Skip navigation

PoliticsNation, Monday, January 12th, 2015

Read the transcript from the Monday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: January 12, 2015
Guest: Jim Arkedis, Evan Kohlmann, Faith Jenkins, Ken Padowitz, Krystal
Ball, Josh Zepps, Tara Dowdell

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR, POLITICS NATION: Thanks to you for
tuning in.

We start with breaking news for the hunt of the woman seen in this video
and up to six other terror cell members who French police say could be at
large.

This security video shows the widow of the gunman who attacked the Jewish
grocery in Paris last week. The video is from an airport in Istanbul,
Turkey. Authorities say she had traveled from France to Spain before
flying to Turkey on January 2nd taking a domestic flight to the Syrian
border. And then slipping into ISIS-controlled territory in Syria on
January 8th, the same day her husband shot a police officer in the south of
Paris.

Now the search is on for her. Plus, according to "AP," up to six others
linked to the terror cell, including a man who was seen driving her car.
Also today, a new video has emerged showing the grocery store gunman
pledging allegiance to ISIS. All of this comes as a group claiming to be
aligned with is hacked into the twitter and You Tube accounts for U.S.
central command posting pro-is messages.

The Pentagon says it was not a security threat and that no classified
information was revealed. But a day after over a million people rallied in
Paris, that city is still on edge and police are flooding the streets
looking for other potential terrorists.

Joining me now is Jim Arkedis, a former department of defense
counterterrorism analyst, and Evan Kohlmann, NBC news terrorism analyst.
Thank you, both, for being here.

EVAN KOHLMANN, NBC NEWS TERRORISM ANALYST: Thanks, Reverend.

JIM ARKEDIS, FORMER DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST:
Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Jim, with the widow escaping into Syria, are authorities worried
that others in the cell will do the same?

ARKEDIS: Right, absolutely. And what we know now is that these six
individuals who French authorities have named, well, essentially they`re
unnamed. And so, we don`t exactly know who they are, we don`t know what
their capabilities and we don`t where they are.

So at this point, when you notice a press release come out from the French
authorities that doesn`t provide detail, that speaks to something because
we assume that the French don`t necessarily know who they`re looking for,
of course. And it`s maybe more of a signal to other law enforcement
organizations throughout the world that, hey, these people are alive and
well as far as we know. We don`t know if they`re operatives, we don`t know
if they`re in a support network type role. And it`s quite possible at this
point they could be trying to flee the country.

SHARPTON: Evan, we don`t know who they are, but do we have a sense of how
large this Paris terror cell could be?

KOHLMANN: No, but you know, even before the announcement by French
authorities, we already had an idea there was some support infrastructure,
a support cell that must have existed because, of course, you have the
video of Mr. Coulibaly. The video has been edited. It shows the end of
the hostage siege. Obviously, someone edited this video after Mr.
Coulibaly was already dead. Someone uploaded this video. The video was in
French. It was not issued by ISIS. It was issued by somebody else who
speaks French.

Thus, there`s a very strong conclusion there that there`s somebody left in
France who had access to this video who is in contact with Mr. Coulibaly
and who decided to upload this. And let`s also not forget that Mr.
Coulibaly in this video talks about how he provided the Kouachi brothers
several thousand Euros in order for them to carry out their plan. Where
did he get that money from? Did he have that money on his own or get it
from somebody else?

SHARPTON: Was he a conduit for something?

KOHLMANN: Right.

SHARPTON: Jim, the widow who is now in Syria, Hayat Boumeddiene, has
spoken many times we`ve come to learn to the widow of one of the magazine
attackers. One report says quote "there was constant and sustained
communication, according to Paris` "chief prosecutor who said the two women
spoke on the phone more than 500 times last year." Does this speak to how
tight-knit and serious this cell might have been?

ARKEDIS: Yes, Reverend Al, that`s a great point. What it speaks to is
operational security and terrorist cells whether they`re just a few people
in Paris or whether it`s a large international organization like Al-Qaeda
in the Arabian Peninsula or Al-Qaeda core in Afghanistan and Pakistan, puts
a high premium on the idea of maintaining operational security.

Communications are tightly controlled between cell members. In this case,
the two wives could have been used as surrogates so there was no direct
telephonic or email link between members of the actual cell that law
enforcement authorities could have picked up on. And especially because
the members of this cell had criminal records, and had done time in jail.
So they would have -- that would have been highly suspicious.

And so by using the wives who had no criminal records, so as far as we
know, you know, details pending, that speaks to a level of remaining
anonymous to law enforcement authorities.

SHARPTON: Now Evan, two attackers appear linked to ISIS while the other
two cited Al-Qaeda in Yemen. Here`s what a senior CIA veteran said. Quote
"this is a distinction without a difference. The super bosses may be
wrapped up in these ideological fights, but the followers really are not."
How much does that distinction matter?

KOHLMANN: Well, no offense to the person who said that. But obviously,
this is a person who hasn`t been reading ISIS propaganda. Because this
message about the fight between ISIS and Al-Qaeda or AQAP, that is not an
issue that is simply percolating between the top leaders of the
organization. This is something that`s reaching even English-speaking
members of this group.

The last English-speaking magazine put out by ISIS, their official English-
language magazine, there was at least ten pages of that magazine dedicated
to saying terribly nasty things about Al-Qaeda, AQAP, and all of their
senior leaders. So there`s no doubt that almost everyone in these
organizations understand they don`t like each other.

Anyone that doesn`t understand that distinction is not paying attention to
any of their propaganda, whether it`s in Arabic, whether it`s in English,
whether it`s in French. Because that point is absolutely clear.

SHARPTON: Jim, let me go to this hacking of two social media sites,
belonging to U.S. central command. Even if no classified information was
revealed, could this still inspire other attackers to take action?

ARKEDIS: Well, sure. Any time anybody does something as significant as
hacking into a large and well-known U.S. military command, you never know
who`s going to be inspired by it. But I think the important point that we
really have to draw from it is the individuals who claimed to do it claimed
to have, be linked to ISIS. And at this point, this is sort of the other
side of the coin that Evan was just talking about. We don`t know who these
guys are. We don`t know exactly what their highest end capabilities are.

And so, yes, they had some initial success. But by claiming an affiliation
to a larger terrorist organization, which to be clear, they may not have at
all, but by claiming that affiliation, that allows them to pick up more
recruits, that allow them to be picked up by media. That`s why we are
talking about them now. And that provides the opportunity for more money
and more prestige down the line.

SHARPTON: I want to turn to violence in Nigeria, Evan. The terror group
Boko Haram massacred 2,000 people in a village last week. And there are
reports that they`re now using 10-year-old girls as suicide bombers.
"Reuters" reports quote "two suspected child suicide bombers blew
themselves up in a market in northeast Nigeria on Sunday. The second
apparent attack in two days using young girls strapped with explosives."

KOHLMANN: Yes --

SHARPTON: This is horrific. We`re not hearing a lot about this. This
unbelievable.

KOHLMANN: It`s a level of barbarism that even ISIS, as extreme as they
are, it`s difficult to imagine ISIS using child suicide bombers. And
unfortunately, part of the problem is because there`s been so much focus on
what`s happening in France, for good reason, unfortunately, we`re losing
sight of other things going on.

And again, I think even from ISIS` perspective, if you ask them whether or
not using a child, a 10-year-old as a suicide bomber is permissible, I
think event they, they would tell you that is not OK.

This is a group Boko Haram. You know, look, they call themselves
jihadists. They are just (INAUDIBLE). They are fanatics and they are
murders and they don`t subscribe to any ideology other than death.

SHARPTON: But Jim, where`s the world global outreach here, 2,000 people.
Little girls strapped and used as suicide bombers that don`t even know they
have the bomb on. Absolutely the world has to be outraged with France, but
shouldn`t the world be just as outrage e outraged at what`s going on in
Nigeria?

ARKEDIS: And let me say, Reverend Al, I really want to complement you and
your staff for picking up on this item because you are right, not that many
people are talking about it.

This is horrific. This is the same group that kidnapped hundreds of small
teenaged schoolgirls earlier in 2014 and still holding them as far as we
know. This is an unbelievable level of barbarism. And I think the
important point to talk about is whether it`s Boko Haram in Nigeria,
whether it is ISIS, whether it is AQAP, whether it`s Al-Qaeda. What we
don`t do in this country is have a serious conversation about how we`re
going to stop radicalization in countries that have basically ungoverned
territories.

How do we do things like promote education, promote democratic
institutions, promote viable political parties? So yes, we have a hard
security piece. But in the long term we also need to sustain our fight
against terrorism in a lot of these soft power tools that we can use to
address the problem at the core. Because if we`re just using bombs and
guns and there`s a time and place for that because there are evil people in
the world who deserve to be met with that kind of force, we also have to
address the root causes and no matter where in the world we`re talking
about, that`s what we should do and when we`re outraged about all of these
things, that`s where we have to begin to address a lot of our energy.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave there. But that is clearly what I`m
saying. We cannot have selective outrage. What has happened in France is
despicable. And what is happening in Nigeria is equally despicable. Two
thousand lives, little girls. Whether it is in France, whether it is in
Nigeria, the world must respond with the same passion. Had we done that
with bin Laden when he first struck in Kenya, maybe he wouldn`t have got to
the United States. We should stop terrorism and savagery wherever we find
it otherwise it might find us.

Jim Arkedis and Evan Kohlmann, thank you both for your time tonight.

KOHLMANN: Thank you very much.

ARKEDIS: Thanks, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Straight ahead, President Obama`s fight for fairness is having a
rather odd effect on Republicans.

And a story we told you about, two New Mexico police shooting and killing a
homeless man.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on the ground. Get on the ground now! Get on the
ground. Get on the ground.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Tonight, the officers are facing charges.

And George Zimmerman arrested in Florida. We`ll tell you why. And could
he see jail time? Please stay with us.

SHARPTON: Something odd is happening in the GOP. Some of their top
presidential contenders are starting to sound less like this president and
more like this president. What`s going on? That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The U.S. economy is improving, but there`s one area where we
still desperately need to see gains. It`s the issue President Obama called
the defining challenge of our time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A dangerous and growing
inequality in lack of upward mobility that has jeopardized middle class
America`s basic bargain. That if you work hard, you have a chance to get
ahead. I believe this is the defining challenge of our time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Fighting inequality. A pillar of the Obama presidency. He ran
on it and he won on it. Vast majorities are behind this fight. And now
we`re seeing something funny happen on the right.

Here`s the "Washington Post" headline today. "Both parties agree economic
mobility will be a defining theme of 2016 campaign."

The polls highlights Marco Rubio and Rand Paul trying to join the
conversation on fairness. Jeb Bush`s new Pac is talking about the
difficulty of achieving the American dream and focusing on middle class
wage stagnation and shared prosperity.

And even Mr. 47 percent, himself, Mitt Romney, says if he runs again, one
of the issues he`d like to address is poverty.

Now, I applaud this idea, but the question is do you really believe it?
After decades of pushing tax cuts for the rich and trickle-down economics,
will anyone take this seriously?

Joining me now are Jared Bernstein and Joan Walsh. Thank you both for
being here.

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

JARED BERNSTEIN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Joan, Mitt Romney wants to talk about poverty and Jeb Bush is
fighting for fairness? Are we in the twilight zone?

WALSH: We`ve got these two plutocrats who now want to fight each other for
who`s going it be the president of the one percent, talking about fairness.
I think it`s really unfair, Rev., because what you`re see in the Republican
party now is a recognition that, yes, poverty is a problem, income equality
is a problem, stagnating wages is a problem. But they have blocked
everything this president has tried to do to address that.

SHARPTON: Everything.

WALSH: They will not give him an increase in the minimum wage. They
passed a smaller stimulus than he wanted. They will not give him the
infrastructure spending he wants. They will not give him an immigration
bill. Immigration reform is really important to wages because when we
legalize people or give them some legal foot hold in this country, they
have a little bit more of standing to push back when they`re being treated
unfairly. And so they`ve fought his appointments to the national relations
labor board. They have fought everything in the Democratic agenda that
they can do something about stagnating wages.

SHARPTON: When you raise these examples, Jared, let me ask you, what
policies can president Obama work on to narrow the income gap? Specific
policies.

BERNSTEIN: Interestingly, he`s done a fair bit already even without
Congress. Deferred deportations fits right into Joan`s point about
immigration. He`s raised the minimum wage for federal contractors. There
are at least three things that would be on the agenda that have had some
little bit of bipartisan agreement. One is infrastructure investment. The
other, I`m blocking on the other one right now. I`ll get to it in a
second. But the point is that the president has some nominal support for
these ideas, but he hasn`t had the kind of support that Congress really
needs to get behind him. And that`s what`s been missing.

SHARPTON: Joan, the -- I mentioned the "Washington Post" piece that said
Republicans won`t engage on economic mobility. It quoted a Republican
strategist. Republican strategist who said quote "you talk to any pollster
on the democratic side or the Republican side, they`re in complete
agreement on the idea that there has to be an economic populous message.
Then it comes down to are there credible solutions and is there a credible
candidate?"

Will we be credible solutions from the GOP? And what do Democrats need to
do to stay ahead on this issue, Joan?

WALSH: Well, I think the Democrats can stay ahead rather easily, Reverend
Al. Because the Republican party, you know, I want to give them credit. I
want to give Paul Ryan credit. I want to give Rand Paul credit to pay
attention to the issues. But their solutions tend to be kind of warmed
over tax credits, warmed over empowerment zones.

These ideas from Jack, going back to Jack Kemp that were tried, you know,
and maybe tried with very good intentions, but really didn`t move the
needle on unemployment, and particularly inner city unemployment. So, you
know, I`m not saying the Democrats have been perfect on this issue, but
they are definitely putting a lot more meat on the bones of fairness
strategy and a raise the wages strategy.

Let me ask -- go ahead, Jared.

BERNSTEIN: First of all, let any just say that the ideas that have had
some suggestion of some bipartisan movement, I mentioned infrastructure,
there`s also an increase in the EITC for childless workers. That`s a tax
credit for low-income workers. And some sounds that universal pre-k,
quality pre-k for kids could be on the agenda. But we have not seem real
movement toward them.

Look, I want to echo something you guys is been talking about. It`s one
thing to say I feel your pain, vis-a-vis inequality and mobility.
Remember, that was something Mitt Romney said he didn`t want to talk about.
Now we have Jeb Bush saying, I`m happy to talk about it. It`s a very
different thing to articulate the policy agenda. And so far all that I`ve
heard from these Republicans is our agenda is growth, it`s more growth, how
do we get that growth? We try to make life more advantageous for those at
the top. So it`s really just a change in the rhetoric, at least that`s
what it sounds like to me, with trickle down at the end of the road.

SHARPTON: But that`s the problem because you can`t say I feel your pain
when I don`t feel that you have the capacity to feel my pain. Less no one
understand it.

The "Washington Post" profiled a recent focus group in Denver that was
asked about potential 2016 candidates. They had mixed opinions on Jeb Bush
and Hillary Clinton. But people on both sides of the aisle had great
things to say about Elizabeth Warren. They called her sincere,
knowledgeable, capable, and she was a popular choice as a next door
neighbor. She`s best known, of course, for talking about fairness. Listen
to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We believe that no one should
work full time and still live in poverty. That means raising the minimum
wage and we will fight for it.

The stock market and GDP continue to go up while families across this
country are getting squeezed harder and harder.

So the way I see this is we can whine about it, we can whimper about it, or
we can fight back. I`m fighting back. I`m ready to fight back. Are you
ready to fight back on this?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Why is it so appealing, Joan?

WALSH: You know, I saw her speak last week, Rev., at the raising wages
conference that the AFL-CIO put on. She`s gotten so much better. I`m not
critiquing her like a theater critic, but her delivery changed. I saw her
bring people in the crowd to tears when she talked about her mother after
her father lost his job, her mother puts on her best dress and high heels
is crying and goes to sears and gets minimum wage job which at that point
was high enough to support a family.

SHARPTON: Well, let me ask you, then, if she`s gotten better and that
effective, is there no scenario where she would run? I mean, does no
really mean no? I mean, give me a scenario that you think would possibly
make her enter the race.

WALSH: You know, I really don`t think that she would run if Hillary
Clinton runs. I really think that she`s trying to push Hillary Clinton
toward a more progressive stance. I really believe, we talked about this
before, I belief she really wan wants to be a powerhouse in the Senate and
that she has the Ted Kennedy seat, which is a position of power in the
liberal community. I really don`t see her wanting to, but if Clinton
didn`t run, all bets are off.

BERNSTEIN: I mean, look, Senator Warren is really steering the debate in
directions that it needs to go. And that`s a tremendous contribution so
far. I`ll also say this, what I heard in the comments you just played was
basically getting on offense, and a lot of us are really just tired of
playing defense. Tired of just sitting here and explaining why trickle-
down supply side tax cuts don`t work.

What she`s suggesting we do now is come up with a set of ideas that
actively try to reconnect, that create the policy agenda, that can
reconnect middle class prosperity to overall economic growth. Now, as I
said, the other side says, well, it`s just all about overall economic
growth. That`s obviously necessary but it`s not sufficient. What I hear
Liz Warren saying is let`s create that policy architecture, that connective
tissue that will raise the middle class.

SHARPTON: Joan Walsh and Jared Bernstein, thank you both for your time
tonight.

BERNSTEIN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, George Zimmerman`s new run-in with the law. We`ll
tell you what he was arrested for and whether he could finally go to
prison.

Also, why the trees are always the right height when it comes to Mitt
Romney and the White House. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It was a story we first brought you last year. A homeless man
gunned down by police in New Mexico. That case launched a federal
investigation and now murder charges against two officers. We`ll talk
about that in tonight`s "justice file."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It was a story we first brought you last year. A homeless man
gunned down by police in New Mexico. That case launched a federal
investigation and now murder charges against two officers. We`ll talk
about that in tonight`s "Justice Files."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s time for the "Justice Files." Joining me tonight, criminal
defense Attorney Ken Padowitz, and former prosecutor and host of "Judge
Faith" Faith Jenkins. Thank you both for being here.

FAITH JENKINS, HOST, "JUDGE FAITH": Thanks, Rev.

KEN PADOWITZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thank you.

SHARPTON: We start tonight with the murder charges against two police
officers in New Mexico. A prosecutor filed the charges against these two
officers who shot and killed a homeless man in Albuquerque last spring.
Authorities say the man was mentally ill and holding two small knives. The
incident was captured on police video, and we warn you, the video is
graphic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES BOYD, SHOT BY POLICE: You said we were walking out of here, now
you`re bringing up assault and everyone is going to get hurt again?
Alright, don`t change up your agreement, I`m going to try to walk with you.

UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: Alright.

BOYD: (INAUDIBLE) try to harm you, keep your word. I can keep you safe,
alright? Don`t worry about safety, I`m not (bleep), murderer. Alright?

UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: Do it.

UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: Get on the ground! Get on the ground! Get on the
ground now! Get on the ground!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The video that follows is too disturbing to show. As press --
as police release a dog on the man`s body. The lawyer for one of the
officers called the charges not justified. The lawyer for the other says
they`re a shame. You know, much of the same thing there from both lawyers.
I guess have different takes on this murder charge. Faith, let`s start
with you.

JENKINS: Well, when you look at this case, look at the context of what`s
been going on with the Albuquerque Police Department. This is one of the
police departments that the Justice Department decided to investigate
because of all of the allegations of excessive use of force by the police.
And last year, Rev, in April, the Justice Department released its findings
of this police department. It said that they did use excessive force, and
sometimes fatal force all too often and that there was a complete lack of
training among the police force in terms of when these officers were
deciding to use deadly force. In this case, the prosecutor decided not to
go before a grand jury. She decided to file an information, just like what
Angela Corey did down in Florida with the George Zimmerman case and Trayvon
Martin.

SHARPTON: Right.

JENKINS: Just skip the grand jury altogether. Decide to file any
information based on this video and their investigation, they decided that
murder charges were warranted. And I`m sure in the backdrop of what
happened in New York with the Eric Garner case and there being video, and
still no true bill, no indictment in the case, the prosecutor decided the
best move was for her to move forward on her own.

SHARPTON: But Ken, you think this is more of our cop-out?

PADOWITZ: Well, there`s another take to this, too. Everything that she
just said was correct, Faith is correct, however, another way to look at
this is that most of the time when a prosecutor presents a case to the
grand jury, there is an indictment. And, in fact, if there is not an
indictment, it`s usually because the prosecutor led the grand jury to not
indicting. So in this instance, instead of taking responsibility and
bringing it to the grand jury and getting an indictment, another way to
look at it is the prosecutor did an open charge and it goes now before a
judge in a special hearing, and at the hearing, the judge now has the
responsibility to find whether there`s probable cause or not to charge the
officers and then lay it over for trial. So if this judge decides there`s
not probable cause, there will be no further trial for these officers. So
that is a possibility in this case. There may not be a trial depending on
what happens at this hearing.

SHARPTON: All right. We will stay on top of this. I assure you.

Now to a new arrest of George Zimmerman. Police arrested him late Friday
night and charged him with aggravated assault for allegedly throwing a wine
bottle at his girlfriend. He`s now out of jail on bond. In 2013,
Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the
death of Trayvon Martin. Since then, he`s dealt with police several times.
In November 2013, his then-girlfriend said he pointed a gun in her face,
smashed her coffee table, and pushed her out of the house. No charges were
filed. A few months earlier, his ex-wife said he threatened her with a gun
and said he punched her father. No charges were filed. This weekend,
Zimmerman`s lawyer was asked why his client keeps having run-ins with
police.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DON WEST, ZIMMERMAN`S ATTORNEY: I don`t like to speculate about emotional
things either. It`s clear he hasn`t been very lucky with the ladies the
last few months. But beyond that, no, I don`t have a comment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Zimmerman filed a defamation suit against NBC News, but a judge
dismissed that claim last summer. He has since appealed the decision.
Ken, your reaction?

PADOWITZ: Well, my reaction, first of all, is disgust. You know, after
three arrests for domestic violence, what we get from Mr. Don West is a
joke? You know, thousands of women are killed or beaten or badly injured
in domestic violence cases in this country and to make a joke about a third
arrest for a client not being lucky with the ladies, I find that offensive
and maybe Mr. West should look into another line of work. As for Mr.
Zimmerman, this is now the third time he`s been arrested. And we`re going
to see if the process plays out this time and if, in fact, there`s going to
be a trial to determine whether or not he`s guilty beyond a reasonable
doubt.

SHARPTON: Faith, it seems in all of these incidents it deals with some
violence.

JENKINS: Right.

SHARPTON: And guns.

JENKINS: Well, I mean, listen, George Zimmerman keeps having to defend
himself from women and children apparently. This is actually the fourth
domestic violence case against him and he has killed a teenager. So this
is someone who`s had repeated contacts with the law. He has a pattern.
And patterns about people don`t lie. Unfortunately, you know, this is one
of those cases where this young woman who`s involved has already said she
doesn`t want to go forward or press any charges, but when the police
stopped her, she was so distraught she did give a statement and they did
take her statement. And she told what happened. Now, George Zimmerman has
already said she`s the one that threw the wine bottle at him. It was the
other way around. He is always having to defend himself against these
women who apparently, according to him, keep making up things to try to get
him in trouble.

SHARPTON: So, again, if the young lady says, Ken, that she doesn`t want to
go forward, will these charges be dropped as we`ve seen before?

PADOWITZ: Well, that`s a very --

SHARPTON: I just need a quick answer.

PADOWITZ: The quick answer is no. If the victim doesn`t want to go
forward and the state can`t get her to go forward, they`re not going to
have a case and the charges will be dropped again.

SHARPTON: Ken and Faith, thank you for your time tonight.

JENKINS: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Straight ahead, is it time to break out the binders full of
women again? Mitt Romney is talking about running for president.

Plus, an amazing story developing. Could General Petraeus be facing
criminal charges tonight?

And common`s file for a Golden Globe speech, on why summer is bigger than a
movie. "Conversation Nation" is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s time now for "Conversation Nation." Joining me tonight,
MSNBC`s Krystal Ball. "Huffington Post" live host Josh Zepps, and
democratic strategist Tara Dowdell. Thank you all, for being here.

JOSH ZEPPS, HUFFINGTON POST" HOST: Thank you.

TARA DOWDELL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thank you.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST: Thanks for having us, Rev.

SHARPTON: Are the trees the right height in 2016? Yes, Mitt Romney is
back in the headlines for a possible third run for president. Romney was
in New York and told a small group of donors, quote, "People ask if I
really want to be president." Yes, I want to be president." But just six
months ago, he was saying this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m not running for
president. I said that so many times. As you know, we just had this
conference here in Park City, Utah. I brought a number of the 2016
contenders here to meet with my fund-raisers. Had I been running, I
wouldn`t be doing that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Krystal, do you think he`ll get in, and what happens if he does?

BALL: Well, first of all, I don`t know that it`s exactly breaking news
that Mitt Romney wants to be president. I think Mitt Romney has always
wanted to be president. I think Mitt Romney always will want to be
president. But that`s a different question from whether he actually gets
in this race. It`s hard for me to imagine with as crowded as the field
looks to be with likely Jeb Bush, with potentially Chris Christie, with
potentially Scott Walker, that he would actually want to get in and lose
again. But let`s say he does. Let`s game it out. I think that this
primary is even more challenging for him to get through than the last one
that he was barely able to survive with people like Newt Gingrich and Rick
Santorum who aren`t exactly the a-list contenders. So that`s why I think
it`s hard to imagine him subjecting himself to that again.

SHARPTON: Josh, but the problem that I`m hearing some people say is that
he really does not want to see Jeb Bush be out there. They`ve got a little
-- little disagreement between the two.

ZEPPS: Well, a lot of things that I don`t want as well, but sometimes I
don`t get everything we want as well, Reverend. Look, for me, it`s like a
stray cat just constantly coming back and clawing at the window. You know,
we don`t want you. I`m sorry. We told you twice that we don`t want you,
but he has just to keep on coming back. It`s no secret that the Republican
Party doesn`t want a replay of 2012, doesn`t want a bunch of crazy
candidates, right? They do want to throw their weight behind candidates
who are somewhat more conservative and maybe more conventional. But
they`re not going to go back to him. They`re not going to go back to a guy
who is a guaranteed loser. If they want conventional, they go with Jeb or
they`ll go with Chris Christie.

SHARPTON: Tara, you`re the political strategist at the table tonight. If
he`s in, who does that help, who does that hurt on the republican side?

DOWDELL: Well, first I want to say I think Mitt Romney will run. The only
circumstance under which I think he does not run is if the powers that be,
the people, the king makers in the Republican Party, the big donors, the
people who control the conservative media, if they sit him down and say,
don`t run, then that`s the only eventuality under which I think he doesn`t
run.

SHARPTON: So he runs unless the powers that be in the party tell him don`t
run.

DOWDELL: I think so.

SHARPTON: I should have called rush before the show.

ZEPPS: But Tara, do you --

DOWDELL: And let me tell you why I think he will run. Because number one,
he wants this really, really bad. Number two, I guarantee you he has done
the vulnerability assessment of that field. Remember, he has Chris
Christie`s vetting paperwork. So he knows what skeletons are in that
closet beyond what we already know about him. Number three, if you look at
the field without even doing a vulnerability assessment, which I think he
did because he has the money to do it. If you look at the field, Jeb Bush
has very financial dealings. When that comes out, he`s going to be in
trouble.

SHARPTON: Krystal?

BALL: You know, Tara, I think the problem there is though, that
republicans think that they should have been able to beat Obama with a ham
sandwich last time. That was in their mind. It was their race to lose.
And he lost it. So, I think it`s very hard to recover in terms of the
establishment donors and to get them back.

ZEPPS: Look at where the energy is. I mean, the GOP is really invigorated
at the moment at the grassroots sort of Tea Party level. They do think
that they made a mistake the last two times by going with these big
conventional guys. I don`t think they`ll make the same mistake again.

SHARPTON: But I`m trying to get my brain around, are we ready for more of
this? Let me show you what we`ll be in store for.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: So we went to the company and said, look, you can`t have any
illegals working on our property. I`m running for office, for Pete`s sake.
I can`t have illegals.

Forty seven percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter
what. Alright? There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent
upon government, who believe that they are victims.

They brought us whole binders full of women. Rick, I`ll tell you what.
Ten thousand bucks? Ten thousand dollar bet?

Corporations are people, my friend.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, I mean, do we really think America`s waiting with bated
breath for more of that?

BALL: No, I mean, just playing that clip I think would be enough to
disabuse any of potential republican donors that thinking that this is the
thing to do again. I know he`s enjoying a little bit of a boom led, and a
little bit of -- maybe we should have, maybe we could have. But ultimately
we know, they know, he was not a good candidate and is a very bad fit.

ZEPPS: Very last --

SHARPTON: Josh, I got to move on, but let me ask this. Could one of the
most celebrated leaders in our history be facing criminal charges? "The
New York Times" reported the FBI and Justice Department prosecutors have
recommended bringing felony charges against David Petraeus. The prosecutor
is saying the general may have improperly disclosed classified information
to his biographer Paula Broadwell. Who he admitted to having an affair
with. Some from both sides of the aisle already defending him. Attorney
General Holder is keeping quiet on whether Petraeus will face criminal
charges. Tara, Petraeus said he never provided classified information to
Miss Broadwell. Should he be charged?

DOWDELL: Well, if people can prove otherwise that he has, in fact,
committed a felony. If there is proof that he did, in fact, do that, he`s
committed a felony. He`s a celebrated figure whether people like him or
not. He`s a celebrated figure in American politics. But I will say this.
If charges are brought against him, he has no one to blame but himself.

SHARPTON: Josh?

ZEPPS: This is one of the most secretive administrations. They`ve gone
after so many whistleblowers, they`ve gone after so many leakers. Obama
administration is atrocious when it comes to this sort of stuff. I say,
yes, don`t pursue him. Don`t prosecute him. But also pardon Snowden. You
know, forget about being so paranoid about the secrecy of this government.
We have more top secret documents being issued at the moment than we have
in America`s history. Just quit with all of this paranoia.

SHARPTON: Krystal?

BALL: But he was director of the CIA. I mean, that`s a very, very
different situation. We cannot have a situation in this country where
there are two criminal justice systems depending on how important and
powerful you are.

ZEPPS: Apply to everybody.

BALL: People who were tortured, unconstitutionally --

SHARPTON: All right. Hold it. I`ve got to go to break. Stay with me.
When we come back, we go to the Golden Globes and a speech to remember from
rapper Common.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with our panel, Krystal, Josh, and Tara. Now to the
Golden Globes and a powerful acceptance speech from rapper Common, who won
with John Legend for their original song featured in "Selma."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COMMON, RECORDING ARTIST: The first day I stepped on the set of "Selma," I
began to feel like this was bigger than a movie. As I got to know the
people of the civil rights movement, I realized I am the hopeful black
woman who was denied her right to vote. I am the caring white supporter
killed on the front lines of freedom. I am the unarmed black kid who maybe
needed a hand but instead was given a bullet. I am the two fallen police
officers murdered in the line of duty. "Selma" has awakened my humanity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Josh, what do you make of that acceptance speech?

ZEPPS: I think it`s a powerful reminder of the fact that art is not
distinct and different from the rest of our lives. Right? That at its
best, it`s able to reflect and comment on and make us think about the way
that we engage with the world. The way that we engage with each other. I
think there are a lot of films that have been powerful that way this year.
I think it`s been a good year for Hollywood. Given, you know, in spite of
all the craziest, silly, summer blockbusters, there have been a few films
that`s really remind us of that. And that speech was a perfect way of
bringing it.

SHARPTON: Tara, I`ve seen the film and I think particularly at these times
that so much social justice movements, some of which I`m involved in, I
think it really put a lot of context to where we find ourselves in some of
the broad discussions that are happening now around race and civil
liberties and civil rights and crime.

DOWDELL: Well, sadly, we`ve come -- on the one hand we`ve come a long way,
but on the other hand, sadly, we see so many parallels as we stated with
this film and what is happening today, and I think his speech in particular
was so important because he talked about everyone suffering and one of the
most poignant parts, most wonderful parts of the civil rights movement was
that everyone came together. Well, not everyone, but most people came
together to support the movement.

SHARPTON: But I think if you watch the film, you find that it was a lot
more divided than people thought.

BALL: That`s right.

SHARPTON: Even in the black community, Krystal. They didn`t want Dr. King
to come to Selma. What is he doing here? There were some that were
against nonviolence. And I think a lot of people have seen a sanitized
version and this film showed it was not much less divisive than it is right
now.

BALL: And it`s easy to find yourself on the wrong side of history if
you`re not careful and if you`re not thinking about that moral arc of the
universe. I think that so well said because now looking back, it all seems
inevitable and it seems obvious, and it seems like yes, this is going to
happen. But going back to that moment, it was so tenuous and it was so
divided. I love what Common said, though. He said, when I stepped on the
set and I knew this was more than a movie. And that is Hollywood at its
best. Telling those stories that are more than just, you know, a fun --

SHARPTON: And I also like that he said -- I like that he identified that
he was the kid that was unarmed and reached out for a hand and got a
bullet, but he was also the two police officers that was killed in the line
of duty. He was giving equal balance to where we`ve got to deal. I`ve got
to go, Krystal, Josh and Tara. Thank you all for your time tonight.

BALL: Thanks.

ZEPPS: You got it.

SHARPTON: Ahead, five years after the earthquake in Haiti, the comeback
and the struggles. Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Finally tonight, five years ago today, devastation in Haiti.
When a massive earthquake hit Haiti`s capital and two days later the world
got its first view of the destruction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Staying alive is the only priority. People are
scavenging the rubble for food and water. As one aid worker put it today,
money is worth nothing right now. Water is the currency.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: An estimated 230,000 people were killed by the quake. Another
1.5 million were displaced. Today there is much improvement. Parts of
Haiti are better there and there are new roads and new cars in the city.
Hotels and updated hospitals have been built. But other parts remain
untouched. At least 200,000 people live in hillside camps like these with
no running water, electricity, or sanitation. NBC News interviewed this
32-year-old man living in a camp who said he is worse off after the
earthquake than before. A total of $13.34 billion was raised for relief.
This $4 billion has been allocated by the U.S. government. The other $9
billion-plus has yet to be used. Global development analysts say, a lack
of accountability and transparency means hundreds of thousands of Haitians
have not gotten the help they need. The world rushed in to help. That was
a powerful display of generosity. But we have to make sure in the next
five years that we all stay focused on rebuilding and getting 200,000
people out of those conditions.

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 2015 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Transcription Copyright 2015 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