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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

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June 24, 2014

Guest: Michelle Cottle; Brian Wice, Jackie Speier, Dana Milbank, Stanley

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you
for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, is tonight the night Republicans go off the cliff? Today,
are first primary election since Eric Cantor`s stunning primary collapse.
The loss had Republicans falling all over themselves, scrambling to the
right. And it exposed an ugly fight for the heart and soul of the GOP.
Voters in eight states are going to the polls today. But party leaders are
bracing for what happened in the Mississippi run-off where tea party
challenger Chris McDaniel is trying to unseat sex-term senator, Thad
Cochran. It`s been ugly and bizarre from the start.

Today poll watchers supporting the McDaniel campaign were spotted after the
Cochran campaign began courting black voters. One poll watcher told "the
Washington Post" reporter, he was very worried about the election being

McDaniel`s old record on race makes the development for disturbing. He
spoke before a neo-confederate group. He attacked Katrina victims as
welfare dependent. As a radio host, he talked about reparations.


broke. Millions of illegals pouring across the border trying to become
citizens and they all want theirs and then reparations. Let me just get
crazy with it. If they pass reparations and my taxes go up, I`m not paying


SHARPTON: It`s radical rhetoric, for a radio show or the U.S. Senate. The
Thad Cochran campaign is hoping is too far right even for GOP voters.



MCDANIEL: It`s so interesting to see this woman basically using her
(bleep), using her breasts to run for office.


MCDANIEL: Hot mama. You`re a fine looking young thing.


MCDANIEL: Maybe if you get a (bleep) and some crack maybe they will give
you a discount.



SHARPTON: With poll still open in Mississippi, it is not clear whether GOP
voters will reject that kind of talk or embrace it. It is the same battle
playing out tonight in Colorado where former Republican congressman Tom
Tancredo is running for the GOP governor nomination.

Here`s a tax on immigration and immigrants made him notorious. Now, he`s
picking new targets. In 2010 he told a tea party crowd that a literacy
test for voters would have stopped President Obama. He`s fond of comparing
the president to a terrorist.


physically destroy America as Al Qaeda does, but he`s as dangerous -- he is
more dangerous simply because he`s inside.

All of the external threats to the United States pale in comparison to the
threat that Barack Obama poses.

The president of the United States should have been impeached four or five
times by now. This guy is a greater threat to America than Al Qaeda. I
have said it on many occasions. I`m sure if I am nominated I`m going to
see it on the television.


SHARPTON: It`s already on television. And that`s the problem for the GOP.
This could be a kit call night for the party`s future and for the country.

Joining me live from the McDaniel campaign headquarters in Hattiesburg,
Mississippi, is NBC`s Kasie Hunt. And in Washington, "the National
Journal`s" Michelle Cottle.

Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Kasie, does the McDaniel camp expect a win tonight?

HUNT: I think at this point there is a little bit of nervousness, probably
on both camps, but definitely on the McDaniel side. There are some of the
facebook postings that have been putting out today, have focused on this
idea that liberals might elect the next Republican nominee. And that is a
reference to what`s going on with the Cochran campaign and its supporters -
- rather Cochran campaign supporters, essentially saying that Democrats
maybe in particular African-American Democrats should go to the polls and
vote for senator Cochran because he has brought so much to the state over
the course of the past few years.

So I think that the dynamics here on the ground have really shifted over
the course of the past three weeks when the McDaniel campaign sort of swept
into this runoff. They felt like they had a lot of momentum then. There
was a lot of discussion of how it`s likely that McDonnell would have easily
pulled this out. It`s pretty clear that the Cochran campaign has changed
the dynamic at the very least. So, it is still an open a question whether
or not it is going to be enough ultimately to push him across the finish
line. But I think that they are much more optimistic now than they were
three weeks ago.

SHARPTON: Now, changing the dynamics is what Kasie said, Michelle.

Here is a message posted on McDaniel`s facebook page today. Quoting here,
"the Democrats will steal this Republican primary for Thad, unless you
helps us turn out your friends."

Now, an accusation of stealing the election on a day we are seeing poll
watchers, this fight only gets uglier by the day. Doesn`t it, Michelle?

COTTLE: It indeed, it does. And this kind of language is actually a two-
for for the McDaniel campaign. One, it suggests that Thad Cochran is such
a liberal squish that Democrats are going to line up to help him out. He
kind of tries to delegitimize him altogether. But mostly, what it does is
it is like kind of emotional per mongering gut-level kind of rhetoric that
gets people to the polls and in runoff elections it tends to be whoever has
the most motivated base.

SHARPTON: Now Kasie, how has the turnout -- how big turnout, small
turnout? Can you tell by where the turnout is who might be favored by

HUNT: At this point, I have Thad Cochran supporters telling me that they
feel good about where the turnout is for them. They are looking for a
larger turnout, in particular, turnout of voters who didn`t show up three
weeks ago.

I have heard from sources that they think that African-American turnout
might be up in a few locations. It is not 100 percent. But -- or at least
they are not 100 percent sure how high the turnout is.

But at this point they are optimistic about the people they are seeing show
up. And I have not heard from the McDaniel campaign on whether or not they
believe they are getting supporters to the polls.

SHARPTON: Now, Cochran spent a lot more money. What is driving McDaniel`s
vote and support, Kasie?

HUNT: Well, the Cochran campaign has spent more money than the McDaniel
campaign. McDaniel had a lot of support and money poured in from outside
groups. But I think the difference that you have seen over the course of
the past three weeks is how the Cochran campaign spending money. And they
are spending it on getting out the vote.

And what I have heard over and over again over the past couple of days from
Republicans is they are saying there are voters out there who didn`t
believe that senator Cochran could lose. And that goes for Republican
voters, that goes potentially for Democratic voters. And if they are going
to really change the game here, that`s how they are going to do it, is by
turning those people out. And so far, they are optimistic that that`s what
they are doing.

SHARPTON: Michelle, you know, we are hearing that you`ve got in Colorado
liberal groups that are running TV ads against Tom Tancredo. That appears
to be design to make conservative primary voters choose him as their
nominee for governor. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even as it`s starting to work, Republican Tom Tancredo
is still one of the country`s strongest opponents of Obamacare. He called
it crony capitalism on steroids and a monstrous government scam. Tom
Tancredo, he is just too conservative for Colorado.


SHARPTON: Now, again, that`s an ad been run by Democrats, apparently,
trying to lure Republicans into voting for Tancredo. Doesn`t this
highlight the risks Republicans are facing by running extreme candidates,

COTTLE: Sure. Just like the Republicans establishment has worked very
hard to kind of weed out in the extremist in its primary cycle, you know,
to a certain degree of success. In this case, the Democrats have decided
that Tom Tancredo would be their, you know, optimal candidate to run
against. I mean, whatever his positions on Obamacare or anything like
that, he is nationally known as a hard line immigration basher.

So I think especially with Republicans still kind of dealing with their
immigration issues and worrying about the demographic shifts, and they have
not managed to make any progress on that whatsoever since the last
election. I think Democrats would be more than happy to run against

SHARPTON: Kasie, you cover a lot of race races across the country. Is
there a thread that you are seeing in terms of the extreme right that have
become victors in some primaries or particularly Mississippi that has
caused a uniform reaction about more moderate Republicans or is it sporadic
just here and there, not really a threat around the party?

HUNT: I think the establishment Republicans, particularly in Washington,
would say that this cycle has been pretty good for them. And Senator Mitch
McDonnell is sort of leading this effort of the establishments against some
of the tea party elements in the party. He said -- he was quoted as saying
that he was going to, quote, "crush them everywhere," end quote. And so
far the track record is pretty good from Lindsey Graham in South Carolina
crushing all of his opponents to McConnell himself knocking back a
challenge from Matt Bevin.

So I think, at least the folks who are running the party would say that it
has been, so far, a good election cycle for them.

SHARPTON: Now, Michelle, "The New York Times" writes about the fear some
Republicans have of McDaniel winning and becoming part of the potential GOP
Senate majority.

Quote, let me read from "the Times." "Republican lawmakers and party
operatives worried that the election of mavericks like Chris McDaniel could
make a difficult governing environment almost impossible by expanding the
ranks of Republican senators who are willing to defy the party leadership."

COTTLE: Well, you know, McDaniel has already said that the next time Ted
Cruz stands up and takes a stand or Mike Lee takes the stand, he`ll be
right there with them. And while this may play very well with the
conservative base in Mississippi, I`m not sure that the Republican
establishment is all that delighted by that thought.

So, you know, anything that kind of adds to the sense that Republicans are
there, not to govern but to kind be disruptive and oppositional, it`s just
makes the life harder for the leadership.

SHARPTON: Yes. I was asking you because I was still trying to figure out
where the governing environment has been for a few months.

Kasie Hunt and Michelle Cottle, thank you both for your time tonight.

COTTLE: Thanks, Rev.

HUNT: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, breaking news tonight. The house could sue the Obama
administration over executive orders. Yes, Speaker Boehner is talking
about possible legal action. Unbelievable.

Also, a powerful new film about the historic freedom sum of 1964. I will
talk to the filmmaker who rediscovered rare footage like this from are the
funeral of a murdered civil rights activist.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want our freedom now. I don`t want to have to go
to another memorial. I`m tired of funerals. Tired of it.


SHARPTON: And a new headache for Chris Christie. Prosecutors opened a
second investigation involving a second bridge. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Another day, another opportunity for the over-the-top scandal
mongering from Congressman Darrell Issa. And that got us thinking about
the lowlights of Issa`s career as a congressional investigator. So here is
our question of the day.

What`s Congressman Issa`s most outrageous moment as oversight chairman so
far? Is it holding attorney general Eric Holder in contempt, cutting off
Congressman Cummings microphone, or calling President Obama`s
administration corrupt?

The poll is live on our facebook page and on twitter. So vote now. We`ll
have your answers later in the show.


SHARPTON: After a spring rocked by scandal, New Jersey governor Chris
Christie seemed to be getting back to normal. Even taking time yesterday
to play in a charity baseball game at Yankee stadium.

But governor Christie`s troubles may not be over. Today a front page story
in "The New York Times," a second bridge inquiry said to be linked to
Christie. It centers on whether the Christie administration broke
securities law by using port authority funds instead of state money to pay
for repairs on another bridge, the Pulaski skyway. Remember the port
authority is the same agency whose officials ordered the infamous closures
on the George Washington bridge.

NBC News has confirmed the Manhattan district attorney and securities &
exchange commission are investigating.

So let`s recap. The U.S. attorney for New Jersey and the state legislature
are investigating the lane closures on the George Washington bridge. The
U.S. attorney is also looking into allegations the Christie administration
withheld money from the city of Hoboken to punish its mayor. And now, we
are learning about new investigations by the Manhattan DA and the SEC.

Governor Christie might be relaxing but the investigators aren`t.

Joining me now is criminal defense attorney Brian Wice.

Brian, thanks for being here.


SHARPTON: Now "the Times" reports the Christie administration pushed to
used money meant for a cancelled rail project to fix the bridge and, quote,
"again and again port authority lawyers warned against the move . The
Pulaski skyway, they noted, is owned and operated by the state, putting it
outside the agency`s purview. But eventually the authority justified the
repairs by casting the bridge as an access road to the Lincoln tunnel even
though they do not directly -- they are not directly connected."

Now, what is your analysis on this. What is the Manhattan district
attorney looking closely at?

WICE: Well, they are looking at something called the martin act, Rev.,
which is a 1921 law in New York state that basically gives prosecutors
almost unlimited discretion when it comes to securities or bond violations.

SHARPTON: Now, that was -- break the Martin act down for me because I
understand it allows felony charges for intentionally deceiving bond
holders. Prosecutors don`t need to prove intent to defraud and it`s been
used several times to bring charges against, as you say, Wall Street firms.

But can you explain this when how does this martin Act work for

WICE: Sure, rev. I mean, you`re absolutely right. Not only does it
involve criminal felonies, a class-E felony in the state of New York which
means that if you`re on the wrong side of all of that, you can spend one to
four at such exclusive health clubs, lifting weights with name slug, I
don`t know, sing-sing, (INAUDIBLE), places like that. But it also involves
monumental civil penalties. And at the end of the day like you just said,
Rev., you don`t have to show as a prosecutor that you are had the intent to
harm or defraud or even that there were damages as a result of that.

And this is what I don`t understand. There is something about bridges and
Chris Christie that`s ultimately kryptonite to this guy. And while they
would have thought for a millisecond that they could take a project where
they were repeatedly told they could not use federal funds and ultimately
use federal funds because they wanted to call it an on-ramp or exit ramp,
you know, I can call myself Brad Pitt, Rev. But that doesn`t mean I can go
home with Angelina Jolie at the end of the night.

SHARPTON: Well, after the lawyer said the plan would work, Bill Baroni, a
top appointee of Governor Christie`s at the port authority, he e-mailed the
agency`s deputy counsel saying, quote, "it`s evident to say but we got to
figure this out."

Now, Baroni was also in the middle of this George Washington bridge scandal
and he resigned. What are prosecutors going to ask about him?

WICE: Well, I think Bill Baroni probably wishes he`d never heard of the
port authority. But I think what prosecutors want to know about that e-
mail is whether or not it`s creative, dynamic politics or ultimately a
violation of New York law.

In the end, in this situation, we have said it before on the show, and I
think it bears repeating. E-mails are to prosecutors in the 21st century
what wire tapped phone calls were in mafia prosecutions at the turn of the
century, Rev.

SHARPTON: I`ve got to ask you this. A recent story in "Esquire" reported
that quote "Christie`s appointees all face near certain indictment and are
being pressed to hand up Christie." And quote, "the clearest, quickest
road to Christie, both sources agree runs through David Samson, a former
attorney general of New Jersey who is 74 years old and reportedly suffering
from Parkinson`s disease. So will Samson fit?" End of quote.

Now Brian, NBC News hasn`t confirmed this story, but do you think that
governor Christie is worried about David Samson?

WICE: I think he has to be. I mean, look, Chris Christie is a tough
politician. He`s a made-man. But at the end of the day, he`s got to be
concerned that you can`t tell this without a score card. And what we go on
the air on this crane network, we need a flow chart or so it seems to try
to figure out who is allegedly done what to whom.

But I think you make a great point. I think given his age, given his
health and just given his overall back story, Mr. Samson will probably be
perceived and correctly so by the prosecutors who can determine everybody`s
fate in this morality tale is the week link.

And again, the facts are stubborn things. The facts are ultimately going
to determine what happens to whom and how. And we are still in a very
early stage before the rest of the facts determine what happens to these
people in this great morality tale, Rev.

SHARPTON: All right, I`m going to hold it there. Brian Wice, or as they
call you in the control room, Brad Pitt. Thank you for your time tonight.

WICE: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, President Obama won`t wait for an obstructionist
house to take action. Now Speaker Boehner is looking for legal action
against the president`s executive orders. Amazing story. We`ll get at it.

But first, Scott Walker`s attempt to discredit prosecutors has landed him
in tonight`s got you.


SHARPTON: GOP governor Scott Walker is thought to be in the running for
the White House. But right now he`s stumbling over what prosecutors claim
was a, quote, "criminal scheme." Prosecutors claim Walker and his aides
broke election laws by illegally coordinating with outside groups. Walker
is going on the air waves to respond.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joining me live on the line is the governor of the
state of Wisconsin, Scott Walker.

Good morning, sir. How are you?

GOV. SCOTT WALKER, WISCONSIN: Good morning, Charlie. I`m doing better now
that we have a chance to get the truth out, absolutely.


SHARPTON: He wants to get the truth out. Great! I`m all for it. But
what exactly is Scott Walker`s version of the truth?


WALKER: The media has completely got this backwards. This might be a news
story if this was the first time this had come out, not just publicly but
the first time this is happening. But the fact of the matter is you have a
partisan office led by a Democrat in Milwaukee county.


SHARPTON: The media has it backwards? A partisan witch hunt? That
doesn`t quite add up.

The district attorney involved in the case, two Republicans and two
Democrats, said they sought an independent prosecutor to avoid partisan
concerns. And the special prosecutor who was appointed is a self-described
Republican. He even voted for Scott Walker.

Seriously, does Governor Walker really think he can convince people that
this is just some sort of partisan witch hunt? Nice try, but we gotcha.



PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: We are not just going to be waiting
for a legislation in order to make sure that we are providing Americans the
kind of help that they need. I`ve got a pen. And I`ve got a phone.


SHARPTON: Breaking news tonight. Breaking news about President Obama`s
executive actions. His promise to use the power of the pen to move America
forward. NBC News reports Speaker John Boehner is in talks with legal
experts about possibly suing the Obama administration in response to his
executive actions over the last few years. That`s right. House
Republicans may file a lawsuit to try to block President Obama`s executive
actions in the courts. Boehner spokesman justifies this by saying, quote,
"The President has a clear record of ignoring the American people`s elected
representatives and exceeding his constitutional authority."

This is unbelievable. President Obama`s executive actions are completely
within the law. And he`s only using executive action because House
Republicans have refused to legislate. They have refused to cooperate.
And they have refused to even compromise. Speaker Boehner has failed to do
his job. So now he`s trying to stop the President from doing his.

Joining me now, are Congresswoman Jackie Speier, democrat of California who
serves on the Oversight Committee. And Dana Milbank of the Washington Post
who wrote about that hearing last night that I want to discuss. Thank you
both for being here.



SHARPTON: Congresswoman, House Republicans may sue the president. What`s
your reaction?

SPEIER: I think that the Republicans have really lost it. I can`t begin
to tell you how preposterous this idea is. First of all they can`t
independently sue the President. There has to be a bipartisan commission
that would come together. You know, it`s not like they haven`t attempted
this before. They attempted to have the President enforce the Defense of
Marriage Act. They spent $2.3 million on legal fees and then all of a
sudden just dropped it. I`m sure they dropped it because their polling
showed them that they were so far on the fringe that the American people
weren`t even buying it anymore.

SHARPTON: Dana, you have been writing about this back and forth on
executive actions for a while. What`s your reaction to this?

MILBANK: Well, there was a time not too long ago when the Republicans were
against activist judges and frivolous lawsuits. So, it`s certainly their
right to take this through the court system. But it`s a very difficult
challenge. And one is, will judges say that they have standing to sue the
President? They tried to get around this by passing laws giving just the
House the right to file these suits. Of course the Senate hasn`t gone
along with that. Unless you have both houses of Congress on board here, it
is a little bit questionable. But look, they have tried everything else.
They tried repealing ObamaCare. They lost in the 2012 election. They have
tried defunding it. They have floated the idea of impeaching the
president. This is about the only possibility left. So why not give it a

SHARPTON: You know, but they`ve really tried a lot of things,
Congresswoman. But clearly, now here we come with this latest stuff. And
I want to get to this scandal mongering by Chairman Issa. But the
President has had to move forward with executive action because they have
been so hung up on scandal mongering. It`s not clear what the Republicans
would target. But President Obama has issued executive actions on gun
safety, gay rights, minimum wage, immigration, environment. I mean, he`s
had to move forward.

SPEIER: Well, I think if you also look at the history books you will find
that in terms of executive actions, President George Bush probably has the
record for having issued more executive actions than President Obama.

SHARPTON: A lot more. A lot more.

SPEIER: I think that`s important to point out as well.

SHARPTON: No, there is a lot more. Let me go to Chairman Darrell Issa. I
mean, his scandal mongering and bullying has been a big part of the GOP`s
lack of an agenda. Check out how he attacked the IRS commissioner last
night, Dana.


REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: Would you please rise to take the oath?
You raise your right hand. Little higher. Thank you. Frankly, I`m sick
and tired of your game playing in response to Congressional oversight. We
have a problem with you and you have a problem with maintaining your
credibility. I asked a question.

JOHN KOSKINEN, IRS COMMISSIONER: I answered it. We are going to provide
you 24,000 e-mails --

ISSA: My time is expired and I have lost my patience with you.


SHARPTON: Before you respond, Dana, Congresswoman, you were there, you`re
part of the panel. I mean, was it as ugly as it appears? How did your
colleagues respond to this?

SPEIER: Actually it was uglier. There are a number of republican members
who then started attacking the commissioner. Wouldn`t let him finish his
answers, would cut him off, for all intents and purposes were saying that
he was obstructing justice. And at one point I actually called on the
chairman to recognize that the rules of that committee required him to
retain order and decorum and cited the section so that he could refresh his
memory. This is harmful not just to the committee but the entire
institution when we have witnesses who come before us and they aren`t
treated with respect. Even Speaker Boehner this morning in a question and
answer setting said that it`s important for Congress to respect the
witnesses that come before it and to treat them appropriately. That was
not happening last night.

SHARPTON: Now, Dana, in your article today, you are wrote that, quote,
"The bullying was vintage Issa" and that he used, quote, "frequent
interruption of colleagues to inject his thoughts. Parliamentary arguments
with Democrats and takings of personal umbrage." You argued these hearings
are more about Issa himself than about investigations, Dana.

MILBANK: Yes. I think everybody seems to agree. I`m sure the
Congresswoman agrees that they are not happy with what they have seen
happen at the IRS. And it takes a lot to get people to feel really
sympathetic towards the IRS. But Darrell Issa seems uniquely qualified to
make that happen. And this is happened over and over again with his
investigations. He`s disqualifying his committee. It happened with
Benghazi. That`s why things were handed over to this new select committee.
And it`s happening here where he`s in some competition with the Ways &
Means Committee to see who can be the toughest on the commissioner. So,
Issa starts out with some kernel of investigation and it develops very
quickly into sort of a farce that discredits the whole issue.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, you said a little while ago that they have lost
it -- they being the Republicans. They are talking about suing now Speaker
Boehner going forward. Is the behavior of Chairman Issa indicative of what
you are talking about "they losing it"? Because this seems kind of extreme
and way over the top?

SPEIER: Well, it is extreme and way over the top. I mean, the American
people have made it real clear. They want to see some action out of
Congress. This is the most do nothing congress in the history of this
country. Bills that have come over from the Senate side languish in the
House because there is an unwillingness for the membership of the house
republican caucus to take these measures up, whether it is marketplace
fairness or immigration. I mean, you name it. They have just basically
buried every one of the efforts that have been successful in a bipartisan
fashion on the Senate side.

SHARPTON: Well, if they go forward with this suit, this would be
outrageous. Even for this Congress, this would be outrageous.
Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Dana Milbank. Thank you both for your time

MILBANK: Thanks, Rev.

SPEIER: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, disturbing questions about that story of a little
girl who was allegedly kicked out of a KFC. Was the whole thing a hoax?
Also, my interview with the director of a new film about the historic
freedom summer. Pivotal moment in civil rights and the movement around
civil rights and the brave activist who change America.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: And it wasn`t too long before three white men came to
my cell. One of these men was state highway patrol. He said, we`re going
to make you wish he was dead.



SHARPTON: Fifty years ago today authorities were desperately searching for
three civil rights workers who had gone missing in the backwoods of
Mississippi. Michael Schwerner, James Earl Chaney and Andrew Goodman were
in the state as part of the historic freedom summer, a courageous effort to
bring students from around the country into the Deep South to fight Jim
Crow. Activists soon learned that Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman had been
murdered by the KKK. And a new documentary "Freedom Summer" on PBS records
this stunning moment of grief and passion at Chaney`s memorial service.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I want to talk about really what I really grieve
about. I don`t grieve for Chaney because the fact I feel that he lived
fuller life than many of us will ever live. I feel that he`s got his
freedom we are still fighting for.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: All the different emotions, that things that have been
going through, leading up to this particular moment rekindled to come out.
And looking out there and seeing Ben Chaney, James Chaney`s little brother,
I lost it. I totally just are lost it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Don`t bow down anymore. Hold your heads up. We want
our freedom now. I don`t want to have are to go to another memorial. I`m
tired of funerals. Tired of it.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Stanley Nelson, the Emmy Award winning
director and producer of the PBS Freedom Summer documentary. He also
produced the acclaimed films, the murder of Emmett Till and the freedom
write are among countless others. It`s an honor to have you here this

know, that clip from Chaney`s memorial service is haunting. I mean, what
goes through your mind when you watch it?

Well, you know, two things. One, I am emotionally moved like everybody
else. But, you know, also as a filmmaker I`m thinking, wow, this is great
piece of film that I have to get out to the public, that people have got to
see. Because there is no way that you can be cold about it. There is no
way that you can`t understand the emotions that Dave Dennis was feeling
when you see that footage.

SHARPTON: And you`re dealing with the emotions of also seeing the little
brother of one of those slain. I mean, it`s as real as you could get. And
on top of that, you cover in this documentary some of the real work that
they were doing. It wasn`t just protests. Like, for example your film
shows how important the freedom schools were to the project in Mississippi
that summer. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The state of Mississippi deliberately and systematically
kept black people uneducated and ignorant. And then turned around and made
education a requirement in order to participate in the political process.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Black people couldn`t go to the library. It was for
whites only. And so here they are, got their own library now. They become
excited to be exposed to the teaching. And to browse the books.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We taught African-American history, civics, African-
American culture, and African-American dance. They were learning black
history that they were reading books that had been written by blacks that
they had never heard of.


SHARPTON: I mean, I don`t know how many Americans know that education was
required to be part of the process, as you said.

NELSON: Right. And you had to take a test to vote. I mean, that was one
of the things that you had to do in Mississippi, yet you couldn`t go to
decent schools.


NELSON: I mean, the schools for young people were closed for most of the
year so young people could get out and pick cotton. So, there was no
school. And in the schools, black history wasn`t taught. We are never
taught anything about black authors. Black people had never written a
book. So, the freedom schools were really something different.

One of the things that was very compelling to me about this was also, they
went all the way to the democratic convention. And the fact that they were
trying to integrate the Mississippi delegation, the testimony of Fannie Lou
Hamer was especially compelling. Here is a clip of this from your film.


carried to the county jail and put in the booking room. They left some of
the people in the booking room and began to play something sad.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: She had Mississippi in her bones. Martin Luther King or
the sneak field secretaries, they couldn`t do what Fanny Lou Hamer did.
They couldn`t be a sharecropper and express what it meant. And that`s what
thing Hamer did.

HAMER: And it wasn`t too long before three white men came to my cell. One
of these men was a state highway patrol. He said, we`re going to make you
wish you was dead.


SHARPTON: I mean, you have done a lot of films. What made you do this
documentary now?

NELSON: Well, about three years ago I finished "Freedom Riders" which, you
know, was fairly successful film. And I was talking to American Experience
about what next to do. American Experience is the show that this is on.


NELSON: And we started talking about freedom summer. And I said, yes.
It`s a great story. It`s a story that most people don`t know. The 50th
anniversary is this year. You know, little did I know that things in this
country would change so much or start to change so much that it would
become even more important today.

SHARPTON: What surprised you about during the film what surprised you that
you learned about 1964?

NELSON: I think one of the most surprising things to me and that most
audiences will be surprised at is Lyndon Johnson`s role in trying to stop
the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.


NELSON: And that he actually taped his phone calls. So you hear him
behind the scenes in his own words manipulating people. You always hear
LBJ was this, you know, amazing politician. Well, here, you hear, you
know, just what kind of a devious man he could be.

SHARPTON: Stanley Nelson, good luck with the film. And thank you for your
time tonight. "Freedom Summer" airs tonight on PBS. Check your local
listings for the time. We`ll be right back.


SHARPTON: Was it all a hoax? Just over a week ago we brought you the
awful story of three-year-old Victoria Wilcher. She was severely
disfigured in a pit bull attack. Her grandmother claimed the two were
asked to leave a Jackson, Mississippi, Kentucky Fried Chicken because
Victoria`s appearance was upsetting other customers. The story got all
kinds of national attention. KFC pledged $30,000 toward Victoria`s medical
care. Donations poured in on the family`s fundraising site. Over $100,000
raised. But today a new report in a local newspaper alleged the whole
story was a hoax.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: According to the Mississippi base laurel leader call
newspapers, sources who have knowledge with the investigation told the
paper the entire incident was an elaborate publicity stunt to raise money
saying, security footage does not put Victoria or her grandmother who
claimed to be with her, in the KFC or even another KFC, the day the
incident supposedly occurred.


SHARPTON: Victoria`s aunt wrote on Facebook, I promise it`s not a hoax. I
never thought any of this would blow up that way it has. She added, it is
not over until KFC releases a statement. Late today KFC did just that.
Quote, "After the alleged incident was reported to us, two investigations
took place, including one by an independent investigator. Neither revealed
any evidence that the incident occurred. And we consider the investigation

KFC also said it is committed to honoring the $30,000 donation to Victoria.
I commend the company for keeping that promise. She`s been through a
terrible tragedy and has a long road to recovery. We wish her all the


SHARPTON: And now it`s time for the results from our question of the day.
What`s Congressman Issa`s most outrageous moment as Oversight chairman so
far? Eleven percent said it was holding Attorney General Eric Holder in
contempt. Fifty eight percent said, it was cutting off Congressman
Cummings` microphone. And 31 percent said it was calling President Obama`s
administration corrupt. Thanks to all who voted. And you can continue the
conversation by heading to our Facebook page.

Finally tonight, honoring the King legacy. Today, leaders from both
parties gathered to honor Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and Coretta
Scott King, awarding them both with the Congressional gold medal. The
Kings` three surviving children were with on hand to accept the award on
behalf of their parents. And Congressman John Lewis talked about what the
Kings taught us all.


REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: Together they taught us the way of peace,
the way of love. The way of nonviolence. They inspired an entire
generation to find a way to get in the way. To find a way to get in
trouble -- good trouble, necessary trouble.


SHARPTON: Afterwards, something you don`t see every day. Congressional
leaders linking arms for "We shall overcome." Today was a moment to honor
the King legacy. But also to look ahead to the work still to be done.
Where is the bill to restore the voting rights act? Where is the bill to
address economic injustice? Where is the bill to stop the kind of gun
violence that took Dr. King`s life?

It was good to see them holding hands, singing "We shall overcome," the
theme song of the civil rights movement, but the only way we are going to
overcome is not just having symbolic hands linking, but by really dealing
with the civil and human and economic rights, the critical issues that Dr.
King and Mrs. Coretta Scott King gave their lives. Let`s not just honor
those that do good deeds. Let`s do some ourselves. Let`s legislate them.
Let us link arms in a way that some things are both partisan bickering.
When we see that then we shall overcome.

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


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