Skip navigation

PoliticsNation, Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Read the transcript from the Wednesday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

POLITICS NATION
November 12, 2014

Guest: Jim McDermott; Jonathan Capehart, Robert O`Harrow, Jr., Mark
Claxton, Seema Iyer, John Burns, Abby Huntsman


REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tonight`s lead, a collision course in
Washington. That`s what we`re seeing, because on just about every issue,
every policy, every day Republicans try to stand in President Obama`s way.
And then they blame him for Washington`s dysfunction. It seems too far-
fetched to be true, but just listen to Senator Mitch McConnell today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: The actions of the next few weeks
would help set a positive tone not work of the next Congress. It is a tone
that will depend largely on the administration`s willingness to respect the
message at last year`s fate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Senator McConnell is accusing the president of setting a bad
tone? Is that so? This from the man who made an art out of obstruction,
and who said this in 2010.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCONNELL: Some have said it was indelicate of me to subject that our top
political priority over the next two years should be to deny President
Obama a second term.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It wasn`t indelicate of him to suggest their top priority was
denies the president a second term? It was to use McConnell`s own term,
not setting a positive tone, and what about -- what about this line from
2011?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCONNELL: If the president is willing to do what I and our members would
do anyway, we`re not going to say no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: If the president does exactly what Republicans want, they`ll
work with him. I wouldn`t call that much of a compromise or a positive
tone. They refuse to work with the president, so he`s been forced to do
things on his own. He`s working on an executive action on immigration
reform. And last night in China, he announced a bold new plan to tackle
climate change.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today I am proud that we can
announce an historic agreement. I commend president Xi, his team and the
Chinese government for the commitment they are making to slow, peak and
then reverse the course of China`s carbon emissions.

Today, I can also announce that the United States has set a new goal of
reducing our net green house gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005
levels by the year of 2025. This is an ambitious goal, but it is an
achievable goal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The president making real problem, but what we -- what would we
hear from the GOP?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCONNELL: That`s why I think moving forward with the unilateral action on
immigration he`s planned would be a big mistake. As was last night`s
announcement to essentially give China a free pass on emissions while
hurting middle-class families and struggling minors here in our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A big mistake to help the environment? A big mistake to fix or
broken immigration system? I don`t think so. But it sure was a big
mistake to blame the president for the nasty tone of today`s politics.

Joining me now are Congressman Jim McDermott, a Democrat of Washington, and
Jonathan Capehart of "the Washington Post." Thank you both for being here.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, OPINION WRITER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Thanks, Rev.

REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D), WASHINGTON: Good to be here.

SHARPTON: Congressman, Mitch McConnell says it`s up to the president to
set a positive tone. What`s your reaction to that?

MCDERMOTT: Well, it is the president`s job to represent all the people in
the United States. And he`s doing that by dealing with the Chinese and
dealing with the Iranians around the nuclear deal, and he is doing it a lot
of places where he`s taking on the load that the Congress refuses to be
involved in.

All they do is snipe. Now, they`re sniping partly from the region that
they come from, but they basically -- they spend six year trying to destroy
him, and they`re continuing -- they`re going to do it right on until 2016.
I will be very surprised if they allow anything. They`ll always find an
excuse why the president did the wrong thing.

SHARPTON: You know, Jonathan, as Mitch McConnell, you know, he wants a
positive tone. And that just means the president should agree with him?

CAPEHART: Yes, from his perspective. The one thing you have to understand
is that senator McConnell and speaker Boehner for that matter, have to deal
with a caucus, especially senator McConnell as he becomes majority leader,
is dealing with a caucus that wants to take the fight to the president,
that doesn`t want to compromise with the president, that doesn`t want to do
anything with him. And so, that`s why we`re seeing the president plotting
out things that he can do to move things forward without congressional
approval, or things that he can do by executive order or under executive
authority, especially when it comes to climate change. The president has
broad authority under the statute authorizing the EPA to do a lot of the
things he`s been doing since the climate bill collapsed in early in his
first term.

SHARPTON: You know, let`s get down to the fact that the president is
moving on since clearly the Republicans and Congress don`t want to
cooperate even on things that they have agreed with.

"Politico" reported today that we`re about to see a quote "climate
onslaught, with President Obama preparing a sweeping list of executive
actions on the environment. This seems like a rational response to
gridlock. How will Republicans respond, do you think, Congressman?

MCDERMOTT: Well, I think they`re going to reject it all. You know,
earlier this fall, senator -- secretary Paulson, once the secretary of the
treasury, came out to Seattle and said he was for a carbon tax, because he
realized that it was something that needed to be done.

People on the right and the center and the left are talking about dealing
with climate change, but not the Republican Congress, because if they do,
Obama will look good, his numbers will come up and it won`t be so easy.

Everything you look at has to be viewed in terms of the 2016 election.
That`s all they`re thinking about. How will this play in 2016? And
they`re not going to let him look good.

SHARPTON: You know, in the past, Jonathan, Republicans used China as an
excuse not to move on with the environment, saying we couldn`t act until
China did as well. Check out this video from climate desk.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We can`t do it alone as
one nation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The problems in China, the problems in Mexico, the
problems in India.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: They won`t be engaging and reducing
their own emissions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This motion, what it does, it would prevent Congress
from passing any law with new mandates on greenhouse gas emissions unless
both China and India have the same mandate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, so now President Obama has reached a deal with China.
It is like the Congress has said, they`ll disagree with anything. They
reached a deal with China, and they want they wouldn`t do anything because
China wouldn`t. Now that there`s an agreement, do you think the
Republicans should be happy, Jonathan?

CAPEHART: Well, they should be happy. But this is part of a continual
Republican play that we`ve seen where they demand something that the
president do. He does it. And then they go against it.

And so, you know, it`s very important. Leave aside the Republicans. This
deal is huge because other nations around the world have said they won`t do
anything with regards to climate change, in reducing greenhouse gas
emissions until the United States and China both reduce their carbon
emissions.

China is the number one carbon emitter in the world. The United States has
gotten decades worth of a head starts. So the fact that the president and
president Xi Jinping of China came out today and said we have an agreement
and we`re going to do these big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, that is a
huge success for the admiration, it is a huge success for the United States
and the world. And the fact that the Republican majority on Capitol Hill
is already pooh-poohing it is more of the same, but also distressing.

SHARPTON: You know, I have to bring up immigration before we go,
Congressman. Because it`s been 503 days since the Senate passed
immigration reform, and speaker Boehner won`t even let you and your fellow
members take a vote. Isn`t that the real problem, Washington, not the
president`s tone?

MCDERMOTT: Yes, and really is the problem of speak Boehner. He wants to
remain a speaker. He thinks that if he goes to Nancy Pelosi and says I`ll
give you 120 votes, can you give me 100 votes, it would pass. But he`s
afraid that when they have the election this week, he would no longer be
speaker of the house.

He is really only holding on to his own private power base at the expense
of thousands of immigrants, who should be get a better dealing in this
country than they are?

SHARPTON: Congressman Jim McDermott and Jonathan Capehart, thank you both
for your time tonight.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Rev.

MCDERMOTT: You are welcome.

SHARPTON: Coming up, should police be allowed to seize your property even
if you`re not found guilty of a crime? It`s already happening all across
America.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)

SHARPTON: Also, disturbing video, U.S. sailors brutally attacked in
Turkey. Why did it happen? And how will the criminals be brought to
justice?

Also reaction to that dramatic rescue at one world trade center, 69 stories
above the ground.

And what exactly was Kim Kardashian trying to do today with this photo?
It`s in conversation nation.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Many people were glued to the TV this afternoon over this. Two
window washers trapped 69 stories above ground at one world trade center
here in New York City, for one whole hour. It happened after a cable on
their scaffold malfunctioned, tipping them into a dangerous position.
First responders rushed to the building, and managed to break through a
window and pull the two window washers to safety. You are talking about it
all day on social media.

Jane wrote, they are all safe. What good news.

Tommy posted thanks to the folks that saved them.

Yes, thanks to the firefighters and paramedics that saved the two window
washers.

And we love when you chat with us. Keep the conversation going on facebook
or tweet us @politicsnation.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Developing news out of the Turkey tonight where U.S. sailors
were assaulted by Turkish nationalists. Video of this disturbing incident
was posted online, showing three young Americans sailors being verbally and
physically attacked by the angry mob. The sailors were in Istanbul where
they were approached by about 20 Turks in civilian clothes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You declare that you are a member of U.S. army. And
now, because we find you as murderers, as killers, we want you to get out
of our land.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Those are plastic bags being punt on the sailors` head and red
paint being thrown at them. The sailors managed to escape and get back to
their ship without injuries. Police tell NC News that 11 members of the
Turkish union which took responsibility for the attack are being questioned
at police headquarters.

Joining me now is NBC chief Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski. Mik,
thank you for being here tonight.

JIM MIKLASZEWSKI, NBC NEWS PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: You bet.

SHARPTON: What can you tell us tonight?

MIKLASZEWSKI: Well, first of all, you know, this had to be terrifying for
those three young enlisted sailors off the America destroyer "Ross." And
they were on shore leave there in Istanbul when, as we saw in that video,
they are accosted, physically assaulted, fortunately not seriously, no
punches thrown. They were not injured.

But once they made it back to their ship, the "Ross" suspended all any
other shore leaves for the sailors aboard the ship before they leave that
port in Istanbul tomorrow. Now, the state department, the Navy have been
talking to Turkish government and security officials. As you said 11 are
currently being questioned. It`s obvious their faces were on camera.
They`re a well-known group. So it would be difficult not to track them
down. So one would expect, anyway, that Turkey would take some criminal
action against these individuals.

What the Navy and the Pentagon is saying about those sailors, however, is
that they responded by the book. They didn`t get provocative. They didn`t
strike back. And when they had their opportunity, they fled avoiding any
kind of further confrontation.

SHARPTON: You said that it`s a well-known group. What can you tell us
about this group and why they attacked the sailors?

MIKLASZEWSKI: Well, all we know, and because, you know, even though those
sailors were not in uniform, that`s standard operating procedure around
world when any U.S. military service member goes on leave overseas, they
don`t wear their uniforms. Otherwise, as you can well imagine, they could
become a target.

Well, this group, the Turkish student union, is a far right-wing anti-
Turkish government radical group and organization. They called those
sailors murderers and said "Yankee, go home." So obviously, there`s no
clear connection to any terrorist group fighting in Syria or in Iraq, but
clearly they, not only are they anti-Turkish government, but anti-American
as well.

SHARPTON: Before we go, I want your take on the Navy SEAL who claims that
he shot Osama bin Laden, breaking his silence last night. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Standing two feet in front of me with his hands on his
wife, was a face I had seen thousands of times. My first thought was we
got him, we got him, we just ended the war. I`m still trying to figure out
if it`s the best thing I`ve ever done or the worst thing I`ve ever done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, we have heard of him, Jim. What`s the reaction at the
Pentagon? What`s the reaction in the military leadership of the country?

MIKLASZEWSKI: Well, the reaction from the Pentagon, and from the Navy SEAL
and Special Forces community is one of major disappointment. And even some
anger that any SEALs, including Robert O`Neill, this one in that clip that
you showed, and another SEAL Matt Bissonnett, who actually wrote a book and
is now wrote a second book, but the first book was about that operation.

Now, it is in terms of Robert O`Neill, the one we saw in the clip, he has
been very careful not to avoid revealing any kind of classified
information. There were some details about the raid, but also those have
already been out. Where in terms of Matt Bissonnett, in his book, he in
fact according to officials here in the Pentagon, did release some
classified information.

The book that he wrote was not presented to government censors beforehand.
And the justice department has a criminal investigation to determine if
this improperly revealed classified information. Nobody expects a
prosecution of a SEAL who laid his life on the line to kill Osama bin
Laden, but they`re going through the emotions anyway at this point.

But again, the SEAL community, you know, the silent service, the quiet
professionals, they never talk about their exploits and their achievements
publicly for any kind of financial gain or personal are personal notoriety.
And in this case, the community is disappointed and somewhat angry that
these two SEALs have stepped forward endangering, possibly endangering not
only themselves, but all those people around them, including their
families.

SHARPTON: For the record, the tape we showed was not O`Neill. That was
another SEAL.

Jim Miklaszewski --

MIKLASZEWSKI: I`m sorry. OK. I thought you had shown the O`Neill tape.

SHARPTON: You were talking about the other guy. That is O`Neill on the
tape, but who you were referring to was the other guy that was --

MIKLASZEWSKI: Right, exactly. Matt Bissonnett and then O`Neill on the
tape.

SHARPTON: Right. Jim Miklaszewski, thank you very much at the Pentagon.
Thank you for being on the show tonight.

MIKLASZEWSKI: OK.

SHARPTON: Coming up, they can take your cash and belongings without even
charging you with a crime. It`s legal, and you won`t believe where it`s
happening.

And Bill Clinton talks TV on "House of Cards" scandal and getting away with
murder.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: I`m time for Reverend Al`s guide on how to do something.

It`s the first day back to work in Congress after an awfully long vacation.
And our first visit for some of the new senators elect. They need to learn
things like whether they can use their cell phones on the Senate floor, and
how to kill time next during Ted Cruz`s next all-night reading of green
eggs and ham. But there`s one more lesson I think they should brush up on.
The fine folks at schoolhouse rock said it best.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m just a bill. Yes, I`m only a bill and I`m sitting
here on Capitol Hill well it`s a long, long journey to the capital city
it`s a long, long way --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s right. It is how a bill becomes law. This Congress has
enacted just 185 bills into law. It`s on track to be the least productive
in modern history. It`s a schoolhouse crock if you ask me. That`s why I`m
here tonight with Reverend Al`s guy for how to do something. It`s really
simple.

Vote! Vote on infrastructure, on the minimum wage, on equal pay, on
immigration, all issues Republicans claim to care about. So go ahead, pass
some bills. If a cartoon can do it, so can you.

And that`s tonight`s edition of Reverend Al`s guide on how to do something.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Should the government be allowed to seize your cash and
belongings, even your home, without arresting you? Sometimes without even
charging you with a crime? It`s called civil asset forfeiture, a tool that
lets authorities seize property they suspect if linked to a crime, even if
they don`t have proof.

A new five-part series in "The Washington Post" reveals how the practice
among police has exploded in recent years. The polls obtain dash-cam video
showing what it looks like in practice.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: There`s nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Okay, would it be okay if I did a quick search of
vehicle to make sure there`s nothing in there?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: For what reason?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Just part of what we do out here.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Have to get to the U.S. bank before 5:00 to find out
exactly how much courage is in there, but there`s five stacks that you are
letting go.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Chalk it up to experience and go about your business.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It raises big legal questions and has eve sparked a civil rights
lawsuit. The post highlighted another case in Virginia. Police seized
over $17,000 in cash from Mandrell Stewart, money he was planning to invest
in his barbecue restaurant.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: One night in august 2012 when Stewart and a girlfriend
headed to do D.C. to buy equipment and supplies for the restaurant in cash.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We got pulled over in Fairfax. The officer said my
window tint was too dark.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Proves to me his had already purchased something that
maybe you were going to go buy --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I still --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Got to -- something, maybe.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I don`t do drugs, man.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Mr. Stewart eventually won a court case forcing police to return
the money. The post reports there have been over 61,000 cash seizures
since 9/11, totaling over $2.5 billion. Now, of course authorities should
have every tool that they`re disposal to go after criminals, but they need
to respect due process. And our constitutional rights as citizens.

Joining me now is Robert O`Harrow, Jr. of "The Washington Post, the
reporter who headed up the investigative team behind the five-part series,
and Mark Claxton, a former NYPD officer and now director of the Black Law
Enforcement Alliance. Thank you both for being here.

MARK CLAXTON, FORMER NYPD OFFICER: My pleasure.

ROBERT O`HARROW, JR., "THE WASHINGTON POST": Thank you.

SHARPTON: Robert, let me go to you first. You did some amazing reporting
here. How is this legal, how can police seize your property if you`re not
convicted or even charged with a crime?

O`HARROW: It`s legal until some very old laws that were enhanced in the
1980s to fight the war on drugs, and it lets police, if they have a
suspicion that the money or a car or other property is tied to a crime to
take your property or money, and it puts the onus on you to prove it wasn`t
related to criminal activity.

SHARPTON: Mark, you know in a seminar, one official, the city attorney for
a town in New Mexico described the seize assets as goodies. Listen to
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We always try to get every once in a while like maybe a
good car. There was a stake out at a bar, and this guy drives up in a 2008
Mercedes, brand new, just so beautiful. I mean, the cops were undercover
and it was like, ah, and he gets out, he`s just reeking of alcohol.
They`re like, my goodness, we can hardly wait. That`s just one of the
little goodies that we got.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLAXTON: Unbelievable.

SHARPTON: Goodies. I mean, is that now something that police, some police
anyway view this tactic as a way to get goodies, Mark?

CLAXTON: The problem of this entire set-up is that which we`re creating in
a situation where you`re taken law enforcement professionals and turn them
into -- if you were bounty hunters, you know, profit policing is really not
the way to go, and it really sets up a climate that is ripe for corruption,
and severe abuse, especially when you don`t have the --

SHARPTON: Robert, give viewers some sense of the scope of this and some of
the things that you came up on while you were doing this investigating of
this kind of what they do with this law?

O`HARROW: Well, I can say this for starters, that my partners early on
Mike Sala, and some of the others, none of us could believe that this was
really unfolding the way that we were finding. And, the scope is pretty
much in every corner of the country. It`s small, officers -- small police
departments. It`s sheriff offices, state troopers, all participate, and
they do it with the imprimatur of the Justice Department, the DEA and
Homeland Security. So, it`s across the country and its aims are good.
Highway interdiction in which we put special focus on is a tool that can be
very useful for making all of us safer, but it`s pretty clear, the evidence
shows that some police have used it to go after cash in the name of
fighting terror and their war on drugs.

SHARPTON: You know, Mark, but they have even seized some people`s homes,
even people that had nothing to do with an alleged crime. I mean, watch
this story from Philadelphia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Chris showed us the holes in his door tonight where
Philadelphia law enforcement installed a padlock in May. Law enforcement
officials seized the Northeast Philadelphia home where he raised his kids.
After his son was arrested for selling a small amount of drugs outside, law
enforcement deemed the family home connected to crime.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, Mark, was civil asset forfeiture laws designed to do
things like this?

CLAXTON: Not at all. As a matter of fact, as has indicated, really the
impetus behind these types of law was to deal with the increasing drug
problem of the `80s and `90s, et cetera. And so, you had these lower-level
interdictions. But what has evolved into a situation where people are just
throwing out Fourth Amendment protections, and you have profiteering going
on. So, what you have is a situation unfortunately where even the
Department of Justice stands to make to 20 percent profits off of asset
forfeitures. So until there is additional regulation, until the assets
themselves are put into a general fund as opposed to going directly back to
the, you know, acquiring agency, really the situation is prone for
corruption and is guaranteed that there is abuse widespread across the
nation.

SHARPTON: The Post listed some of the ways that authorities have used the
cash they seized, Robert, your team did. A million dollars went to a
mobile command bus in one Maryland County. Six hundred and thirty seven
dollars went to a coffee maker in the Randall County sheriff`s department
in Texas. And $252 went to hire sparkles the clown for a community
relations event in Ohio. I mean, sparkles the clown? A coffee maker?
This is how the money gets used?

O`HARROW: Well, the armored cars in the small towns that don`t have
meaningful crime problems, it`s really important to note that a lot of this
stuff is hidden in plain sight, because the data has not been accessible.
And working with our data guy, Steven Rich, we were able to get literally
hundreds of thousands of data points. Forty three thousand records on
spending. And it`s only that way that you can begin to get behind the
scene. And when you do get behind the scenes, you realize that a lot of
Police Departments have come to rely on this money to balance the budget
and to buy the extras.

SHARPTON: Yes. All right. Robert O`Harrow, Jr. and Mark Claxton, I want
to thank you both for your time tonight.

O`HARROW: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Obviously we want to follow this story.

CLAXTON: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, they`re back! And picking up right where they left
off. Got to wonder if it`s too late for compromise.

Plus -- did you know Bill Clinton was a "House of Cards" fan? Neither did
I, but wait until you hear about what he said about it.

And America, I have no words for this, but Kim Kardashian is no doubt a
national conversation today. It`s all next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s time now for "Conversation Nation." Joining me tonight,
trial Attorney Seema Iyer, legal analyst John Burns, MSNBC`s Abby Huntsman.
Thank you for being here.

SEEMA IYER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thanks, Rev.

JOHN BURNS, LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you.

SHARPTON: We start with Congress, Congress coming back to Washington, the
President vowing to act on immigration, the environment in fairness, he`s
ready to take executive action. But GOP leaders are already talking about
tone and poisoning wells. So, Abby, is it already too late for compromise?

ABBY HUNTSMAN, MSNBC CO-HOST, "THE CYCLE": Yes, this is a really tough
issue for republicans that they are not seeming to badge on, I mean, put
simply Jim Inhofe is now head of the committee for all things environment,
he is a climate denier.

SHARPTON: Right.

HUNTSMAN: So, you know, I think back in the 2012 campaign, my dad send out
a tweet, he said, call me crazy, but I believe in Science. And a lot of
republican said, that was the moment that destroyed him.

IYER: I actually remember that. I remember that. I`ve always been a fan
of her dad. Okay, Rev, sorry to break everybody. Nobody cares about the
environment. The midterms are over. All ObamaCare about is his legacy.
This is legacy time. That is what this is all about. He`s not going to
get along with the GOP. That`s it.

BURNS: Yes. And I agree with both. I think it`s legacy time, I think
it`s the opposition in Congress. You have to move forth the executive
action. I think there`s no other option. I think you clearly see there`s
a member of Congress, as Abby said, that don`t really understand the
impact. They think there`s just constant deniers, and I think you have to
move forward, and the President is right, moving forward --

SHARPTON: But if the concern of the President is his legacy, is the
concern of the GOP Congress to deny him a good legacy?

HUNTSMAN: I think it depends on which member you`re talking to, right? I
think you have members in the Senate like Mitch McConnell who are talking
about getting things done. Obviously you have a majority of the members in
the House that generally don`t want anything good to happen to the
president. So it really depends on who you were talking to. And when it
comes to Science and the climate, it`s also a millennial issue. I do
believe that one day, down the road, we`ll look back Republican Party and
say, there was a time that the party did not believe in Science, can you
believe that actually was a thing. In time that`s going to have to evolve.

SHARPTON: Seema?

IYER: Well, I think what Abby is saying makes a great point. And there`s
that push toward the millennial and that population in pleasing them, and I
think the republicans will stop to promote Obama`s legacy. And he knows
them, he just doesn`t care anymore because it is about his legacy.

SHARPTON: So, it`s about undermining his legacy, John?

BURNS: I think it`s undermining his legacy. I totally agree.

IYER: They`ve undermine him every step of the way.

(CROSSTALK)

BURNS: I think it`s just a continuous undermining of the President
nonstop.

SHARPTON: Well, the good news I think he`s going to get things done,
whether they try to block it or not. He may have to go to executive action
veto but I believe he`s going to find a way to get things done.

HUNTSMAN: That`s what it`s there for.

SHARPTON: Our next topic -- `tis the season, but not for some students in
Maryland. Maryland`s largest school district has voted to remove any
mention of any religious holidays from the school`s calendar. The move
came in response to requests from the Muslim community to give equal
billing to their own holy day, just like Christmas and Jewish holidays.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The school board basically stripped any designation of
Christmas, Easter, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

DR. JOSHUA STARR, MONTGOMERY COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT: We are not allowed by
law to give students the day off for a religious holiday.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Seema, did the school board go too far?

IYER: The Christian and Jewish holidays they still have off, but they`re
not acknowledging them.

SHARPTON: They`re not naming them.

IYER: Okay, and again, here`s some more reality, nobody cares about
religion. They care about having off from school and from work. And Rev,
I`m a Hindu, I don`t get off for my holidays, so in the courthouse, people
call me, Seema Iyerwitts (ph), I have to say, I`m Seema Iyerwits because
it`s 2:00 on Friday and I want to leave. I`m not joking.

HUNTSMAN: You speak for so many people.

SHARPTON: That could be replayed in court by the way.

(LAUGHTER)

IYER: I know. Hi, I`m Seema Iyerwitts. Rev likes to call any Seema Iyer.

BURNS: But I really think they look at the operational considerations
through. They weren`t just looking at religion, they were looking at
absences. So they based their decisions on the number of absences. So
obviously you look at Christmas holiday, you look at some Jewish holidays,
more kids are absent those days, so it wasn`t taking a favoritism to
religion.

SHARPTON: But Abby, I think there are little Islamophobia here too?

HUNTSMAN: I think they don`t want to disrespect anybody. And this is the
safe way for them to say, look, let`s just not celebrate any holidays.
That`s the best

SHARPTON: But they still give us some days off around those time.

HUNTSMAN: Right. They still give us Christmas and New Year`s Eve holidays
off.

IYER: You know, a lot of it depends on where you live. So, if you have a
population where the majority of the school, they are Muslim, I think they
would have handled this much differently. If you have one student, I think
it`s makes it a bit more challenging. I think about this when I send out
holiday cards, so I say --

SHARPTON: I thought we lived in where all men are created equal and
everybody --

IYER: I send out Kwanzaa cards.

BURNS: Right. There you go.

SHARPTON: Let`s get to that. Our next topic, former presidents, they are
just like us. Bill Clinton was on "Ellen" and he revealed he`s a big fan
of some of the hottest political dramas on TV like "Scandal" and "House of
Cards" but not for the reason you think.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FMR. PRES. BILL CLINTON (D), UNITED STATES: Scandal" and "House of Cards",
it makes it fun to watch, is that I can`t imagine that either a President
Spacey, or the president`s chief of staff on how, I mean, on "Scandal"
could really get away with murder. I wish I had known about that, you
know, think of all the opportunities.

ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST, "THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW": So many people to get
rid of.

CLINTON: So little time, so many people that have it coming, you know?

DEGENERES: That would make it so easy.

CLINTON: Yes. Crazy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Get away with murder? I mean, Abby, who knew he was a scandal
or "House of Cards" fan.

HUNTSMAN: First of all, this interview with Ellen DeGeneres is probably my
favorite interview ever with President Bill Clinton. She did a phenomenal
job, ask you some of those questions. I`m a huge "Scandal" fan, a huge
"How to Get Away with Murder" fan. Every time I watch this shows,
particularly scandal and they`re hooking up in the oval office, I`m
thinking there is no way that this possibly happen, there`s no way it could
be a reality. I mean, you think about Bill Clinton in the years, that
actually happened. This is all -- many of these shows represent his life.

(CROSSTALK)

IYER: There`s something intriguing --

SHARPTON: How could you go there?

IYER: I think there`s something intriguing when people kill for ambition.
I think it`s something that we are attracted to and we are drawn to. When
you commit murder under an addiction or anger, it`s different. We look at
that as -- but when it`s because of your ambition, we`re like, oh, that`s
kind of sexy.

HUNTSMAN: Yes. And we`re obsessed at all of these shows.

BURNS: They were obsessed. And I think the President hit the nail on the
head, I mean, this is our guilty pleasure.

HUNTSMAN: Yes.

BURNS: I mean, everyone across the --

SHARPTON: So you think people living out there --

BURNS: Yes. Living -- living out their own fantasies. I think, I mean,
sex and crime, I mean, that --

HUNTSMAN: I am saying that I often feel like killing people. I feel --

SHARPTON: Bring out the couch.

BURNS: Yes.

HUNTSMAN: I think everyone feels this way, especially when you`re not --

SHARPTON: How long have you felt this way, Seema?

IYER: Well, Dr. Rev, we`ll talk about it later.

SHARPTON: Everyone stay with me. When we come back, all I can say is this
--

IYER: Uh-oh.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back now with our panel. Seema, John and Abby. Our final
topic tonight -- I thought I could get out of the show without talking
about it. But Kim Kardashian is trending worldwide all day for this --
yes, that`s Kim Kardashian baring her backside on the cover of "Paper"
magazine. We`ve use a TV-friendly version. The magazine was trying to,
quote, break the internet, but at the moment she`s at least owns a good
chunk of it. She has over 25 million twitter followers. The magazine also
revealed her hidden talent, her ability to balance a champagne glass.
Seema, she broke the internet and water coolers around the world today.
What is the fascination with this reality star --

IYER: No, I`m doing it. I`m not doing it. I`m not talking about
someone`s tushie. I`m going to as you about -- but I can`t talk about
someone`s tushie.

BURNS: I think it was an amazing marketing campaign. I can take about it
all day long.

IYER: There you go.

BURNS: But I think it was a great marketing campaign. We all know "Paper"
magazine, I think this makes Kim Kardashian even more relevant.

HUNTSMAN: I didn`t know "Paper" Magazine until that.

BURNS: Until today.

HUNTSMAN: Now I know.

BURNS: And we`re talking "People" Magazine on national TV exactly. And
Kim Kardashian, her whole business is staying relevant, using her image,
using her sex appeal.

SHARPTON: What do you do next? Maybe don`t tell me.

BURNS: Well, what did she do first?

HUNTSMAN: She got her start from the sex tape. And she owned that moment.
We all got to see her butt on the sex tape. And she has -- I don`t know
what her butt would be worth today, but you know, J. Lo really started this
whole butt movement.

(CROSSTALK)

I`m serious, I mean, that`s become a thing. A butt has taken on a life of
their own. And Kim Kardashian, I mean, she has really done everything she
can with her butt. She embraces what we love about her whether you think
that she is, you know, she embraces her figure, and in today`s world I
think women like the fact she`s kept her curve even though she`s become,
you know, as big as she is. And I don`t know what`s all over the body, it
looks like oil or something, I mean --

BURNS: She`s shined up, definitely. Yes.

SHARPTON: Well, Seema, I`m sorry, you don`t want to talk about tushies.

IYER: Tushies.

SHARPTON: You notices how I don`t talk about it. I don`t even know how to
say it, but her celebrity, how does she do it?

IYER: She, like John was saying, she continually makes herself relevant.
She keeps herself in the eye. She`s a marketing genius. She surrounds
herself with people who can promote her image, and in that sense, she does
work hard. She is working.

BURNS: Absolutely.

IYER: Hard on fact.

HUNTSMAN: She doesn`t say a lot.

SHARPTON: But doesn`t it say something about the public?

HUNTSMAN: Yes. Full disclosure, I mean, I watch the Kardashian show. On
my free time, sometimes, I watch that show. She doesn`t say a whole lot of
interesting things. Actually, the other characters in the family are --

IYER: I like the drama.

HUNTSMAN: What she does, I think she`s beautiful. You cannot say that Kim
Kardashian, she is a flawless beautiful woman.

IYER: And she is one of the prettiest faces I have ever seen.

SHARPTON: All right. We have to go. We`ll have you back Seema to talk
about tushies.

IYER: To talk about tushies, okay, I`ll be back.

SHARPTON: Seema, John and Abby, thank you for your time tonight.

BURNS: Thank you. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Finally tonight, remembering one of the great heroes of the
civil rights movement. John Doar was a legendary figure at the Justice
Department as head of the civil rights division. Doar personally escorted
James Meredith to integrate Ole Miss. Even living with Meredith for
several weeks to guarantee his safety. When Medgar Evers was assassinated,
Doar stepped onto the streets alone to diffuse a stand-off between
protesters and police officers, standing with guns drawn. He called out
"I`m from the Justice Department and anybody around here knows I stand for
what`s right." Doar led the federal prosecution into the murders of civil
rights activist Goodman, Schwerner and Cheney and with Thurgood Marshall.
Doar went to the Supreme Court to defend the voting rights act. Doar
described himself as a Lincoln republican, but still served as the top
lawyer for the committee investigating President Nixon and Watergate. And
his side, a young Hillary Clinton. In 2012, President Obama awarded John
Doar, the Medal of Freedom.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: In the words of John Lewis, he gave
civil rights workers a reason not to give up on those in power. And he
didn`t by never giving up on them. And I think it`s fair to say that I
might not be here had it not been for his work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: John Doar passed away yesterday at the age of 92. As I`ve
studied the civil rights movement and those before my time and have worked
with those during my time, I try and tell young people that the movement
was not just the charismatic figures that we read about that were out
front, or that are out front now, but it took different people playing
different roles. Yes, thank God there was a Martin Luther King and there
was a Rory Wilkins, but there was a John Doar in the Justice Department.
There were those students that no one ever knew their names. It took all
kinds of people playing different roles, but had one firm commitment for
justice that turned this nation in the right direction. And that ought to
be instructive to us today. We all can`t play the cosmetic roles that make
you known in celebrity, but we all can do something.

John Doar had no problem working with the Martin Luther King, Juniors and
the Goodman, Schwerner and Cheneys. He had no problem working with
Thurgood Marshalls. He played his role. And if you play your role for the
greater good, the world will remember when you pass on, knowing that by
your coming this way, you had changed things. And it`s not only blacks
that form the civil rights movement. There were rights. There were all
kinds of people. It was not about black and white. It was right and
wrong. Thank God for John Doar. Thank God for those that felt justice was
a reason to live and give their lives for that.

Thanks for watching, I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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