PoliticsNation, Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
Read the transcript from the Tuesday show
September 2, 2014
Guest: Nicholas Burns, Chaka Fattah, Angela Rye
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed and thanks for tuning
Tonight`s lead, the second purported beheading of an American journalist by
the terrorist group, ISIS. A video released by the terrorist monitoring
group appears to show the execution of freelance journalist Steven Sotloff
who was kidnapped last year in Syria.
This video comes two weeks after an ISIS militant beheaded another American
journalist, James Foley. The masked militant who killed Foley appears to
be the same man in the video with Steven Sotloff. He speaks English with a
British accent. We are going to play a very short clip from the video so
you can hear his voice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m back, Obama. And I`m back because of --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: In the latest video, the militant also threatens the life of a
former British soldier who worked for aid groups and was captured in Syria
last year. White House officials say they haven`t confirmed the
authenticity of the video. But a state department spokeswoman says finding
out what happened to Steven Sotloff is a priority.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: We have seen reports of a video
that purports to be a murder of U.S. citizen`s Steven Sotloff by ISIL. The
intelligence community will work as quickly as possible to determine its
authenticity. If the video is genuine, we are sickened by this brutal act
taking the life of another innocent American citizen. Our hearts go out to
the Sotloff family. And we will provide more information as it becomes
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: We are all sickened by this video. A spokesman for Sotloff
family says, even though they are waiting for the video to be
authenticated, they are already grieving.
Last week, the world with met Sotloff`s mother when she released this heart
breaking video, a direct appeal to the head of the terrorist group asking
him to release her son. Steven Sotloff was 31-years-old, a native of
Florida. He had reported from Bahrain, Egypt, Turkey, Libya and Syria.
Friends described him as a selfless person and said he lit up a room.
On twitter he referred to himself as a stand-up philosopher from Miami.
It`s hard to imagine his family`s pain right now. But the entire country
is thinking of them. And now we must figure out the way forward against
ISIS to make sure justice is done.
Joining me now are MSNBC military analyst colonel Jack Jacobs, and Nicholas
Burns, former U.S. ambassador to NATO, now professor at Harvard University.
Thank you for being here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re welcome.
SHARPTON: Colonel Jacobs, let me go to you first. The entire intelligence
community is looking at the video. What are they trying to learn from it?
COL. JACK JACOBS, MSNBC MILITARY ANALYST: Well, among other things trying
to determine exactly where it was taken. There is a great deal of opinion
that puts it inside Syria. And the most people I talk to think that the
hostages, all hostages, were moved to Syria. And that`s where the murders
took place and that`s where video is taken.
In addition, trying to determine whether or not the video of this murder
and the previous one, of Mr. Foley, were taken at or about the same time
rather than sequentially. This may tell a lot about what the intention of
ISIS is with respect to these people.
And also to try to determine exactly who these people are and where they
can be found. To date we have not decided that we are going to actually
attack inside Syria. If we want to do something about them. Certainly
over the short term, and they are in Syria that`s where we have to attack.
SHARPTON: Now Colonel, let me ask as follow up. You know, in the video
what appears to be the killing of Steven Sotloff, the militant said he`s
back because of American foreign policy and the bombing of the Iraqi city
Amirli. "The Wall Street Journal" reported that the U.S. airstrikes helped
break the ISIS siege of that town, Amirli. And a video shows residents
actually cheering for Iraqi soldiers after breaking the siege by ISIS. Are
the air strikes working?
JACOBS: They are working, but they are working at a tactical level. It`s
easy to find these guys and attack them with precision guided munitions.
And you can actually drive them off locations you want to keep them away
from. For example, the dam that`s repeatedly counterattacked by ISIS and
we continue to drive off using precision guided munitions. But if you want
a long-term solution to the problem of ISIS inside Iraq, you`re going to
have to get troops on the ground. It doesn`t mean American troops on the
ground, it could be NATO troops, but as a minimum whoever goes there is
going to have to be there long enough to make sure that the Iraqi troops
including the Peshmerga who failed utterly against ISIS, then get short up,
get retrained and are enable to take over their area and the defense of the
area themselves. That means troops on the ground, somebody`s troops on the
ground for some period of time, not just using precision-guided munitions.
SHARPTON: I want to get back to somebody`s troops on the ground. But let
me go to you, Ambassador Burns. What message is ISIS trying to send with
AMBASSADOR NICHOLAS BURNS, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO NATO: Well, they are
trying to intimidate western governments and intimidate public opinions in
the western countries. So I don`t think they are going to succeed. This
group is a monstrous criminal terrorist group. And that`s obvious given
what they have done in the last several weeks.
I think that President Obama has now to look for greater support from the
Arab world and the Europeans as a NATO summit at the end of this week in
Wales where this is going to be front and center. The United States is
carrying a lot of the load now with the U.S. airstrikes against ISIS. They
have been effective in a tactical sense. But it sure be nice to have more
European support. I mean active military support, what the United States
is doing because we are carrying this water for the Europeans. And it
would be beneficial to see greater courage among the Arab are governments.
The Sunni-led Arab governments of the Gulf in Levant, they should be out
denouncing this group and trying to convince their own citizens for not
join the group or bankroll this group. And I think ultimately President
Obama will have to decide does the United States seek to contain this
group, ISIS or do we seek to defeat it?
As the colonel said containment is one thing. The United States can
probably keep ISIS out of Iraqi Kurdistan through American air power. But
to defeat it would require as major introduction of ground troops. Europe
will not go for that. I don`t think President Obama would agree to that
either. So we are really in containment mode. And that means ISIS
continues to wreak havoc in both northern Syria and western Iraq.
SHARPTON: Now, ambassador, the president is headed to the NATO summit
right now. You wrote in the financial times that this may be one of the
most consequential NATO summits in the group`s history. You wrote that at
the summit, quote, "Europe should volunteer air support to help the U.S.
contain a rampaging ISIS in Iraq and Syria and squeeze ISIS politically and
dry up funding from wealthy Arabs." Will we see new agreements to go after
BURNS: I fear we won`t see such an agreement. It may be the United
Kingdom will support the United States militarily. But I`m skeptical that
the west Europeans, Germany, France, Italy, Spain will agree to this.
They`ve got their own problems. And of course, you know, they have
faltering militaries themselves. They spend very little on their military
compared to the United States or Britain.
So I hope the Europeans will stand up in the NATO alliance and support the
United States. But I just don`t know whether they will at this point. And
so, that means that the United States, once again, will have to really
shoulder the burden.
But there are other countries we can work with. Turkey is an important
country. The Turks now allow some oil from is across the border to Turkish
refineries. Could the Turks cut that off? Could we get better support
from United Arab Emirates, from Qatar, from Saudi Arabia. I think those
are probably the more likely military and economic partners for the United
SHARPTON: You know, Colonel Jacobs, after the execution of James Foley we
learned there was an attempted rescue of James Foley and other hostages.
"The New York Times" reported that early this the summer, two dozen delta
force commandos raided an oil refinery in Syria. They were dropped by
helicopter into Syrian territory. But after a firefight, they found the
hostages were gone. How risky is a mission like that, Colonel?
JACOBS: Well, it is an extremely risky. And you don`t undertake it
without first class intelligence. And a first class intelligence
information is what we are lacking here. We need to know where they are
before we devise a plan to get them. We are short of human intelligence,
that is people on the ground giving us information. We are relying heavily
on overhead intelligence, photographs, satellite observation and so on. By
itself, not enough. We need information coming from on the ground so we
have timely information of where they are.
SHARPTON: And Ambassador, given most polls saying most Americans do not
want to see us go into another war and go into another nation. Short of a
coalition, how does the president go in and then maintain after. It may be
easy to go in, but how do you maintain keeping ISIS out short of a
BURNS: Well, I think the president is receiving support from both parties
in the Congress for the use of American air power. I think most members of
Congress understand the strategic consequences for the United States should
Iraq splinter into three different parts -- Sunni, Shia and Kurdish. And
should ISIS retain the caliphate in Syria and Iraq, where I think the
consensus, obviously, breaks down is on the issue of ground troops. And
there is nothing that would indicate that the administration will now
propose ground troops to a very skeptical American public and the Congress.
And I think President Obama on his own would probably conclude based on
what he said in the last week or two that it wouldn`t be the right decision
for the United States to own the problem to that extent, to re-impose the
substantial American ground presence into the Middle East. And so, what we
are left with is a standoff with ISIS. We can prevent them from expanding
into Kurdistan. We cannot prevent them from undertaking the kind of
outrageous criminal atrocities that they committed again today against an
SHARPTON: All right. We`re going to leave it there. But we are certainly
going to watch this as it evolves and as NATO meets. Colonel Jacobs,
Ambassador Burns, thank you for your time.
BURNS: You`re welcome.
JACOBS: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Coming up, President Obama slams the GOP one percent ideology
and sets the tone for the midterm elections.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m not asking for the moon.
I just want a good deal for American workers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Plus, we are down the stretch for the general election and the
Democrats have a strategy to rally black voters to the polls.
And the celebrity hacking scandal that has everyone talking. Nude photos
leaked on the internet. How private are your photos? Stay with us.
SHARPTON: Coming up, a fired up President Obama, the midterms and a fight
for fairness. That`s next.
SHARPTON: President Obama spent labor day with union workers in Wisconsin.
And he made it clear what the midterm races will be about -- fairness.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: But I also want to see the guy who is breaking his back on two
eight-hour shifts so he`s got enough money to send his kids to college. I
want to make sure that guy is getting a break. There is no denying a
simple truth. America deserves a raise. Folks are doing very well on Wall
Street. They`re doing well in the corporate boardrooms. Give America a
I want an economy where hard work pays off with higher wages and higher
income and fair pay for women. I`m not asking for the moon. I just want a
good deal for the American workers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: That vision of fairness is in stark contrast to the GOP`s one
percent ideology. Civilized by today`s news about former GOP House
majority leader Eric Cantor. His new job is on Wall Street. Yes, he is
joining an investment bank as vice chairman and managing director.
In a statement, the bank praised Cantor as a long-time Wall Street pal.
Quote, "during his congressional career, Mr. Cantor worked to lower taxes
and eliminate excessive regulation during." Cantor also spent his time in
Congress blocking a minimum wage hike.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), FORMER HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: I`m not speaking to the
minimum wage issue. Right now we are trying to provide it -- more jobs for
everyone. And I think it is pretty well known if you increase, you know,
the mandate on employers you`re going to see less jobs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Cantor is out of Congress. But other Republican leaders are
still blocking everything from unemployment benefits to the minimum wage.
So what vision will America go for? It`s all at stake in November.
Joining me now is Congressman Chaka Fattah, Democrat from Pennsylvania.
Thank you for being here.
REP. CHAKA FATTAH (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Reverend, it is good to be with you.
And, you know, on Thursday there is going to be a nationwide, in 100
cities, action of fast food workers fighting for a livable wage. We have
ballot measures in a number of states now in which this is going to be on
the ballot as it was for instance in Seattle and Washington state in the
But the president, the most powerful, most persuasive person in our nation
made the case so well today that we need to be dealing with equal pay for
equal work, raising the minimum wage. If we tied the minimum wage to the
cost of living, it would be $10.10 today anyway. So we would be just
keeping pace if we can get this raise done.
SHARPTON: We`re really not giving Americans a raise. It would be only
where Americans are, just bringing it are where the economy is, if we
But let me ask you this, Congressman. How prominent will the issue of
fairness be in the upcoming midterm elections?
FATTAH: Well, this is going to be the issue. And I think as you see it
framed now the Republicans have walked away from trying to deal with
Obamacare. They see it is much too popular now in terms of its support
base as they started to cover millions of Americans. So they are not
talking about repealing Obamacare anymore. The fight is going to be about
whether we are committed as a country to moving people from poverty into
the middle class, into working our lives so they can feed their families
and then valuing work. They say they are for family values. We need to
SHARPTON: Let me pause you right there because just today, GOP congressman
Paul Ryan explained his opposition to raising the minimum wage. Quote,
"the biggest concern I have is I don`t want to take jobs away from the
people who need to get on at least one level of the economic ladder."
But 60 percent of Americans say a $10.10 minimum wage would have a positive
effect on the economy. Can Democrats gain an edge in the midterm election
by highlighting issues of economic fairness, Congressman?
FATTAH: You see the stories. There is no GOP wave. All of these races
and red states for U.S. Senate are races in which Democrats are working
very well in Kentucky and Georgia. You see what`s going on in the country.
There is an opportunity for us to win because we are focused on middle
class American issues, paying for college. This is something I have spent
my career on. Helping young people, millions of them, be able to afford a
college education. It is the most concrete way to move people into
economic self-sufficiency. So we have worked to do. And I think there is
an election in which the public has to do its part. It has to give clear
guidance for the policy makers for the direction the country to go in.
SHARPTON: Well, we are going to dig into that in the next segment.
But let me ask you this. This weekend the president went after Republicans
for opposing just about everything, even popular policies. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: They used to be for building roads and bridges. Now suddenly, no,
we can`t build roads. Why not? Because you proposed it. The sky is blue
today. Milwaukee brats are delicious. The brewers are tied for first
place. And Republicans in Congress love to say no.
Those are just facts, the facts of life. They say no to everything. When
the rest of the country is working to raise wages but Republicans in
Congress won`t, it isn`t right. Not only is it not right, it isn`t right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: You know, he seemed like he was in campaign mode. How much of
an impact will the president have on the midterm elections.
FATTAH: Well, he`s the most successful politician of our era. And people
want to discount this but, in fact, he won two national elections. And
that`s what this is all about. It is about we are going to be at a point
very soon where we`ll compare the eight years of Clinton to eight years of
Obama and the eight years of Republicans sandwiched in between and look at
real job growth, real growth in the economy, real opportunity compared to
Republican policies and there won`t be more debate in the nation.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you this quickly. A recording surfaced of GOP
senator Mitch McConnell talking behind closed doors about what he`ll do if
Republicans win the Senate. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: And we are not going to be
debating all these gosh darn proposals. That`s all we do in the Senate is
vote on things like raising the minimum wage (INAUDIBLE) -- cost the
country 500,000 new jobs. Extending unemployment. That`s a great message
for retirees. The student loan package, the other day, that`s just going
to make things worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: No debates on the minimum wage, on unemployment benefits, on
student loans. If that`s what`s on the line in the midterm, Congressman?
FATTAH: Look, he said it and he means it, right? And if they get control
of the United States Senate they are going to make sure these issues that
are important to the majority of Americans never see the light of day. So
that`s why the public has to do its part. The president is going to
campaign hard. Democrat are going to campaign hard. The issue will be
joined. The public`s got to decide whether they want to move the country
toward the expanding the middle class or whether they want to increase the
amount of wealth for the one percent.
SHARPTON: Well, that`s why we`ve got to vote and vote with a passion. We
will be talking about it in the next segment. Congressman Chaka Fattah,
thank you very much for your time tonight.
FATTAH: Thank you, Rev.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, hands up, time to vote. After Ferguson,
progressives are turning grief into a drive for new political clout at the
polls. Could it make the difference in the midterms?
But first, have you ever heard of Rubio care? Me neither. The senator has
failed attempt to create an GOP alternative to Obamacare put him in
tonight`s "Got You."
SHARPTON: The test results are in and they`re not good. Florida Senator
Marco Rubio has been one of the most outspoken critics of President Obama`s
health care law.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Well, the Obamacare bill is a job killer.
That`s why it`s so important that this bill be repealed. It can`t be
It`s a reminder of how un-implementable this law is.
I can`t think of a single thing that`s impacting the economy more than
Obamacare is right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Many on the right continue to bash the affordable care act
without any prescription of their own. But once upon a time Marco Rubio
dreamed up his own healthcare plan.
Back in 2008 when he was speaker of the Florida House, Rubio secured nearly
$2 million for a limited online health insurance market in Florida. That
same plan, Republicans launched as an alternative to the affordable care
act earlier this year. Six months later, the GOP plan could use a check-
up. Because only 30 people signed up for Marco Rubio`s alternatives,
that`s 30, as in three-zero. While nearly a million people in Florida
signed up for insurance under the healthcare.gov.
Just to give you an idea how few people signed up for Senator Rubio`s plan,
there are more guys who play for the Miami dolphins, more cartons of
Florida orange juice on sale at the corner grocery store. There are
probably more people in line at Disney world right now.
Did Senator Rubio and the Florida Republicans think we wouldn`t notice
their bad medicine isn`t working? Nice try but we "Got You."
SHARPTON: While nearly a million people in Florida signed up for insurance
under the HealthCare.gov. Just to give you an idea how few people signed
up for Senator Rubio`s plan, there are more guys who play for the Miami
Dolphins, there are more cartons of Florida orange juice on sale at the
corner grocery store, there are probably even more people in line at Disney
World right now. Did Senator Rubio and the Florida republicans think we
wouldn`t notice their bad medicine isn`t working? Nice try, but we got
SHARPTON: We`re in the final stretch to the midterm elections. And all
eyes are on the battle for the Senate where the key races in key states are
tight. At least nine Senate races are far too close to call. At this
point it could come down to voter turnout. In Ferguson, Missouri, we have
seen people channeling their anger after the Michael Brown tragedy into
action. With voter registration drives and a push to vote. And that
message is resonating across the country.
The "New York Times" points out democrats are trying to rally black voters
across the nation, outraged by the Ferguson shooting. Congressman John
Lewis, a civil rights hero, is leading those efforts pushing to mobilize
voters in several states with competitive Senate races, including Arkansas,
Louisiana, and North Carolina. The numbers don`t lie about the power of
black votes in these states.
In Louisiana, 32 percent of eligible voters are African-American. In
Georgia, 30 percent are black. In North Carolina, 22 percent of the
electorate is African-American. And in Arkansas, 15 percent of the
eligible voting population is black. So if you`re outraged, vote. If you
want change, vote. If you want control of your future, vote.
Joining me now are Angela Rye and Richard Wolffe. Thank you for being here
RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC.COM EXECUTIVE EDITOR: You`re welcome.
ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: Angela, how big of a factor will the black vote be in deciding
the future of the Senate?
RYE: I think it plays a huge factor, Rev. You just mentioned the
demographics in some of these districts. And one of the things that we
have heard often when talking about Georgia is the fact that there are
about 500,000 African-Americans who are still unregistered. So the
potential is huge. But part of that potential is knowing how to harness
the power of this rising American electorate. And the way in which the
Democratic Party has to do that is by engaging these folks who look like
this people on the ground.
You can`t just go into communities at that time last minute. I know, I`ve
heard you say it. I`ve heard members of Congress say it for years. At the
last minute and put candidates in churches and the things like at that at
the very, very last minute. There is still a little bit of time to engage
vendors, to engage elected officials who aren`t necessarily the candidate,
and to also engage influences in the community. Some celebrities, and
activists and athletes and to also ensure that turnout is high come
SHARPTON: Now, Richard, as I mentioned, how close some of the Senate races
are, take a look at the latest polling averages for each race. In North
Carolina, republican Thom Tillis is leading democratic Senator Kay Hagan 44
percent to 43 percent. In Louisiana, republican Congressman Bill Cassidy
is leading democratic Senator Mary Landrieu 47 percent to 46 percent.
In Georgia, republican David Perdue is leading Michelle Nunn 46 percent to
42 percent. And in Arkansas, republican Congressman Tom Cotton is ahead of
democratic Senator Mark Pryor 45 percent to 43 percent. I mean, Richard,
these races are tight just with nine weeks left. How important is voter
engagement this year?
WOLFFE: It`s huge. But let`s just be clear. Some of these races are not
going to stay so close. Because for starters, there is little polling
done. Secondly, turnout is generally low in these mid-term elections. So,
if you can mobilize voters, what looks like a close race right now doesn`t
end up that way. What`s different this time around, it`s not like 2010
where you`re talking about an economy that`s really flat on its back, where
democrats didn`t saw a wave coming. This isn`t a GOP wave election.
This is going to be turnout versus turnout. And when you look at the
democratic turnout machine as deployed by the Obama campaign in 2012, it`s
a far more formidable base to start from than anything the GOP has put
together. So without a big motivating factor for the republican side of
things, and a successful democratic turnout can really keep these races
tight in many cases or even blow them out in the later stages.
SHARPTON: How important Angela is black voters to getting out and voting?
Because historically minority voter turnout decreases in the midterm
elections. I mean, Richard mention 2010. In 2010, 43 percent fewer
ballots were with cast by African-Americans than they cast in 2008. That`s
a lot of ground to make up. Can that trend be reversed in these midterm
RYE: I think it has to be, Rev. And you just started with a really good
point. Which is, you know, often times our community is galvanized by
seeing an injustice done. By seeing someone not playing fair. And the
only way for us to really ensure that we turn out is to ensure that we show
up year round. So, we just saw Ferguson happen. But we know Ferguson
happens all throughout this country. So, what are we going to do about it?
The power is not necessarily collectively in our pockets. We don`t
necessarily have the dollars to compete with the majority in this country.
But what we have gained over time is political power. And the best way for
us to initially exercise that power is by going to the polls. And before
you go to the polls, are you registered? And after we meet those steps,
you elect someone who thinks like you who`s going to enact policies that
you support and then you hold their feet to the fire on that. So, in these
tight races that you just mentioned, again, yes, we can afford to have
dropped our voters. But we know the power of the black vote. In fact, you
can just ask Senator Cochran in Mississippi about that.
SHARPTON: And a lot of what we are outraged about in Ferguson, on Staten
Island, wherever, are prosecutors that win elections that we didn`t vote
and the numbers we could repair in November. But let me say, Richard, you
know, people are concerned about Ferguson, Richard. They are also
concerned about impeachment. Because if the Senate goes republican, many
believe the president would be impeached. So, when you say the president
is not on the ballot, he is on the ballot. If Mitch McConnell becomes a
WOLFFE: Yes. We saw the impact of that in 1998. Although, actually that
was real impeachment, not talk about impeachment. But still those memories
are fresh for many, many people. And that led to an extraordinary
situation where democrats picked up seats in `98 when by all historical
track record they should have lost them. So, there is a precedent for
this. I think there is a combination of factors. You know, often at the
national level, the campaign strategists and the political leaders think
they have a handle on where the electorate is that.
They think it`s going to be about the economy or about tax because whatever
they think they can plan. But often when we saw this in 2012, a
combination of local stories can be really good motivating factors for
voters. Could be Ferguson? Could be the threat of impeachment? It could
be any number of different things that could crop up in the next few weeks.
And you cannot discount or even plan for it. But certainly if community
leaders can channel the energies that we have seen whether it`s about
prosecutors and policing or voter I.D. laws, there is a real recipe there
for voter turnout to be higher than, certainly higher than it was in 2010.
SHARPTON: Or all of the above. And Angela, I mean, Ted Cruz is even
talking about impeaching the Attorney General Eric Holder. So, this is
real threatening to a lot of what`s been achieved and where a lot of people
want to see things go, particularly African-American voters.
RYE: Yes. There is no question about it. I mean, you just brought up
Senator Cruz and of course Richard just mentioned voter I.D. laws. Well,
the reason why Senator Cruz wants to get rid of Eric Holder is because
there is a voter I.D. law that they are pushing in Texas that would
disenfranchise people that look like us and brown people. And the reason
for that is again, the rising American electorate and the threat that they
have in turning Texas blue. This is entirely political for them. And
unfortunately their politics is our racism. You know, that is the way in
which this law plays out. It absolutely has discriminatory intent and
SHARPTON: Well, we`ll be watching Texas and that`s why I wanted the two
dots on the night. Richard Wolffe of MSNBC.com and Angela Rye that always
connect the dots. Thank you both for your time this evening.
WOLFFE: Thank you, Rev.
RYE: Thank you, Rev.
SHARPTON: Coming up, the story that has even talking today. Celebrities`
private pictures hacked. And flying the unfriendly skies. Another day of
plane rage over leg room. We are getting the talk of the nation next.
SHARPTON: We`re back with the talk of the nation. The big stories
everyone is talking about today. Joining me now is MSNBC`s Abby Huntsman
and Zerlina Maxwell. Thank you both for being here.
ABBY HUNTSMAN, MSNBC CO-HOST, "THE CYCLE": Thanks, Rev.
ZERLINA MAXWELL, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: We start with the celebrity hacking controversy that rocked the
internet. Nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton among others
were leaked on the web reportedly by hackers who broke into online storage
services. Lawrence and Upton called it a violation of their privacy and
said they will pursue legal action against anyone who shares or sells the
In total 93 female celebrities were reportedly hacked. Apple says the
accounts were compromised by a specific attack on user names and passwords.
The FBI is now investigating and millions of Americans are wondering about
the security of their private information. Abby, there is a lot of hacking
stories on the news. Why did this one generate so much outrage and
HUNTSMAN: Well, this is absolutely a violation of privacy. And we see
this happen all too often. These are huge names, these are women that I
think a lot of people respect in Hollywood. I mean, Jennifer Lawrence, you
don`t think of as someone who will going to go out there and share nude
photos of herself. You know, if this was my daughter, for example, you
can`t blame them when something happens because there`s something you can
do about that. You have to think these are all women this happened to.
And some of these photos were actually deleted before they were hacked
into. It makes you really think though that anything that you share via
text, via e-mail, people can hack into that no matter what you do about it.
I recently lost my phone in a cab. And the cab driver stole it. And I
have to really think about what was on there. Because you never know when
it might come back to haunt you.
HUNTSMAN: I mean, this is really just the reality of the world we live in,
Rev. It`s not changing any time soon.
SHARPTON: You know, Zerlina, what`s your take on that? Because it just
isn`t a problem for celebrities in the past 12 months alone, 110 million
Americans had their personal information exposed by hackers. That`s 47
percent. Nearly half of the U.S. adults.
MAXWELL: Well, I think we all have to take this issue really seriously.
And, you know, remain vigilant and take those extra steps to make sure that
all of our accounts are protected. But one of the things that I think that
we are not talking about necessarily is that this is a breach of consent.
This is a violation of consent. And that`s what`s important. So, while so
many of us take pictures that we may not want out there, we are not
consenting to that being made public. That`s what we are saving on our
personal iCloud storage devices or on our hard drive at home.
The reason we are saving them is so that other people don`t have access.
That`s why they are password protected. So, I think that we need to one,
not call this necessarily a hacking. This is them stealing personal
information that people wanted to keep private. And also violating their
consent by releasing it to the public.
SHARPTON: You know, Abby, when Zerlina mentioned that, there are some that
are defending this or trying to find justification saying you shouldn`t
take pictures that you don`t want out there which, to me, is crazy.
SHARPTON: Because if you have the right to do what you want. But it
doesn`t give people the right to steal it and put it out there. But how do
you answer those that say, well, if you take photos like that, you should
know you are risking them being exposed particularly if you`re a celebrity.
HUNTSMAN: Yes. You have to ask how you can actually justify something
like this. And I don`t think anyone standing by and saying that this was
okay to do. This is a terrible situation for all of the women involved.
And I feel really sorry for them. But I have to say, I mean, to your
point, you know, this is a violation of the law. Right? But we can`t
control what happens. So you do have to think twice in today`s world.
Everything is out there on social media. We both tweet so many things of
ourselves, of our friends on Instagram, on Facebook, you name it. You
know, I do think we need to do a better job of just thinking about what if.
What if that slight chance it did get out there and people saw it, would
I`d be embarrassed?
HUNTSMAN: I mean, unfortunately Rev, that is the world that we live in,
and that is something we have to think a little bit more about. I wish
that were not the case. But it is.
SHARPTON: No, it`s true. I mean, with my Instagram and twitter I think
about whatever I put on there may be in tomorrow`s paper. So I`m very
SHARPTON: But let`s go next to -- we go 30,000 feet up into the not so
friendly skies where our legroom is under attack. Now, yesterday a Delta
flight had to be diverted to Jacksonville after a passenger became angry
that a woman in front of her reclined her seat. That`s the third incident
like this in just the past two weeks. One involved this gadget, the knee
defender. It attaches to your tray table and is designed to stop the
person in front of you from reclining.
Last Sunday, one passenger tried to use the device against a woman sitting
in front of him. After he refused to remove it reports say that quote,
"the woman stood up, turned around and threw a cup of water at him." So,
Zerlina, is recliner rage the new road rage?
MAXWELL: Well, I just think one of the reasons why this story is
resonating is because we all feel this way when somebody reclines their
seat. Whether they`re on a plane or a train. I think that this is an
experience that we all have. We all sort of -- me and Abby were talking
before the segment about sort of our different strategies. I`m more, you
know, I`m a preacher`s kid. So, you know, I ask people before I recline my
seat simply out of courtesy. But I don`t expect other people to do that.
Just because I want people to treat me the same way.
HUNTSMAN: Rev, I don`t ask. You know, I say it`s my seat. If I have a
recliner button on there, I`m going to use that, Rev. Because I know the
person in front of me often times is going to do the same thing to me. I`m
not happy about it but I know I`m going to do that same thing. My husband
is like 6`3". And he travels every week for work. And it`s a miserable
experience for him. Because he usually has the aisle and has to stick his
legs out, and to the aisle often tripping people. But so, we know,
traveling is just a miserable experience.
MAXWELL: It`s a miserable experience. Yes.
HUNTSMAN: Often times it`s claustrophobic. And we aren`t necessarily big
girls but if it`s miserable for us, I can`t imagine what it`s like for
other folks out there.
SHARPTON: You know, I have been big and small. It can`t be miserable.
But, you know, and Zerlina, there are some preachers` kids that are not
courteous. Mine are. But I know some that are not. But let me say this,
a flight attendant union is weighing in with a statement today saying,
quote, "As airlines are cramming more people into a confined space, the
likelihood of conflict increases." I mean, the union is placing the blame
squarely on the shoulders of the industry. Is that fair, Abby?
HUNTSMAN: Well, I do think there are some health risks. I mean, my sister
was one that had blood clots. And I know that`s something that is common
when you are crammed into the seats. You really have to think about the
quality of life and some of these flights that go on for hours and hours or
they are stuck on the runway oftentimes here in New York City for hours on
in. That could ultimately end up being a huge health crisis. You know, as
we were saying, traveling is a miserable experience.
HUNTSMAN: Ultimately, it`s going to be up to the airlines to make it a
little bit more enjoyable. I mean, just to get an inch more space or to
get, I don`t know, a bag of pretzels.
HUNTSMAN: You have to spend an arm and a leg to even have an enjoyable
SHARPTON: Or Zerlina, to deal with, you know, your iPad or working on
planes like I do.
MAXWELL: I mean, I absolutely have had people almost break my laptop
because they reclined without asking.
SHARPTON: Yes. Well, we are going to leave it there. I guess we`ll get
to bathroom signs on planes in a minute. Zerlina Maxwell and Abby
Huntsman, thank you both for your time.
HUNTSMAN: Thanks, rev.
MAXWELL: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: Be sure to watch Abby on "THE CYCLE" weekdays at 3:00 p.m.
Eastern right here on MSNBC.
Still ahead, Ferguson police did something this weekend they have never
done before. It`s a step in the right direction. But first, an ultra rich
GOP politician makes a big confession about a wine club. Stay with us.
SHARPTON: Bruce Rauner is the republican candidate for governor in
Illinois is he is one of the richest men in the state. He owns mansions,
penthouse apartments, ranches, ski condos, and oceanfront villas. But he`s
running ads portraying himself as just a regular Joe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE RAUNER (R), ILLINOIS GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: This old watch cost me
18 bucks. Pretty cheap but it gets the job done. Pat Quinn`s watch in
Springfield, just the opposite. Your time is up.
ANNOUNCER: Bruce Rauner, Shake Up, Springfield.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: An $18 watch. He`s just an ordinary guy, right? Wrong.
Because when he`s not talking about his $18 watch he`s signing up for a
wine club that costs at least $100,000 to join. He admitted the story in a
news conference today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you believe to a wine club that the costs
$100,000 to be a member of?
RAUNER: I have many investments and I`m a member of many clubs.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So, that`s a yes?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Yes. One hundred thousand dollars for a wine club. Keep in
mind that`s nearly double what the average household income in Illinois is.
This from a guy who suggested in January that the minimum wage should be
lowered. Mr. Rauner should perhaps stop talking so much about his $18
watch and start talking about why he supports policies that hurt ordinary
working class voters.
SHARPTON: Finally tonight, turning grief into a positive force for change.
On Saturday, protesters marching for justice in the Michael Brown shooting
saw something they have never seen before. Police in Ferguson, Missouri,
wearing body cameras for the first time. Obviously these kinds of cameras
don`t solve all of the problems on our streets. But it`s a start.
In Rialto, California, they tried body cameras on police. Complaints went
down 88 percent. And we saw police conduct themselves differently. It is
time to try new things to solve old problems. It will not solve everything
but it brings us closer to community policing, community, and police trust
and credibility on both sides. We must have solutions. We cannot stay
where we are.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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