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President Trump Makes History As He Crosses Into North Korea; Trump Invites Kim Jong-un to White House; New "Birther Conspiracy" Targeting 2020 Contender Kamala Harris; How the Stonewall Inn Uprising Inspired the Gay Rights Movement. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired June 30, 2019 - 07:00   ET



[07:00:13] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour now. Good morning to you.

President Trump is now on his way back to Washington after becoming the first sitting U.S. president to step into North Korea. President Trump walked up to the border, shook hands with Chairman Kim Jong-un of North Korea, took 20 steps into that country.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And after that, a sit-down with him that lasted nearly an hour. Both leaders agreeing to restart stalled nuclear talks. President Trump even invited Chairman Kim to the White House.

The president tweeted as he was leaving, stood on the soil of North Korea, important statement for all and great honor, unquote.

Want to watch what led up to this historic handshake. Take a look here.


TRANSLATOR: Good to see you again. I've never expected to meet you at this place. You are the first U.S. president to cross. This is a great moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the way. Move, move. Clear. All of you. Clear. Come on. Move. Move. Hey, hey! Come on, guys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait until they move. Wait until they move.

TRANSLATOR: Thank you, Mr. President.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great moment. Great moment. Great progress.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: U.S. over here. U.S. over here.

REPORTER: Chairman Kim, how do you feel? KIM JONG UN, KOREAN LEADER (through translator): President Trump has

just walked across the demarcation line. That made him the first U.S. president to visit our country.

I believe looking at this, this is an expression of his willingness to eliminate all the unfortunate past and open a new future.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just want to say that this is my honor. I didn't really expect it. We were in Japan for the G-20. We came over and I said, hey, I'm over here, I want to call up Chairman Kim.

And we got to meet and stepping across that line was a great honor. A lot of progress has been made. A lot of friendships have been made. This has been in particular a great friendship.

I just want to thank you. That was very quick notice and I want to thank you.

So, we're going to go and talk a little while about different things. And a lot of really positive things are happening. And I'm glad you'll be here to see it. But tremendous positivity, really great things are happening and in a lot of places, but we met and we liked each other from day one. And that was very important.

[07:05:09] Thank you, everybody. Thank you.

I would invite him right now to the White House.


KIM JONG UN (through translator): If it was not for the excellent relation between the two of us, it could not have been possible to have this kind of meeting. So I would like to use this strong relationship to create more good news which nobody expects and also to propel --

TRUMP: Well, I want to thank you, chairman, you hear the power of that voice. Nobody has heard that voice before. He doesn't do news conferences, in case you haven't heard. And this was a special moment. And this is, I think, really as President Moon said this is a historic moment, the fact that we're meeting.

And I want to thank Chairman Kim for something else. When I put out the social media notification, if he didn't show up, the press was going to make me look very bad. You made us both look good. I appreciate it.

But we developed a great relationship. I really think that if you go back two and a half years and look at what was going on, prior to my becoming president, it was a very, very bad situation. Very dangerous situation for South Korea, for North Korea, for the world, and I think the relationship that we developed has meant so much to so many people.

And it is just an honor to be with you and an honor you asked me to step over that line and I was proud to step over the line I thought you might do that. I wasn't sure. But I was ready to do it.

And I want to thank you. It has been great. It has been great. Very historic. Just saying one of the folks from the media was saying this could be a very historic moment, I guess that's what it is. But I enjoy being with you. And thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. Thank you.


PAUL: We've got a team of reporters covering this. CNN international correspondent Paula Hancocks near the demilitarized zone, CNN international Will Ripley in Seoul.

Hey, Paula, I want to start with you, because when we think about it, it was just months ago the Hanoi summit failed, Kim Jong-un was said to be furious at that time. What does it say to you in terms of what you witnessed today there, near the DMZ? This meeting now in that short period of time.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, you think about it, not much has changed since the Hanoi summit. The only thing that has really changed is the fact that Kim Jong-un has started testing again. He has started missile testing. They are short range missiles. Not long range missiles, which the U.S. is more concerned with. He still started testing again. So, that's really the only change that we have seen.

So what we saw today, we were promised by the president if it happens that it would be a handshake or a two-minute chat or something very small. He was really underplaying it.

But what we got in the end was more than an hour of talks, behind closed doors, between these two leaders. A bilateral meeting. So it wasn't a summit. So the expectations are a lot less.

But it wasn't just the handshake diplomacy. We do know they did have talks for some time. Now, coming out of those talks we heard from President Trump that they had agreed to restart talks, that they both had agreed to have their teams in place to start negotiating.

And this is really the crux of it. The working level talks are incredibly important when it comes to any kind of agreement like this. This is what all the experts have been saying all along. This is a top-down approach clearly by these two leaders. But you need the working level talks to actually put things into place.

Now, one interesting quote I wanted to bring to you was from Kim Jong- un as he was walking out of that building with President Trump, about to head back to North Korea. He said: Te fact that we will be able to meet each other anytime now I think this is the signal this meeting will send.

So that's clearly the way that Kim Jong-un saw it. He was clear when he said that even yesterday before the afternoon he wasn't expecting this to happen. And the fact that North Korea has been so flexible is quite remarkable as well.

BLACKWELL: Will, let me come to you now. Another thing I heard from Chairman Kim that stood out, which he said that this crossing and this visit indicates that President Trump, his willingness to open a new future. Now, we have spoken at length about what president Trump, what the U.S. wants the future to be.

[07:10:03] But what is that new, that ideal new future from North Korea's perspective?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the North Koreans certainly do want to develop their economy and that's something that President Trump spoke publicly about and claimed he spoke at length with Kim Jong-un inside Freedom House for around 50 minutes, talking about the economic potential of North Korea, which has been his message repeatedly at the Hanoi summit, the Singapore summit and all the timing between, even when diplomacy stalled.

But that still exists is this huge gap between what the United States wants North Korea to do, which is to give up their nuclear weapons starting now, and what the North Koreans have said they're willing to do, which is they want a very long-term kind of step by step approach and that doesn't change, despite the groundbreaking moment and the steps into North Korea and all the history. There is still a huge distance between the expectations of North Koreans and the Americans. And so, yes, they might be restarting working level talks, theoretically, within the coming weeks, but that's really been where things have broken down.

Top-down things have gotten along well between Trump and Kim when they have been in the same room together. They seem to get each other. They, you know, lavish each other with praise. But then when the members of their administrations actually sit down across the table and try to talk about the core issue, denuclearization, that's when things go off the rails.

BLACKWELL: Will Ripley and Paula Hancocks for us there in South Korea, thank you, both.

PAUL: And, of course, the big question now is what kind of significant policy changes could actually come from that. We're going to talk about that with former senior adviser of the U.S. State Department, Balbina Hwang, with us next. Stay close.


BLACKWELL: The two leaders met for nearly an hour. South Korean president calling this a big step forward. Of course, we're talking about President Trump, Chairman Kim here.

But how was the substance of this relationship between not just the men, but the countries changed?

Joining me now, Balbina Hwang, former senior adviser at the U.S. State Department.

[07:15:02] Balbina, welcome back.

Let's start here with the relationship below the principals, because we have seen this warm, sentimental relationship between President Trump and Chairman Kim, at least on paper and in person. But it's the cabinet level and the subcabinet level where the talks will happen and where we see this adversarial relationship.

How does that work out moving forward?

BALBINA HWANG, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: Well, I think this is what is utterly fascinating. And I almost couldn't believe what I was seeing all throughout these many hours as I was watching live as this scenario was playing out. I think what was utterly fascinating to me is as I saw these three leaders, and this playing out, this drama playing out, is precisely this -- the three leaders as we saw them today, it reminded me of that old Aesop's Fable, three blind men all touching the three parts of the elephant and describing essentially the same animal. But it is utterly different from what all the rest of us are seeing.

In other words, what you have is three leaders all describing this fantastic relationship, yet the one word that we absolutely did not hear the entire day was the word "denuclearization". And so what you have the three leaders declaring a brand-new future, this wonderful fabulous new relationship that they all envision for the Korean peninsula. But yet and I think they actually believe that this is true, but yet everybody else below the level of the three leaders, there is no great wonderful, wonderful great good relationship that they all envision and see.

And that is precisely the problem. There is no relationship at any level below the leaders. Secretary Pompeo, all the principals that you just asked me, they have not been able to meet essentially or have any talks about the nuclear weapons. And that is what is needed since the leaders have met at Singapore, and in the inter-Korean meetings, despite all the other summits they had.

BLACKWELL: That is a remarkable observation that for all that we saw today, no one used the word "denuclearization" whether that was an intentional omission or oversight, that's the whole point of all of this. No one even mentioned denuclearization. That's an amazing observation that will stick with me.

Let me move to this and fact checking here. I want you to consider what we heard from the president saying that President Obama was begging for a meeting with the leader of North Korea. Let's put up the tweet here from Ben Rhodes, who worked in the Obama administration: Trump is lying, I was there for all eight years, Obama never sought a meeting with Kim Jong-un. Foreign policy isn't reality television. It is reality.

Your perspective, this begging for a meeting characterization from the president?

HWANG: Well, look, I worked in President W. Bush's administration.


HWANG: I worked for Ambassador Christopher Hill who God bless him and all of the hard working people in all the governments. In fact, President Bush and all of the dedicated people in the government worked very, very hard to try to get North Korea to denuclearize. In fact, the people of the dedicated Clinton administration before that tried to get North Korea to denuclearize. Then that did not work. And so the government of the Bush administration tried to get North Korea to denuclearize. That didn't work.

The government people of the Obama administration, for eight years, tried desperately to get North Korea to denuclearize. That didn't work.

Now, president Obama, to his credit, when he was inaugurated, said he would meet Kim Jong Il first and -- well, Kim Jong-un, if Kim Jong-un was willing to meet with him. But Kim Jong-un was not, and in fact, not of the people under Kim Jong-un would meet with President Obama's people.


HWANG: Some of them did, but they went back and they reneged on all of the hard work. And so, that was not President Obama's fault or any of his people. President Obama said he would meet. But nobody, Kim Jong-un and -- would not meet with president Obama.

So Ben Rhodes is correct. President Obama did not beg to meet. And in fact if -- we should give President Trump credit for meeting with Kim Jong-un.


HWANG: And if he has a good working relationship with Kim Jong-un, I think that is to his credit. Now, I don't necessarily think it would have been an honor to meet him.

[07:20:01] But I do think we should give President Trump credit for meeting him and if he can set a good working relationship with Kim Jong-un, I think that is actually good, because North Korea is a country where only the dear leader can set a new course for that country.

BLACKWELL: Then the question becomes, what happens below that level?

HWANG: Exactly.

BLACKWELL: We've got to wrap it up. We have a lot going on.

But I think you make excellent points with pointing out nobody mentioned denuclearization.

HWANG: That's right.

BLACKWELL: And then cabinet level and sub-cabinet level, that's when the fighting is happening and they're handing it over, what happens between the summits.

Balbina Hwang, always good to have you.

HWANG: Thank you.

PAUL: And it's been interesting to see what happens between the leaders, from fire and fury, little rocketman and mentally deranged behavior, to sending beautiful letters and falling in love -- yes, it's been a rocky road. We're going to show you more of the evolution.


BLACKWELL: Major historic moment this morning. President Trump took 20 steps into North Korea, alongside North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, first sitting U.S. president to sit foot in that country.

PAUL: That followed the historic moment with nearly hour long bilateral meeting. President Trump says he and Kim Jong-un have agreed to restart nuclear talks after they sat down behind closed doors for 50 minutes.

[07:25:01] So, CNN White House correspondent Abby Phillip in Seoul, South Korea.

What can you tell us about the president's meeting this morning? Do we know anything about what was discussed?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we don't really know a lot about what was discussed. It was a lengthy meeting, far longer than I think both sides thought would happen.

President Trump had for a while described this as just going to be a handshake. But what end up happening was that the two men sat down and I think as President Trump hoped, this served as a reset button. He was able to basically get Kim Jong-un to agree to come back to the table, to agree to staff level talks that were called off since the last summit between the two of them ended and President Trump walking out.

That is the deliverable that President Trump was able to get out of this. We haven't gotten any sense of whether or not North Korea is serious about talking about denuclearization. We just know they're willing to talk. President Trump also invited Kim to visit the White House, another unprecedented invitation, which we're not even sure is something that can happen, frankly, given that Kim Jong-un rarely leaves the region.

But it's a sign of President Trump's desire to really hinge all of these denuclearization talks on his relationship, what he calls his friendship, with Kim Jong-un. And in this really extraordinary set of events here, you had the president really going out of his way to try to make him comfortable and ultimately, we will see what the result is. But for now, what we know is that talks are going to continue and that's what President Trump really hoped to get out of all of this.

BLACKWELL: All right. Abby Phillip for us there in Seoul -- Abby, thank you.

PAUL: So, the journey to today's meeting in the DMZ has been a long one for President Trump and Kim Jong-un. They exchanged lots of insults over the years. President Trump calling him little rocket man. Remember that one.

BLACKWELL: Remember when Kim sent everyone looking for a dictionary when he called president Trump a dotard. I still don't know if I'm pronouncing that right.

PAUL: I don't know, I don't know.

BLACKWELL: It is defined by Merriam-Webster as a person in a state or period of senile and decay.

Here is a look at the evolution of the relationship between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un.


TRUMP: Rocketman is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.

And we can't have madmen out there shooting rockets all over the place.

Rocket man should have been handled a long time ago.

North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury.

We had a great meeting, great chemistry. We got along really well, which is very important. They didn't want us to, but it is, like, nice to do that.

They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety. And we couldn't do that. We had to walk away from that.

This wasn't a walk away like you get up and walk out. This is very friendly. We shook hands.

We, you know, there is a warm that we have. I hope that stays, I think it will.


BLACKWELL: The long way.

Let's bring in White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks and CNN political analyst, April Ryan.

April, what stood out to me is the president said that he's inviting Kim Jong-un to the White House, right?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. BLACKWELL: We remember that the president also invited President

Putin to the White House ahead of the 2018 midterms. That didn't happen. Still hasn't happened.

In this climate, in the U.S. political environment, ahead of elections, Kim Jong-un coming to the White House, is that even realistic?

RYAN: Well, the president wants to make it reality. But at issue is what tangible will this bring if there is a meeting there are people who do not want Kim Jong-un in the United States, let alone the White House. You know, I remember a time when North Korea was considered part of the axis of evil.

So the mindset has definitely changed for this president, but for the intelligence community, it is, you know, it is not about the optics. It is about the substance. What can change? What can happen? What does the denuclearization look like for Kim Jong-un?

So, it's not about the optics. The president keeps talking about the pictures and those 20 historic steps. That was a picture that was a great moment, but the real issue is what can happen, because Kim Jong- un is still firing off short range missiles.

PAUL: Well, not only that, but Kim Jong-un will go home and he might frame this differently.

[07:30:05] How do you think he's going to square this in North Korea and will that make a difference as to how we move forward?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Christi, that's very interesting you would say that. I talked to several people from the national intelligence community, people who worked with various administrations and they say the optics of it, yes, we had this great moment, but it looks like in the national intelligence community, and that's on this side, I'm sure Kim Jong-un will play it that way in North Korea, but what looks to like for these people, they're saying that it looks like the president is running after Kim Jong-un instead of the opposite of Kim Jong-un running after us.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: The president, he likes that demarcation line of after his election and before his election and he talked about the DMZ. He said that after he was elected, after the Singapore summit, the danger went away and it was a mess before he got into office. We remember the propaganda messages from those speakers being blared across the DMZ.

But you were there in the Obama administration. How did you receive the president's characterization of pre-Trump DMZ North Korea?

RYAN: You know, I looked at Ben Rhodes' tweet this morning, the tweet that xi replayed. I think I retweeted it.

This president has his own reality. President Obama really looked to diplomacy. And trying to work it out with Kim Jong-un the best way he could. I'm not saying he did the right thing or the wrong thing. But each administration that I've seen over the last 22 years has dealt with North Korea in a different way than they have dealt with than this president deals with it.

You know, again, the question is you know, if you stand off and not meet with Kim Jong-un, what happens? If you meet with Kim Jong-un, what happens? So we're still at a stand still, nothing has happened yet. We just got pictures. We need to see substance.

PAUL: White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was injured in -- it was chaotic. You could see it there. Wondering what your thoughts are as to -- talking about having to jump into a job right away.

RYAN: Yes. And she did. She did. I felt sorry for her. I saw that, I saw the video this morning that you played.

What happens is whenever we have foreign press getting together, be it at the White House or overseas, there is a hyper-aggressiveness to try to get that winning picture or get those pictures of -- this was an historic moment nonetheless but at issue is the fact that Stephanie Grisham got caught in a situation where this was planned at the last minute. And when you do last minute, you don't have really 24 hours, more than 24 hours to really put it together, things like this happen. When you have a very hyper-aggressive group of people from both sides of the world, be it U.S. press or North Korea, South Korea, the DMZ, wherever.

It was a hyper-aggressive situation, she got caught and the fact that this administration planned it in this bit of time.

BLACKWELL: Very hectic, for everybody. Stay with us. We have a lot more to talk about, so we'll be back with you in a moment.

PAUL: Yes, yes, yes. So, deja vu on the campaign trail with Senator Kamala Harris, facing conspiracy theories similar to those that dogged former President Barack Obama. How the 2020 Democrats are responding to the online campaign, questioning her heritage.


[07:37:21] PAUL: Well, there is another birther conspiracy, similar to that of former President Barack Obama, some might say. It's crossing the Internet, but this time, senator and presidential hopeful, Kamala Harris, is the target.

BLACKWELL: So, here's what happened. During Thursday's Democratic presidential debate, Donald Trump Jr. retweeted a Harris critic that questioned her identity. Trump Jr. then deleted the retweet, but not before it was seen by his millions of followers.

Harris' campaign compared the comment to that birtherism conspiracy from President Trump against President Obama.

PAUL: Former Vice President Joe Biden who had a tense exchange, remember, with Harris during this week's debate is among one of the many 2020 candidates defending her. He wrote this: The same forces of hatred rooted in birtherism that questioned Barack Obama's American citizenship and even his racial identity are now being used against Kamala Harris. It is disgusting. And we have to call it out when we see it. Racism has no place in America.

And Washington state governor and 2020 candidate, Jay Inslee, said this.


GOV. JAY INSLEE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, unfortunately, it appears that the rotten apple fall too far from the rotten tree. And what comes to mind is the question to the whole Trump family at last, have you no decency, sirs.


BLACKWELL: Harris was born in Oakland, California, to a mother from India and a father from Jamaica. In March, the senator addressed the issue of critics who questioned her heritage. Watch.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: 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 being black and I'm not going to make any excuses for anybody because they don't understand.


BLACKWELL: Let's bring back April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Network, CNN political analyst and author of "The Presidency in Black and White."

So, April, it seems like we're going to see this again and maybe it suggests that they take Kamala Harris a little more seriously than they did before Thursday's debate.

RYAN: Most definitely they do. Kamala Harris, I'll be quite frank, my MVPs is for first round of those debates, for first debate was Julian Castro and most definitely for the second debate, it was Kamala Harris. She came out to win, no matter what she had to do.

And President Trump saw that. That's one of the reasons why he downplayed her performance. He downplayed her performance because she went after Joe Biden. And she diminished his star to a certain extent.

But at the same time, what does the president do when it is a black woman?

[07:40:00] He diminishes them. Now, his son Donald Jr. got him on it.

President Trump started his politics, if you will, or becoming this political player of birtherism, questioning the legitimacy of then President Barack Hussein Obama who was born of a white woman from the United States and a Kenyan. So -- but he was born in Hawaii. Even though the president may not realize Hawaii is part of the 50 states.

For them to do this, and they want the black vote, it is atrocious. You just can't do that. Kamala Harris is a black woman in America. And they don't understand that there are a large number of mixed race people in this nation who are black. And they don't understand that. And that's a problem.

And there is irony also. There is irony when the president of the United States says his father was born in Germany, so why is anyone questioning that? We know he was born in the United States. But it is such an irony.

You have Ted Cruz, why is it always a black person versus someone from another community?

BLACKWELL: Yes, it really is a misunderstanding of the breadth of the Diaspora what was written in that tweet. We're intentionally not saying it because we don't want to promulgate this lie and this framework on this show.

PAUL: OK, so --

RYAN: She is legitimate. She is legitimate.

PAUL: What do you make of the fact, April, that Donald Trump Jr. Retweeted it and deleted it?

RYAN: Because it was not the best thing for him to do, specifically as this president has an albatross hanging around his neck that has the word race on it. You know, the president, the answer to my question about the exonerated or Central Park Five, you know, if indeed that he -- it was left up to him, they would be dead or executed, even though they were found innocent. That's a race issue.

Charlottesville, birtherism with Barack Obama, s-hole nations, I mean, just the list goes on, how he goes after Maxine Waters. I mean, it is just so much, black women. What he did to Congresswoman Frederica Wilson.

Race is something they don't need to touch. And Donald Jr. did that and he had to pull it back because it is another thing stacked on as you lead into 2020. How can he say he's someone for everyone when he's going continue -- continues to go after black women or black people? It's just -- it's not a good look.

BLACKWELL: Well, we'll see if we -- if this moves to the center of strategy from the president or from the campaign or this was just a poor choice by Donald Trump Jr.

April Ryan, always good to have you.

RYAN: Always great, Victor and Christi.

PAUL: Thank you, ma'am.

So, up next, there is a Korean war veteran, his final wish, it is one heck of a moment. Wait until you see it.


[07:46:42] PAUL: All right. In this week's human kindness, we have a story of a remarkable Korean War veteran. He was granted his biggest wish to parachute from an airplane just one last time. He's 88 years old.


PAUL: Look at him there. Victor has done this.


PAUL: I could not.

BLACKWELL: The only scary part is sitting at the door and your legs are dangling off the side. That's terrifying. The rest is a thrill.

PAUL: I'm actually really fascinated by this video. You think who is taking the video, somebody else who jumped. But you have to thank the efforts and generosity of the organization, wish of a lifetime here, his special medical team, we're talking about 88-year-old Edward Canes there added to his jump, 150 career skydives.

It allowed him to free fall for about 30 seconds. And did you see, he had a smile on his face in midair.

BLACKWELL: This was a wish come true, obviously. It was a massive effort with his care team, doctors and family and special medical team jumped with him before he jumped to acknowledge this would indeed be his final jump.

PAUL: Big human kindness there, love it. Congratulations to him.

So, listen, if you love movies, we have you covered here. Get ready for our new original series "THE MOVIES", the story behind all the movies you'll love. Hear from the actors, directors, people who brought your favorite scenes to life. It premieres next Sunday, 9:00 p.m., only here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: It has been 50 years since the uprising of the famous Stonewall Inn in New York. And the protests inspired the gay rights movement in this country. We're going to look at its impact next.


[07:51:58] PAUL: So the pride parade in New York today. But there were a lot of people outside Stonewall Inn in New York City this weekend to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising that gave birth to the gay rights movement.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Polo Sandoval shows us what that day was like for people who were there 50 years ago.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At New York City's monumental Stonewall Inn, there are those who come to pay homage.

JOSEPH NEGRELLI, STONEWALL ELDER: I'm ready. I'm ready to go.

SANDOVAL: And those who come to remember what they lived through back in the summer of 69.

NEGRELLI: Nothing was really different that night except that people decided to fight back.

SANDOVAL: New Yorker Joseph Negrelli remembers it. The NYPD barged in as he sipped a drink inside the Stonewall. Before that night, this tiny Greenwich Village bar was known mostly as a place for LGBT men and women to be themselves. For many sharing in the relative safety of this place came with a price.

They were subjected to frequent police raids described by New York's police commissioner five decades later as discriminatory and oppressive.

NEGRELLI: If you were effeminate or you were dressed nonconforming your sexuality at birth, you were arrested and tried to be humiliated. And that's what was happening that night.

SANDOVAL: But the night of June 28th, 1969, the bar's patrons revolted, fought back, refusing to comply with officers.

NEGRELLI: Someone threw a bottle from Sheridan Square Park into Christopher Street.

SANDOVAL: That was the start of a night that would galvanize the modern day LGBTQ civil rights movement.

NEGRELLI: Seventy-five people moved forward and blocked the police. Obviously, they got a big surprise that night. And I was very surprised immediately what happened was that they started to call for groups of homosexuals to come together.

SANDOVAL: Eventually the call spread throughout the country and around the world.

NEGRELLI: The civil rights movement, the woman's movement, all galvanized together. But it was truly the transvestites and minorities that were the forefront runners of the Stonewall riot.

SANDOVAL: Five decades later, many of the voices that refused to be silenced returned to where it all started. For Soraya Santiago, it's been 50 years since she set foot at the Stonewall.

SORAYA SANTIAGO, STONEWALL ELDER: I thought I would never be here again, because a lot of suffering, a lot of abuse happened in this place.

SANDOVAL: Santiago is back with her fellow Stonewall elders for the 50th anniversaries of the riots. So is Karla Jay who participated in subsequent protests at the bar.

KARLA JAY, STONEWALL PROTESTOR: In 1970, we thought it would be wonderful to hold hands in the street. We never dreamed that we would be able to get married. So it's an incredible advancement. But we really need to embrace all individuals, particularly our most disadvantaged.

SANDOVAL: The activist says more needs to be done, especially for homeless LGBTQ youth and transgender women of color.

JAY: We used to say none of us is free until all of us are free.

SANDOVAL: Polo Sandoval, New York.


BLACKWELL: Well, it is a difficult morning for us because we are seeing good-bye to two long-time members of our team. Michael Herd (ph), our senior producer here on NEW DAY, has been with our team for 29 years at CNN.

PAUL: Yes!

BLACKWELL: Andreas Frois (ph) has been with CNN for 23 years.

PAUL: And you can see how loved they are. And we just appreciate both of you so much. You are gems to work with. You're good at what you do. You're part of this morning family. You will always be part of this morning family.

And, Michael, especially all the hassle you had to deal with when you traveled with us.

BLACKWELL: Half of his financial package is hush money from me not to tell the stories from when we traveled on the road together. You will certainly be missed. And Andreas, for your leadership on the weekends, making sure we get what we need, when we need it -- listen, it is going to be tough to lose both of you. But thank you so much for your years here at CNN.

PAUL: We love you both. We love you both.

And thank you for starting your morning with us. Good memories today.

PAUL: "INSIDE POLITICS" after the break.