PoliticsNation, Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: October 2, 2014
Guest: Kendall Coffey; Barney Frank, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Seema Yasmin,
Irin Carmon, Chuck Nice, Abby Huntsman
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR, THE ED SHOW: Happy birthday, Rev. I`m a day
late. Don`t you got that big party going on over there?
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: No. You`re a day early. It`s
SCHULTZ: Tomorrow. You have to gig early then. I got you.
SHARPTON: Thank you and thanks to you for tuning in. Lots of news to get
We have breaking news on the Ebola patient in Dallas. Why did the hospital
let him go when he first came in with symptoms?
Also, a major development in the Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury. Looking
into the shooting of Michael Brown. Some are now saying it could derail
the entire investigation.
And secret service fail. A stunning report that an agent spilled secrets
about President Obama to the Romney campaign back in 2012.
But we start tonight with President Obama, throwing down the gauntlet to
Republicans for the midterm election. He got out of Washington today and
in a speech near his hometown of Chicago, the president offered a reality
check to right-wingers who have trashed his policies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Here are the facts. When I
took offices, businesses were laying off 800,000 Americans a month. Today
our businesses are hiring 200,000 Americans a month. The unemployment rate
has come down from a high of 10 percent in 2009, to 6.1 percent today.
Over the past four and a half years, our businesses have created ten
million new jobs. This is the longest uninterrupted stretch of private job
sector creation in our history. Think about that. And you don`t have to
applaud because I`m going to be giving you a lot of good statistics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: A whole lot of good statistics. Showing this economy is in
better shape, thanks to the president`s policies, and one area where that`s
particularly true is health care.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: In the decade before the affordable care act, aka, Obamacare -- in
the decade before the affordable care act, double-digit premium increases
were common. CEOs called them one of the biggest challenges to their
competitiveness. And if you`re employer didn`t drop your coverage to avoid
these costs, they might pass them on to you and take them out of your
Today, we have seen a dramatic slowdown in the rising cost of health care.
If your family gets your health care through your employer, premiums are
raising at a rate tied for the lowest on record. What this means for the
economy is staggering.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The law that all the critics thought would drive up costs is
actually slowing down the growth of premiums, and it`s not just premiums.
Gallup says the rate of Americans without insurance has fallen to 13.4
percent, that`s the lowest level since Gallup started keeping track. This
law is working and it`s leaving Republicans with nothing to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: There`s a reason fewer Republicans, you hear them running around
about Obamacare, because while good, affordable health care might seem like
a threat to the American people on FOX News, it turns out it`s working
pretty well in the real world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The health care law is working. The economy is growing, and
those are the facts for voters to think about when we head into the midterm
Joining me now is former Massachusetts congressman Barney Franks. Mr.
Chairman, first of all, thank you for being here.
BARNEY FRANK (D), FORMER MASSACHUSETTS CONGRESSMAN: Thank you, Al.
SHARPTON: How important is it that the president is addressing the GOP`s
misinformation about health care and the economy head on?
FRANK: Well, it`s important, first of all, because we have an election
coming up. And in fact, our economy has been not only improving, but
improving at a better rate than any comparable country. You know, there
are realities that affect everybody and we`re in an international world.
So when there`s a slowdown in Europe, when China`s not growing as fast,
that affects the American economy because we do business with them.
But if you look at the economy of developed nations, by far the best
performance is the American performance. But the point is this. Had the
Republicans, who were trying to take over the Senate, as obviously is their
right, had their way entirely, the economy would be worse. And if on the
other hand, we continue to have a democratic house, the economy would have
That is precisely the important issues between the parties in the economic
area. One where is they have been wrong and we have been right. The
cutback in federal and state and local jobs came at the wrong time. All
economists agree, overwhelmingly economists agree the economic stimulus
program the president put forward was helpful, but too small. That was a
The Federal Reserve policy of stimulating the economy with making more
money available. The republicans are trying block that. Fortunately it
weren`t successful. And the president was right on that. Financial
reform. I`m very proud that the bill that I co-sponsored today --
SHARPTON: Yes, Dodd-Frank.
FRANK: They announced a man was indicted on the grounds of manipulating
the markets. Now, I don`t know if he did or didn`t do it. He`s entitled
to the presumption of innocence --
SHARPTON: No. Let me stop you there, Mr. Chairman. Because your bill,
Dodd-Frank, the president referred to that today. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Finally, we put in place financial reform to protect consumers and
prevent a crisis on Wall Street from hammering Main Street ever again. New
rules for our financial system to protect consumers and prevent the kinds
of crises that we endured from happening again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now, Republicans have been relentless against that bill, even up
until now. I mean, how do you deal with the fact, you are the author of
this bill, how do you deal with their desperation around trying to roll
back what you achieved with Dodd-Frank?
FRANK: Well, first of all, we point to the important things about it that
have been beneficial. For instance, the independent consumer bureau that
Elizabeth Warren pushed forth it. We made a law. And the record is very
clear. That has saved billions and billions of dollars for consumers.
Secondly, and this is my favorite. We`ve been through this. We try to
protect some group, we try to do some reform and the right-wing predicts
terrible disaster. If you have same-sex marriage, the families will
dissolve. If you prevent manipulation in the mortgage market, then the
economy is going to collapse.
And one of the things we have to consistently do is to remember what they
said and point out how untrue it was. Because they do it time and again.
You just made that point with regard to the health care bill when they made
one set of predictions and the reality was the other.
Much of what I do is to say, OK, you told me this would be a terrible bill.
Do you know that the best four years in the history of the stock market
have been the four years since that bill was signed in 2010?
SHARPTON: Now, how do we get that down to voters? Because clearly,
Democrats are hoping that the economic issues will be what drives voters to
the polls. I want to get your reaction to this. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Let`s agree that nobody who works full time in America should ever
have to raise a family in poverty. Let`s give America a raise. It will
make the economy stronger. Let`s catch up to 2014. Pass a fair pay law,
make our economy stronger. American economic greatness has never trickled
down from the top. It goes from a thriving, and middle class, and
opportunity for working people. That`s what makes us different.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Will voters turn out on these issues?
FRANK: Well, there`s a problem. First of all, thanks to this right-wing
Supreme Court, the most partisan activist court in American history,
there`s a flood of money coming from people who don`t want to pay decent
wages. Who want to keep destroying unions, who have a very strong vested
interest in preventing this money to be shared.
The result of that is while we have done very well economically, it`s been
unfairly shared. And one of the things that it is very frustrating
(INAUDIBLE) is that the Republicans succeed in putting through measures
that prevent us from diminishing the inequality that interfere with things
being more right to shed (ph). Particularly, for example, their war on
unions which has done terrible damage to the notion of a fairness in the
society. And then they benefit from that because they get people to be
discouraged. So we just have to come back at it and --
SHARPTON: Come back at it. I mean, the president made a very spirited
speech. How do you fight these attacks? They`re vociferous in these
attacks on the economy, on healthcare?
FRANK: Well, one is the minimum wage is a very good example, where people
on the whole, and what we have to make clear, it`s a complicated issue,
it`s not easy to deal with 30-second spots. That`s why I`m so grateful to
you for shows like this where we can try to give people that information.
If the Republicans were not in control of the house, we would have adopted
some measures that would have done a better job making things more equal,
we would have more support for higher public higher education, we would be
able to immediate the serious death that people had, we pass the minimum
the wage bill, we have some protection for people who want to organized the
bargain collectively to get a fair share of the wealth they`re creating.
And it`s frustrating that the Republicans have been able to block that and
then they benefit from people`s unhappiness. And we just have to make that
clear and it`s tough, but you got to keep going.
SHARPTON: Former congressman Barney Frank, always a pleasure to have you
on. Thank you for your time.
FRANK: Thank you, Al.
SHARPTON: Straight ahead, breaking news tonight on the Ebola scare in
America and what the patient new before returning home. One hundred people
may have had contact with the patient, and fears from patients and parents
in Dallas are growing.
Plus, is the grand jury in the Michael Brown investigation tainted? The
grand jury is now under investigation for misconduct. What could it mean?
And does the secret service have a problem with women? Years after a
prostitution scandal, a new report of an agent spilling presidential
secrets to a female Romney aide. It emerges. We`ll discuss it tonight.
It`s a big night. We want to know what you think. Tweet us
@politicsnation with the #pn talk.
SHARPTON: Tonight new accusations about the secret service still reeling
after that security scare at the White House. Now there are reports that
an agent may have shared secrets about president Obama with the Romney
campaign. We`ll have more on that ahead.
But first, we want to hear from you, are you worried about the president`s
safety? Do you think the secret service can change? Tweet us
SHARPTON: Developing news out of Ferguson, Missouri tonight. The grand
jury for the Michael Brown killing is now being investigated for
misconduct. The St. Louis county investigator`s office is investigating a
potential leak after they were made aware of an account of someone named
Susan M. Nichols, who tweeted, quote, "I know someone sitting on the grand
jury. There isn`t enough at this point to warrant an arrest."
The user has since deleted the twitter account. Grand jurors are
repeatedly reminded the proceedings are secret and not to discuss them with
anyone. St. Louis prosecuting attorney Bob McCulloch has been under fire
since taking this case and recently said the grand jury is almost finished
hearing all the evidence.
But tonight, new questions about the process and whether it`s time for
federal authorities to step in and take over.
Joining me now is former U.S. attorney Kendall Coffey and MSNBC`s Joy Reid.
Thank you both for being here.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST, THE REID REPORT: Thanks, Rev.
KENDALL COFFEY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Thanks, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Kendall, I want to get to the implications of a juror saying
there`s not enough evidence in this case in a moment. But first, what
could a potential leak in the grand jury really mean?
COFFEY: Well, it means, first of all, that somebody`s acting illegally, if
it`s happening, and that is the kind of thing, that if is investigated, is
going to add more delay. I mean, how much longer is an investigation like
this going to take, and in fact, an investigation of the investigation.
And if you have to remove the grand juror, then there is going to be whole
controversy about what did he just replace the grand juror even though all
the evidence has supposedly been presented, you started out a new. And to
get back to your point at the beginning of this discussion.
It is time for the feds to step in, look at this grand jury, that was never
heading to prosecution to begin with, and make their own decisions about
whether there`s enough evidence to bring federal charges.
SHARPTON: Let me push you on this investigation of the grand jury
potential leak. How are they investigating it? How do you investigate
something like that?
COFFEY: The first thing a judge would typically do is bring in every one
of them and ask them the question, did you have anything to do with putting
information out? Have you spoken to anybody about the grand jury process?
So that`s going to happen.
Then, assume they all say no, the next part is going to involve going
through some of the forensics and trying to retrace whatever happens with
the twitter account. Because no one is running forward to confess that
they did something that would be clearly illegal. How much time could that
add to an already difficult and frustrating process for the family and
friends of Michael Brown? It could add weeks or months.
SHARPTON: Could it lead to a new grand jury?
COFFEY: Absolutely, it could. And that`s something that many county
attorneys in this position might consider. I don`t expect this county
attorney to do anything like that. I don`t expect him to start anew with a
fresh grand jury. I think he is going to try to -- it most, replace this
grand jury and get to the inevitable result that this is aiming toward,
which is non-prosecution by the St. Louis county attorney office.
SHARPTON: Joy, CNN interviewed that woman who tweeted about the grand jury
who says tonight she didn`t send the tweet. Quote, "I didn`t care for it
because I just don`t get the whole twitter thing." And saying, "it had to
have been hacked. I promise you, I did not do any of this."
REID: Yes, the good old Anthony Weiner defense, my account was hacked.
You know what? It really doesn`t work that way. Your twitter account is
tied to your email. I mean, it would be very easy for her to determine if
somebody broke into her account. And why would they? Why would somebody
choose her of all the people in the world to go into her twitter account
and make this kind of a claim? I don`t think that passes the laugh test.
SHARPTON: Well, the first question is, does she know anyone in the grand
jury? And if she does, how would a hacker know she knows someone.
REID: How would they know? It`s all secret. All right, of the identities
of the people on the grand jury are secret. It doesn`t stand the
credibility test to say that somebody could figure out all of the people in
the world to pretend that she knew someone on the grand jury. I just
simply don`t by it. But she obviously knows that there`s something
criminal at work here. You`re not supposed to do what was done. This is
the person who was boasting and probably talking out of school and now
would love to take it back.
SHARPTON: Now, McCulloch, the prosecutor, has been under fire from the
beginning. Many of us have said the federal government should handle it.
This even raises more suspicion and doubt, particularly by residents of
that county and the family of Michael Brown.
REID: And then you get to the really important point, because, Rev., you
interviewed the family. I spoke today with one of their attorneys,
Benjamin Crump, who you and I both know very well. And Ben said, listen,
the family does not trust the process, nor do they have faith in McCulloch.
They don`t have faith in him. And normally, in a case like this, the
prosecuting attorney talks to the family, communicate with the family.
Yes, they represent the people of St. Louis county. But usually
prosecutors present themselves as advocates for the victim`s family.
McCulloch has not even so much communicated extensively with this family.
He doesn`t appear, at least, in the public post to be somebody who believes
this is something should be prosecuted. It does appear that he`s driving
toward the result of not prosecuting Darren Wilson.
SHARPTON: And the unusual thing of not even outlining what charges he
wants the grand jury to consider.
SHARPTON: He said I want to give them the evidence and let them decide,
which is unheard of.
REID: And we don`t know --
SHARPTON: -- which is unheard of.
REID: It`s unheard of. And we don`t know what he`s saying in the grand
jury proceeding. Because it is secret, he could be in there phoning it in.
The family and the community would need to have faith that the case being
presented and being presented with fashion and whole-hearted belief in the
case. When a prosecutor doesn`t believe in their case, it shows in the way
they try it and present it. And I think at this point, many people in the
community in Ferguson and certainly the family don`t believe that this
prosecutor believes there`s a case.
SHARPTON: (INAUDIBLE) some positive news comes out of the tragedy. Voter
registration has soared in Ferguson since the death of Michael Brown. "USA
Today" is reporting that, quote, "more than 3,000 people have registered to
vote in Ferguson, Missouri, since the death of Michael Brown."
REID: Yes. This is the good news. You are seeing people start to realize
the way to affect change, there`s a county position that`s up for election.
Now, it`s the only one up in November. But on the same ballot, right after
that county executive position, and by the way, Mr. McCulloch who is a
Democrat, pushed against the African American who is up for that job, the
guy that he won the --
SHARPTON: The county executive.
REID: The county executive. McCulloch himself is also up for reelection,
unopposed. There was an African American woman that ran in the primary
against him, lost in a landslide. HE is going to be in that position until
SHARPTON: Where do you see this going, Kendall?
COFFEY: I see this going absolutely nowhere. Because a grand jury without
direction, as Joy described, is a grand jury without prosecution. He ought
to either, in the view of this mess and the grand jury, either step up to
the plate and make a decision, one way or the other himself which he has a
right to do, so that this part of it is over. Or let it play out however
it wants to. But the feds now need to look at this state process, the so-
called process. It`s not reliable enough. They shouldn`t hold back. Step
back for it. They need to especially while Eric Holder is still the
attorney general and still cares a lot about this situation. The feds need
to move forward with whatever decision they`re going to make.
SHARPTON: I agree.
Kendall Coffey and Joy Reid, thank you both for your time.
And make sure you catch "the Reid Report" weekdays at 2:00 p.m. eastern
right here on MSNBC.
Coming up, new details on what the Ebola patient told authorities. The
question tonight, was he telling the whole truth?
Plus, was a secret service agent spilling secrets to a female Romney aide?
And Will and Kate tell the paparazzi to stop harassing their son.
Conversation nation is ahead.
SHARPTON: Did the Ebola patient lied in order to get into the United
States? Why did that Dallas hospital send him home even after learning he
come from Liberia?
And do parents have any reason to fear for their kids` safety in school?
We will do live to Dallas for all that breaking news next.
SHARPTON: Now to breaking news on the first case of Ebola diagnosed on
American soil. Health officials are monitoring 100 people who may have had
contact with Thomas Eric Duncan and his children, since he arrived in the
U.S. September 20th. And four close family members are quarantined in
their home today. Legally forbidden from leaving. Officials say they`re
concerned about sheets and towels that Duncan used. And that are still in
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLAY JENKINS, DALLAS COUNTY JUDGE: Last night we placed orders on the
family. We did that after balancing many things. We have some hygiene
issues that we are addressing in that apartment. This is a fluid
situation. We have a contractor. There are protocols that have to be
followed to clean and to take care of the things that need to be taken care
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Officials also said students at five Dallas schools may have had
contact with Duncan. The kids haven`t shown symptoms, and schools remain
open. But some parents did keep their kids home. And last night,
custodians in hazmat suits were seen cleaning the halls. Right now Duncan
himself is in serious but stable condition at the same Dallas hospital that
initially sent him home last week. Duncan`s nephew said he had to call the
Centers for Disease Control himself because the hospital failed to act.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPHUS WEEKS, EBOLA PATIENT`S NEPHEW: They said, we waiting on test
results. I`m like, if somebody travel to West Africa, Liberia, a country
that`s infested with Ebola and he comes back and he`s all symptomatic with
Ebola, and you`re telling me you`re waiting on test results.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Also today, accusations from Liberian officials who say, Duncan
will be prosecuted for lying in an airport screening questionnaire, when he
answered to questions about whether he had cared for an Ebola patient. But
the main focus tonight, preventing more infections, health officials say if
anyone did contract Ebola from Duncan, symptoms could start emerging as
soon as today.
Joining me now is Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson who represents the
Dallas area and Dr. Seema Yasmin, public health professor at UT Dallas.
And a staff writer for the Dallas Morning News. Thank you both for being
REP. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON (D), TEXAS: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Congresswoman, let me go to you first. A lot of people down
there seem pretty scared. Do they have the right to be given how the
hospital mishandled this initially?
JOHNSON: Well, I think they have been given the facts of what happened.
Clearly, if the person had just checked what was available, which were the
protocols, this would not have happened. He would not have been sent home.
But that didn`t happen. That`s a human error that we can`t retrieve. So
we have to work with that having happened.
SHARPTON: But, Dr. Yasmin Duncan`s nephew said he called the CDC twice and
was getting more and more worried. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEEKS: I called CDC to get some actions taken because I was concerned for
his life. And he wasn`t getting the appropriate care, and I was fearing
other people might, you know, also get infected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I mean, should the hospital have acted sooner? It would have
been avoided, the possibility of more people being exposed?
DR. SEEMA YASMIN, PUBLIC HEALTH PROFESSOR, UT DALLAS: Yes, absolutely.
And the CDC guidelines do say that we should be asking patients with
history of fever, all these symptoms about the travel history and the
hospital tells us that when he went to the hospital last Thursday evening
after 10:00, he did say that he had been to Liberia, and this crucial piece
of information was not relayed to the rest of the health care team. One
nurse had that information, she did not share it with others. Had she
shared it at the time, he could have been admitted and isolated a lot
SHARPTON: Now, Congresswoman, today the "Wall Street Journal" has details
about an Ebola victim in Liberia identified as quote, "Miss Williams" who
Thomas Eric Duncan brought to an Ebola ward. Quote, "Mr. Duncan lifted
Miss Williams by her legs from the taxi. Hours later, Miss Williams died.
Blood trickled from both sides of her mouth as one of her neighbors carried
away her body, protected only by a pair of gloves." And yet Duncan
allegedly said he had no contact with anyone infected with Ebola. Doesn`t
it show how hard it is to screen people 100 percent of the time,
JOHNSON: Well, it doesn`t show how hard it is to screen. What it does
show is people not always willing to be honest. If he had just told the
truth, none of this would have happened that`s going on now, because he
would not have boarded the plane. We can blame a lot of things, but the
main thing is getting the truth out of the people. I have no clue why he
did not tell the truth. But clearly he violated the law.
SHARPTON: Let me go back to you, Doctor. We`re learning more about
Duncan`s flight path to the United States. It included a seven-hour
layover in Brussels, and a three-hour layover in Washington, D.C. I mean,
could he have exposed people to Ebola during those stops?
YASMIN: He could not, Reverend. And it`s really important to reassure the
public that Ebola is only contagious when the person with Ebola has
symptoms. So when they have things like a fever, headache, diarrhea or
vomiting. Maybe they have a rash. We crucially know that he did not have
any of these symptoms while he was traveling. He landed in Dallas, Texas,
developed those symptoms a few days later right here in Dallas. That means
that the people who were on the plane with him, or others in the airport
were not exposed to the virus.
SHARPTON: So this means that it is very unlikely that anyone in the
airport in Brussels or Washington, D.C. was exposed to Ebola as a result of
YASMIN: That`s correct. He had no symptoms at the time. That means he
wasn`t able to transmit the virus to anybody else.
SHARPTON: Now Congresswoman, here`s how recent budget cuts, hits some
critical -- this season, 2013, about a billion and a half dollars were cut
from the national institutes of health. And $13 million were cut from the
division in the CDC that focuses on emerging infectious diseases. These
cuts directly affect our dealing with situations like this, Congresswoman.
JOHNSON: Yes, they do. And I`m sorry to say that is a reality. That
we`ve suffered a lot of cuts. There were a number of people like me that
did not vote for these cuts, but they still came, because the majority had
to vote for them. This should be a lesson to the people that do not want
to spend money on prevention. Clearly with situations like this. We have
the capacity to prevent any type of illness of this sort when we have the
money to make sure that the people and the guidelines are in place. The
protocols are all over the city. There was a real mistake for this lady --
the nurse to make. However, if she had been exposed to the protocol
beforehand as she should have been, this would not have happened. So
prevention is the answer.
SHARPTON: Yes. All right, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, and Dr.
Seema Yasmin, thank you both for your time tonight.
JOHNSON: Thank you.
YASMIN: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Coming up, did a secret service agent tell members of the Mitt
Romney campaign, secrets about President Obama`s travel back in 2012? It`s
a hot story today.
A mother sues a sperm bank after getting pregnant with sperm from a black
And Will and Kate warn the paparazzi to stay away from Prince George. Are
they harassing, or doing their jobs? Our panel is ready. Conversation
Nation is next.
SHARPTON: We`re back now with Conversation Nation, the stories and debates
people are talking about.
Joining us tonight, MSNBC`s Irin Carmon, comedian Chuck Nice and MSNBC`S
Abby Huntsman. Thank you all for being here tonight.
ABBY HUNTSMAN, MSNBC CO-HOST "THE CYCLE": Thanks, Rev.
IRIN CARMON, MSNBC.COM: Thanks, Rev.
CHUCK NICE, COMEDIAN: Thank you.
SHARPTON: And we want your take at home. Tweet us your opinion,
@POLITICSNATION with the hashtag #pn talk. Your response might get on the
air. We start with yet another bombshell report about the secret service.
The inside sources website reports a secret service agent assigned to Mitt
Romney`s 2012 campaign was making advances to female Romney staffer, and
divulged confidential details about President Obama`s schedule to her
staffers and other staffers. Quote, "The merit agent had a number of
drinks and unprompted in an apparent attempt to impress some of the Romney
staffers began providing details of President Obama`s schedule. The
information included times and location of the President`s events in the
final days of the election."
Now, Abby, this is disturbing. It`s a very disturbing report. Is it just
the latest in a very bad week for the secret service, or is it something
about the secret service having problems with women? Let`s not forget they
had an issue in Colombia.
HUNTSMAN: Absolutely. And you know, there`s something in common with all
of these incidents. You know, the secret service is out to protect the
president. And sometimes they miss something, that they can`t control,
necessarily. In all of these cases, though, this is bad judgment. This is
human error. These are things that these agents are doing that they
shouldn`t be doing. And I think it speaks to a deep-rooted cultural
problem that exists within the secret service agency. And if you`re the
President of the United States or Michelle Obama, I mean, how can you sleep
well at night, knowing that these things have gone on? To think how many
more things have happened that we don`t even know about. I mean, who knows
who the staffers told beyond just the campaign? I mean, luckily nothing
has happened up to this point, but it`s really frightening to think about
just how many out there.
SHARPTON: And it`s a safety issue, Chuck.
NICE: It is a safety issue.
SHARPTON: Because I think we said Romney`s agent, but I think he was
assigned to the president --
NICE: Talking to a Romney staffer.
SHARPTON: He would not assign the Romney staffer to President Obama.
SHARPTON: The teleprompter and I fight, you know?
NICE: But, you know, the fact of the matter is, I think the president, as
far as safety, he might be better off just having a neighborhood watch
look after him.
HUNTSMAN: They might lock the door for him.
NICE: Exactly. The secret service is not actually doing their job. You
know, I really think that these guys have a drinking problem. When you
look at everything that they have done, these are all the classic signs of
somebody who needs an intervention, you know. And it really comes down to
that. Every single issue seems to somehow involve drinking.
CARMON: Right. Well, I would say that this is the worst pickup line I`ve
ever heard of.
HUNTSMAN: Welcome to campaign life.
NICE: I`m in the secret service.
CARMON: I also wonder whether Romney, or Romney`s staff reported this
security violation to the White House. Surely they were very interested to
SHARPTON: By the way, the prompter just hit me back and he said, I`m
wrong, he was assigned to Romney and I should mind my business.
But they have access to schedule.
NICE: Right. They both.
SHARPTON: The basic problem is secret service inconfidentiality.
CARMON: Absolutely. And I think it would have been incumbent on the
Romney staffers who were aware that there were a security breach to notify
the White House and say, your staff, ultimately this is an executive branch
staffer who is violating the President`s safety.
HUNTSMAN: And it`s sad for those who are actually doing it for the right
reasons, that aren`t doing these sorts of things, because this ultimately
then defines now the secret service. So now we think about them in this
light, and it`s quite tragic.
SHARPTON: And that they would be so loose with what could be serious
safety issues for the President, because they have access to the
information and want to impress somebody, so they can try to talk to them.
Now let`s go to a bizarre court case in Ohio. A woman there suing a sperm
bank because she became pregnant with sperm from a black donor. Three
years ago, Jennifer Cramblett and her same-sex partner, went to the Midwest
sperm bank to find a donor to have a child. But while she was pregnant,
she learned she was inseminated with an African-American man`s sperm. A
worker misread which donor she wanted. Cramblett said, she loves her
daughter dearly, but says her community won`t accept Peyton because of her
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER CRAMBLETT, MOTHER USING SPERM BANK: You cannot just say oops, I`m
sorry, be happy you got a child and walk away from this.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It wasn`t it though like she was calling in September of
2011 ordering a pizza. She was calling and ordering donor sperm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: She`s suing for wrongful birth and breach of warranty, citing
emotional and economic losses she suffered because of the mix-up. Chuck,
does she have a case here?
NICE: Oh, absolutely. First time I found out I was black, I tried to sue
both my parents too.
So, I`m just saying, you know what`s funny is that, first of all, she`s got
the makings for an awesome sitcom. So, instead of suing somebody, she
might want to get together with a show runner from Hollywood. Because this
should be a great sitcom.
SHARPTON: At least a reality show.
NICE: At least a reality. So, you know? But what this speaks too is the
fact that, you know, they did a study and found, they asks, students at a
particular university, how much money would it cost for you to be black?
And they came out at about $1.2 million. It was the average. That`s what
people felt. So this kind of -- is a testament to the fact that there is
an awareness that there is a true cost to being black, and that it carries
with it some very serious challenges, we shall say.
HUNTSMAN: That still exist to this day. I have two adopted sisters and I
have to say, if you are lucky enough to get a healthy child, you should be
thankful every single day of your life. What makes me sad about this
story, is this baby is now, what, two-years-old --
HUNTSMAN: She`s going to read about all of this and wonder why didn`t my
mothers want me? Or why did I make their life more difficult? What it
sounds like, is this baby is going to make them realize, that they need to
love this child and this town.
SHARPTON: Irin, quicker.
CARMON: I mean, I think she has a right to procreate with who she chooses
to and the sperm bank definitely messed up, but the cause of distress to
her family by pulling them into the public this way, and implying, even if
she does love her daughter, implying that her daughter`s life is worth less
because it`s not the father that she wanted I think is really damaging.
SHARPTON: And it speaks a lot about her community, according to how she
Let`s jump across the pond to London where Prince William and his wife Kate
are warning the paparazzi to stop taking photographs of Prince George.
Today, the couple launched a legal privacy case against one photographer
who allegedly harassed and followed Prince George and his nanny in a
Central London Park.
Spokesperson for the royal family said they understand the public road that
George will one day inherit, but no parent would tolerate the suspicion of
someone pursuing and harassing their child while going about their daily
activities. The photographer`s lawyer responded by saying, he had, quote,
"not acted unlawfully in any way, he was not harassed or intimidated Prince
George`s nanny or any other person, nor would he wish to." Now, you
remember Prince William`s mother, Princess Diana, was perpetual hounded by
paparazzi who were ultimately really responsible for the car crash that
killed her in 1997. Irin, is the paparazzi harassing or just doing their
CARMON: I think that, you know, Prince Charles -- I`m sorry. The royal
family has known that they have a public role here and they`ve made their
family available to photographs in a controlled setting, they have made
public appearances. I don`t think there`s any excuse for following around
a small child, whether that child is going to be the king of England or
not. I think stalking is stalking whether there`s a camera or trade
involves. And, you know, even Prince George is entitled to some privacy.
NICE: Yes. And haven`t they ever heard of telephoto -- can`t they do what
they do here in America, which is just hide in the bushes almost a town
away and take the pictures. Why do you have to be right there harassing
the people as they`re with, their child? And I`m going to say, that we are
also to blame. The public is somewhat to blame because there is an
appetite for consumption. And that`s ridiculous, when you see babies of
stars and notable figures, on a magazine cover, you should not buy it.
CARMON: Unless they posed for the pictures.
NICE: Unless they posed for the pictures.
SHARPTON: When Diana was growing up, there was this agreement, her boys,
that the press would kind of stay away. This guy kind of seems to have
broken this agreement.
HUNTSMAN: I think the paparazzi has gotten totally out of hand, I mean --
SHARPTON: Even here.
HUNTSMAN: We`re not talking about the Kardashians where they`re asking for
the paparazzi to follow them everywhere. I mean, they were born into this.
They don`t necessarily ask for it. And I think there is something to at
least being able to live a life, being able to go to the park and swing
without feeling like you are being stalked by somebody. So, I think we all
need to respect that, especially the media and the paparazzi. I think it`s
SHARPTON: Irin Carmon, Chuck Nice, Abby Huntsman, thanks all three of you
for your time tonight. Make sure catch Abby on "THE CYCLE" weekdays at
3:00 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC.
Coming up, a baseball handshake that was a home run for the civil rights
But first, America Congressman Jim McDermott, we are going to try and
explain what is going on here.
SHARPTON: Yes, like us, members of Congress do mildly amusing things on
video. There was a video of Congressman John Lewis dancing to the Pharrell
That made us all happy. Congressman Keith Ellison playing "Purple Rain" on
the guitar was awesome. Not to be outdone, Congressman Joe Crawley
responded with his favorite prince song "Raspberry Beret." It was a
congressional prince song, they were rocking. Of course there was this
bizarre video of Speaker Boehner mowing his lawn.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I love green grass.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now there`s a new one, from Congressman Jim McDermott. He`s a
friend of the show. And he posted a great video this week.
Hold on, hold on. We`ve got to see that again. Can we slow that down?
Wow! Congressman McDermott has some serious moves. He`s totally
channeling Bruce Lee. As it turns out, he`s a huge fan. Although, it does
look like he could be going for the Uma Thurman "Kill Bill" look too. So
what. The Congressman McDermott is all decked out for a new Bruce Lee
exhibit opening at Seattle Museum. Way to go Congressman. Congressman
McDermott proved once again that members of Congress are just like us. Oh,
and next time you`re on the show, we`ll have a block of wood for you to
ANNOUNCER: That`s tonight`s edition of politicians doing mildly amusing
things on video.
SHARPTON: Finally tonight, a handshake that helped change how Americans
thought about race. This is the iconic photo of Jackie Robinson shaking
the hand of teammate George Shuba, as Robinson crossed the home plate after
breaking the color barrier at a minor league game in 1946. It`s the first
time that a white player shook the hand of a black player on the field. It
was a huge moment for baseball, and an even bigger one for the country. In
breaking the color barrier, Robinson had to withstand racial animosity from
fans, opposing teams and even some of his own teammates. But not from
Shuba. He later said quote, "I couldn`t care less if Jackie was
technicolor. As far as I was concerned, he was a great baseball player,
Shuba hung a photo of the handshake in his living room. It was the only
memento he kept from his playing days. And he would carry the photo with
him when he traveled to schools to talk about racial tolerance. George
Shuba passed away on Monday. He was 89-years-old. And he`ll always be
remembered for how he took the fight against racial injustice into his own
hands, with a handshake.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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