PoliticsNation, Monday, April 28, 2014
Read the transcript from the Monday show
April 28, 2014
Guests: Brett Adair, Kendall Coffey, Dana Milbank, Charles Smith; Bernie
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you
for tuning in.
Tonight`s league, the full court press is on against an NBA team owner.
Today, pressure is building on the NBA to take strong, swift action against
the Los Angeles Clippers on the Donald Sterling at the racist comments
emerged over the weekend.
The NBA commissioner will speak tomorrow. But today, many team sponsors
are already speaking loud and clear. A growing list has said they won`t
CARMAX called the comments completely unacceptable.
Kia called them reprehensible.
State Farm said they are offensive.
And virgin America said simply it`s ending its sponsorship.
The firestorm comes after TMZ sports posted an audio recording allegedly of
Sterling talking to his then alleged girlfriend. The recording has not
been verified by NBC News. But according to TMZ, Sterling was upset about
this photo with Magic Johnson that she posted on her Instagram account.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD STERLING, LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS OWNER: Why are you taking pictures
with minorities, why?
V. STIVIANO, STERLING`S GIRLFRIEND: People call you and say that I have
black people on my Instagram and it bothers you.
STERLING: Yes, it bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you`re
associating with black people. Why publicize it on the Instagram and why
bring it to my team? How about your whole life, every day, you could do
whatever you want. You could sleep with them, you could bring them in, you
can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is to not promote it and
not to bring them to my games.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Calls to take action are coming from some of the biggest names
in the game.
Michael Jordan, perhaps the greatest player in NBA history and the league`s
only African-American owner called it sickening and offensive and he`s not
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAGIC JOHNSON, FORMER NBA PLAYER: He shouldn`t even a team anymore, and he
should stand up and say I don`t want to own a team.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If somebody wants to be a racist, that`s all right,
that`s their thing. But if you`re in a position of power and you can take
jobs and economic opportunity from people, that crosses the line.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We found a way to make this the greatest game in the
world, and for comments like that, it taints our game and can`t have that.
Can`t have it from a player, an owner, a fan, so on and so on. It doesn`t
matter if you are black, white, Hispanic or whatever, the case may be. We
can`t have that a part of our game.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: This is a defining moment for the NBA. So what can happen?
The NBA league`s constitution isn`t public. But today the sports blog
"Dead Spin" reported on what it says is article 35 of their document, and
it could be relevant. It governs player misconduct. It has powers the NBA
commissioner to suspend or fine a player deemed to have made comments quote
"prejudicial or detrimental to the best interest of basketball."
But what about statements by an owner? And we just learned this from TMZ,
Sterling`s son-in-law says, quote, "I find the statements and
representations made by the Clippers team owner to be deplorable and
disgusting. There is no room in sports or society in general for racism."
This is his son-in-law talking.
Tomorrow, the NBA says it will make an announcement and they have to make
it clear that they won`t excuse or validate this kind of behavior.
Anything sort of that will be unacceptable. I`ve been very clear in my
commentary and involvement all weekend. They cannot give any signal that
this behavior is acceptable or excusable in the American mainstream sports
Who is on trial now is not Sterling, in my judgment, it`s basketball, an
American sports and the NBA or to have that in mind as advertisers and
others have taken a real stand.
Joining me now are Joan Walsh and former NBA player Charles Smith, who
played for Donald Sterling`s Clippers. He`s now president and CEO of the
pro-basketball alumni association. Also with me is Angela Rye.
Charles, you know Donald Sterling. What`s your reaction to this?
CHARLES SMITH, FORMER NBA PLAYER: Well, you know, I was surprised, as
many. But not really shocked about it. You know, Mr. Sterling is a
gentleman that dances to his own beat, his own drum. He has no one to
stand to. He can do his own things and he`s done that. He`s been the type
of individual that has said a lot of comments to individuals.
SHARPTON: And in racist comments?
SMITH: Not racist comments, just not respectful kind of way. Because that
is the type of person that he has been.
SHARPTON: Now, did any of the numbers of the team when you were there or
you know about his settlements for discrimination in housing? Because he
has quite a background. He settled almost $3 million being sued for racial
discrimination in some of his real estate dealings were you aware of this?
SMITH: No. And the fact of the matter is that, yes, all these things are
documented. They are public record and he does have a history and he can`t
get around that.
SHARPTON: Joan, here are more comments allegedly made by Sterling. Let me
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STERLING: Don`t come to my games. Don`t bring back people. Don`t come.
You know you have a whole team that`s black that plays for you.
STIVIANO: Do you know that you have a whole team that`s black, that plays
STERLING: You just, do I don`t? I`ve supported them and given them food
and clothes and cars and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else
give it to them?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: You wrote about this today, Joan.
JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, SALON.COM: You know, there`s an echo of what
Cliven Bundy said last week about African-Americans being better off under
slavery because they had chickens and gardens and their families around
them. In this notion that I give them to food, I give them housing, I give
them clothes, like they`re dependents. And when reversely, look at this
two, his African-American players are giving him food and clothes and
houses and riches and women and all the rest. Yes, he`s got a real estate
empire, but he`s made a lot of money off basketball.
But the paternalism and the condescension and, you know, just the clear
sense that these black players are other and lesser is just -- it`s
shocking from anybody. It`s shocking from a Cliven Bundy. But it is
unacceptable for ---
SHARPTON: But Cliven Bundy doesn`t own an NBA team.
SHARPTON: And as much as I was outrage by some of what Bundy said, I don`t
want to blow it up to the level of what we`re talking about here.
Angela Rye, you`ve been tweeting about this all weekend and saying a lot of
things. Express yourself.
ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Well, where to begin, Rev.? To Joan`s
last point about paternalism here, I think that big daddy Sterling over
here, the only thing he`s really going to really understand is for this to
hit him economically.
The one thing that we can absolutely learn is the swift action for which
the Clippers took, you mentioned the sponsors earlier from State Farm to
Sprint just announced, I think there is the last one today. You know,
folks have to hit him economically.
And I think when NBA commissioner Silver sees that this is going to have an
economic impact, not just on the Clippers, but on basketball writ large,
that`s the only thing they`ll understand. I think the unfortunate thing
that we are seeing here, Rev., is the thing that power and influence can
really get you, it gets you swift action. We have not seen these same type
of thing when racist policies, maybe they are not racist intentionally, but
the discriminatory effect of policies being passed in the House of
Representatives or state legislators throughout this country, there`s not
this type of response.
So I hope that one thing that African-Americans can do, that their $1.1
trillion buying power and the rest of America collectively can do, is put
your money where your mouth is and hold your dollars. Know where you`re
spending and be very careful about who you choose to support.
SHARPTON: And you know, Charles, let me go to something `Sports
Illustrated" reported about whether the commissioner can force out Donald
Sterling? And they say, quote, "the NBA constitution which is confidential
reportedly contains language permitting owners to authorize the league to
sell a team without owner`s concept." And it continues saying the language
quote "only covers very limited circumstances, and these circumstances
concern team finances." Which could be questionable now with a lot of the
sponsors going. What do you hope you see tomorrow form from the
SMITH: Well, from a player`s perspective, you`ve seen a history where
players have been fine, banned and suspended for doing various things.
This is the first time you actually have an owner in the situation.
The NBA spent a lot of money over the years to train players not to get
into situations like this, and this is the first time you have an owner in
it. So you would hope that the treatment is fair. You hope that it`s a
result that satisfies player, the fans, sponsors, everybody at large. But
the key here is that this is the owner`s decision. This is a commissioner
and the owner`s decision. And it`s something that they have to deal with
and that is something that they are going to have address and deal with it
SHARPTON: You know, one of the things that really was note worthy to me,
because I have been in the few of these issues from mug shot to on and on.
And is the amount of people other than activist civil rights activists that
have gotten involved, all of your major athletes from Lebron to Michael
Jordan, 6:00 this morning a marketing magnate Steve Scott (ph) called me
saying I want to get the people at advertise through me out of this.
Ordinary people are really outraged by this, Joan. And I don`t know how
the NBA cannot hear all of our voices when you` got so many people that are
saying this can`t be -- the man`s son-in-law just came out.
WALSH: Well, the son-in-law --
SHARPTON: And he -- the son-in-law, not just the son-in-law, he runs day
to day operation for the team.
WALSH: Right. That`s an important turning point, Rev. And I think it`s
just such a human thing to hear those words and to know that he`s talking
about some of his players. He`s talking about his players` families. He
is talking about his players` friends. That these are the people that are
not welcome at his games and they`re not welcome with his girlfriend. She
can associate with other people but not black people.
SHARPTON: They`re viewed as the enemy, he said at one point.
SHARPTON: And Angela, I mentioned a short time ago, the last statement by
Sterling were not the first time the Clippers on had been accused of
bigotry. In 2003, Sterling was sued by 19 tenants of a building he owned,
called the Ardmore apartments. In sworn testimony obtained by ESPN, a
former property manager alleges that when Sterling first bought the
Ardmore, he remarked on its odor, quote, "that`s because of all the blacks
in this building. They smell. They`re not clean," he said.
At one point an elderly black tenant complained about water damage in her
apartment. Sterling asked if she`s one of those black people that stink.
Just evict the expletive. He later settled the case for an undisclosed
Angela, how should this pattern play into the NBA`s decision tomorrow?
RYE: Well, we know that the former NBA commissioner was silent on all of
these issues. And I know you mentioned earlier, the fact that he had to
insert into a settlement agreement with the department of justice for
housing discrimination again, $2.73 million. So this man is no newbie to
racism and discrimination again. To that point, there has to be --
SHARPTON: Now, he never admitted wrongdoing, but he paid that fine, 2.73.
RYE: And that speaks loudly. Money talks, right, Rev.?
So at the end of the day, the fact that this gentleman continues to
discriminate against people of color, whether they play for the Clippers or
not, they have to hold him accountable at this point. There`s no more room
for him in society to treat tenants like that, to treat basic human beings
that way, whether American citizen or not. And he certainly doesn`t have
the right to treat his players this way anymore.
There are a number of things the NBA can do. You think about the NFL`s
rule, the fact that there all types of proactive steps they`ve had to take
to ensure that people of color have a place and a say. And I think that
it`s time for the NBA to look at pro-active steps that they can take
because they haven`t addressed this in the past. This guy has continued to
do this because he`s been able to plead the affluenza defense even when
he`s not in a court of law.
SHARPTON: Charles, let me go back to you in a minute because there is
outrage everywhere. There is concern everywhere. Those in the sports
world have to deal with this. You as an athlete, former active athlete,
but always an athlete. You know how hard it is for those players. They`re
facing a dream of their life, the playoffs. But they got to get caught up
Isn`t it fair to the players to make sure these elements are not in the
position of ownership? I mean, give me a sense of what you think is going
through some of those kids` minds that`s go to play tomorrow night that`s
got to stand up for what they believe but at the same time try to win their
SMITH: Yes. When I played for the Clippers during the race riots in L.A.,
we had to move and play from the arena in L.A. to go to Anaheim. The
racial issues were very high in Los Angeles. And we felt it. But it is
nothing like what they feel, because this hits home. This is where they
work. This is their owner. It`s a very tough emotional situation for
Now athletes are built to deal with distractions and put things aside when
you get on that 94 by 50 feet court and go and play. But this is a little
different. This is the owner of the ball club that made direct accusations
to them as employees. That`s a little tough, you know. If there`s any
person that can handle this situation, it`s Doc Rivers.
I played with Doc on three different NBA franchises. Doc understands
racism, Doc understands players, he understands the business aspect of it.
And he has the ability to deal with the players and admit as he can on the
emotional side to get these guys focused to try to play. What he`s trying
to do is to say let`s fight back by getting to the championship. It is
very difficult to do, but if there`s a coach that can get them to that
area, it`s Doc.
SHARPTON: You know, I thought about all weekend as we went through meeting
and a concern about it. But I agree with Angela. A lot of it is going to
be where the advertiser, where the money goes, and the other owners go.
Watch the money. This is my first rule to you all, watch the money.
Joan Walsh, Charles Smith and Angela Rye, thank you all three for your time
WALSH: Thank you, Rev.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, breaking news out of Mississippi. At least one
tornado touching down. The situation is still very dangerous. We have a
Also big news about the GOP congressman caught on tape threatening to break
a reporter in half. He`s now turned himself in to the feds and is facing a
Also, Muhammad Ali`s moment of courage, a decision on this day back in 1967
that helped change America forever. Stay with us.
SHARPTON: Breaking news tonight, reports of at least one tornado touching
down near the town of Tupelo, Mississippi. Where is this severe weather
heading? How bad is it going to get? We`ll get a life report from the
SHARPTON: It has taken four years, but Republicans are finally realizing
their all repeal all the time talk on healthcare just won`t cut it. Take
Washington Congresswoman Kathy McMorris Rogers, the number four Republican
in the house. She told a local paper it`s unlikely the affordable care act
will be repealed and, quote, "we need to look at reforming the exchanges."
And a new memo on the house GOP`s string agenda includes zero mention of
repeal. Zero. None. Nada. Repeals are dead issue. But they haven`t
figured out what they want instead. Just ask Ohio`s Senator Rob Portman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Repeal and replace. What part of law was acceptable.
What would you like to keep?
SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R), OHIO: Well, look. There`s some stuff in the law
that has to do with preventive and wellness. I don`t think it`s very
effective. But I think Republicans are interested in that. I know I`m
very interested in this idea of health savings account as most Republicans.
Overall, there`s very little I can point to in there that is actually
positive. But the point is, we have better ideas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So the Republicans have better ideas. Really? Then why
couldn`t he actually think of any. Luckily, his former colleague Scott
Brown, who`s now running for senator in New Hampshire laid out his
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. SCOTT BROWN, NEW HAMPSHIRE: I have always felt the people should, you
know, get some type of health care options, we will pay for it and, you
know, our most competitive feed, that is all great. I believe in my heart
in terms of pre-existing conditions, catastrophic coverages, covering kids,
whatever we want to do, we can do it.
As a matter of fact, in New Hampshire, I would encourage everybody to do a
New Hampshire plan that works a New Hampshire plan that works for New
Hampshire that deals with individual freedoms. It doesn`t have mandates
put on by bureaucrats in Washington. The plan that is good for New
Hampshire which can include the Medicaid expansion, folks who need that
care and coverage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So Scott Brown wants health care. He wants a plan that covers
people with pre-existing conditions. He`s interested in covering kids.
Maybe like letting young adults stay on their parents` plans. And he
thinks Medicaid expansion could be a good part of that. Pre-existing
conditions, covering kids and expanding Medicaid. That sounds an awful
like the affordable care act.
Congratulations, Senator Brown, I`ve really got to hand it to you. Sounds
like a good plan to me. Well done.
Joining me now is Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont whose health care
reform for years.
Senator, thank you for being here.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: My pleasure.
SHARPTON: Republicans want to keep the most popular parts of the health
care law. Doesn`t this show the fight is all over, really?
SANDERS: Look. We know what Republicans in their hearts believe about
health care. When Bush was president for eight years, tell me what did he
do when we had over 40 million people who had no health insurance? The
answer is nothing.
What are over 20 Republican governors in this country doing right now when
they have the opportunity for zero state funds to provide medicate for all
of their people? What they`re doing is rejecting that. What is the Ryan
budget in the Republican house doing? They are ending Medicare as they
know it. Transferring it to a voucher program, making massive cuts in
Medicaid. That`s what these guys believe. And their nightmare is oh, my
goodness, the affordable care act is working. Millions of people now have
affordable health insurance. What a terrible thing that is.
So Al, I think these guys are going to be scratching their heads. They
really don`t know what to do right now.
SHARPTON: Well, you know, they`ve got some political problems with this
because a new pole of battle ground b congressional districts find 52
percent want to implement and fix the health care law while 42 percent want
to repeal it. Now, these are competitive districts, Senator. Doesn`t this
show Republicans need to do more than just trash the law?
SANDERS: Well, of course it does. And I tell a funny story. I was just -
- this weekend, I was in South Carolina and I was in North Carolina, you
know, supposedly conservative states. And you know what the people there
are saying? They say, as I think most Americans say, that health care must
be a right of all people.
I think the affordable care act is an important stuff, but frankly, between
you and me. I think we should go further with a Medicare for all single
payer program that does with the rest of the industrialized world does.
But right now, the Republicans are in a real country. Millions of people
are getting affordable health care. Do you really think politically
they`re going to yank that health care and that insurance away from people?
SHARPTON: No, and that`s why senator, you and I agree. A lot of
progressives, a lot of us didn`t want a single payer plan and didn`t
understand why everybody was so upset with this one who didn`t go nearly as
far as many of us had wanted. But let me bring this back to your last
point about are they going to do this to millions of people. Because "The
New York Times" spoke to health care workers in West Virginia who said
politics kept many people from signing up. One said, quote, "literally
people thought there would be chips embedded in their bodies if they were
signed up for Obamacare. A social worker said, she had heard people
express fears about chip implants is well and death panels as she sought to
enroll them. I mean, if there hadn`t been so much misinformation, you talk
about the millions that did sign. Would a number be even hotter if there
wasn`t so much misinformation?
SANDERS: Al, for the last year, one of these Republicans we are talking
about how terrible, how awful, the affordable care act is you know, well I
think that we got to get stop being offensive. And we have to be on the
offensive and we got to tell every governor out there who was denying
people the right to have health care that they`re doing a terrible,
terrible thing. We`ve got to start turning the tables on them.
SHARPTON: Senator Bernie Sanders, thank you so much for your time tonight.
SANDERS: Thank you.
Coming up, remember Congressman Michael Grimm, the congressman who
threatened a reporter`s life? Today he was arrested and indicted on 20
counts. More of those counts ahead.
And President Obama gets very personal, talking about his biggest regret in
life. That`s next.
SHARPTON: We`re back with breaking news. At least one tornado has touched
down near the town of Tupelo, Mississippi. Trees are down. Homes have
been damaged. But so far no injuries have been reported. The governor has
declared a state of emergency all across Mississippi. The severe weather
is continuing and remains very dangerous. With the system now heading into
Alabama, here`s what people watching NBC`s WBLT Station in Mississippi saw
on their local news just a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We may have a tornado on the ground here. I`m going to
go and get out the picture here. We may have a tornado on the ground.
That cloud is all the way to the ground there. Lot of lightning coming out
of that cloud. What we`re going to look for are power flashes. So, this
is a dangerous storm now. If you`re in Russellville, you need to seek
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: These photos from twitter showed the extent of the damage in
Tupelo. Emergency crews are on the ground trying to help the victims as we
Joining me now on the phone is storm chaser Brett Adair who is near
Brooksville, Mississippi. Good evening, Brett.
BRETT ADAIR, STORM CHASER (on the phone): Good evening.
SHARPTON: What can you tell us?
ADAIR: We can basically confirm that the town of Louisville, Mississippi,
just to our west was hit by a tornado just a short time ago. Now we are --
we filmed a pretty large tornado just west of Brooksville. (INAUDIBLE)
However, we do know that there`s been some pretty substantial damage in
Louisville and also in Tupelo area.
SHARPTON: Now, where you right now?
ADAIR: We`re still in position a few miles west of Brooksville,
Mississippi, waiting to see if this tornado pops back out of the rain.
SHARPTON: And what have you been seeing since you`ve been where you are
ADAIR: Well, we arrived on location about ten minutes ago. We had a
pretty -- tornado which are moving our chill towards easterly direction.
And like I said, the tornado is wrapped in rain and we can`t tell if it`s
on the ground any longer or not.
SHARPTON: All right. Well, we thank you and be safe and be careful out
there. Brett Adair, thanks for your time and again, stay safe tonight.
Still ahead, remember the GOP lawmaker who threatened to break a reporter
in half? Today he was pleading not guilty in federal court. We`ll tell
you all about it. Also Muhammad Ali, and the decision that helped change
the way Americans thought about an unjust war. Stay with us.
SHARPTON: Republican Congressman Michael Grimm is now facing -- of federal
criminal charges. You may remember Congressman Grimm. He`s a New York
lawmaker who made national headlines in January when he threatened a TV
reporter on camera. The reporter asked him about a federal investigation
into potential campaign finance violations.
Grimm later apologized for his threat, but this morning the Congressman
surrendered to FBI agents over another investigation. He`s now facing a
20-count federal indictment. The charges range from mail and tax fraud to
perjury and obstruction. It all stems from Grimm allegedly hiding more
than $1 million in sales and wages from his New York health food
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He could run his business legitimately and honestly or
he could succumb to the lure of easy money and try to cheat his way to
success. And Michael Grimm made the choice to go from upholding the law to
breaking it. And in so doing, he turned his back on every oath he had ever
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Today, Congressman Grimm pled not guilty and vowed to stay in
office. Joining me now is former U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey and Dana
Milbank. Thank you both for being here.
DANA MILBANK, THE WASHINGTON POST: Hi, Reverend.
KENDALL COFFEY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Hey, thanks, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Dana, an amazing turn in the story for Mr. Grimm. What`s your
MILBANK: Well, I think it`s interesting that the company was called
Healthalicious. Because he`s left his party in a very unappetizing
position right now. As a legal matter of course, he`s innocent until
MILBANK: He`s a political matter, that`s another story. He already had
difficulty going into this. Now he`s basically stuck on the ballot.
There`s really no practical way to get rid of him in November. So that`s
going to -- makes it likely the Republicans lose that seat in New York.
And also --
SHARPTON: It is the swing district. Because they can`t replace him on the
ballot and it`s not a solid red district.
MILBANK: Exactly. He was vulnerable to losing anyway. He was sort of
swept in with the tide in 2010 as a lot of people were. So, he was
vulnerable anyway. But even beyond his seat, you now have the congressman
who`s out because he bought cocaine here in Washington. You`ve got the
kissing congressman. You have this, now it begins to develop a sort of
narrative that may make trouble for some of his republican colleagues.
SHARPTON: -- Going to all of the politics though. Kendall today, the
congressman denied any wrongdoing. And claimed he was being targeted in a
witch hunt. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHAEL GRIMM (R), NEW YORK: Since day one, the press has been giving
all kinds of innuendos and accusations to support -- I would be very clear,
a political witch hunt. And this political witch hunt was designed to do a
couple of things. But first and foremost, assassinate my character and
remove me from office. I know I`m a memorial man, a man of integrity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now, Kendall, he`s facing, if convicted, he could face some
pretty serious times. Up to 20 years for each mail and wire fraud charge.
Up to ten years for healthcare fraud, up to five years for conspiring to
defraud the United States, up to three years for fraudulent tax returns and
for obstructing and impeding the IRS. Up to six months for employing
unauthorized aliens. This looks serious. You as U.S. attorney, how
serious is this?
COFFEY: It`s incredibly serious. And it suggests that when he was
physically threatening this reporter. You recalled that he said, it was
stress relating to Hurricane Sandy. Well, it wasn`t hurricane named Sandy,
it was a restaurant name Healthalicious that had him pretty stress.
Because with everything they have in the indictment, you almost have to
take out your calculator to estimate the potential prison exposure. And
it`s very well documented Reverend. I mean, they`re talking about major
amounts of cash that he did not report, cash payments he then made to
And in some instances, employees that did not have a legal status. So,
it`s a long list of charges, very serious ones. And he`s coming out
firing, claiming he`s going to fight it tooth and nail, he`s going to be
vindicated. His attorneys are accusing the government of abuse of power,
political vendetta. Some of that is predictable. But if he`s in for a
long fight, he needs to know they`ve got plenty, plenty of evidence. And
for all the tough talk today I`m going to be surprised if at some point,
they don`t come hat in hand to the prosecutors and utter those immortal
words, let`s make a deal if we can.
SHARPTON: So, you think ultimately that the congressman and his lawyers
will try to make a deal because of the seriousness of these charges?
COFFEY: Yes. The potential prison exposure, and under the guy lines it
will going to be much less, but theoretically, it`s between 240 and 260
years. A lot of counts, they seem to have lined up a lot of witnesses, and
I think this seems to be the smoking gun. They`ve got a spread sheet, an
electronic spread sheet of a second set of payroll records. How is he
going to explain that? And it`s the payroll records that weren`t given to
the IRS, that weren`t given to New York taxing authorities or to the worker
compensation. Hence, lots of charges, plenty of trouble explaining all of
SHARPTON: Dana, let me go back to something you referred to. Some on the
right are questioning the timing of the indictment. Just after the April
10th deadline for filing the run in the fall federal elections. They`re
saying because the deadline had passed, nay knew that they couldn`t replace
him as a republican candidate and therefore Charlie Cook`s political report
has switched his ratings on Grimm`s district from lean republican to lean
democratic. I mean, what is the political fallout of these charges?
MILBANK: Well, look, we don`t know what`s going on behind closed doors.
That`s a very serious allegation to say that an indictment was politically
motivated. You have to remember, he is a former FBI official and a marine.
So it`s basically suggesting that the FBI is going after one of its own for
a politically motivated thing. So that`s a little bit questionable.
SHARPTON: Is it not, though, even though when you refer to him and others
that Republicans in the House that are not running or that have problems.
You still have a long way to go to regain the democratic majority in the
MILBANK: Right. That`s basically not on the table just because of
gerrymandering the way the districts are structured. But this may blunt
some of the momentum that the Republicans then had. Now, if you think
about that, a lot of this -- this is all basically proceeds him being
elected to the House. But it`s talking about hiring of undocumented
aliens, and it`s talking about evading taxes. So this is the sort of
question other republican candidates are going to be asked. Do they
support Michael Grimm and the sorts of things he`s accused of being doing.
That`s how we can have that sort of echo effect far beyond New York.
SHARPTON: Kendall Coffey and Dana Milbank, thank you both for your time
MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.
COFFEY: Thanks, Reverend.
SHARPTON: One other quick note today from GOP Congressman Vance McAllister
announced he will not seek re-election this fall. The Louisiana republican
made headlines after a video surfaced of him kissing a female stuff member.
McAllister is married and has five children. Today, he confirmed that he
will serve out the remainder of his term, but again will not seek re-
Coming up, tensions are running high in Detroit. Tonight, following a hit
and run. That story ahead. Also, my thoughts on the remark from the
Clippers owner David Sterling, Donald Sterling. What needs to happen next?
Plus, on this day in 1967, Muhammad Ali makes one of the most courageous
stands in sports and American history. Stay with us.
SHARPTON: Now to a horrible story in Detroit. Nearly a month after a
traffic accident turned into a violent mob attack, Steve Utash, a white man
accidentally hit a ten year old black youth David Harris with his pickup
truck on April 2nd. Harris stepped into oncoming traffic as shown in this
surveillance video from the scene. Utash got out of his car to help the
boy who suffered a broken leg. But a crowd gathered and within moments, up
to a dozen people were attacking him, beating him unconscious. A retired
nurse ended the beating, holding the angry mob back with her .38 caliber
Utash was in a coma for nearly two weeks. Tonight, he remains in critical
condition. Police have arrested four suspects in the beating who appeared
in court today. They will all be tried on attempted murder charges this
August. A fifth suspect, a 16-year-old has been charged with ethnic
intimidation. A hate crime for his part in the beating. Community leaders
held a prayer vigil to call for the community to come together and turn
away from the violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. EDGAR VANN, SECOND EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH: No longer will we stand
by and allow evil and violence and disrespect and dishonor to control and
to define who we are.
BISHOP CHARLES ELLIS, PENTECOSTAL ASSEMBLIES OF THE WORLD: We are here to
thank God that in the midst of evil we still have good Samaritans.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Steve, Utash`s family has started a fundraising page to help pay
for his medical expenses at GoFundMe.com. The police are still asking for
anyone with any information on this horrific crime to contact them at 1-
800-speak-up. Black or white, we must respect one another and come
together to end this senseless violence. From all we`ve seen, Utash did
what was right, to step out and help a young boy that he had found himself
hitting when he stepped into traffic.
The woman that held the mob off did the right thing by stopping the
violence. It was deplorable, unjustified by any stretch. I pray for the
full recovery of Mr. Utash and I pray that this community shows that it is
not about black or white, it`s about right or wrong in all of these
situations. Our prayers are with Mr. Utash and his family. We`ll be right
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUHAMMAD ALI, FORMER PROFESSIONAL BOXER: Anything that`s against my
religious beliefs, I would rather face machine gun fire before deviate from
the teachings of almighty God and the religion of Islam. I will die.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: That was the greatest Muhammad Ali. Just before he made a
historic decision that would help change America forever. On this day
April 28, 1967. The champ refused to be inducted into the draft to fight
in the war in Vietnam. He said his religious belief and his conscious
would not permit him to fight an unjust war. Ali was immediately stripped
of his title, losing more than three years of boxing in the prime of his
career. But he was fighting a cost much bigger than any opponent he faced
in the ring.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALI: My intention is to box, to win a clean fight. But in law, the
intention is to kill, kill, kill, kill and continue killing innocent
people. Right now, my people are being clobbered and stoned. In fact, the
women beat up, kicked, for what? Just simply demanding the right to live
in the neighborhood which they too. And then they were turn around and
send us to war. For what? It has been said that I have two alternatives,
either go to jail or go to the army. But I would like to say that there is
another alternative. And that alternative is justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Ali explicitly connected the injustices in Vietnam to the
injustices here in America. He said it was time for a change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALI: My conscious won`t let me go shoot my brother, some darker people,
some full hungry people in the mud and shoot them for what? They never
lynch me, put dogs on me, they didn`t rob me. How can I shoot them poor
people? Just take me to jail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: For taking a stand against the war, Ali was arrested and
sentenced to five years in prison. Many condemned his decision and
vilified his faith. But he stood his ground. He appealed the sentence,
and America caught up with him, millions of Americans were soon in the
streets protesting the war. And athletes and other sports were inspired by
Ali`s example. Raising their fists against injustice. In 1971, the U.S.
Supreme Court unanimously overturned his conviction for evading the draft.
And a few years later, Ali regained his title by shocking the world at the
rumble in the jungle. Muhammad Ali is the greatest both in and out of the
ring. And his courage that day back in 1967 is just one of the many
SHARPTON: Tomorrow, the NBA will address the Donald Sterling controversy
doing an afternoon press conference. I hope they stand up and make it
clear that racism and bigotry has no place in not only basketball, but in
American sports and American life. I remember in 2009, Attorney General
Eric holder said we were cowards when it comes to dealing with race. After
a week of ranchers talking about blacks not knowing how to pick cotton and
a Supreme Court vote upholding Michigan`s stand on affirmative action and
taking race out as a factor, and ending the week of the owner of an NBA
team saying some of the most racist things on tape. We need to stop being
cowards and deal with the underlying problems, rather than just reacting
when we have flames on top.
Thanks for watching. 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 2014 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Transcription Copyright 2014 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: