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PoliticsNation, Friday, May 8th, 2015

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Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: May 8, 2015
Guest: William Yoemans; Brandon Scott; E.J. Dionne, Drew Courtney,
Victoria de Francesco Soto, Jim Fassel, Damon Qualls



REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you for
tuning in.

We begin with breaking news tonight. The officers charged in the death of
Freddie Gray have filed a motion to dismiss the charges or at least remove
state`s attorney Marilyn Mosby from the case. That motion filed just
moments ago. It comes after attorney general Loretta Lynch announced plans
to launch a federal investigation into the Baltimore police department.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Today, the department of justice is
opening an investigation into whether the Baltimore police department has
engaged in a pattern or practice of violations of the constitution or
federal law. This investigation will begin immediately and will focus on
allegations that Baltimore police department officers used excessive force,
including deadly force, conduct unlawful searches, seizures and arrest and
engage in discriminatory policing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Baltimore`s mayor asked for the investigation, and last night
the police commissioner says he supports it, too.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`s a good thing. We can use the extra
weight. Lawsuits are down. Citizen complaints are down. Officer-involved
shootings are down but the community doesn`t feel it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: If the justice department finds Baltimore police have a pattern
of violating residents` rights, the city will either have to agree to make
changes or go to court. The investigation will likely take months, but
attorney general lynch says she`s hopeful for progress.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LYNCH: The challenges that we face and that Baltimore faces now did not
arise in a day and change will not come overnight. It will take time and
sustained effort, but the people that I met in Baltimore, from the
protesters to the public officials, to the officers including one who been
injured amidst the violence, all were saying to me ultimately the same
thing. I love my city, and I want to make it better.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The people of Baltimore want things to get better and today`s
announcement is a good first step. But again, the breaking news tonight, a
motion has been filed on behalf of the six officers charged in Freddie
Gray`s death to drop the charges or remove the state`s attorney from the
case.

Joining me now is Baltimore city Councilman Brandon Scott and William
Yeomans, he is a fellow in law and government at American university and
previously served as acting assistant attorney general for civil rights.
Thank you both for being here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pleasure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: I want to get to the justice department investigation in a
moment, but Councilman, first, what`s your reaction to this new motion to
remove the state`s attorney from the case?

BRANDON SCOTT, BALTIMORE CITY COUNCIL: Well, I`m not surprised by this at
all. We know that we have heard rumblings of that throughout the city, and
you know when you take these kinds of things to trial lawyers will be
lawyers. They will try to do anything and everything in their power to get
the folks that they represent the best justice as they seek for them so we
should expect those kinds of things. It`s not up for me to make a
determination whether that is valid or not. The courts will determine that
out and the facts will bear that out. I know that the state`s attorney is
of the utmost character and integrity, but we will see what the judges and
court system says.

SHARPTON: Now Councilman, state`s attorney Mosby has -- was asked about
conflict of interest, and if a special prosecutor should try this case,
here`s what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARILYN MOSBY, BALTIMORE STATE ATTORNEY: I can tell you that the people of
Baltimore city elected me, and there`s no accountability with a special
prosecutor. I can tell you that from day one we independently
investigated. We`re not just relying solely upon what we were given from
the police department.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Is there conflict, Councilman?

SCOTT: Well, I don`t see conflict myself. But again, that`s not up for me
to determine. I`m not a lawyer. I didn`t go to law school. The facts
will be the fact. I know the state`s attorney is again a very, very
ethical woman and very, very -- has high integrity with herself and carries
herself in a very high manner but the lawyers and police think a different
way and that is something that they have the right to do. And we will seat
the facts bear themselves out in the court system and we`ll have to deal
with it according as the city is ruled on.

SHARPTON: William, there are certainly troubling things we already know
about the Baltimore police department. Since 2011 the city`s paid out $5.7
million to settle 102 civil suits alleging police brutality. Since 2012
five people have died in police custody and in 2012 there were 120,000
police stops in Baltimore compared to a population of about 620,000 people.
Will the justice department be looking at all of that history?

WILLIAM YEOMANS, FELLOW IN LAW AND GOVERNMENT AT AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: Yes.
The justice department will conduct a very broad investigation. As the
attorney said when she announced the investigation, they will look at the
use of force. They will look at whether or not there have been
unconstitutional stops and searches and seizures, and they will look to see
whether there`s been discriminatory policing. And in doing that, they will
look at all of the history. They will look at the reports of the police
department, the data from the police department. They will talk to members
of the community. They will talk to people who have been involved in stops
and arrests. And they will talk to public defenders and they will try to
get a complete picture of the way the Baltimore police department operates.
So it will be a very, very thorough and broad ranging investigation.

SHARPTON: Well, what are the challenges that you face in these types of
investigations?

YEOMANS: Well, one of the challenges is that the police department
controls most of the information. So it will be very important to get the
cooperation of the Baltimore police department and that will mean allowing
the department of justice to come in and look at records of arrest so that
they can end stops and reconstruct how the department actually operates to
determine whether the department is operating within constitutional bounds.

SHARPTON: Councilman, compared to Ferguson, this is a much larger
department. And, again, 120,000 people stopped by police in Baltimore
compared to a population of 620,000 people. That seems to be a lot of
people. What do you hear from your constituents about these stops and
other things that are allege as a pattern in Baltimore?

SCOTT: So it depends on where you are in the city. Of course -- I, of
course, Reverend, know of Baltimore where 1120,000 stops are a lot less
than it was back in the day when there were zero tolerance and mass
arresting blacks that led to a lot of distrust issues in the city. Some
citizens in the city, say that again, and you know, depending on who you
are and where you are in the city, they say that look, the police are
harassing me. They have been in here too much. There is stopping me for
any and everything and then some of my constituents say the opposite, that
they don`t see the police enough. They don`t see the police dealing with
the people they want them to deal with in their neighborhood.

So I think that we have to look at it from both sides of the spectrum. And
know that, look, yes Baltimore, we have issues in our police and in our
community but we have to realize the progress that they have made. Even
the attorney general said in her statement the city has made progress.
We`ve already started that progress. I welcome the DOJ thing. It`s
unfortunate for me that we couldn`t solve our own problems. It took us too
long to solve our own problems and having extra eyes and resources can only
help make us make Baltimore the best Baltimore it can be.

SHARPTON: Now the Councilman is positive of many and most police, William,
and there are about 18,000 police departments across the country and about
461,000 officers. Obviously, the vast majority of them don`t need to be
investigated, but there does need to be a larger shift in culture and
training. How can the attorney general shake that?

YEOMANS: Well, this is one of the great challenges for the department of
justice. I mean, there are these 18,000 law enforcement agencies across
the country. So the department is not going to sue everyone that needs to
be sued or investigate everyone that warrants an investigation.

So what the department needs to do is to be very creative in leveraging its
resources. So it does have this stick, the 14141 pattern of practice
stick, the threat of a lawsuit, but it also has resources it gives out to
the cops program and it deals on a regular basis with law enforcement
agencies. So it needs to use the learning of the resources that it hands
out and the relationships that it developed to try to get police
departments to voluntarily adopt the kinds of practices that have come out
of the 141 experience. And that`s the real challenge now, because as the
attorney general said we`re not going to litigate ourselves out of the
situation that we`re in. It`s going to take a much broader and more
creative effort. It`s going to take more resources.

SHARPTON: Councilman, you talked about those that have distrust for the
police. The attorney general, Loretta Lynch, talked about the breakdown
between some police departments and communities in this country. I want to
play that to you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LYNCH: I think that the issue really goes beyond just the interaction
between the police and the community because we`re talking about
generations not only of mistrust but generations of communities that feel
very separated from government overall, and so you`re talking about
situations where there`s a flashpoint occurrence that coalesces years of
frustration and anger. And that`s what I think you saw in Baltimore when
there was that unfortunate night of violence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You talked about progress since the -- back in the day of the
term you used with zero tolerance. How does Baltimore move forward from
now and make progress going forward?

SCOTT: Well, we know that now we cannot go back to being the old
Baltimore. I have been saying that for the past week and a half. We can`t
go back to (INAUDIBLE) and everyone is going to be uncomfortable moving
forward. The police department is going to have to save (ph). We have to
make changes to police policy. Government officials have to change.
Policy changes on a local and state level and citizens will also have to
change.

And what I`ve been saying, Reverend, is that moving forward, everyone in
Baltimore, that calls Baltimore home and loves the city of Baltimore has to
do more in order for Baltimore to be more. We have some great things that
are going on but we connection pound upon that. There are things outside
the realm of police that we have to change in our city that`s wrong as
well.

So we have to get on the same page. There are many lanes for change needed
in our city and we all have to galvanize behind at least one of them. Take
this energy. Make this a catapult for true change and make Baltimore the
greatest Baltimore it can be.

SHARPTON: Councilman Brandon Scott and William Yoemans, thank you both for
your time tonight. Have a great weekend.

SCOTT: Thank you, sir. You, too, thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, president Obama goes to Nike headquarters telling
Democrats to just do it on an issue that divides the party.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: On this one they are like
whooping on me. On this issue, on trade, I actually think some of my
dearest friends are wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Plus, why are some candidates so quick to pander to the conspiracy theory
crowd? That rumor about the Pentagon taking over Texas is making big waves
in the GOP primary.

Also, new reports that Tom Brady could be punished as soon as tonight for
his alleged role in deflategate.

Big show tonight. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with breaking news. Seventeen million Americans are
living in the path of severe and potentially dangerous weather across the
plains and southwest with more expected headed into this mother`s day
weekend. Oklahoma has faced the brunt of the severe weather this week with
a state of emergency declared after at least a dozen tornadoes touched down
across the state. One mother spoke earlier about how her family plans to
rebuild.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, there`s a touching moment, and if you`ll
step over here, I want to talk about your son for a second. He`s building
you a new house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I don`t know why he`s doing it. He just
started putting the rubble together and he`s building us a new house.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We hope everyone stays safe this holiday weekend. We`ll be
right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: President Obama today jumping right into a political fight
that`s creating some unlikely friends and unexpected foes. The president
at Nike headquarters in Oregon making the progressive case for his proposed
trade deal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I view smart trade agreements as a vital piece of middle class
economics, not a contradiction to middle class economics. It`s a part and
parcel of it. What this trade agreement would do is open the doors to the
higher skilled, higher wage jobs of the future, jobs that we excel at.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The agreement would involve 12 countries accounting for 40
percent of the world`s economic output. It could have a major impact, but
first President Obama has to get Congress on board, and that`s where the
alliances get strained.

In the Senate Mitch McConnell actually supports giving the president fast-
track approval, while Harry Reid is against it. Over in the house, speaker
John Boehner supports it while Nancy Pelosi is against it, and one of the
most prominent progressives, Elizabeth Warren, is also at odds with the
president on this today. He addressed critics on the left head on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: My fellow travelers on minimum wage and on job training and on
clean energy and on every progressive issue they are right there with me
and then on this one they are like whooping on me. On this issue, on
trade, I actually think some of my dearest friends are wrong. They are
just wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now is E.J. Dionne from the "Washington Post." Thank
you for being here, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE THE WASHINGTON POST: Good to be with you, reverend. I hope
you don`t whoop on me.

SHARPTON: I won`t. I`ll try not to. It`s not often we hear the president
telling critics on the left they are flat out wrong. What`s your take on
this fight?

DIONNE: Well, you know, this is a lot less mysterious than we`ve seen.
We`ve seen this same pattern on trade deals for at least a couple of
decades. I mean, Republicans tend to be pro-business. Democrats are pro-
labor. Republicans want to tear down barriers to business and trade.
Democrats worry a lot about making it more difficult to regulate on behalf
of the consumer or labor or the environment whereas presidents of both
parties tend to look at these things from the point of view of the United
States` international standing and foreign policy concerns.

So whenever a president endorses a free trade deal of any kind, he`s going
to split his own party if he`s a democrat, exactly the same thing happened
with Bill Clinton on NAFTA where his best friend was Newt Gingrich and his
opponents were Democrats, and he`s just going to have to live with this as
the trade fight goes forward.

SHARPTON: Could a robust debate among Democrats, even one that produces
real tensions, actually be a healthy thing for the party?

DIONNE: Well, I think up to a point it is a healthy thing to debate trade.
And I think there are, you know, there`s a case for this I think
particularly in foreign policy terms. But I think there`s legitimate
concerns about how trade deals are sometimes use the to undercut
regulations, you know, giving foreign countries ways of suing to weaken
American regulation.

And I think forcing the president to say here`s what we`re going to have in
the treaty to prevent the thing you fear is a useful thing, but on the
whole one of the reasons why Hillary Clinton is really not wanting to talk
about this is she knows how much this splits her party. You know, when
President Obama ran in 2008, he was critical of NAFTA and said he would
renegotiate it.

SHARPTON: Right.

DIONNE: And so my hunch is he`d be in a similar place to these other
Democrats under other circumstances.

SHARPTON: But he`s made a point that this is not NAFTA and that they will
have several months to review it. Many of them are critical of the plan
that has not really been seen publicly. And they will have time to have
review and have input and that every other president has gotten fast-
tracked.

DIONNE: You know, it`s interesting, at the end of his term president
Clinton was having trouble with Democrats getting trade deals through, and,
again, I think the pressure on the president to make sure that there are
real environmental and labor protections here is a good thing.

I think what`s unfortunate is that if you had a more responsive Congress
you could accompany a trade deal with some real help for American workers,
you know, including infrastructure, building and other protections that
might soften the potential blow for the folks who are very skeptical of the
deal. But under these circumstances with the Republicans in control of
Congress you`re not likely to get any of those things.

SHARPTON: Forty percent of the world`s output us at this table, 12
countries, so where do you draw the line with being an isolationist, and
where do you draw the line where you`re saying why are we doing to this
president in terms of enabling or stopping his -- him from being able to
negotiate with fast track because you have the separation of the fast track
and then the actual tpp, you have the TPA. Why are we changing the rules
on president Obama?

DIONNE: I don`t think anybody is changing the rules. And, you know, oddly
us a point out right at the beginning, Republicans who don`t want to give
president Obama power to do anything, particularly, for example, on
immigration and challenge him right down the line actually are for the most
part willing to give him -- this authority. And I think in the end he`s
going to get it. And I think the Democrats who are speaking out against it
are people who said if they were around much president Clinton and for that
matter would say the same thing to President Bush. So I don`t think they
are picking on Obama. I think they are just very skeptical of trade deals.

SHARPTON: Are they putting pressure on Mrs. Clinton to take a position?

DIONNE: I think a lot of Democrats agree with John Podesta, the head of
her campaign, who said I wish this thing would go away. And I don`t think
he was talking about it as a substantive matter. He was talking about it
as a political matter.

SHARPTON: But she`s not taking a position. They are not putting pressure
on her.

DIONNE: No. I think we owe supporters, people on both sides are going to
put pressure on her to stand with them just like they did on Bill Clinton
back in 1992. Eventually I suspect she will have to say something, but I
don`t think Obama blames her for avoiding an issue that he would probably
avoid if he were in her shoes right now.

SHARPTON: E.J. Dionne, thank you for your time tonight. Have a great
weekend.

DIONNE: Great to be with you. Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, is deflategate decision on Tom Brady coming soon? He
didn`t say much last night, but should he be punished?

Plus, some very good news on a Friday. Stephen Colbert surprises an
elementary school with an $800,000 donation. The teacher with him for the
announcement joins me and president Obama has now visited all 50 states.
The photos from his road trip ahead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: President Barack Obama arriving moments ago in South Dakota.
He`s now visited all the 50 states in the country . To mark the event the
White House posted one photo from the president`s prior visit to each
state. There are also photos from visits to iconic landmarks, like
Nevada`s Hoover dam and the grand canyon in Arizona. Should they have let
him get that close to the edge?

Also, check out the president`s face as he looks over at the vice president
during a stop in Indiana. Priceless. And here`s a picture from South
Carolina. Apparently, that woman is quite the fan with a jacket like that,
you just know she was fired up and ready to go. So we`ll stay tuned to see
what South Dakota photo gets posted from today`s trip.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We told you earlier this week about the new conspiracy theory
that`s inspiring paranoia on the right. It`s about a Pentagon training
exercise in the southwest this summer meant to prepare troops for combat
overseas. But rumors are flying that in reality President Obama is
planning to impose martial law. The Texas governor was so worried about it
that he ordered the state guard to monitor federal troops during their
training and then Senator Ted Cruz said he understands the, quote, "reason
for concern." And Senator Rand Paul said he`d look into it. This is
amazing. You have presidential candidates saying they are worried that the
President is going to impose martial law across the American southwest. A
FOX News reporter even questioned the defense secretary about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Is the U.S. military planning to overtake Texas as
it`s being asserted by certain presidential candidates?

ASH CARTER, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Okay. Well, I`ll take the second one
first, no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Obviously it`s not true. The Pentagon even sent a colonel to a
town hall in Texas to try to calm the hysteria.

LT. COL. MARK LASTORIA, COMMAND SPOKESMAN: All we want to do is make sure
that our guys are trained for combat overseas.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It is a preparation for martial law.

LASTORIA: It is not a preparation for martial law, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That`s what you say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Another colonel went on c-span to talk about a new military
facility, but people calling into the show seem pretty convinced that the
truth was out there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It looked like we were getting to fight against our own
people here.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Herbie, that`s not really true. What we`re doing is
training U.S. soldiers to be able to operate in any contingency around the
world.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What do we have to guarantee us that these training
isn`t being used to confiscate our guns in case of another economic
meltdown?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is a very scary and new thing that the military
looks like it`s going to be taking on that could be again its very own
people.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Everything on the internet is not necessarily true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Those are wise words. Of course this is absurd, absolutely
absurd, which is why it`s so disturbing and disappointing that elected
officials, people who want to be commander in chief are pandering to these
paranoid theories.

Joining me now is Drew Courtney, director of communications at People for
the American Way whose blog right wing watch monitors far right activity.
Also joining us is MSNBC contributor Victoria de Francesco Soto. Thank you
both for being here.

DREW COURTNEY, PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY: Thanks so much for having me,
Rev.

VICTORIA DE FRANCESCO SOTO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: So, Drew, how did this crazy idea take hold, when did it start
bubbling up?

COURTNEY: Yes. So, this been bubbling up for recent weeks and basically
what we see in the far right fever swamps online, you know, people will
take a kernel of truth like the fact that there is a military exercise
scheduled to go on and then it will rise up through the right wing
ecosystem, and what`s fascinating about this one is that it didn`t stay
with people wearing tin foil hats in a shack somewhere. It didn`t stay
with right wing radio hosts on low-powered radio stations. You have
people, like you said, like Ted Cruz, like Rand Paul who are countenancing
it and that`s really what takes it from being a punch line into something
that`s kind of scary for our representative democracy. When you have the
paranoid fringe of the right that has so much power in one of our parties
and really that`s where it comes to a place where it has an effect on
people and we should worry about what our system is producing.

SHARPTON: Victoria, you`re there in Texas. Do you feel like you`re about
to be taken over?

SOTO: Reverend, I want to assure you we are not under a state of siege or
a military takeover. All is calm. All is well. Just a little bit of bad
weather and that`s it. Now, building on what Drew said, the reason that
this went from a tin foil had type of conspiracy theory to a bigger deal
was because our own governor, Governor Greg Abbott, sent a letter to the
President, to the military, and with most things all politics is local, and
the reason Governor Abbott did this is because Lieutenant Governor Dan
Patrick has really been outflanking him in terms of conservative politics
and shoring up conservative support, so Governor Greg Abbott saw, huh, this
is my chance to really make a stand with that far right ultra-conservative
group in my state and throw them some red meat, so I think in
understanding why this was elevated, look at what has happened under our
pink dome here in local politics. And it`s so odd because we`re a very
military friendly state. We have over two dozen military installations,
over a million and a half veterans here, so not only is it ludicrous but
it`s puzzling.

SHARPTON: You know, Drew, a former Texas congressman spoke out against the
governor saying, quote, "your letter pandering to idiots have left me
livid. I`m horrified that I have to choose between the possibility that my
governor actually believes this stuff or the possibility that my governor
doesn`t have the backbone to stand up to those who do." There are very few
republicans in office though who are speaking out against this. Are they
afraid of their own constituents, Drew?

COURTNEY: Yes. I think that`s exactly right. I mean, it`s fascinating
because you see republicans and they love to talk about how, you know, they
are strong. They won`t back down for anyone, and yet when they are
confronted by their right wing base at this point, they all turn into the
shruggy emoticon that we see on Twitter. And you know, let`s be clear,
politicians should be responsive to those voters. That`s what democracy
is. But this, when we get this extreme of pandering to paranoia, that`s
not democracy. That`s a pathology that`s really being inserted into our
system, and until we can get to the part where responsible republican
leaders can stand up to that and reject it and move on to the really
important issues that we do face as a country all of us are going to
suffer.

SHARPTON: You know, Victoria, republican Congressman Dave Brat has a
different conspiracy theory on his mind. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DAVE BRAT (R), VIRGINIA: In our country it looks like we have an ISIS
center in Texas now that`s been reported last week. You can`t make up what
a terrible problem this is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: ISIS has set up a training camp in Texas. He claims you can`t
make this stuff up, but they seem to be doing it regardless. Victoria?

SOTO: So, Reverend, what Representative Brat said is that we are being
invaded, not only that they are setting up camp here but invaded and this
isn`t wholly new. If you remember, about a year ago, former Governor Rick
Perry had said that there were ISIS camps in Mexico on the other side of
the border and they were sending over ISIS folks into Texas, so this has
been bubbling up for a while. You know, it was sparked recently because of
the shooting in Garland, Texas, where two perhaps ISIS sympathizers, we
still don`t know exactly the whole truth, but this is the reason why we
have ISIS camps here in Texas. They are blowing this out of proportion.
Are there ISIS sympathizers in Texas? Perhaps. Are there others in other
states, yes, so we can`t conflate this incident in Garland, Texas and
rumors with the fact that we`re being invaded?

SHARPTON: Talking about the right, Drew, a new poll shows Iowa GOP voters
are split on how conservative they want their candidates to be. Forty four
percent say they are more concerned about picking the most conservative
candidate. Forty five percent say they would rather back the person more
likely to beat the democratic nominee. Isn`t that the source of tension,
either you cater to the hard core base or you run like you actually want to
win because you certainly aren`t going to win a general election if you
claim the President is trying to take over Texas?

COURTNEY: Yes. I think that`s exactly right. I mean, I think republicans
are being really callow when they push these conspiracy theories but I
don`t think they are being stupid or at least they`re not being irrational.
You know, they have seen that republican base voters will throw candidates
out on their ear if they allow any daylight to exist between the most
extreme fringes of the republican base and their own policies. So, what we
have though is a situation where they panders to the right but they sound
bonkers to the rest of us. And that`s the crises the republicans are in
through 2016 and frankly beyond that.

SHARPTON: Drew Courtney and Victoria Defrancesco Soto, thank you both for
your time tonight.

COURTNEY: Thanks for having us.

SHARPTON: And a happy mother`s day to you, Victoria. Have a great
weekend.

SOTO: Thank you, Reverend. Thanks.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, did Tom Brady cheat? How do you prove it if he
did? And if he did, should he be punished? New reports of league
discipline coming as soon as tonight.

Also, my interview with a teacher who is getting a major boost from Stephen
Colbert. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Now to the story that everyone has an opinion on. Should Tom
Brady be suspended? A source telling the "Boston Herald" a ruling from the
NFL could come today saying, quote, "There is a feeling this situation
could be resolved quickly." Brady spoke publicly last night for the first
time since the report found it was, quote, "more probable than not Brady
knew of deflated footballs, but he didn`t say much."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM BRADY, PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK: It`s only been 30 hours so I haven`t had
much time to digest it fully, but when I do I`ll be sure to let you know
how I feel about it and there`s still a process that`s going forthright
now, and -- and, you know, I`m involved in that process, so whenever it
happens, it happens, and I`ll certainly want to be very comfortable in how
I feel about the statements that I make.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The report clears Patriots ownership and head coach Bill
Belichick. Brady`s agent called the report unfair and a terrible
disappointment, but will he be suspended? And with no real smoking gun
should he be suspended?

Joining me now is former New York Giants Head Coach Jim Fassel. Thank you
for being here, Coach. I`m saying, judge, Coach.

JIM FASSEL, FORMER NEW YORK GIANTS HEAD COACH: Good to be with you, Al.

SHARPTON: Jim, what do you think the NFL will do here?

FASSEL: Well, I think -- I think they are really in a quandary here now
because Roger Goodell has stepped in and punished people, okay, but we live
in America, and you`ve got to be proven guilty. You can`t say I think he`s
guilty, and then punish somebody because the players` association is going
to come after them quickly, you know that. I mean, you`ve got to have hard
evidence and based on media reports they don`t have it.

SHARPTON: Let me push you there. Based on what you`ve heard from the
report, do you think he should be suspended?

FASSEL: Not from what I`ve heard because they don`t have concrete evidence
that he participated in that, and, you know, the whole funny thing of this
is when they played that game, the Patriots scored 17 points in the first
half and 28 points in the second half when the balls were accurate, so when
the balls were de-inflated they scored 17 points and when they played with
regulation balls they scored 28 points. So whoever come up with that
trick, they should never try it again.

SHARPTON: Your reaction to his comments or lack of comments last night?

FASSEL: Well, again, I think that, you know, we`ve all heard of the Fifth
Amendment, and, you know, you don`t have to say anything to self-indict
yourself, okay? Now that does put a shadow over him, there`s no question
that that does, but, again, every American has that right.

SHARPTON: Yes.

FASSEL: And so he wants to cooperate as much as he can. The NFL is doing
their probe. Roger Goodell has handed out punishment to players. He`s not
shying away from that stuff, but I think in this incident all the other
punishments he`s had, they have had proof. And this one, they don`t have
proof. Now, Reverend, I coached John Elway, Phil Simms, Kerry Collins and
Boomer Esiason and they all wanted the ball their own way, with the
equipment guy. They all wanted it that way. All quarterbacks do that.
Now, that doesn`t indict him that he told them to deflate it. It doesn`t
indict him. They have to find proof that he did it.

SHARPTON: He says he will address the report once he`s had time to digest
it. What should he say?

FASSEL: Well, I think for Tom`s sake, I mean, he`s got his legend behind
him. I mean, he`s got a Hall of Fame quarterback. I mean, all the games
he`s played and all the Super Bowls, it hasn`t been because they deflated
footballs, I guarantee you that one. But I think the most honest thing
that Tom can do is tell everybody what thinks might have happened and, you
know, protect himself that way, but none of us are going to know if he told
somebody to do that.

SHARPTON: Jim Fassel, thank you for your time tonight.

FASSEL: Good to be with you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up. Why are these South Carolina students cheering?
It`s all thanks to Stephen Colbert`s surprise gift to their school. The
teacher by Colbert`s side joins me, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s National Teacher Appreciation Week, a time to thank our
heroes for their hard work. I believe education is one of the most
important civil rights issues we face today, and that`s why I love this
story out of South Carolina. It`s all thanks to comedian Stephen Colbert,
the native South Carolinian made a surprise announcement, an $800,000
donation to South Carolina`s public schools. The students at an elementary
school in Greenville watched it on a video conference.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, STAND-UP COMEDIAN: I am happy to say that as a product of
the South Carolina public school system, as I said style points elementary
on Michael Drier, when James --

(LAUGHTER)

I`m sure there`s a monument there, some sort of plaque that says I went
there. Using the proceeds of the sale of my old set on "The Colbert
Report" that we auctioned off and with generous matching funds from the
Mortgage Family Foundation and scan source, donors choose is going to flash
fund all 1,000 projects on South Carolina`s website.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: That`s so great. So great.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The students couldn`t have been more excited and neither could
one of their teachers. Damon Qualls, who was Colbert`s surprised in-person
guest with the announcement. He`s also my next guest.

I`m pleased to welcome Damon Qualls, teacher at Alexander Elementary School
in Greenville, South Carolina to POLITICS NATION. Thank you for being here
tonight.

DAMON QUALLS, ALEXANDER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, SC: Thank you so much for
having me, Reverend Sharpton.

SHARPTON: What was your reaction to Colbert`s surprise?

QUALLS: I was absolutely shocked. I had no idea. Of course, I received
an invitation from donors to come and take part in the teacher panel
discussion that would open their partner summit but I have no idea it
represents --

SHARPTON: What was it like to see your students reaction on video
conference?

QUALLS: Oh, my God, unbelievable. They are extremely thankful for donors
that we all are at Alexandria Elementary so for the partners there and the
board members and the workers there for donors to be able to see them and
their expression, it was a rewarding experience.

SHARPTON: Now, I know that`s been a busy day of traveling for you.

QUALLS: Yes.

SHARPTON: But what are you hearing from the community?

QUALLS: Oh, wow, everyone is just elated. The story, of course, has been
picked up by every major city in South Carolina. It`s been on every
newscast in the newspapers today. Everyone is excited, the school, the
students, the community, the entire state. We`ve definitely needed this,
and we`re going to celebrate.

SHARPTON: I understand your entire school qualifies for free or reduced
lunches what. Will some of the grants at your school be used for?

QUALLS: One thing in particular which has been a key is receiving a class
iPad minis. So her students will have access to state of the art
technology that they can be able to use to incorporate into her lessons.
Another teacher requested a laptop to refresh her technology and one of my
projects that I received funding for was an additional 15 blazers to add to
our men who read program for young men in third, fourth and fifth grade.
The list goes on and on and on. We`re just overwhelmed at the generosity
of Mr. Colbert and donors, too, and so many others that made this possible.

SHARPTON: What would you say to Stephen Colbert tonight? What do you want
to say to him? I`m sure he watches POLITICS NATION.

QUALLS: Absolutely. Well, I would definitely want to remind him that he`s
certainly made South Carolina very proud. We`re grateful that he decided
to not forget where he comes from but to reach back into the community and
reach back into a state that desperately needs his support, and we are
going to do everything that we can to hold up our end of the bargain and
continue to teach inspiring lessons and motivate our students to make
learning a lifelong commitment.

SHARPTON: Well, it`s wonderful to have such a great story on a Friday
afternoon, and it`s wonderful to appreciate out teachers like you, Damon,
all over the country. Damon Qualls, thank you for your time tonight. Have
a Happy Teacher Appreciation Week.

QUALLS: Thank you so much for the opportunity.

SHARPTON: We`ll right back with some mothers to remember this Mother`s
Day.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Sunday is Mother`s Day, celebrating moms all over the world. If
your mom is around give her a call or better yet give her a hug and also
take a moment to think about those moms for whom this Sunday will be very
different. Like the mother of New York Police Officer Brian Moore. This
will be her first Mother`s Day without her son. He was laid to rest today
nearly a week after being gunned down in the line of duty. Thousands
turned out for the funeral, honoring a young man killed while trying to
serve and protect the community.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK: Brian Moore represented the best of
New York City. He was brave for sure, but his bravery was matched by his
compassion, and he came by it through his family. He also made sure that
every Monday, his day off, was a time he devoted to his mother. That was a
time he kept sacred.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Another woman grieving this Mother`s Day will be Freddie Gray`s
mother. Gloria Darden, who this week said she will never be the same.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Talk to me as a mother, the pain that you`re
experiencing.

GLORIA DARDEN, MOTHER OF FREDDIE GRAY: I got a whole -- I wish it never
happened, wish that it never happened, and I won`t never be the same. I
will never be the same.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Keep these mothers in your thoughts as you think about your own.
I was blessed to have my mother Ada, a single mom who gave me all she had.
Late tomorrow I`ll be going to Alabama to lay a rose on her grave as I
spend the evening with Kenny Glasgow my brother. I call a lot of mothers
that I`ve worked with and marched through the years on Mother`s Day long
after they`re out of the headlines. Because I know too many of us, their
pain was an issue, a cause, but to them it was their son, their daughter.
There`s nothing more precious than a mother and a mother`s love. I know
because I was a recipient of one. At one point in my life she was all I
had. She left before I grew into other dimensions, but every step I take,
whether it`s high places or low places, the high places I know I wouldn`t
have got there without her. The low prices I try to escape because I
always want to make her proud.

Happy Mother`s Day, mom. Make sure you do the same for yours. Thanks for
watching. I`m Al Sharpton. Have a great weekend. "HARDBALL" starts right
now.

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

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