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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

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Date: April 22, 2015
Guest: Marq Claxton, Nick Mosby, Lisa Gladden, Shira Center, Jonathan

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: The justice department is looking into
the case while local officials continue their own investigation. Late
today, police said five of the six suspended officers have given statements
to police investigators. No word given on why the sixth officer has not
provided a statement.

Baltimore police commissioner Anthony Batts says he understands the
community`s frustration.


thoughts. They`re sharing their concerns. And I hear them. And I
understand. And if I was a parent and that was my child that I lost, I
would be concerned. I would want to know and react. But our job is also
to have balance and not to rush to a conclusion. And that`s what the
direction is right now is the get the evidence and make sure it`s right.
Because we`re only going to have one chance at this.


SHARPTON: What exactly could that evidence show? "The New York Times"
reports one witness said she saw officers, quote, "sitting on his back and
having his legs twisted." We`re hearing similar reports from local news
stations. One elderly neighbor who is blind describes what he heard the
morning of gray`s arrest.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard this boy hollering and screaming, "get off of
me, get off of me, you`re hurting my neck, you`re hurting my neck, get your
knee out of my back." He said "I got asthma" or something like that. And
kept screaming and hollering.


SHARPTON: History has shown that it will be important to be cautious when
we`re hearing from witnesses at this early stage. But it`s clear these
claims need to be investigated.

We`re covering all angles of this story tonight from local officials to
legal and police analysts. But we start live in Baltimore with Maryland
state senator Lisa Gladden and city council member Nick Mosby. Thank you
both for being here tonight.

SEN. LISA GLADDEN, MARYLAND: Thank you very much for having us on.

SHARPTON: Councilman Mosby, are you confident the police investigation
will evaluate these new claims we`re hearing from alleged witnesses?

the independent investigation. You know, not only the Baltimore police
department is doing one, but also the department of justice has issued an
investigation into civil rights and the state`s attorney who happens to be
my wife is also doing their own independent investigation. So I`m
confident with the parties that are in place.

SHARPTON: Senator Gladden, what are you hoping to see from the justice
department looking into this case?

GLADDEN: I`m first off, I`m looking for justice. I just want to make sure
that Mr. Gray was not killed in vain. And I`m not sure that`s going
happen, because we have a lot of questions that still need to be answered.
And we have a lot of people that I believe have information that they
should share with all of us about what happened to Mr. Gray. If we don`t
get those answers, we cannot have justice.

SHARPTON: Well, what questions do you have, Senator?

GLADDEN: The first question, first off, in real life, I`m public defender
in Baltimore city. And so, I ask questions all the time. But I think the
first question I have is how did this -- this man, how did Mr. Gray suffer
such incredible injuries when there was such a short time frame. And it
seemed that he was in the truck or -- or that there would have been a
witness. And it seems to me that somebody should have intervened and said
hold it, hold it. We should not have done things like this. Because this
guy, it was incredibly injured and in such a short period of time. So my
first question is how in the world did he get injured so severely so

SHARPTON: Councilman Mosby, you represent the area where this arrest
happened. What is the mood of the community right now?

MOSBY: A complete sense of frustration and anger. They feel detached from
what is going on. You know, immediately, you know, Mr. Gray is their
friend, their family member, their community member. And, you know, for
someone they think, a 25-year-old to be seemingly healthy, you know, who is
in a chase with a police officer, who gets detained and ultimately
arrested, and then within a very short period of time like the senator
said, have such a severe injury to his spinal cord, you know, they`re just
really confused.

I think that the police tried to put out some additional information last
Friday, but information like why was he being chased, why was he arrested,
what was his charge were the type of specific information that is pretty
generic and pretty basic, that they want it right away. And they had to
wait several days to get that.

SHARPTON: Senator Gladden, would you like to see the full autopsy results
released to the public?

GLADDEN: Absolutely. And with the agreement of Mr. Gray`s family, because
while I understand that an autopsy is a very, very sad and serious report,
I want to just make sure that the family understands what they would be
exposing to the public. It`s going happen, I`m sure. But the family needs
to have the first say in terms of the autopsy report as it relates to their
family member.

So, yes, I want to see it. I definitely want to see it. Because I want to
see what did you do to this guy so that 20 minutes before he was walking?
And then 20 minutes later, he was in a truck and within seven day, he was
dead. What happened? And how did that happen?

All right, now, stay with me because I want to bring in Marq Claxton, the
director of the black law enforcement alliance and veteran prosecutor and
legal analyst Paul Henderson.

Paul, this news that only five of the six officers have given statements to
police, is there any significance to this?

PAUL HENDERSON, LEGAL ANALYST: There is a significance to that. Because
we don`t know what that sixth person is going to tell us. And let me just
say contextually, that it`s an outrage any time you have an individual that
has an encounter with law enforcement that leads to an unexplained death.
And so we still have some areas that are unexplained here. And I just got
to tell you, you know, it`s going to focus on three separate areas. One,
the probable cause that caused this incident. Because we know that there
may have been a knife involved. But when did they know he had a knife, and
how did they know that he had it? Did they follow the standard procedures
when making this arrest? And this is an arrest, not a detention. But this
is how we get into the volume of people that are being interviewed.

So it`s the officers that initially detained him. It`s the officers that
arrested him. It`s the agents that treated him. All of that is going to
be examined. And then the third part, and this is also still unexplained,
the focus on the injury that caused the trauma. When exactly did that take
place? And until we have those interviews and that information released,
we don`t have any of these answer. And that`s what the real tragedy is.
And that`s why the community is so upset and why so many people are focused
on this incident and upset about what has happened in this case.

SHARPTON: Marq, how do they answer these questions that Paul and eastbound
elected officials in Baltimore are raising?

they have to be committed to really looking to have these answers and
obtain these answers, and they have to be willing for those answers to be
transparent. Listen, I think people are under the misimpression that if
certain information is released during the course of a quote/unquote
"investigation," that it somehow jeopardizes the integrity of a possible
criminal case. Not necessarily. And I think what`s happened here is that
the lack of information, the basic chronology, the basic information what
happened, as Paul mentioned about the probable cause being very important
and vital to people understanding about the circumstances surrounding this
death, it`s vitally important for city government to be responsible, and
not to allow this quote/unquote, and I use that -- I am specifically using
quote/unquote "investigation" to drag on forever with no significant or
substantive basic chronology. It is unacceptable from public servants.
It`s unacceptable on every level. And it further exacerbates the
frustrations of the community.

So you`ll see momentum building on protests, momentum building with
demanding questions. Meanwhile, city government is hiding behind. We
don`t want to do anything that will jeopardize any potential investigation.
This is too long. I`ve done investigations for 20-something years. And at
this point, there should be some basic information forthcoming. And it
leads me to believe that someone is hiding something.

SHARPTON: Now, Councilman Mosby, late today police said the second person
in the police van with Gray is being treated as a witness in a criminal
investigation. Here`s what officials said about his contact with Freddie
Gray earlier this week.


very end that another suspect was placed in the van, who we have
interviewed. But that suspect was on the other side of the metal barrier
with no contact with Mr. Gray. He could hear Mr. Gray, but he could not
see him.


SHARPTON: Councilman Mosby, how important will the statements by this
other witness who was in the van, how important will his statement be?

MOSBY: Reverend Sharpton, I have no idea because I don`t know what the
statements are, nor do I know the credibility of the individual. I know
nothing about it. But back to Mr. Claxton`s point regarding that basic
level of information around why did they chase him, why did they actually
arrest him, it`s that simple information that could have been provided to
the community.

GLADDEN: And should have been.

MOSBY: Allowed the community to be a part of the entire process. And I
think once you start that relationship and you have that time lapse, it
further grows the skepticism and it further grows the distrust of the
police and the process. So I think that`s where the Baltimore city police
failed in trying to act swiftly and efficiently in communicating with the

SHARPTON: Paul, I see you shaking your head. Put on your prosecutor`s
hat. What are the possible -- what is the possible importance of this
other person in the van`s possible statements?

HENDERSON: Well, it is information that either supports or pulls away from
what the officers would say. Because typically, when someone is taken into
custody like that, even when they`re in custody, you about 48 hours to
bring charges and file a police report. And it`s been 48 hours. And we`ve
never seen that police report. We`ve never been provided with that
information. And so we have a process that is going on here that is
outside the typical course that happens when someone has been arrested, and
the arrest and those facts have already taken place. They have already
occurred. And yet that information is not being shared in the manner that
it typically would have been if this person were just typically arrested or
typically brought into the criminal justice system.

And that`s what is raising so many questions. Why is this trace being
treated so differently and the presumption is that there is a liability
somewhere or something happened, but we don`t have not only those answer,
but we don`t even have the basic answers telling us what could have
happened in the first place that led to this incident taking place

SHARPTON: Marq, I`m out of time. But you raise the issue, Paul has raised
it. And I know civil rights activists Larry young and others tomorrow are
raising there is a law there saying that they have ten days, police have
ten days before they have to give statements or that they have to answer
questions. And they are trying to change that state law. We`ve seen other
time gaps that are awarded police around the country. This also some of
what needs to be addressed here?

CLAXTON: Definitely, definitely. I think there also needs to be an
understanding that you may have a state law which allows police officers a
certain amount of time before they are obligated to provide some
documentation or interviews et cetera. But you also had -- these are
police officer, public servants. They work for that city. There also are
administrative things that could be done and should have been done earlier
than they were done that would directly address this particular issue.

And just really quickly, I don`t want people to be massaged by the fact by
the thought that the feds are closed by or part of the investigation or
even the state attorney general, because everyone outside of the prosecutor
and their police department right now are observers at this point. It`s
those entities that are actively engaged hands-on in this investigation.

SHARPTON: All right. State senator Lisa Gladden, councilman Nick Mosby,
Marq Claxton, Paul Henderson, thank you all of you for your time tonight.

MOSBY: Thank you.

HENDERSON: Thanks for having us, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Straight ahead, the house Benghazi report is pushed back and
won`t come until 2016. Gee, I wonder why. He`s being called a, quote,
"political charade."

Plus, $300 million is at stake, and the billionaire Koch brothers like five
GOP contenders.

And after 165 days, the Senate will vote tomorrow to confirm Loretta Lynch
as attorney general. Why did it take so long?

And the smooches of the house is at it again. Conversation nation is


SHARPTON: Happy earth day. "Politics Nation" is the number one trending
topic on social media, and people have been celebrating in all kinds of

NASA tweeted out this photo, saying there is no place like home.

The rock group Pearl Jam donated $100,000 to organizations working on
climate change and global warming.

And the White House tweeted out this incredible shot, urging people to act
on climate change.

Coming up, President Obama celebrated by talking climate change in Florida.
And slamming Republican deniers.

But first, keep this conversation going on our facebook page or tweet us


SHARPTON: Republicans swear they`re not trying to drag out their latest
Benghazi investigation against Hillary Clinton. It`s just sort of working
out that way. Bloomberg reports the Benghazi committee will likely delay
the release of its report until well into 2016. And Speaker Boehner is
blaming both the White House and Clinton for the delay.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: They could clean this up a
whole lot quicker if the administration and former secretary Clinton were
in a position to actually cooperate with the committee and turn over the
kind of information that we`ve been seeking for some time. But the
administration has made it virtually impossible to get to the facts
surrounding Benghazi. And so when we have the fact, we`ll have a report.


SHARPTON: Get the facts? We have the facts we`ve had them for years.
There have been at least seven different Benghazi investigations. Many of
them led by Republicans, and none found any wrongdoing by Mrs. Clinton or
the administration. So this latest delay is inexcusable.

Today congressman Elijah Cummings, the Benghazi committee`s top democrat
said, quote, "with the Republicans` obsessive focus on Hillary Clinton and
their now stated intention to drag out this political charade until just
months before the 2016 election, the select committee no longer bears any
resemblance to its original purpose."

Joining me now is Jonathan Capehart of "the Washington Post." Thank you
for being here.


SHARPTON: Jonathan, what a coincidence. 2016.

CAPEHART: Yes, how coincidental is that and we miring of? And a pollster
up in New York asked the question, 2016, maybe in October? It would be the
ultimate October surprise if committee comes back with the smoking gun or
some sort of silver bullet that they think would end Hillary Clinton`s
candidacy or her chances of winning the White House.

As you said in your opening, there have been seven inquiries into what
happened in Benghazi. And each of those inquiries has found nothing. In
fact, the last inquiry from the -- I think it was the house intelligence
committee headed by Congressman Rogers before he left, they unanimously
approved their report that showed that all of the conspiracy theories that
the folks on the right have been throwing out there about Benghazi and
secretary Clinton`s involvement and even the president`s involvement were
absolutely not true.

SHARPTON: Well, the chairman of the Benghazi committee, congressman Trey
Gowdy was on this exact issue about a month ago on "Meet the Press."
Listen to his answer.


with this by the end of this calendar year rather than get into `16 and
become a player in the presidential race?

so. I would like to be through as quickly as possible.


SHARPTON: Now, that interview was after the Clinton email story broke. So
what has changed, Jonathan?

CAPEHART: Well, I guess hope springs eternal. Look, I`m not sure what has
changed. And as you said, that, you know, that interview came after the
email story broke. And I think, you know, for the Republicans, they view
Benghazi and the Clinton email issue as something that would allow them to
keep the Benghazi issue out there as a way of hobbling Hillary Clinton
during the campaign trail and then hobble her some more if indeed she does
get the democratic nomination and in the general election.

SHARPTON: Well, let`s look at how long other federal investigations have
taken from the date of the event to the final report. The Warren
commission finished 307 days after the JFK assassination. The Watergate
committee, 740 days. The 9/11 commission, 1,045 days. If the house select
committee on Benghazi finishes on the first day of 2016, not deep into it,
but the first day of 2016, it will have been 1,207 days.

Bottom line, why is it taking so long, Jonathan Capehart?

CAPEHART: It`s taking so long because they want to use it as an issue to
hammer away and to hobble Hillary Clinton. Look, seven inquiries have gone
into this already. All of them coming to basically the same conclusion
there is no there, there. It was a tragic incident that happened in Libya
on September 11th. But all of the conspiracy theorists that are out there
just don`t hold up.

And one other thing to point out, Rev., the Republicans have been using the
Benghazi issue to go after Hillary Clinton since before she left the state
department. Because they recognized right then despite inquiry after
inquiry after inquiry, that just raising the issue riles up the Republican
party base, fuels the conspiracy theories that they have held about this
administration from the very beginning, and they see how effective it is in
at least with the base chipping away at whatever credibility she might have
with the voting public. And if they can put it out there in the national
news through the 2016 campaign, they think that it will help their
Republican presidential nominee.

SHARPTON: Jonathan Capehart, thank you for your time tonight.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, who is winning the Koch primary? The billionaire
brothers have a plan to help pick the GOP`s nominee.

Also, the surprising ways that you could help fix America`s food waste

But first, a special earth day addition of gotcha. You`ll want to see this


SHARPTON: Today`s earth day. And to celebrate, President Obama spent the
day in Florida everglades, urging Republicans to do more to protect our


threatening this treasure and the communities that depend on it. It simply
refusing to say the words climate change doesn`t mean the climate change
isn`t happening. If we take action now, we can do something about it.
This is not some impossible problem that we cannot solve. We can solve it
if we`ve got some political will.


SHARPTON: They should take action, and Republicans know it.

But I`m going to switch it up today. I won`t give them a science lesson.
I`ll give them a history lesson. Let`s go back in time to 1970. Yes, now
we`re feeling groovy. Turn on that TV and catch up with the Brady Bunch.
Boogie right along with the partridge family. And cry your eyes out
watching "love story" on the big screen. But what else happened in 1970?
We started celebrating earth day.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Millions of Americans observed earth day today, a
crusade against solution which with everybody agreed, including some of the
industries which have been the worst polluters.


SHARPTON: Millions of people demonstrated, and everybody agreed there was
a problem. Including the republican president who said this earlier that
year --


question of the `70s is, shall we surrender to our surroundings or shall we
make our peace with nature and begin to make reparations for the damage we
have done to our air, to our land, and to our water?



SHARPTON: Just a couple of months later, Nixon created the EPA. So what
happened? Today just 27 percent of conservative republicans believe
increases in the earth`s temperature are due to human activities. And 40
percent of them say global warming will never happen. Compare to today`s
GOP, Richard Nixon sounds like a flower child.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: Well, listen, I`m not going to --
I`m not qualified to debate the science over climate change.

FMR. GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: The science is not settled on this.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Many of the alarmists on global warming, they
got a problem because the science doesn`t back them up.

SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: We keep hearing that 2014 has been the
warmest year on record. I ask the chair, you know what this is? It`s a
snowball. And that`s just from outside here. So it`s very, very cold out.
Very unseasonal. So here, Mr. President. Catch this.


SHARPTON: Republicans were on the right side of the environment in the
`70s, but now they`ve gone back to the stone age. Do they think we
wouldn`t see how far out they`ve become? Earth to GOP, nice try, but we
got you.


SHARPTON: Time now for "Conversation Nation." Joining me tonight, MSNBC`s
Krystal Ball, executive editor of Jimmy Williams, and
"Boston Globe`s" Shira Center. Thank you all for being here tonight.

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


SHARPTON: We start tonight with big news in Washington. After 165 day,
Loretta Lynch will get a confirmation vote for attorney general. The vote
is expected in the Senate tomorrow. Five republicans say they will vote
for Lynch, which means she`ll likely be confirmed 51-49. Back in 2010, she
was unanimously confirmed by the Senate as a U.S. attorney in New York.
Krystal, why is this vote so close this time around? What happened?

BALL: Well, it has nothing to do with her or her credentials, which are
quite clear, and I think anyone on both sides of the aisle could support
it. It has everything to do with this president. Since he wants her, that
makes anything he wants controversial. And also, there are a lot of big
issues that she`ll be tackling. The role of attorney general has been
really central and really high profile under Eric Holder. So, that`s what
it`s about. I think most average Americans though would look at the delay
and say this is ridiculous. They would look at the fact that our vote is
coming down to finally a requirement on an abortion provision, a compromise
there and say what does that have to do with anything. So of course
they`re going to stumble across the finish line. I`m glad they`re finally
getting there. But it happens in the most bizarre way.


JIMMY WILLIAMS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Everything Krystal just said is exactly

BALL: Thank you, Jimmy.

WILLIAMS: There is a deeper element which -- absolutely -- there is deeper
element to which is the following. This is republican fearing republicans.
And if these republicans -- the five that you just put up, two of them are
moderates, one of them is from a swing state. And the bottom-line is each
of those people are for the most part republicans in states where, you
know, except for Lindsey Graham. I will give him his due here. But for
the most, Susan Collins, et cetera, et cetera, they are from states where
they have to be seen as bipartisan. Every other senator in the republican
caucus is utterly terrified that if they vote for anything that Barack
Obama wants, like a nominee, specifically a black woman to be the first
black attorney general of the United States as a woman, they are terrified
of being primaried by the far right, by extremist groups. That`s what this
is all about. And that`s why you`re going to see so many of them vote
against someone who is preeminently qualified to be the nation`s attorney


CENTER: Yes. I think one of the big differences obviously between the
Senate now and 2010 is who controls it. And Harry Reid is still majority
leader in 2010. He ran the game. Now it`s Mitch McConnell a republican
from Kentucky is majority leader. So, he has used the Loretta Lynch
nomination fight to get some of the things he wants out of the party.

SHARPTON: I always thought fairness was part of the game. But there will
be a first in the election cycle. Let`s go to that. First in the election
cycle, it will be billionaire Koch Brothers influence. In a rare interview
in USA Today, billionaire Charles Koch says he and his brother David like
five GOP candidates in the primaries. It would be the first time they got
involved in the primary, and they plan to give money to several contenders,
not just one. The five they think have a, quote good chance of getting
elected. Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio. At
stake, nearly $300 million.

BALL: Wow!

SHARPTON: Jimmy, how influential are the Kochs going to be in 2016?

WILLIAMS: They`ve always been influential. They will continue to be
influential because of the fact of the rise of the Super Pac. For an
average American, they may not know what that is. But that is basically a
shadow campaign, a shadow money campaign for virtually every single elected
office in the country, from county commissioner all the way up to the
presidency. The Koch Brothers have enough money. They have more money
than God, I think, at this point. Since that`s the case, they are throwing
that money far and wide. The fact that they`re saying five of them are the
ones that they`re looking at, that fascinates me. I don`t think that`s the
bigger game here though. I think the bigger game is for their play in the
states and what they`re trying to do when it comes to state legislatures,
governors, et cetera, because it`s those states where they can have the
most influence. Those five men right there have in my opinion virtually no
chance of becoming president, but they do have the ability to take care of
business in the states.

SHARPTON: Now Krystal, I heard you say wow, were you saying wow to the
influence or to the $350 million?

BALL: I mean, $300 million. And the thing that is really bizarre is when
you look at how much money will be spent in this election cycle, $300
million is not even going to be that massive of an amount. It certainly
makes a difference. But you know, sort of to Jimmy`s point here, I`m very
upset for our democracy that we have these Super Pacs, that we have these
shadow campaigns that candidates don`t even have control over. But you
know who should really be upset about this Koch influence is republican
primary voters.

These brothers just get to go in and say these are our five choices.
Sorry if you like someone outside of that box. Too bad because these are
the five people that we`ll going to make sure one of them gets in. And
they still left open the possibility that they could throw all their
dollars behind one candidate. And that could have a massive impact in the
primary, more so than the general election where both sides will have tons
of money.

SHARPTON: Shira, we`ll get to you after the break. I`m going to take a
break. Everyone stay with me. Krystal and I are going to teach Jimmy
about who has more money than God. A preacher at that.


But when we come back, the smoocher of the house, Speaker Boehner`s latest
kiss goes viral.

But first, your feel-good moment of the day. The first lady took questions
from kids at the White House for take your daughters and sons to work day.
And it got personal.


MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: Right there in the little pink sash, yes,

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: How old are you?

OBAMA: How old are you! I`m 51. What does that mean? What`s that look?
Say that again? Give her the mic.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: You look too young to be a 51-year-old.

OBAMA: What was that, babe? I didn`t hear you?

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: You`re too young for a 51-year-old.

OBAMA: Thank you!


SHARPTON: We`re back with our panel, Krystal, Jimmy and Shira. Before
Speaker Boehner was attacking the Obama administration over the Benghazi
investigation, he was in a loving mood at a bipartisan event at the White
House yesterday, he did this. Today Luke Russert asked about the peck.




SHARPTON: But this kissing thing is a trend for the speaker. Shira,
forget the crying, he is in a loving mood, I guess.

CENTER: I think deep down on the inside, John Boehner is a really
sensitive guy. I mean, a lot of things have been written about John
Boehner. A lot of them have not been nice. But no one has ever said he is
a really mean dude. You know, I think he is I think on the whole probably,
you know, a pretty good leader -- let`s see a liked leader among his
caucus. That`s why he was reelected a couple of times as speaker.

SHARPTON: He has just been terribly misunderstood, is that it, Krystal?

BALL: Well, actions speak louder than pecks on the cheek, I guess. I
would believe the good leadership thing if he would actually act in a
bipartisan manner and say bring immigration to the floor and do something
good for the country.

SHARPTON: Well, Jimmy, I`m sure you`re just bubbling over with his

WILLIAMS: Well, as a very sensitive person, I most certainly am. Now,
look, I think John Boehner is misunderstood by a large swath of people. He
is actually not a terrible guy. In fact, he and Pelosi just literally
negotiated the STG.Fix which is why they were was at the White House having
the president signed that bill. They did that, that`s a big deal, so.

SHARPTON: All right. Got to go. Krystal, Jimmy and Shira, thank you for
your time tonight.

BALL: Thanks, Rev.

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: And be sure to catch Krystal on "THE CYCLE" weekdays at 3:00
p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC.

Coming up, as we said, it`s earth day, and it`s also a big night here on
MSNBC. We`re airing a new documentary called "Just Eat It" exploring the
shocking statistic that 40 percent of all food in the U.S. gets wasted.
For six months, the filmmakers lived on food that would have been thrown
out. asks viewers to take the no food wasted challenge. Our
food correspondent Tom Colicchio took it.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think we take it all together, we make a soup. So I`m
looking at a soup, kind of a cauliflower, carrot, sweet potato. And we use
yogurt instead of cream and salt this with Portobello mushrooms to garnish




SHARPTON: Okay. So most of us can`t do that. But you can do something.
More on that, next.


SHARPTON: On this Earth Day, we looked at how to be green and eat green as
well. Tonight MSNBC is airing a new documentary called "Just Eat It."
That highlights a major problem in this country, food waste. It follows
two filmmakers as they give up traditional grocery shopping and try to
survive exclusively on food that would have otherwise been thrown out.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And there was a study in New York. They looked at all
the food waste in one county. And the most waste came from households.
More than from restaurants, more than from supermarkets, more than from

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: In our households, we`re wasting somewhere between 15
and 25 percent of the food that we`re buying. You know, that`s expensive.
I mean, imagine walking out of a grocery store with four bags of groceries,
dropping one in the parking lot and just not bothering to pick it up.
That`s essentially what we`re doing in our homes today.


SHARPTON: And that waste is adding up. Forty percent of all food in the
U.S. ends up in the trash. That`s $165 billion a year in wasted food. And
all that while nearly 50 million Americans are struggling to feed
themselves. Reducing food waste can have a major impact in everything from
energy use and pollution to health and to hunger. And is something
everyone can do.

Joining me now is Jonathan Bloom. He was prominently featured in the "Just
Eat It" documentary. And he is the author of "American Wasteland." How
America throws away nearly half of its food, and what we can do about it.
He is also the creator of Jonathan, thanks for being here.

Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you this, Jonathan. Why should we care about food

BLOOM: Yes, great question. Well, food waste is a problem that we need to
tackle because it has grave ethical, environmental, and economic
consequences. So from the ethics standpoint, to be wasting 40 percent of
our food while 15 percent of American households don`t have enough to eat,
that juxtaposition is something that we must remedy and do it sooner rather
than later.

SHARPTON: Part of the problem seems to be how we decide whether food is
edible in the first place. Let`s watch this clip from the documentary.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We have ladies grading the fruit. They`re graders.
They sort out the fruit that is not going to go into a box. You know,
they`re looking for scars like this that you and I could cut that off right
there and eat it. But unfortunately they don`t want it in the box. A lot
of it is about appearance. This is edible. But it`s not edible to the

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We donate a lot of food to the Northern California food
bank, but they don`t have the capacity or the infrastructure to manage the
amount of fruit that we could possibly give them.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: As a grower, that`s heartbreaking. When you grow the
fruit and there is nothing wrong with it and you can`t sell it. That
bothers me.


SHARPTON: Jonathan, why are we even wasting so much food in the first

BLOOM: Well, as you saw in the clip there, we`ve come to expect our food
to look perfect. So that notion that appearance trumps taste, that leads
to a whole lot of fruits and vegetables in particular being wasted. But
we`re also wasting food because we just have so much of it, this abundance
that we`re producing. We create about two times the amount of calories
that we need per person per year. And as a result, we`re constantly
inundated with food everywhere we go. It`s stacked high at the
supermarket, and we experience it not only in food stores, but in all kinds
of retail environments now. So as a result, we`re not particularly careful
with our food.

SHARPTON: There is also the environmental impact of food waste. Watch


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: People think the environmental problems are about
smokestacks, about roads, about factories, about cities and concrete. And
for sure those are significant. But if you look at the earth from the sky,
what do you see is fields. And it is there that we have had the biggest
impact. Wasting a third of the land and all that energy that we currently
use by wasting the food that we have produced is one of the most gratuitous
aspects of human culture as it stands today.


SHARPTON: People don`t seem to think of fruits and vegetables as harmful
to the environment. But there is a real cost, right?

BLOOM: There is a tremendous amount of natural resources, as you saw, that
go into producing our food. And in particular, water and energy. And
especially these days, with water being so scarce, it`s vital that we pay
attention to not wasting food, to minimize that squandered water. And
there are rough estimates that about a quarter of the fresh water that we
are using is going to produce food that is ultimately not eaten. And what
that actually looks like is about the same size as the Great Salt Lake in

SHARPTON: Quickly, tell people at home watching how they can have an

BLOOM: Yes, well, we all have a role to play here. So if we are not using
about a quarter of the food that we bring into our homes, it`s really
important that we become smarter shoppers and not fill our refrigerators to
the point that we couldn`t possibly use all of that fresh food before it
goes bad. So pay attention to how you buy food. Be a bit smarter in the
portion sizes that you serve. And then it`s really key to save leftovers.
And here is the key, Al, not just save them, but actually eat them.
Because we`re really good at taking food home from restaurants, but we`re
less experienced at actually eating those leftovers.

SHARPTON: Jonathan, you`re right. Jonathan Bloom, thank you for joining
me. You can catch "Just Eat It" tonight at 10:00 Eastern, right here on
MSNBC. You do not want to miss this.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, a focus on Africa that needs our attention.
Search-and-rescue efforts are still under way off the coast of Libya.
Three days, it`s three days since a ship of 900 migrants capsized. Only 28
survivors have been found so far. And over 200 schoolgirls are still
missing a year after being kidnapped in a Nigerian town by the Islamic
extremist group Boko Haram. And in Kenya earlier this month, 148 killed in
a terror attack at a university. In an exclusive interview with MSNBC`s
Chris Matthews, President Obama talked about the situation.


CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST, "HARDBALL": Another area I know you care
about, I certainly do, is Africa. And on your feelings about watching
those refugees, 950 people drowning, just trying to find a life. And then
also Kenya, a country we all care about, a very moderate country, pro-
Western, getting terrorized, those college kids who are the hope of their
families, getting killed because they`re Christians. Are you still going
to go to Kenya?

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I am still going to go to Kenya.
Look, it`s a heartbreaking situation, there is a lot of tumult and chaos
around the world right now. And part of our goal as the world`s leading
superpower is to work with partner countries to try to resolve conflicts,
to be ruthless in going after terrorism. But we`re not going to do that by
ourselves and we`re not going to do it just by deploying more marines in
every country that has these problems. We`ve got to build up their
capacity in these areas so that they`re not recruiting centers and safe
havens for terrorist activity.


SHARPTON: Over 900 people capsized in Libya. Over 200 girls missing a
year later in Nigeria from Boko Haram. Almost 150 people killed in Kenya.
All lives matter. Africa should not be marginalized. Where is the outcry?
Where is the media?

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


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