updated 6/19/2013 10:23:21 AM ET 2013-06-19T14:23:21

POLITICS NATION
June 18, 2013
Guests: Stephanie Schriock; Jackie Speier, Maria Teresa Kumar, Jonathan
Capehart, Faith Jenkins, Lisa Bloom


REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris, and thanks to you for
tuning in.

Tonight`s Congressman Issa exposed. He is the Republican chairman of the
house oversight committee. And I pointed out many a times he has been on a
crusade against the Obama administration. He called the president corrupt.
He pushed for the attorney general Eric Holder to be held in contempt for
the first time in the nation`s history. And he has tried and failed again
and again to put the stink of scandal on the Obama administration.

But today, he was caught red-handed, caught with his hand in the cookie
jar. You might just say he was caught with bluebird pie all over his face.
For weeks Congressman Issa has tried to link the White House to the
disturbing charges that the IRS intentionally targeted tea party groups
looking for tax break. He released selective portions of interviews make
his case and to do what he wanted to do in the public arena. He went all
over TV saying things like this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: This was the
targeting of the president`s political enemies effectively and lies about
it during the election year so that it wasn`t discovered until afterwards.

The administration is still -- their paid liar, their spokesperson, picture
behind. He is still making up things about what happens and calling this
local rogue. My gut tells me too that too many people knew that this
wrongdoing was going on before the election, and at least by some sort of
convenient, benign neglect, allowed it to go on through the election.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Targeting enemies, paid liar. Listen to these inflammatory
accusations. But today we`re getting the real story. And it reveals what
a phony Congressman Issa is and what his phony charges are all about.

Late this afternoon, Democratic Congressman, Elijah Cummings, released the
full transcript of an interview with an IRS official who reviewed many of
those tea party applications. When the official was asked what`s your
party affiliation? He replied "I am a conservative Republican."

Everyone look at that. A quote, "conservative Republican." It can`t be
more clear. He is no Obama plant. And when the official was asked, quote,
"do you have any reason to believe that anyone in the White House was
involved in the decision to screen tea party cases? He answered "I have no
reason to believe that." No reason to believe that.

It`s been 12 days since this interview. But no apology, no correction.
But it explains why he is not releasing the entire transcripts of all the
interviews his committee has done, even though he promised to do that just
a few weeks ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know that your
critics say that you, that Republicans and you in particular sort of cherry
pick information that go to your forgone conclusion. And so it worries us
to kind of put this kind of stuff out. Can now not put the whole
transcript out?

ISSA: The whole transcript will be put out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The whole transcript will be put out. Except if it shows there
is no White House scandal after all. Just a figment of Darrell Issa`s
active and unfair imagination.

Joining me now, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Democrat from California, and
a member of the oversight committee, and Joy Reid, managing editor of
thegrio.com.

Thank you both for being here.

JOY-ANN REID, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Great to be here.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, let me go to you first. What is your response to
Darrell Issa shamelessly accusing the White House while knowing the truth?
I mean how do you respond to this?

REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D), CALIFORNIA: There is absolutely no evidence to
support his irrational statements on the White House having any knowledge
about the IRS using words to focus in on tea party organizations.

What has come forward, and I want to applaud the ranking member of the
committee for making available to all Americans now the Seminole interview
that has taken place by the bipartisan membership of the committee staff
where the screening manager at the Cincinnati office actually speaks to the
genesis of the actual targeting that went on. It did not emanate anywhere,
except from Cincinnati.

SHARPTON: Now, Congresswoman, you are hitting a point that really is
outrageous to me.

Joy, when you look -- let`s look at another exchange from the transcript
that Congressman Cummings, who the congresswoman refers to as the ranking
member.

It said the IRS official was asked quote "was it your impression that an
agent flagged the case, the tea party case for you on February 25th, 2010
because of his disagreement with their political view on the group? He
replied, quote, "we never, never discussed any political, you know,
personal aspirations whatsoever."

So then, what has Issa and them been talking about, Joy Reid?

REID: Well, you know, the fact as we know them are that Darrell Issa
perpetrated a hoax. Now, whether it was deliberate hoax, or whether it was
because he simply wanted to believe there was some political target in the
tea party and then back filled it and tried to find evidence of it after he
had already put out his theory, remains to be seen.

But, what we do know is Darrell Issa was in possession of the exact same
transcripts that congressman Elijah Cummings is in possession of. He knew,
at least in a certain point in this hoax that we has perpetrating through
the media, that the facts and the evidence did not back up his theory. At
no time did Darrell Issa say you know what? Maybe I had it wrong.

This is the evidence, you know, in the transcript that we had that may mean
that my theory was wrong. No, instead he continued to perpetrator the hoax
and refused to release the transcripts that were evidence that what he was
saying was false. I think somebody might need to investigate Darrell Issa.

SHARPTON: And Congresswoman, the investigation, I mean, many people,
including me are very concern about the IRS being used as a political
weapon against anybody. But is this a fair investigation? And wouldn`t
you now have a Congressman Issa being really exposed, cherry picking what
parts of a transcript he is going to release? What happens to the
integrity of this investigation that is very important?

SPEIER: Well, first of all, it`s important to point out that the screening
manager has self identified himself as a conservative Republican.

SHARPTON: That`s correct.

SPEIER: Secondly, Elijah Cummings as the ranking member has had to put
forward this particular interview because Mr. Issa was, as you pointed out,
cherry picking only the interviews that would support his particular
position.

And thirdly, we`re going to keep Darrell Issa honest in this process. That
is why there is a Republican and Democratic staff. They are supposed to
work together. This should be a bipartisan effort. We want to make sure
that no one is targeted by the IRS for reasons unrelated to what we should
be focused on.

Now, if we want to be really clear about this, the fact that an
organization is not exclusively engaged in a social welfare activity is
something that we still have to get focused on, because that was the law.
And then the IRS came up with regulations that then changed it primarily.
And that is why this whole issue is as complex as it is.

SHARPTON: I agree with that.

But you know, Joy, one of the things that we should not tolerate as
Americans is any group, right wing, left wing, it doesn`t matter, being
targeted and harassed based on their politics. But we also shouldn`t
tolerate people misusing and mishandling and trying to connect it for
political reasons to the white hoe and this isn`t the first time that
Darrell Issa, Congressman Issa has gone after this White House and gone
after the Obama administration.

Let me show you what he did in terms of his attacks on the administration,
and the attorney general of the United States, Mr. Holder, the same
congressman Issa.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ISSA: Perjury is a criminal charge that has to be proven. But certainly
it`s hard to have confidence in what this attorney general says or his
people say when so often it turns out not to be true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He accused the attorney general of not being truthful and raises
the term "perjury." Now, he cherry picks and selectively gives part of a
testimony that Congressman Cummings has given all of us now, which clearly
doesn`t say any of what was inferred or implied by what he did. This is
unspeakable behavior for chairman.

REID: Right. And not even inferred or implied. I mean, Darrell Issa said
definitively this emanated from the White House and we`re going to prove
it. He already had reached the conclusion. Because and if you think about
it, this is a very serious charge. We have had incidents of presidents of
the United States using the IRS to go after their political enemies. It is
something that frightened everyone. You do not want to have the White
House directing the IRS to target anyone. That is the charge Darrell Issa
made with no supporting evidence. And as the evidence came in, as the
testimony came in, it proved the opposite. It proved this did emanate from
within the IRS. And as Congressman Blackburn said, from a Republican, a
Republican who was trying to deal with this influx.

SHARPTON: But he didn`t release this guy`s testimony.

REID: Exactly.

SHARPTON: He would not release this testimony.

REID: To prove something really scurrilous if it had been true. And he
had all of the media running around with this narrative that the White
House directed the political targeting of groups when he knew at a certain
point Darrell Issa was in those interviews, knew that the information was
not true, continued to make this case.

So, I think that`s very egregious. And it does show that Darrell Issa is
not being an independent actor here trying to hold the White House
accountable. He is on a witch-hunt. He wants to find evidence of
something that the White House or the attorney general has done wrong. He
is playing pure politics that I know he is a politician. But he is also on
a very important committee that is supposed to do oversight. Not witch-
hunts, oversight.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman Speier, how can you and others protect the
integrity of this investigation?

SPEIER: Well, we do it every single day on the oversight and government
reform committee. We constantly pushing back at what are rigged hearings
with individuals with a particular point of view. We are oftentimes not
made aware of the hearing until the last minute and are given one witness
to be able to offer a counter point of view. So it is tough duty right
now.

And I would also agree that Darrell Issa is not -- he has a point of view
that he is going to ram down our throats, the American people. And we`ve
got to resist that. He is good at theater. He`s very good at creating
theater. He is also very good at creating falsehoods.

SHARPTON: Well, I`m going to have to leave it there. Congresswoman Jackie
Speier, doing very important work for the American people. Thank you for
being with us.

And joy Reid, thank you too for your time.

Ahead, President Obama traveling overseas, but going after Republican
critics at home. Just wait until you hear what he has to say about Dick
Cheney.

And we are awaiting the house vote restricting abortion.

And I love hearing from you. Send me your e-mails. "Reply Al" is coming
up. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Have you joined is the "Politics Nation" conversation on
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Today, many of our fans were honoring Susan B. Anthony, who was fined $100
on this date 140 years ago forecasting a vote in the 1872 election.
Decades before women were given the right to vote.

Darlene says, we have come a long way thanks to Susan B. Anthony and others
who took a stand for the right to vote.

Evangeline says, I remember marching for voter rights when I was 13-years-
old, and I will continue to march.

Laura says, to think women still are fighting for rights to even keep the
ones we have.

You`re so right, Laura.

We want to hear what you think too. Please head over to facebook and
search "Politics Nation" and like us to join the conversation that keeps
going long after the show ends.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We are awaiting the vote any minute now in the house where
Republicans are set to vote on the most restrictive anti-abortion bill in
the last decade. The bill would ban abortions nationwide at 20 weeks. The
party has no reason to pursue this legislation. It`s unconstitutional. It
has no chance of being signed into law, and it further alienates women.
But they`re doing it anyway. And they`re using a despicable rationale to
go after women`s rights.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: After this Kermit Gosnell
trial and some of the horrific acts that were going on, a vast majority of
the American people believe in the substance of this bill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What we are seeking to do is fight the Kermit
Gosnells.

REP. CHRIS SMITH (R), NEW JERSEY: There are Kermit Gosnells, madam
speaker, all over America, today inflicting not only violence, cruelty and
death on very young children, but excruciating pain as well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: They`re citing the case of Kermit Gosnell. He is a late-term
abortion doctor convicted last month of horrific crimes. He preyed on
desperate, poor women. In at least three cases, he delivered babies alive
in his clinic and then murdered them.

The GOP abortion ban applied only to D.C. before the Gosnell case. But
after it, the party made this a nationwide ban. Yes, Gosnell`s actions
were deplorable. But his case is no reason to wage a war on women`s
rights. The very legislation they`re pursuing would create more Gosnells.
It would force more women to seek abortions from horrific men like that
doctor. It`s not a solution. It`s a disgrace.

Joining me now is Stephanie Schriock, the president of Emily`s List.

Stephanie, thank you for coming on the show tonight.

STEPHANIE SCHRIOCK, PRESIDENT, EMILY`S LIST: Thank you for having me.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you, Stephanie, are they using this horrific crime to
make their argument and go after women`s rights in your judgment?

SCHRIOCK: Well, it sure seems to be the case. And it is really, really
unfortunate. Such an incredibly important issue to have it framed in such
a way.

But, let`s step back here. I mean, this is a Republican party as you said
in the intro, Reverend, that should have learned some lessons after the
2012 election. Women voters turned against them. They do not want to see
the Republican Party roll the clock back on riots and opportunities for
women and families in this country. And yet they redouble their efforts,
and they move this to a national bill, one that is unconstitutional and
will not pass. I don`t understand what polling they are looking at. But
the American women are not going stand for this.

SHARPTON: Now, the new sponsor of the bill is Congresswoman Marsha
Blackburn. She defended the bill today. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: My hope is that we can show
tremendous compassion to anyone who has been a victim of rape, a victim of
incest, and that we can rid our society of these perpetrators who carry out
these crimes, many times repeatedly on their victims.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Congresswoman, how do you fight rapist with an
abortion bill?

BLACKBURN: What we are seeking to do is fight the Kermit Gosnells and the
Doug Carpins, and to end this practice of late-term abortion which is
killing these babies, which is harming women.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: They run right to the Kermit Gosnell case. But, again, how does
one have anything to do with the other when it`s trying to connect rape
with abortions and the impact it has on women`s right to choose?

SCHRIOCK: Well, it is another example, and it is clear when you have a
Republican party in the House of Representatives led by men. And granted,
we have a woman now leading on this bill. The Republican Party keeps to
making the same mistake. They think if they change the messenger, that we
won`t notice the policy behind it.

Well, it doesn`t matter who you put in front of the camera. Until the
Republican Party changes their policy and their platform, American women
are not going to stand with them. It continues to be a mistake.

And I got to say, as I listen to all of this, it`s just really reinforces
the work we do at Emily`s list and so many Democrats across the country.
We need more progressive Democratic women`s voices sitting in these house
hearings on the house floor. And where we really need them, Reverend, is
in the state legislature where unfortunately some of these laws are
actually passing. And women are losing their rights.

SHARPTON: Well, you know, and it`s interesting. You raised that they put
congresswoman Blackburn out. She replaced Trent Franks after his infamous
bill, you know, saying what he said about rape. And she herself opposes
equal pay laws and wants to end funding for Planned Parenthood.

But what is as interesting to me, Republicans seem to think that gun rights
are more important than women`s rights. Twenty-six states require waiting
periods before women get an abortion. Just 11 states require waiting
periods to get a firearm. This is amazing.

SCHRIOCK: It is unbelievable. And, again, the Republican Party continues
to take on issues that alienate women further and further. You have the
governor of Mississippi, you know, suggesting that it`s because women work
that we have problems in this country.

I mean, it`s really incredible the direction that the Republican Party has
gone. And I know, I know, and I`ve seen it in the polling, there are
moderate Republicans out there, particularly Republican women. And we`re
calling on all of them to come and help us elect some more Democratic women
to office.

Our voices need to be there, but they need to be voices of experience and
voices who understand what women and families are facing every single day.

SHARPTON: Stephanie Schriock. Thank you for your time this evening.

And we are watching the vote as it comes in. And we will keep you abreast
of it. But clearly, the Republicans will win this vote, but it will not
pass the Democratic Senate. It will prove to be legislatively a complete
waste of time. But it certainly sends a message to women about their
rights as far as the leadership of this party is concerned.

Coming up, President Obama`s message to Dick Cheney. And some on the right
are attacking President Obama`s upcoming Africa trip. But, we are going
back to the archives to get them tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The summer is here. It`s time to hit the beach, to barbecue.
And for the right wing, time to attack President Obama`s summit travels.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: There is an upcoming trip to Africa later
this month that is expected to cost 60 to $100 million for the taxpayers.
But the president couldn`t keep the White House open. You see a
correlation there?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Oh, yes, major correlation. And he wasn`t finished.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: The president plays golf. He has concerts one after another.
Extravagant vacation. Martha`s Vineyard than his mansion that he`ll spend
the summer. Do we really need to spend that kind of money, 60 to 80, 60 to
$100 million on Africa?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s right. Who would do something like that? I mean, come
on. What kind of president goes to Africa? Oh, how about this one. There
he is. President George W. Bush. And where is he? In Africa. He`s
visiting the locals, making some new friends, checking out tribal dances.
What a fun trip for President Bush. I think it`s where he learned these
great dance moves. He brought that boogie back to the White House. In
fact, President Bush traveled to Africa with his family in both 2003 and
2008. That first trip even included a safari, not to mention this winner,
a close-up with an elephant.

Folks, insert your own joke here. Did Hannity and the right think we take
a summer break from calling out this hypocrisy? Nice try. But pack your
bags. You`re heading back to reality, because we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The President continues his overseas trip today. This afternoon
he landed in Berlin for a 24-hour visit and talks with the German
chancellor. And a speech at the city`s iconic Brandenburg gate. And while
he is away, the Republicans scandal machine is in overdrive here at home.
But the President is fighting back. In a new interview, he goes right
after his critics on the NSA controversy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: What I can say unequivocally is
that if you are a U.S. person, the NSA cannot listen to your telephone
calls. And the NSA cannot target your e-mails.

CHARLIE ROSE, TALK SHOW HOST: And have not?

OBAMA: And have not. They cannot and have not by law and by rule.

ROSE: So when I hear you saying I have no problem with what the NSA has
been doing.

OBAMA: Well, let me finish, because I don`t. So what happens then is that
the FBI if in fact it now wants to get content, if in fact it wants to
start tapping that phone, it`s got to go to the FISA court with probable
cause and ask for a warrant. Folks don`t go with a query unless they`ve
got a pretty good suspicion.

ROSE: Should this be transparent in some way?

OBAMA: It is transparent. That`s why we set up the FISA court.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, I`ve never been for the Patriot Act. I do trust President
Obama, but who knows who comes in after him. But these are very tough and
very complex issues. And there should be a debate. What is not up for
debate is the right looking to gin up scandal where they are all for
surveillance under one president, but hate it under another president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I think it`s fair to say that, you know, there are going to be
folks on the left. And you know, what amuses me is now folks on the right
who were fine when there was a republican president, but now, you know,
Obama is coming in with black helicopters.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But make no mistake, he`s not like that other guy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Some people say, well, you know, Obama was this raving liberal
before. Now he is, you know, Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney sometimes says yes,
you know, he took it all lock, stock and barrel. My concern has always
been not that we shouldn`t do intelligence gathering to prevent terrorism,
but rather, are we setting up a systems of checks and balances.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Folks, this is the unreality of this. Whether you like it or
not, it shows how not serious they really are.

Joining me now are Maria Teresa Kumar and Jonathan Capehart. Thank you
both for being here tonight.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, THE WASHINGTON POST: Thanks, Rev.

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT, VOTO LATINO: Hello, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Jonathan, a big headline coming out of that interview is that
President Obama saying he is no Dick Cheney. What is your response?

CAPEHART: Well, he is no Dick Cheney. Remember, when they started these
programs, the Bush administration was tapping into phones, doing all these
things without -- without any sort of authority. Without warrants and
things. And when the president came in, he decided, he said in the
interview, I can`t remember if you played it in the clip, that he brought
some balance there. The one issue that I would take with the President
there is that he says that, you know, this is all public. This goes to a
court. This goes to the FISA court.

SHARPTON: FISA court. Right.

CAPEHART: The problem is the FISA court is secret.

SHARPTON: Right.

CAPEHART: So, so on the one hand, yes, there are people other than the
executive branch, the President and the secretary of defense and all the
other people who want these things done, people outside of them who know
about these things. But I or you or, you know, American citizen can`t just
go knock on the FISA court door and say hey, let`s see these orders,
because the court is secret and where they are is secret.

SHARPTON: Now Maria, they love their surveillance, I`m talking about the
right wing and the Republicans there. They loved it under Bush/Cheney.
But now it`s a crisis. How can anyone buy this argument?

KUMAR: Well, I think that what Jonathan said is right. Is that we
basically inherited the Patriot Act, but we also inherited a new America
when September 11th happened. And what the President is doing is
recognizing that we do need to create a system of checks and balances, and
it`s not going to be pretty. But what it does do that opens up this
important conversation for every American to be having this conversation
with their government and also with their kids and with their family of how
much data are we sharing, not only with the government, but every time you
post something on Facebook, that becomes a collective of a big firm.

So it`s important for us to have these conversations. It`s important for
us to be clear that we are, you know, in a different world. And how are we
creating those checks and balances? And I have to say the fact that
President Obama has always been touted as someone who is pragmatic
president, this is the type of person that we need setting those types of
rules. That you know they`re going to be fair. They`re going to be as
transparent as possible. Do they have to go a little further? Of course.
But, again, we`ve never been in this position before in our history.

SHARPTON: Now Jonathan, what bothers me, and again, I`ve been against the
Patriot Act under any president, including this one. But right wingers
seem to be showing real hypocrisy here. Let me go to my friend Mr.
Hannity. Just listen to him and Patriot Act author Jim Sensenbrenner. Let
me show you an exchange with them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: There is a liberal website out there. And
they say that I have changed my opinion. Now, I supported the Patriot Act.
I support data mining. I support surveillance and I support FISA courts.
But I don`t support what the administration did. Am I consistent with what
the law is?

JIM SENSENBRENNER, AUTHOR, PATRIOT ACT: You absolutely are consistent.
And I agree with every one of the points that you have made, Sean.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, this is Jim Sensenbrenner, one of the authors of the
Patriot Act. I mean, if he is being consistent, then what is the
objection? What are they talking about, or is this just some politics?

CAPEHART: It`s politics. Sean Hannity is not being consistent here. He
is being hypocritical. You know, what we know that is happening that has
caused this scandal, this controversy, it`s nothing new in the sense that
USA Today wrote about the telephone stuff back in 2005-2006.

SHARPTON: Right.

CAPEHART: The data mining, wired magazine just this past March did a big
story about the Utah NSA data mining complex that`s been constructed. It`s
not that the American people or people did not know about this. It`s just
that people are now focused on it. And it sparked as Maria Teresa Kumar
was saying before, an interesting and needed conversation in this country
about, OK, now that we all are aware that this is happening, what are the
boundaries, what are the limits?

SHARPTON: Right.

CAPEHART: And what should government should and shouldn`t do with this
information.

SHARPTON: Definitely where we need to go. But let me go back to you,
Maria Teresa. When you look at the hypocrisy, this is what is alarming to
me. The hypocrisy on the right on this issue of surveillance. Look at
this guy, Jim Sensenbrenner. Look at his record. He authored the Patriot
Act. He dismissed critics who warned of government abuse of Patriot Act in
2005 and `06.

Now he says he is troubled by FBI`s interpretation of the Patriot Act. But
he skipped classified briefings on NSA programs over the last three years
that would have showed him what they were doing. I mean, this is the
height of hypocrisy here.

KUMAR: Well, I mean, when they actually had these NSA hearings over -- I
want to say it`s close to 25 percent of Senate actually skipped out the go
home early. Right? So when the Republicans are saying that this is
something that -- they don`t sit in their seat to actually look into these
intelligence gatherings and actually disclose what is happening with the
NSA, it really makes me want to scratch my head a little bit. But I think
what it`s really doing is that this basically a bit of smoke and mirrors.

SHARPTON: Right.

KUMAR: They`re crying foul, saying that this is something that the Obama
administration is abusing people`s rights. But at the same time, they`re
not really doing the business of the nation. What they should be doing is
tackling the big issues, whether it`s, you know, stopping the sequester,
whether it`s passing immigration, whether it`s doing gun control. But
instead they`re trying to gin up small scandals to really distract the
American people of the real work that is at hand.

SHARPTON: All right. Well, we`re going to have to leave it there. Maria
Teresa Kumar and Jonathan Capehart, thank you for your time tonight.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Rev.

KUMAR: Thank you so much, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Ahead, a major milestone in the George Zimmerman trial today.
That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: A dramatic day in the George Zimmerman trial. What experts are
saying about that crucial 911 tape. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Important news today in the George Zimmerman murder trial.
Forty potential jurors have now been selected for further questioning.
That means, the next phase in the all important work of picking a jury will
begin tomorrow from that group of 40, six jurors will be chosen to
determine the outcome of the case. He faces 25 years to life in prison for
shooting Trayvon Martin. Mr. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty, and claims
he shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense.

Perhaps the biggest court fight thus far has been over a 911 call made the
night Trayvon Martin was killed. Loud screaming can be heard, and the call
may be the key to determining the truth of Mr. Zimmerman`s claim of self-
defense.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I think they`re yelling help, but I don`t know. Just
send someone quick, please.

911 DISPATCHER: OK. Does he look hurt to you?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I can`t see him. I don`t want to go out there. I
don`t know what is going on.

911 DISPATCHER: They`re sending.

So you think he is yelling help?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Yes.

911 DISPATCHER: All right, what is your (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: There`s gunshots.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The defense is trying to keep the jury from hearing the
testimony of the state`s voice expert, who wrote this in his report.
"Trayvon Martin`s voice is, quote, younger and he generates much of what
some observers have called screams."

Other experts have simply said the person screaming is not Mr. Zimmerman.
The defense claims that it is not possible to say who was screaming on that
call.

Joining me now is former criminal prosecutor Faith Jenkins, and NBC News
legal analyst Lisa Bloom. Thank you both for being here tonight.

FAITH JENKINS, FORMER CRIMINAL PROSECUTOR: Thank you.

LISA BLOOM, MSNBC NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Faith, the 911 tape is a critical piece of evidence in the
trial. The audio hearing resumes tomorrow, and it`s all about the analysis
of whose voice is screaming. What do you expect the judge to rule?

JENKINS: I still think the judge is going to rule to allow this expert
testimony in and let the jury decide how much weight they`re going to give
to the experts` testimony. But let me be clear about something. I think
if the FBI had been able to analyze this tape and come to a clear
conclusion about who was screaming, I think this case would be over.
That`s how clear and important it is. Because the person who is screaming,
the inference is that person is the one who was being attacked.

SHARPTON: Now Lisa, how important to the defense using self-defense as
their claim is this tape?

BLOOM: It`s extremely important because George Zimmerman is wedded to the
story that he gave to police. He can`t change that story now. His story
is that Trayvon Martin was threatening his life. That`s why he took the
gun and shot once and killed Trayvon Martin. Well, if this is Trayvon
Martin on the tape screaming, begging for his life, it completely undercuts
that story.

SHARPTON: All right. They`re going to hear the tape. The question is
whether we`re going to hear the experts, Faith. How do you explain that
you`re screaming if you`re Mr. Zimmerman when you are the one with the gun,
and all of the sudden there was no sound after we heard the gun go off?

JENKINS: That will be interesting, because I think George Zimmerman has to
take the witness stand in this case. He is going to have to answer those
tough questions, because he is going to stay that was me screaming on the
tape. And he is going to have to answer why, if he is the person in the
position of power, you`re the one with the gun, that you are screaming.

SHARPTON: And all of the sudden went silent after the blast. You know,
yesterday, Lisa, the judge heard from the defense`s audio expert. Listen
to what he said. This is James Wayman (ph).

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES WAYMAN, DEFENSE AUDIO EXPERT: When you crank up the volume on
something that contains fundamentally no content, it`s like a rorschach
test. You start reading into any of this what your neural pathways are
doing, not which occurred in the external stimuli you`re trying to pay
attention to. Didn`t understand the methodology. I was baffled.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He is baffled. He doesn`t understand the methodology. But is
that enough to get an analysis thrown out? I mean he is not questioning
what is said on the tape. He is talking about methodology?

BLOOM: Well, he is, Reverend Al, because in any court when scientific or
technical evidence is introduced in, it has to be generally accepted in the
scientific community. And I think what he is saying is, there is just not
enough of this recording to do the proper scientific sampling to be able to
make the determination.

SHARPTON: Well, you know, is this technology acceptable, Faith? Because
we had on this show last April two forensic experts. And this is their
analysis of the phone call. Let me play you what they said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Tom, tell us. The voice we hear yelling for help on that tape,
who is yelling help, help, help?

TOM OWEN, AUDIO EXPERT: It`s my opinion that it`s not Mr. Zimmerman.

SHARPTON: And what was your conclusion on who was the one on the tape
yelling help?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Here`s my opinion, Reverend. It`s not George Zimmerman
because the voice is completely different.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now the first expert, Tom Owen, Faith will, be testifying at
tomorrow`s hearing. How vital is his testimony in this case in your
opinion?

JENKINS: It`s extremely vital. But the dispute here is over the size of
the sample. There are only three seconds of unencumbered screams, they`re
saying, and these experts took the three seconds and looped them to come up
with a sample to test. That`s the dispute. The FBI is saying three
seconds isn`t enough. They`re saying we looped it and we were able to test
it. So we`ll see how the judge rules. I still think she allows it in.
It`s going to be up to the jury to determine how much weight they`re going
to give to their testimony.

SHARPTON: Lisa, take us in the courtroom. If you`re prosecuting this
case, you`re prosecuting George Zimmerman, how would you handle this part
of the case?

BLOOM: I think it`s tough. Well, I would certainly say that this is
Trayvon Martin. And I want to put on this expert witness as the
prosecution wants to do, or at least eliminate George Zimmerman as the
person who is screaming. The problem is that I don`t know if we have a
voice sample of Trayvon Martin to compare it to. We certainly have voice
samples from George Zimmerman because he called the police earlier that
day.

SHARPTON: Right.

BLOOM: So we have that. So they can exclude George Zimmerman. But I
don`t know if they have a good voice sample of Trayvon Martin to compare it
too.

SHARPTON: But Faith, if it`s not George Zimmerman, there is only two
people there, he and Trayvon Martin. Wouldn`t that lead to Trayvon Martin?
And if they throw it out, two questions. Wouldn`t it lead to Martin? And
if they happen to throw it out to experts anyway, you were a federal
prosecutor. How would you then proceed?

JENKINS: Process of elimination. Obviously if it`s not George Zimmerman,
the only person there, Trayvon Martin. And next you proceed by presenting
this evidence. And also, I think Trayvon Martin`s mother may take the
witness stand and say I listened to this tape. This sounds just like my
son. How powerful and emotional would that testimony be?

BLOOM: Right. Because keep in mind even if the experts can`t testify, the
jurors may still hear this and make their own determination.

JENKINS: Right.

SHARPTON: I think that it all leads back to, again, Faith, another
question. Do you think Zimmerman should take the stand? If you were
handling his case, would you put him on the stand?

JENKINS: I think he has to take the witness stand. I don`t see another
way around it after the state puts on their evidence, he has to take the
witness stand and explain his actions. He is going to be asked some tough
questions. Why did you think Trayvon Martin was suspicious? What led you
to make that assumption that night? Why did you think he was up to no
good? Why did you call him an a-hole on this 911 tape when you don`t know
him? But he has to take the witness stand. It`s going to be awkward.
It`s going to be tough, but I think he has to testify.

SHARPTON: Lisa, how does he establish self-defense when he was the only
one there other than Martin? How does he establish self-defense if he does
not take the stand?

BLOOM: Yes. Let me give you another point of view. I don`t know if he
does needs to take the witness stand. Because he submitted to hours of
police interrogation, and that`s on a videotape. And that may come in.
And his attorney may look at that and say he did a good job. He`s
credible. That`s his story. He`s wedded to it. Why should I put him on
and subject him to cross-examination by a terrific prosecutor. Let the
jury hear that and that`s good enough.

SHARPTON: Well (INAUDIBLE) Faith.

JENKINS: He loves to talk. He has given so many interviews, I don`t think
his attorney can keep him off the witness stand in the trial.

SHARPTON: Well, we`re getting closer. We`re down to now the next phase of
question to actually get the members of the jury. And we`re going to stay
on this case. Faith Jenkins and Lisa Bloom, great conversation. Thank you
for your time tonight.

And full disclosure. In civil court, George Zimmerman has sued NBC
Universal for defamation and the company has strongly denied his
allegations.

Coming up, reply Al is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Now it`s time for reply Al. Great to hear from so many of you.
Please keep them coming.

Steve writes, "Why do so many African-Americans refuse to acknowledge the
similarity between the civil rights struggle and the LGBT struggle when
it`s so apparent that they are one and the same, a grand struggle for human
rights?"

Well, I believe that there is no way to fight for some human rights with
the other. Every struggle has its own distinct way of engagement, and we
have all gone through certain levels and certain oppression and certain
bias or discrimination. So even though some have suffered differently or
more than others, it`s one fight against all discrimination.

And I think that we cannot distinguish between the two. One of the worst
things in the world is to say did you suffer as much as I did, do you hurt
as much as I do. All of us need to not suffer. All of us need not to have
pain. And you cannot have bragging rights on discrimination. We must have
the bragging rights of saying we all must stand together against all bias,
all wrong.

And even if I may be different for religious reasons with others, I must
defend their right to make their choice. There is nothing that I see that
trains me to have the right to impose my faith and my belief on others.
And in fact, I must fight for their right so that someone will protect and
respect mine right.

Sherry writes, "Dear Reverend Al, I would like to know how much money and
time that I and other taxpayers have spent on the attempted repeal of the
ACA after 37 times. If we are going to pay them, then they should be using
their money and our money on issues that can be worked upon instead of this
constant and only symbolic repeal process."

I couldn`t agree more, Sherry. Taxpayers should know about this. The GOP
has spent over 80 hours, two full workweeks trying to repeal the health
care law. And it cost American taxpayers $55 million. And they know they
will not be able to pass it through the Senate. They know the President
won`t sign it. This is just to continue this kind of motion and symbolic
gesture, playing to their base and harassing the President, that money
could be used to help do some concrete things for vulnerable Americans.

We want to answer your questions. So e-mail me, AskRev@MSNBC.com.
Remember, friend or foe, I want to know. It`s important to me.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.


END


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