PoliticsNation, Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
July 3, 2013
Guests: Faith Jenkins; Ken Padowitz; Lisa Bloom; John Burris, Hisham
Melhem, Dennis Ross, Nicole Lamoureux, Craig Dietz, Nigel Brown
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris, and thanks to you
for tuning in.
We are live tonight from a free health care clinic in New Orleans.
We`ve been here all day partnering with the National Association of Free
Clinics. And seeing the health care crisis in America like this is really
Over 700 patients were treated today, over 900 volunteers have been
working to get these Americans care today. We`re going to hear their
stories tonight. Some who haven`t seen a doctor in years, some whose lives
might have been saved today.
Also, huge news far away tonight in Egypt. The military has ousted
President Morsy. That country`s first democratically elected president.
What does it mean for democracy in that region? And what does it mean for
the Obama administration and his foreign policy?
But we start tonight with the George Zimmerman murder trial and a
dramatic day in court.
The prosecution may have exposed a new potential inconsistency in
Zimmerman`s account. It came during gripping testimony given by
Zimmerman`s former college criminal justice teacher. The teacher took the
stand. He revealed what the course entailed and remembered the kind of
student Zimmerman was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you remember the defendant George Zimmerman
being a student in that course?
ALEXIS CARTER, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S TEACHER: I do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And do you remember what kind of grade you
CARTER: An "A." With Florida and other states, they have what`s
called the stand your ground law, which evolved from the doctrine through
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And did you cover that specifically? Did you
discuss specifically self-defense and stand your ground laws in the
connection of violent crimes such as murder?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: That testimony appeared to contradict what Zimmerman has
said. Remember, the stand your ground law in Florida says deadly force can
be used in self-defense. Last year, Zimmerman said he was unaware of the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Prior to this night, this incident,
had you even heard stand your ground?
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, KILLED TRAYVON MARTIN: No, sir.
HANNITY: You never heard about it before?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So a year ago Zimmerman said he didn`t know about the law.
But today his former teacher said it was taught in class where Zimmerman
got an "A." This comes a day after other seeming contradictions emerged,
including whether Zimmerman followed Trayvon Martin after the dispatcher
told him not to or whether Trayvon Martin grabbed Zimmerman`s gun or
reached for it.
Mr. Zimmerman has pled not guilty and claims he shot Trayvon Martin in
self-defense. How is the prosecution doing, improving what they call a web
Joining me now, former prosecutor Faith Jenkins, MSNBC legal analyst
Lisa Bloom, former Florida homicide prosecutor, Ken Padowitz who is now a
criminal defense attorney and criminal defense attorney John Burris.
Thank you all for being here.
FAITH JENKINS, FORMER CRIMINAL PROSECUTOR: Thank you.
LISA BLOOM, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Faith, this testimony comes from the college teacher and it
was pretty powerful. How serious have they damaged Zimmerman`s credibility
JENKINS: Well, they are trying to build upon what they believe are
inconsistencies and lies told by George Zimmerman. It`s not just the fact
that he has to lie but he does it because he can. And they`re showing he`s
lying about the small things, so how can you even believe him about the big
And in that Sean Hannity interview, the reason why I think they`re
going to play that portion in their closing arguments is not just what he
said, it`s how he said it. He is sitting there calmly and coolly, his
attorney sitting next to him, the nation watching. And he looks him in the
eye and says he`s never even heard of stand your ground. And now we know
not only did he take that one class and get an "A," he took a series of
criminal justice classes. How could he not know about stand your ground?
SHARPTON: Lisa, how important is this in terms of his being
inconsistent and on whether or not he had knowledge when he was giving his
statements to detectives immediately after the shooting of Trayvon Martin.
BLOOM: I agree with Faith. You know, when I heard this professor`s
testimony this morning that Zimmerman not only took the class but got an
"A" in the class and these topics were specifically covered. I thought,
now what did Zimmerman say exactly? Did he say he wasn`t an expert on it?
Well, there you just played the clip. He said he never heard of it.
I mean, he just can`t get out of that. And he said it in that very calm
way that he says everything, which, if you don`t have the evidence to line
up against it, you think, well, he`s a calm, straightforward kind of guy.
If he can lie that clearly about never having heard of stand your ground,
you know, what else might he be lying about? The details of this fight and
whether, indeed, his life was being threatened, whether Trayvon Martin said
he was going to take his life that night. I mean, so much is really called
into question. Not only by this lie, but all the inconsistencies the
prosecution`s now building against him. I think the prosecution`s really
gained some steam in the last couple of days.
SHARPTON: Ken, do you think this is a significant?
KEN PADOWITZ, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Absolutely. Lisa said the phrase,
so much is called into question. This is a cold, calculated outright lie.
And everyone in that courtroom, but especially the people that count the
jury heard George Zimmerman say on national television when it was played
to them that he had never heard of the stand your ground law and it`s clear
that he had, in fact, heard of it. He might not remember the details,
might not remember everything that the professor said in class, but he had
heard of it.
So he`s clearly outright lied. And what the prosecution is clearly
hoping is now the jury is getting the full understanding that this is a man
that truth and lies are interchangeable and you can`t necessarily give him
any weight to anything that he says. The government really needs the jury
to believe that in order for them to prove their case here.
SHARPTON: John, do you think the prosecution is trying to paint the
picture that he`s a liar? Or are they trying to paint the picture that he
had knowledge of self-defense laws when he was giving his statements to
police? Or both?
JOHN BURRIS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Actually, both. I mean, at
the time he went on Hannity`s program, he had injected himself into a
public figure status, the stand your ground law has been discussed
nationally by everyone before he went on that program. So, even id had not
heard in on a class, he heard of it.
And so, for him to deny that and to do it, I think, as others have
said in a way that looks like he`s telling the truth when a point of fact
is he was lying, now the question his demeanor and telling a lie is very
consistent with how he trends and how to communicates at all times.
But beyond that, he had real knowledge of self-defense laws. I mean,
he`s taking a number of classes. He`s studied this. He`s gotten an "A" in
one class. He would hear how to prepare for a witness in a case. So he
has all of the indices of a person who can be a professional witness and a
professional person in the areas of law enforcement, particularly around
So he hurt himself, I think, greatly by that particular lie. And I
find it interesting because it didn`t have to occur. I mean, this is
something -- the lawyers had been pretty smart about how they dealt with it
and kind of took an innocent thing and they took it and there was one of
the last questions that Hannity asked and it may have caught him by
surprise, but notwithstanding that. He shouldn`t have been involved in
that situation in the first place if -- unless he thought he could outsmart
the rest of the world.
SHARPTON: Now, faith, the DNA expert testified. And he said that
none of Mr. Zimmerman`s DNA evidence was found on Trayvon Martin`s hands.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY GORGONE, DNA ANALYST: The stick from the right hand had some
red/brown staining on it so I performed the chemical test for the possible
presence of blood and it tested positive. The DNA profile I obtained was a
single source profile and it was -- it matched the DNA profile from Trayvon
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In other words from the right fingernail scrapings
of Trayvon Martin, you did not find any of George Zimmerman`s DNA there, is
GORGONE: No, there was nothing foreign to Trayvon Martin. The left
hand stick was not tested for the possible presence of blood. It did not
have any staining on it whatsoever. I swabbed that and performed the
testing and did not get any DNA results from that swab.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Faith, if they had the kind of struggle that has been
described, wouldn`t there be some kind of DNA on Trayvon Martin?
JENKINS: And this is what the prosecution is building upon. George
Zimmerman knows the law on self-defense. He knows in order to get a proper
self-defense charge and win this case, using self-defense, he has to allege
he was reasonably in fear f his life or great bodily harm.
So, the prosecutors are arguing he completely embellished the amount
of physical contact he had between him and Trayvon Martin. And the DNA
evidence and the forensics support that because they don`t have his DNA
under Trayvon`s nails. And if you were in this life or death struggle,
fight, and Trayvon is repeatedly hitting you and slamming your head against
the concrete, surely the forensics would support that and they don`t.
SHARPTON: Lisa, do -- in the cross, did the defense back any of this
down from the DNA expert?
BLOOM: Normally, I love DNA evidence because it`s scientific and I`m
a geek and we don`t have to rely on the words of people who tend to be
biased and make things up, but frankly I`m unimpressed with the DNA
evidence in this case because I think the defense has made good points
about the collection that the remains of Trayvon Martin that was there in
the rain for some time, his hands were not bagged and on cross-examination
today we learned that perhaps only two of the ten fingernails of Trayvon
Martin`s were scraped.
I mean, this expert just did not know. If all five on one hand were
scraped, it would have been with the same implement. So, you know, I`m
less impressed with the DNA because it`s subject to the human beings who
collected it to seem to have potentially made some errors.
SHARPTON: Now, Ken, do you think that the jury hearing some of the
contradictions now that appear to be in Zimmerman`s story hearing a DNA guy
saying what he has said, given the limitations that Lisa`s raising. Do you
think it goes with the flow to the jury that maybe things are not as it was
appearing to be a couple of days ago from the defense being able to
seemingly penetrate some of the prosecution witnesses?
PADOWITZ: Well, I agree with Lisa. I`m not that thrilled with the
DNA evidence. It would be much more important if DNA evidence showed that
there was, in fact, you know, contact or touching.
Here it`s being used to show an admission of DNA evidence. So, it`s
not quite as powerful. No one`s brought that up yet. But I think to a
juror sitting here listening to this, that evidence isn`t going to be that
important. But it goes in the flow, it helps the prosecution with the
other evidence that I think does have more weight and does carry more
impact with the jury in showing inconsistencies.
And, again, I think that the prosecution really has to go after
Zimmerman not being honest. And you have to disregard everything that he
says. Because if you believe some of the things that Zimmerman says, which
is corroborated by some other witnesses, the prosecution`s going to have a
So, they really need to go to this jury and say you`ve got to
disregard Zimmerman, give him no weight in the evidence that came out from
his testimony and his sworn statements and his media appearances.
SHARPTON: John, before I run out of time on this segment, the
firearms expert examined the gun that Mr. Zimmerman used to kill Trayvon.
She said the burn marks on Trayvon Martin`s sweatshirt showed the gun was
touching the fabric when it discharged. Mr. Zimmerman`s defense attorney
then tried to get her to admit the gun was not pressed into Trayvon
Martin`s body. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK O`MARA, ZIMMERMAN DEFENSE LAWYER: There`s no evidence, for
example, that would show up that you would take a gun nozzle and push it
into the shirt where the shirt would fold around it, was there?
AMY SIEWERT, FIREARMS EXPERT: No, it was consistent with the muzzle
of the firearm touching.
O`MARA: If it was in contact --
O`MARA: Pushed in to the extent that it folded the fabric around it,
that would`ve shown a different type of burn pattern potentially, correct?
SIEWERT: Potentially if the sweatshirt had gone over the top of the
ejection port area, there would possibly be marks from that, but otherwise
whether it was lightly touching or pressed in, it would be the same type of
physical effects that I have seen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So now by her saying this, John, that it could have been
either, this argues against the prosecution saying the gun was not pressed
against Trayvon Martin because they were trying to say Trayvon Martin was
on top and therefore there was some -- it went through the clothing because
he was leaning over. And this expert did not give that as a definitive.
This is where the entry proved to be. She said it could have been either
BURRIS: Yes, I think that was important. And the defense was really
arguing very hard to prove that there wasn`t pressed against the flesh.
But the point of fact is given the nature of the burns and the saplings
around the shirt and the body itself, it could have been either one. So,
he didn`t get a benefit from that.
I think what I`m interested to know and we haven`t had the medical
examiner, though, is what angle was that gun pressed up against the shirt
of the body because it`s either upward or straight ahead? And that should
suggest the arm positioning of George Zimmerman. So I think it`s important
later if we get other evidence.
SHARPTON: All right. I want my legal panel to stay with me. So much
more to talk about tonight.
Coming up, with the prosecution close to resting, all eyes turn to
Trayvon Martin`s mother. Will she take the stand? When will she take the
stand? What will she say?
And the globe is watching Egypt as President Morsy is ousted by the
military. What is President Obama doing tonight?
And it`s a special edition of "Politics Nation," we`re live at a free
health clinic in New Orleans. Tonight, why anyone putting politics over
people`s knees to see this and to feel this is why I`m inspired about what
I saw today. And I`m going to talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Hello. How old are you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Six months. I`m going to be able to give him
his six month shot.
SHARPTON: Are they usually expensive?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. (INAUDIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: We will be back with more of the Zimmerman trial.
But first, we`re here live in New Orleans this evening to highlight
the real health care crisis in this country. All day long, our partners at
the National Association of Free Clinics have been providing quality care
to people who need it the most. I had a chance to talk with some of those
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An exam.
SHARPTON: Would you be able to do this again?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I can`t afford it.
SHARPTON: And it`s not that you don`t work and not responsible, you
just don`t have the money for it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just don`t have the money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: We`ll have much more on the incredible work that was done
today and why I`m inspired a little bit later in the show.
SHARPTON: We`re back on "Politics Nation" live from New Orleans where
we are partnering with the National Association of Free Clinics to get
Americans in need health care. More on that ahead.
But we go back to the George Zimmerman murder trial today with the
prosecution reportedly close to resting.
Today was day 18 of the trial. We`ve had eight days of testimony so
far. And 35 witnesses have been called to the standby the prosecution
including two key witnesses. We have heard from the woman who was on --
the young lady who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin during the
confrontation and the lead investigator in the case.
But it`s the testimony from Trayvon Martin`s mother, Sybrina Fulton,
that everyone is waiting for. We are expecting her to take the stand and
to address whose voice was screaming on that critical 911 tape. So where
does the case stand? And what lies ahead?
Back with me, Faith Jenkins, Lisa Bloom, Ken Padowitz and John Burris.
Thanks again for all of you being here.
Lisa, let me go to you first. Thirty-five witnesses later, what case
are you seeing the prosecution build?
BLOOM: First of all, bless you for what you`re doing in New Orleans.
I think it`s terrific and so important.
With regard to this case, you know, this is such a tough call. I
think the prosecution has put enough out there to get a conviction for
manslaughter. I think murder is a really tough one. I`d be very surprised
if they get that.
But they have established a lot of inconsistencies in George
Zimmerman`s stories. So many and some of them so blatant that they appear
to be out in out lies. And that makes me call into question really
everything that George Zimmerman says.
On the other hand, I think it`s pretty clear that George Zimmerman was
assaulted. He has injuries unless you believe those injuries were self-
inflicted which really there`s no evidence to support, there was some kind
of a fight. And so it all boils down to what was in his mind at the time
he took out his gun and pulled the trigger?
I think that`s a very, very difficult question. I think anybody that
tries to call this case is a fool because we don`t know what`s in the mind
of those six jurors.
SHARPTON: Well, Ken, I don`t think you`re a fool, but how would you
call the prosecution`s case at this point?
PADOWITZ: I don`t know what`s in the mind of those jurors, but Lisa
is correct. I mean, there are things you could say both ways.
Here`s the biggest problem I see. The prosecution has built a case
and they`ve hacked away at the inconsistencies of George Zimmerman. But
the biggest problem is I`ve never ever seen a homicide case where the lead
detective, the case agent, the man in charge goes before the jury and
admits on cross-examination that he believes the self-defense argument from
So, what it`s going to come down to is the prosecution`s got to
convince this jury that there`s no credibility of George Zimmerman.
Because if you believe some things from George Zimmerman, it doesn`t matter
what the lead detectives` opinions is, even though that the court told the
jury disregard it.
But if you believe some things from George Zimmerman, with that
detective saying that, there is a big problem here because the state`s got
to prove this case beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt.
And that`s a very, very high burden.
SHARPTON: John, Ken says he`s never seen a homicide case where the
lead detective believed the accused. But there also was a lead detective
in the department that did not arrest and charge George Zimmerman. There
was another detective and prosecutor that came with these charges. Could
that weigh in on the importance or non-importance of what the lead
detective said and the fact that the judge told them to disregard what they
said at the end?
BURRIS: Certainly what the judge instructions would be difficult for
them to follow. But at the end of the day, I don`t think it would turn on
the lead investigators` statements or not. At the end of the day, his
opinions don`t matter. I think what happened to me, what I`ve seen here is
that Don West today unwittingly stepped into what this case really is when
he talked with the captain today who tried to tell them about an imperfect
self-defense what Don West was not really trying to get. At the end of the
day, he was trying to get the subjectivity. But what he was left with, it
wasn`t subjective, it`s objective.
And when the jury hears a standard of that kind, that does get you to
the lesser included offense of manslaughter as Lisa said and I`ve said on
other occasions. It would be extraordinarily difficult to prove second-
degree murder here even through inconsistencies because that`s really not
enough for juries. They need something more substantial, you know, in
order to prove second-degree murder. And here what you have is the only
testimony around the murder itself is George Zimmerman`s statements. And
even though they`re inconsistent in certain areas in terms of the number of
blows and the nature of the fight and he was the instigator, you have
Rachel to say all of that. At the end of the day, I think that what you
get from all of that is he`s exaggerated his injuries, he is exaggerated
the blows, and what he essentially has done has subjectively he decided to
kill this kid when an objectively reasonable person would say, you can`t
kill someone under these facts. You don`t have the injuries, you don`t
have the blows, and you shot and killed this kid because you wanted to.
That to me is an imperfect self-defense which is manslaughter.
SHARPTON: Faith, how do you -- where do you see the prosecution`s
case? And what if anything does the defense have to come with if they put
up a case at all?
JENKINS: Well, the prosecution started this case at the very
beginning with an uphill battle because the only eyewitness to that initial
encounter when George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin meet is George Zimmerman,
the defendant. And under the law, he`s an interested witness by law. He
has the biggest stake in the outcome of this case.
So, the jurors are absolutely going to look at his statements with a
certain level of scrutiny. And a conviction here will rise and fall on
whether those jurors believe what George Zimmerman said occurred that
night. And so that`s why the prosecutor has pain stakingly gone through
his statements and through evidence, bits and pieces, to mount their
prosecution and base and hope this jury bases a conviction on the fact they
simply cannot believe anything that George Zimmerman says.
A very skillful prosecutor will stand up during closing statements and
they will paint a picture for this jury and make it clear he has lied
repeatedly. He has been inconsistent repeatedly. Why? Because he has
something to hide. Why? Because that`s consciousness of guilt. That`s
Now, the defense, they said last night, Mark O`Mara stated last night
that they do plan to call witnesses. They have also done a great job of
cross-examining these witnesses and getting bits and pieces of information
out from these witnesses to try to raise a reasonable doubt in the jurors`
minds without putting George Zimmerman on the witness stand.
So, we will see what witnesses they call, but they have absolutely
maximized their cross-examinations in a way where they have gotten a lot of
information to work with out of these witnesses.
SHARPTON: Now, Lisa, we are told that Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon`s
mother, may testify. What is it that the prosecution wants to get out of
her? And what would be in your opinion the importance of her testimony if
BLOOM: I have said all along if I were prosecuting this case, I would
put her on last. And the most important thing in her testimony would be to
play that horrible 911 call that still gives me chills even though I`ve
heard it a number of times where one of these two young men is screaming
for his life and then you hear the bullet ring out, the bullet that kills
Trayvon Martin. And we know that Sybrina Fulton has told law enforcement,
that is my son. That is Trayvon Martin. I know that is my son. She has
never waiver wavered on that. And I would put her on to say that. Let her
be cross-examined, let Don West or Mark O`Mara go after her. Really, what
are they going to do to her on cross-examination? I think that`s going to
be a tough one for them.
BURRIS: I will say this --
SHARPTON: Well, I`m going to have to leave it there, Faith Jenkins,
Lisa Bloom, Ken Padowitz, John Burris, thank you for your time tonight.
JENKINS: Thank you.
BURRIS: Thank you.
PADOWITZ: Thank you.
BLOOM: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: Ahead, historic of people, the Egyptian military has taken
control of the country. Overthrowing President Mohammed Morsy. What it
means here at home?
And we are live tonight from a free health care clinic in New Orleans.
What we need to do to fix the health care crisis in America?
SHARPTON: We`re coming to you live tonight from the convention center
in New Orleans with our partners National Association of Free Clinics. We
helped more than 700 people today. There`s a seriousness here. For many
people it`s all too rare chance to see a doctor and stay healthy for their
friends and family. I spoke with some of those people today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Get some free health care, you know, hopefully get
a prescription renewed, I just moved to the area recently so, you know,
just found out about it online and thought I`d check it out. I appreciate
that, you know.
SHARPTON: Most of the people that I`m talking to just telling, they
just can`t afford health care.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Right. Yes. For the most part right now, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You look ten years younger.
SHARPTON: Wow. I like you. I hope they get that on the show. He
said I look ten years younger.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Thanks for coming out.
SHARPTON: What brings you out? What are you checking out today?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Checking everything. Health care just costs too
much money these days.
SHARPTON: Just cost too much money. And you`re a guy that look like
a regular guy, works all your life.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes, sir.
SHARPTON: And just can`t afford it.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Six hundred dollars a month?
SHARPTON: Wow. So I hope -- when was the last time you had --
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Four years ago, the same thing here.
SHARPTON: Four years ago the last time -- right here.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes, sir.
SHARPTON: So these kinds of things are all some people have.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We`re still recovering from Katrina now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Much more about the important work being done here later in
SHARPTON: Breaking news out of Egypt tonight, President Mohammed
Morsy, the candidate who won the presidency one year ago backed by the
Muslim Brotherhood has been forced from office. These are live pictures of
Cairo`s Tahrir Square where the opposition have been widely celebrating for
over four hours. Where the nation`s military took control of the country,
this was the scene earlier today as protesters opposed to Morsy and the
Muslim Brotherhood called for the president to step down.
The military has announced the suspension of the constitution written
by Morsy`s Islamist allies. And it has named the chief justice of the
country`s Supreme Court as the interim president. Morsy`s fall comes just
one year after he became the nation`s first democratically elected leader.
He`s now being held by the Egyptian army in an undisclosed location.
Joining me now is Hisham Melhem, Washington bureau chief Al Arabia
News Channel. And Ambassador Dennis Ross, former U.S. diplomat under the
first President Bush and President Clinton, now an MSNBC contributor.
Thank you both for being here tonight.
HISHAM MELHEM, AL ARABIA NEWS CHANNEL: Thank you.
DENNIS ROSS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, sir.
SHARPTON: Ambassador Ross, let me go to you first. What does this
mean for democracy in Egypt?
ROSS: Well, on the surface, it appears to be a setback. But you
could actually argue that it could be of course correction. The fact is
President Morsy was elected democratically but he didn`t operate as if he
believed in democracy. This is someone who tried to transform the
judiciary and remove all those he thought were opposed to him. This is
someone who basically tried to pack the media, you actually had more people
prosecuted for insults to the president in his one year than had been the
case during all of Mubarak`s tenure.
This is someone who was exclusionary and did not reach out to the
opposition or create any possibility for others to govern and share in
power. In effect, you had someone who is focused entirely on control for
the Muslim Brotherhood and not on governance. And now he`s in a position
where he can`t govern or control.
SHARPTON: Now, Hisham, we are hearing a lot of those complaints that
the ambassador talked of. But he was democratically elected, and this is
by most analysis at this point a coup. And Morsy said it was a coup. Who
will take over the government now? How do you move forward if the
democratically elected president is out. If you go to another election,
what happens? Who will take over the government now?
MELHEM: Reverend, this is a worse in precedent in principle. At the
same time, when you can say that Morsy was elected in a clean election, it
does not mean that Egypt under his rule was a democratic state to
democratic institutions. And definitely acted like an autocrat and not as
a man who was responding to the will of the people. This is Reverend for
the first time in the modern history of the Middle East where you have a
sort military coup by popular demand. I`ve never seen anything like that
in the Arab world.
I usually have a view of the military`s role in politics and we have
to remind ourselves that the Egyptian military`s role after the ousting of
President Mubarak, the rule was violent and oppressive. And I keep
reminding my Egyptian`s (INAUDIBLE) and that`s why people should not
romanticize the military. At the same time, President Morsy brought Egypt
to its knees. President Morsy engaged in a war against the judiciary in
Egypt, against the media, against everybody else in government and he
wanted to really dominate through his own party and the Muslim Brotherhood
every agency and every ministry in public life.
During his year in government, we`ve seen the unraveling of the
Egyptian institutions, the institutions of the state and the unraveling of
Egyptian society. This is a very dangerous moment for Egypt now. I fully
agree with the concerns that the military in power even if they are behind
the scene is something worse. And that`s why I think the challenge now for
the United States is to tell the military and everybody now who is involved
in this soft coup, quote unquote, that they should work quickly and
decisively to write a new constitution that will meet the exception of
major political powers in Egypt and set up early very early presidential
elections and parliamentary elections. This is the challenge now for this
new team in Egypt.
Now, let me stop you right there because joining me now is NBC`s Ayman
Mohyeldin who is live from Tahrir Square now in Cairo. Can you tell us
what is going on right now on the ground where you are?
AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Right now here
in Tahrir Square, it is a scene of jubilation. A lot of festive
atmosphere, people are extremely happy about the military`s move to oust
President Mohammed Morsy. The other part of town, supporters of president
-- former President Mohammed Morsy, they are very somber. Many of them
mourning what has happened tonight, they`re calling it a military coup.
Now there have been some significant developments in the past couple of
hours. Egyptian security forces have shut down many media outlets that
have been affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic religious
They did this out of fear, perhaps, that some of these clerics and
other notable personalities who run these channels could perhaps begin to
incite the supporters of President Mohammed Morsy to take to the streets.
Former President Mohammed Morsy himself has issued a statement saying that
what has happened tonight is an illegal coup. He called on citizens and
members of the armed forces to reject the coup to abide by the law, to
abide by the constitution. As we understand it now, he is being held by
republican guard. That is a branch of the Egyptian military responsible
for the president`s security.
SHARPTON: All right. Well, this is truly an amazing story. Ayman,
thank you, and thank you to my entire panel for your time tonight.
Ahead, shining a light on the health crisis in America. We`ll hear
the stories from this free clinic and why anyone playing politics with
health care needs to see this.
SHARPTON: Up next, the reason why we`re live from New Orleans
tonight. Our work with the free health clinic that`s doing amazing and
life-saving work for the people in this community.
SHARPTON: We`re back live from New Orleans where today we were proud
to partner with the National Association of Free Clinics to provide quality
health care to hundreds of people in need. More than 900 volunteers
pitched in coming from as far as Switzerland to lend a hand. It`s
important work, it`s inspiring work and we`re proud to be part of it.
Joining me now, Nicole Lamoureux, the executive director of the
National Association of Free Clinics. Dr. Craig Dietz, one of the
volunteer medical directors at the clinic, and Nigel Brown, vice president
of Covance, one of the corporate sponsors of this event. I want to thank
you all. I mean, it`s really an honor to be with you tonight.
NICOLE LAMOUREUX, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FREE CLINICS:
Thank you for having us.
SHARPTON: Nicole, what a day, I mean, how did it go?
LAMOUREUX: It was great. You know, I think one of the things that we
saw here today is what`s indicative of what`s happening across the country.
So many people need access to health care and we love that the MSNBC
supporters have given us some funds and we`re almost at our goal. So we
hope they can chip in a little bit more so wean continue to help so many
people get the health care that they need.
SHARPTON: And I want to thank all the volunteers, people that watch
the show all over the country came. Dr. Deets, what kind of cases are you
seeing here today?
DR. CRAIG DIETZ, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FREE CLINICS: All day long,
I`ve been seeing things like skin cancer, congestive heart failure, very
out of control diabetes, extremely high blood pressure cases.
SHARPTON: Out of control diabetes?
DIETZ: Way out of control. Like almost needing to be hospitalized
out of control.
SHARPTON: I understand one person had to be taken to the hospital
LAMOUREUX: At the end of the day, we had five people that ended up
having to go to the hospital.
DIETZ: That`s right. What struck me the most about some of these
cases is when they went through their medical history with me, they
produced pill bottles that they got the last time they were at this clinic
and have not seen a health care provider in over two years. This was the
only place they were coming.
SHARPTON: Yes. One man told me the last time he`d seen a doctor was
four years ago, one of these clinics. I think we played the tape. But let
me ask you, Nigel, why is it so important to get involved in these clinics,
you and your company?
NIGEL BROWN, VP, COVANCE: It`s a global health care services company.
We get drugs to market, make sure they`re safe and effective. This is a
natural extension. With our communities and where we operate and showing
that we care and we`re passionate about getting medicine to the people that
SHARPTON: Nicole, you and I have been passionate about health care,
about why America would not have this as a priority. And being here on the
ground. I don`t care how much I preach about it. Talking to people
saying, I have no other way to do this.
SHARPTON: I think about hardworking people go to work every day.
It`s heart wrenching. Lady with her baby saying, their six-month check up,
and I could not have afforded it if you guys hadn`t come here today.
LAMOUREUX: Right. Right. It`s absolutely heartbreaking. I think
I`ve cried a million times today. Because people give you a part of their
heart when they tell you these stories, don`t they?
LAMOUREUX: That`s what happens here. And it shouldn`t be like this.
Health care should be a right, not a privilege. We shouldn`t be coming to
a convention center to get health care, no matter who you are, no matter
what you believe, this is not how health care should be delivered in this
SHARPTON: And you know, Dr. Dietz, when we were talking to some of
the people and then I would come back with the camera and I said to one
lady, I said if you don`t want to go on camera, is that all right? And she
said I have nothing to be ashamed of. America should be ashamed that we
have to do this.
DIETZ: This is true. Several patients with me were crying and hugged
me during the visit today because they said they had to swallow a lot of
pride to come here, that they were happy to do it because their health care
and their family is important to them.
SHARPTON: People that are watching in Washington that are in state
capitals where they`re turning down Medicaid expansion, Nigel. What would
you say to them nonpartisan across the lines, what would you say to them
they are playing the partisan political game over leads that you and others
are here helping?
BROWN: Well, I`m no politician, but I can assure you everybody can
take a step on their own volunteer individually for these types of things,
that`s what I choose to do and that`s -- what the option to do. We`re
proud to do it.
SHARPTON: You know, Nicole, some people said to me, they would not
even know what is wrong with them.
SHARPTON: If they didn`t have the ability to come here and when you
were here before going back a couple of years. I mean, the thought that
people are walking around ill and can`t even afford to know that they`re
LAMOUREUX: You know, it`s heartbreaking. Some of these people are
ticking time bombs. I mean, we had to put them on an ambulance to go to
the hospital. I had three patients who were in an emergency room and the
emergency room sent them here to get health care.
LAMOUREUX: Again, that`s ridiculous. And they were sick. One of
them we had to send back to the hospital. She was that ill. She had no
idea. No idea.
SHARPTON: One young man said that he had a problem and someone said
to him, why don`t you just go on your parents` health care? He said my
parents don`t have health care.
DIETZ: That`s right, he was coming here for diabetes that he`s had
since childhood which was pretty well managed when he was under a
children`s Medicaid program. But now that he`s 22 years old and going to
school, he would be eligible for his -- staying on his parents insurance,
but they don`t have insurance either.
SHARPTON: Well, I really am inspired. We`re going to stay with you
on this, Nicole Lamoureux and Dr. Craig Dietz and Nigel Brown. Thank you
for this great -- thank you for your great work. It`s really an honor to
be here and to be a part of this.
And coming up, I`m reflecting on what I saw today. And why I`m
hopeful after seeing the heroic volunteers what you will do to help, next
right after this.
SHARPTON: It`s time for a special health care edition of "Reply Al."
Crystal writes, "I`m constantly ill, yet still hold down two jobs and
find it harder and harder to actually go to work. Where do I go? What
options do I have besides laying down and letting a preventable and
treatable illness kill me?"
Well, that is why there are these free clinics around the country.
You should seek one out. And you should make sure that everyone knows why
it`s important to support free clinics like this and why it`s important
that we have affordable health care for all Americans. We cannot have a
nation this strong that does not at least guarantee health care to all of
And to all of you out there, please, please if you do nothing else,
donate to help this cause. You can donate by going to Nafcclinics.org --
And I want to take a moment to thank the MSNBC family for your help
with this clinic. Today these Americans were able to get health care
because of your donations. It is not those that do the big things, it is
those that do the little small things that are unnoticed. You won`t be on
the front page of a newspaper tomorrow for sending your dollar or two
dollars. But you`ll be in the front of the minds of hundreds of people
that wouldn`t have had an opportunity if you didn`t stop and take a moment
and a dollar to help them. And on behalf of them, I thank you.
Thanks for watching this special edition of POLITICS NATION. I`m Al
Sharpton, "HARDBALL" starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2013 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Transcription Copyright 2013 ASC LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is
granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not
reproduce or redistribute the material except for user`s personal or
internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall
user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may
infringe upon MSNBC and ASC LLC`s copyright or other proprietary rights or
interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of
MORE FROM POLITICSNATION
Add PoliticsNation headlines to your news reader: