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THE SITUATION ROOM
Trump Delivers Fourth of July Speech; Earthquake Strikes California; Trump Speaking at Fourth of July "Salute to America". Aired 6-7p ET
Aired July 4, 2019 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world.
This is a SITUATION ROOM special report. Wolf Blitzer is off. I'm Brianna Keilar.
And we're following breaking news on the biggest earthquake to hit Southern California in two decades. This was a 6.4 quake. It struck about 150 miles north of Los Angeles. It's still unleashing aftershocks tonight, dozens and dozens of them, that could last for weeks.
A state of emergency was just declared in the town near the quake's epicenter, and emergency workers are responding to injuries, fires. There's rockslides, cracked roads and downed power lines.
Also breaking, we are standing by for President Trump's remarks at his controversial Fourth of July celebration. We are told he's still expected to speak this hour, despite concerns about bad weather causing delays.
And our correspondents and analysts are standing by for this as we cover all of our breaking news this hour.
First to CNN's Nick Watt. He is near the quake epicenter in Ridgecrest.
What are you seeing there, Nick?
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, this is the town that bore the brunt of this quake, as you mentioned, the biggest earthquake to hit Southern California in 20 years, but its location is key.
It's out here in the Mojave Desert. It's not too close to Los Angeles. So, this town, Ridgecrest, bore the brunt. The damage here, some downed power lines, some cracks in roads, some cracks in building, a couple of fires, as you mentioned.
But the authorities here seem pretty confident that they are on top of it for now. This is the hospital behind me, probably the tallest building in this town. They did evacuate this hospital just to check for damage, and a few patients have been taken down to Bakersfield. But, frankly, Brianna, right now, the bigger issue is the threat of
aftershocks, or possibly even a bigger quake than the 6.4 that was felt this morning. There have been dozens, more than 100 aftershocks since that quake this morning, some of them over 4.0, and we're told by seismologists at Caltech there is an 80 percent chance that we will get an aftershock greater than 5.
So that is the concern here right now. And, of course, this quake was felt as far away as Vegas, as far away as Los Angeles, and 150 miles or so down there in Los Angeles, there was a bit of panic, I have got to say, and there were lots of photos on social media of swinging chandeliers and people saying, why didn't this app that we have that's supposed to warn it, why didn't it work?
Well, it did work. It's just that the quake was only a 4.5. That's what they felt in L.A. And that app was only triggered at 5. But, interestingly, they have already tweaked that app, lowered the threshold, so Angelenos will get warning in the future of a quake like this.
But at the moment, Brianna, authorities here pretty confident they are on top of the situation. As I say, the issue are these aftershocks, which could go on for weeks, which could be big, which could be damaging -- Brianna.
KEILAR: All right, Nick Watt, thank you so much for that from Ridgecrest, California.
And I want to bring in CNN meteorologist Tom Sater now.
You have been tracking all of the quakes and the aftershocks. I mean, it's hard to keep up with them, Tom, so what's the risk of more?
TOM SATER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It is.
Well, they're going to happen. This is not unprecedented, but it's extremely unusual; 45 minutes ago, we had a count of 85 aftershocks, and now we have got over 150. What's the threshold? Typically, it's a 2.5 or higher. So, they may be counting 2.0s.
But it tells us there is still a lot of energy that's trying to be released. Let's talk about this, 6.4 and only five miles in depth. That's extremely shallow. Covering these around the world, it seems like every month, most of these that are this size are hundreds of miles deep into the surface.
It happened at 10:33, but at 10:05, there was a 4.0. That's the foreshock. This is the earthquake. Now, this is the strongest earthquake to hit Southern California since 1999 in the town of Ludlow, California. That was a 7.1.
But if you get in and around the Ridgecrest area, the last time that you had one within 30 miles was in 1995, and that was a 5.8. So this is stronger. Here's the shake map. It's hard to see these colors, so I will break it down for you. Ridgecrest is right here. Very strong shaking, 42,000. That's the town, Ridgecrest, just over
30,000, some smaller communities around it. So very strong shaking. Thank goodness no one felt severe, violent or extreme.
Now, you come up a little bit to light shaking, 21 million people felt that. That's L.A. You get another two million that felt weak shaking. That's over toward Las Vegas, but it was a different type. It was a rolling kind of wave, they call it. It's a low frequency, so they travel farther from the epicenter.
Here are all the fault lines in California. I mean, it's hard to see them, there are so many of them. This is the San Andreas. It's the one line that stays together down through the whole region. This is not along the San Andreas Fault.
Going a bit, you will see where Ridgecrest is. This was a network of smaller faults, much like we see in some of the mountainous areas of Central Italy, which, by the way, when they have quakes, we seen numerous aftershocks. So that does occur.
So let's break this down on when you originally have a 6.4. Yes, you can expect at least one to be 5.4 or higher. According to the USGS, I will even read it for you, the chance of a 5.0 or higher is 80 percent, as we heard early in that report.
But we have seen numerous -- numerous -- you can have 10 that are 4.4 or higher. We have had a 4.5, we have had two 4.6. You can feel that. There's no doubt about it. But we can have 100 of them that are at least 3.4 -- 2.4 or higher, you could have 1,000.
This could go on for weeks. Let me show you what we're watching right now. And this is the interesting point, Brianna. All of the yellow dots -- again, I know this is hard. We're going to zoom in here. These are all tremors and small quakes in the last week.
The concern has been the last two-and-a-half to three weeks that there's been these swarms in California. And many are wondering, what's going on? Could this lead to something else? These again are all today. Everything you see here, the larger the circle, the stronger the quake. Here's our main quake.
This is Ridgecrest over here, again, 30,000. We have been watching the aftershocks build in two regions, one going to the northwest, but this one's concerning because they're getting more numerous closer to Ridgecrest.
So any buildings that are compromised with stress fractures or what have you could go further if we had that 5.4. This tells us, according to Dr. Lucy Jones, the seismologist who was on with us earlier, this is two faults. Fault lines do not turn corners. So you're seeing more activity, not just to the northwest, but it's sliding more to the town.
She also went on to say we will be able to tell much more about this earthquake by visually getting an observation of that fault line. Did the energy pierce the surface, where you will be able to see the ground coming apart? This is what we call a strike slip earthquake. It's not a vertical drop.
This is a horizontal slip in the motion. Now, to go on about our aftershock, and we talked about this in the last hour, the chance of having a 6.0 or higher is 20 percent. I mentioned the last hour, covering those around the world, it does happen sometimes where you might have some activity which is a little stronger than the original one.
So I'm going to move on, one more from the USGS now. This is some of their tweets putting out, the possibility of getting one at 6.4 or stronger is only 9 percent. So we can least rest assured that, most likely, when you look at the probability, it's quite low.
But the 80 percent chance, at least one, as Dr. Lucy said as well, Lucy Jones, to get that 5.0, most likely will happen in the next 24 hours. But this activity could go on not just for days. We have seen it around the world when you have a magnitude quake like this. It could go on for weeks and even months. Hopefully, that is not the case, because the nerves are just unraveling left and right here.
The good news is no fatalities. But will we continue to see this activity? Most likely, we will, but they will tail off -- trail off over time in the next couple of days -- Brianna.
KEILAR: All right, Tom Sater, thank you so much for walking us through all of this. It has just been so helpful.
KEILAR: And now to President Trump's Fourth of July Salute to America. Bad weather has cast a cloud over the event, but we are told that Mr. Trump still plans to deliver his speech this hour.
I want to go to CNN White House chief correspondent Jim Acosta.
Tell us what you're learning about his remarks and also the status now that it's slick?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brianna, we should point out over here at the White House, which is not too far from where the president will deliver those remarks shortly, it is raining once again over here. And that was part of the problem earlier in the afternoon.
There was a delay announcement put out over the loudspeakers down there on the National Mall in that Lincoln Memorial area where the VIPs are gathered for the president's remarks. We understand that it's possible the president will be on time.
They're trying to tighten things up, so he will be on time and speak at around 6:30. And as you can see in this video right now, there are people starting to gather. And there's a fairly decent-sized crowd gathered in front of those monitors that were set up, these rally- style monitors that were set up for the president's remarks.
Now, one thing I should point out, talking about this crowd size down there, there was a concern inside the West Wing as of just yesterday, I'm told by a source close to the White House, that there would not be enough people down on the National Mall for the president's remarks.
And according to this source, that concern -- quote -- "ran deep." This source went on to say that there was even some hope inside the West Wing that perhaps there would be some bad weather, so they would have an excuse for why the crowd size might not be very big.
And so now we're watching some of this unfold as the rain is coming down in Washington. And the president,from what we understand, is expected to speak.
You mentioned a few moments ago, Brianna, that the president is planning to deliver some remarks. We have received some excerpts of those remarks. They don't appear to be overly partisan or political at this point.
But one of the questions always with this president is whether or not he sticks to the script, stays on the teleprompters, and delivers essentially what his speechwriters wrote for him, or does he veer off and get into some political territory that is going to raise some concern that this has become a militarized, politicized July 4 celebration down on the National Mall?
One other quick thing we want to mention, Brianna, because you were just talking about the earthquake out in California, the president was briefed on all of that. And the president did put out a tweet earlier this afternoon saying that everything appears to be under control in California after that earthquake out there -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Jim Acosta, thank you so much.
ACOSTA: You bet.
KEILAR: I want to look now at a tweet that is just out from President Trump. It's actually brand-new, so let's put it on the screen here.
It says: "Weather looking good, clearing rapidly and temperatures going down fast. See you in 45 minutes, 6:30 to 7:00 p.m., at Lincoln Memorial."
OK, so this was supposed to get under way here about half past the hour. Looks like it may slide, but not too much, according to the president himself, making logistical announcements, which is very helpful as we follow this, this evening.
I do want to go to the National Mall now, though, right now, and CNN White House correspondent Abby Phillip.
You're down there. The president -- it sounds like the president is expected to speak soon, he told us. All right, we were going to fix Abby's mic here, because we're getting camera mic right now. We're going to track her. We're going to go ahead and track her mic, so that we can get her back.
I do want to go to CNN's Tom Foreman, though. He's mingling with the crowds.
You are waiting for the celebration to begin along with those crowds, Tom. And we're told that there are some concerns within the White House about the crowd size. Tell us what you're seeing.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you look from where I'm standing here, Brianna, straight down the Mall toward the Lincoln, you can see what looks like as we push the shot in a lot of people filling in there.
But I have to tell you what you saw in the foreground here, all that green space, that goes all the way up to the water at least. So, yes, as a compressed shot, it looks like a lot of people here. It is not certainly an overwhelming crowd.
There's plenty of room for anybody who want wants to come join it at the last moment here. At the same time, I will point out that there are people here who are here to support the president, very strongly so, other people not so much.
You can look over here to this side. You can see the baby Trump balloon, which was deflated a while ago in worries about this weather. It has now been reinflated and pushed up, so that it can address the crowd out here, look out of the crowd out here during the president's speech.
It will not be flying over the crowd, we understand, but simply a static display there. But, Brianna, I think, yes, if the White House is worried about the size of the crowd here, we have no way of really counting them right now. But I can understand why they're concerned, because this is far from standing room only -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Yes, that's my kind of event, not too crowded. I don't think that that is President Trump's kind of event. Tom Foreman on the Mall, thank you so much.
I want to bring in our analysts.
OK, so first things first, we're looking here at attendance. Attendance is a big deal to President Trump. He's -- look, he's competing with rain. He's competing with some folks who think this is not the way that he should be doing this.
You are among them, John Kirby.
Tell us a little bit about what you're watching for, what you're concerned for, even if the president sticks to script.
JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: What I'm watching for is a speech that is completely nonpartisan and apolitical. This is -- this should be a unifying holiday. It's about all Americans and about the day we declared independence, not won it, so it shouldn't be overly partisan.
I'm not -- I'm not hopeful that it won't be overly militaristic, I think because he's got this flyover. And we're being told that he's going to sort of mention each service. And I just think that's inappropriate on a day like today. This isn't about the military. We have other holidays to celebrate the troops. This shouldn't be one of them.
So, even if he still sticks on script, I'm still concerned that he's going to further politicize the military and the military leaders that are going to have to be or expected to be up there on the stage with him as their aircraft fly over.
KEILAR: He likes, Ryan, making this about the military. He likes borrowing that imagery.
So, for him, this is something we have seen before. This is his preference. He enjoys this.
RYAN LIZZA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Other politicians before Trump have liked to sort -- sort of dine off the imagery of the military.
In our country right now, most institutions are suffering from low popularity, the media, politicians. The military is one of the institutions that remains popular. Trump, who has never served, I think is like a lot of politicians who have never served, and like the sort of glow of this popular institution.
And as someone who doesn't really understand or know the history of sort of the norms associated with a president and politicizing the military -- there is no evidence that he understands that history -- he's probably very willing to blow past all the boundaries that someone who served knows about and respects and cares about a lot.
There's been a lot of commentary about this. So maybe he's been educated on what is the proper role for a commander in chief at an event like this.
KEILAR: And the president just said, I will see you 6:30 to 7:00, weather is clearing up.
We just saw images. Here we see the vice president, Mike Pence, the second lady, Karen Pence. This is a sign that things are maybe about to get under way here.
But tell us, Kate, who we are going to see at this event, who we may not see.
KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the first lady is going to be there with the president. She's confirmed to attend. So she will be there. The other adult Trump children we saw so much of -- there's Ivanka
Trump, of course, was in the news last week for her attendance over in Asia. She will not be there, apparently, the only -- and neither will Donald Trump Jr., neither will Eric Trump.
The other Trump adult child would be Tiffany Trump. She's expected to attend. So, Tiffany, who goes to Georgetown University Law School here in Washington, is going to be there. And so will the first lady. But it's certainly not the Trump family celebration.
It just appears that this is a break for Mrs. Trump during her summer festivities. She likes to plan these things. This is a picnic typically that happens at the White House, as it has for years and years.
KEILAR: That she would be more instrumental?
BENNETT: She would be very, very involved in this, hosting military families, celebrating the holiday, having everyone on the front lawn, doing a barbecue.
The Obama years, there were giant lawn games set up on the lawn. The Reagans used to sit and have a picnic. These were all things that first families do on this occasion at the White House.
It is changing, obviously. The venue has changed, and I'm sure that it feels different. And it's a much bigger spectacle. And my reporting showed that the first lady was not as involved, if at all, in this event.
KEILAR: That is an interesting point. I hadn't thought about that.
All right, all of you stay with me. And we have much more panel, folks you don't even see at this point in time, to break this down with us.
We're going to continue to follow the president's Salute to America. We will be back in just a moment.
KEILAR: All right. We're watching the president's salute to America, his July 4 extravaganza.
And let's get now to Abby Phillip. She is down there on the National Mall.
And you can tell us some of what he's expected to say as we wonder whether he's going to stick to script. Tell us, Abby.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Brianna.
Just a couple minutes ago, we saw actually here at this event President Trump walking out of the White House with first lady Melania Trump. And, as the music is playing, the crowd is cheering. This has a very much -- it does have a rally feel.
Folks here in this VIP section are the president's political allies. Many of them, some of them are also U.S. service members. But you're seeing a lot of people in "Make America Great Again" hats and T-shirts and memorabilia.
Just a couple of minutes ago also, Vice President Mike Pence came in to the rally as well and got an extended applause from this crowd. But, as you mentioned, we have a little bit of a sense of what President Trump is going to say in the speech.
And let me just read you a few of the excerpts. He's going to say that: "We come together as one nation with this very special salute to America. We celebrate our history, our people and the heroes who proudly defend our flag and brave men and women of the U.S. military. We are part of one of the greatest stories ever told in the history of America. As long as we stay true to our cause and as long as we remember our great history, as long as we never stop fighting for a better future, then there will be nothing that America can't do."
As you can see in those excerpts, this is what the White House has been trying to say, that the president was going to try to strike a bipartisan tone, appealing to Americans' sense of patriotism with this event.
But, as we reed these excerpts and await the president's remarks, we are always going to be wondering, will the president stay and stick to the script? He is known to depart from his prepared remarks at events like this.
And he's also going to be focusing quite a bit on the military. A big part of even doing this event, in the president's mind, was to highlight the role of the American military, highlight some of the hardware. You can see -- you may be able to see these tanks sitting right behind me just feet away from the stage.
So this is an unusual event, not something that we have seen very much, and it has a bit of a mixed feel of it. It is a Fourth of July event, but, as I said earlier, a lot of people here are the president's supporters. A lot of -- kind of the same kind of hats and memorabilia that you would see at a Trump rally.
So we will see what the feel is once President Trump gets on the stage. But, based on these remarks, it sounds like the White House is saying they want the president's remarks to be more unifying than partisan, as some people have accused this event of being, Brianna.
KEILAR: All right, Abby Phillip there on the Mall, thank you so much.
I want to ask Susan Hennessey.
As you were watching this, and we await the president's remarks, how important is it that he has a message of unity? SUSAN HENNESSEY, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think it is important, in
part, because, you know, this goes to core American values, values that we're actually supposed to be celebrating today, right?
That special VIP section, the idea that this looks more like a political rally than an ordinary Fourth of July celebration, all flies in the face of sort of core American values, in part because it's being paid for by the U.S. taxpayer.
And so we have seen this again and again in the Trump presidency, not just sort of his inability to separate his sort of political life and personal interests from those of his office, but also his inability to sort of be a president for all people, speak to the entire country and sort of credibly deliver that message.
You know, so we will see whether or not he sticks to the script tonight. But, certainly, everything we have seen around the selling of VIP tickets, the inclusion only of RNC donors, already, the event itself cuts pretty strongly against the values we're supposed to be celebrating today.
KEILAR: I want to get to April Ryan.
April, what do you think about that? I mean, look, we're looking at the imagery of this. The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool is -- this is beautiful, surrounded by people. This image is -- this is a wonderful image, right, just to look at on its face.
But there are a lot of critics who are saying that, when you're looking closer to that VIP section, especially up in front of the Lincoln Memorial, that you are not getting that diversity, and you're only getting people who support President Trump.
What do you think?
APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, what I think, I mean, it's the obvious.
This president wants those around him who are loyal. We have heard that before. This president wants people around him who support what he's doing, in the midst of those who are saying, this is not right.
The optics of this are about -- it's basically about what the president is doing. Even though Lincoln, you know, they say they are the party of Lincoln. The Republicans and this president are saying they are the party of Lincoln.
And Lincoln was for, I guess, bringing people together to a certain extent. He did the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves. That is a space where Dr. Martin Luther King delivered the "I Have a Dream" speech.
And in 2019 today, on the Fourth of July, you see mostly white Republican people. It's not a diverse crowd. A diverse group of people will be watching from television sets and from afar, but not in that crowd. So he's speaking to all America, but just with, I guess, the people
who are loyal to him and the Republicans that he wants there.
KEILAR: All right, April Ryan, thank you.
John Kirby, I want to ask you something, because this has been delayed. And part of the reason we may want to point that out is because there's going to be a number of flyovers that we're expecting.
KEILAR: So, looking -- I mean, it's hard to tell. I don't know where the cloud cover is at this point in time, but that's obviously going -- that's going to be a concern for the fireworks, let alone for these flyovers.
KIRBY: Sure, sure. These aircraft do have minimums in terms of weather for their ability to fly, particularly at low altitudes and low speeds, so that people can watch them.
I was a Blue Angels spokesman for five years. There's very strict guidelines for what the -- the altitude and visibility for them to be able to fly. We're just going to have to wait and see what the weather does.
I'm sure that these guys are all manned up and ready to go and probably eager to get the flyover done. It's just going to be a minute-by-minute call, given the proximity of so many thunderstorms this time of year.
KEILAR: This is -- according to a source close to the White House, David Swerdlick, they say concern ran deep that there wouldn't be enough people on the National Mall tonight. This source says they were praying for rain so that they would have any excuse for turnout issues.
What do you make of that?
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN COMMENTATOR: Well, President Trump likes spectacle. He likes pomp and circumstance. And part and parcel of that is having a big crowd here, the image that people can't bear to stay away from D.C., both the VIPs and rank-and-file folks out on the Mall.
But it's hot here today.
SWERDLICK: It's hot here today. It's raining. And D.C. is not a Trump town, at least D.C. locals.
And so you're counting on people coming in from outside of town to fill up the Mall. Like Tom said earlier in that report, he's got a decent-sized crowd, but this is not like a packed-to-the-rafters, packed-to-capacity-type situation, like he sometimes gets at his political rallies. KEILAR: OK.
We look at the Reflecting Pool. It is packed on either side.
KEILAR: Beyond that, right -- so, Tom was pointing this out -- up to the Reflecting Pool, there is a grassy area.
And I was saying, that looks great to me. That's like a day at the beach where maybe you don't necessarily hear your neighbor next to you. It's -- I don't want to say it's sparsely populated but it's comfortably populated. Is that going to be a problem for the President?
LIZZA: Look, who knows. Look, there're a lot of these things that one wouldn't think it's a problem for him seems to be a problem for him. But, look, on crowd size, I mean, you know, I've lived in D.C. 20 years. The 4th of July celebration on the Mall is -- you always get a big crowd, you know? If you want a big crowd, go to an event that historically has a huge crowd, you know? He should have showed up at the Rolling Stones concert last night. You know, if you want a big crowd, you know --
KEILAR: They played his song.
LIZZA: This is a big event. So, you know, I'm not surprised that there's a big crowd. I'm sure some people stayed away because Trump has politicized it.
KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: And there is another show that goes on on the Mall for the 4th of July.
LIZZA: This is all pre-existing.
BENNETT: Right. So, I mean, as I was driving to the studio this afternoon, there were lots of groups headed to the metros and going down, and, you know, some were sort of identifiable by what they're wearing or their hats, let's say, and some were just families headed down probably going to see John Stamos host the 4th.
LIZZA: I mean, for years, this is a nice family kind of sleepy event. I think PBS always shows the whole thing beginning to end. You know, in the Trump era, he likes to insert himself into these things.
KEILAR: April, is anyone going to be turned off the 4th of July events of not coming because of how President Trump has asserted himself into them sort of in a unique way this year?
APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You've got a lot of people who are turned off. I'm just -- I've done an unscientific poll of those who I have watched on Twitter, who I follow. You know, there are a lot of people turned off. They're turned off, one, because of the price of this that could be going to something else. They're turned off because this is politicized in their minds as they are giving tickets out to donors or people who are republicans and not to democrats.
You have people who are very concerned about what the President will say. This is something we've not seen before. People are turned off because it looks like something from a time we want to forget, dictatorships, where you have your military marching in the street with your artillery and your tanks. And that's not what we've done. We're not used to this.
So people are turned off, but they are turning on and watching a little bit to see what he's going to say or watch the news to see what he's going to say because this is so different. We have not seen this before.
This is not normal for this country on the 4th of July. We're sitting back watching fireworks, be it watching it from Washington, D.C. or New York or Baltimore, wherever we are. But this president is doing something totally different that we've never seen before. People are turned off, but they will turn on to see what he's done and what he said.
KEILAR: All right, April. Did you guys see that? Someone -- some -- this gentleman, who -- I mean, he appears to be from the White House, right, put a white ball cap underneath the podium, which would make you look -- look like a white folded up ball cap that was what I -- did you see it? Is that what you saw?
BENNETT: Maybe in case of rain or --
LIZZA: In case it rains or --
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The President wears a white Make America Great Again cap.
KEILAR: Is it -- do we know -- or is it a USA hat? What hat is he going to wear? That's going -- that's very important, right? If he is coming out, he needs to be wearing -- if he's trying to send a message, how important is it that it's a USA hat?
SWERDLICK: I mean, it should be a USA hat. It may be a USA hat. The White House probably has thought that through, that exact question you asked, Bri. I think the challenge, one challenge for the President here is that if he comes out and stays on script, he'll get better reviews from people like us.
But if he stays on script, he won't get as good reviews from his supporters who like the red meat at the campaign rallies. When he gives speeches like he gave at the D-Day anniversary or his inaugural speech, those were solid, down the middle speeches, by and large, but they didn't rev up his base the way he does when he gives these 60, 90-minute stem winders where he attacks his enemies and then talks about all his accomplishments.
KEILAR: What I find interesting is, I wonder, does he really have much to lose with his base by not throwing out the red meat, and he has something to gain by the accolades he would get for delivering a speech that is apolitical like we saw in Normandy, however, that was offset by the issue that he sat in front of the graves of all of the American heroes in Normandy, and tore through Nancy Pelosi and others, and democrats, in general. That sort of offset what he did there. How important is it not only that he sticks to the script, but that, in general, he is honoring the imagery before him?
LIZZA: You know, so much of what his political base likes about him is, you know, what people often on social media refer to as owning the libs, right?
What a lot of Trump supporters like is when he makes his opponents mad, right? So anything he can do to make his opponents mad and say, oh, why are you exploiting the military or why are you, you know, inserting yourself into July 4th festivities? That's frankly what generates a lot of excitement under -- among his most passionate supporters. And Trump is very, very good at pushing those buttons.
KEILAR: Do you think he has a lot to gain by doing that with his supporters?
LIZZA: I mean, you know, I don't think he has as much to gain, in general. I think his -- where he is in support isn't likely to change a whole lot, you know, up or down. But that's what bonds him with his most passionate supporters.
JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Can I just add, even if the speech is right down the middle, I hope -- and I think you're right, David, but I hope, in a way, you're wrong. I hope that people, critics after the speech don't fawn all over it and say, hey, he was presidential today. And, gee, isn't this like Normandy? Because, look, Brianna's opening to the show, she said something I've never seen before. She talked about it being a controversial 4th of July event. When have we ever heard the word controversial in front of 4th of July before?
And we should not forget --
SWERDLICK: And, John Kirby, I promise you that after this speech, I will not fawn over President Trump. Bri, can I just say --
KEILAR: Can we actually -- can we listen to the sound here though? Can we listen to the sound of the event? No, we can't? We can't listen to the sound of this event, okay.
SWERDLICK: Yes. Just a quick follow-up point to that. Look, I don't think this is going -- like Ryan said, I don't think we're moving poll numbers tonight either way and I don't think that people are going to remember this a year from now. We're in the thick of the general election campaign. I think the thing though is that, yes, President Trump can prove that once every quarter, he can give a speech where he sticks to the script and maybe he'll get some credit for that. But if he does stick to the script, why are we all here? We could just watch fireworks and eat hot dogs and not bother.
KEILAR: All right. I think -- are we able to listen to this now? Let's listen.
So this looks like Air Force One. We're seeing Air Force One coming in the distance over the National Mall.
All right, so President Trump is arriving here with First Lady Melania Trump. We just saw the flyover of Air Force One. And this means that the speech is going to be happening soon. So, I wonder -- I do want to ask Josh Campbell real quickly as we await this moment. You look at this scene, what is standing out to you?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, in any event when you have a large gathering of people, you'll have layers of security. This is obviously a different level of that. Whenever you have the President of the United States, I think, as we watch the speech, the most conspicuous item thus far is that large piece of anti-ballistic glass that's placed right in front of the President. And that is there, again, God forbid, if something should happen, obviously, the Secret Service leaving nothing to chance.
Now, there are things that you see. There are more things that you don't see when it comes to these major events. You'll have officers moving in and around the area, again, leaving nothing to chance for the protection of the President and those who are in attendance.
KEILAR: All right. So, again, we're watching President Trump. He has just entered the event with the First Lady. We know that his daughter, Tiffany, is in attendance and is actually, according to our Kate Bennett's great reporting, the only -- one of the only First Kids who is going to be there. Let's listen in now.
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Hello, America, hello.
The First Lady and I wish each and every one much you a happy Independence Day on this truly historic 4th of July.
Today, we come together as one nation with this very special salute to America. We celebrate our history, our people and the heroes who proudly defend our flag, the brave men and women of the United States military.
We are pleased to have with us Vice President Mike Pence and his wonderful wife, Karen.
We're also joined by many hard-working members of Congress, acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, and many other members of my cabinet, and also the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joe Dunford. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Lieutenant General Daniel Hawkinson of the National Guard and distinguished leaders representing each branch of United States Armed Forces, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, and very soon, the Space Force.
As we gather this evening in the joy of freedom, we remember that all share a truly extraordinary heritage. Together, we are part of one of the greatest stories ever told, the story of America. It is the epic tale of a great nation whose people have risked everything for what they know is right and what they know is true. It is the chronicle of brave citizens who never give up on the dream of a better and brighter future, and it is the saga of 13 separate colonies that united to form the most just and virtuous republic ever conceived.
On this day, 243 years ago, our founding fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to declare independence and defend our God-given rights.
Thomas Jefferson wrote the words that forever changed the course of humanity. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
With a single sheet of parchment and 56 signatures, America began the greatest political journey in human history. But on that day, the patriots, who would determine the ultimate success of the struggle, were 100 miles away in New York. There, the Continental Army prepared to make its stand, commanded by the beloved General, George Washington.
As the delegates debated the declaration in Philadelphia, Washington's army watched from Manhattan as a massive British invading fleet loomed dangerously across New York harbor. The British had come to crush the revolution in its infancy. Washington's message to his troops laid bare the stakes. He wrote, the fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, under courage and conduct of this army. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die.
Days later, General Washington ordered the declaration read aloud to the troops, the assembled soldiers just joined, an excited crowd running down Broadway, they toppled the statue of King George and melted it into bullets for battle. The far away king would soon learn a timeless lesson about the people of this majestic land. Americans love our freedom, and no one will ever take it away from us.
That same American spirit that emboldened our founders has kept us strong throughout our history. To this day, that spirit runs through the veins of every American patriot. It lives on in each and every one of you here today. It is the spirit daring and defiance, excellence and adventure, courage and confidence, loyalty and love that built this country into the most exceptional nation in the history of the world, and our nation is stronger today than it ever was before. It is its strongest now.
That same righteous American spirit forged our glorious constitution, that rugged American character led the legendary explorers, Lewis and Clark, on their perilous expedition across an untamed continent.
It drove others to journey west and stake out their claim on the wild frontier. Devotion to our founding ideals led American patriots to abolish the evil of slavery, secure civil rights, and expand the blessings of liberty to all Americans.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
This is the noble purpose that inspired Abraham Lincoln to rededicate our nation to a new birth of freedom and to resolve that we will always have a government of, by, and for the people.
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Our quest for greatness unleashed a culture of discovery that led Thomas Edison to imagine his light bulb, Alexander Graham Bell to create the telephone, the Wright Brothers to look to the sky and see the next great frontier. For Americans, nothing is impossible.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
Exactly 50 years ago this month, the world watched in awe as Apollo 11 astronauts launched into space with a wake of fire and nerves of steel and planted our great American flag on the face of the moon. Half a century later, we are thrilled to have here tonight the famed NASA flight director who led mission control during that historic endeavor, the renowned Gene Krantz.
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Gene, I want you to know that we're going to be back on the moon very soon, and someday soon, we will plant the American flag on Mars. It's happening, Gene, it's happening.
Our nation's creativity and genius lit up the lights of Broadway and the sound stages of Hollywood. It filled the concert halls and airwaves around the world with the sound of jazz, opera, country, rock and roll, and rhythm and blues. It gave birth to the musical, the motion picture, the Western, the World Series, the Super Bowl, the skyscraper, the suspension bridge, the assembly line and the mighty American automobile.
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It led our citizens to push the bounds of medicine and science to save the lives of millions.
Here with us this evening is Dr. Manuel Faran (ph). When Emmanuel began his work, 99 percent of children with leukemia died. Thanks largely to the Dr. Faran's treatments, currently 90 percent with those of childhood leukemias survive.
Doctor, you are a great American hero. Thank you.
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Americans always take care of each other. That love and unity held together the first pilgrims. It forged communities on the Great Plains. It inspired Clara Barton to found the Red Cross, and it keeps our
nation thriving today. Here tonight from the Florida Panhandle is Tina Belcher. Her selfless generosity over three decades has made her known to all as Mrs. Angel. Every time a hurricane strikes, Mrs. Angel turns her tiny kitchen into a disaster relief center. On a single day after Hurricane Michael, she gave 476 people a warm meal.
Mrs. Angel, your boundless heart inspires us.
[18:50:04] Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you very much.
From our earliest days, Americans of faith have uplifted our nation. This evening, we are joined by Sister Deirdre Byrne.
Sister Byrne is a retired army surgeon who served for nearly 30 years. On September 11, 2001, the sister raced to Ground Zero, through smoke and debris, she administered first aid and comfort to all. Today, Sister Byrne runs a medical clinic serving the poor in our nation's capital.
Sister, thank you for your lifetime of service. Thank you.
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Our nation has always honored the heroes who serve our communities. The firefighters, first responders, police, sheriffs, ICE, Border Patrol, and all of the brave men and women of law enforcement. On this July 4th, we pay special tribute to the military service members who laid down their lives for our nation.
We are deeply moved to be in the presence this evening of Gold Star families whose loved ones made the supreme sacrifice. Thank you. Thank you.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
Thank you. Thank you very much.
Throughout our history our country has been made ever greater by citizens who risked it all for equality and for justice. One hundred years ago this summer, the woman's suffrage movement led Congress to pass the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote.
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In 1960, a thirst justice led African-American students to sit down at the Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.
It was one of the first civil rights sit-ins and started a movement across our nation.
Clarence Henderson was 18 years old when he took his place in history. Almost six decades later, he is here tonight in a seat of honor.
Clarence, thank you for making this country a much better place for all Americans.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
In 1963, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. stood here on these very steps and called on our nation to live out the true meaning of its creed and let freedom ring for every citizen, all across our land. America's fatherless resolve has inspired heroes who defined our national character from George Washington, John Adams and Betsy Ross to Douglas -- you know, Frederick Douglass. The great Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart, Douglas McArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, Jackie Robinson and, of course, John Glenn.
It has willed our warriors up mountains and across minefields. It has liberated continents, split the atom and brought tyrants and empires to their knees.
Here with us this evening is Earl Morse. After retiring from the air force, Earl worked at a V.A. hospital in Ohio. Earl found that many World War II veterans could not afford to visit the memorial on the National Mall.
So, Earl began the very first honor flights that have now brought over 200,000 World War II heroes to visit America's monument.
[18:55:05] Earl, thank you. We salute you. Thank you.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
Thank you. Thank you, Earl. Thank you.
Our warriors from a hallowed roll call of American patriots running all the way back to the first souls who fought and won American independence. Today, just as it did 243 years ago, the future of American freedom rests on the soldiers of men and women willing to defend it. We are proudly joined by heroes from each branch of the armed forces, including three recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Thank you.
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They and thousands before us served with immense distinction and they loved every minute of that service. To young Americans across our country, now is your chance to join our military and make a truly great statement in life. And you should do it.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
We will now begin our celebration of the United States Armed Forces, honoring each branch's unique culture, rich history, service song and distinct legacy.
I invite acting secretary, please, Mark Esper, secretary of defense, and Chairman Dunford, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Please join me.
In August of 1790, by request of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, Congress established a fleet of 10 swift vessels to defend our shores. These revenue cutters would fight pirates, stop smugglers and safeguard our borders. They are the ancestors of our faithful coast guard.
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When our ships were seized and sailors kidnapped by foreign powers in 1812, it was a revenue cutter, the swift schooner Thomas Jefferson that swept in to capture the first British vessel of the war. In 1897, when 265 whalers were trapped in ice and the ice fields of Alaska were closing up, courageous officers trekked 1,500 miles through the frozen frontier to rescuer the starving men from certain death.
In 1942, the Coast Guard manned landing craft for invasions in the Pacific. When the enemy attacked U.S. Marines from the shores of Guadalcanal, Coast Guard Signalman First Class Douglas Munro used his own boat to shield his comrades from pounding gunfire.
Munro gave his life. Hundreds of marines were saved. As he lay dying on the deck, his final question embodied the devotion that sails with every coast guardsman. Did they get off?
On D-Day, the Coast Guard's Matchbox fleet served valiantly through every hour of the greatest amphibious invasion in the history of our country. One coxswain said the water boiled with bullets like a mud puddle in hailstorm. But still, the Coast Guard braved death to put our boys on Utah and Omaha beaches.
Every coast guardsman is trusted to put service before all. Coasties plunge from helicopters and barrel through pouring rain, and crashing waves to save American lives. They secure our borders from drug runners and terrorists. In rough seas, at high-speed, their sharp shooters take out smuggler engine with a single shot. They never miss when the red racing stripes of the Coast Guard vessel break the horizon, when their chopper blades pierce the sky, those in distress know that the help is on their way and our enemies know their time has come.