tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN December 5, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PST
first lady barbara bush in i believe was it february or april perhaps. >> in april. >> the funeral of senator john mccain, events where not all of the presidents were there, notably of course the current president, donald trump, not invited to mccain's and he did not attend barbara bush's. >> when he got there, he shook hands, president trump, with michelle obama and former president obama. but there was nothing else beyond that. >> a lot of people reading a lot into that about hillary clinton not looking at president trump. why didn't president trump shake this person's hand, why didn't this person shake president trump's hand? that's probably for another time and place to have that discussion. but obviously a lot of tensions in that pew, things that have been said.
there are a lot of tensions between the bush family and president trump. >> that's the hearse arriving at joint base andrews. jeff zeleny is there on the scene. this formal departure ceremony is about to begin. >> it is, wolf. we are seeing the motorcade, the hearse with the two american flags, as well as the poignant seal. president bush and laura bush are directly behind the hearse as well as other family members as can you see filing through there. they will be taking their place on this windy tarmac here at joint base andrews and they will, of course, be having one more ceremony. this is one of the keefe stops. we will see the casket taken out of the hearse and loaded on to fair force ic.
i'm told similar to other presidents, the casket will be played in the staff cabin of air force i as his remains fly to texas. i can see president bush not too many feet in front of me looking out the window at this scene unfolding here. the family members will be waiting inside in their cars for a moment as they get into position here, wolf. again, the flags whipping in the breeze. a poignant moment out here. the family now filing out of these buses and getting ready to hear "hail to the chief" and the 21 gun salute. >> full military honors for the 41st president of the united states. and this presidential aircraft, it was -- it's very symbolic because president bush '41 would
fly in this plane, it was the first air force i that he used as president of the united states. i think it's got a special name now, a special air mission 41 they're calling it. only if a current sitting president is aboard that aircraft is it called air force i. >> he traveled the world in any manner of capacity. he was the u.n. ambassador to the united nations, headed the mission to china before the u.s. even had an official u.n. ambassador there. he served as head of the cia. he served as vice president for eight years, during a period of which he would joke about how often vice presidents were dispatched to international funerals. i think he quipped something along the lines of "if you die, i'll fly," something like that and a president heavily focused on international relations, no
less than his 1988 opponent, mike dukakis, former governor of massachusetts, praising how wise he was. there's his son, george w. bush, the 43rd president, here for the final good-bye. he's there with general michael howard, who is the head of the command here in d.c., which includes the honor guard. >> all the family on the tarmac getting ready for this final departure ceremony. they'll be boarding this plane and heading off to houston with the casket of course. there will be more state services tomorrow in houston followed by the burial at texas a&m university, where the george h.w. bush presidential library is based. >> look at how george w. bush is becoming right before our eyes the patriot yack of tarch of th
they'll be boarding the aircraft now. the flight should be about three or four hours to houston, and then the burial tomorrow. it is remarkable, it just feels like they came here just a few days ago. there's been so much that's taken place over the last several days. now to see them all as a family getting back on this plane and heading home. >> the personal tomorrow, the home chapel in houston and then the burial. this has been the presidential part, if you will, the farewell to their father. to the bush family, their father, who happened to be president but most of all their father. so now they're back to texas, his adopted home state, the state that was so important to him. just to watch the family get on the plane, this plane in during the george h.w. bush presidency.
he flew around the world in a tumultuous time in them. his son used this plane. you see george w. bush going up the steps right there. there's two of them. i'm not sure if this was one. george bush said he wanted to fly the 747 into baghdad at that precarious moment because it is the symbol of america's mite and gory. for a president who had domestic achievement as well but is better known for managing the world at an incredibly tumultuous time, a final flight home on what has become a symbol of american democracy, that flag on the back. it's pretty cool. >> i couldn't help but see a little bit of relief, particularly on laura bush's face. she has been standing next to her husband, literally propping him up for the next few days,
her arm under his arm the entire time. and for the first time now i saw her relax a little bit. he had given his eulogy, this difficult part, returning to washington was coming to an end and now they were taking h.w. home and this were all returning home, and i could just see the difference in her. and even in him. they wanted this to go off so well and it did for them. i think that's the way bush 41 had wanted it and had planned it. and i think that hearing the last "ruffles and floush isrish that's emotional. and i think they were holding their breath for days. >> what jake tapper was talking
about, to see george bush 43 as patriarch of the family. john was references earlier work as a journalist he'd done where george w. bush was kind of an enforcer in the family, a fierce prote protector of his dad, very defensive of his dad and his legacy before he had gotten his life together to the point where you could see his own political future and to see him travel over time to this day, so emotional, wasas it was for president bush 43 as he returned home to midland texas. but now to pick up the mantel for his father, it's quite a journey and you could see him really wearing it with a lot of emotion today. >> i thought this was not only
moving for the bush family but more importantly for people across the country. this nation is hungdregry for inspiration. i think thought found it today. remember before jeb ran barbara was telling people the country is bushed out. and it seemed that way. i think it was one of the reasons he didn't get the nomination. i think today people are looking at the character and looking at george h.w. bush and the whole family in a different light, a positive light. >> i was with the family last night. they were really looking forward to this being a celebration and not a cry fest, as they would put it and i think they've got to be really pleased with the way it went today. this was a spectacular sendoff. i think they planned it that way and it was beautifully executed. i think president bush would have been uncomfortable, as jake was saying, too much about me. but it has his fingerprints all
over it and they've got to be thrilled with it. >> a week after the 1992 election, president bush sat with answer simpson, senator simpson's wife and had a very deep and difficult and loving conversation. he wrote in his diary that night he felt rejected by the baby boom generation. he felt disconnected. and he wrote values, duty, country, service, honor, decency, all the things i really believe. we saw all of those things highlighted today. and it is a great thing for our country and we desperately need that. >> does it have a lasting impact beyond -- >> i'm an optimist so don't ask me. i think -- if john meacham is right and john meacham is the
poet lawyureate. >> we're going into a spending fight, a shutdown fight, which includes the border wall, which is something we saw the president fight fiercely for and democrats fight fiercely against. we're at a key moment, getting to the top of the pyramid that is the mueller investigation. however, i think the longer term, to the people who have to make big choices come january, what can they take away today? we talked about that when senator mccain died. nancy pelosi may become speaker, democrats will take power in the house. president trump has to decide how do i navigate in this new world? his instinct is to fight, to do combat at 6 a.m. on twitter
until the end of the day. is there a reassessreassessment? don't know. wouldn't bet on it. this is a moment of choices. >> you know, john, everybody watching, the wrong thing to take away is that this is an ode to a bygone era. the reason they're celebrated is because it's what is our american public and political life. it's a tough media climate, tough political climate, we're so divided in lots of ways but i think the pageantry today was the enduring pageantry. >> the point that the bushes have become a pariah in the republican party, california
tells things early, the anti-tax movement, even in the days of pete wilson, the republican party just got wiped out in california. why? a lack of decency, a lack of common ground ash lack of treatment of immigrants with respe respect. so what decision does other republicans make at this moment? are they going to stay on team trump till the end or do they start thinking about the republican party after trump? for those who don't mind having dinner or a conversation with a democrat, those are gone. what lesson can the republicans party lurearn from what just happened to it? do they start to have a
reassessment? that's one of the many choices. >> i agree the values are still out there but we've been slipping away. this generation, this world war ii generation increasingly seems from a vanished world. what's encouraging is the you younger people today, there's a lot of idealism. i think they take heart in listening to what george h.w. bush helped. >> and bush 43, what was striking to me, he reread a part of his father's inaugural address. and his father said we cannot hope only to leave our children a bigger car, a bigger bank account, we must also give them a sense what it means to be a loyal friend, a loving parent, a citizen who leaves his home, his neighborhood and town better
than he found it. and that may be what the local organizing is about now that you're talking about, david, that this isn't bygone. it's different. it just got to be different. >> it's a struggle. >> but it's a struggle. it's an ongoing struggle. the bush name has been a pariah in the 2016 campaign certainly. no more i think after this. but i think the values are the values of this nation and the pendulum swings back and forth always. >> early yesterday this morning at the capital to pay my respects, they had this table of notebooks for people to leave messages to the family. i went over to the table and somebody ahead of me, clearly a young kid had written "george h.w. bush was a great man, we
should remember him." that's my hope, that young people will remember this, that all of this is soaking in and it will have effects for a long time we may never know. >> today we were reminded of the importance of faith to the bush family and the bush family and george h.w. bush. it's not a matter of politics, it's a matter of community. we're reminded that community can also be associated with power and ambition. he could be ambitious and a man of community. >> i think another lesson is the caliber of the people attracted to this president and this man, mary cate was a young starve in the white hou-- staffer in the house, i was talking to nick bur burns, it's not just president trump. we were talking about how president trump is having trouble attracting quality
people into the government and that's true, and that's in part because of how he conducts himself. but the quality of people in public service has declined pretrump as well. that's the challenge, to get millennials who they don't think government can do much. they haven't seen government in their lifetime do much they think is worthwhile. so how do you get younger people to want to be in public service. if you look in the rows, the 3,000 people in there, take away the politicians, the people who were -- we went through this with senator kennedy as well, attracted young, talented people who went on to pop late this town and run for office themselves and get into public service. part of the dynasty of the kennedy dynasty and bush dynasty is that a hell of a lot of good
people get into politics. >> back to wolf. >> special mission 41 now beginning to taxi on the runway at joint base andrews outside of washington, d.c. this will be the last time that the 41st president of the united states will be aboard one of these presidential aircrafts as this flight will take him and the entourage, the family, the friends aboard this presidential aircraft to houston for a continuing memorial service tomorrow morning and final burial at texas a&m university, the george h.w. bush presidential library. jake, you and i were both white house correspondents. we spent a lot of quality time aboard air force i covering presidents of the united states. >> and it's the last time that george h.w. bush will be on a plane like that, the last time
that george h.w. bush was in washington, a town where he served for decades in various capacities, congressman, cia director, rnc chief, vice president, president. it's the last time a former navy flyer will be in an airplane, having volunteered for that service at the age of 18 as world war ii was just beginning for the united states, right after pearl harbor. i have to wonder what else are we saying good-bye to here? are we saying good-bye to this man of course but are we also saying good-bye to this particular kind of leader, particular kind of republican, conservative in principle, moderate in many aspects, on a policy level believed in international institutions, whether the united nations or nato, somebody who believed in alliances and as president somebody who believed in working across the aisle as a president dealing with a democratic congress, signing imagimajor pi
of legislation into law, like the americans with disabilities act, which came to help him later in his life will he was confined to a wheelchair, the clean air act and then personally somebody who stood for decency and humility and modesty in a lot of ways. >> jeff zeleny, do you have new information? >> reporter: we do. i was speaking with a member of the bush family who is on the plane now and they said it is a moment for the family to exhale, in their words, a moment to actually talk together and come together as a family for the next two or three hours or so on board this plane. you see special air mix 41 taking off, praising president george w. bush for his jeweulog.
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funeral of george h.w. bush. as you saw the aircraft carrying the bush family, carrying the former president is on its way to texas. it will land at ellington field at around 5:30 p.m. it will be greeted by about 300 people from -- some from the houston astros, from the houston rockets and players, people from the anderson cancer center, george bush high school, a number of dignitaries and there will be a burial obviously tomorrow. we want you to just take a look at some of the key moments from the actual service itself, particularly let's start with some of the remarks made by bush 43 when speaking about his father. >> through our tears let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you, a great and noble man, the best father a son or daughter could have had. and in our grief let us smile
knowing that dad is hugging robin and holding mom's hand aga again. [ applause ] >> and you see him pat the casket as he walks by. it's rare to see a display of emotion like that from george w. bush. very poignant. >> very poignant and i think he knew he was going to cry at some point in this. what was so poignant in his jewel i didn eulogy, it was about a dad, about a father. it was about a personal relationship. we talked about how they had the difficulty when bush became president and he was doing some things that his father did not approve of but his father held back and just gave him, as he pointed out,in conditi iuncondi.
once he was out of office, their relationship softened a bit and they could talk president to president. bush wrote a book about his father and he painted his father and the world was watching. >> george h.w. bush was the kinder, gentler man. but you have to be fair, he ran some pretty tough campaigns. he was the kinder, gentler face and he had people who did that for him. he had lee atwater and there were a few interesting conversations with george w. bush in those campaigns who didn't like some of the things i had written -- >> he would let you know.
>> he would let you know in language that could not be repeated. he held his dad in such reverence, and he would come at you. you're questioning my dad. it was dad and mother. that's how they smokpoke. he had karen hughes bring me up on the plane, w said "we're good, right?" he was his dad's enforcer. you forget that about george w. bush. he was around the white house so much, eight years with ronald reagan, four years of his dad's presidency. it's part of the family. the white house is literally in their blood. >> but he's also an emotional guy, 43, really emotional guy. i remember telling him i cried at my wedding and he said that's a good thing, i was the same way. i remember him in the oval office saying he was an
emotional guy, when he thinks about the children who have lost parents on 9/11 that it really got to him. so like the story told about himself father who encountered the leukemia patients who cried and said the media doesn't need to see me weeping, he always thought about that in the public moments when the whole world was watching and they were again today but it was a more intimate moment where he could give himself some room to be his son. >> he spoke about that in an interview we played the other day where he talked about giving a speech at the 9/11 memorial, at the cathedral, at the service and not wanting to cry and making sure he didn't because he didn't think america needed their leader crying at a moment like that and then when he sat down, his father reached over and patted his hand. >> these children have lost both
parents in a very short period of time. they've lost their mother, they've lost their father, they've lost their moorings in many ways. even though they're adults, your parents are still your moorings. at the end of the speech when he said his father would be back with his mother holder her and ha -- holding her hand and back with robin. he told people this is what he envisioned. i think that's what 43 wanted to envision for him as well. >> 94 years old, right, an amazing life but also for the son, this patriarch. he got to speak to his father and hear the last words spoken "i love you, too." it's such a beautiful parting. for those of us who have lost a parent and who have had a beautiful parting, you carry that with you. and we all get to be part of that.
we can't identify with what it's like to be a president or the son of a president, but we all can think of this in terms of our own parents and our own relationships. >> the bushes are good people. they're not perfect people. i'll say that and people will say what about the willy horton or what about the george w. bush mistakes? i'm not saying they're perfect people. they're good people. they send notes, they ask how you're doing. friendships. it's true of all of them. we focus on now the departed, the late president h.w. bush and president george w. bush and they're just good people. >> an imperfect man who left
behind a more you are tperfect . it was really striking to watch george w. today, he has had such a struggle, born to this family, born by this father and he was trying to walk in his foot steps. he went to yale and his father had been captain of the baseball team, first base and george w. turned out to be a cheerleader. his father was the youngest pilot shot down in the pacific in the war and he joined the national guard. it was not exactly heroic to be defending the great state of texas from the state of oklahoma. people sort of knew that. but that evolved over time. i think winning a second term was something his father had not done but also having his own progress over time. he was very controversial, especially over iraq, but i think he reached a peace with his father after he left the presidency because he had done so much and i think they had
both come to terms with their relationship and it was a lovely relationship toward the end. he's now truly -- i'm not sure you want to call him the patriarch but he's the leader now. >> and there was a point when jeb bush defended his father when jeb said my father is the greatest man i ever knew period. because he was part of the dynasty and he was being attacked for just being someone whose turn it was to become president and his father was criticized and jeb just came out swinging about it. >> i'm looking forward to hearing what george p. has to say, jeb's son, the oldest of the grandchildren. i think today was going to be the more presidential of the two days. and even just the two churches, the cathedral is so soaring and
intimidating. the acoustics are such you drop a pin, you can hear it in the whole place. people are afraid to even whisper. i think st. martin's is much more intimate, the ceiling is not so high, there's carpeting. you can have a little side conversation with people. i think it's going to be a very different feel tomorrow and much more personal, not as presidential. that's going to be an interesting sideline. but going back to jeb and his oldest son and what they have to say. we heard from 43's children and neil's two daughters today. we'll hear from jeb tomorrow. >> it's amazing the contrast in the national security team, you had george baker and scowcroft. it's just a reminder again of a different way of running a white house. >> i was going to say that george h.w. bush did not want a ton of rivals.
he wanted people who would respect each other but they didn't always agree with each other. you had cheney on one side and you had baker on another. they rarely agreed on foreign policy. so it was bush who had to make the call. his son was known for saying "i'm the decide decider," but g h.w. bush was the decider. >> there's so much talk about leadership today and what a great pleleader president bush was. george w. bush talked about a humble foreign policy. 9/11 happens, it becomes a much more aggressive foreign policy. very much in contrast to the sense of humility his father had on the world stage. the contrast in leadership from the father to the son in the
context of that leadership of the world, which was really talked about a lot today. >> we have to take a quick break. a service that was emotional, at times not so subtle contrast with president trump. more of our cnn special coverage next. opportunity is everywhere. like here. where you can explore the world knowing you can always find your way home. ♪ tap one little bumper and up go your rates. what good is having insurance if you get punished for using it? news flash: nobody's perfect. for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise your rates due to your first accident. switch and you could save $782 on home and auto insurance.
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there were a number of moments that we want to talk about during the church service. several of them we put together. you could say they're allusions to president trump. here a number of comments people have been talking about. >> he never hated everyone. he knew what his mother and my mother always knew, hatred corrodes the container it's carried in. the most decent and honorable person i ever met was my friend george bush, one of nature's noble men. >> i believe it will be said that no occupant of the oval office was more courageous, more principled and more honorable than george herbert walker bush. >> his life code, as he said,
was tell the truth, don't blame people. be strong. do your best. try hard. forgive. stay the course. >> just some of the comments. hearing meacham said tell the truth, don't blame people, do your best, stay the course. >> it sounds anti-trump but it isn't necessarily. it's reminding us of the world in which we now live, which is very different, and the world bush chose to create and the life he chose to live. so all of these adjectives, he was compared to lincoln, you know, i bleach it was peameacha who said choose the right over the convenient, choose hope over fear. >> i suppose in any description of the life of the 41st
president, it is going to stand in stark contrast because everything about the 41st president, everything he believed in is pretty much antithetical to the current preside president. >> right. the way he wore the presidency. how he felt the presidency is bigger than himself, are not qualities you would say sign to president trump, who thinks about himself more than the presidency. those contrasts are clear, the way he's conducted his politics. there were early signs in the kind of populism of george h.w. bush. he encountered it with ross perot, with pat buchanan. he didn't hold up particularly well under. that was part of a reality he was coming to see he had to move beyond. the part of president bush 43
saying his dad always told him that failure was part of living a full life but it shouldn't define your life. it's the fact he wouldn't let it define his public life after he lost to bill clinton defined his legacy, too. >> the way he adopted clinton after he lost to him. >> the whole idea of the club, the independedea that trump was he was seated, he didn't speak. i wonder if trump realizing for the first moment he really is part of this, he'll be part of it in life and in death, whether it made him think about this. >> i hope. >> i interviewed many of these people. alan simpson said to me word for word in 2014 hate corrodes the container that it's in, this credo that john meacham said has been in letter after letter,
here's what i believe in, tell the truth, work hard. looking at it today through the lens of president trump sitting in the front row, but whether president trump had been there today or not, those words would have been said today. >> i don't think anybody was subtweeting today. >> exactly. >> but the point here is that we've gotten to a point in our history where talking about being well behaved and dignified and selfless is viewed as an attack on the president. and why is that so? because to many people he embodies of the opposite of those qualities. >> will you look at that picture of all of them sitting in the front row, i think our family is we want them to be a happy family, this club, and they're not. >> tomorrow the state funeral gets personal and james baker will give his final tribute. more on that next.
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welcome back to our special coverage of the state funeral for george h.w. bush, the 41st i'm dana bash here with jamie . gangel. jamie, you were in the service, in the cathedral behind us. there were so many poignant, memorable moments. one of them was when the reverend dr. russel levenson jr., who is the rechter at st. martins episcopal in texas, when he spoke about one of the final moments where his best friend, former secretary of state james baker was rubbing the former president's, late president's feet. >> we were sitting next to each other and he whispered to me, you know, that man changed my life. a bit later secretary baker was at the foot of the president's bed. and toward the end jim baker
rubbed and stroked the president's feet for perhaps half an hour. the president smiled at the comfort of his dear friend. here i witnessed a world leader who was serving a servant who had been our world's leader. >> to hear the story he was rubbing his feet, never mind the biblical illusion and to see his face, to see him break down. >> james baker was with george bush from the very beginning. they were tennis partners, they were best friends. i mean, they've known each other so long, james baker was a democrat when they first met. and you'll notice that the only person to walk in with the family who wasn't family was james baker and his wife, susan
baker. so they were very, very close. and i think especially after barbara bush's passing, james and susan baker were really making sure that they were with him as much as possible. and he will be giving one of the two eulogies tomorrow. >> i was going to ask about that. as we look ahead to tomorrow, the final day of this week, many days i should say of tributes, tomorrow in texas at st. martin's, that will probably be the most personal. >> absolutely. this is home and we're going to see the one who went all the way back with him, james baker, and then his grandson, george p. bush, who is the only member of the family who is holding office right now, and i expect these to be very personal about the man. >> and think about today, what we saw. we only have a few seconds left. how would you sum up?
>> i really think it's the words that we saw to describe this man a different time, gentility, class. >> you have been watching special coverage of george herbert walker bush's funeral. breanna keilar picks up our coverage now. >> thank you so much. thank you for joining us. a new twist in the russia investigation leading to new pressure and a new mystery for the president of the united states. one of the people who worked closest with president trump during his campaign, his transition and the early days of his presidency is cooperating so extensively with robert mueller that the special counsel is recommending that fired national security adviser michael flynn does not serve any prison