updated 8/6/2014 9:35:06 AM ET 2014-08-06T13:35:06

POLITICS NATION
August 5, 2014

Guest: Paul Henderson, Eric Guster, J. David Cox Sr., Emanuel Cleaver

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good evening. Thanks to you for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, the GOP`s failure to re-launch. Today Republican
Congressman Mo Brooks is standing by his explosive claim that Democrats and
President Obama are waging, quote, "a war on whites."

This morning despite outrage from the left and ridiculed on social media,
Congressman Brooks refused to bow down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have made a lot of news on the war on whites
comment.

REP. MO BROOKS (R), ALABAMA: Yes. That`s what the Democrats are doing.
What I`m saying is the Democrats have a political strategy where they try
to appeal to the public based on skin color.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And the congressman didn`t stop there, accusing President Obama
of engaging in this so-called war.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BROOKS: They are trying to demonize whites in order to get Hispanics to
vote Democrat, in order to get blacks to vote Democrats, in order to get
Asian-Americans to vote Democrat. And so, when the president talks about
how Republicans hate that`s part of the theme. That`s what the Democrats
are doing as they are trying to demonize divide as based on skin color.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This ugly rhetoric has no place in our political discourse, let
alone this the halls of Congress. And it`s pushing the GOP in exactly the
wrong direction. Here is what one of the GOP elder statesmen, former
senator Bob Dole said today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOB DOLE, FORMER SENATOR: We`ve got to be an inclusive party. We can`t
say we don`t need that group. We don`t need that group. Pretty soon there
are no groups left. Very few left. Not enough to be elected.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The move toward extremism is hurting the GOP and yet they just
can`t stop the slot. After the 2012 election, the Republican National
Committee announced its big rebranding effort vowing to win over women
voters, young people and minorities.

New polling out today shows they are not even coming close. Just 33
percent of women have a favorable view of the GOP. Among young people,
it`s only 32 percent. For Hispanics, it is just 29 percent. And among
African-Americans, just 16 percent over favorable view of the Republican
Party.

The comments from Congressman Mo Brooks are outlandish and there are a big
problem for a party that desperately needs to rebrand and find a more
tolerant inclusive agenda.

Joining me thousand are Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Democrat of Missouri
and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. Thank you both for being here
tonight.

REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D), MISSOURI: Good to be with you, Reverend.

ED RENDELL (D), FORMER GOVERNOR, PENNSYLVANIA: My pleasure.

SHARPTON: Congressman Cleaver, let`s start with these comments from your
colleague on the other side of the aisle, Congressman Brooks. How did we
get to a point where a member of Congress is using this kind of language?

CLEAVER: Well, a wrong-headed comment by a member of Congress is
nevertheless wrong-headed and sometimes is even more wrongheaded because of
the position he or she holds. The greatest enemy of congressional
collegiality seems to be irreverent and irresponsible comments like those
my colleague made. And I go to the Democratic caucus meeting every week.
I go to congressional black caucus meeting. I`m a member of the NAACP like
membership. I go to the whip meeting. I have never heard this strategy
discussed. My I.Q. would have to be about six to be in a minority and
declare war on whites as some kind of means by which we`ll take over --
what or when? I mean, it is an ignorant kind of statement and it does no
good for the body politics nor to this nation.

SHARPTON: War on whites, Governor Rendell? I mean, is this as outlandish
to you as it seems to me?

RENDELL: Absolutely. And it is also just plain stupid. I mean, if you
look at the six and a half years President Obama has been president on the
United States, white income has grown far faster than African-American or
Hispanic income.

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

RENDELL: The unemployment rate for whites is far lower than it is for
Hispanics and blacks. In every (INAUDIBLE) it`s important to societal
advancement. Whites have done better than African-Americans or Hispanics.
So the congressman doesn`t have any facts to back up what he`s saying.
It`s racially (INAUDIBLE). It`s motivated by the hate the congressman is
decrying. And most of all, it`s just plain scary.

And the interesting thing is when I hear these comments, you know, the
impeachment comments, the war on whites comments, I say to myself, thank
the Lord. They are trying to lose this upcoming 2014 election. It`s not
just that they are being racially motivated in part, but they are just
being crazy. They sound crazy. To the independent swing voters, they have
to worry about the party asking them to vote for them.

SHARPTON: You know, Congressman, when the governor was talking, it came to
mind how people like you and I have gotten flak in the African-American
community so they wanted to see the president do more directly for our
economies.

CLEAVER: No question.

SHARPTON: Not have a war on whites. And I mean, this is so incredibly
wrong that it also speaks to how it is absolutely the opposite of so many
attacks even in the African-American community.

CLEAVER: Absolutely. I think there are many African-Americans including
right here in the congressional district which I represent who say that the
president is too careful to avoid doing anything that would give the
appearance that he is leaning toward one group or another. And I think
that he has taken criticism, some of it unfairly, from African-Americans.
And to some degree from Latinos, that he tends to try desperately to walk
between the rain drops so that nobody can accuse him of trying to lean any
one particular way.

SHARPTON: There is no doubt about that.

CLEAVER: But these folks don`t care about that.

SHARPTON: No, you are right. And walk of its between the (INAUDIBLE) not
bad. It`s trying to do it without getting wet that`s a little difficult
call.

Governor, let me say to you in 2012 the national Republican committee said
the GOP had to change. Quote "we have to do a much better job and -- let
me just play it rather than read it."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: We have to do a
lot better job and do a lot more to make up ground in minority communities
with women, and young voters. The report minces no words in telling us
that we have to be more inclusive. I agree.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, that was over a year ago, Governor. And yet polls show
Republicans are actually losing ground with minorities, women and young
voters. Why is the GOP having so much trouble turning itself around?

RENDELL: Well, because I don`t think they control a significant segment of
their party call the tea party segment. Call it the crazy caucus or
whatever you want to call it.

But you look at state-by-state, the war on women. And I know they get
crazy when we say the war on women. But in state after state they have
tried to make it impossible for planned parenthood clinics to exist. And
only the federal courts could stopped that from really becoming a reality.
There is legislation in Michigan where I thought the governor was at least
a moderate. But he signed legislation requiring people who want to be
protected, if their daughter or their wife or themselves are raped by an
assailant they have to have special rape insurance. It`s not covered by
normal health insurance. It`s craziness.

And their words aren`t reflected by the policies they are seeking either in
state capitals or in the Congress. And look, the thing that precipitated
Congressman Brooks, these are children that we are talking about that are
being sent across the border to escape horrible situations. It doesn`t
matter whether they are brown, white or black.

This is America. We have always cared and tried to help people who are in
desperate trouble whose lives are in danger. And we have to get back to
thinking like Americans, Rev. And the Republican party can say, all they
wanted of that rebranding, they can put out all out the white papers they
want. But they are simply not following that in their actions.

SHARPTON: But isn`t that the problem, Congressman? It is not just extreme
rhetoric. It`s the Republican priorities. We see Republicans pushing for
voter ID laws, calling for mass deportation of illegal immigrants. New
abortion restrictions. They even blocked the fair pay act. I mean, even
if Republicans do scale back on the rhetoric, how can they appeal to more
voter ifs their policies don`t change?

CLEAVER: Well, I think that`s a fallacy in the thinking on the Republican
side. I had a conversation this past week with a Republican friend of mine
who`s not one of the people who throws bombs and he was saying well, we
have to reach out to minorities. And I said, what do you mean? He said,
we have to like churches, we need to participate in Cinco de Mayo events.
And I said, I don`t think you get it. You have to alter your policies.
You got to adopt some of the policies that are significant and meaningful
to minority groups. And I think all of these visiting the NAACP convention
annually is not going to attract voters. It is the policy that you must
do.

And by the way, Reverend, you know this better than me or as well as I,
that every great religion in this world says it differently. But it all
comes down to do not hesitate to extend your arm of hospitality out to
strangers. And so, if you want to do it on the basis of religion or on
their basis of just what`s earthly right. There is no reason that we would
separate people, particularly little children on the border.

SHARPTON: Well, particularly those that are Christian would know about how
Jesus talked about little children.

I`m going to have to leave it there. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and
former governor Ed Rendell. Thank you for your time tonight.

CLEAVER: Good to be with you, Reverend.

RENDELL: My pleasure.

SHARPTON: Coming up, actions have consequences. Congressman Steve King
gets into heated confrontation with immigration activists. Listen to what
he says.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: Please, please. You`re very good. Stop a
minute.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was raised in the United States.

KING: Good. So you can uh understand the English language.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Where was Rand Paul going? He can run, but he can`t hide from
his record.

Plus, the man charged with murdering an unarmed teenager grilled on the
stand today, hammering his self-defense story. What he said today is not
what he said moments after killing Ranisha McBride.

And it`s a big night at the White House. Getting ready for the Africa
summer dinner and big VIPs. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Caught on camera, Congressman Steve King confronted in Iowa by
two immigration activists. Will this be a long summer for Republicans back
home? That`s next.

But first, we want to know what you think. Please head over to our
facebook page and join the conversation that keeps going long after the
show ends.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s easy for lawmakers to get caught up in Washington to ignore
people. But actions have consequences. And sometimes lawmakers come to
face to face with them.

Like in this video. Two people brought to this country as children
confront Congressman Steve King at an event in Iowa. They are immigration
activists and they wanted to know why he voted last week to end the program
that let some undocumented young people stay in the U.S.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIKA, ACTIVIST: Hi. My name is Erika. How are you?

CESAR, ACTIVIST: Caesar.

ERIKA: I have a quick question. I`m actually a dreamer myself. I`m from
originally from Mexico but I have been raised here. I graduated from
university here, Arizona State University. And I know you want to get rid
of DACAs. I want to give you the opportunity if you really want. You can
go ahead and do that. You take my DACA, you`re going to take everything
that right now I have accomplished. I did graduate from college.

KING: Just a minute. This is not what I do.

ERIKA: I just don`t understand why you have been wanting to do that. And
for you to be fighting so much against DREAMers. Calling us names, saying
that we have calves like Cantaloupes.

KING: This is not what I do. I don`t call you names. No, no.

KING: You`re very good at English.

ERIKA: I was raised in the United States.

KING: So you can understand the English language.

ERIKA: You`re acting like I don`t understand.

KING: No you are because you`re saying something that`s not true.

ERIKA: OK. What is not true?

KING: I spoke of drug smugglers. You`re not one of them, are you?

ERIKA: Do I look like a drug smuggler to you?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Asking if she`s a drug smuggler, telling her she`s very good at
English? But it continued.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CESAR: I look at them and I think -- I wanted to serve my country after
9/11 as an American that I -- I came at 5-years-old, as an American. I
tried to enlist in the military. They rejected me.

KING: Right. Because the law says you have to be an American or a green
card to join the military.

CESAR: But the point is, Congressman, is that we are Americans.

KING: So why don`t you want to abide by our laws? It troubles me a great
deal that you have such disrespect for the laws of the United States of
America.

CESAR: I love this country.

KING: You`re telling me that you don`t have to abide by the laws to fix
this country.

ERIKA: We are --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That really illustrates the cruelty we are seeing in the
Republican party today. But did you also guys catch what else is happening
in the video? See the man in the background? It`s Senator Rand Paul.
He`s taking a nice big bite of what looks like a burger. But once the
conversation starts, he wipes his face and he`s gone.

Rand Paul says he supports immigration reform, but apparently he doesn`t
want to talk about it. He`s getting out of there. But apparently he
didn`t want to leave without his drink. Will it be a long hot summer for
Republicans? Their actions have consequences.

Joining me now are Victoria Defrancesco-Soto and Richard Wolffe. Thank you
both for being here.

RICHARD WOLFFE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, MSNBC.COM: Thanks, Reverend.

VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO, NBC LATINO CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Richard, what stands out more to you? How offensive Steve King
was or the Rand Paul runaway?

WOLFFE: It`s got to be Steve King here. You know, this reminds me very
much of the town halls we saw around health care. This is -- immigration
is not going to go anywhere in terms of legislation. But it is going
somewhere with executive action. That`s what the White House is signaling.
These confrontations are going to happen through the midterm election cycle
because these members of Congress cannot escape.

You know, Rand Paul maybe very quick on his feet, even with a bite of
hamburger there. But these people are going to come after him. He is
going to be confronted, they all are. And you got to have more of the
situations where people are going to be having to go face to face with the
very people they want to actually kick out of the country.

SHARPTON: What struck you more, Victoria? The statements and questioning
of Congressman King or the fact that Rand Paul ran away?

SOTO: That`s a tough one to pick between, Reverend. But I think I`m going
to go here with Rand Paul, namely because over the past couple of months,
he`s been trying to rebrand himself. He`s trying to position himself as a
softer Republican, one of these compassionate conservatives who can speak
to Democrats, who can speak to the middle. Who spoke recently at the NAACP
meeting. But when the rubber meets the road, when these Dreamers, these
Latinos want to speak to him and ask him about immigration, he gets up and
literally runs away.

This is an issue, immigration, that needs to be engaged. But instead we
see Rand Paul turn tail and run. It`s kind of a toss-up which one was
worse. But I`m going with Rand Paul on this one.

SHARPTON: And let me ask you, this, Victoria. King said, quote "you are
very good at English." What do you make of that?

SOTO: Well, first of all, I think it shows his hand in terms of what he
thinks of Latinos. And he doesn`t understand that if you are an immigrant
or if you are Latino descent, you can be just as American as the next
person next to you. So he just belies his ignorance in that regard.

And I also think it was a little bit of an insulting factor there. He
wanted to belittle these extraordinary kids. And these kids are
extraordinary. They have graduated. One of the young men in the video is
seeking to become a lawyer but he can`t because of his documentation
status. He can`t take the bar. So I think it is not just for Steve King
but to the Republican party, it shows their ignorance of Latinos and of
immigrants.

SHARPTON: You know, Richard, after the confrontation, NBC News caught up
with Congressman King. He remained completely unsympathetic. Listen to
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: In Mexico, a lawless country. Well, they won`t answer that question
but they know it is. Is it a corrupt country? Yes, it is, but it is a
lawless country. Well, it is. They won`t admit it. So why would you
bring lawlessness to the United States of America? And that`s the question
they cannot answer. Why would we want to turn America into a third world
country and erode and destroy the rule of law.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, no sympathy at all. These are people who were born,
raised in America. No sympathy at all. How big of a problem is it for the
GOP?

WOLFFE: So tuning in on the politics, but also what kind of American
values are you broadcasting here? Lots of people came from country where
is the reason they were coming out of there, the reason they are going to
America is because it was better opportunity. You don`t have the wave of
immigrants that built this country coming out of prosperous, happy places.
Let`s not have this country emerge.

But on top that, the underlying premise here is this somehow, these kids
were spokes people for a lawless place. That`s not what they were. They
were brought here as children. And --

SHARPTON: Yes, they were not born here, but they were raise here.

WOLFFE: Lawlessness isn`t trying to serve in the American military and
being kicked out. That`s not a definition of lawlessness.

SHARPTON: You know, Victoria, you talked about Rand Paul. Rand Paul, he
is running away. I want to point something out. In June, he said, quote,
"I say everywhere I go I am for immigration reform," this is what he said.
but when the confrontation in Iowa started he bolted. That would have been
a perfect opportunity for him to say his peace. I mean, what is he trying
to do here, have it both ways?

SOTO: He is, Reverend. But for me in life, actions speak louder than
words. And the fact that ran away and he didn`t engage, not only the
students but the press surrounding him speaks loudly. You know, he has the
short-term vision in mind. He wants to get through the summer. He knows
it will be difficult. He know when he goes back to his home state of
Kentucky, people are going to be kind of an anti-immigrant bent. And he
doesn`t want to deal with it.

But come 2016, he is going to be really eager to get that Latino crossover
vote. All those independent Latinos that are frustrated with the
Democratic Party maybe very socially conservative. But, you know what, we
have a long memory. And that clip is going to keep playing over and over
again of him running ways from the issue.

SHARPTON: You know, Steve King also returned to a favorite talking point
that the president is a king. Listen to this, Richard.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: The president has violated the constitution, he`s eroded the rule of
law. He`s brought this about and there many people that are suffering
because of this. This should not be a country run by one -- one king,
Barack Obama deciding what the law should be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now that we are on vacation, break in Congress and the Congress,
members of Congress are back in home districts, are we going to hear a lot
more of this kind of rhetoric, Richard, through the summer is this.

WOLFFE: I think we are. We are certainly going to hear it when the
president starts making more executive orders especially when it comes to
immigration. I just don`t understand, if you`re a member of the house
Republican majority, the majority that`s been the check and balance on this
president for the last four years then what do you think you`re doing with
your time if you think the president has unparalleled, unstoppable power?

SHARPTON: Victoria DeFrancesco Soto and Richard Wolffe, thank you both for
your time tonight.

WOLFFE: Thank you.

SOTO: Good evening, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, prosecutors grill the man who shot and killed
Ranisha McBride on the porch of his home. Did he change his story about
the night she died?

Also, Rush Limbaugh has a new rant about liberals and the Ebola virus.
It`s put him right in tonight`s "Got You."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Big news today on the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The
second American aid worker infected with the virus returned for the U.S.
for treatment at Emery University hospital in Atlanta. The new
experimental drug has been used to treat both American Ebola patients.

This is a serious public health issue. But some on the right are treating
it like it`s just another political football. Here is what the head of the
GOP, Rush Limbaugh, had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I started talking about Ebola and I
got some email. What are you doing -- for crying out loud, Rush -- do you
realize what`s going -- . Now, you must -- what do you mean? Politicizing
a disease. Have you ever heard of AIDS? Do you think that wasn`t
political? The left politicizes everything. They look at everything
within the realm of whether or not it can move their agenda forward. Maybe
even be added to the agenda.

(END VIDEO CLIP)


SHARPTON: Really, Rush? The Left is politicizing Ebola I guess Mr.
Limbaugh would be shocked to hear what one republican congressman said this
week about unaccompanied children crossing the border.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. TODD ROKITA (R), INDIANA: To the point about the medical aspects of
this, he said, look, we need to know just from a public health standpoint
with Ebola circulating and everything else -- no, that`s my addition to it,
not necessarily his -- but he said we need to know the condition of these
kids.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A republican suggesting kids crossing the border might have
Ebola? Looks like he just proved Limbaugh wrong. Did Rush and the gang
think we wouldn`t notice the only ones politicizing these issue are them?
Nice try, but we gotcha.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Testimony in the Renisha McBride murder trial came to a close
today as both sides rested their case. The man charged with murder,
Theodore Wafer was back on the stand today testifying for nearly three
hours. He was grilled in by prosecutors over his self-defense claim.
Renisha showed up on Wafer`s porch last November, drunk but unarmed. When
Wafer shot and killed her. This case is all about one thing -- did he act
in self-defense? And today, the prosecutor questioned him about the story
he told police on the night of the shooting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ATHENA SIRINGAS, PROSECUTOR: You continuously told him that the gun went
off accidentally. Right?

THEODORE WAFER, DEFENDANT: I don`t think it says anything in there
accidentally.

SIRINGAS: The gun just went off. The gun just discharged. You were very
clear that as soon as you saw this individual --

WAFER: I shot.

SIRINGAS: -- on your porch you leveled your gun, you pulled the trigger and
you shot in self-defense. Right?

WAFER: Yes, I shot in self-defense.

SIRINGAS: You`re trying to have it both ways. And I want to know what
happened. And this jury wants to know what happened. You either shot on
purpose because you were in fear or the gun went off accidentally. Which
one is it?

WAFER: I shot in fear.

SIRINGAS: So that means you shot on purpose.

WAFER: Yes. Just a reaction. Self-defense reaction. To protect myself.

SIRINGAS: Self-defense reaction to protect yourself. You have a lot of
buzzwords, Mr. Wafer.

WAFER: That`s how I felt about it.

SIRINGAS: Well, not that night, right?

WAFER: Something I had to do to protect myself.

SIRINGAS: You didn`t feel that way that night, right? Because you said
the gun just went off. I don`t know what happened. I didn`t know it was
loaded. The gun just went off, right?

WAFER: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: What side will the jury believe?

Joining me now are prosecutor Paul Henderson and criminal defense Attorney
Eric Guster. Thank you both for being here tonight.

PAUL HENDERSON, PROSECUTOR: Thanks for having us.

ERIC GUSTER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thanks for having us.

SHARPTON: Paul, the prosecutors drilled down on this self-defense claim.
How did they do?

HENDERSON: I think they did a great job. You heard he was saying that he
did what he had to do to defend himself and that just opens up a big can of
worms for him. Because this killing was unreasonable, it was unjust and
most importantly it was unnecessary. There is so much that he could have
done that he did not have to do. He could have called the police. He
could have dialed 911. He could have stayed behind a locked door. He
could even have called out to ask her what she was doing because she was
not trying to break in. And he didn`t.

That is unreasonable how he acted and by his own words, I think he`s
hanging himself -- no pun intended because there is no death penalty here.
But I think they did a really good job of showing that this defendant is
all over the place and trying to categorize his behavior as fear -- now.
When before it was purposeful. He was not remorseful. He was trying to
allegedly defend himself.

SHARPTON: Let me bring Eric in. Eric, his demeanor on the stand. I mean,
you have done a lot of trials. Was his demeanor helpful or harmful to him?

GUSTER: His demeanor was extremely helpful. He was calm, he told his
story. And the jury needed to hear his story. And I know that he has
problems as far as him saying there was an accident or whether it was self-
defense. However his demeanor was perfect for his self-defense claim.

SHARPTON: Now that the prosecution went right after the self-defense
story, specifically pointing to his 911 call that night. Listen to this.

GUSTER: Yes, sir.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SIRINGAS: So, the first chance you had to talk to any law enforcement or
to talk to 911, you said, I just shot somebody banging on my door, right?

WAFER: That`s what it says, yes.

SIRINGAS: Didn`t say anything about a break-in, right?

WAFER: No, it didn`t.

SIRINGAS: Didn`t say anything about you`re afraid, right?

WAFER: No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: In two interviews following the crime, Wafer told the police
that the shooting was an accident. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WAFER: I open up the door kind of like who is this, and the gun
discharged. I didn`t know there was a round in there. It discharged and
it -- upon -- unfortunately you know that person was standing right there.
Just like that. She went off. I didn`t expect it to go off.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So, Eric, as Paul was pointing out in two interviews right after
the crime, one right at the scene, the other the next day he said it was
not -- he said that it just happened. The gun went off. Didn`t know it
was loaded. Doesn`t he have to do the a real -- have a real burden here
to turn down his immediate thing that he said twice and what he said on the
stand yesterday about he was scared and he shot out of fear?

GUSTER: No, that is a huge problem for him when he said it shot
accidentally and then he said self-defense. But he did say self-defense on
a 911 calls. On an interview with the police he said, I shot in self-
defense because a person came from the side and I was startled and I shot
this person. And then the totality of these circumstances with it being
4:00 a.m. In the morning, he said he was asleep. He couldn`t find the
cell phone because it was in his pants. That`s why he couldn`t call 911.
Those are reasonable inferences for this particular case.

SHARPTON: Paul, I see you shaking your head.

HENDERSON: Because you know it`s still not reasonable. He also said in
his previous statements that he wasn`t going to cower. And that it was
them or me. But the reality of it is, even if there was fear it wasn`t
reasonable fear. He did not act in self-defense. She never even could
bust through the screen. He opened the door and leveled the gun at her and
shot her in the face. This is not a fear case. This is a homicide. I
hope the jury hears it and listens to discrepancies in how he describes it.
He`s contrite on the stand.

SHARPTON: Well, Eric, let me play you where he talked about he would not
cower. This is what he said to the jury.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WAFER: I could feel the floor vibrating, windows rattling. I don`t know
what`s happening. Scared.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Have you ever felt this scared in your life?

WAFER: No. I didn`t know where it was going. I thought somebody was
coming through that door any time.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Why did you pull the trigger?

WAFER: To protect and save myself. It was them or me. At that moment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Eric?

GUSTER: That`s a problem. But in this case, this is not a straightforward
case, Reverend Al. This is a case for a man was in his house, startled,
woke up and someone was outside. And clearly, something happened to get
his attention. He said on the 911 call there was banging at the door. Not
knocking but banging at the door which he thought someone was trying to
break into his house. Now, it`s easy for us to play hindsight is 20/20,
armchair quarterback and say he should have done this or he should have
done that. But it`s what his reasonable fear was. If he had reasonable
fear and the jury feels that any other person would be reasonably fearful
in that situation and would use self-defense then he could be found not
guilty.

SHARPTON: Well, let me ask quickly, 30 seconds to both of you. What do
the prosecution and the defense have to do in summation? Let me start with
you, Paul? What do they have to do?

HENDERSON: Step one is, was it really fear? I don`t believe that it was
really fear. But then step two is was that fear reasonable and I don`t
think that fear was reasonable. You don`t get to use deadly force when you
see a black person on your porch because you are afraid. That is not
reasonable. And he had other options available to him.

SHARPTON: Eric?

GUSTER: I don`t think this is about a black person on your porch or not.
This is a case about a person who was startled. He was awakened by someone
banging on his door at 4:00 a.m. and he was nervous, Reverend Al. And I
can see a jury not convicting him. I don`t think we`ll get a verdict in
this one.

SHARPTON: So, it goes now to summations. Your prediction is you think it
will be a hung jury?

GUSTER: I do.

SHARPTON: What do you think, Paul?

HENDERSON: I think the jury is going to hear past this and hear all of his
different versions of these stories, they`re going to see his contrite
attitude on the stand while he is in danger and play that against what he
said before when he wasn`t crying, when he wasn`t sad, when he was just
telling his story. And I think they will see beyond it, and hold him
accountable and ultimately hold him guilty in his case. And that`s when
we`ll see real justice.

SHARPTON: Well, I`ll tell you what I think, I think we`ll see which one of
you are right. Because we are definitely going to follow this case. Paul
Henderson and Eric Guster, thank you both for your time tonight.

GUSTER: Thank you.

HENDERSON: Thanks for having us.

SHARPTON: Coming up. A new report says the wealth gap is slowing economic
growth. Why should we be working and why should we not be coming together
to fix this?

And history made in Washington today at the U.S. Africa Summit. But
tonight it`s the fun. A big dinner at the White House. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I believe this is the defining
challenge of our time. Making sure our economy works for every working
American. A child`s course in life should not be determined by the zip
code he`s born in but by the strength of his work ethic and the scope of
his dreams.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The defining challenge of our time. A crisis that threatens
both our democracy and our economy. Here is the chart we have shown
before. This blue line shows the income growth of the bottom 20 percent
over the last few decades. Now here is the income growth of the richest
one percent. That gap is unfair and un-American. And now even Wall Street
types are realizing that it`s also actually hurting the economy. A new
report from Standard & Poor`s concludes that income inequality in the U.S.
is dampening GDP growth.

It also discourages trade, investments, and hiring. And it threatens the
stability of an economy still struggling to recover from the recession.
Again, that`s not my opinion. That`s Standard & Poor`s, a company that`s
worked in the heart of Wall Street for 150 years. This is a wake-up call
for all of us. To work together and stand together to tackle this problem.
And work on solutions together to fill the gap.

Joining me now is J. David Cox Sr., president of the American Federation of
Government Employees, representing 650,000 federal and D.C. workers.
Thanks for being here, J. David.

J. DAVID COX SR., AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES: Great to be
with you tonight, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Now, doesn`t this report show that everyone has an interest in
closing the income gap?

COX: Oh, definitely, Reverend Al. When I read that report I thought if we
would only raise the minimum wage, five million people would move from
poverty into a better life. Just think about that. What a great move that
would be.

SHARPTON: Five million. But you know, conservative lawmakers have based
their agenda on vilifying government and government workers who you
represent. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Ronald Reagan said, government is not the answer to the
problem. Government is the problem.

SEN. MIKE LEE (R), UTAH: This is what it feels like to take on Washington.
This is what it feels like to take on the immense and intimidating inertia
of big government.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Too much government leads to bad government.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: What`s your response to that J. David?

COX: Number one, Reverend Al, government does great things in this country
right now someone is caring for a veteran at their bedside, taking care of
men and women that defended this country. People are guarding our borders,
people are inspecting the food. And also, people are processing Social
Security checks. The greatest defender in raising people out of poverty,
the anti-poverty program this country has ever had.

SHARPTON: You know, the Huffington Post just reported that the GOP`s
obsession with cutting government is also slowing down our economy.
Federal spending has cut into GDP for 11 of the past 12 quarters. When
Congressional Republicans started holding the government hostage in
exchange for painful austerity measures. I mean, doesn`t this show that
cutting government isn`t a solution to our problems? It is the problem?

COX: It`s clearly the problem, Reverend Al. Over half a million
government jobs have been lost since the recession started. I`m talking
about school teachers, police officers, firefighters, people that process
Social Security checks, all of those type jobs have been lost. Those
people are job creators. Because they spend their money, they buy food and
housing, they do good things with that money.

SHARPTON: Talking about losing jobs. Another concern. Your union is
concerned about a new plan to close Social Security offices all across the
country. You told me on my radio show. I mean, what effect would that
have?

COX: Clearly, Reverend Al. These are community offices throughout the
country. Forty three million people visited Social Security offices
throughout our country last year seeking advice on how to apply for Social
Security benefits. It would be devastating to people that need those
benefits.

SHARPTON: So the people that need the benefits, those offices closing,
they would have nowhere to really to get assistance unless they were in a
position to do what, go online or be tech-wise in terms of using
technology?

COX: Yes, sir. Going online. And 17 million seniors do not have internet
access, do not own a computer. It would be very, very difficult. And
making a decision about your social security benefits, it requires a lot of
information. It`s something that can affect you the rest are of your life.

SHARPTON: Wow. Seventeen million seniors. J. David Cox, thank you so
much for your time tonight.

COX: Thank you so much, Reverend Al. It`s always great to be with you.

SHARPTON: Great to be with you. Still ahead, a special night at the White
House. The VIPs are arriving for the Africa Summit dinner. After a big
announcement from President Obama.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Today was a big day for breaking barriers both on Broadway and
on the basketball court. Actress and talk show host Keke Palmer will make
history as the first African-American Cinderella to hit the Broadway stage.
She tweeted "I`m so excited to be doing Broadway for the first time as
Cinderella, dreams do come true." She`ll slip into her new glass slippers
next month. And today, the San Antonio Spurs they have hired WNBA star
Becky Hammon as an assistant coach.

This ground-breaking hire makes Hammon the first woman ever to be a full-
time assistant coach in the NBA. Congratulations to these two talented
women. I have two daughters myself. Amazing young women who inspire me
every day, both of them. I always happen to see women rise to the
challenge and achieve something that`s never been done before.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Finally tonight, history made in Washington today. President
Obama is hosting nearly 50 African heads of state at the U.S. Africa leader
summit, a first ever gathering to strengthen ties between the United States
and Africa. And boost trade. While speaking at the summit today the
president announced $33 billion in investment commitments.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We have to do better -- much better. I want African buying more
American products. I want Americans buying more African products. I know
you do, too, and that`s what you are doing here today.

(APPLAUSE)

The United States is determined to be a partner in Africa`s success. A
good partner, an equal partner and a partner for the long term. We don`t
look to Africa simply for its natural resources. We recognize Africa for
its greatest resource which is its people, and its talents and their
potential.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And after all the business comes the fun. The president will be
hosting a dinner tonight. You can see the arrivals happening now. The
guests will be treated to Lionel Richie who is headlining the event
tonight. Tomorrow it`s back to work for the final day of the conference
resumes. I shared with those in Washington yesterday, including the
President, for the last 20 years that I have traveled to different parts of
Africa. I have always seen China and others seemed to be further ahead
than the United States and United States companies in trading, and in doing
things to build Africa. Africa is an opportunity, an opportunity that
finally, it looks like, some will engage seriously, thanks to this
president.

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
BE UPDATED.
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