tv MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi MSNBC August 31, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
today against someone for violate the foreign agent registration act. so, yes, on number two and no, not necessarily on number one. >> chuck rosenberg, ben, thank you. happy weekend. that will wrap things up for me this hour. chris jansing picks things up right now. hi, chris. >> hi, katy, thank you. what an extraordinary day it's been of honoring the best in america. >> really truly remarkable. aretha franklin's funeral, we're watching it on television but i almost feel like i'm there. >> thank you so much. have a great weekend. hello, everyone, i'm chris jansing in for ali velshi. the iron will of john mccain and aretha franklin in a class all by herself. two monumental figures in american history devoted to bringing people together are being honored and remembered in two very different ways today, even as their examples of grace and class are the same. in washington a solemn
remembrance on both sides of the political aisle for a man who so honorably served his country. >> we celebrate six decades of devotion to the american idea and the cause of human freedom. generations of americans will continue to marvel at the man who lies before us. the cocky, handsome, naval aviator who barely scraped through school and then fought for freedom in the skies. >> this is one of the bravest souls our nation has ever produced. however you choose to do your part, i hope you do it the way he did. >> let me say to all those gathered and his beloved family, on behalf of a grateful nation
we will ever remember that john mccain served his country and john mccain served his country honorably. >> and then in detroit more than five hours after the service began, it continues honoring a woman who inspired so many and woven into the celebration the best way you can imagine honoring the queen of soul, with song. ♪ we're gonna miss you ♪ it's really gonna be different without you ♪ ♪ for the rest of my life ♪ he is my living
♪ ♪ i used to feel so inspired ♪ what a friend we have in je s jesus ♪ ♪ >> so at this hour the performances and the stories of the lives that were touched by aretha franklin are still being shared. the service has been an absolute celebration of her life. yes, some tears have been shed, but there have been more smiles for the icon who was so much more than a singer. and the city where aretha
franklin started her career is making sure everyone will forever know her name. the mayor announcing his intention to rename a local park, the scenic waterfront amphitheater in the heart of downtown will now bear her name. >> i will be sending city council a proposal to rename shane park. our beautiful waterfront jewel will be aretha franklin park. and when performers from generations to come from around the world come here, they'll be reminded that they are performing at the home of the queen of soul. god bless you. >> nbc's ron mott was in detroit for us outside the church, as is
roland martin, host of the podcast #roland martin unfiltered and marvet britto. marvet knew and worked with aretha franklin. it's so good to have all of you here. let me start with you if i can, ron. as i watched this all throughout the day, as i said it's been more than five hours, and yet it's as if you can't get enough. you can't get enough of the music, you can't get enough of the stories, and you can't get enough of the feeling that this is exactly what she would have wanted. tell us your impressions. >> yeah, hey, there, chris. i'm almost glad that i've not gone into the church because i wouldn't want to come out quite frankly. i'm being paid today to get on the air but this was a very, very special woman. we've talked to people all week asking them why she meant so much to them, why she meant so much to detroit. she grew up here and this was her city. the people of this city were her people. even though she was rich and
famous and all of that, she never forgot the people who grew up on the streets of detroit and would always give back in ways people never even knew about. that's how much she meant to the city and vice versa. i had some people who said they stood out here all night because they wanted to get that arm band to go in. >> ron, i'm just going to interrupt you if i can because some more extraordinary music. of course this is chaka khan. ♪ ♪ anybody ask you ♪ where i'm going ♪ where i'm going soon
♪ i can take the pain ♪ heart ache they bring ♪ the comfort in knowing i'll soon be gone ♪ ♪ as god gives me grace ♪ i'll run from this race ♪ until i see my savior ♪ face to face ♪ i'm going up yonder ♪ i'm going up yonder ♪ i'm going up yonder ♪ to be with my lord ♪ do you hear me ♪ i'm going up yonder ♪ i'm going up yonder
with my lord ♪ yes, i am. i'm going. hallelujah. >> wow. chaka khan. you know, funerals are not places where people usually bring the cell phones out and start videoing, but this is not that kind of funeral. this is a celebration, so much of it musical. if i can go back to roland martin, and i might have to interrupt you for more music. >> i understand, i understand. >> i saw you before you came
outside dancing along. this has been extraordinary. >> oh, yeah, look, it's a home going. it's for african-americans, funerals are not positioned to be this mournful type of thing. then you talk about a black celebrity funeral. i was at dick gregory's funeral last year and it went six hours 45 minutes. that's the way it's supposed to be. when you look across at gladys knight and whoopi goldberg and tyler perry, johnny gill and ronnizely and regina bale. remember, she's an icon. when other entertainers who are stars go to your concert and make it a point to come to your funeral, that's when you know you're on a totally different level than anybody else. and so it certainly has been one heck of a day. look, there's a lot more to go. stevie wonder towards the end, probably the most emotional thing was smokey robinson.
because he taulked to the caske. he talked to her. singing that song a cappella was amazing to see his friend, 80 years old, smokey robinson, he said it was just the two of them left from their old neighborhood. now it's just him. >> you knew her so long and so well. i think on the day that she died we talked about gumbo and all sorts of things. >> yep. >> i wonder what you think she's looking down and thinking about all this, roland? >> trust me, she's loving it. she's loving it. president bill clinton said even he wanted to see her, what she had on, the gold dress and the wardrobe changes. she's the queen. she loved the pageantry. last nitrogen fghtnight, jennif she was going to see aretha and whitney said you're going to see the queen? she takes that seriously, that queen stuff.
so she would enjoy all of this. really also and appreciate what folks have to say because that's what she did. the way we connected, she sent an e-mail to my office saying she was a fan of my work. when you hear brenda lawrence talk about that, she made those phone calls and appreciated other people and showed her gratitu gratitude, so folks are showing gratitude here. i can guarantee you the queen would be saying now, what's the food, because it better be good if it's my repass. >> you know, one of the things, marvet, that i loved about this, and there are so many great moments, you could just watch the whole thing. but i love listening to her grandchildren and her niece and their little personal remembrances. so real. they kind of knew she was famous and something special, but to them she was just grandma. i'm going to talk about that when we come back. but ron eisley is about to sing. >> you know, aretha, she would
ask me, what you going to sing? i'd say, well, i'm going to sing something soft. have you ever heard the clark sisters? lord, have mercy. and i -- just the celebration here tonight, oh. i should have brought the brothers here, i should have brought the band. for shouting, something. all right. she would always talk about aaron clark, all the time.
thank you. i love you. >> brother ronnie isley, come on, put your hands together for him. >> a standing ovation for ron isley. one of an extraordinary number of people who she made to feel like they were so important. she was texting, she was keeping in touch with them, and i was saying, marvet, before we went to listen to him sing, you know, her granddaughter talking about how she would cook for her and her best friend. so she is the woman in a gold casket wearing a gold gown and did the changes of outfit, but also somebody who had this extraordinary human connection with so many people.
>> even though aretha franklin was a queen and was -- will be revered as a queen, she was never above the people. she was the people. and that's the reverence and love and dignity and respect and honor that you see throughout the thread of this service. you see the love, the adoration, because she really lived a life that is reflective of the character and integrity that she wanted to see in humanity. she very much, when you look at detroit and look at how she contributed to the civil rights movement, when you look at how artists were inspired and really championed their own inner talents because it was fueled by her support, you really understand what you're seeing today and you understand these tributes in a more meaningful way. everything that aretha franklin did throughout her entire life
and in this service was deliberate. her handprint is on this service just like her handprint was on every aspect of her career. i think it speaks volumes for someone to be treasured, but it speaks even higher volumes when those people are symbolic of the excellence that she so eloquently represented. it's moving for me to see some of the people who are speaking, because you know that these real experiences is what she left behind. you know, you can remember a photo and remember a lot of her music, but what i believe everyone there today will remember is how she made them feel, which is why some of her biggest records, and when you talk about queen of soul, there are a lot of artists who make music, but they don't make music that resonates with your soul and makes your spirit sing the way that aretha did. >> you know, as we see that jesse jackson, who i think it was about a year ago announced that he had been diagnosed with
parkinson's, but something of course that he had in common with the great queen of soul is that they were both civil rights leaders. she was extraordinary in her support and unwavering. he, of course, is a reverend but there is something else, marvet, that she just didn't grow up in that church. she is of the church. everything she did, she lived, she practiced. her quiet generosity, al truism, came from that place. >> absolutely. it's reflective in the service and reflective in the diversity of the service and the artists who are paying tribute. if you listen to the symbolism of the music that we're hearing, it shows you the life that aretha franklin led. and she led it in a way that was -- you know, it was expressed in her values, in the moral compass that we saw throughout her life. a lot of the quiet things she did, she did not for the celebration, but she did it because it was true to how she
was raised. you know, a lot of artists don't take who they are with them because they believe that it can in some way be a liability. they believe that they want their artistry to come before the fabric of who they are, but she took her dna everywhere. she took it to white houses. she took it to just everywhere she lived and everywhere she walked. the walk of her faith went with her. >> and now let's listen to the reverend jesse jackson. >> i visited her at least once a month and every time i was there, there was a big bodyguard. let's give him a big hand. cousin brenda. earline, give another big hand.
no one has been more consistent than will. give will a big hand. stand up, will. he's been a trooper. i also want to in the pastoral sense thank the funeral home. aretha was very sick towards the end. i suspected that we should not open the body, but this funeral home has done a tremendous job. a big hand for neil swanson and his family. and last, we can't thank her too much for she's among the living still among us.
maxine waters, stand again, please. three of my children are here today because this is a family affair. my son, jesse jackson jr. and s santita and dr. jackie jackson. it is a holy privilege to stand before you today, painful to stand before aretha, this hour of celebration. i want to honor the family's wishes and protocol and keep my remarks as brief as i can, but it is about reflections. i wanted to give room for reverend jasper williams, one of the most profound preachers of our time, reverend c.r. francis' funeral was conducted by reverend williams and he
maintains that authority in the family. the next phase of the phenomenal aretha franklin, there's much to be said and done built on this legacy that can't be appropriately said today. death has caused another unplanned family reunion. we wouldn't be here if aretha were not dead today. we give death too much power. we should be able to call each other and have a meeting like this and share. i was here for the rosa parks funeral. i watched long lines at the museum for rosa parks, long lines for aretha, long lines today. we have long lines to celebrate death and short lines for voting.
we lost michigan by 11,000 votes. 100,000 in detroit unregistered. long lines at the death of the icons and short lines for voting. something is missing. to many of us from the deep south before the internet and before the nightly tv shows, before dr. king and rosa parks, there was "jet" magazine, the national black newspapers and wlec, nashville, tennessee. every sunday night at 11:00 alan from nashville would put on an hour of c.l. franklin. he was our hero.
pr prodigal son in the conflict. he said tonight i'm not going to preach, i'm going to introduce my daughter and she can sing. it's not just my daughter, she can really sing. and she sang. reverend billy kyles, whose home dr. king was on the way to visit, when he was killed, was doing a revival at new bethel at that time. he gave the words to aretha. there's a beautiful home of the soul, built as jesus on high where we never shall die, a land where we'll never grow old. it was a dark sunday night in south carolina, yet it was real
dark, the stars shine most clearly. that night a star was born somewhere between nashville and eternity we hear the voice from heaven, 14 years old. aretha was our queen. she belonged and belongs to us. she's blessed to have the powerful gift of singing. perhaps the most remarkable voice and unique the world has ever heard. an italian conductor said that a voice like that is heard once in a thousand years. aretha is in that zone of once in a thousand years. and she did not shy away from ave maria. from that point on, she only required that she be called aretha. she took music lessons and
cultivated in the womb of one of the most soulful singers of our time. new bethel, sam cook, clara ward, mavis and pop staples. she came out of that womb. lou rawls, ira tucker and the dixie hummingbirds. alex brant, whitney houston's mother singing in the background. dina washington, the mighty clouds of joy. really came out of this womb.
she had the gift but she had the environment that loaned itself to her development. she was baptized in singing, struggle and service. in 1942 when she was born not in detroit, she was born on the mississippi river in memphis, tennessee. the river that carried our people up and down for 246 years. where does aretha's soul come from, the mississippi river. this cradle between tennessee and mississippi, 233 blacks were lynched in tennessee. 402 in arkansas, 654 in mississippi. she was 13 when emmitt till was lynched. she had money and could not buy ice cream. had a car and could not stop to buy gasoline.
aretha came out of the bowels of our struggle. her father led the big march in detroit in 1963. laid the groundwork until the march on washington. along with harry belafonte, dr. king was facing bankruptcy, we couldn't go any further. where was the money coming from? black banks or too small, white banks were very hostile, and so aretha and harry belafonte said we'll take an 11-city tour, raise money and give you the money. but dr. king was so unpopular and under such attack, we couldn't fill up an auditorium this size with aretha franklin and harry belafonte. we stepped on the stage in
texas. on that stage at the put tear gas in the fan and had to evacuate the building. she kept right on singing. she sang for carter, mandela, clinton, obama. b after all, before we had this level of technology, -- there s a group. i was called last week to see aretha. i met with her at least a month for the last three years. she called me at night and jackie would say get the phone, aretha is on the phone.
we'd pray a while and cry a while. i came last wednesday, aretha was in a coma. she had not been able to wake up or move in some days. i was with erlene and i said wake up, baby, wake up, baby. she opened her eyes. i rubbed her hands one more time. it was a hard good-bye. we came back that night and had another prayer meeting. shakespeare said when she shall die, took her hand and cut it up in little stars and she will make the heavens so fine that all the world will be in love
with night. aretha had the power to make the film directors cry. she touched all of us in very deeply and profound kind of way. as she got sicker, we would talk more and more as she would talk late at night. are you coming? yes. are you going to bring greg? i'm not going to bring greg. i'm not going to bother greg. inside joke. went to four or five hospitals as she was fighting this cancer thing. to cap off singing and service, she went to new york knowing that she had pancreatic cancer. she was there in a bus to help elton john and aids victims. that was a signature moment in her life. yes, she was there.
she asked me to give her our favorite testimony that was when i was a kid, grew up in south carolina. she would always say never grow old, never grow old, never grow old. archie brown, a great singer for blind boys, sing oh why. his last trip he said i'm drinking liquor tonight. i'm not an alcoholic. but i have the fourth stage of cancer and don't have any insurance. the liquor is anesthesia for my pain. and so y'all forgive me for drinking, i don't mean to disrespect you. he said let me sing a couple of
songs for you. he said i know you're concerned i'm drinking. i'm not a drunkard i'm just drinking for pain. but he said you all talk about bl blue skies. i was born without eyes, i've never seen blue. i've never seen a rose. i can touch it. my wife, i've never seen my wife's face. i know the contour of her face. and my children, i know them by the sound of their voice and the pat of their feet. but don't feel sorry for me because i'm blind and have cancer. i am going across the river. i heard there's a man over there who's giving sight to the blind. he's curing cancer. when you hit that point in your life where the man is over there. a few months ago aretha was very
afraid for me, i found out i had parkinson's. the older you get, these diseases come out of nowhere it seems. but let me say today for the living, this is not for aretha, this is for us. if we leave here today and don't register to vote, you dishonored aretha. you've heard all this singing and don't feel something, something is wrong with you. i want to say now, when we met we were 15 years old, i'm now 77, be 78 in a few weeks. parkinson's is in trouble. i have the faith. the doctor said parkinson's will knock you down. it will, but there's a god that's the doctor of doctors. don't fear these diseases when you're getting ready to change your clothes and move to a
different transition. i can say now with a level of certainty i couldn't have years ago, i once was young. i've traveled to china, i've traveled to japan, i've traveled to the caribbean, all around the world. i've worked with dr. king, worked with mandela. i've seen a lot and been a lot of places, but i've never seen the righteous forsaken, nso slep on, aretha. see you in the morning. >> aretha franklin's dear friend, the reverend jesse jackson, again getting a standing ovation. we're going to continue to monitor the celebration of aretha franklin. worth noting that he said if you leave here today and you don't
register to vote, you dishonor aretha franklin. but first we're going to go to washington. that is where senator john mccain, another great american icon made his final trip to capitol hill earlier today. as the casket carrying the senator's body approached the rotunda, the skies opened up. senator jeff flake i think joked that senator mccain would have appreciated the media getting wet out there. we had a good laugh about that. right now senator mccain does lie in the capitol hill rotunda, one of just 31 people who have gotten that very high honor. he continues as well in death to call for unity and for the country to come together. his fellow senator from arizona
reflecting on the best way to honor senator mccain's spirit, to commit to unity going forward. >> well, i hope that's what we take. i think that's why you've seen such an outpouring. i hope that this tells us that america is longing for those kind of politics again where we respect each other, where we see the humanity in our opponents. if john mccain can forgive his captors, his tormentors in north vietnam, then certainly we can forgive each other for petty offenses. so i hope that that's what we take from this week. >> for more i'm joined by illinois senator dick durbin. senator, thank you so much for being patient and waiting as we were listening to the words of jesse jackson. you know, there is so much love in detroit, there's so much love in washington and around this country for these folks. i think that jeff flake said it very well. there seems to be a longing in
this country for the kind of politics that senator mccain practiced. what do you take away from what you've watched over the past several days? >> you know, i think there's a strong appetite across the united states of america for us to change the way we see business being done in washington. jeff flake is my friend. he and john mccain and i along with lindsey graham and marco rubio sat down with chuck schumer and bob menendez and michael bennett, the eight of us, four democrats, four republicans, spent a year working together on a bill for comprehensive immigration reform. at the end of the day there were people unhappy on both sides but we did our best and it passed the senate with 68 votes. it's an indication when john mccain is the leader, when he brings us together, things happen. now he's gone. will someone step up? i think they will. someone will step up in his memory and try to bring leadership again to solve the problems that we face. >> you know, i hope you're
right. i do, though, want to ask you more broadly, senator, there's been a lot of criticism in the past several days of the president, his slowness in issuing a statement honoring senator mccain, that he had to be pushed to again lower the flag over at the white house. even his staff told nbc we are doing what we can to be respectful this weekend, but we can't stop the president from tweeting off message if that's what he decides to do. lindsey graham and others have expressed this hope, that mccain's legacy will be a more bipartisan washington. i wonder, senator, realistically given the atmosphere these days, dow re do you have real hope of that happening? >> i have hope that it will happen in the senate in john's memory. i hope that it will happen in the house. i can't speak for this president or the white house. his approach to not just politics but to life is so unusual, so different than what john mccain brought to this world in the course of his life. john's sacrifice, john's willingness to step up and say
he's wrong. he used to be his own self critic so many times, saying i'm far from perfect. that kind of humility coming out of the mouth of a public servant, highly elected official, is refreshing. it reminds us that we're all human beings and all make mistakes. i can't speak for what the president's view of the world is, but let us do our part and do it right. >> one of the extraordinary things about john mccain is he was the first to say he wasn't perfect. not a lot of politicians necessarily do that, senator. he had real disagreements with people who have loved and this week have eulogized him including whether merrick garland should have been voted on for the supreme court. now it is brett kavanaugh. if you can ask you, you are on the judiciary committee, what are you expecting on tuesday? >> well, what i'm hoping for is not going to happen. i'm hoping that we get the same production of documents that reflect the background and work of brett kavanaugh that we did for every other supreme court
nominee. but for some reason this white house and the people behind it are taking a much different approach. we're going to receive about 6%, 6% of all the documents that we know are there that reflect the public life of brett kavanaugh, and only half of those will be shared with the american public. we have never had a nominee come before the senate judiciary committee with such limited background information. we know his career as a judge, it's there in writing, but there was a long career before that some three years almost that he worked in the white house at the highest level on the most important issues. we're being denied access to that information. we're being denied access to that information this wi-fi is fast.
i know! i know! i know! i know! when did brian move back in? brian's back? he doesn't get my room. he's only going to be here for like a week. like a month, tops. oh boy. wi-fi fast enough for the whole family is simple, easy, awesome. in many cultures, young men would stay with their families until their 40's.
back with the detroit funeral of aretha franklin. number one on rolling stone's 100 list of the greatest singers of all time. she sang "amazing grace" to pope francis and she made barack obama cry with one of her songs. the remarkable aretha franklin. we have two of her friends with us and i want to give them one last chance to remember their dear friend as she is being remembered in detroit. roland martin, what would you want people to know about the person you knew up close and personal? >> she was a regular person who enjoyed life and always would love to talk about fun stuff. she would always comment on i ascot so that's why i wore it to her funeral. play her music for your children and your grandchildren. look, i'm 49 years old. i listen to music from 30, 40, 50, 60 years ago. her voice will absolutely be
classic. people will be talking about her 100 years from now. it's not just about today. she leaves us a body of work that is stunning and is amazing and i say pass it on. >> yeah, more than a once in a generation artist i think as the reverend jesse jackson pointed out. marvet? >> i'm witnessing a service, a home going celebration of the queen of soul. a woman who clearly earned her rest. a woman who's orbit of influence was far and wide. i would just encourage people to walk in her fearless, courageous footsteps and also be of service, be a light, be a contributor, be someone who really sees people for who they are and finds ways to use your own life as a tool and an instrument to bring about a greater change. for me i think that just everything that she symbolizes is what we would want the world
to be reflective and the best way to honor her legacy. >> thank you very much for staying with us. thanks for everyone who has been a part of this coverage. 18 grammys, 20 number one r & b singles. she was a phenomenal pianist, a phenomenal songwriter, the one and the only, being honored by so many great singers. this is incredible the number of people who have come out here. this is fantasia taylor with a musical tribute. ♪ ♪ lord take my hand ♪ lead me home ♪ let me stand
♪ anybody, anybody, anybody, anybody ♪ ♪ jesus, jesus, jesus, jesus ♪ you've got a friend ♪ you've got a friend, you've got a friend ♪ ♪ you've got a friend, you've got a friend ♪ ♪ jesus, jesus, jesus ♪ you've got a friend ♪ you've got a friend ♪ you've got a friend in jesus ♪ yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah ♪ you've got a friend ♪ you've got a friend in jesus ♪ you've got a friend