tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN August 31, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
remembering, celebrating two legends in ceremonies powerful and beautiful in their right. you have the late senator, john mccain, he is lying in state there. members of the public having the precious opportunity to bid their own farewell to such a legend and hero in this country, a moment of bipartisan reverence and salute to his 60 years, 60 years of service to this country. but, aretha franklin, a celebration of life fit for a queen. in her hometown of detroit, michigan. tributes from ariana grande, faith hill and clark sisters. poignant reflections from her family and smokey robinson. i promise, i won't talk through all of it. let's start with aretha's funeral. fredricka, let me begin with
you. i have been watching you on and off all morning long. when i looked up, the clark sisters were performing, everyone on their feet. this is a total celebration where you are in detroit. >> reporter: it is. it's a celebration. it is a happy moment. you know, i think the former attorney general put it so simply where he talked about, you know, there is happiness in this celebration. yes, there is sadness because the queen of soul is gone. she lives forever through her music. he did a beautiful job of putting you on the journey of how she touched lives in so many ways through music and how she imbodied her music, felt her music and you heard from her grandchildren and her niece as well. her grandchildren spoke so eloquently of not knowing how great she was. yeah, she was great, she was my
grandmother. then, following her death and how she touched people and what her music meant. hearing from little victoria talking about i knew how special she was but didn't know how great. her voice made you feel something. her voice brought peace. i think that says it so beautifully. you have heard from people who have known her well, smokey robinson. he has his beautiful, spontaneous, it seemed, you know, song. almost like a letter he was singing to her as he looked at that 24 karat gold plated casket with aretha franklin there and talked of how he is going to miss his friend. he told a story of how he was 8 years old, seeing the pastor of the church, the father of aretha franklin. he heard this music and voice to
find out it was a 4-year-old franklin who sounded like a woman singing. how the relationship blossomed over the years. they would sing together and collaborate. we are hearing stories like that. very personal. then you hear from people outside who feel like they knew aretha franklin because they followed her music for six decades now. she represents the heart of detroit. we have heard that many times over from so many people. we are going to hear from the former president, bill clinton, he's been a great admirer of hers so long. he reached out to her to be a part of his inaugural celebration. >> we think we are moments away. fred, thank you so much. stand by for me. you can see over the senator's right shoulder, the former president, bill clinton. letters have been written and passed on and read aloud from george w. bush and from former president barack obama.
stand by for the former president there. let's listen in to senator stabenow. >> we have lost a legend. we can take comfort in the fact that aretha's voice will always, always be with us in so many different ways. aretha franklin was the undisputed queen of soul and this city is and will always be hers. god bless each and every one of you in the franklin family. [ applause ] >> please, everyone, stand to your feet. in 1984 and '88, reverend jesse ran and dubbed his theme, run jesse run. al sharpton gave it a shot.
we didn't see barack obama coming and we declared it would never happen. in 1992, someone from hope, arkansas, became president of the united states. we just dubbed him, at that time, the first black president of the united states. please, the honorable william jefferson, bill clinton. hillary clinton is here as well. >> thank you. thank you, bishop. rev smith, miss ellis, members of aretha's family, for giving hillary and me a chance to show
up and just say we started out not as a president and first lady, senator, secretary of state, we started out as like aretha groupies or something. i mean, you know, she was only about 4 years older than me, five years older than hillary, so when we are getting out of college is when she finally got her big breakthroughs. it's one thing i want to say to the people in the audience. she had the voice of a generation, maybe the voice of a
century. she was born into a musical culture. yes, she sat on the steps and her home and listened to art tatum, maybe the latest jazz pianist ever live play. she also worked for years, i mean years spreading the church and the gospel music to the r & b club, the jf club, the places where soul was being born, the places where rock 'n roll was being played. when nobody was paying particular attention, i went back and reread her autobiography the other day and i said, oh, my god. when she was making her way, she actually opened a jazz club for
john coldtrain and he did a set after her. why am i saying this? this woman got us all here in the seats today. all right? not because she had this breathtaking talent, which she did. not because she grew up in a princess' soul because of her father, her mother, her relatives, but because she lived with courage. not without fear, but overcoming her fears.
she lived with faith, not without failure, but overcoming her failures. she lived with power, not without weakness, but overcoming her weaknesses. i just loved her. so, i started off as a groupie. and, then i said, oh, my god, this woman who has sung for america when dr. king was killed. all these political conventions, including mine. at least president obama and my inauguration ceremonies and various things. i even talked her into coming to the rose garden to sing for the emperor and empress of japan. thought it might loosen them up a little, it will be good.
so, i figured out, i think, that the secret of her greatness was she took this massive talent and perfect culture that raised her and decided to be the composer of her own life song. what a song it turned out to be. i want to say, i hope god will forgive me, but i was so glad when i got here, and i hope you will forgive me. when the casket was still open because i said, i wonder what my friend's got on today. [ laughter ]
>> i want to see what the girl is carrying out. one last thing, for all the wonderful things aretha did for me, all the great events she appeared at, my most enduring memory of her was almost happenstance where i was there and what turned out to be the last public singing she ever did. at elton john's aids benefit last year. in the cathedral of st. john the devine in harlem. just a couple blocks from my office. elton john and i did a lot of work together on aids. i said, you know, aretha's the
talent, so i showed up a little early. i was like a grade school kid. here i am, old gray haired guy. sure enough, she heard i was there and she summoned me back. and she's sitting there, i mean, obviously, desperately ill, she stood right up and said, how you doing, baby? i said i'm doing better now. and she said, she said, look at me. i finally got thin again. it took a lot of guts to say that. then she went out into this
setting and all these people who loved her and were awe struck said, can you believe she showed up? she sang not one song, not two songs, not three songs. she had them bring a chair out and she sang for 45 straight minutes. [ applause ] >> that's what i want to say to the young people here. the people who may not know the names of the people who were influences on her. literally awe struck reading her biography and how generous she was to call the names of dozens
of gospel singers and musicians of our time, of soul singers that most people don't know. and to say they are under appreciated, she kept filling out her life. i'll never forget her. she stood up singing in that cathedral when she could. she went over and played one song on the pooen to make sure none of us forgot she was real good at that.
so our friend, our family member, mother, aunt, whatever, she did as she dominated our ups and downs and joys and heart breaks when we started listening to her first on the radio. might end up buying records. then you have tapes. you had to have a tape deck. cds and you had to have a cd player. now you need to carry a little phone around. if you are as ancient as i am, it seems incredible, all the music in the world, right here. but, she did this great thing knowing she could not live long, and she even told the audience
that day she had gotten a good medical report. i have no idea if it's true or not. it was after i left her, but i know one thing, she wanted them to sit back, relax, feel good and listen to her sing and not worry about how long she was going to live. now, we are living in a time where a lot of the virtues i just described to you are not very much in fashion. she cared about broken people. she cared about people who were disappointed. she cared about people who didn't succeed as much as she did. she wrote about them in her book.
i can tell you, i have had an editor, aretha, leave these people's names out. nobody knows who they are. i do. and if they don't know who they are, they should. so, this is what i think. you should remember in this time about this magnificent woman, she worked her can off to get where she was. she took the gift god gave her and she kept getting bigger every day. so -- ♪ you better think ♪ think about what you're trying to do to me ♪
♪ let yourself be free ♪ yesterday -- >> it's the key to freedom. god bless you, aretha, we love you. >> the one and only, the president of the united states, president william jefferson clinton. at this time, awe dree harris is going to bring us one of the hymns of the church. following that, we are going to go to church with pastor shirley caesar and the aretha franklin concert choir. >> i promise you, we will not
to come back in a minute. we are sitting, listening to president clinton and this mike drop at the end of that and hearing a little bit of aretha on his iphone and how he said, started out as a groupie, then tells the story of how he had aretha franklin at the rose garden, when he had the emperor and empress of japan to loosen them up. it was when he said she has sung for america. you turned to me and said, you know what, as remindful of this service and that in washington of the late senator john mccain. these are two patriots. >> yes. and i think today was two por tro portraits in patriotism and how they identify it and the difference of being a cultural
patriot or military one. it is the tale of two giant lives. it's stunning to watch them at the same time. it's making us have a very interesting, complex situation, which is the american conversation. what's striking about aretha franklin's rituals and ceremony is that she really imbodied faith and works in a very particular way. she made you feel good, like dr. feel good, took you to church, but also took you to reckon with civil rights. it's very, very powerful to stay in church but also in the streets. >> i was listening to an interview done with don in the last couple years, talking the civil rights and respect was a m m mantra. she rode the bus, didn't fly.
how when he was asking her, you were at the forefront of the civil rights movement, she shied away from saying yes, i carried the mantle. >> with your work, she's a great american woman. the first woman inducted into the rock & roll hall of fame. respect was a mantra, too. that was really progressive. no woman was talking about being satisfied sexually and charged and bossed up at that time. you have the feeling aretha franklin was in charge of aretha franklin's life. that was the core of feminism. >> where do you think she got that from? >> a combination. i think president clinton laid that out, the idea she was born in the church and civil rights, gives you this combination of americanism and freedom. we are really supposed to be the
land of the free and the home of the brave. she was very brave. she's very brave. again, this idea of her and senator mccain as true american heroes and patriots and she was literally an american, a great resource, you know, a treasure. and, he is a great american hero. so, these two lives let us look at who we are. and look at the best of who we are, even when we are complicated and we don't agree. there's certain things that strike us. >> i love listening, earlier, to her family members. her grand kids were up there. it was her niece who was -- it was her niece. >> it was her niece. >> i stopped everything i was doing and listened to her. this heartfelt thanks to everyone who bought, you know, her aunty's albums and knew the words to her songs and just speaking about how she was her
aunt. she spoke about this niece spoke about her son graduating from howard and how other members are graduating from howard, how important education is. had it not been for her aunt aretha. >> her niece reflected her realness. that's another thing. she's the queen. she's like auntie. >> going through the grocery store. >> exactly. exactly. and that, also, is very rare, how to be royal and authentic at the same time is difficult. there are divas and there are divas. she was -- but the diva that you could feel was real. it's very rare. i think that's part of what we are saying good-bye to, this authentic, rich, regular, extraordinary person. >> with that, let's go back to detroit.
on their death bed and they breathe their last breath, i just have to believe that god grabs death. when my mom breathed her last breath, when she let it go, god grabbed it. whatever time is gone. take care of you. i want to say to the family, i can't tell you not to cry, cause god knows how to take those tears, wash our misery away. i want to say to the grandchildren and the great grandchildren, aretha lived a
♪ died for you and me ♪ oh, yeah ♪ thinking about the heavenly ♪ oh, yeah ♪ hallelujah ♪ thank you ♪ how i got over ♪ how i got over ♪ how i got over you know my soul back and wonder ♪ ♪ how i got over ♪ hey, how i got over ♪ how i got over ♪ you know go back and wonder how i got over ♪ ♪ i'm away in the new jerusalem ♪ ♪ oh, yeah ♪ i walk the streets of gold
♪ so i say thank you ♪ thaungs, lord ♪ thank you ♪ thank you, lord ♪ thank you, lord ♪ thank you, lord ♪ she made it up, thank you, thank you, thank you ♪ ♪ no more sickness, no more crying ♪ ♪ she made it ♪ she made it ♪ she made it ♪ thank you, thank you, lord ♪ thank you, thank you, lord ♪ thank you, thank you, lord ♪ thank you, thank you, lord ♪ jesus, jesus ♪ thank you, thank you, lord
gospel. we'll continue our special coverage on cnn. i'm brooke baldwin, back in a moment. liberty mutual saved us almost $800 when we switched our auto and home insurance. with liberty, we could afford a real babysitter instead of your brother. hey! oh, that's my robe. is it? when you switch to liberty mutual, you could save $782 on auto and home insurance. and still get great coverage for you and your family. call for a free quote today. you could save $782. liberty mutual insurance.
didn't always agree with with him politically. i'm not a republican or democrat, i'm a new england independent, but i respect the man. there was nobody adds heroic as he was. >> the republican party is going to have a future, they need to have peek like john mccain that, you know, represent civil rights, human rights and a decency. >> mr. mccain stepped across the line. he found the most combative person to make an ally with to get stuff passed, to make our country better. you know, a lot of people are saying, courage. i mean, he's a war veteran and i'm getting goose bumps because of what he went through, but he took what he learned and his love of his country and moved it to help not only the state of arizona, but our country, to let us get along. as everybody has been saying, now is the time to re-examine what we are doing as a nation. >> there are no men left like
john mccain. this is a guy of valor, honesty, character. he did a lot for this country. i felt that it was important for me to pay my respects today, not only to honor him for the work he's done for the country, but as a former navy man, i felt that it was a good thing for me to do. >> america honoring two legends today. we were just in detroit. we'll take you back there f. these are live pictures at the capitol rotunda, john mccain, lying in state on capitol hill, a place he deeply impacted for decades. the public moving around behind the ropes being allowed to pay respects to this american hero, leader and family man. earlier, under rainy skies, what a moment that was. military guard carried the late senator's flag-draped casket
into the capitol rotunda. it wasn't raining until they brought it up the steps. with precision moves, they moved it inside the rotunda. mitch mcconnell alongside chuck schumer, presenting the wreath there. a break in protocol. the request of john mccain, he wanted one final act of bipartisanship in his honor. in an emotional farewell, one by one, the members of the family, his widow, friends and colleagues approached to say good-bye. for more on the events honoring the senator today, we bring out our correspondent. it's one thing to see his family there saying good-bye, but the lines, the lines of people in washington wanting to have a moment there in the capitol rotunda is stunning. >> reporter: that's right, brooke.
it is very moving. a cap of his very long career on capitol hill. this was a building and a career that he loved so much. i think we saw that reflected in all the very poignant and moving moments of the day. of course those americans filtering through the capitol, continuing at this hour, will, for many, many hours and the simple moment, the presence of his 106-year-old mother, roberta, who made her way up the hill. we saw her comforting her granddaughter, meghan mccain handing her a tissue and emotional when we saw her wheeled in her wheelchair and put her hand on his casket. we saw a lot of emotion and respect paid from colleagues on capitol hill who worked for him so long, talking about the legacy he leaves behind, not only here on capitol hill, but to the nation. >> john mccain deserves to be remembered as he wished to be
remembered. a patriot who served his country, a man of the senate, but also a man of the house. a navy man. a family man. a man who made an enormous difference in the lives of countless people. a man of conviction. a man of state. >> in every generation, there are those who put country first. who pride service ahead of self. who summon idealism from a cynical age. john mccain was such a man. today, he lies in the place where he served to the last, the congress of the united states. soon, he will go to rest on the grounds where he served first,
the united states naval academy. the eyes of the american people will be upon him as he gos. and, so, too, will their prayers. for him, and especially for his beloved family, gathered here today. >> half a world away, wearing our nation's uniform, john mccain stood up for every value that this capitol building represents. then he brought that same patriotism inside its walls to advocate for our service members, our veterans and our moral leadership in the world. so, it is only right that today, the end of his long journey, john lies here, in this great hall under this mighty dome,
like other american heroes before him. here, as a restless wave approaches the shores of eternity. we thank god for giving this country john mccain. >> those public speeches moving today. you saw the emotion on his family members faces. the speeches were given one by one. i do, also, brooke, want to highlight a private moment that played out behind the scenes. cindy mccain, the wife of john mccain, accompanied lindsey graham to the senate floor, one of his closest friends in congress, taking a last look at his desk, which was adorned by white roses. he gave her two of those to acknowledge what they gave for him serving in congress. brooke? >> a beautiful thing. thank you. just to remind everyone, this is
senator mccain, the 31st, only the 31st person to be honored lying in state at the u.s. capitol. it shows the statesmanship he imbodied for so many years. when we come back, we are going to pivot back to detroit. much more of aretha franklin's funeral celebration, including upcoming performances by jennifer hudson and stevie wonder. we'll be right back. cluded for . so you can get lost in space in your own backyard. or get pumped up for your grand entrance. t-mobile lets you watch your favorite movies and shows in more places, without paying more. get an unlimited family plan with netflix on us. and right now at t-mobile, buy one samsung galaxy s9 and get one free. how do you feel about this one? ♪ with up to 60% off top mattress brands
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queen of soul in detroit, momentarily. we will once we see chaka khan take the podium. russian intelligence officials believe they had donald trump over a barrel right before the 2016 election. that information came into christopher steele, the national who had the dossier. this coming to light by bruce ohr. let's go to evan perez. evan, tell me more. >> bruce ohr, brooke, has gotten a lot of attention from the president who said he wants to get rid of his security clearance saying he's surprised he is working at the justice department. we know more about his relationship with christopher steele. he testified several hours this past week to house members. in that temperature, he
described how he had a breakfast with christopher steele and during that breakfast is where steele says he believed russian intelligence thought they had then candidate trump over a barrel. we don't know more context to that comment. it does align with the dossier that christopher steele ended up producing. this is one reason why bruce ahr and steele has been in the cross hairs of donald trump as president. he believes that, obviously, this is an investigation he calls a witch hunt and it all began with these men who, he believes, were concocting false stories about him. >> there's that. let me ask you about another story that broke today. we were talking how the president announced don mcgahn would be leaving after the brett kavanaugh confirmation hearings. so, a possible replacement, you are hearing names?
>> reporter: right. pat, a washington lawyer, who it turns out got to know the president pretty well. he is the front-runner for the job, the white house counsel's job. once don mcgahn leaves. cipollone is providing advice to the trump legal team behind the scenes. it appears the president knows him and likes him. emmitt flood who also made his way into the white house, to help with the russia investigation efforts inside the white house. he's also a candidate for this job, brooke. but, it appears cipollone has the inside track to get this job once don mcgahn leaves in the next couple months. >> evan perez, thank you so much. on this friday afternoon, america honoring two legends, two heroes. we have been toggling back where
the late john mccain is lying in state on capitol hill. you are now looking at pictures of detroit, the celebration and memorial celebration of the queen of soul, aretha franklin. performance by chaka khan coming up next. ♪ you make me feel ♪ you make me feel ♪ you make me feel like a natural woman ♪ with no aerosols and no heavy perfumes. so you can spray and stay. febreze one. (door bell rings) it's ohey. this is amazing. with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, are you okay? even when i was there, i never knew when my symptoms would keep us apart. so i talked to my doctor about humira. i learned humira can help get, and keep uc under control
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you are watching cnn on this friday afternoon. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me on this extraordinary day here. the nation is honoring, remembering and celebrating the lives of two legends. senator john mccain is lying in state at the nation's capitol and people in washington are lining up for blocks and blocks to salute his 60 years of service to this country. on the right side of your screen, in detroit, born in memphis, moved to detroit. extraordinary celebration for the queen of soul, musical tributes from stars like the first lady of gospel, shirley caesar, the legendary clark sisters, ariana grande, faith hill and reflects from franklin's family, also smokey robinson and former president, bill clinton. let's go to detroit. fredricka whitfield has been there. we are all waiting for