PoliticsNation, Thursday, May 7th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: May 7, 2015
Guest: Dorian Warren, Joan Walsh, Maria Teresa Kumar, Jason Johnson,
Angela Rye, Randal Hill; Paul Burmeister; Todd Yeary
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you
for tuning in.
Tonight`s lead, should Tom Brady with punished? In an hour and a half, NFL
superstar Tom Brady will speak publicly for the first time since NFL
investigators called him out. We did not see him, but his helicopter just
arrived at Salem state university in Massachusetts. A stop planned before
the new Deflategate report was released.
He did not say anything to awaiting reporters. We do not know what he
might say, but his agent is firing back at that report. He calls it,
quote, "a significant and terrible disappointment." And even says Brady
was set up, saying the league cooperated with the coach in perpetrating a
His scathing words come after the league`s investigators said, quote, "it
is more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least generally aware of
the inappropriate activities."
There`s a lot of circumstantial evidence here, but the report does not have
a smoking gun. We do not know what to expect from Brady tonight. And
here`s how he responded to the controversy on three different occasions
after the story broke in January.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Some reports post-game last night, that the
league is looking into that the Patriots, your team, were deflating the
balls within the game. Have you heard about this story? Do you know the
story I`m talking about?
TOM BRADY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOT QUARTERBACK: No, I don`t.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Would you care to tell me if you were
BRADY: No, I have no idea.
I would never do anything outside of the rules of the play. I would never,
you know, you know, have someone do something that I thought was outside of
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: So you have never --
Are you confidence that in the end, that fans will be able the to say, I
have no doubt about Tom Brady, that he`s on the up and up.
BRADY: Well, I think -- look, everybody`s entitled to an opinion. And
when you play for one NFL team, there`s 31 other NFL teams out there and
they`re probably not much of a fan of you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Head coach Bill Belichick and Patriots ownership were found to
have no knowledge of any wrongdoing. So should Tom Brady be punished? And
what might he say tonight?
Joining me now, former NFL wide receiver, Randal Hill. Thank you for being
RANDAL HILL, FORMER NFL WIDE RECEIVER: Thank you for having me.
SHARPTON: Randall, if Brady speaks about this tonight, what do you think
he needs to say?
HILL: He needs to come clean. He needs to be straight forward and he
needs to be up-front and go ahead and grab the bull by the horns and say,
if you made a mistake, say you made it.
SHARPTON: Do you think -- what`s your guess? Do you think he will talk
about it tonight?
HILL: I think he`ll talk about it, but I think he`ll be vague and aloof
and he definitely won`t be direct. It`s just the nature of the beast,
comes with the territory. But, you know, I was raised by my mom and dad,
and they always told me, if I made a mistake, stand in front of people and
be a man. And stand up and say, you know what, I made a mistake.
SHARPTON: So, if he`s vague and not direct, does that help or hurt him,
with the public?
HILL: It all depends on where you`re looking. Definitely in the New
England area, it`s not going to hurt him at all. But, you know, I think,
elsewhere, it`s definitely going to hurt him. So he just needs to be
direct and up-front, because the NFL is conducting their investigation, and
they may have completed their investigation. And again, you know, I think
that the NFL will definitely protect that shield of theirs, and they`re
going to do the right thing.
SHARPTON: But will they protect him? Do you think they`ll suspend him? I
mean, there was no smoking gun here. There`s no direct evidence. Is there
enough for him to be suspended, because they said it is probable that he
HILL: Well, again, you`re talking to a pure investigator, so when you say
probable, automatically, I`m thinking about probable cause. So that`s
saying that more people probably will believe that he was involved with
deflating the balls than most people would not believe that. So, with that
being said, I guess they have a lot of circumstantial evidence that`s going
to not look good on him and they`re going to make their judgment. And I
think that, because of everything that happened last year, off the field
and with a lot of players, they may even make an example out of him, but I
don`t know, because I`m not behind those closed-door meetings.
SHARPTON: Randall, stay with me. Now let me bring in NBC sports pro-
football talk co-host, Paul Burmeister.
Paul, will Brady speak tonight, in your opinion?
PAUL BURMEISTER, NBC SPORTS PRO-FOOTBALL TALK CO-HOST: Well, he has to say
something. And the interesting part of this is there will be included a
Q&A, with veteran interviewer and report Jim Gray. Now, these two have a
relationship, they have a relationship together. How much Jim is actually
going to dig into this remains to be seen.
Now, I would imagine one question, and because of the type of form and
because of that type of relationship that those two have, I do not expect
Jim to dive into three or four follow-ups. He does have a history of doing
that kind of thing, but I don`t think that`s going to happen tonight.
SHARPTON: So there`s not only a speech, it`s a Q&A.
BURMEISTER: Exactly. This is an appearance that`s been planned for a long
time. It just so happens to coincide when Tom Brady is unfortunately in
the news for all the wrong reasons. So it`s been planned for a while, but
maybe it takes on a different tone. It will certainly take on a different
tone tonight because of what`s happened in the last 24 hours. The big
question is, again, how much time will Jim Gray spend diving into this
topic and asking difficult follow-ups.
SHARPTON: Now Paul, there was no smoking gun here in this report, but
clearly they said it was probable that he had knowledge. What do you think
of the report? And what do you think they are inclined to do, given that
they clearly inferred strongly, he knew, but there was no direct link or
smoking gun, as we would say.
BURMEISTER: Well, Al, first of all, in terms of what I think of the
reports, all signs point to Tom Brady having some level of guilt here, in
the Patriots` employees deflating those footballs prior to the AFC title
game. How much of a level, how serious it is, we may never know. But that
-- I mean, the one thing we do know, all signs point to him having some
involvement. So the next part of that question, which to me is really the
one moving forward we should all pay attention to, what is the national
football league going to do about it?
I think everybody`s watching this situation, because Tom Brady, one of the
faces of not just that franchise, but the entire national football league,
a four-time super bowl champion. The relationship between NFL Commissioner
Roger Goodell and Robert Kraft is a very important one. So I think some
kind of suspension is coming.
SHARPTON: So you think -- Paul, let me push you here. You think some kind
of suspension is coming?
BURMEISTER: I do.
SHARPTON: What do you think, Randal? Do you think a suspension is coming,
or is it hard for them to suspend their main player in the super bowl?
HILL: No, I definitely think a suspension is coming. And you talk about
the relationship with Mr. Kraft, with the NFL, but there are several other
owners who may want to say something different. So definitely, you know,
you have to be fair across the board. And again, you know, linking things
back to what happened last year with a lot of players off the field, the
NFL is not going to put up with it anymore.
SHARPTON: All right. But Paul, you think a suspension is coming? His
agent, the agent for Brady, has said, this was a sting operation, it was
set up by the opposing team. How do you respond that?
BURMEISTER: There may be something to the fact that it was a sting
operation. It could be defined a sting operation by the fact that the
league was tipped off to this and they could have alerted the Patriots mid-
to late-week prior to the game. Hey, we`re keeping an eye on this, if
you`re doing it because we`re watching. That could have happen but it
Even if that didn`t, though, the bottom line this report points to Tom
Brady having some guilt. And back to that point that we`ve been talking
about, is a suspension coming, I think it is? Because if you look at the
way the national football league has handled all these types of situations,
even though this is a bit unprecedented, the kind of situations that have
compromised the integrity of the game, they`ve erred on the side of being
aggressive. Because it`s Tom Brady, because it is one of the most
important franchises in the league. And as you mentioned the super bowl
champion and its MVP quarterback, I think they will continue to do that.
I`m not willing to guess as to how many games, but I do think when it`s
done, when the suspension comes, I think we`ll all feel maybe it`s a little
bit more aggressive than it was soft.
SHARPTON: So then, how long will they have to give him, Randal? The fact
that he is so big, the fact that he is who he is, if they give a
suspension, are they forced to really show they`re serious and give a
longer suspension than one would have thought for someone that is not as
HILL: Well, if you look at what has occurred in NFL, you`re looking at
between a four to six-game suspension, I don`t care who it is nowadays.
And you know, going back to what his agent said, a sting operation, if
you`re not doing anything wrong, there`s no way in the world you can get
stung. I don`t want to hear that. But the NFL, they are going to protect
their shield and they`re going to protect the integrity of the game.
And like I said before, on this show, talking to you, this is an integrity,
check, and it`s going to be check out, and we`re going to see exactly
what`s going to happen.
SHARPTON: What are you hearing around the league, Paul, from your sources?
What are people saying?
BURMEISTER: I think people expect there to be a suspension. I mean,
whether it`s one game for the opening night game or whether it`s like
Randal mentioned, potentially four of six, everyone has their own opinion
on how severe it`s going to be, but from dipping my toe in that water and
listening to people I trust, it feels like at least one game is coming, and
I wouldn`t be surprised if it was more.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you, Paul. I asked Randal before you joined us, what
-- if you could council Brady tonight, what would you tell him to do? What
could he say that could, in any way, help his own standing with the public,
who has invested a lot of faith in him down through the years, despite
other questions in the past.
BURMEISTER: Well, I would be the most surprised guy out there if he took
time away from he`s doing at Salem state to ask my opinion. However, from
someone who follows the league and thinks about it all day every day, it
feels like at this point, unless there`s some kind of evidence that`s going
to clear him that he knows about that we don`t know about it, that`s not
there, it feels like there should be some kind of recourse now, some kind
of apology or some kind of, OK, this did happen, I feel bad that it got to
this point, and kind of go down the road of being forgiven.
Again, he may know some things that we don`t know, and he might not have to
go down that road, but it sure feels like at this point, he should. And
tonight would be a good time to kind of start down that road of asking for
SHARPTON: All right. Well, again, we don`t know where the guilt is.
There`s a lot of circumstantial evidence here, no smoking gun, but they do
say he, it is probable he knew something and certainly MSNBC will be
covering this all night long. Stay with us.
Paul Burmeister and Randal Hill, thank you so much for your time tonight.
Straight ahead, will there be a federal investigation into the Baltimore
police department. Attorney general Loretta Lynch talked about when a
decision might come down.
Plus, Jeb Bush once said he was, quote, "his own man" when it comes to
foreign policy. Wait until you hear what he said behind closed doors.
And the war of words is not over between president Obama and Elizabeth
warren. "Conversation nation" is ahead.
SHARPTON: The new attorney general Loretta Lynch is now at the center of a
national debate over policing and criminal justice. Now the big question,
will she launch a civil rights investigation into the Baltimore police
department? She talked about it today. That`s next.
SHARPTON: Attorney general Loretta Lynch spoke out today for the first
time since Baltimore`s mayor asked the justice department to open an
investigation into the city`s police. In a Senate hearing, her first in
office, miss lynch stressed the good work that the vast majority of police
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Our nation`s public safety officials
put their lives on the line every day to protect people they have often
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: But she said the allegations of wrongdoing in Baltimore are
serious and she`s reviewing the request for an investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LYNCH: Although the city has made significant strides in their
collaborative reform efforts with the community-oriented policing services
office, I have not ruled out the possibility that more may need to be done.
We`re currently in the process of considering the request from city
officials and community and police leaders for an investigation into
whether the Baltimore city police department engaged in a pattern or
practice of civil rights violations. And I intend to have a decision in
the coming days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The justice department is already investigating if Baltimore
police violated Freddie Gray`s rights during his arrest, but a broader
investigation would look into whether there`s a broader problem or pattern
of abuses in the Baltimore police department. And after what we heard in
the days since Freddie Gray`s arrest, that`s exactly what many think the
city of Baltimore needs.
Joining me now is pastor Todd Yeary, a civil rights leader in Baltimore and
pastor of Douglas memorial community church. He met with attorney general
Lynch earlier this week and is also the mayor`s pastor.
Thank you for being here, Pastor.
REV. S. TODD YEARY, DOUGLAS MEMORIAL COMMUNITY CHURCH: Good to be with
SHARPTON: Now, Pastor Yuri, you asked the attorney general for a federal
investigation. Why is it necessary?
YEARY: It`s necessary, some of my colleagues and advocates in the civil
rights community encouraged the attorney general to pursue a pattern or
practice investigation, because what we hear and what we`ve seen over many,
many years is ongoing and consistent, even persistent violations of the
constitutional rights of the citizens of Baltimore.
While we recognize that there was a push for collaborative reform, it is so
urgent now that we can no longer wait on collaborative efforts. We need
actual oversight of the police department to make sure that the violations
that we`re hearing happening all over the city and repeatedly are removed
from the day-to-day profile of every citizen of the city of Baltimore, the
city of Baltimore`s police department needs fixing now.
SHARPTON: So you`re saying you want federal oversight of the Baltimore
YEARY: The pattern and practice investigation will let us know if further
DOJ oversight of the police department is required. We believe the first
step so to find out if and what corrective measures will be required. But
what we do know, more than anything else, even after Freddie Gray`s death
and prior to, is that there is something systemically wrong within the
Baltimore city police department, and it is not getting better with time.
SHARPTON: Now, the department of justice has investigated about 20 police
departments in the last few years. Those investigations include looking
into whether police use excessive force, if they made street stops based on
race, and if they made arrests without probable cause. If the justice
department investigated, would they find these issues in Baltimore, in your
YEARY: Well, remember, at the root of the Freddie Gray incident is whether
or not there was reasonable suspicion to chase Freddie at all. The
timeline begins with bicycle officers seeing Freddie Gray, Freddie Gray
seeing the officers and running.
We never get any indication of what the reasonable suspicion was that
caused them to pursue, detain, and eventually arrest Freddie Gray, which
now they`re trying to say throwing him in the van, and this hit to his
head, led to his death. Everybody must remember that the beginning
timeline of the state attorney`s statement of charge begins with the fact
that there was no basis to pursue Freddie from the very beginning. It is
part of a consistent and persistent pattern that we`re hearing over and
over and over again. And it`s time for the department of justice to take a
more active role in removing that from the policing system in Baltimore
SHARPTON: Now, Pastor, the attorney general said today in her Senate
testimony, that the vast majority of police do their work every day,
they`re good, they risk their lives. And I know from my association with
you and other clergy and activists in the area, you agree. But the
question is whether there is a pattern and practice that has gone ignored.
The police commissioner there in Baltimore says he`d be open to a justice
He said in a statement, I welcome with open arms the mayor`s request for a
department of justice review. We have never shied away from scrutiny or
assistance. Our work is ongoing and anyone who wishes to be part of
helping the department better connect with the community will always be
welcome. Is this a good sign?
YEARY: It`s a sign that everybody is on the same sheet of music. The
mayor, the commissioner, elected officials, faith leaders, civil rights
advocates all agree that a pattern or practice investigation is what is
warranted. And we are hopeful, even anticipating that the attorney general
is going to render her decision and support our request for a pattern or
practice investigation in the next few days.
SHARPTON: All right, Pastor Todd Yeary, and you hosted us in for the
national civil rights leaders last week. We promise to come back and do a
youth speak. We`ll be doing that next week. Thank you for your time
YEARY: Good to be with you, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, people ling up to hear Tom Brady speak for the
first time since that bombshell report about deflate gate. Should he be
suspended? Our panel weighs in.
Also, the explosive fight over the GOP`s Benghazi committee. And its
obsession with Hillary Clinton. A top democrat speaking out, tonight.
But first, Dr. Sharpton has a diagnosis for Dr. Carson. He`s in tonight`s
SHARPTON: The big case before the Supreme Court this summer, same-sex
marriage. Tons of protesters showed up on the day of the oral arguments to
make their voices heard. And someone else making his voice heard. Dr. Ben
Carson, one of the newest Republican presidential candidates. Here`s what
he said when asked about the case in a recent interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. BEN CARSON, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If the legislative
branch creates a law or changes the law, the executive branch has
responsibility to carry it out. Doesn`t say that they have the
responsibility to carry out a judicial law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Wait a minute. Wait a minute! Is he saying if he were
president, he wouldn`t enforce the ruling if the Supreme Court legalizes
gay marriages? He would just ignore the ruling? Which has the full effect
of the law? That almost sounds a little lawless. But I`m sure he would
never accuse anyone else of being lawless, especially not a president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARSON: Lawless illegal immigration should not be rewarded by lawless
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now, obviously, Dr. Carson is a smart guy. I have a lot of
respect for his achievements. He spent a lot of years in medical school.
But he never want to law school. Maybe he should leave these questions to
legal experts. Until then, we Got You.
SHARPTON: Tomorrow marks a full year since republicans created a special
Benghazi panel. They were going to uncover the truth, find out what really
happened. A year later, the committee has nothing to show, and today the
panel`s top democrat Congressman Elijah Cummings slammed it as a political
charade, saying, quote, "It now seems obvious that this investigation is
being dragged out in order to attack Secretary Clinton." And it`s not just
Benghazi. Recently, right-wingers have been jumping on any controversy
linked to Clinton, from e-mails to foreign donations. Her new polls show
it`s not moving the needle. Sixty percent of likely caucus goers in Iowa
say they`ll support Clinton. That`s virtually unchanged from February
before the latest rounds of right-wing attacks. But the GOP isn`t worried.
They`ve got a brilliant new plan to bring down Clinton. Listen to this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TED POE (R), TEXAS: You need to hire a whole department just to
investigate the Clintons, the Clinton scandals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: A whole department just to investigate the Clintons. That`s a
new one. But these attacks are getting pretty old. Now let me bring in
MSNBC contributor and Columbia University Professor Dorian Warren and Joan
Walsh of Salon.com. Thank you both for being here.
DORIAN WARREN, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: Thank you, Reverend Al.
JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Dorian, what do you think of this new plan? A
whole department to investigate the Clintons.
WARREN: Reverend Al, I think the rapper Ja-Rul`s endorsement of Hillary
Clinton today is more meaningful than anything the republicans could
possibly throw at her.
SHARPTON: Don`t underestimate Ja-Rul now.
WARREN: That`s right. That`s right. Look, this is not going to affect
democratic primary voters. And if you notice, by the way, when we`re
thinking about the general election, Hillary Clinton made some very
significant comments on immigration reform and there was mostly silence for
a day. Now the republican candidates are starting to say something. But
they`re going to have a hard time beating her in a general election, on an
issue that most Americans don`t care about.
SHARPTON: Now, Joan, the polls show the GOP attacks aren`t making a dent
in Hillary Clinton`s popularity among democrats. But would that be
different in a general election?
WALSH: That`s a really good question, Reverend Al. I mean, I think it
would be somewhat different. I think the democrats have lived through this
before. Older democrats have seen the Clinton scandals. The president,
President Clinton, only got more popular as the scandals went on.
WALSH: Younger democrats don`t associate them with wrongdoing. They`re
popular figures in the party. On a national level, I think that she`s
going to introduce herself and I think the real wild card in this is the
media. And even some in the quote, "liberal media," who have had it in for
the Clintons since the `90s. I mean, I watch TV sometimes and I suddenly
feel a lot younger and I imagine that my daughter, a toddler running around
beside me, because I`m seeing some of the same people who swung at them and
missed in the 90s, still going at it.
SHARPTON: Some of the exact --
WALSH: The exact ones. I`m not going to name names right now, but some of
the exact same people. So, you know, this can take its toll down the line.
But as Dorian said, she`s doing smart things on mass incarceration, on
immigration. She`s looking at the country that`s going to -- the country
that isn`t going to be while republicans are trying to rule a country that
was and is gone.
SHARPTON: Now, several weeks ago, Dorian, the head of the Benghazi panel,
Trey Gowdy, he told NBC`s Chuck Todd he wanted to wrap up the investigation
quickly. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Are you going to be done with this by the end
of this calendar year, rather than get into `16 and become a player in the
REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Lord, I hope so. I would like to be
through as quickly as possible. I have no interest, zero interest, and you
and I having this conversation in 2016, but I don`t get to fully decide how
quickly it`s done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: To Chairman Gowdy`s own republican colleagues believe him on
WARREN: No, and I doubt he believes himself. I think when he says, "I
have no interest," it means, I want to focus on this through 2017. I can`t
wait to find that smoking gun of an e-mail or something nefarious to really
bring the Clintons down. If we`ve learned something, as Joan was talking
about the Clintons in the `90s, if we`ve learned something, they`re an
incredibly resilient power couple. And I doubt that there`s anything in
those e-mails that will be a smoking gun, that will allow her to fail, if
she wins a democratic nomination, in the general election. Was the math,
the Electoral College math for the republicans is not there?
WARREN: And so, there would have to be something really catastrophic in
those e-mails, and so, yes, Chairman Gowdy is going to continue this for as
long as he can, until they find something to try to bring her down.
SHARPTON: And at the same time, you mentioned that immigration and
criminal justice, Joan, even some republicans are impressed by Hillary
Clinton`s political strategy in going bold on immigration. One GOP
strategist said, quote, "It`s an obvious opportunity for Hillary to rip off
our arms and beat us with the bloody ends. She`s expertly exploiting our
party`s internal problems." How big of a problem is the issue of
immigration for republican candidates?
WALSH: I think it`s an enormous problem. And they came out of the 2012
election talking as though they were going to do something about it, and we
did have some republicans join for comprehensive immigration reform. And
it fell apart. The far right wouldn`t let them do it. Even though there
were business interests who would like to see them do it, they can`t get
away with it. The far right holds sway. And they are forfeiting the
loyalty of a new generation of Latinos. Hillary Clinton could really
ensure, Reverend Al, that Latinos are lost to the republicans for the rest
of our lives with this move. They`re not doing anything to compete with
her, and she is going out farther and reaching families and talking about
keeping families together and doing more than the President felt he could
do, or saying more, anyway.
SHARPTON: And you know, Dorian, the latest polling shows that Hillary
Clinton beating all the major republicans in general election matchups.
Ahead of Rand Paul by three points, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio by six, and
Scott Walker by ten. Is the GOP hoping it can close that gap by attacking
and smearing Hillary Clinton? Is that their plan or are they just nervous?
Are they just afraid? I mean, Joan, maybe they`re just scared, Joan.
WALSH: I think they are scared. And actually, if you look at the numbers,
she is creaming Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, who has a Latino family, among
Latinos. She`s got, you know, 60-something percent of the Latino vote in
all the early polls, Reverend Al. So she`s doing something both good and
smart in this.
SHARPTON: All right. I`m going to have to leave it there. Dorian Warren
and Joan Walsh, thank you for your time tonight.
WARREN: Thank you, Reverend Al.
SHARPTON: And be sure to watch Dorian on "Nerding Out" Thursdays at 11:00
a.m. on shift by MSNBC.
Straight ahead, a trade fight reveals a deep divide among democrats and
between President Obama and Senator Warren. Also, Jeb`s big brother steps
up for a key role in the new Bush campaign. Stay with us.
SHARPTON: Time now for "Conversation Nation." Joining me tonight, MSNBC
contributor, Maria Teresa Kumar, Jason Johnson, Political Science professor
at Hiram College, and political strategist, Angela Rye. Thank you all for
being here tonight.
JASON JOHNSON, HIRAM COLLEGE POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR: Glad to be here,
MARIA TERESA KUMAR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Rev.
ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Thank you, Rev.
SHARPTON: An unlikely political feud is getting more intense. Today
President Obama arrived in Oregon, ahead of his visit to Nike headquarters
to sell his trade bill. It`s become a very hot debate for democrats.
Senator Elizabeth Warren is at odds with the President on this and today
she hammered the deal again, arguing it would give too much power to
foreign corporations. Quote, "the administration says you have nothing to
worry about. Frankly, just trust us isn`t good enough." It comes after
recent reports of Obama administration officials calling Warren`s attacks,
quote, "baseless and desperate." It`s a new round in the war of words
that`s been going on for weeks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I love Elizabeth. We`re allies on
a whole host of issues, but she`s wrong on this.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: My view is, when the process is
rigged, then the outcomes is likely to be rigged.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Maria, we don`t often see it get this hot inside the Democratic
Party. Do both sides need to bring this down a level?
KUMAR: I think so, but it`s not a secret, Reverend, that there`s always
been a bit of tension with the Obama administration and Senator Warren. If
you guys recall, when she basically was heading up the oversight
organization, trying to make sure that government became more efficient,
she really wanted that post and she didn`t get it. And basically her plan
"B" was to run for Senate and she really believes in increased
transparency. On the other hand --
SHARPTON: So, are you saying that this was personal because she wanted a
job she didn`t get?
KUMAR: No, it`s always been known that there`s been tension. And so it`s
one way that -- what I`m saying is that, not only is there tension, but
it`s not a surprised that she wants increased transparency, because that`s
basically what she`s always advocated. She`s always advocated for the
little guy. But look Reverend, I used to work on trade issues when I
worked on Capitol Hill for Congressman Vick Thouso (ph), and it was
something that was incredibly difficult, because it would be -- it`s
difficult not to provide the President with that fast track trade authority
so that he can negotiate on behalf of Americans.
And looking at what we do know of TPP, it`s one of the few trade agreements
where you actually bring in the heft of American policy and talked about
free trade agreement and looking at the environment and tiny restrictions
and making sure that other people are following the rules in -- by worker
rights. Is it perfect? No, possibly not. But we do recognize that when
you`re trading in multi-lateral negotiations, not everything is going to be
perfect, but you want to be in the game and not on the sidelines.
SHARPTON: Jason, you`re smiling.
JOHNSON: I completely disagree. And Elizabeth Warren is correct. Look,
if you want to go down to specific details, is it going to destroy Dodd-
Frank, probably not. Not in any immediate sense. But what she`s sounding
the alarm on is, just because this may be an okay policy under President
Obama doesn`t mean it can`t be used to erode workers` rights, financial
regulations and environmental policies under another president. So what
she`s talking about is the long-term consequences of these trade packs,
which is oftentimes people don`t want to think about.
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
SHARPTON: But we haven`t seen --
KUMAR: These folks are going to basically --
SHARPTON: We haven`t seen the pack, though.
RYE: That`s exactly right. I`m sorry, Jason. Let me just jump in here.
I just have to say this one thing that is really, really bothering me. And
I emphasized this with you last time, Rev. TPA is completely different
RYE: TPA grants the President the authority to negotiate on behalf of this
country, which virtually every president since Eisenhower has had. TPP is
a deal that is still very much in formation. TPP is the deal that will be
made public for four months before Congress even has to vote on it.
KUMAR: Right. And that`s --
RYE: One more thing, Maria.
RYE: TPP will be given 60 days for public comment before the President
signs it into law. Let`s deal with facts before we deal with hefty
debates, with ideas and grandiose things and unicorns and stuff. Like
let`s just be for real with this.
JOHNSON: There are no unicorns involved here.
RYE: There is. Well, no, because I think what you`re trying to --
SHARPTON: Go ahead, Jason, Jason.
JOHNSON: There`s no unicorns involved here. It`s just Elizabeth Warren is
just voicing legitimate concerns.
SHARPTON: No, but address the point that Angela raised. The difference
between TPA and TPP. TPA, the power of the president to negotiate which is
something that we`ve all seen for many presidents is different than TPP and
TPP has to be transparent. We`re talking about two different things here,
like it`s all one thing.
RYE: Right. That`s exactly right.
KUMAR: And Congress has to vote up or down on any trade agreement anyway.
What we`re doing is we`re providing the President the authority to have
America at the table. And let`s face it, in an increasingly globalized
world, we want to be able at that table. We want to be negotiating on
RYE: We have to be. It`s key to our survival.
SHARPTON: All right. Let me move on. We`re now going to -- Jason is not
going to agree on that one. Now that Jeb Bush`s foreign policy team. Back
in February, he distanced himself from his brother, saying he has -- he was
his own man. But this week, when donors asked him who advises him on
U.S./Israel policy, he said, and I`m quoting, "if you want to know who I
listen to for advice, it`s him." Who is this "him," you might ask. It`s
his brother, George! "The Washington Post" reports the republicans in the
room spoke on the condition of anonymity to divulge information about the
proceedings where confidentiality was insisted upon by the events host.
"The Post" also notes the revelation, quote, "indicates that the siblings
may be closer than often portrayed. The relationship is often described as
cordial and warm, but distant on policy matters." All this comes after we
learn that 19 of Jeb`s 21 foreign policy advisers worked with his father,
his brother, or both. Jason, how risky a move would this be for Jeb?
JOHNSON: This is horribly risky. And I can already see the commercials
next summer, of someone saying, where does Jeb Bush get his policy advice
from? George W. Bush. And then, black and white letters, talking about
all the soldiers that we lost and all the millions of dollars that we spent
on the wars in Iraq. This is what happens when you have no political
resume since 2002. You`re just desperately going after your brother for
advice, no matter how much he failed. This is terrible for Jeb Bush and
really bad for the Republican Party.
KUMAR: I think that`s absolutely right. I mean, there`s nothing wrong the
fact that he`s actually extending an invitation from his brother to come
and give him policy advice. It`s just the policy advice that he`s
administered under his own tenure, that George W. Bush did that, that`s the
problem. And I think it`s actually going to alienate a lot of the base and
a lot of independents that he`s going to need in order to win the
SHARPTON: Angela, but this is not a formal advisory role. This is that he
will have influence.
RYE: Yes, I mean, the reality of it is, no matter how much he`s his own
man, he`s still his father`s son and he`s still W.`s brother. And I think
the reality of that is that, of course he`s going to have tremendous
influence over his brother. He was a past president. I think the other
thing that we need to be honest about, is Jeb Bush is a politician, ladies
and gents. He was working this room. It bode him very well to say that W.
was advising him on Israel. That is why in that same piece, they say that
the room was pleased with the response. He was working that room.
SHARPTON: All right. Everyone, stay with me. Moments ago, Tom Brady
arrived for his first public appearance since the NFL`s report on
Deflategate. What should he say about it and should he be suspended?
SHARPTON: We`re back with our panel, Maria, Jason, and Angela. So I`ve
got to get your take on Tom Brady and Deflategate. New video of Tom Brady
arriving at a Massachusetts College, where he`ll speak publicly for the
first time, since that bombshell NFL report. He`s due to speak in less
than an hour. The NFL report said, quote, "It is more probable than not
that Tom Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate
Angela, I`ve been waiting to hear from you. I remember your Seahawk
mantras during the Super Bowl. We know that you`re a big Seahawk fan.
SHARPTON: But try, just try to be objective here. Should Tom Brady be
punished if he knew?
RYE: Rev, of course Tom Brady should be punished if he knew! I would say
that, even if we didn`t have the debacle that we did at the Super Bowl. He
absolutely should be suspended for lying, for pretending he didn`t have
anything to do with it. Knowing that squishy football was in his hands and
it was a little bit easier to throw. Bye, Tom Brady.
SHARPTON: Well, Jason, but there is no smoking gun here, although they say
it is probable, but there is no direct smoking gun here.
JOHNSON: You don`t have to have a direct smoking gun. We have ten years
of the Patriots doing this. They were doing spy gate when they beat my
eagles ten years ago. They`re consistently guilty of engaging this kind of
behavior. I think he should be suspended for at least four games, which is
probably what the NFL is going to do, because his first game back will be
against the Colts and it will probably be the highest rated game of the
years, because those are the teams that actually ratted him out.
SHARPTON: But Maria, do fans really care. I mean, I think fans know
things go down, things happen, do you think they really care about this?
KUMAR: Reverend, Americans have 99 problems and this ain`t one.
RYE: What? Wow!
KUMAR: Really. I think that he has that -- you look at it and you say,
yes, unfortunately, someone may --
KUMAR: No, really I think that a lot of times I think this is actually
smoke and mirrors. I think that they should address it, absolutely. Have
they -- can you actually convict someone without being able to have all
their fingerprints on it? I think that`s unfair. I think that we actually
have to look at the bigger problems we have. Sorry, Angela.
SHARPTON: Well, Angela, I mean, not only did Maria disagree with you, she
used Jay-z to do it.
RYE: I know!
JOHNSON: And I think he`s a giants fan.
KUMAR: I might be, too.
RYE: He`s very unpatriotic.
JOHNSON: Are you the strategist, Angela, objectively, as you can, what
would you advise Brady to say tonight?
RYE: I would advise him not -- right, not to answer any questions on this
and ask them how about this good weather or something? Like he should just
steer clear from it. The last time I was like, well, I mean, I don`t know.
Yes. He needs to do something completely different.
SHARPTON: What do you say, Jason?
JOHNSON: I would say wave to everybody with all four rings. Okay? Go
back and play this season and he`s going to end up in the Hall of Fame.
The NFL is not going to punish their golden boy as hard as they should.
He`s not going to say anything about it tonight. Because no matter how
much evidence is out there, you`ll still going to have people that believe
in Tom Brady and believe in the Patriots and don`t want them to be held
SHARPTON: All right, how many games, let me do rapid fire, how many games
should he be suspended, if any? Maria?
KUMAR: I already said zero. I`ll do three. How`s that?
JOHNSON: Four games.
RYE: The entire season, bye, Tom Brady.
SHARPTON: And you want to go back retroactively to the Super Bowl. I know
RYE: Yes, exactly! Now you preaching!
SHARPTON: Maria, Jason, Angela, thank you for your time tonight. Be sure
to watch Maria on "Catching America," Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. Eastern on
Shift by MSNBC.
Ahead, some facts about ObamaCare that the leaders of the GOP`s repeal
caucus need to hear.
SHARPTON: Finally tonight, a positive checkup for millions of Americans
across the country. A new study finds around 17 million people have gained
health insurance since the call of the Affordable Care act took effect in
2013. And many of those are happy with that coverage. A recent study
shows people`s satisfaction with ObamaCare is at an all-time high. People
are happy with their coverage and this law is saving lives. There are
Americans who are alive today because they got the care they needed through
the Affordable Care Act law. And I`ve spoken to some of them on this show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REGINA MORAN, CANCER SURVIVOR HELPED BY ACA: The act not just helped me,
it saved my life. It allowed me to breathe and relax and enjoy being
healthy and cancer-free. I`m not asking for a handout, I`m just asking for
basic health coverage.
SPIKE DOLOMITE WARD, CANCER PATIENT HELPED BY ACA: I was in such despair,
having gotten the news that I had cancer. When I found out that this
ObamaCare`s program was going to literally save my life, I owed it to the
president, to publicly apologize.
DAVID TEDROW, SAYS OBAMACARE SAVED HIS LIFE: It gave me the ability to get
a transplant. Without insurance, I would not have been listed. You know,
we need to be concerned about people and their lives. And that`s not
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: But stories like these aren`t stopping republicans from trying
to take it all away. In fact on Tuesday, Senate republicans passed a
budget that would try to dismantle the law entirely. Even worse, every
single republican presidential contender would like to see the law
repealed. The issue is bigger than politics. It`s about people`s lives.
Yes, there was politics involved, but I believe some sincerely believed it
when they said it was not going to work, it was not going to help save
lives, it was going to drive up premiums. It didn`t. So when you see 17
million people and counting are enhanced, some saved by this, don`t you
have the moral obligation, the patriotic obligation to stand up and say, I
sincerely thought this, but it`s working, and though I may not agree with
the President or even like the President, I love American and I love the
Americans this can continue to help. Let us rise at least above politics,
on something that helps 17 million people.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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