Skip navigation

PoliticsNation, Monday, October 20th, 2014

Read the transcript from the Monday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: October 20, 2014

Guest: Joan Walsh, Chaka Fattah, Jamal Simmons, Lizz Brown, Kendal Coffey,
Jason Johnson, Seema Iyer

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks for tuning in. Lots to talk
about tonight.

For the first time, we`re hearing details from the police officer who shot
and killed Michael Brown, as he gives his version of what happened.

Also, Monica Lewinsky talks about cyber bullying -- billowing -- bullying
and the scandal that made her famous.

And reaction to those offensive comments made about Serena and Venus
Williams.

But we start with tonight`s lead, the right-wing`s new poll tax. The fight
for voting rights is now a central battle in the midterm elections. With
early voting now under way in 34 states, today President Obama cast his
early vote, and talked about the importance of the franchise.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m here to vote.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. We`re ready.

OBAMA: The most important office in a democracy, the office of citizens.
That`s what I`m doing right now. Exercising my right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But now the franchise is under attack like it hasn`t been in a
generation. I spoke to the president in an interview for my radio show,
and I asked him about the importance of getting out the vote in the midterm
elections.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We can`t afford to be sitting at home, thinking that the mid terms
don`t matter. Because I`ve got two years left in my presidency, and I want
to make every single one of them count, and I need a partner in Congress.
And the truth is that in most of these states, and most of these
congressional districts if he have high turnout, we win. And if we have
low turn-out, we lose. It`s as simple as that. So what I need everybody
to do is just go out there and vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I also spoke to him about the democratic politicians who haven`t
embraced him on the campaign trail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Here`s the bottom line. We`ve got a tough map. A lot of the
states that are contested this time are states they didn`t win. And so,
some of the candidates there, you know, it is difficult for them to have me
in the state because the Republicans will use that to try to fan Republican
turn-out.

The bottom line is, these are all folks who vote with me. They have
supported my agenda in Congress. They are on the right side of minimum
wage. They are on the right side of fair pay. They are on the right side
of rebuilding our infrastructure. They`re on the right side of early
childhood education.

So, this isn`t about my feelings being hurt. These are folks who are
strong allies and supporters of me. And I tell them, I said, you know
what, you do what you need to win. I will be responsible for making sure
that our voters turn up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The full interview with President Obama and myself will air
tomorrow nationwide with my show "Keeping it real with Al Sharpton" on
Sirius radio and other stations.

The president is focused on winning this midterm election. And folks, the
election has already started and it`s a real fight. We`re seeing it in
Texas, where today early voters started, and people are facing one of the
worst voter I.D. laws in the country. In 2014, we can`t go backwards.

Joining me now is Congressman Chaka Fattah, Democrat from Pennsylvania, and
salon.com`s Joan Walsh. Thank you both for being here.

JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, SALON.COM: Thanks, Rev.

REP. CHAKA FATTAH (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Thank you, Rev. Thank you for having
me.

SHARPTON: Congressman, what`s your reaction to the president`s comments
that Democrats must get out and vote, despite voter I.D.?

FATTAH: Well, not only do I think the president, you know, is right to
make those comments, I think people are going to come out and vote. We had
this same push by certain pundits in the 2012 election, about how Obama`s
base was disinterested and wouldn`t be showing up. Except African-
Americans did showed up. Women did showed up. Young people showed up.

We know we can win in difficult circumstances. You`ve seen it all your
life when people show up and cast their vote, good things can happen.
African-American women, women of color, are going to be at the forefront of
this voter parade. We need to encourage people to come out, bring their
sons and husbands and boyfriends with them.

But this is not an election which we can win by being spectators. The
president is right. This is not whether they`ll vote for Obama or not.
It`s whether they`ll vote for a higher minimum wage, whether they`ll vote
for affordable health care and housing. This is what these candidates are
prepared to do if we can give them the votes to get there. And it can
happen. That`s why Republicans are spending so much time trying to make it
difficult for people to vote in places like Texas.

SHARPTON: I think, Joan, one of the things that struck me, and again the
full interview will air on my radio show nationally tomorrow. One of the
things that struck me is what I -- the snippet I played about where he said
that he didn`t mind about the people that were not embracing him. It`s
about getting the vote out. They`re job is to run, his job is to get the
vote out and don`t worry about my feelings being hurt. I`ve never heard
him put it like that before.

WALSH: Well, he`s awfully gracious about it. And I think be more gracious
than I would be if I were in his shoes. That`s why he is the president and
I am not.

SHARPTON: But it`s a lot more serious than just somebody`s personal
feelings.

WALSH: Yes. I mean, I do have to say as a liberal Democrat, though, I do
worry about people running away from the president. I don`t really think
it`s possible. And I worry that it can make some of us look a little
cowardly. It doesn`t work. And so, you know, I personally would like to
see a little bit more spine in some of our democratic friends.

But, you know, he is right. They are going to vote with him if they can
make it through the election. And he is used to scare the red-state voters
and that`s just the reality. So, you know, I love hearing the optimism of
the congressman. I really hope he`s right. I hope that this is like 2012
and not like 2010, when some of our voters across the spectrum did stay
home.

SHARPTON: Well, the president talked about 2010, and I won`t give that
away.

WALSH: OK.

SHARPTON: But the results of what happened when we didn`t vote.

WALSH: Tragic.

SHARPTON: You know, Congressman, Justice Ginsberg wrote a blistering
descents of the Supreme Court`s decision upholding the Texas voter I.D.
law. She wrote, and I`m reading from her descent.

The greatest threat to public confidence in elections in this case is the
prospect of enforcing a purpose fully discriminatory law, one that likely
imposes an unconstitutional poll tax and risks denying the right to vote to
hundreds of thousands of eligible voters.

You know, was Justice Ginsberg trying to send an alarm about the political
implications of the court`s ruling, Congressman?

FATTAH: Absolutely. You got to really look at what was done in citizens
united. Now with the voter I.D. laws. You`re flooding money in on one
line and you`re making it more difficult for people to cast their vote, at
the same time. When especially we`ve seen the results in that it
disproportionately impacts certain voter bases in the Democratic Party. If
there`s any fault for Democrats, it`s that the U.S. Senate should have held
hearings on voter I.D. laws. I know I called for it. I know that you and
others asked that it be done. We should have been examining on what basis
these states -- you know, we could have built a record, looking at why
these laws were being passed.

In Pennsylvania, luckily, the court struck it down. But the Supreme Court
and the Texas ruling, this is very problematic. But for all of the people
who are listening to you, Rev., they need to know that notwithstanding any
obstacle, they have to vote on this Election Day, because this might be our
opportunity for the president, holding the Senate, to make new appointments
to the Supreme Court over the next two years.

SHARPTON: Now, Joan, you know, the president said to me today on the radio
show that I`m airing tomorrow that if we come out and vote, we win. Don`t
Republicans know that this could incite people to vote, knowing that the
vote is being denied? That`s what happened in 2012 when they did what they
did in Florida, people came out, Ohio, people mobilized. We saw lines like
we never saw.

WALSH: People stood in the long lines, which they shouldn`t have to stand
in, but they did it, Rev., because they were angry. And I hope we see that
again. But I love what the Justice Ginsburg said. It`s a poll tax. It`s
unconstitutional. It costs money --

SHARPTON: But wait a minute. Republicans say it`s about fighting fraud.
I mean, listen to governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin, North Carolina`s
Senate nominee Thom Tillis and Texas attorney general Greg Abbott, listen
to them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who would be that one person who would like to have
their vote canceled out by a vote that was cast illegally?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are people concerned with voter fraud.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Voter fraud exists in the state of Texas. It must be
stopped. Voter I.D. is one way to crack down on it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But Joan, in those three states, the rate of voter fraud is
minuscule, I mean, far far below one percent. Will we see voter
protections restored? I mean, can Congress repair the voting rights act?

WALSH: I think Congress can if it`s a different Congress. I don`t know
that is going to happen in 2015, but maybe in 2017. I think we have to get
there.

But you know, a very conservative judge, Richard Pozner said last week in
the descent about the Wisconsin law, he called it a poll tax also. He
pointed out how much money it can cost to get your birth certificate, to
get government I.D. so we got a few Republicans waking up to it. But he
said it`s happening in Republican states with Republican governors. They
are making it harder to vote intentionally to disenfranchise Democrats.

SHARPTON: Congressman, "New York Times" reports African-American voters
could control who has the Senate.

The quote is "to keep Republicans from taking control of the Senate, as
many are predicting, they need black voters in at least four key states.
African-Americans could help swing elections in Georgia, Louisiana, North
Carolina, and possibly Arkansas.

How critical will African-American turn-out be in the midterm elections,
and what impact will voter I.D. laws have on this, Congressman?

FATTAH: Well, the majority of African-American voters in the country, in
those nine southern states, and it`s happened before in the 1980s. African
Americans in an overwhelming majority -- or minority of the white vote
elected Democrats throughout a number of the southern Senate seats and put
the Senate in the hands of Democrats. It can happen again. And I think
that you see, you see the tightness of these races in Georgia, and in
Kentucky.

And what we see now -- and North Carolina -- is that African American
voters are primed to play an important role, and I think the president has
made it clear, that this is the most loyal voting bloc in the Democratic
Party. We can lead this parade to the ballot box. We got thousands of
churches that are mobilized. We have people, the moral Monday, our effort
in North Carolina, that has people focused on these issues.

So I think what we need to do, we need to encourage people to come out and
vote and make sure they understand that the future, not just of the next
two years, but of the Supreme Court, of the direction of these voter I.D.
laws, all of this is in play on Election Day. So if they want their
children and grandchildren to be able to cast a vote freely in our country,
they need to come out and vote in this Election Day, so we have a Senate
that can protect it.

SHARPTON: Congressman Fattah and Joan Walsh, thank you for your time
tonight.

And don`t forget, the whole interview with president Obama and myself will
air tomorrow nationally on "keeping it real with Al Sharpton" on radio 1
and reach media, and Sirius XM. Listen to the interview, he makes an
appeal on get out and vote.

Coming up, the first time we`re hearing from officer Darren Wilson is
saying to authorities about the moment he killed Michael Brown, and it`s
raising all kinds of new questions.

Plus, politicizing Ebola. At a time of crisis some on the right are trying
to score cheap political points with fear and fund raising off of it.

Breaking her silence. An emotional and revealing speech from Monica
Lewinsky today on bullying, humiliation, and falling in love with the
president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MONICA LEWINSKY, AUTHOR: I fell in love with my boss. In a 22-year-old
sort of way. It happens. But my boss was the president of the United
States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Much more on that and why she says she wanted to die. Stay with
us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Coming up, we`re going to be talking about officer Darren
Wilson, the man who shot and killed Michael Brown. We`re learning what
he`s saying behind closed doors, and it`s lighting up our social media.

Jason wrote, this is just a soft release. They are prepping Ferguson for
what`s to come.

James posted, how will he account for shooting this young unarmed man six
times?

More on what he`s saying and new questions on why there is no arrest yet.
But, please, keep the conversation going on our facebook page, or tweet us
@politicsnation.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: There`s good news tonight in the fight against Ebola. Today 43
Dallas residents who had close contact with Ebola victim Thomas Eric
Duncan, have been cleared for monitoring. Not exhibiting any symptoms of
the deadly disease in 21 days. There`s still 260 people nationwide,
including health care workers and others, who had contact with nurses Nina
Pham and Amber Vinson, who are still self-monitoring for any symptoms of
the disease.

And if another case of Ebola does show up, the Pentagon has assembled a 30-
person rapid response team to be deployed immediately. Plus, the CDC is
planning to reveal an overall protocol tonight for how medical
professionals treat Ebola patients after nurses complained they were
exposed to the disease.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH: There were
parts about that protocol that left vulnerability. Parts of the skin that
were open. Very clearly when you go into a hospital, have to intubate
somebody, have all of the bodily fluids, you have to be completely covered.
That`s going to be one of the things. The protocol will be finalized soon.
One of the things will be complete covering with no skin showing
whatsoever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But as we continue to fight this crisis, some on the right are
playing politics, complaining about not having a surgeon general they
blocked. Complaining with a czar they called for. And complaining about
the president himself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: The person who needs to be on top of this is the
president of the United States, standing up and leading and treating it as
a public health emergency.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel as if what I`ve seen from this administration
is a crisis in confidence and a lack of ability to appropriately respond.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: It goes right to the top because the
president is ultimately responsible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I guess it was only a matter of time, but it`s really a complete
waste of their time.

Joining me now, Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons. Thank you for joining
me this evening.

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thanks, Rev. It`s good to be here.

SHARPTON: Jamal, it is clear to me Ebola has become a political play. How
will this fear mongering go over politically?

SIMMONS: Listen. I don`t think it`s going to matter very much to the
Republicans who are already against President Obama. They`re just as
animated as they need to be. Or the Democrats who are out there fighting
for other democrats, democratic voters. If anything is going to get
Democrats upset and get them to turn out more. But reality is I think most
people see Ebola is a public health threat, and they want the period to
manage it and he looks like he`s doing that.

SHARPTON: You know, Republicans like Ted Cruz are trying to scare
Americans into thinking that all flights from Africa should be cut off,
even though the CDC says that would only make matters worse. Listen to
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: If you were president
and NIH, or the CDC were saying, hey, you know, this will only make it
worse, a travel ban, a flight ban will only make it worse. What we have in
place is better, you would overrule the doctors and the experts.

CRUZ: But there are -- Candy, the doctors and the experts that are saying
this are working for the administration and repeating the administration
talking points. And their arguments don`t make sense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, the president himself said he had no philosophical
objection to a ban. But what Cruz is basically saying here, Jamal, is we
can`t trust him. How can Democrats fight this kind of talk?

SIMMONS: Well, you know, first of all, Rev., this has a striking
similarity to the way Republicans behaved when it came time to HIV and AIDS
back in the 1980s. Remember, the great column about this a few days ago
that in fact you have a bunch of -- these Republicans who are trying to
section off Americans or cut off people, based on their backgrounds, not
based on any activity.

So we know activity is a place where this really matters. Someone also
talked about these flights. What flights are they talking about? What
flights are coming in from there other than South Africa? They`re not
coming in on flights.

So the question is what do Republicans really want to do? Just cut off and
Africans from coming to the United States? Is that what they`re saying.
They`ll end up in the same political hole they`ve been in for the last two
elections with no Africa-Americans or anyone else supporting them.

SHARPTON: You know, what really struck me today, also, in some Republicans
are actually fund raising off this Ebola scare. This weekend, Congressman
Paul Brown and the conservative action fund, put out a petition to stop all
commercial flights from Western Africa, and asked people, please sign your
petition at once. If you can, please chip in $5 or $10 to help the
conservative action fund, to help us distribute this petition to literally
millions of American citizens. I mean, this seems across the line, doesn`t
it Jamal?

SIMMONS: It absolutely crosses a line. This is a public health threat
that the president has to manage. He brought in Ron Klain. I have known
Ron Klain in 20 years. Ron Llain is a good manager. He is a good manager.
I`ve known him for 20 years. He`s got doctors at the CDC who are managing
this. They`ve taken the initiative to get out to hospital. I`ve talked to
someone here in New York city taking about the preparations that are taking
place here in New York. It`s a critical issue, it`s not a time to play
politics.

SHARPTON: You know, I think that Republicans are demanding an Ebola czar,
but now that the president has appointed a czar, they`re complaining about
him. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The American people are looking for someone with some
knowledge and expertise. He has none in these fields. What creates panic
is when people are given information that proves to be false. We need to
stop the over certainties from these medical folks and I`m not sure that a
czar with no background can help that.

CRUZ: We don`t need another White House political operative which is what
MR. Klain has been. What we need is presidential leadership.

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: I don`t know Ron Klain`s emergency
response experience. Maybe the Bush-Gore recount qualified in that. And I
think talking to constituents, so many people have said, you know, we
didn`t want somebody to give us spin. We want somebody to give us the
facts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, they wanted a czar, they got a czar, they don`t like the
czar they got. Whatever President Obama is for, they`re against.

SIMMONS: And if he had been -- they picked somebody who was a manager, now
they want a health care professional. If they pick a health care
professional, they want a CEO or manager.

Ron Klain has done just about everything you can do when it comes to
management. It is time for the Republicans to get off a politics. Let`s
get back talking about issues and stop trying to politicize a public health
threat.

SHARPTON: Jamal Simmons, thank you for your time this evening.

SIMMONS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, officer Wilson`s version of what happened on the
day he shot and killed Michael Brown. What his account does and does not
reveal about the shooting?

Also, the outrageous comments about Serena and Venus Williams that has the
sports world talking today. It`s in "conversation nation."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: For the first time, we`re hearing what`s reported to be Officer
Darren Wilson`s version of what happened on the day he shot and killed
Michael Brown. The "New York Times" published the following account of
what Officer Wilson told investigators. The Times says he was, quote,
"pinned in his vehicle and in fear for his life during a struggle with
Michael Brown." Officer Wilson told authorities the gun was fired twice
inside the car with the first shot hitting Michael Brown in the arm. FBI
forensic tests reportedly back this up. The "Times" says, Michael`s blood
was found on the gun as well as on the interior door panel and on Officer
Wilson`s uniform. But this new account could raise more questions than
answers. For example, the "Times" says, it does not explain why after he
emerged from his vehicle, he fired at Mr. Brown multiple times. And that
central point has been repeatedly raised by other witnesses to the
shooting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: As I get closer is when I see them tussling through
the window. The kid was pulling off, and the car was like pulling in. The
first gunshot came from the window. So, like I started getting out the
way, because the shots just came after that.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: He`s running this way. He turns his body towards this
way. Hands in the air, being compliant. He gets shot in his face and
chest and goes down and dies.

DORIAN JOHNSON, FRIEND OF MICHAEL BROWN: That shot struck my friend in the
back. He didn`t stopped, when he was going to stop to turn around with his
hands in the air.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Michael`s body jerk as if he was hit. He turned
around and he put his hands up, and 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: It`s been exactly two months since the grand jury began hearing
evidence and these are the conflicting accounts that those jurors are
weighing right now. As they decide whether to bring charges against
Officer Wilson.

Joining me now is former U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey and Lizz Brown,
attorney and columnist for the "St. Louis American." Thank you both for
being here.

LIZZ BROWN, COLUMNIST, "ST. LOUIS AMERICAN": Thank you, Rev.

KENDALL COFFEY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Kendall, what questions do you have tonight about Officer
Wilson`s account?

COFFEY: Well, I think his account is something that if a grand jury hears
it, and they`re not getting any leadership, any explanation from the
prosecutors, they might think it makes him look less like he committed a
crime because there was a physical confrontation inside the car. But if
there were prosecution leadership, this could support a theory of the
prosecution that there was a physical encounter, the officer was angry, and
that the shooting victim, from the standpoint of the family of Michael
Brown, was trying to leave, trying to surrender, and he shot him because he
was still acting out of an anger that was precipitated by the
confrontation. That was support a prosecution theory of a crime, if the
prosecution were presenting such a theory to the grand jury. But we see no
indication that that`s what the prosecution, the local prosecution, is
trying to do here at all.

SHARPTON: So that isn`t really the problem that many people, including me,
have raised? That you need an outside prosecutor that`s more objective,
that it really comes down to whether or not people have confidence in this
prosecutor and the family of Michael Brown and others have questioned this
prosecutor from day one.

COFFEY: It`s been raised many times. But the reality is, it`s still the
same county prosecuting Attorney McCulloch, and there has been no
indications that this grand jury is moving toward prosecution. And a grand
jury without direction is not a grand jury that`s going to lead to
prosecution.

SHARPTON: Lizz, just two days after the shooting, the young man who was
with Michael Brown during the shooting, described what he said happened.
Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNSON: The officer then reached out and he grabbed his arm to pull him
into the car. So now it`s like the officer`s pulling him inside the car.
He`s trying to pull away. He said, I`ll shoot you. Or, I`m going to
shoot. And in the same moment, the first shot went off. And we looked at
him. He was shot and there was blood coming from him. And we took off
running.

SHARPTON: So that witness agrees that Brown was shot during a scuffle at
the car, but he disagrees with the later testimony given by Officer Wilson.
Does this come down to who the jury believes, Lizz?

BROWN: Well, first of all, we don`t know that that witness has testified
in front of the grand jury, first.

SHARPTON: Right.

BROWN: And secondly, we can also take from this witness`s testimony, is
that his statement was made contemporaneously around the same time of the
incident. Darren Wilson waited four-plus weeks before he walked into a
grand jury. That`s a long time to gather the statement, to go over the
statement. And as Kendall and I both know, memories are not like wine.
They don`t get better with age. A contemporaneous statement made at the
time around the incident is more credible, by law and by life experience.
So we know -- and there`s another fact that I don`t think that people are
very aware of. We found out recently that one of the prosecutors in this
grand jury case, is a former police officer. And that, again, adds to the
notion --

SHARPTON: One of the prosecutors in this case with the local prosecutor,
was a former police officer?

BROWN: That is correct. So how are we going to get a fair and impartial
assessment, presentation of this case? And if Darren Wilson went into that
grand jury first and presented all of his testimony first, then all other
evidence, all of the evidence that comes next is going to be trying to
disprove what Darren Wilson said.

SHARPTON: Now, Kendall, is it also of interest to you -- you`ve been a
prosecutor -- that the other shots that was fired on Michael Brown, he was
some distance from the car. Shouldn`t Darren Wilson have to account for if
he was shot in the car, how does he explain, Darren Wilson -- how does
Darren Wilson explain Michael Brown, the other shots had him so far away
from the car?

COFFEY: And that really becomes the critical part of any prosecution
theory. OK, whatever happened in the car happened. But, when somebody
departs, and there`s a separation, the officer is no longer in peril.
Especially if that somebody is trying to surrender. Hands up. Several
independent witnesses have pointed out, as Lizz pointed out, was stated
spontaneously by a completely independent witness. Then you have plenty of
stuff to work with, if there is a will on the part of the prosecutor to
take a serious look at that evidence.

SHARPTON: Do the fact that we are looking at the fact, Lizz, that police
have leeway if they`re facing deadly force, would it also be of interest to
a fair and impartial grand jury that they would want to know if he was in
fear? Did he call in for backup once Brown was no longer in the car? Was
this reported? I mean, wouldn`t all of these questions have to be raised?

BROWN: Absolutely. And there also has to be testimony about the
circumstances that led Darren Wilson to speak to Michael Brown to begin
with. They also need to know about the history of police officers and the
African-American males within that community. Because all of those
answers, all of that information leads to -- gives us insight into what
caused that officer to stop Michael Brown to begin with. And then his
subsequent treatment would make sense in light of a history that was
presented to the grand jury about, this is how this particular police
officer acted. This is how police officers acted in general with this
particular African-American community. And we don`t know that any of that
has been presented to the grand jury. But it should, if they`re going to
be a fair and impartial grand jury.

SHARPTON: Kendall Coffey and Lizz Brown, thank you both for your time
tonight.

BROWN: Thank you.

COFFEY: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, for the first time, Monica Lewinsky speaks in public
about the scandal. It was emotional, and it was a must-see.

Serena Williams blasts a Russian tennis official, for, quote, "insensitive,
sexist, and racist remarks."

And he`s an iconic television character from "Breaking Bad." But should a
crystal meth dealer toy be sold to kids? "Conversation Nation" is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back now with "Conversation Nation." Joining us tonight,
MSNBC`s Krystal Ball, Political Science Professor Jason Johnson, and trial
Attorney Seema Iyer. Thank you all for being here tonight.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC CO-HOST, "THE CYCLE": Thanks for having us, Rev.

SHARPTON: We start with Monica Lewinsky today. In an emotional speech,
she talked about falling in love with the President and wanting to die
during the humiliation that followed it. It`s all part of a campaign she
announced about ending cyber bullying.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MONICA LEWINSKY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE INTERN: Overnight, I went from being a
completely private figure, to a publicly humiliated one. I was patient
zero. Around the world, this story went. A viral phenomenon that you
could argue was the first moment of truly social media. I couldn`t imagine
ever showing my face in public again. I cringed. I yelled. I sobbed.
And the mantra continued. I just want to die.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And then Lewinsky got personal about that scandal that made her
a household name across the globe.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEWINSKY: Sixteen years ago, fresh out of college, a 22-year-old intern in
the White House, and more than averagely romantic, I fell in love with my
boss. In a 22-year-old sort of way. It happens. But my boss was the
president of the United States. That probably happens less often. Now, I
deeply regret it for many reasons, not the least of which is because people
were hurt, and that`s never okay. But back then, in 1995, we started an
affair that lasted on and off for two years. And at that time, it was my
everything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Krystal, your reaction?

BALL: I mean, here she was 22-years-old. She fell in love and she did
something foolish. Who among us hasn`t fallen in love and done something
foolish?

SEEMA IYER, TRIAL ATTORNEY: With a married man!

BALL: Sure, and I`m not saying it`s okay, but her life has been ruined.
And that married man`s life is just fine. I think it takes a lot of
courage for her, even now, to come out. And I think a lot of women who are
disproportionately attacked online, attacked in the media, will find a lot
of courage from her ability to stand there in front of the stage and say,
this is who I am, and I`m still here, and I`m still here to speak out.

JASON JOHNSON, HIRAM COLLEGE PROFESSOR: I got to tell you, I teach these
kids. You know, I teach 22-year-old college students and they fall in love
with all sorts of people. And this woman suffered tremendously --

SHARPTON: I talked to people 42 who fall in love --

JOHNSON: Exactly. For all the wrong kinds of reasons. And she suffered
immensely so that Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton could continue their
political career. So, I think she`s got a really good point. I feel
really sorry for her. She had to suffer this one.

SHARPTON: Seema?

(CROSSTALK)

BALL: She hasn`t been able to get a job. She has no money.

JOHNSON: She`s suffered.

SHARPTON: She will represent the minority view here.

(LAUGHTER)

IYER: Thank you. She has not gotten a job because she hasn`t made
whatever effort to get a job.

JOHNSON: Not true. Not true at all.

BALL: No, that`s not true. That`s factually incorrect.

IYER: If you want a job, you can get a job. Where --

BALL: Unless you`re Monica Lewinsky.

JOHNSON: Unless your last name is Lewinsky or Zimmerman. Look, this woman
was going to have a lot of trouble trying to get a job --

BALL: She has a graduate degree.

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Let me raise this question. She
is trying to do something about cyber bullying.

IYER: Right.

SHARPTON: She`s put up a twitter account. In less than a few hours, she
already had 30,000 followers. Can`t she help with cyber bullying, given
who she is, and how candid she is.

IYER: If she shows some authenticity and takes some personal
responsibility.

BALL: What do you think she was doing there?

JOHNSON: She already said, hey, I feel bad for what I did.

IYER: She`s saying, she was a private figure. No, she wasn`t. She was
engaged --

BALL: She never said she was a private figure.

IYER: In that clip --

BALL: She was 22-years-old.

(CROSSTALK)

JOHNSON: What you do in your office is what`s in your office.

BALL: And she`s being judged for the entire rest of her life for what she
did when she was 22-years-old. She has a graduate degree. She talks about
in her -- 20 years later.

JOHNSON: Yes. I`m talking, when you`re 22-years-old and there`s some 50-
year-old man spitting game at you, that woman had no chance.

BALL: And it`s the president.

JOHNSON: Bill Clinton has a career of seducing and abusing women.

IYER: Let`s talk about her parents. What kind of parents were they?

BALL: What are the parents have to do with this?

JOHNSON: She was out of college.

IYER: The parents didn`t tell her that it was inappropriate to get
involved with a married man.

BALL: But Seema, no one is saying, hold on, hold on, hold on. No one is
saying, that it was okay what she did. She`s not saying it`s okay what she
did. She is a victim when 20 years later her life has been ruined. Do you
think that her life deserves to be ruined for something --

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

JOHNSON: Bill and Hillary Clinton have continued to be successful by
exploiting her, by turning her into this bad guy or this villain --

SHARPTON: I like the exchange, but --

BALL: I mean, that`s incredibly harsh. A young woman makes a mistake when
she`s 22-years-old. By the way, the same mistake that Bill Clinton made
and he goes on to be perfectly successful. His life is perfectly fine.

IYER: That`s a different conversation.

BALL: Now she can`t get a job.

SHARPTON: All right. Hold it. Seema, nobody talk but Seema.

IYER: Whether or not Bill Clinton --

SHARPTON: All right, that`s enough.

(LAUGHTER)

IYER: Whether Bill Clinton has gone on to succeed is a different
conversation.

BALL: Why?

IYER: That`s about sexism and his abilities --

BALL: That`s what we`re talking about.

IYER: No, we`re not talking about that. We`re talking about taking
personal responsibility, not acting like a victim. Using your education,
going out and finding a job, and stop blaming the rest of the world for
your problems. I can`t believe that nobody sees what I`m saying.

SHARPTON: Can she help with cyber bullying?

BALL: Yes.

JOHNSON: Yes, she can. She is the first cyber bullying victim out there.
Everything about her, from her name to her face and -- there were Halloween
costume masks made about this woman. If anybody knows about bullying, it`s
Monica Lewinsky.

BALL: Yes. And her physical, I mean, everything about her body, about her
face, about her was attacked. And whether other women have exactly the
same experience or not, doesn`t undermine the fact that a lot of women are
attacked in a similar way and can get a lot out of someone who has faced a
lot in the past 20 years.

SHARPTON: Can she at least help with cyber bullying?

IYER: I`ll give her that. Maybe now this is finally her calling. And I
do agree, that nobody deserves to be attacked for the way they look. I`ll
give everybody that --

BALL: But you think she should live in shame for the rest of her life.

IYER: I think she put herself there. She put herself there.

BALL: And she`s taking responsibility for that.

IYER: No, she`s not. She`s crying and whining.

SHARPTON: A lot of people in the politics are having this conversation and
I mean, it`s really --

IYER: Can some of them come here and join me, please?

SHARPTON: If they can get a word in. Everybody stay with us.

Up next, Serena Williams goes on the offense after some offensive comments
directed at her. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with our "Conversation Nation" panel, Krystal, Jason,
and Seema. Let`s go on and talk about Serena Williams. She`s slamming the
head of the Russian Tennis Federation, for what she says are insensitive,
sexist, and racist remarks. The chief appeared on a Russian talk show and
called Serena and her sister Venus the quote, "Williams brothers." And
said they were, quote, "scary to look at." He issued an apology, saying it
was a small joke and was suspended by the Women`s Tennis Association for a
year and fined $25,000. Serena responded last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SERENA WILLIAMS, TENNIS PLAYER: I thought his comments were very
insensitive. I thought they were extremely sexist, as well as racist at
the same time. And I thought they were, in a way, bullying. You know, we
have done the best that I could do and, you know, that`s all I can say. So
I just wasn`t very happy with his comments, and I think a lot of people
weren`t happy as well. So -- but the WTA and the USTA, they did a
wonderful job of making sure that at this day and age in 2014, that someone
with his power, it`s really unacceptable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Krystal?

BALL: I mean, I was shocked that -- I guess I shouldn`t be, but someone as
incredible and athletic and at the top of her game as Serena Williams,
still has to face such stupid, sexist, obnoxious remarks. So I`m glad that
they went forward immediately and suspended him. Serena seems satisfied
with that result. So I guess that punishment is enough. But I just can`t
believe that someone at the top of their game like this still faces such
direct attacks.

SHARPTON: Jason?

JOHNSON: I`m telling you. First off, before we even get to the racism and
sexism, it`s bad business. OK. She`s the number one women`s draw on the
planet. You shouldn`t be insulting your number one draw anywhere on the
planet. That`s problem number one. Second thing, you got to look at this
in context. Russia has a lot of problems with racism in sports. They`ve
had things with their football teams. People throwing bananas on the
field. So, when you put in that context, this is a larger problem, they
need to clean this up before they had any more tournaments, and certainly
when they get the World Cup in 2018.

SHARPTON: Seema?

IYER: All right. Is anybody ready? I don`t think it was sexist, I`m
sorry.

JOHNSON: That`s not sexist?

IYER: No, and here`s why. Here`s why. The comment is derogatory, calling
them to be men. Fine, if the comment was, Serena doesn`t deserve to make
as much money as Federer, that is sexist. But saying that she looks like a
man isn`t necessarily as sexism as defined.

BALL: Well, okay.

IYER: There`s nothing about racism here.

(CROSSTALK)

JOHNSON: Calling black women masculine, questioning their sexuality,
questioning their womanhood, that`s the core of racism.

SHARPTON: And the way they look.

JOHNSON: And the way that they look, it has nothing to do with how she
plays. I think it`s incredibly racist, and I think it`s bad business.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to go. We`re going to have to hold this until
after the show. Krystal Ball, Jason Johnson, and Seema Iyer, thank you for
your time tonight.

BALL: Thank you, Rev.

JOHNSON: Thank you, Rev.

IYER: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Make sure you catch Krystal on "THE CYCLE," 3:00 p.m. Eastern
and her web show, Krystal Clear on msnbc.com. Still ahead, Michelle
Knight`s emotion and surprising statement about the man who kept her
captive for 11 years.

Also, the amazing video of a man who risked his life to save a complete
stranger. What do these stories have in common? That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We close tonight with two very different kinds of courage. In
California, an unidentified man is being hailed as a hero for running into
a burning house to save the life of a stranger. Physical courage, risking
his life for a stranger. In the last few days we`ve seen another kind of
courage, just as impressive. In Ohio, Michelle Knight is speaking out
about her horrific kidnapping ordeal. Eleven years spent locked in a
house. But now she says she forgives her kidnapper.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE KNIGHT, HELD CAPTIVE FOR 11 YEARS: For me, it`s holding on to
hatred that will control your life. And if you hold on to it, you`re going
to condemn your life to hell, and I choose to forgive that person for all
the wrongdoing that they have done to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Physical courage and spiritual courage, both triumphs of the
human spirit.

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

<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2014 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Transcription Copyright 2014 ASC LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is
granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not
reproduce or redistribute the material except for user`s personal or
internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall
user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may
infringe upon MSNBC and ASC LLC`s copyright or other proprietary rights or
interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of
litigation.>






Sponsored links

Resource guide