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Biden Defends His Past Position on Busing In Heated Fight; 10 People Dead In Private Plane Crash in Texas; George Takei Reflects on Stonewall Anniversary; Trump Plans Elaborate Independence Day Party in D.C. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired June 30, 2019 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[18:00:45] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Hello on this Sunday. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.
President Trump transformed what could be into an ordinary visit to the Korean demilitarized Zone into a watershed moment and an American president history and he did it with a tweet, an invitation to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, asking him to meet and, in President Trump's words, say hello. No U.S. sitting President had ever stood on North Korean soil.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIM JONG-UN, NORTH KOREAN LEADER: Good to see you again. I never expected to meet you at this place. You are the first U.S. President to cross the zone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: And then he did it. He didn't go far, about 20 steps, but it was farther than any sitting U.S. President had ever ventured into North Korea, a country much more known for its aggressive nuclear ambition and horrific treatment of its own people than any positive contribution to the world. It was the third face-to-face meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
I want to bring in CNN's Will Ripley now. He is in Seoul, South Korea.
Will, crossing into North Korea is nothing new to you. You have been there 19 times. Tell us the magnitude of this moment. And given your experience covering North Korea, how will the people of that country be told about it?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. Well, just within the last few minutes, North Korea reported its news to its own people. As usual, it was hours and hours after the rest of the world heard about it. This is the image that the front page of one of the newspapers here in Seoul, you can't get a much bigger picture of this, President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. But while North Korea is celebrating this as a milestone in the
relationship between the U.S. and North Korea, the fact remains that when the buzz wears off there's still a huge gap between what the U.S. wants and what North Korea wants when it comes to denuclearization.
RIPLEY (voice-over): With these 20 steps, President Trump made history at the DMZ, becoming the first sitting U.S. President to cross the military demarcation line into North Korea. The groundbreaking moment began with a tweet the day before.
If chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the border, DMZ, just to shake his hand and say hello.
Sources say that tweet and Pyongyang's speedy response set the wheels in motion for a whirlwind day of impromptu diplomacy with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Some say the meeting here was preplanned through the letter you sent me, he said. But to me, it was a surprise.
U.S. and North Korean officials scrambled to overcome logistical and security hurdles, creating surreal moments, Kim's bodyguards and the secret service together at the DMZ.
And chaotic moments. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham left bruised in what a source called an all-out brawl with North Korean officials and the press.
The day's biggest surprise, Kim crossing into South Korea and meeting privately with Trump for nearly an hour, far more than the two-minute handshake the President previewed earlier. When talks ended, the two announced a plan to revise stalled nuclear diplomacy.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We decided to designate a team that will try to work out details.
RIPLEY: Sources told CNN much of Kim's negotiating team was punished after February's talks in Hanoi fell apart.
In the four months since, North Korea has resumed bellicose rhetoric and short-range ballistic missile tests. It's unclear if this moment at the DMZ will be enough to smooth over vastly different views on denuclearization, a word President Trump never said once on Sunday. Trump even invited Kim to the White House, despite the fact North Korea still has all its nuclear weapons.
As President Trump boarded air force one, the day ended as it began, with a tweet.
Stood on the soil of North Korea, an important statement for all and a great honor.
[18:05:11] RIPLEY: It's already Monday morning here in South Korea, where the mood is cautious optimism. They have been down this diplomatic road before. Their own president made history last year when he crossed the military demarcation line and walked into North Korea. And since then the South Koreans have seen the North Koreans snub them. Diplomacy has fallen apart. Now they are hopeful maybe this time will be different. If history repeats itself, they know that may not be the case -- Ana.
CABRERA: Will Ripley in Seoul, South Korea, for us. Thanks.
Joining us now, CNN senior political analyst former adviser to four U.S. Presidents, David Gergen who twice accompanied U.S. Presidents to the DMZ, Ronald Reagan in the '80s and Bill Clinton in the '90s.
David, given your experience, such a unique perspective, I have to ask, what was your reaction when President Trump gave the invitation of Kim to cross the border into North Korea?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It was surprising, I must say, from a political standpoint. He scored some points today.
Let me just day, in going there with Reagan and Clinton in different decades and each time there was drama about going to the DMZ, especially with Reagan. He went up and -- he got one of the best photo-ops of his entire presidency at the DMZ. He went up on the tower after lunch looking into North Korea, had his flacked jacket on, a helmet of some on. But be very important, he had these binoculars he was looking through out into the DMZ. And the pictures were so good that White House correspondents from the networks were calling the White House press office, and the press secretary saying thank you, thank you. Thank you. You gave us such good pictures we're going on the air tonight.
So I never imagined anybody would come up with something more dramatic but you have to hand it to Trump. He knows his showbiz pretty darn well and he did that.
Having said that, Ana, is obviously all about symbolize and way over substance. And so the communications people in the White House may drool over this, but the national security advisers are probably wrenching over it. It is -- because it promises a lot and they are nowhere close. And our own CIA still believes the North Koreans don't want to denuclearize. They don't feel it's in their interest. And that's at the heart at what the United States is seeking from them. And in return, we would drop some sanctions.
CABRERA: Now the President referenced this being a reset for the teams to begin negotiations again. That was after a 50-minute meeting between the President and Kim. And after that, the President claimed real progress. Listen to more of what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We just had a very, very good meeting with chairman Kim and we have agreed that we're each going to designate a team and the team will try to work out some details. And, again, speed is not the object. We want to see if we can do a comprehensive, big deal. Very big stuff. Pretty complicated but not as complicated as people think. (END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: David, not one time was the word denuclearization used. Do you feel like the President is no longer seeking that goal?
GERGEN: Yes. Well, if that's the case, that would be -- I think it would be extraordinarily damaging to the United States and to his presidency, to drop the single most important goal that he has in mind. How you denuclearize, at what pace and what you do in exchange, those things are worth negotiating.
But if denuclearization is taken off the table, that would be stunning. And it would really suggest weakness and unreliability in American foreign policy that I don't think we can afford to go there.
CABRERA: I mean, if he doesn't mention the word, though, what was accomplished?
GERGEN: Yes. Well, I say that's right. I think that is a signal. And when the dog doesn't bark, you learn something, right? And he is obviously trying to de-emphasize where the problems are. You know, he glorifies in this drama, and he is -- he's very good at the symbolism, but it can be at the expense of substance when you do that because right now it appears he is going to be sending a fairly low-level team into negotiations. Kim believes the only person he can really deal with is Trump. There's a sense that Kim has or at least appears to have, that he can play Trump. And he knows that Trump has this election coming up and he definitely wants to have a victory in foreign policy going into the election cycle. So that can weaken the U.S. hand in negotiations and when the President doesn't mention denuclearization, that suggests maybe that isn't the long-term central goal of what we are doing. It will be interesting to hear what Bolton has to say the next few days, as well as Pompeo.
[18:10:04] CABRERA: You know, Bolton wasn't there. Is that a red flag?
GERGEN: Yes, I know. Right? Well, you know, I think he is probably gritting his teeth, wherever he is, and is waiting for his turn to try to persuade the President if we are going to get this thing going, let's get real results. Let's not get, you know, paper results.
CABRERA: The President appears to be betting his personal relationship with Kim can achieve what former Presidents have failed to accomplish.
CABRERA: Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: President Obama wanted to meet and chairman Kim would not meet him. The Obama administration was begging for a meeting. They were begging for meetings constantly. And chairman Kim would not meet with him. And for some reason, we have a certain chemistry or whatever. (END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Now, in response, President Obama's former national security adviser Susan Rice tweeted, at the risk of stating the obvious, this is horse bleep. What's your take, David?
GERGEN: Yes. I think she's right. President Obama wasn't calling on his knees, trying to beg for a meeting. I think that distorts history. What's interesting is that President Trump has now claimed he has much better chemistry with Putin, with Kim, with Xi and so far, what are the results? We don't have anything. We have a lot of talk. We have negotiations but we don't have a big breakthroughs. And I think the pressure is on now to come up with some sort of breakthrough in American foreign policy.
CABRERA: The President invited Kim Jong-un to visit him at the White House. Do you see that happening?
GERGEN: I think they ought to sit on that and never say another word about that until they actually have an agreement of some sort. You legitimize Kim the more you invite him to meetings like this, the more you have you are shaking hands with him, the more you pat him on the back, you invite him to the White House. He is one of the world's most brutal dictators.
You know, as you reported earlier, there are variety of reports that some of the people he sent in to negotiate with the U.S. previously have been murdered since because he didn't like their results. This guy is -- Kim is no friend of the United States. He is a dictator. He is authoritarian. And only if he comes through with an agreement should he be extended a chance to come to the American White House.
CABRERA: David Gergen, as always, good to talk to you. Thank you very for your perspective.
GERGEN: Thank you, Ana. Take care.
CABRERA: You too.
Coming up, birtherism 2.0, Kamala Harris' campaign claps back at critics claiming she is not really a black American.
[18:16:22] CABRERA: 2020 Democratic candidate reacting to the news that President Trump inviting Kim Jong-un to the White House on North Korean soil today. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not sure why this President is so bent on elevating the profile of a dictator like Kim Jong-un when Kim Jong-un has not lived up to his promise from the first summit. It's been a failure so far.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have seen a history here, especially in this case where Donald Trump announces these summits and nothing really comes out of it. Of course, as a country, we want this to work. We want to see a denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, reduction in these missiles, but it's not as easy as just going and, you know, bringing a hot dish over the fence to the dictator next door. This is a ruthless dictator. And when you go forward, you have to have clear focus and a clear mission and clear goals.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The concern here is his incredible inconsistencies. I have no problem with him sitting down with Kim Jong-un in North Korea or anyplace else but I don't want it to simply be a photo opportunity. The whole world's media was attracted there. What's going to happen tomorrow and the next day? He has weakened the state department. If we are going to bring peace to this world we need a strong state department. We need to move forward diplomatically, not just do photo opportunities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: A.B. Stoddard is associate editor and columnist for Real Clear Politics and Toluse Olorunnipa is White House reporter for "the Washington Post."
A.B., do you think it has anything to do with Trump being the center of attention again after the Democratic debate this is week?
A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR/COLUMNIST, REALCLEARPOLITICS: Well, I don't know if it's because the focus was on the Democrats and not as much on his summit at the G-20. I mean, his meeting at the G-20. I do think that he is looking for a big, dramatic gesture that shows that the North Korea plan is going somewhere.
The truth is, he doesn't have an actual North Korea plan. He had a summit in Hanoi, the second one, and it failed. And he went home with nothing. And so there should not have been a third summit. And we didn't just see him cross into the demilitarize zone today for a handshake, like he said it would be yesterday. He had another summit and he has walked away with nothing.
Kim has gained everything. He has developing nuclear weapons program and he has legitimacy on the world stage with the Russians, the United States and the Chinese. Better trade relations. And he now has an invitation to the White House.
So I think the President did this to try to look like he is doing something and distract from the problems that he has politically, but he literally is giving away the store in North Korea. There's not anyone who can defend this as something other than a giveaway to Kim Jong-un.
CABRERA: As the President was overseas, there was a despicable attack on Senator Kamala Harris, breakout star from the debates last week. The President's son, Don Junior, retweeted a post, suggesting Harris is not a black American and thus should not be an authority on issues of race. The Harris campaign reacted this way, saying quote "this is the same
type of racist attack his father used to attack Barack Obama. It didn't work then and it won't work now."
Toluse, is this birtherism all over again?
TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: We have seen these types of circulating attacks on Senator Harris and her identity circulating in the dark corners of the internet for the better part of the last year. It's interesting now that the President's son is sort of elevating that kind of discussion and bringing it to the forefront.
And it is an opportunity. It's a strategy by the Trump campaign and by the Trump -- by Donald Trump Jr. to try to cast some doubt about Senator Harris, whether or not she's authentic, whether or not she is pandering, whether or not she really is who she says she is. It is sort similar to what President Trump did with President Barack Obama. But also during the 2016 campaign, trying to draw some questions about Hillary Clinton and whether she was really who she said she was. And that seems to be the M.O. of the Trump campaign as the sort of drag down the opponent as far as possible and try to circulate with all these sort of negative campaign ideas before someone can define themselves and really brand them in a different way. And it seems like that's what President Trump's son was trying to do even though he eventually deleted that tweet once things got controversial.
[18:20:56] CABRERA: Right.
OLORUNNIPA: But it's a clear sign where 2020 will be that kind of campaign where things get deep down in the mud.
CABRERA: Harris was born in Oakland. And her mother is from India, father is from Jamaica and has, in the past, addressed critics of her heritage. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: I'm not going to spend my time trying to educate people about who black people are. I was born black. I will die black. And I'm proud of it. And I'm not going to make any excuses for anybody, because they don't understand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: A.B., do you think we'll continue to see Harris draw on her personal experiences as a black woman to connect with voters as this campaign goes on?
STODDARD: Oh, there's no question. She and Cory Booker are making their own individual appeals to black voters in the Democratic primary campaign with vigor because they actually see that former vice president Joe Biden, until this point, has amassed more than 50 percent of nonwhite support in that electorate in a field of 23 people. And they are working hard to try to bring that number down and have black voters give them a second look. And maybe after these debates, they will.
But the interesting thing about these online attacks about Senator Harris being both Indian and Jamaican and all these questions is this is exactly not only what the Trump campaign feeds into, in terms of retweeting and this type of thing online, it's really what the Russian ds in 2016 and will do again, which is to turn out a victory for President Trump. It's going to have to be a clean sweep in the Electoral College where Democrats are so divided over their eventual nominee they will stay home.
And so, they got to work early on this in the primary. They did it all through the general electorate and they believe that the key to those divisions is to begin with the black voters. And so it's key that their voters know that.
CABRERA: Let's talk more about how Democrats are attacking each other in the race for the nomination. This morning Senator Cory Booker went after former vice president Joe Biden yet again for the way he has talked about race, including his answers on bussing and working with segregation with senators in the past. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What we have seen from the vice president over the last month is an ability to talk candidly about mistakes he made, about things he could have done better, about how some of the decisions he made at the time in difficult context actually have resulted in really bad outcomes. When it comes to issues about race if you can't talk about openly and honestly about your development on these issues I think it's hard to lead our country forward to deal would your past and rise to a better common cause and common future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Toluse, quickly, if you can in your answer, there are 20- plus people in this race. Is it good for booker to train all his energy on Biden?
OLORUNNIPA: Well, and Biden is the front-runner and I think Booker believes that he can sort of show that Biden is stumbling and by doing that there are several candidates they want to rise to the top once Biden stumbles. And the race issue seems to be one where he is sort of putting his foot in his mouth, stumbling a bit and having trouble getting his message across. And I think Booker sees that as an opportunity to draw a contrast between him, a black man who lives in the intercity with Joe Biden who had been in the Senate for 40 years and who partnered with some segregationists on some legislation not related to those things and was opposed to bussing. So that contrast is something that Booker believes will help him in 2020.
CABRERA: Toluse, A.B., good to have you both with us. Thank you.
Coming up, after that much talked about moment on the debate stage we will take a closer look at the facts surrounding Biden's controversial stand on bussing and what does his record actually show. Plus, CNN's Fareed Zakaria investigates the deep reasons why white
supremacy is showing its face. The CNN Special Report "state of hate: explosion of white supremacy" airs tonight at 8:00 here on CNN.
[18:28:54] CABRERA: President Trump says trade talks with China are back on track after a meeting with China's president Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit. As the negotiations continue, the President says he will hold off on a $300 billion batch of tariffs he had threatened to impose on Chinese products.
Meantime, at the short week on Wall Street, the stock market closes early Wednesday, closed Thursday for the Fourth of July. The S&P 500 is coming off its best June in more than 60 years. The gains largely thanks to the Federal Reserve after the central bank signaled its open to cutting interest rates.
Wall Street is expecting that cut next month. But economic data is like to influence just how big it will be. That's why the June jobs report will be really important when it comes out on Friday. In May the U.S. economy only added 75,000 jobs, a surprisingly low number. If the labor market slowed again in June, well, that could prompt the fed to cut rates more aggressively.
Senator Bernie Sanders today expressing some mixed support on whether to use bussing to combat school segregation today in 2019. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does that also mean bussing? Because your web site says you are coming out for repealing on the funding for bussing.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- for repealing of the ban on funding for busing.
SANDERS: Busing is certainly an option that is necessary in certain cases, but it is not the optimal. Does anybody think it's a good idea to put a kid on a bus, travel an hour to another school into another neighborhood that he or she doesn't know? That's not the optimal.
What is the optimal is to have great community schools which are integrated. That's what I think most people want to see. That's what I want to see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: The issue of busing became a flashpoint during this week's Democratic debates when Senator Kamala Harris confronted former Vice President Joe Biden over his past stance on the policy. CNN's Tom Foreman takes a deeper look.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the sharpest attack of the debate, Kamala Harris lighting into Joe Biden for opposing racial busing decades ago.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And, you know, there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day, and that little girl was me.
FOREMAN (voice-over): And it brought a quick rebuttal.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a mischaracterization of my position across the board.
FOREMAN (voice-over): So what do the facts say? Harris was truthful about her childhood growing up on this corner in Berkeley. She was part of the second elementary school class there to experience busing in the late 1960s, the school tells CNN. As she would eventually write, I only learned later that we were part of a national experiment in desegregation. And while she, a young Black girl, was attending a mostly White school, Joe Biden was becoming a U.S. senator.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Around that same time, then-Senator Joe Biden changed his position on busing and became anti-busing. He joined with Jesse Helms. I don't even know if you know this, but this --
HARRIS: I did not know that.
FOREMAN (voice-over): But it's true. As courts ordered a lot more schools to promote integration by busing kids from predominantly Black schools to largely White ones and vice versa, protests broke, often violent, broke out coast-to-coast. And Biden, indeed, began pushing back. Listen to what he said this week in 1977.
BIDEN: I happen to think that the one way to ensure that you set the civil rights movement in America further back is to continue to push busing because it's a bankrupt policy.
FOREMAN (voice-over): And now?
BIDEN: I did not oppose busing in America. What I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education.
FOREMAN (voice-over): That split hair likely won't satisfy proponents of the policy. Still, Biden has long promoted civil and voting rights for African-Americans and better housing policies to make sure Black families can live and go to school where they wish.
FOREMAN: In short, the record shows that Joe Biden has fought for racial equality, even as he has refused to embrace the politically contentious idea of busing, joining the chorus of critics who have long argued the benefits do not outweigh the social upheavals --Ana. CABRERA: Thank you. Breaking news. Word just in to CNN, 10 people
have been killed in a private plane crash in Addison, Texas. We'll bring an update next live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[18:36:43] CABRERA: We have breaking news into CNN. Ten people are dead in a plane crash in Addison, Texas right outside of Dallas. The private plane crashed into a hangar at the Addison airport this morning just shortly after takeoff and then burst into flames. Everyone on board died. The NTSB and the FAA are now investigating this crash.
I'm joined by CNN's safety analyst and former FAA safety inspector David Soucie on the phone. David, you've been to this airport specifically. What can you tell us about it?
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST (via telephone): So this airport is used as a hub for several charter operations and some airlines, the Ameristar Jet, the Flight Express, and a few others. It's unclear as to whether this is one of those operations or not at this point.
CABRERA: So now this investigation begins. Take us inside what investigators will be looking at.
SOUCIE (via telephone): Well, the first thing they're going to be doing, of course, is identifying who was on board the aircraft and taking care of those families and notifications. That will be step one.
Of course, the on-site people have been handling the fire -- putting the fire out. Fortunately, there was no one in the hanger that they ran into. It was empty at the time, so we don't know if there were other aircraft that were damaged or not. But that fire looks pretty significant. I'm sure if there was anything in there, it would be destroyed.
CABRERA: The plane was a Beechcraft King Air 350. I understand you maintained that type of plane. What can you tell us about them?
SOUCIE (via telephone): Well, not only did I maintain one but our corporate office, our family business, owned a 350 for many years, and I probably got hundreds and hundreds of hours in that aircraft. It is the most reliable aircraft, in my opinion. It's something that every corporation should be using, if they're not, for any type of transportation of their important corporate leadership because of the fact that it has an incredible safety record. It's like the Cadillac of Turboprops for corporations.
CABRERA: All right. David Soucie, I really appreciate you jumping on the phone with us to give us some good expertise and insight there.
Again, 10 people dead in a plane crash, a private plane that crashed in Addison, Texas. We're working to gather more information. We'll bring that to you as we get it. We're back in just a moment.
[18:38:50] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: As today's World Pride March takes place in New York, thousands are also commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the 1969 clashes outside a gay New York bar that helped galvanize a generation of activists. It's evoking deeply personal reactions from LGBTQ people around the world, and those who love them, about the long struggle for acceptance and equality.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, I grew up around the Bay area, so we went to pride parades in San Francisco a lot. And you could feel connected on the outside somehow. This is not on the outside for us anymore. You know, when it's your daughter, you know, it's right there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been out (INAUDIBLE) and should not be treated that way. And I think we got a few more years but I think we'll there someday. My husband is not here, but we've been married for 23 years. So that's one that's great about the revolutions and everything.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just had to be here for this. And it just shows that, you know, the powers that be can be negative. They can be forceful in their demeanor, but you cannot stop love. And that's what I'm getting out of today and that's, hopefully, what I'm also putting into it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: You cannot stop love. I'm so happy to welcome activist and actor George Takei. Thank you, sir, good to have you with us. How do you even begin to express what today means to you?
GEORGE TAKEI, ACTOR AND ACTIVIST: It is a landmark month that we're wrapping up today, 50 years since June 28, 1969. A full 50 years where so much happened. And it began with that Stonewall resistance and that galvanized the gay liberation movement. And because of that, so many things happened, but for me, a very personal thing happened, so vitally important to me. I was able to get married to a White person, which my aunt could not back in the 1940s.
[18:44:57] TAKEI: They had -- she and her boyfriend had to go to Canada to become man and wife. I married not only a White person but a White guy named Brad.
TAKEI: It was so personal and such an exhilarating and precious and meaningful event. And here we are, 50 years since, and another incredible -- something I never thought I'd be able to see. A young man from the heartland of America, a whip-smart guy, Harvard graduate, Rhodes Scholar, has a master's degree from Oxford University, a veteran of the Afghan war, a naval military officer, and a guy that's married to a charismatic young man named Chasten, who is an imminently credible, top tier -- one of the top tier candidates for the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States.
CABRERA: You're talking about Pete Buttigieg.
TAKEI: Pete Buttigieg.
CABRERA: Of course. So here we have a gay man who is married --
TAKEI: Fifty years.
CABRERA: -- running for president. I am from Colorado, as I mentioned, during the commercial break.
CABRERA: They just elected the first gay governor of Colorado last year.
TAKEI: Gay governor, yes.
CABRERA: What does that tell you about where we are today as a society?
TAKEI: You know, people are -- people think that we're going back with this administration. We are fighting them. I mean, they attempted to ban transgender people from serving in the military. We did away with "don't ask, don't tell," and we're going to do it -- that with this effort as well. There are many efforts, but we have made unimagined advances. And I think Pete Buttigieg is going to be a very, very good president when he gets elected.
CABRERA: OK, we know who you are endorsing. You know, you didn't officially come out until 2005. Going back to the importance of today and the anniversary that this marks from 1969 in Stonewall, did you recognize that moment, that event, as a turning point at the time?
TAKEI: Well, you know, in Los Angeles, we had a similar event called the Black Cat gay bar where there was that resistance to police harassment. So it was an electrifying event when I heard about it in the gay bar in Los Angeles, but -- and it was -- it did galvanize us in Los Angeles, too. But it took that kind of event, event in New York City and on that level -- that went on for three days and three nights, I think -- that galvanized people.
And I was closeted because I wanted my acting career. I was protecting my -- we could not be actors. We could not work. They would not hire you. As a matter --
CABRERA: If they knew you were gay?
TAKEI: If they knew I was gay. And on that summer, 1969, where -- when Stonewall began, "Star Trek," which had me regularly employed, was canceled. So I was unemployed.
CABRERA: Wow. TAKEI: So I was inspired by the people, the men and women, who
sacrificed everything -- their jobs, their careers, their -- some their families --
TAKEI: -- and were fighting for my issue that I was not. I had been an activist in all those various other issues, the civil rights movement, the peace movement, the movement to get an apology and redress for the unjust incarceration of Japanese Americans.
And here, gay liberation, so important to me personally, I was not participating in. Until 2005 when, because of the activism of the people that were -- you know, began the movement, in 2005, the California state legislature passed the marriage equality bill. This was a landmark event.
TAKEI: No other state legislature had done that, but it needed one more signature. That of the governor, who was a movie star, who campaigned by saying, I'm from Hollywood. I've worked with gays and lesbians. Some of my friends are. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
TAKEI: Some of my friends, LGBTQ friends, thought he was going to sign it. But when the bill landed on his desk, he vetoed it.
TAKEI: And that's what got me so angry.
CABRERA: And that sparked something in you. You did eventually marry -- congratulations -- in 2008. I know it's when you and Brad got married. And I know we talk about how far we've come as a society in gay rights and equality and yet the struggle still exists today, so thank you for lending your voice to all of us in this issue.
[18:50:11] TAKEI: We will continue.
TAKEI: We will continue and live long and prosperous.
CABRERA: George Takei, thank you for being here.
TAKEI: Thank you.
CABRERA: Coming up, the Fourth of July, Trump style. What we've just learned about how the President plans to revamp the annual Independence Day celebrations big-time.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CABRERA: Get out your red, white, and blue! Thursday is Fourth of
July, and cities across the country are preparing for patriotic celebrations. Including in Washington. But under President Trump, this year's salute to America celebration in the nation's capital will be bigger, more expensive, and more controversial than in years past. CNN's Sarah Westwood joins us now with all the details on the celebration.
Sarah, what can we expect?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN REPORTER: Well, Ana, this is going to be bigger, more dramatic display of patriotism here in Washington on Thursday. It will involve some military assets. There will be a flyover of Blue Angels jets. Those are jets in the U.S. Navy.
And also, we can expect a flyover of one of the planes that serves as Air Force One. Of course, President Trump will be on the ground that day. He won't be in it so it won't technically be Air Force One because President Trump is set to deliver a speech called "Salute to America" on the steps of the National Mall.
[18:55:10] That's unusual because, typically, presidents will attend Fourth of July events at the White House. They don't actually attend the festivities on the National Mall. But President Trump has ordered this year's festivities to be a lot more dramatic than in previous years. And he's wanted to do that since Bastille Day 2017.
When he attended a French military parade alongside the French President, he came back and wanted his administration to look into plans to have a military parade to honor the Fourth of July. Those plans were scrapped, though, when estimates ran into tens of millions of dollars. So now, we could see some strain put on local law enforcement with President Trump attending those festivities. But, certainly, Ana, it will be quite a show come Thursday.
CABRERA: All right, Sarah Westwood at the White House. Thanks.
Coming up, meet in the middle? President Trump and Kim Jong-un agree to restart nuclear talks after Trump makes history by stepping foot into North Korea. I'll get reaction from one of the candidates running to replace him, former Governor from Colorado, John Hickenlooper.
[19:00:02] CABRERA: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks for being here.
The world is a different place right now than it was a few hours ago.