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Msnbc Live at 6 p.m. ET, Tuesday July 12, 2011

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Guest Host: Rev. Al Sharpton

Guests: Rep. James Clyburn, Judson Phillips, Mariah Blake, Andrew Ramirez, Bob Franken, Ernie Istook, Jamal Simmons, Ilyse Hogue, Joe Arpaio

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC GUEST ANCHOR:  The Republican leaders‘ new plan, proof that they‘re feeling the heat.  Tonight Mitch McConnell tells President Obama you can make a deal without Congress.  Folks, well, I guess that‘s better than hiding under his desk.  And the shocking undercover video that Michele Bachmann can‘t escape.  We‘ll have that story. 

Plus Texas Governor Rick Perry‘s meeting with a preacher who says Oprah is the harlot of Babylon. 

And it‘s election day in Wisconsin.  You know what that means.  Scott Walker‘s Republican friends are using some new dirty tricks. 

Welcome to the show.  I‘m Al Sharpton. 


Tonight‘s lead, Republicans try to pass the debt buck literally.  Today Mitch McConnell hatched an amazing plan, even for him, that would give President Obama the power to raise the debt limit without Congress.  McConnell‘s plan would allow the president to do it with zero Republican support.  It‘s designed to let the Republicans off the hook for the debt ceiling. 


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, ® SENATE MINORITY LEADER:  There would be no question by anyone involved in these discussions that Republicans were willing to make tough choices. 


SHARPTON:  McConnell‘s report—McConnell has said that he would, in fact, let the president proceed without the Republicans, in effect.  Republicans have been feeling the heat as President Obama has been making the case.

The president has been making the case that missing the August 2nd deadline would be catastrophic to everyone, from seniors to military veterans.  Here‘s what he told CBS news today. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Can you tell the folks at home that no matter what happens the Social Security checks are going to go out on August 3rd

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven‘t resolved this issue.  Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it. 


SHARPTON:  Joining me now as we talk about the senator, I‘m going to bring in a guest, but let me say this.  I think it‘s very interesting—I must say this-it‘s very interesting to me, with all of the language back and forward, with all of the attacks on the president, with all their saying the president showed no leadership, and the president needs to come to the table, and the president this, and the president that.  Now all of a sudden when the president says that we‘re at a real critical point, they punt.  They say, look, let them do it.  We‘ll change some of the rules, we‘ll make adjustments so that he can do the vote without any Republican votes. 

Mean, come on.  Do they really think Americans are that stupid?  Let me go back to the format of the show.  You have to get used to, sometimes I have Rev moments. 

Joining me is Congressman Jim Clyburn, Democrat from South Carolina, the number three Democrat in the House. 

Congressman, I‘m beside myself.  What do you think of this new proposal from Senator McConnell? 

REP. JAMES CLYBURN, (D-SC):  Well, thank you so much for having me, Reverend Sharpton. 

This proposal at least gets them off of this no vote business.  We are now seeing the proposal from Mr. McConnell that would hope that Mr. Reid and others in the Senate will take a look at.  Now, it allows for a clean vote on the debt limit.  However, it has a convoluted process that I think is designed to try to force the president to play a game with them that I don‘t think the American people are interested in playing.  If you want a clean vote on the debt ceiling, let‘s have it.  If that‘s conditioned upon or allowing them to come forth with legislation on certain issues, then that‘s another thing. 

SHARPTON:  But, Congressman, I think you‘re always much more diplomatic than me.  Aren‘t they really just playing games?  Come on, one minute they‘re saying the president is not showing any leadership.  Then they come back and have a golf game with the president, then they come back and have secret meetings.  Then they say all right let‘s deal with the bigger picture.  We have to deal with structural problems in America.  Then when the president says, yeah, let‘s have the big bargain.  Let‘s straighten this out for our grandchildren.  They say, oops, nope, we don‘t want to talk $4 trillion, we want to talk smaller.  Now they are saying, you do it. 

CLYBURN:  Well, that‘s true, I agree with you.  But as you say, when you are trying to do legislation, as we‘re trying to do here, there are times you allow for certain face-saving devices to go forward, you know, to maintain a climate of trying to get something done. 

Now, I think you and I have the same emotions about this.  My approach, however, is going to be to try and get 218 votes, for the president, to be able to move forward with an agenda that I feel is a very solid agenda for the American people.  I think what you saw in the last 48 hours, is what the American people saw forth, a man putting forward the kind of leadership that needed to be put forth in this instance, and you see a political party now scrambling for a way to get out of the box that they put themselves in. 

SHARPTON:  Aren‘t we also seeing, Congressman Clyburn, a defining moment in terms of leadership for this country?  You have a president that says, I‘m willing to even do some things that will hurt my political base, to try and enter a new level of correcting what is going on in the country.  And you have another crowd that is saying, well, let‘s not do anything at all.  First, they have walked out on any number of times throughout the process.  Now they‘re kind of putting it-I mean, a punting move back to him.  Isn‘t this a question of leadership as well? 

CLYBURN:  Oh, it is no question about that.  There is no question.  The president has been forceful in all of his public appearances on this subject in the last two or three days.  He‘s been engaged and the American people can see that.  He‘s laid out a very, I think, thoughtful proposal for us to look at.  And he‘s offered up some of his own sacred cows in doing so. 

I think the American people saw that the president did in fact feel

that certain things need to be put on the table.  I think that‘s why you

see this reaction today.  They know that 80 percent of the American people

and I‘ve seen some of the tracking on this—feel that the president is acting in earnest and honest on this. 

SHARPTON:  As you say, you have to get 218 votes.  And that is why you are there.  And the people of South Carolina sent you there.  I don‘t-that is why I do what I do, the way I do it.  Both of us have a role to play.  Thank you, Congressman Jim Clyburn, assistant Democratic leader from South Carolina, of the Democrats in the House.  Thanks so much. 

CLYBURN:  Thanks for having me. 

SHARPTON:  Yes, Republicans today made it clear they have no interest in serious talks with the president.  Real clear. 


REP. JOHN BOEHNER, ® SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  This debt limit increase, is his problem. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  If that is what he‘s looking for, we‘re not going there.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, ® SENATE MINORITY LEADER:  As long as this president is in the Oval Office, a real solution is probably unattainable. 

Republicans choose none of the above. 


SHARPTON:  Let‘s bring in Judson Phillips, founder of the Tea Party Nation. 

Mr. Phillips, you are one of the founders, of one of the two major Tea Party organizations.  How do you rationalize, explain, or feel about what McConnell and others are doing now?  In effect saying, fine, let President Obama do it.

JUDSON PHILLIPS, FOUNDER, TEA PARTY NATION:  I‘m a little outraged by that.  What I want the Republicans in Congress to do and the Senate and the House, show a little courage, do what the American people put them in office to do.  That‘s to cut this insane spending.  Quit the borrowing.  We have a debt crisis.  How do you get into a debt crisis?  You have too much debt.  Look what‘s happened in Europe?  Let‘s stop the borrowing while we still have an economy left to save.

SHARPTON:  But how do we have debt?  I mean, where did the debt come from?  It didn‘t just drop from the sky?  How did we get the debt in the first place? 

PHILLIPS:  Too much spending.  In February the Government Accounting Office released a report, it said within the government there are $100s of billion that are wasted in fraud, duplicate programs, or just total waste.  Where is anyone, Democrat or Republican, suggesting that these items should be cut out of the budget?  No one is.  We get debt, because we spend too much money, too much on too many stupid things. 


SHARPTON:  Well, we also get debt because we‘re not having a lot of people that ought to be paying their fair share of the taxes.  Look at the Bush tax cuts and the amount of this deficit that came as a result of that.  Wouldn‘t you say that that is unfair to a lot of—to the American public, and a lot of the people that are concerned about where we are right now? 

PHILLIPS:  When the government is wasting as much money as the government is wasting day in and day out, there‘s no such thing as anybody paying their fair share.  When the government cannot manage what it already has, our tax money is simply being stolen from us.  So, no, there‘s no such thing as somebody paying their fair share. 

SHARPTON:  So it doesn‘t bother you, then, that you‘ve got people who are depending on Social Security, that are depending on Medicare and Medicaid, that they‘re being threatened, but that those that have the corporate jets, and the billionaires, you say it‘s no big thing, because you don‘t like how the money is being spent.  Isn‘t that really ducking a real decision on leadership, sir? 

PHILLIPS:  No.  What bothers me is Obama trying to make the end result of this to be as painful as possible, and make as many people suffer as possible if an agreement is not reached. 

SHARPTON:  Oh, I forgot, so making a guy with a corporate jet pay his taxes on the corporate jet is painful, but threatening a grandmother with Social Security is fine?  It‘s just shared sacrifice, I guess? 

PHILLIPS:  Let‘s see corporate taxes on corporate jets are what?  $30 billion, out of a $2.2 trillion budget?  Come on, give me a break here.  That‘s a joke.  That‘s a talking point.  It makes no sense.  Even by Democratic standards that makes no sense.

SHARPTON:  No, give me a break.  When you are arguing numbers, I‘m arguing the fact we‘re talking about governing and the fact that the American people get it.  Let me give you an example.  Maybe the reason that Mr. McConnell and others have backed down and disappointed you, is because they‘re reading the way the American people are.  The American people are saying they don‘t want a deal that doesn‘t have tax cuts involved; 61 percent say -- 61 percent say higher taxes and spending cuts.  Only 27 percent are saying what you‘re saying, spending cuts alone.  Maybe these politicians figured something out.  They have to get reelected.  The people are not going to reelect people that talk about shared pain, when only one side is hurting. 

PHILLIPS:  There‘s lies, damn lies and then MSNBC polls.  I mean, come on, give me a break here.  There‘s a reason why Nancy Pelosi is now the minority leader in the House of Representatives.  The American people spoke loudly and clearly last November.  Come next November, the American people will speak very loudly and very clearly.  And they‘ll make Barack Obama a one-term president. 

SHARPTON:  By the way, that was a Reuters poll, so was that a lie?  Or just you telling another kind of lie? 

PHILLIPS:  Well, I can‘t see what you-

SHARPTON:  Let‘s go to somebody that you may like.  David Brooks, a conservative, is he somebody that is—

PHILLIPS:  Brooks a conservative? 


SHARPTON:  Well, everybody thinks so—

PHILLIPS:  That‘s the funniest one I‘ve heard today. 

SHARPTON:  OK, well, let me give you another like. 

PHILLIPS:  I‘m interested in what Brooks has to say.

SHARPTON:  Brooks says the GOP is willing to alienate 80 percent of voters and commit political suicide because of its faith in the power of tax policy?  That‘s funny to you?  You think David Brooks is a liberal now? 

PHILLIPS:  Oh, David Brooks, amuses me to no end.  He‘s not a serious

conservative.  Only people on the far left spectrum think David Brooks is a

serious conservative.  I‘ll put my money on the American people.  Running

on reducing government, not increasing taxes, guess what?  The Republicans

took control of the House of Representatives by historic majorities in 2010

and came close to actually taking the Senate back from a historic low.  So,

you know, hey, let‘s bat this one up?  I‘ll guarantee that in 2012-

SHARPTON:  Why did they back up today?  Why did you say that John

Boehner ought to resign as speaker?  You.  I mean, if they did all of these

brave historic moves-

PHILLIPS:  Yes, I do want Boehner to resign. 

SHARPTON:  If they did all of these historic moves last year, you said Boehner should go, you say you‘re outraged by what they did.  Are you telling the people that voted for them, they sold them out?  Let‘s get a little right wing disunity.  Brighten up my evening.  Are you saying now that you‘ve been sold out, you‘ve been bamboozled?  Taken?  C‘mon, Judson, what are you saying? 

PHILLIPS:  I say John Boehner should step down and let a real conservative step up there.  All he wants to do is haul up his freshly laundered white flag of surrender.  He wants to do it early and he wants to do it often.  I‘d like to see him do the job that the American people actually put him in that office to do—cut spending, cut taxes, stimulate the economy.  Get us out of the Obama depression.

SHARPTON:  Who would you like to see as speaker?  Ryan?  Who is the real conservative?

PHILLIPS:  Eric Cantor is number two, he can step up.  Paul Ryan is not bad.  Michele Bachmann or Marsha Blackburn, all of those are good choices.  Any of them. 

SHARPTON:  So you would like Ryan, or you would like Bachmann or one of them to replace Mr. Bachmann, or Mr. Boehner. 

PHILLIPS:  Boehner.

SHARPTON:  All right.  I think, you know, I have a better idea.  Why don‘t we have the Republicans be replaced next year?  You say you put your money on the American people. 

PHILLIPS:  Now, you-

SHARPTON:  It‘s a shame you don‘t want the billionaires to put their money on the American people.  Judson Phillips, founder of the Tea Party Nation, thank you so much. 

PHILLIPS:  Thank you for inviting me. 

Ahead, it‘s a praise away the gate, it is a phrase that may come back to haunt Bachmann‘s campaign.  The shocking undercover video that she can‘t run from is coming up. 

Plus Rupert Murdoch‘s hacking scandal is spreading.  Will the next domino fall here in America? 

And is George W. Bush a war criminal?  News on that tonight.  Stay with us. 


SHARPTON:  There are new questions about the Christian Counseling Clinic run by Michele Bachmann‘s husband.  Undercover video, shot by a gay rights group suggests that the clinic tries to cure gays of their homosexuality. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The truth is God.  God has designed our eyes to be attracted to the woman, the woman‘s body.  To be attracted to you know everything. You know, to be attracted to her breasts. 


SHARPTON:  Yesterday Bachmann was questioned about the report but refused to comment on the methods used.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What is your opinion on reparative therapy?  And is it something that is conducted at that center?

MICHELE BACHMANN, ® PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:   Well, I‘m running for the presidency of the United States.  I‘m here today to talk about job creation.  We‘re very proud of our business and we are proud of all job creators in the United States.  That‘s what people really care about. 


SHARPTON:  We know you‘re running for president of the United States, but what about the clinic?  This story was first reported by “The Nation” magazine‘s Mariah Blake.  Now she joins me along with her is Andrew Ramirez, who attended the Bachmann clinic in 2004, and says his therapist there tried to cure him of his homosexuality. 

Mariah Blake, tell me about your story, what you found out about this clinic, and its connection to taxpayers?  I think the thing that is interesting here is we‘re not talking about something financed by believers, in a certain religion or certain feeling.  The government aid received by the center, the Bachmann & Associates Christian Counseling Center, Medicaid payments of $137,000, federal and state funds to train employees, $24,000.  So, is it possible that some taxpayers are actually funding something that they do not believe in? 

MARIAH BLAKE, REPORTER, “THE NATION”:  That is correct.  It is taxpayer money to a certain degree that is funding the operations of this clinic.  And my story presents pretty strong evidence that the clinic does in fact perform reparative therapy, which is basically intended to cure people of homosexuality.  And has been largely discredited by the professional organizations representing psychologists in this country. 

SHARPTON:  When you say they‘ve been discredited by psychologists, what do you mean?  Give me an example. 

BLAKE:  For example, in 2007, the American Psychological Association looked at the studies on reparative therapy dating back to 1960, and found there was scant evidence that sexual orientation can be changed.  And that there was pretty strong evidence that trying to do so could cause psychological harm to patients, including depression and suicidal tendencies. 

SHARPTON:  What I‘m trying to get my head around, people come and bring their kids there to be cured.  I mean, and there‘s government funds going into some of the people that are allegedly counselors, for whatever reason, some of which may be doing this.  And this woman‘s husband is the owner of this, and she‘s running for president?  I mean—

BLAKE:  Well, I think it‘s important to note this is not just a campaign spouse story.  She actually owns the clinic as well.  It‘s jointly owned by the two of them. 

SHARPTON:  So when she was questioned and she ducks the question, Mariah. 

BLAKE:  And her husband did-

SHARPTON:  She was ducking a question, about her own involvement as well.?

BLAKE:  That is correct.


BLAKE:  It is also worth noting that her husband is her main political adviser and he that he adamantly denied that his clinic did this in 2006.  So it raises some questions about his integrity as well. 

SHARPTON:  So she and he own it together.  He denied it, and people have proven it to be true. 

Well, Andrew, you went to the clinic, were you cured?  What happened? 

ANDREW RAMIREZ, ATTENDED BACHMANN CLINIC:  I was not cured.  Back in 2004, in the summer between my junior and senior in high school, I came out to my parents as gay.  After that, they thought I might need some counseling, and thought this was something that could be changed.  So I ended up at Bachmann & Associates.  I saw a counselor there. 

I just remember going there and being very repressed and feeling unsure of what he was going to make me do, or how long I would have to go to this clinic.  And he started off by trying to identify some issues that may have caused me to be gay from my childhood.  And through a combination of prayer, studying the Bible, and mentors with an ex-lesbian who had come out of that lifestyle, I could by cured of my homosexuality. 

SHARPTON:  Now, did your parents bring you there for counseling to deal with whatever they felt you needed counseling for as a child, or as their child, or did they bring you there for the express purposes of curing you from homosexuality? 

RAMIREZ:  When the counselor met with my parents he had assured them that he could cure homosexuality.  He had worked with several other gay and lesbian adolescents, who had same-sex feelings and they were able to, through his counseling, become straight. 

SHARPTON:  Uh-huh.  So they were told by the counselor that they could do this, even though the owner of the clinic was denying they do this.  But you‘re in fact saying tonight that your parents were told if they put you in there, they would almost guarantee they would get you cured? 

RAMIREZ:  Yes.  He said that, through his therapy, God could perform a miracle and cure me of homosexuality. 

SHARPTON: Well, and Mariah, you say that federal money, people‘s money, whether they believe in this or not, is being put into this clinic? 

BLAKE:  That is correct. 

SHARPTON:  Again, Ms. Bachmann is running for president of the United States, is a part owner of the clinic, and is getting monies that I put on the graph. 

A quick program note, John Becker, the activist behind the explosive undercover video will be on “The Ed Show” tonight as an exclusive guest.  Tonight at 10:00. 

Ahead, Scott Walker‘s Republicans in Wisconsin are up to the same old dirty tricks today.  We‘ll reveal that con job tonight. 

And Michelle Obama, the first lady, orders up a burger and fries.  And the right wing freaks out.  You have got to be kidding.  Stay with me. 


SHARPTON:  Wisconsin Republicans use political dirty tricks to push their agenda.  And end up wasting taxpayers‘ money.  That‘s our con job of the day.  Voters in six states‘ Senate districts head to the polls today.  For the first in a series of recall votes.  The recalls stem from Governor Scott Walker‘s antiunion law.  Six Republicans face recalls for supporting the law, while three Democrats face challenges for leaving the state in protest.  Instead of simply allowing the recall, the Wisconsin GOP encouraged Republicans to run as fake Democrats.  That‘s right. 

The party that always claims it‘s worried about voter fraud got fake candidates onto the ballot.  That made democratic primaries necessary and delayed the recalls.  The primaries will cost Wisconsin taxpayers nearly $500,000, and by delaying the recall, Republicans get more time to pass a redistricting plan before they potentially lose the majority.  Wisconsin‘s GOP pretend to care about fair elections and fiscal responsibilities, but instead it runs fake candidates and waste public money.  The party‘s blatant hypocrisy is our con job of the day.


SHARPTON:  Welcome back to the show.  Now to discuss some of today‘s biggest political stories, we bring on our Power Panel.  Joining me now King Features syndicated columnist Bob Franken, democratic communications consultant Jamal Simmons, and former republican Congressman Ernie Istook, now with the Heritage Foundation. 

Our first question, is Rick Perry courting apostles of intolerance?  The Texas governor recently called for Americans to join him on August 6th for a day of prayer. 


GOV. RICK PERRY ®, TEXAS:  With the economy in trouble, communities in crisis, and people adrift in a sea of more relativism, we need God‘s help.  That‘s why I‘m calling on Americans to pray and fast like Jesus did.  


SHARPTON:  But right-wing watchers discovered that some of the so-called messengers of God supporting the day of worship are actually preachers of hate.  Just listen. 


UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  Do you know there‘s a statue in New York harbor called the Statue of Liberty?  Listen, folks, that is an idol, a demonic idol right there in the middle of New York Harbor.  

BRYAN FISCHER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Liberals hate God.  Liberals hate religion.  Liberals hate faith.  Liberals hate Christianity.  

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  The Harlot Babylon is preparing the nations to receive the antichrist.  I believe that one of the main pastors as a forerunner to the harlot movement, it‘s not the harlot movement yet, is Oprah. 


SHARPTON:  Jamal, help me, please.  Oprah is the antichrist?  Can Perry really seek support from people with views like this?

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT:  You know, they‘re anti-Statue of liberty, they‘re anti-Oprah.  You know, I don‘t know what else, motherhood?  Apple pie?  How far does it go down the line?  You know, there‘s nothing wrong with Rick Perry saying we should have a day of prayer and ask for forgiveness for us sins.  I think all of us, you know, could probably stand that from time to time, but for the governor of the state of Texas, one to be endorsing religion so openly, he‘s got to be careful about that.  And number two, associating with these people who are clearly off their rocker, is something that calls Perry‘s judgment into question.  If he thinks he‘s going to be president hanging out with this crowd, I think he‘s got something else coming.  

SHARPTON:  Well, let me ask you something, Mr. Istook, I mean, clearly prayer, I believe, I‘m a minister, it‘s a good thing but, you know, the bible talks about prayer and works.  When you match the Christian right with the right Christians, that‘s where the problem is with the words that come out of this.  I mean, what‘s going to happen when they come back?  Are they going to continue this kind of divisive language?

ERNIE ISTOOK, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION:  You know, you‘ve got groups that pay people a lot of money to go and to research and find the most outrageous things that people have ever said.  And you yourself are no stranger to saying outrageous things.  I don‘t need to give the litany (ph) of that.  But when you talk about who do you associate with?  Remember we‘re talking about religion.  Jesus himself associated with sinners and publicans, so if we want to say this is the most outrageous things someone has said, and therefore everybody should shun them, that‘s one thing.  But you could probably also look at many of the same people and find occasions where they have helped to feed the hungry, where they have helped to house the  homeless, and so forth.  This is just selective tunnel vision that‘s done to further a political agenda.  I think these videos were put together by people for the American way.  Don‘t tell me that they don‘t have a political agenda.  

SHARPTON:  It was done by the right wing watch.  But rather than that.  

ISTOOK:  Yes, that‘s part of people for the American way if you look at the website.  

SHARPTON:  OK, fine but whether people say things that we consider outrageous or you consider outrageous or me whoever, people are questioned about their associations and they have to after that.  I mean, come on Bob, all of us, if we‘ve said things, people who identify with us have to answer that.  So now, we are saying according to the congressman that Rick Perry shouldn‘t have to answer that?  We‘re not talking about people who‘ve said things 20 years ago.  We‘re talking about their current positions.  

BOB FRANKEN, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST:  Well, you know, first of all, I wondered what it was about Oprah, but beyond that, let‘s forget for the moment some of the extremes on the fringes that we have just identified here.  Let‘s talk about the sponsoring organization of this Rick Perry prayer rally.  It is the American family association that has been identified by the southern poverty law center as an anti-gay hate group.  That is the fundamental sponsor here.  So we‘re not talking about just the fringes.  We‘re talking about an organization that has a very extreme agenda.  In addition to which one, Ernie makes the point about praying to Jesus Christ, there are an awful lot of Americans who in fact don‘t believe in Jesus Christ and don‘t pray to him, and they really deserve, when you‘re going to have a government official trying to put together a quasi government event that it should be honoring the first amendment. 

SHARPTON:  Well, and I think that people have the right. 

ISTOOK:  Can I talk about that?

SHARPTON: .to believe or not believe, don‘t you agree with that, congressman?

ISTOOK:  Well, they have that right.  Should President Obama have boycotted the national prayer breakfast which other presidents have also appeared at which has Christian groups.  

SHARPTON:  He now boycotted it?

ISTOOK:  I said, should he have?  He didn‘t.  I mean, I‘m not afraid, like I‘ve said, you‘ve said a ton of controversial things, I‘m not afraid of being seen on the same program with you, and I‘m with you in recovery.


SHARPTON:  First of all, we could argue that, but second of all, if I said the most outrageous things, which I would say I didn‘t, but if you want to keep going into that, that still does not mean if I stand with someone and someone says that I‘m going to have him lead the prayer, they would have to then defend why not him?  So that‘s not a defense to why this man called Oprah an antichrist.  The answer is not I think Al Sharpton said something.  Come on, you‘re smarter than that.  

ISTOOK:  Sure I am action and you‘re emphasizing about controversial things people have ever said, for the purpose of trying to gin up outrage rather than taking the look at the totality of what they say it do.  

SHARPTON:  Oh, so they were trying to gin up outrage attacking Oprah the antichrist.  I got it. 

ISTOOK:  I think they were and I think you are, too. 


The purpose of the segment.

SHARPTON:  No.  I‘m showing you what a guy said.  

ISTOOK: Sure.  

SHARPTON:  And that a guy that‘s talking about running for president is having...  

ISTOOK:  That‘s pretty outrageous claiming that Oprah is the antichrist.  I‘ll agree with you on that.  

SHARPTON:  Thank you so much.  I feel better.  Now, let me ask you.  Now, that we got you on a role.  George Bush has been charged by some as a commander in war crimes.  Today, human rights watch issued a report, saying the Bush administration should be investigated for perpetrating war crimes.  President Bush, Vice President Cheney, former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, and former CIA director George Tenet were all called out on the report.  The report was (inaudible) by admission, straight from the horse‘s mouth on using methods like torture, like waterboarding. 


GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT:  I said to our team, are the techniques legal?  And a legal team says yes, they are.  I said, use them.  Using those techniques saved lives.  

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  We also have to work the dark side, if you will, even spend time in the shadows, I mean, the intelligence world.  

SHARPTON:  Ernie, is George W. Bush an international war criminal?

ISTOOK:  No, I don‘t believe he is.  And I think there are some groups, however, until the day the man dies and for years thereafter, will still be trying to make these accusations.  These are tough calls that people make, when you‘re trying to get intelligence against foes, who have no respect for human life, who sent children and women as well as men as suicide bombers into situations, trying to kill people.  I mean, these are a bunch of tough decisions that people made in this regard, trying to secure the safety of us here in the homeland.  These were tough calls that people made and I realize they will always be controversial, but that doesn‘t mean that these people were war criminals.  

FRANKEN:  Well, Al, Ernie is making the same point that was made during all the Bush years, which was really an expedient way to explain abandonment of American values.  Having said that, the danger always is that when a new administration comes in and another one leaves power, that it would have to worry about being vulnerable to perhaps a politically motivated prosecution for war crimes and the like.  That is a problem.  However, I will have to take issue, as we probably should have done more emphatically during the Bush years, with these easy facile explanations for why people were in fact violating, torture and abuse.  

SHARPTON:  All right, Bob.  We‘ve got to go.  I‘m running against a hard break.  Gentleman, thank you for a great panel. 

ISTOOK:  Thanks, Al.

SHARPTON:  Up ahead, the fire under Rupert Murdoch won‘t go away.  New allegations in the hacking standard emerge, as they are sick. 

And Arizona‘s Sheriff Joe Arpaio comes clean.  He settled a $200,000 racial profiling case.  So, is that an admission?  I‘m going to go head to head with the sheriff, live tonight.            


SHARPTON:  The British phone-hacking story has shaken the empire of FOX News owner Rupert Murdoch to the core.  Parliament will grill Murdoch next week.  And the scandal, has it Murdoch with hurts?  News Corp has lost $7 billion in market value in just four days. 

Joining me now is Ilyse Hogue, senior adviser at Media Matters.  How are you, Elise?

ILYSE HOGUE, MEDIA MATTERS:  I‘m doing great, Reverend.  How are you?

SHARPTON:  I mean, tell me since we talk last, how has this grown?  I mean, it seemed like it was big when we talk.  Now, it likes all over the place.  And it‘s hitting Murdoch in the pocket. 

HOGUE:  Yes, it seems like it just never stops.  The allegations are unfolding.  And shareholders are up and arms and you would be too if, you know, the stocks had plummeted $7 billion in last four days.  So, you know, I think the three most interesting developments and sort the fact that shareholders have amended their suit that they had already filed for nepotism charges to say that the complete culture of corruption and mismanagement of the phone-hacking scandal is going to cost shareholders a lot of money, amalgamated bank is the lead filer on that claim.  Everyone from Eliot Spitzer to the main ethics group in Washington is calling for Congress to get involved.  And you know, a new thing came up today which is, in the states we can prosecute, the Department of Justice can prosecute both James Murdoch individually as well as the company as a whole, because it is a U.S. listed company under something we call the foreign corrupt practices act.  We‘ve used it before.  

SHARPTON:  So they could be prosecuted here.  

HOGUE:  Absolutely. 

SHARPTON:  Let me ask you something.  With the falling stock, is it possible that they would have to get rid of some of their American holdings, like some of the newspapers or even affect FOX News?

HOGUE:  Well, I don‘t think they‘re moving to that level of concern quite yet.  You have to understand this is still one of the richest media moguls in the entire world.  But what it does mean is that they have made a grab to keep the stock from falling more.  They‘re buying back up their own shares, and that locks up more of that capital, capital that shareholders quite honestly probably want to see being used to go towards the defense of the company. 

Ilyse, thanks very much.  

HOGUE:  Thank you, Al.  

Sheriff Joe Arpaio comes clean, or does he?  That‘s next.  


SHARPTON:  This past week, we‘ve seen a major victory against conservatives who think racial profiling can be a tool in their fight against immigration.  Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio agreed to pay $200,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by two men accusing his deputies of racial profiling.  The two men were handcuffed for hours during a raid.  It turned out one was a U.S. citizen and the other a legal resident.  In April, the federal judge ruled that the sheriff‘s office violated their constitutional right. 

Joining me now is Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  How are you tonight, Sheriff?

SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO, MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA:  Hey, Al, it‘s Arpaio.  You know, my mother and family came from Italy legally.  But, anyway, nice talking to you again.  

SHARPTON:  I‘m sorry.  Thank you for correcting me Sheriff Arpaio.  You and I, Sheriff Arpaio, have had arguments before and you‘ve corrected me on your name before, but I‘ve tried to correct you on racial profiling, but it looks like maybe you‘re understanding it now, because you just made a settlement.  Now, so what surprised me, because all of us make mistakes, and I‘ve made mine and apologized, but if I believe in something, I stood by it.  Let me show you something that you told me that you believed in and why I was surprised when I heard you made this settlement.  Watch you and I on a discussion right on this station. 


ARPAIO:  The Obama that administration sends civil rights people down to determine whether my people racial profiled in here, year-and-a-half, Reverend, year-and-a-half and nothing has been found. 


SHARPTON:  So, the Obama administration sent people down about civil rights, nothing was found, but now you just settled a case where you paid the guys $200,000.  Is something found now?

ARPAIO:  I didn‘t tell you anything.  That was the county settles, each person got $35,000, the lawyers and ACLU got the rest.  This has nothing to do with racial profiling.  And Al is detaining these two guys when we were raiding a business, arrested 60 people here illegally working in the workplace, and had false identification.  Unfortunately, I have to admit that we could not identify the two deputies, or one deputy that put the handcuffs on these two subjects, and we didn‘t have the witnesses.  

SHARPTON:  One was a citizen, the other was a resident.  They were profiled according to the suit.  The federal judge went with them.  Rather than go to trial, you settled, you didn‘t denounce the settlement.  The money was paid.  You‘re right, it didn‘t cost you any money personally, it cost the county money.  In fact Sheriff, you‘ve been costing the county a lot of money.  Let me show you some of the money you‘ve cost the county.  They‘ve had more lawsuits in your county than in combined in many cities.  Look at $50 million you cost, 6,300 claims and lawsuits.  So, it doesn‘t cost you any money.  That‘s a lot of money.  

ARPAIO:  Wait a minute. 

SHARPTON:  More claims than New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and using 61,000 inmates, 43 lawsuits.  Come on, in your county, 2,150 lawsuits with only 9,200 inmates.  How do you explain that?

ARPAIO:  Well, first of all, you‘re going back on statistics.  I don‘t know what you‘re reading.  It‘s not $50 million.  It‘s about $22 million since I became sheriff.  

SHARPTON:  It‘s about what?

ARPAIO:  Twenty two million since I became sheriff almost 20 years ago.  Why don‘t you look at other departments, what they pay out.  I don‘t know, you know, you sued the New York police, I presume. 

SHARPTON:  You presume, but I‘m not presuming.  I am telling you the hard facts.  

ARPAIO:  Did you or did you not?

SHARPTON:  No, let‘s stick with your hard facts here.  Two hundred thousand dollars paid on racial profiling, all of this money.  Sheriff Joe, can‘t you admit that there‘s profiling going on, the all-stars are there.

ARPAIO:  There is not.

SHARPTON:  Your whole county is looked on around this country, can‘t we understand that everybody cannot be judged in different standards. 


SHARPTON:  You cannot just say because somebody looks a certain way, they are a criminal suspect.  There‘s a threat to Americans.  

ARPAIO:  Well, we don‘t do it, Al.  You were here two years ago. 

SHARPTON:  What was the lawsuit? 

ARPAIO:  Are you going to let me finish? 


Can I finish?  

SHARPTON:  You go ahead.  

ARPAIO:  Are you going to let me talk? 

SHARPTON:  If you‘re going to address the lawsuit. 

ARPAIO:  You were here two years ago leading thousands of people against me for my immigration fight, do you remember that?  And then we had a nice talk in my office, and I think we resolved some of these problems, now you bring it up again.  

SHARPTON:  Yes.  We disagreed when I left your office, I was back last year, and led thousands more, but none of that has anything to do with now the county settling.  You had an opportunity to go to court and prove in court this was not profiling.  The county had an opportunity to say Sheriff Joe was right, people like Sharpton are just making this up.  You settled.   You settled. 

ARPAIO:  It is not profiling.  

SHARPTON:  You settled, Sheriff Joe.  You should have prove it in court. 

ARPAIO:  Oh come on.

SHARPTON:  Thank you for your time always.  

ARPAIO:  Well, get the story straight. 

SHARPTON:  Of course.  


SHARPTON:  And you got the lawsuit straight.  You settled it.  Thanks for your time. 

Thanks for watching.  I‘m Al Sharpton tonight.  I want you to remember that, whether you agree with me or disagree with me, I‘m going to always shoot straight with how I feel and let it all fly.  If you have any questions or comments, tweet me at TheReval.  You don‘t have to go through anybody else, come straight to me.  Don‘t go anywhere. 

HARDBALL starts right now. 

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