tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC August 29, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT
if you are joining us, cindy mccain and an honor guard is being greeted by the governor, governor ducey and his wife at the arizona state capitol as john mccain's casket has arrived coming from the motor home. the honor guard there. first we are seeing mrs. mccain who has been at her husband's side day and night for all of these months since december after he left the capitol, his final vote was on december 7th. he then went back to sedona to his beloved ranch as he fought this battle with very aggressive fatal brain cancer.
the deserts he loved and the country he served and in all of our hearts, amen. >> please be seated. governor ducey, governor brewer and representative colby and senator heller and senator flake and cindy mccain and all members of the mccain family and friends. john mccain believed in america. he believed in its people, its values, and its institutions.
he came to this realization during his time as a p.o.w. in vietnam, i fell in love with my country when i was a prisoner in someone else's. as a result, he dedicated his life to serve his country. when he saw challenges to its institutions or values, he fought to prebt the protect them. his insistence of detainees be treated with american laws and values. senator mccain promote american principles of freedoms and democracy for others. and in our military campaigns to support our missions and our troops.
john had a keen eye for american interests and could spot danger adversaries a mile away. he was among the first to advocate the surge in iraq to redeem the initiative in the war there. i have been with senator mccain all around the world and i will tell you that he had better instincts of how and when and where to assert american power than any other leader that i have known. he had been to more countries than foreign leaders and had a better grasp of history than any officials including our secretary of state. one illustration that we are all familiar with, was when others were looking into vladimir putin's eyes with an eye of understanding him and reaching a accomodation with him, john, of course, said i looked into his eyes and i saw kgb.
i believe john's greatest contributions was america's national security. we must comment a little bit on arizona's interests as well. in the word that he loved his adopted state. he loved its beauty and protecting our environment and water and forests. he worked throughout his career with our native american citizens and arizona veterans. he was a big champion of our many military installations. some have disagreed with some of senator votes on policies, that should not diminish or gratitude for his service. let's return to where i began. john's love for america and arizona. he represented our values all over the world as senator from arizona and america is stronger for his fierce defense of our values. we can be proud he was our senator.
i consider it to be a great privilege to have served with john and i will miss him as a friend, and as a strong force for america in the world. >> we have all seen the grainy video, a young man in his 30s emerges from behind the folding doors of a bus. plows forward with strengths. his feet land on the ground and he limit he limbs forward towards freedom. it is john mccain and he just spent five years as a prisoner
of war shot down, ejected from thinks plane and his right leg and both arms broken. he managed miraculously to save himself from drowning in the lake in which he landed only to be captured by the north vietnamese. no one expected john mccain to make it through the night. but, as one of his fellow p.o.w.s put it, dying was not in his plan. confined to solitude, torture, this son and grandson of navy admirals repeatedly refused release until every other american brothers was released with him. of all speeches and interviews and town hall meetings that have been replayed since john mccain have left us, it is this moment more than any other can't help
but stir a spirit of patriotism deep inside every american, bringing goose bumps to your ha standing on the back of your neck. as you watch his release and learn his story, the senator's life lessons and wisdom take on a much more meaningful tcontext. >> when john mccain called on us to serve a purpose greater than one's zone then self interest. it was not a talking point designed to win the next election. it was how he actually lived his life and continued to live his life. >> it is how he wanted us to live ours. his talk of country first was not simply a slogan on a yard sign. it was what john mccain had done and demonstrated over and over
again. in the navy and through vietnam and all the way through his favorite battles on the floor of the united states senate. in 2008, he electrified minneapolis proclaiming we are americans and we never give up. we never quit. we never hide from history. we make history. >> those were not the empty words of some politicians grabbing the microphone and the spotlight for a few fleeting moments. >> men had followed john mccain into battle. we knew we can do the same. this man was trusted and tested, qualities increasingly short supply. we sometimes think that politics is life and death.
but, john mccain knew better because he actually seen death. and dying and strategy, make no mistakes, he fought like hell for the causes he believed in. he plowed through election after election with the energy of focus of a warrior. he did it with humor and humanity. without compromising the principles he held so dear. i rather lose an election then lose a war. we knew he was telling us the truth. that way john mccain was more about politics. he brought us above politics. john is probably the only politician who could get us to set aside politics and come together as a state and a nation as we have.
>> like many of us here in arizona, john mccain was from some where else. his spirit, service and fierce and independence ultimately helped save the state which became -- john mccain delivered the eulogy at barry goldwater's funeral. he was born in arizona, john mccain was arizona's favorite, adopted son. nearly 45 years old when he moved to arizona, this is the first place he said where he truly found a connection. arizona has enchanted and claimed me, he wrote. i love it so much and i am so grateful for the privilege of
representing the state and its people. but, in reality we were the ones who were privileged, privileged to have john mccain fighting for us. privileged to lerarn from him ad privileged when he was back home to run into him at the movies or at a ball game or starbucks. just like he was anyone of us, privileged to proudly call him a fellow arizonian. to the rest of the world, john mccain was arizona. when all of us traveled and told people we were from arizona, people knew two big things about it. john mccain and the grand canyon. imagining arizona without john mccain is like pictures an arizona without the grand canyon.
it is not match rnatural. to the woman who brought john mccain to arizona, cindy, thank you. >> the hearts and prayers not only angela and i but the entire nation are with you and your family at this moment. always known for your elegance and compassion, those qualities have been displayed this past year. you are a model for us an an inspiration. >> arizona loves you, cindy mccain. to the woman that brought john mccain into this world, roberta, mrs. mccain, 106 years young. you raised a remarkable son and we are truly blessed that you are among us still. when we look to you, there is no doubt where mccain inherited this resilience. it was built into his dna.
you see it in john's children who carried on a thirty of service, doug, andy and megan and jack and cindy and bridget. may god bless you and keep all of you. your father was very proud and so is the state of arizona. >> in may, angela and i had the great honor of visiting with john and cindy at their cabin. before lunch, the senator broke the ice by sharing what was weighing on his mind oemost of all. breaking into a signature grin, he said, my biggest challenge is deciding whether or not to run for reelection for 2022. dying has been aboobserved 50 ys earlier was not in his plan. >> john mccain was a fighter and
he called on us to fight with him for american values and for the idea and characters of the free people. for justice and opportunity for all. for each other and this blessed and bountiful country. none of us were ready for this. john mccain said of americans, we never surrender. while we grieve today as a state and as a nation, john mccain's fight for america is not over. it is a fight all americans are obligated to continue on his behalf and as we march forward with the courage and resolved, he demanded, may we take comfort in knowing of that fight, john mccain will always have our
we are gathered here today to honor the life of john mccain. we are grateful for his life and sacrifice. gathered in this spot, we are especially grateful that john made arizona his home. more than seven millions of thiour children have done like wise and all of them. all of us are grateful for john's able representations over these many years. we ask to be with john's sweet family who have sacrificed so much for so long in sharing their loving husband and father with us for these many years.
send the comforter that they may be reminded that joy comes in the morning. now as we go forward, let us remember thy humble servant with gladness and cheerfulness to answer his call to summon the better angels of nature, to see and appreciate the humanity and our opponents to more freely forgive so that we may be for given. of this we pray in the name of jesus christ, amen. >> please stand. we have thank god for the blessing that john mccain is and continues to be for us.
>> you have been watching a solemn service of the state capitol of arizona, tributes from senator flake, the family, cindy mccain, heading down to the casket. megan is sobbing and the other children, jack and jimmy and the other adult children at first married he had been toddler and could barely remember their father after he returned home after five and a half years of captivity. this is the beginning of the commemoration, private and solemn for the family. the public will be permitted in and i am here with you jean robinson, craig melvin is in new york. we have been watching this service, craig, this is just the beginning of the tributes.
it is with such solemn, honorable and respect that we honor this statesman who's going to be commemorated in the coming days as a fo former presidents. president obama and president clinton will be giving their eulo eulogy. >> craig. >> it was a fitting and touching tribute indeed there in the state capitol in phoenix, arizona, senator john mccain just in the last 40 years, only two other individuals have laid.
>> craig melvin is here in new york as we continue to watch this final farewell of john mccain, an honest to god an american hero, arizona politician, fighting spirit, applauding a service to country. andrea mitchell is going to standby with me and so as kelly o'donell, nbc news correspondent covering mccain's campaign and so as our former mccain's adviser, he has been advising
the family for a number of years, aldofo as you are watching and listening to the service ear service here in phoenix, what are you thinking? >> well, i was thinking, of course, it is senator mccain, in some strange way how he would appreciate and think this tribute in a sense of not deserved because he was always putting the country in public service first. that way it is -- it is different than i have been watching for a long time. he's different than anyone i have known. i was thinking about him and he would be looking at this as how this would be an opportunity to bring the country together and unify the country and not about himself. those are things he repeated often in any of his speeches and addresses and it was heartfelt about being part of the cause greater than one self. that was a theme of his for many, many years of the
principles he lived by. i was struck by the family and the children, cindy's children, particularly, jack and jimmy and following the family's tradition of military service and how much they looked up to him. i remembered them at the convention ten years ago and they were much younger how they saw him and wanted to emulate him and i think he would be proud to see them in uniform and they're following that tradition of service and of course you see megan mccain following in her own right and not a military service but public service through her interest and policy and being a commentator, i think he's proud of the two families he has built and i think everyone saw how heartfelt and emotional and what a rock he was to his children. >> jack mccain there, it was
difficult not to recognize just how much of a spinning image he is, of his father, he was there in the white uniform, it is like looking at a young john mccain. >> that's true. >> kelly o'donell, our colleague, peter alexander this morning on the "today" show noted that only john mccain would be able to probably orchestrate a service like this on his 82nd birthday. only john mccain able to pull something like this off. walk me through and walk us through what happens next, what are we looking here the next three hours and next few days as we remember john mccain. >>. >> reporter: your conversation is right on because john mccain would say this is far too much for him. there was a birthday celebration planned, sadly not to be,
marking the one year of his diagnoses and some close to him seemed it was awkward and they wanted to celebrate he had beaten an important milestone of surviving one year of brain cancer and not many more weeks followed after that. today what we expect here in arizona as you see people who have known john mccain and worked with him and part of the extended team mccain who were invited to be apart of this private portion of the ceremony. people who have had connections and that's why you see such real emotions from people here. the doors will open and the public who has certainly, a broad vivid connection to john mccain as well and people who are themselves. veterans and felt that powerful proer hood for those who admired his service and fellow fans of all the arizona sports teams and of course the navy, he was never
one not to be wearing a navy cap. a huge sport enthusist, he sort of told me in the ooerevening, does not want to watch news so sports was his refuge and it was captured at the cameras of sporting events here. the public has many ways being connected to john mccain. he was an imperfect person and he made mistakes and he owned up to those mistakes and he attracted a great deal of criticisms at times. a lot of respect as well, colleagues of ours, we were moving between point a and point b here, craig, yesterday we came across a couple of gentlemen who had big signs at a street corner that says "honk for john mccain." they were inspiring drivers and there were a lot of honking as we were standing there. there are different ways as we
express their respect and appreciation. we have seen a number of people not associated with covering this event as we are. citizens who have come here and veterans group who have come here wanting to see the ceremony that honors john mccain. i am also struck by as you were talking about jack, the helicopter pilot. jack was notified of his father passing just like any service members would be when there is a death in the family. he was not at his father's site when he passed. he was deployed in afghanistan. that's probably why there is a delay in terms of the time line to allow jack to get home to be with his family. jimmy mccain is a sergeant of the arizona national guard and previously had been enlisted in the marine and deployed to iraq during the gulf war.
there is deep current, army and military service, daughter-in-law, jack's wife is an air force service, she's the mother of john cindy's mccain the v. she will be at the family events later in the week. it is a time when people are in all different ways whether it is recalling funny stories or admiring his work, we met people who were frustrated with politics but said he served his country. tomorrow is the formal church service where joe biden and 2008 rivals will be among those to give yul eulogieeulogies. this was a scene outside the capitol a short time ago. you are watching members of the national guards carrying the casket of senator mccain into the capitol there.
his body will be laid in repost. again, this was the scene just a few moments ago and you saw cindy mccain there behind the casket and her two sons as well. eugene robinson is with me. i want to pick up something that andrea mentioned and we heard from a number of folks over the past few days, president obama and president george w. bush giving the eulogy at the national cathedral. we know that john mccain and his wife, dcindy, and instrumental and orchestrating a lot of this and planning out the services that we'll be watching covering the next few days. eugene, what does it say to you that it was so important for senator mccain to have two of his most bitter political rivals
to speak at his funeral? >> i think it is a statement, craig. >> it is a statement about the way in certainly in john mccain's view, our political system ought to work that we ought to be able to have strong, sometimes fierce ideological disagreements and disagreeing on policies and somebody has to win or lose in a race. we can go through all that and yet recognize what we have in common and we can go through those disagreements and those victories and defeats. keeping in mind that the fellow humanity of our opponents and their values and their worth to the american enterprise. i think that was mccain's view
and now john mccain kind o of -- he could get on and if you get on his wrong side, you are on his wrong side. there was apart of him that i think really embraced the worth of the whole certainly ideolo ideological spectrum and came out, personal respect for george w. bush and barack obama basically the two men who denied him the presidency. he didn't get it because of them yet. he felt this sort of fellowship in a common enterprise with both of them and came out respecting both of them and that's what -- >> according to peter alexander who has been there in phoenix for a number of days now covering all of these. the calls to president obama and
president bush came out of the blue. they have not expected to hear from senator mccain back in april when he called them and asked them personally to speak his funeral. andrea, i want to talk about something. as we look at cindy mccain here. we have only seen her once before the service today. they're in front of the funeral home. this idea that cindy mccain maybe remotely interested in becoming a senator from arizona, what do you make of that? >> is that something that's a remote possibility or is that just wish full thinking on the part of some? >> well, there is a tradition that goes far back where spouses, mostly widows will take the seat of their departed husbands and fill out their term. it was an old tradition. it used to happen more often and now it is competitive.
she has been a public figure and has had a public life and certainly has the qualifications. she was appointed within the last couple of years in the state department until her husband became so ill. she has been not only a fi philanthropist but an ak vctivi and refugees and going around the world and helping children. she has had an active role. >> she acknowledged a time she had over independence on spoken drugs. the right now the politics in arizona are toxic. as jeff flake have said candidly where he is stepping down from his seat, it is now the donald trump's party. we saw that in the primary last night on the republican side to very, very strong trump supporters, kelli ward and joe
arpa arpaio. she is a former fighter pilot herself and a military woman and a current congresswoman is going to be the republican nominee in that race. it may be difficult for the governor who has disappointment to appoint cindy mccain because under arizona laws, the special election to replace senator mccain will not take place until 2020. that means for the next year and a half whoever is appointed to that seat will be voting on big issues, potentially not only supreme court justices but also decisions involving the president of the united states and the mueller problem. it is likely that there is going to be a lot of white house pressure not to have cindy mccain to take that seat to have someone that's reliably trump's
vote in the u.s. senate. >> it is going to restore the majority of the republicans to 51 votes since john mccain have not been voting since december of last year. it has been a narrow majority and that will certainly with the nomination of brett kavanaugh making it necessary to have not just the murkowski and the susan colli collins votes. with a lot of close votes coming up, it will be a lot of pressure to governor ducey not to give the honor to cindy mccain. >> kelly, o'donnel there on the ground there for us in phoenix. kelly has been around this family for about a number of years covering the senator, of course, before and after the presidential bid back in 2008. kelly, i will pose the same
question to you, based on the conversations you had with folks on the ground there. the likelihood that it happens and is that a job that cindy mccain would be interested in? >> reporter: well, i had a lot of conversations on this topic and some of the people we engaged on this have acknowledged a surprise of how much there is within arizona and in this time and moment of this discussion. i spoke to the governor extensively and he was very clear with me that he wanted all the focus to remain on john mccain this week, calling him irreplaceable and describing the heavy responsibilities that he takes in making this appointment and knowing what it means as apart of the mccain legacy and what it means for the people of arizona and what it means for the political climate that andrea was just very smartly analyzing. it is hot in every way in phoenix and politically, it certainly is. why is there this push? in some ways, it is because
certainly people from a broadly team mccain would see cindy as someone who would for the remaining period between now and 2020, the senator's term would have extended to 2022 had he lived. it is just the next couple of years that could continue some of his work and whine it down in an official way. cindy mccain i am told have heard this conversation and is taking it in and the family does not want to engage one way or another but what i have been told by a number of people close to her that she has every intention of being a visible public person speaking on the issues that matter to her husband john. >> human rights continuing her own issues of human trafficking and charity for children around the world and she has worked on a range of charities but in recent years picking up some of the mantle of what we see john mccain do speaking on behalf of
the disdance around the world. cindy mccain has traveled to many places and she has a body of work that she has been doing for years and years. it has relevance of the modern world of today's politics of the security front. whether he's named or not, expect her to take a visual role and you will see a lot of cindy mccain carrying on the institute. so whether if it is possible as andrea noted, there is a history for it and whether she gets the seat or not, expect cindy mccain to be talking about the same kind of things that john mccain have been talking about. >> kelly, thank you. residents and military and medal
of honor, colonel jacob is with us today. john mccain being a navy admiral and the grandson of a navy man as well and you see so many of his offsprings there have decided to dedicated their lives to military service. i know that you knew the senator, the mit telitary man h was. who is the john mccain that we don't know, colonel jacobson. there is so much that we have heard. has there been something that we don't know? >> he has been a public person for a long period of time. it is difficult to envision of what is not known about mccain. one of the things that's often glossed over is the fa ct that e had a right and sense of humor.
he can give zingers back better than just anybody. i don't think his performance on "saturday night live" is not all that good but if you were to leave to his own devices, he'll fire it up. this is an old saw but he used it all the time. he use tod to campaign for peop and coming into some fundraiser and a small get together with people who were fairly well healed and he said i got some good news. there is enough money to reelect me to the senate. you can hear this. >> you can hear the thick sigh of relief. it is only near pocket. he had a great sense of humor. i told this to andrea the other day, i had lunch with him some years ago with some other people, i told them that he didn't take any offense, i hope
that he looked a lot charlie chapm chapman. he took the beat and he said yeah, i guess i do but i am a lot funnier than he was. the things that most people don't get because serious and wn the issues. >> yeah. >> and was such -- he really was a mountain of a man intellectually, despite his low finish in his class at the naval academy. never forget he had a great sense of humor. >> colonel jack, thank you so much. on this, what would have been his 82nd birthday, senator john mccain now lying in state there in his beloved arizona. the state capitol there in phoenix. his wife cindy paying her final respects. chair, new lapto p, 24/7 tech support. yep, thanks guys. i think he might need some support. yes. start them off right, with the school supplies they need at low prices all summer long. now save $150 on this dell notebook at office depot officemax.
how much more does congress need to see? donald trump has now been implicated in two felony crimes, and he's all but confessed to them on fox news. no one is above the law, so we have to make sure this president doesn't use pardons to cover up crimes. if you agree that a president should not be allowed to pardon himself or his associates, join us at needtoimpeach.com. the washington establishment doesn't have the courage to act, but the american people can.
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milbank. manafort's lawyers saying they want this change of venue for the next trial, saying the president's tweets making things worse. do they have an argument, dana milbank? >> i suppose so. where are they going to go? i believe the president's 50 million twitter followers are located in places outside of the 202 area code. i mean, look, the guy has already had one trial, was found guilty on eight counts there. that is the same media market as this. of course, it's a national media market. i suspect there may be some jockeying going on right now, some maneuvering behind the scenes. it got a week delay yesterday. there may be attempts to buy more time here, potentially give manafort time to negotiate with prosecutors. >> tim, white house counsel desantis odon
mcgahn out. the president tweeted white house counsel don mcgahn will be leaving his position in the fall, shortly after the confirmation of judge kavanaugh to the supreme court. we found out according to "the washington post" that mcgahn apparently was a bit taken by surprise that the president tweeted this out, didn't know that was how it was going to go down. normal departure, or should we reading is more into it? >> nothing is normal in the trump white house. but leaving after two years is a fairly normal thing to do. you look over any presidency, you see disappearances like that. i think obama lost greg craig even quicker than that over other issues, the white house counsel. what mcgahn really is somebody that all americans, whether you are #resistance type, a never trumper, trump fan, should be glad. he is a real grown-up, a real lawyer in the white house trying
to keep trump on the straight and narrow, and we just got to hope somebody else -- there are lots of other republicans lawyers like that who think their job in the white house would be to save trump from hisself -- himself. >> i want to get your take on something else making news here the last few hours around desantis, the republican nominee in florida. got into a bit of trouble for saying this on fox news this morning. take a listen. >> he is an articulate spokesman for those far left views. i watched those democratic debates. none of that was my cup of tea. he performed better than the other people there. the last thing we need to do is to "monkey this up" by trying to embrace a socialists agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state. >> his campaign issued a statement saying, quote, ron desantis was obviously talking about florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the
socialists policies that andrew gillum espouses. to characterize it as anything else is absurd. went on to say that the democratic nominee was articulate. stopped short of saying he speaks so well. i think for a lot of folks familiar with dog whistles, it sure did sound like one, or are we hypersensitive to language like that? >> yeah. you know what, craig? i suppose everybody may get a mulligan in this sort of thing. what we have seen with trump is that it happens over and over again, and i suspect if ron desantis really is the trump clone, that he has made himself to be, this wasn't a one-off and we'll be seeing more of these. >> tim, slip of the tongue? poorly chosen words or more to it than that? >> poorly chosen words, and i do think the idea of a mulligan is right. if somebody goes back and digs
up comments like this, that's one thing. but to use some bad -- poorly chosen words in there, i think that it is hypersensitive, it is the standard play of the sort of opposition al media to try to turn every word by a republican into racist. i heard that antifa was racist. that was said on cnn recently. everything a republican says is racist. i think it's ridiculous. >> i wouldn't know what they are saying over there, tim. i only watch this network. thank you. >> i just read about it. i didn't watch it. >> okay. that's acceptable. tim, thank you. mr. million bank, always good to have you as well, sir. >> thanks, craig. >> that is going to do it for this hour of "msnbc live." i will see you tomorrow morning on "today." katy tur is standing by. >> i think the point is thatting in happens in a vacuum and the language we have heard from the president and from some of his supporters for the past three years has gone in a certain direction, which is why maybe people would not be willing to
give mr. desantis a mulligan in this circumstance. interesting. we will have more on that later. thank you very much. 2:00 p.m. in the east and 11:00 a.m. in phoenix where today family, friends, and arizona constituents have gathered to pay their final respects to the man they call the maverick. john mccain now lies in state at the arizona capitol. he is the only individual, only the third individual to be bestowed that honor in the past 40 years, and it is fitting that it would be today on what would have been the late senator's 82nd birthday. last hour a ceremony in phoenix marks the first of five days scheduled to honor the man who was a decorated war veteran and a prisoner of war and whose congressional career spanned well over three decades. i have a team of reporters and analysts with me to remember the life and legacy of john mccain, an american hero. let's get to