updated 8/27/2014 6:00:30 PM ET 2014-08-27T22:00:30

POLITICS NATION
August 26, 2014

Guest: Midwin Charles, Eugene O`Donnell, Cedric Alexander, Gwen Moore,
Brian Katulis


REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks for tuning
in.

Tonight`s lead, new audio that may have been recorded when the gunshots
that killed Michael Brown occurred. NBC News has obtained audio from a man
who says he was recording a message to a friend near the site of Michael
Brown`s shooting. He says he ended up recording the fatal gunshots. NBC
news has not authenticated the audio, but the lawyer for the man who
recorded it says she has shared the recording with the FBI.

Remember, the words spoken on this tape aren`t important. But the sounds
of the apparent gunfire in the background are. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are pretty. You`re so fine. Just going over some
of your videos. How could I forget?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Again, NBC News has not confirmed that this is the sound of the
shots that killed Michael Brown. Author do we know what happened
immediately before or after this recording.

But NBC`s Ron Allen spoke with the lawyer of the man who made the tape.
She says the FBI was interested in the recording and what made the biggest
impression on her was the pause in the gunfire.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LOPA BLUMENTHAL, LAWYER FOR THE MAN ON RECORDING: I think that what is
important is no matter how it`s interested, there was a pause. There was a
pause of three seconds. Now what that pause means may mean something
different, you know. As an attorney I know you have to argue both sides.
And I can see arguments that could be made for both sides. However, the
fact that there was a pause and this was not just some sort of emotional
bam, bam, bam, bam, bam and that`s it, there was a pause.

RON ALLEN, NBC NEWS: What could that be?

BLUMENTHAL: The pause? To me, you have a chance to think. No matter what
side of the coin you end up on, there was a moment of thought. And three
seconds may seem like a short amount of time. But the entire incident that
we have had recorded is 12 seconds. And that`s a lot of gunfire. So three
seconds within that 12 seconds is a significant period of time. And there
was a moment of contemplation by the shooter. Now whether or not that
contemplation, you know, what was going through his head, I have no way of
knowing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Again, we have not confirmed that this tape is a recording of
the shooting. But as prosecutors present evidence to a grand jury, this
could be a key piece of the puzzle. Take a listen to that recording one
more time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are pretty. You`re so fine. Just going over some
of your videos. How could I forget?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: There are still so many unanswered questions. But this
recording could soon become part of the investigation into the tragic
shooting death of Michael Brown.

Joining me now from St. Louis is Trymaine Lee, national reporter for
MSNBC.com, former prosecutor and current trial attorney Midwin Charles, and
Eugene O`Donnell, professor of law and police study at John Jay College of
Criminal Justice. Thank you all for being here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Midwin, let me start with you. How could this tape affect the
investigation?

MIDWIN CHARLES, TRIAL ATTORNEY: Well, if this tape is accurate, it really
is a game-changer. One of the things that`s most important about this tape
is that pause that the attorney just referenced. A pause is enough time
for someone to form intent. If, as officer Darren Wilson has said, that he
was defending himself or he felt he was in fear or even trying to apprehend
Michael Brown, that pause is significant. Because it lets us know that he
had time to either sort of stop and think and continue to pull the trigger.
So I think this is huge, if it`s accurate, of course. If it`s
authenticated. This is huge. This is a game changer. Darren Wilson`s
attorney`s job just got harder.

SHARPTON: Eugene, we are told the FBI has the tape. What are
investigators looking for?

EUGENE O`DONNELL, PROFESSOR OF LAW AND POLICE STUDY, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Well, I think the officer`s account will happen a lot.
Reports will matter a lot. Was it a defensive shooting or apprehensive?
Was it to apprehend? And it seems to me it`s either/or. There was a claim
at the time he fired, he believed his weapon would be taken.

Bizarrely, if you can believe it, Missouri law appears to values human life
less than Florida. And there might be legal authority to shoot a fleeing
person in this situation. But it would very much depend on what the
officer`s account was, official reporting. Certainly, in all states, self-
defense, if that`s the claim ends when it`s clear that the threat no longer
exists and when someone withdraws. With once somebody withdraws and is
leaving the altercation then the law in most states is we want the person
to be brought to justice in a nonviolent way. Self-defense is sort of a
situation where you have no choice.

SHARPTON: Let me go to Midwin`s point and the lawyer`s point. That is
that assuming this tape is accurate. Because we have not authenticated it.
But assuming it`s accurate, if the person was shot would any shots after
that not qualify at all for self-defense?

O`DONNELL: Right. If it`s a self-defense claim.

SHARPTON: It is.

O`DONNELL: I think it is either/or. If he`s claiming he`s firing at a
violent fleeing felon left, that would be a murky area. It seems to me
though, if you claim self-defense it`s a self-defense shooting. And
Missouri law appears to bizarrely leave open the possibility that an
unarmed person posing no risk to the community who is accused of a felony
could be shot fleeing.

SHARPTON: All right. Well, Trymaine, what`s the reaction to the tape in
Ferguson?

TRYMAINE LEE, NATIONAL REPORTER, MSNBC.COM: When speaking to people here
in the community, they have long believed that there were at least ten
shots that were fired at Michael Brown when he was apparently fleeing the
opposite. I spoke to one gentleman who lives in the neighborhood and he
told me days ago that he heard boom, boom, boom, and then a pause and boom,
boom, boom. And it seems, again, if this is authentic it matches up with
what various witnesses have said. That there was one shot from in the car
and then there were several shots while Michael Brown was running. And
then at some point, he turned around and then other shots followed.

SHARPTON: So you`re saying that you have talked to people in the
neighborhood that are not this man that gave the tape, that`s told you this
even before we heard about this tape.

LEE: That`s correct. And I didn`t publish it before because I didn`t have
reason to publish it necessarily. But I spoke to a gentleman who was
outside on the nice sunny day, that he heard the gunshot. That he heard
the boom, boom, a pause and then several more shots.

SHARPTON: Wow.

Midwin, you know, I mentioned that NBC hasn`t authenticated this recording.
But the lawyer for the man who recorded it says her client would be a good
witness. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: There is no doubt in your mind?

BLUMENTHAL: Absolutely not. He`s a very solid citizen, you know. I think
that if it came to testifying he would be a reliable witness. And he has
no reason to make it up.

SHARPTON: Do you think the grand jury will hear from this witness.

CHARLES: It depends on whether or not the prosecutor will take this
information and put it in front of the grand jury.

SHARPTON: Which is totally up to the prosecutor.

CHARLES: Absolutely.

They have wide latitude. They have full discretion, and as you know, it`s
secret. So whether it goes before a grand jury or not, we will never know.
But let`s assume that it does. What I think is the most interesting about
this tape and about the witness as she just said. If he`s disinterested.
He doesn`t have a stake in this. He was in the middle of a video chat with
a girl recording it and it just so happens that the shots rang out in the
background. So I can`t see anyone trying to discredit at least his
motives.

SHARPTON: You know, the pause in the gunshot on this new tape seems to
match what we have heard from some witnesses and I think Trymaine referred
to that. Let me play some others that have said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If the police chased after the guy, he was unarmed,
he ran for his life, they shot him. He fell, put his arms up to let them
know he was compliant and that he was unarmed. They shot him twice more
and he fell to the ground and died.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The officer gets out of the vehicle, pursues him. As
he`s following him he`s shooting at him. Michael`s body jerks as if he was
hit. Then he turned around and he put his hands up. The officer continued
to walk up on him and shoot him until he goes all the way down to the
ground.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You know, they seem to be saying, these eyewitnesses that there
was a pause. Eugene.

O`DONNELL: Yes. I mean, the point is absolutely correct. The person you
rely on, sometimes excessively in a case like this is somebody with no
agenda. Somebody with no connection to gets an outsized amount of
attention. So you have this objective evidence, assuming that it has some
validity, and then really, you are just trying to compare statements of
people with the objective evidence. So obviously, if this evidence clearly
points to one direction and the witnesses are saying things consistent with
that, this butt residences the accounts of the witnesses and would be a
crucial piece of evidence.

SHARPTON: Now Trymaine, last night there were no arrests, no problems on
the street. Do you expect that will continue?

LEE: I think so. The tone and temperature here have shifted from the
terrible days. And now people are focused on the case waiting for more
details such as this. We should be noted that the police department hasn`t
released any data at all more information. We have the autopsy from the
parents. People are now focused on the case. The grand jury hearing
evidence and so on. I expect thing to be continue to be cool and calm.
You will never know, but if, you know, last two nights are indication, We
are in for a nice peaceful stretch.

SHARPTON: Now Midwin, let me go back to something you referenced. The
Missouri statute on law enforcement officers` use of deadly force, it seems
very broad. It says deadly force is, quote, "justified only when he
reasonably believes that such use of deadly force is immediately necessary
to effect the arrest and also reasonably believe that is the person to be
arrested, a, has committed or attempted to commit a felony or, b, is
attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon, or may otherwise endanger
life or inflict serious physical injury unless arrested without delay."
Now, how will the statute affect the grand jury investigation?

CHARLES: I think the last two points that you pointed out about whether or
not he was fleeing with armed and dangerous are or whether he posed a
threat to the community, that didn`t seem to exist. And even if the
officer looked at the situation and tried to assess it, you have to ask
yourself after how many bullets do you recognize whether someone is a
threat to you or to the public. And I think that`s what`s the most
disturbing thing about this. Brown was unarmed. We have a barrage of
bullets he was killed by which is corroborated by at least three different
autopsies. But the statute, I think, when you look at it in its totality,
there are a lot of ands and/ors. The most important ors there are whether
or not Michael Brown pose a threat to the community, if he were to flee.
And whether or not this police officer understood that Michael Brown had
allegedly just committed a strong-arm robbery. So there are so many
variables that we are not clear on.

SHARPTON: Strong arm robbery would not -- would fall within the outline in
the statute.

CHARLES: Yes, you know. And so, it is one of those things where we have
to understand what is the police officer`s point of view and we don`t have
it since we have this fictitious incident report.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave it there. Trymaine Lee and Midwin
Charles and Eugene O`Donnell, thank you all for your time tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, what do we know about the American who was
allegedly killed fighting for the terrorist group ISIS. Are there more
like him?

That, plus President Obama`s tough promise for those responsible for
executing an American journalist.

Also a jaw-dropping new report of police departments literally losing
military weapons like m-16 assault rifles.

And Republicans tried to score cheap political points with a video game
straight out of the `80s. We`ll have our own "Politics Nation" version of
the game coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The entire nation was stunned by these images. Police in
Ferguson armed with military weapons. But now a disturbing report shows
that some police armed like this are literally losing their machine guns.
More on that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is a big difference
between our military and our local law enforcement and we don`t want those
lines blurred.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: President Obama last week signaling he would be looking into how
police are armed with military weapons. A review now under way. Images
like these from Ferguson, Missouri, stunned the nation and highlighted the
trend of militarizing police departments across the country. And now we
are learning new disturbing facts about how those departments are
mishandling that equipment.

A report from fusion shows 184 state and local police departments have been
suspended from the Pentagon`s military equipment program for missing
weapons or failure to comply with other guidelines. And the details are
very disturbing.

In Mississippi, 12 rifles, a pistol and a shotgun have all disappeared. In
Arkansas, m-14 and m-16 assault rifles are gone. A night vision scope is
missing and five shotguns are unaccounted for. Even worse, local police
departments have had two military humvees stolen or improperly sold.

Though they were later recovered. I mean, how do you lose a humvee?
What`s happening with all of the military hardware? Too many police
officers don`t have training for the weapon s or a need to use them.

Things have gone too far. We have to go back to real community policing to
restore not just order but trust in local police departments.

Joining me now is Dr. Cedric Alexander, president of the National
Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and chief of police for
DeKalb County, Georgia. And Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Democrat from
Wisconsin. She is one of several lawmakers who signed a letter to the
president urging him to create a commission on police tactics and appoint a
federal Czar to local police departments. Thank you both for being here.

Let me got to you first, Congresswoman. I understand you fractured your
elbow and came straight here. You do honor your commitments. So let me go
to you first. I`m glad you`re all right.

REP. GWEN MOORE (D), WISCONSIN: Always glad to be with you, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Doesn`t the new report about police literally losing m-16s
support your call for review of police tactics?

MOORE: Absolutely. Because we are committed to community-oriented
policing, policing where the police are stakeholders in the community. And
this is a far cry from community-oriented policing. I think it started out
as an idea of just getting, you know, rid of surplus military weaponry and
providing it to local police forces, but we do need to review and monitor
how the equipment is used and for what purposes, especially when it goes
missing.

SHARPTON: Now, Dr, Alexander, there is a new poll out on public attitudes
towards policing, 65 percent said police departments did only a fair or
poor job, 65 percent said they didn`t do a great job of treating racial and
ethnic groups equally. And 61 percent say they weren`t using the right
amount of force. This is a national issue. How do we address it?

DR. CEDRIC ALEXANDER, PRESIDENT, THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF BLACK LAW
ENFORCEMENT EXECUTIVES: Well, I think, Reverend Al, we have to go back and
look historically at this country which has not, this country had a good
relationship in terms of policing and communities of color. There have
been strained relationships. We know that historically. And it continues
to exist today.

Now, I also must note that, there`s been a tremendous gain in terms of many
parts n many cities across America where communities and police are working
well together. There is a lot of work in the country yet to be done. And
what we saw in Ferguson is just a good example of some of the locations
throughout this country where police and community aren`t working together.
The police will have to do a better job at reaching out to communities,
making themselves available not just for calls of service but also being
there in a very community oriented way where police is getting to know
their community and that community is getting to know police as well, too.

So, I`m not surprised by those numbers. They could be worse. But however,
it`s just an indication to me there is just a lot of work left still to be
done.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, let me ask about something with the letter you
wrote the president. You also touched on several issues. You included
police training, engagement with police and federal oversight of local law
enforcement agencies. How would these efforts help prevent another
Ferguson.

MOORE: Well, Reverend Al, I think we need a larger conversation about the
criminalization. And, you know, as your other guest has just mentioned,
this is a legacy issue. And I think, you know, to speak on behalf of the
police to some extent, you know, institutions, society fails young black
men a long time before they are 18 years old. I mean, they have higher
than average rates of suspensions in school. They find themselves
unemployed and unemployable. And police are there and they see young black
men as a threat because of all the marginalization that occurred prior to
the encounter between an officer and Michael Brown.

So a czar to look at local enforcement activities and practice practices is
something we see as being in order because it can provide police with the
appropriate training so there is not racial profiling. So there not a
sense that a young black man walking down the street is a threat, simply
because he is a threat.

And I would go further, Reverend Al, to say we need something on the order
of a truth in reconciliation to deal with the supposed criminalization of
young black men. A position supported by not only the congressional black
caucus, but the progressive caucus, the Asian caucus and the Hispanic
caucus of Congress.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you, Dr. Alexander. Do you believe Ferguson was a
wake-up call to all enforcement, all police around the country, not just
minority police department or police officers?

ALEXANDER: Absolutely it was. I tell you what -- if we don`t pay
attention to Ferguson, we are going to be in trouble and we are going to
see this again. Ferguson s going to become the model, I believe, to
suggest clearly that training is going to become key in moving forward.
How do we put out equipment that looked like military equipment. When do
you do that? Clearly in that scenario when you had peaceful protesters
that was not appropriate. It`s just not me saying that. I have talked to
a number of chiefs across the country and you have as well, too.

The appropriateness of it was just not in place. But I am telling you,
Ferguson`s going to be that city at this point in time in American history
that we can all clearly learn something going forward. Much of what we can
learn are things not to do.

SHARPTON: All right. Well, I have to leave it there. Dr. Cedric
Alexander, thank you. Again, thank you especially Congresswoman Gwen Moore
tonight for coming under the circumstances you did. We appreciate both of
you for your time tonight.

ALEXANDER: Thank you for having me.

MOORE: And thank you for all your hard work, too, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Thank you.

Ahead, confronting the terrorist group ISIS. President Obama today issuing
a direct warning and taking new action.

Plus why is Speaker Boehner OK with paying a lawyer $500 an hour to sue the
president but not OK with paying $10 an hour to millions working at the
minimum wage?

All that plus a hero`s welcome for the kids who are in a league of their
own.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

I can`t believe it. This is unreal to me. It`s unbelievable. I`m still
shocks right now that these people are clapping for me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Coming up next, President Obama`s warning for ISIS. The
militant group responsible for executing an American journalist. And we
are also learning more about the American killed while allegedly fighting
for ISIS in Syria. Are there more like him? Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back. Lots of developments today in the fight against
the terrorist group ISIS. Today, two new American airstrikes hit ISIS
targets close to the Iraqi city of Erbil. And the U.S. military has begun
surveillance missions over Syria to gather intelligence on ISIS targets in
that country as well. This as we learn that ISIS is demanding over $6
million in ransom to release another American hostage. This one, a 26-
year-old female aid worker.

An NBC News reports an American man was killed in Syria over the weekend
while apparently fighting for ISIS. The terrorist group controls a huge
swath of land in Syria and Iraq which they seized using barbaric techniques
in their push across the region. This afternoon President Obama vowed that
the U.S. is poised to continue striking ISIS. Following the brutal murder
of American journalist James Foley.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Our message to anyone who harms our people is simple. America does
not forget. Our reach is long. We are patient. Justice will be done. We
have proved time and time again we will do what`s necessary to capture
those who harm Americans. And rooting out a cancer like ISIL won`t be easy
and won`t be quick. But tyrants and murderers before them should recognize
that kind of hateful vision ultimately is no match for the strength and
hopes of people who stand together for the security and dignity and freedom
that is the birthright of every human being.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Joining me now is Brian Katulis, senior fellow at the Center for American
Progress. Brian, first of all, thank you for being here this evening.

BRIAN KATULIS, SENIOR FELLOW, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: Great to be
with you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Let`s start with this new surveillance flights over Syria. Why
would the U.S. need to bomb ISIS in Syria to stop them in Iraq?

KATULIS: Well, there is no border between the two countries effectively.
So even if we are striking them inside of Iraq as we have been for the past
few weeks, they could easily scurry across into Syria which it seems like
many of them have. And they have expanded their control. So I think the
president though does have a challenge and it`s a challenge he and his team
will face in the next few days of really defining a targeted purpose of
possible strikes inside of Syria.

You know, in Iraq we were trying to help the Yazidi community. We had a
specific goal of trying to stop the Mosul dam from being controlled by
ISIS. I have not yet heard a clear rationale for what the strikes inside
of Syria might seek to achieve. Perhaps, you know, they are seeking
retribution for the horrific murder. But that`s not enough, I think,
before we go in there. We need a clearer goal.

SHARPTON: You know, the situation on the ground in Syria is chaotic. But
let`s talk about some of the key players in the Syrian civil war. There is
a President Bashar al Assad who rebels have been trying to oust for nearly
three years. Then there is the free Syrian army, a group formed by former
Syrian military officials. They have been backed by the west. But are now
seriously outnumbered by terrorists in groups like ISIS. I mean, are there
any good guys here for the U.S. to work with?

KATULIS: There are good guys. Look, I`ve been to Syria many times. And
the sad thing Reverend Al is the vast majority of Syrian people are good
people who just want to live a decent life. And unfortunately, you know,
eight to nine million of them now are displaced. Two hundred thousand of
them nearly have been killed by this conflict. So, you know, the groups
that you have named, especially ISIS and Assad really don`t reflect where
most Syrian people are.

The free Syrian army in the various so called moderate rebels, they`re
unfortunately I think aren`t as organized and don`t have as much of a
ground game. And I do think that`s a consequence of different actors in
the region. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, others. Picking different horses over
the last couple of years. I think, if there is any hope, it simply
shouldn`t be from air strikes by the U.S. It should be the sort of a long
effort to try to support first the Syrian people through humanitarian
measures and then also trying to help these so-called moderates to carve
out a third wave inside of Syria.

SHARPTON: Now, the reports of an American being killed fighting for ISIS
are disturbing to say the at least. Here`s what we know about that man
Douglas McArthur McCain. He was 33 years old, raised in Minnesota. He
became a Muslim in 2004. And on June 9, tweeted to ISIS fighter, I will be
joining you guys soon. But McCain wasn`t the only American fighting with
ISIS. Some estimates have hundreds of westerners fighting in Syria and
Iraq. Foreign policy reports 400 fighters from the UK and 100 American
citizens are currently fighting for ISIS. Could there be more, Brian? I
mean, do they pose even more of a threat to the U.S. than local fighters.

KATULIS: I think there could be more. I mean, if you look at the overall
estimates of foreign fighters, and this includes you know, people coming
from outside of Iraq and Syria, Eric Holder, our attorney general
estimated 7,000. Some of the numbers go up to 12,000 total of people again
flooding Iraq and Syria. And these are numbers we didn`t see in the
previous decade in Iraq. The numbers of Americans, it`s disturbing.
Clearly it`s very, very disturbing. I think, the tip of the spear there of
trying to combat that threat is first good law enforcement and good
intelligence collection.

You know, I want to highlight "good" you know? And making sure that we are
keeping tabs on any potential plots and things like that. But then the
second thing that people forget is that the communities themselves,
especially Muslim American communities and their leaders. They are key
allies in helping deradicalize and pinpoint anybody who`s thinking about
going over to this vicious fight. It is a bad idea. But we should
remember, you know, that those Muslim American leaders are Americans. And
they have helped us quite a lot in this effort.

SHARPTON: All right. Brian Katulis, thank you for your time this evening.

KATULIS: Great. Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, a big cheer for some Chicago little leaguers who just
made history. They even got a tip of the cap from President Obama. And
straight ahead, republicans are back to playing political gains. But this
time it`s a video game. You`ve got to see this one.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Republicans have played political games before, but here`s one
we haven`t seen until now. Introduce thing the GOP`s newest attempt to
raise money and reach young voters. An online video game called mission
majority. It looks vaguely like a really bad game from the 1980s. Players
control an elephant named GOP who chases two villains called taxers and
mudslingers. When the elephant jumps on the villains, they shout audio
clips are from democrats.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: What difference at this
point does it make?

OBAMA: You didn`t build that!

Not even a smidgen of corruption.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Congratulations, GOP. You have created what might be the worst
video game in history. It would be so easy to approve. You can start by
changing the audio clips to create more believable bad guys.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Are you kidding me?

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Corporations are people, my
friend.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Brownie, you`re doing a heck of a job.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I do not like them, Sam, I am. I do not like
green eggs and ham.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Oops.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But video games are one thing. Playing with America`s political
system like it`s nothing more than a video game is another. And that`s
what republicans are doing. This week the House GOP moved forward on
Speaker Boehner`s lawsuit. Hiring a law firm for $500 an hour on the
taxpayer`s dime. The head of the Benghazi probe announced he`s also hired
a lawyer ahead of hearings next month. And the top ranking GOP Senator
Mitch McConnell is making ominous threats of a government shutdown.
Lawsuits, phony scandals and shutdowns. It`s the GOP`s game plan from the
fall and it`s a loser.

Joining me now is MSNBC`s Karen Finney and MSNBC.com`s executive editor
Richard Wolffe. Thank you both for joining me.

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank, Rev.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC.COM, EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Karen, the video looks like it`s from the `80s. I mean, did it
come from the same place the republicans get their policies?

FINNEY: It must have. You know, I like your version much better, Rev.
Yes, it looks like something from the `80s and the policies are definitely
the ones we have heard them try to, you know, recycle again and again and
again. So, I think a child could probably make that game, it`s so
unsophisticated.

SHARPTON: You know, Richard, the House lawsuit shows where the speaker`s
priorities are. The GOP hired a $500/hour attorney to press the speaker`s
lawsuit with the bill passed to the taxpayer. But Speaker Boehner is
against a $10.10 minimum wage. I mean, so the speaker is willing to pay a
good wage to people suing the president, but not the blue collar workers.

WOLFFE: Right. It`s so tone deaf. You know, this is a policy that`s
going in, talking about not wanting to borrow money from China for all
sorts of spurious wastes of government money. If this was the Obama
administration spending that kind of money on what we all know is a public
relations stunt they would go crazy. And they have before. So, I don`t
know where that positions them other than to say to their base, look, we
are doing something. But do it for free. You have enough lawyers on your
committees.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, let me throw this one to you, Karen. The lawyer
hired by or for the GOP lawsuit has been attacking President Obama for a
long time. Here he is last year on FOX News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID RIVKIN, POLITICAL WRITER: A pattern of ignoring the constitution to
aggrandize his power quite frankly. If republican president had done so,
both Congress and the main stream media would be in a state of uproar.
Interested in scoring cheap political points and pushing back as much as
possible against the republicans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: How can the republicans act like this is not partisan when there
is their lawyer on the lawsuit.

FINNEY: Right. Well, I think this is even the lawyer who came up with the
legal premise that they are basing the case on. So, his connection to this
is very close. Look, it`s a gimmick. I mean, it`s like you guys were just
saying. This is a gimmick. It`s about fund-raising, it`s about appeasing
the far right. The GOP, you know, video game, that is a gimmick to try to,
you know, get -- they think they will raise money. But to get, you know,
names of supporters which, by the way, in September that`s a little bit
late to be trying to build the list, but OK. I mean, all of this is
gamesmanship, it`s not serious. And, you know, it raises the questions.
So, what are they telling constituents when they go home about what they
are doing for them?

SHARPTON: You know, back from vacation. Back on vacation really. Let me
go there first. We are still hearing while they are on vacation,
impeachment talk from Republicans. Here is a new one from GOP Congressman
Kenny Marchant.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. KENNY MARCHANT (R), TEXAS: I believe if (INAUDIBLE) to the House that
I think there is a very slim chance that the house would have voted to
impeach. That doesn`t mean it shouldn`t be done. That doesn`t mean that
that shouldn`t be something we`d consider. If we move against the American
people there will be violent reaction. And we will win the Senate. So,
let`s focus on winning the Senate first.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, that`s very interesting there, Richard. Let`s consider
impeachment, but let`s first focus on winning the Senate. Are we reading
in there that if they win the Senate they are going toward impeachment?
Because then they have the majority of the Senate?

WOLFFE: Well, could be. But first of all, you`ve got a number of House
republicans out there on the campaign trail. And you are going to see more
of those kinds of videos as we get toward the midterms. They`re trying to
hedge, pander to an audience that`s been fed all of the talk about
impeachment. And they love it. So they cannot say right now, well,
impeachment is off the table. Because you know, what? For every action
there is an equal and opposite reaction. If we talk about impeachment, the
democrats are going to go out to vote. So, how can they track this?

How can they say, yes, yes, yes, I know we have told you about impeachment.
But just hold off a little bit here. But I don`t want to annoy you.
Please show up to vote. They are walking a very fine line. They tried to
do it with the Tea Party. Much more successfully in 2010. I don`t know
that they can pull this off right now. Because this video is out there.
It will be out there more through September and October of this year. I
don`t know that you can find middle ground between the kind of talk out
there and what they need to do for the establishment to get elected in
November.

SHARPTON: I hear you trying to weigh in there on the impeachment, Karen.

FINNEY: Well, I mean, I agree. You know, they know, I mean, that`s part
of why before they left they were trying so hard to say, no, no, no, we are
going to sue, we`re not going to impeach him. I mean, it shows you that
within their caucus they don`t even have control. And Richard is exactly
right. The far right wants impeachment. That`s what they want. And so,
they are going to come back. And again, this is a message for democrats to
go out and say, they want to impeach the president. I want to give you an
increase in the minimum wage. I think that`s an excellent position from a
message perspective. And again, talking about what people actually want to
hear about. Saying you are going to impeach the president, I mean, again,
it`s a gimmick. And it`s a game. It`s not seriously looking at what
people need.

SHARPTON: Karen Finney and Richard Wolffe, thank you both for your time
tonight.

WOLFFE: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Still to come, the president welcomes the oldest living female
war veteran to the White House. But it`s the vice president who tries to
win her heart.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The White House welcomed a very special visitor this summer.
One hundred eight year old Lucy Coffey, America`s oldest living female
veteran. She served in the women`s Army Corps in World War II winning two
bronze stars. The president and vice president couldn`t wait to greet her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICE PRES. JOE BIDEN (D), UNITED STATES: Lucy! It`s Joe Biden!

LUCY COFFEY, AMERICA`S OLDEST LIVING FEMALE VETERAN: Hi, Joe.

BIDEN: How are you? I have a younger friend. When he found out I was
going to be seeing you, he asked if he could come down and see you.

OBAMA: Hey, guys.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Mr. President.

BIDEN: Here`s my buddy that wanted to say hello.

COFFEY: Hello.

BIDEN: Say hello to Lucy.

OBAMA: So nice to meet you!

COFFEY: Thank you.

OBAMA: You`re welcome. We are proud of you and proud of your service.

COFFEY: Thank you.

OBAMA: You`re welcome. You take care. I`ll give you a kiss. Thank you.

BIDEN: Thanks for coming down, Mr. President.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: What a nice surprise. Vice President Biden wasn`t about to let
President Obama swoop in, steal his thunder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: Do you know what this reminds me of?

COFFEY: What?

BIDEN: It reminds me every time I have a good-looking date, there`s some
better looking guy coming around to grab the attention. Do you know what I
mean?

COFFEY: Yes.

BIDEN: I`m vice president. The president comes in and everybody drops
everything. Do you know what I mean? But I`m the guy who loves you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He`s the guy that loves you. Lucy is a special lady. She made
the whole country proud. And we thank her for her service.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Finally tonight America`s Little League heroes are back home.
The Jackie Robinson West baseball team from Chicago finally returned home
on Monday. They came up just short of winning it all in the Little League
World Series in South Korea. But for the crowds that greeted them at the
airport, these kids were all winners.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t think it was going to be this big. We were
just going to play ball and have fun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t expect this. I expected some people taking
pictures and stuff. Like, all these people? I didn`t expect this at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was so fun. I don`t want to go home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You had a lot of fun?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I want to stay.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Despite the World Series lost, the Jackie Robinson west team has
already made history, becoming the first all-black team from Chicago to win
a U.S. title in 31 years. President Obama tweeted about the win and even
called the team to congratulate them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TREY HONDRAS, WEST LITTLE LEAGUE: Meeting President Obama, it was really
cool and exciting. Because he`s like the best person in the world
basically. And to hear him talk to us, and tell us great job. That`s a
great thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: As the players got off the bus into Jackie Robinson park
yesterday, they were overwhelmed by the community`s response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is real big.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is crazy. I didn`t know it would be this big.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wasn`t expecting this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And only one thought on their minds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go to sleep.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That and a home-cooked meal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably some macaroni, some chicken, and greens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Chicago will honor the team with a city-wide parade tomorrow.
After the last couple of weeks of debates and divisions and many of those
debates we need to have. It`s also rare light when we can see kids using
their skills to do things that have not been done in a long time. It`s
really about seeing some light, even amidst darkness. That will keep us
all inspired to keep striving for the light, smiles on kids` faces like
that.

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.
END

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