony that could come from the Mueller probe.
A source indicates to CNN that that report is already halfway done, though it's unclear that the Muller investigation is any closer to wrapping up as a result. We should point out that Giuliani spoke about this report, saying that it is anything -- any good lawyer would do this. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY: This report will never see the light of day, if he doesn't do anything. If he does, we'll be ready to rebut it to get this over with as quickly as possible. You know, there's a chance they could say bad things. We're really relying on the anti-Trump press for those interpretations.
So, we're rebutting what's been in the press. There may be none of that in the Mueller report. If there isn't, obviously, I don't think we've wasted our time. We've just done what a good lawyer would do, which is to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Now, the President's legal team has not closed the door on a possible one-on-one interview between President Trump and the Special Counsel.
[06:20:05] However, they say that they have not heard back from the Special Counsel on ground rules for a possible interview in several weeks now, Christi.
PAUL: All right. We appreciate it, Boris Sanchez. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell, live outside the Washington National Cathedral where Senator John McCain's funeral will be held later this morning. And his bipartisan spirit, the philosophy reigned even during his ceremony at the Capitol rotunda this week. We look at his legacy of cooperation with democrats and whether there might be a return to the civility he embodied.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN MCCAIN, FORMER ARIZ. SENATOR: I had the great good fortune to spend 60 years in the employ of our country, defending our country's security, advancing our country's ideals, supporting our country's indispensable contribution to the progress of humanity.
It's not been perfect service, to be sure, and there were times when the country might have benefited from a little less of my help, but I've tried to deserve the privilege and I've been repaid a thousand times over with adventure and discoveries, with good company and with the satisfaction of serving something more important than myself, of being a bit player in the story of America and the history we made, and I am so very grateful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: The late Senator John Sidney McCain reading a passage from his latest book, "The Restless Wave", co-authored with Mark Salter who will join us at the top of the next hour.
And family and friends are preparing today to say farewell to Senator McCain here in Washington. He is lying in state in the Capitol rotunda. His memorial service will begin in just a few hours at Washington National Cathedral, where we are right now, where former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama will speak, among many other republicans and democrats, old friends and colleagues.
Here with me now is CNN political commentator and democratic strategist Maria Cardona and republican strategist Shermichael Singleton. Welcome to both of you.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Good morning, Victor.
SHERMICHAEL SINGLETON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yes, it's great to be here. Good morning (ph).
BLACKWELL: I want to listen now to more of Senator McCain. And this was his final speech in the Senate before that historic vote on health care reform and this is what he talked about, regular order.
BLACKWELL: And working together. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: I hope we can again rely on humility, on our need to cooperate, on our dependence on each other, to learn how to trust each other again, and by so doing, better serve the people who elected us. Stop listening to the bombastic loud-mouths on the radio and television and the internet. To hell with them! They don't want anything done for the public good. Our incapacity is their livelihood.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: It's clear through the selection of those who will eulogize him, his pallbearers who will be involved, that that is what wants to be as part of his legacy.
CARDONA: Yes. There's no question about it and he certainly didn't mince words. We know exactly what he was talking about. He was talking about the incivility of the political conversation of the moment. What really strikes me about what we have heard, not just in his own words, but everybody who has worked with him, is his indispensable commitment to, not just bipartisanship, but to the values that we hold so dear in this country. When you just had the opening and there was a quote that he was talking about from his own book and he talked about how he was so thankful to be in the service of the indispensable contribution of this country, to the service of humanity.
I think we've lost that with our current leadership in the White House. They don't seem to care about humanity. They don't seem to care, frankly, about the majority of the people in this country. They seem to care about a very limited percentage of voters and that, I think, is completely the antithesis of what John McCain stood for.
Now, as a democrat, he wasn't perfect, right? I did not believe in hardly any of his politics. I didn't vote for him in 2008. I thought he was wrong and he did a complete 180 flip on immigration reform.
BLACKWELL: Immigration. We're going to talk about that. Yes.
CARDONA: Exactly. When he was running. So I was very disappointed in that. But throughout his life, he always came back to we're in this together.
CARDONA: We have to focus on that or else we're not going to get anywhere.
BLACKWELL: And Shermichael, Maria points out, and it's important here, that bipartisanship comes at a cost.
SINGLETON: It does.
BLACKWELL: And we saw that in 2000 and 2008, where he had to work harder to convince his own party to convince his base that he should be the republican standard bearer.
SINGLETON: Well, remember, he struggled running for Senate in his own state when Sarah Palin had to come ...
SINGLETON: And help him out at the very last minute because a lot of republican voters believed that he was becoming too bipartisan, if you would, that he wasn't maintaining that hard-line position that you see coming from the White House.
[06:30:07] But I think what's so incredible about John McCain to me is that he believed that leaders are expected to rise to the occasion.
SINGLETON: And that means that you are willing to take the risk because you have enough courage to say this may not make everyone who agrees with me happy, but there's something far bigger than me, far bigger than just a small majority.
There is an entire nation at stake here. And that means that sometimes you have to say, you know what? I'm going to sacrifice my own position --
CARDONA: Right --
SINGLETON: For the greater good, and that's something to Maria's point, we're not seeing that coming from the current administration.
SINGLETON: Which is why I think you've seen an increase in tribalism --
CARDONA: Yes --
SINGLETON: On both sides --
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CO-HOST, NEW DAY SATURDAY: Yes, I would argue --
SINGLETON: Yes --
BLACKWELL: And he talked about that. Let's listen to more from Senator McCain here talking about what he calls the spurious nationalism. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN MCCAIN, LATE FORMER ARIZONA SENATOR: To fear the world we have organized and led the three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain the last best hope of earth for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems.
Is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Shermichael, what does this loss mean to not just the party, but conservatism?
SINGLETON: Well, look, I think right now, conservatism, philosophically speaking is in the midst of a paradigm shift. And I think when you think about the terms such as nationalism or populism, these are things that aren't rooted in one ideology or the other.
They can -- you can have uprisings under liberalist type of leadership. I think the question, however, is once you sort of captured and captivated that anger, that anxiety, those critiques of society, whether legitimate or not, how do you transform them into something more positive?
And we're not seeing that. And one thing John McCain always attempted to do, and even he himself in his own words --
CARDONA: Yes --
SINGLETON: Admitted to his own flaws. What he attempted to do was turn the negative into the positive, because again, he believed and I believe a more aspirational type of leadership, transformative type of leadership.
CARDONA: Yes --
SINGLETON: That we don't see today. And so, I think as it relates to conservatism, philosophically speaking, the Republican Party as a political party, I think right now, we are in the midst of trying to figure out what does it even mean to be a conservative?
As the great philosopher Edmund Burke once wrote, we reform to conserve. And my question to my party is, what is that we're trying to conserve today? And I'm not --
CARDONA: Yes --
SINGLETON: Exactly sure.
BLACKWELL: But Maria, we have heard from leaders of both parties, the House and the Senate and former presidents speak glowingly of bipartisanship --
CARDONA: Yes --
BLACKWELL: Right? What I can't figure out --
CARDONA: Yes --
BLACKWELL: Or maybe it's obvious and right in front of us, are they speaking of it as some honorable relic or are they --
CARDONA: Yes --
BLACKWELL: Speaking it with some longing nostalgia that they want to return to?
CARDONA: Well, unfortunately, if you're going to judge them by what they have done recently, I think they're just paying lip service to it, frankly. And that to me is what is so disappointing about this very moment, because we are all eulogizing a man who stood for bipartisanship, who lived it.
And you know, let's talk about the bipartisan legislation for immigration reform, again, and under Barack Obama. John McCain was part of the gang of eight that made that happen. And so, to me, the Republican Party right now, you know, I talked about the leadership in the White House, but it goes beyond that.
It goes to the leadership of the current Republican Party. They have wrapped themselves around what is coming out of the White House so tightly that when they talked about bipartisanship, it really rang incredibly hollow.
And I think that this is something that they need to be worried about because while they're speaking words about bipartisanship at John McCain's funeral, they are facing a mid-term election where we are looking at an electorate that is disappointed, that is, frankly, sick of the lack of civility and discourse.
Where you have communities that have felt insulted by the president and these Republicans who do not stand up to him, and they are the ones who are going to go vote.
BLACKWELL: There was one point, and this was almost a week ago, I think it was Sunday after we learned of the senator's death that Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer suggested renaming the Russell Senate office building --
SINGLETON: Right --
[06:35:00] BLACKWELL: In Senator McCain's honor. And initially, there seemed to be huge bipartisan support --
CARDONA: Yes --
BLACKWELL: For that. But Shermichael, it seems like there's now some distance from that --
SHERMICHAEL: Oh, there is.
BLACKWELL: So, do you expect that will happen? And why is that changing over the week?
SHERMICHAEL: You know, it seems crazy to me, not to be a cynic here, Victor, but Russell, this was a guy who did not have views that as the three of us as minorities, we would not be --
BLACKWELL: We certainly would not be --
SHERMICHAEL: Supportive of --
CARDONA: Right --
BLACKWELL: Right, yes --
CARDONA: Right --
SINGLETON: So you would think when you think about John McCain, who again, he had his issues with the Martin Luther King holiday, with the Voting Rights Act I believe in 1990 that he voted against. And he himself again admitted, I made a mistake --
CARDONA: Right --
SINGLETON: Here -- why wouldn't you want to name the building after someone -- CARDONA: Yes --
SINGLETON: Who was big enough to say, you know what? I'm not a perfect human being, I have faults like the rest of us, but as a leader, I believe that I have a duty, I have a --
BLACKWELL: Yes --
SINGLETON: Moral obligation here to --
CARDONA: Yes --
SINGLETON: Try to always rise above that occasion.
BLACKWELL: All right, Shermichael Singleton, Maria Cardona, thank you so much for being with us --
CARDONA: Thank you --
BLACKWELL: This morning, our special coverage will continue throughout this show. Christi, back to you in Atlanta.
CHRISTI PAUL, CO-HOST, NEW DAY SATURDAY: All right, hey, thank you so much. The stars, you've probably never seen them like this before as they paid their respect to the queen of soul. We're going to take a look at the song-filled tribute, some of the real highlights from this epic eight-hour service.
[06:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
PAUL: Oh, my goodness, huge, star-studded send-off for the queen of soul. There was song, there was praise, and our Fredricka Whitfield was there.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Home-going fit for a queen, queen of soul Aretha Franklin. Gospel praise from Detroit's Grammy-winning Clark Sisters to an Aretha classic performed by pop princess Ariana Grande.
Two weeks after her passing of pancreatic cancer, the 76-year-old in a gold-plated casket was celebrated as an artist, friend, icon, and inspiration.
SMOKEY ROBINSON, SINGER-SONGWRITER: I've been watching the celebration of your life from everywhere. The world is going to miss you, and I know that I'm going to miss you so much because I miss our talks.
It's really going to be different without you.
WHITFIELD: Love and respect from the highest notes to the highest elected public office, former President Bill Clinton. BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She lived with
courage, not without fear, but overcoming her fears.
WHITFIELD: From former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder --
ERIC HOLDER, FORMER UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: But she was always ours. There has never been, there will never be another voice melded to the consummate artistry that was Miss Aretha Franklin.
WHITFIELD: Never considering herself political, she was a favorite inauguration fixture to three presidents spanning 30 years. As a young woman, she lent her artistry to Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's cause, later tearfully singing at his funeral.
A recipient of the highest civilian honor, the medal of freedom. Her song "Respect" considered an anthem of the civil rights movement and women's advocacy. At her Detroit service in the Greater Grace Temple, power voices, Chaka Khan and Jennifer Hudson. And sentiments from the youngest members of the Franklin family, awe-struck and grateful.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As a kid, I couldn't understand what it was like to be Aretha Franklin's granddaughter. I didn't know what that meant, but now I know what it feels like, that I have that running through my blood and that she's a part of who I am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to thank everyone who bought her album, who bought her concert ticket. I want to thank everyone who ever took a picture of my aunt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You showed the world God's love, and there's nothing more honorable.
WHITFIELD: In this nearly eight-hour farewell, fans and friends remembering and rejoicing the heart of Detroit and the soul of a nation. Fredricka Whitfield, Cnn, Detroit.
PAUL: And you know, Victor, during the -- one of the Clark sisters said something that struck me. She said, "Aretha Franklin left us with one message, and that was to respect each other." It's pretty profound.
[06:45:00] BLACKWELL: Absolutely, pretty profound there. And saying good-bye to the queen of soul, and I'm here in Washington as a nation mourns an elder statesman from a Navy captain bombing Hanoi to an esteemed friend of the country.
Up next, how Senator John McCain's time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam molded him into the hero and politician he became.
[06:50:00] BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell live outside Washington's National Cathedral, where in just a few hours, friends and family and former colleagues and a grateful nation will say thank you and goodbye to another late Senator John McCain.
His time spent as a prisoner of war in Vietnam helped shape the man, and he became -- and the political policies he supported. John King takes a closer look at the impact of those years in captivity and how they had on the rest of his life.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For John McCain, the legacy of Vietnam took on different meanings. The most obvious is physical. As energetic as he was, many of the familiar trappings of political office were literally beyond his reach.
He couldn't bowl or throw a baseball or even lift a baby because of the physical toll of the beatings and torture from his days as a prisoner of war. He always preferred not to talk about it.
MCCAIN: It's just a chapter in my life that I'd rather remember the good parts than the bad parts. I don't know what the point is of going through all that.
KING: When McCain made his last run for president ten years ago, I retraced his footsteps here, bringing a clearer understanding of how Vietnam helped shape his world view. On the ground, there's another view of the war.
This marker, a tribute to those who shot down an American pilot here over 50 years ago. White bamboo lake, a whole (INAUDBLE) box for the locals is where John McCain's chapter as a prisoner of war began. Wong Dang Dong(ph) says he jumped in when he saw the parachute splashing down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We all pushed him to the edge of the lake and the security forces surrounded him. At that point, everyone in the village was here. Everyone came down to see the American pilot.
KING: Years ago, Trong Gong Duyet(ph) recalls McCain as funny, defiant, and as a stubborn prisoner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): He never admitted the U.S. made a mistake in the war. Therefore, I say John McCain is a very conservative man. He was loyal to his ideology.
KING: Fifty years ago, Duyet(ph) was director of the Hoa Lo prison, the American POWs called it the Hanoi Hilton.
MCCAIN: The cell blocks that I was in was a small room, maybe seven feet by about four or five feet, I guess, and they had wooden planks.
KING: He credits McCain for putting the bitterness of the war behind him and as a senator back in the early '90s leading the effort to normalize relations between the two formerly bitter enemies.
MCCAIN: I look forward to the day when we can normalize the United States and Vietnamese relations. I think that we -- many of us can enjoy the fruits of that friendship.
KING: McCain left Vietnam after five and a half years in captivity, convinced United States leadership didn't commit enough troops to the war effort and never had a clear strategy for victory.
The legacy of those memories over 50 years ago left a lasting imprint on McCain's hawkish political career. As a freshman Congressman in 1983, McCain criticized popular Republican President Ronald Reagan for sending American marines into Lebanon, convinced a modest U.S. military presence would only further escalate the violence there.
McCain was a staunch supporter of the war in Iraq, but resoundingly rejected democratic comparisons of the Iraq war to the Vietnam quagmire. So at times, McCain was a fierce critic of the Bush administration and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in particular.
MCCAIN: I think that Donald Rumsfeld will go down in history as one of the worst Secretaries of Defense in history.
KING: As McCain believed the administration was ignoring the most important lesson of Vietnam, a lesson powerfully conveyed by a downed U.S. aircraft still there five decades later, that if U.S. troops are to be sent overseas, it must be done, McCain believed, with overwhelming force, to guarantee a decisive victory and a clear exit strategy. John King, Cnn.
BLACKWELL: Tonight, former Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton will pay tribute to Senator John McCain in a special documentary, "John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls", that airs tonight at 9:00 Eastern right here on Cnn.
Now, Senator McCain was also known for his wicked sense of humor. One memorable moment, the time that he sent some light-hearted raillery in the direction of his 2008 presidential opponent, President Barack Obama. This was before the election, we'll hear that exchange coming up.
[06:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
PAUL: Well, this week's "Start Small, Think Big" looks at an entrepreneur in Seattle who's turning old boats into luxury floating homes. Take a look.
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DAN LOFSTROM, NAVAL ARCHITECH: Seattle is a unique part of the country with house boats. It's some of the coolest lifestyles that you can have. I'm Dan Lofstrom; a Naval architect and owner of Steady Floats. Steady Floats is a luxury house-boat builder in Seattle, Washington, design and build floating homes.
Welcome aboard! In my previous life, I was just doing engineering, I was helping people redesign their house boats and basically worked for free. Decided that was not a good idea, not a good business plan and a much better business plan is to design and build my own.
What we do is we buy these old, decrepit house boats and start from scratch. Since there are no house boats allowed in Seattle, but you're allowed to rebuild them, then we can rebuild to the original footprint. A lot of the house boats in Seattle are maybe smaller, kind of cabin style, and we found a niche in the market as to have very high-end, luxury stuff.
This is not like a typical home where you can have all the space to play with. You have to do a lot of creative stuff. We thought we'd take a nautical theme, this is all kind of merging boat-building and with house-building.
When I started my company, I thought people would come to me because I'm known as a great house-boat builder -- no one cared. You can't just be a great engineer, you also have to make sure people know who you are and you have to have great marketing and people around you to do that as well.
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