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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

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Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: May 20, 2015
Guest: Clarissa Martinez de Castro, Erika Andiola, Daniel Kellison, Jay
Thomas, Matthew Rosenberg; Jack Rice; Paul Krekorian


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

We start with developing on the latest, largest release of Osama bin
Laden`s personal documents, ever. U.S. intelligence agencies declassifying
dozens of books, texts, and documents, including letters to and from other
terrorists, written during bin Laden`s six years in hiding. They show he
was obsessed with attacking the U.S. right up until his dying days. He
told associates to, quote, "work on breaking the power of our main enemy by
attacking the American embassies and mainly to attack the American oil
companies."

The documents are part of a larger trove seized by Navy SEALs during the
2011 raid on bin Laden`s compound in Pakistan. Back then, President Obama
talked about what the SEALs found.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They have the presence of
mind to still gather up a whole bunch of bin Laden`s material, which will
be a treasure trove of information. We anticipate that it can give us
leads to other terrorists that we`ve been looking for a long time, other
high value targets. But also can give us a better sense of existing plots
that might have been there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The documents also contain an apparent Al-Qaeda job applications
with questions like any hobbies or pastimes? Do you wish to execute a
suicide operation? And who should we contact in case you became a martyr?
Also made public, bin Laden`s digital library of English language texts,
including the Oxford history of modern war and another book, "Obama`s wars"
by Bob Woodward. A fascinating look into the mind of the world`s most
wanted terrorist in his final years.

Joining me now is Jack Rice. He is a former CIA officer and was embedded
in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Matthew Rosenberg, national security reporter
for "The New York Times." Thank you both for being here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Matthew, let me go to you first. There is so much in these
documents. What did you make of this Al-Qaeda job application?

MATTHEW ROSENBERG, NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: I mean,
the application is the weirdest kind of finding it. But it`s also in its
way a distillation of Al-Qaeda`s vision of itself as a serious network of
people being vetted and trained to go off and do things relative to their
skill level and education level. But -- and how that kind of resulted in
this kind of mixing of the mundanely bureaucratic with the truly frightenly
(ph) absurd. I mean, you mention the questions about do you want to be a
suicide bomber, and that final question about next of kin, which actually
includes lines for names and addresses. It really is a truly bizarre look
into the network. That says a lot about it.

SHARPTON: It really does. You know, Jack, in an open letter, bin Laden
advised fellow terrorists to, quote, "avoid insisting on the formation of
an Islamic state at the time being." Now this is before the rise of is,
Jack. Does it show bin Laden couldn`t control splinter groups of Al-Qaeda?

JACK RICE, FORMER CIA OFFICER: No, he couldn`t. I mean, he tried the best
that he could. His efforts regularly were to try to convince people to
focus in on the west, and not just the west, but at the United States, to
make them the enemy. They weren`t able to do with AQAP. They weren`t able
to do it with splinter groups in Iraq. They weren`t even able to do it
with splinter groups in Afghanistan. And so it shows that while they were
a worldwide organization that command and control structure that they
wanted to have was something that was frequently lacking.

SHARPTON: Why do you think this came out now, Jack?

RICE: Well, I think part of the reason it came out now is because the
intelligence community wants to put it out. The White House wants to put
it out. They want to show what it is they were doing. It also is trying
to minimize to make Al-Qaeda look more incompetent or as incompetent in
some ways as they really were. And in some ways, it`s not just the
credible, but there is almost the laughable, the strange, the paranoid, and
that`s coming out too, part of the psychological operation, which continues
to this day.

SHARPTON: Talking about paranoid and bizarre, Matthew, bin Laden`s digital
library is filled with conspiracy books, bloodlines of the illuminati,
secrets of the federal reserve, even a 9/11 conspiracy book. What do you
make of his fixation with conspiracies?

ROSENBERG: You know, he also had a copy of the 9/11 commission report
there too. Not saying that`s conspiracy. I mean, he seemed to
intellectually have been inhabiting that spot where kind of far left and
far-right thinking blend into this world view of shadowy puppet masters who
have to be resisted and fought back against. But I think, you know, as if
we have seen in other people who are in violent organization. It`s not
unique to bin Laden. And in some ways it puts him within that mainstream
of violent extremists.

And then there is a ton of ordinary stuff there. He seemed obsessed with
news coverage of Al-Qaeda. He had -- he was an avid reader of foreign
policy, apparently. He had six copies of the magazine there including an
special issue on Al-Qaeda. He had dozen of documents from the federal
government. He had 19 different books and essays about France. I man, he
really had this odd collection of material they found there.

SHARPTON: But Jack, let me go back to Matthew`s point about paranoia. Is
that common among terrorist leaders?

RICE: I think it is. I mean, this concept of a world view, this weird
sort of approach. At the same time, if we think about conspiracy, it`s
only paranoia if they`re not all out to get you. And they were in this
case. The entire world either because the U.S. and the west wanted to kill
him, or the tens of millions of dollars that were dangled at everybody else
to try to kill him instead was really the case. Now, you contemplate
driving somebody towards that paranoia. It`s not particularly shocking if
they start to see an assassin behind every Bush there was one.

SHARPTON: No. The reason I raise that, Matthew, is because he was
obsessed with his security to the point he wrote his wife, who had been in
Iran. He wrote her about visiting him. And he said, quote, "I was
informed that you visited an official dentist in Iran. You need to go to
the doctor and complain about the filling in your molar and ask to have the
filling replaced." He was apparently worried she had had a tracking device
in her tooth. What do you make of this?

ROSENBERG: He was also worried about encryption. He advised one of his
deputies to be careful of encryption, saying quite prescient in prediction
that this was American and western technology and they may have a back
door, which I think is an issue that has certainly come up in the last year
or two. And you know, he was rightfully frightened for his own security,
be as was pointed out. You know, paranoia is only paranoia if it`s
unreasonable. In this case he had very good reason to be afraid.

SHARPTON: Matthew, what is the most surprising thing that has come out of
the -- these releases that you`ve seen?

ROSENBERG: It`s got to be the application. This idea that back in bin
Laden`s day, a perspective recruit would have to undertake this incredibly
risky journey to get to northwestern Pakistan, which was then like the
haven of global central of Islamic militancy. And once they`re there have
to fill out an application is bizarre and surprising.

SHARPTON: What about you, Jack? What is the most surprising thing to you
that has come out?

RICE: I think the most important thing to this that is really highlighted
is just how much the command and control structure really was decimated and
shattered in many ways over years and years. The inability to control
various splinter groups. The inability of the inner circle of Al Qaeda to
reach out and say go run this op. They couldn`t do that. They couldn`t
control their people. They couldn`t control others who were under the Al-
Qaeda umbrella. And I mean, that really says something about ongoing
efforts and billions and billions of dollars spent targeting this very
organization.

SHARPTON: Recently, the U.S. killed a high value ISIS target and seized
some of his documents. Quote, "according to U.S. military officials, his
communications, equipment, and belongings are a valuable source of
intelligence in learning how ISIL finances operations and senior leaders
communicate." Does the bin Laden material give some insights into how
valuable this could turn out to be, Jack?

RICE: It might. The real question is whether or not ISIL/ISIS was really
trying to emulate what Al-Qaeda was doing. I think one of the differences
is that Al-Qaeda was trying to fashion themselves internationally.
ISIS/ISIL early on was really focusing local, but they have started to
branch out nationally, internationally. And because of that, we can really
look back and see are they using the same source. Are they doing anything
that overlap in any way? Because we have to look at where ISIS/ISIL came
from. And if we do that, we may be able to benefit, meaning the U.S.,
meaning the west.

SHARPTON: Jack Rice and Matthew Rosenberg, thank you both for your time
this evening.

RICE: Thank you.

ROSENBERG: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Straight ahead, how long will he go? For nearly five hours,
Rand Paul, has been speaking on the floor, protesting the renewal of the
patriot act.

Also tonight, Hillary Clinton makes a major statement with her new Latino
outreach director.

Plus end of a TV era. David Letterman is taping his final show now. His
former producer and a regular guest join me on his legacy.

And a video that has everyone talking and smiling today. It`s all ahead.
Please stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Breaking news from Washington. Republican senator Rand Paul is
now in the fifth hour of a speech designed to slow down a renewal of the
patriot act. Parts of the bill are set to expire at the end of the month.
It`s not clear if ball`s efforts will actually delay the vote, which is set
for tomorrow or Friday. But it does bring attention to a controversial
government surveillance program. Paul was joined by democratic senators
Ron Wyden and Joe Manchin for part of the effort. A rare issue that unites
some on both the left and the right.

Whatever you may think of these senators or the patriot act, in a free
society, it`s always good to have more debate rather than less.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The demand for higher national minimum wage stretches from
behind cash registers across America all the way to the White House. And
just hours ago, we saw how loud that demand can be. Protesters swarmed
McDonald`s headquarters in Illinois, asking the company to pay employees
$15 an hour. Scenes like this are playing out from coast-to-coast as huge
crowds call for higher pay and a living wage.

But the tide might be turning. "The New York Times" says last night we
saw, quote, "perhaps the most significant victory so far in a national push
to raise the minimum wage." Los Angeles voted to become the biggest city
so far to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. Just listen to
the reaction after the vote.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That passes, I want to thank everybody for all of the
work that you`ve put in on this item.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now is Los Angeles city councilman Paul Krekorian who
was instrumental in getting this plan passed. Thank you for being here.

PAUL KREKORIAN, LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCILMAN: It`s a pleasure, Reverend
Sharpton. Good to be with you.

SHARPTON: Why is this issue so important to you?

KREKORIAN: You know, I grew up in a household where I was raised by a
single mom who waited tables to put food on the table. So I understand how
difficult this is for working families who are at the bottom. And it`s
gotten worse. Over the course of the last few decades, the middle class in
this country has been decimated by wage disparity and by increasing
unaffordability. And that`s a special problem in Los Angeles where our
housing costs and our transportation costs are so great that it`s becoming
increasingly difficult for anybody to get by on a minimum wage or low-
paying job.

SHARPTON: Now, let`s look at the facts. In 2014, the minimum wage went up
in 14 states. And the center for economic and policy research says in
those states, in those particular states, quote, "employment growth was
higher." Outside of the people with bigger paychecks, what benefits do you
hope to see in your city?

KREKORIAN: Well, Los Angeles has 18 percent of its workforce living in
poverty. This increase is going to result in a pay increase for nearly
800,000 people. More than the entire population of Boston. So this is a
huge step forward in terms of raising the standard of living for so many
people. But it`s also putting $6 billion in disposable income into our
local economy. So this is going to stimulate jobs. It`s going to
stimulate new business. People who live on minimum wage don`t invest in
the stock market. They don`t take vacations to Bermuda. They don`t sock
their money away in a Swiss bank account. They spend it in local
businesses. And so this is an investment in our economy.

But it`s also an investment in our social fabric. This increase will give
people hope who right now are hopeless. And you can`t expect to have a
society that functions when this significant portion of your population are
living in hopelessness.

SHARPTON: Absolutely. Well, I know a lot about that, growing up as I did
with a single parent. And in many ways, if you don`t have these kinds of
things as the basement, no one is going to make it where it is livable for
people that have been marginalized. For example, the vote in Los Angeles
that you helped to champion, it couldn`t have come at a better time. We
did some research. And under current minimum wage in L.A., someone would
have to work 94 hours a week to pay for a simple one-bedroom apartment, 94
hours a week. What are you hearing from families you represent about how
this raise will help them?

KREKORIAN: This increase is going to lift hundreds of thousands of people
out of poverty. That`s a monumentally important step. So, yes, it`s going
to be very important to create a better standard of living for those folks.
But it`s also I think an investment in the future. It`s an investment in
the strength of families in our community. It`s an investment in the
children in those families, to give them a better opportunity, to become a
part of the middle class and have the American dream that we want everyone
in our country to be able to enjoy.

SHARPTON: You know, year after year, councilman, President Obama has asked
Congress to raise the national minimum wage. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Let`s declare that in the wealthiest nation on earth, no one who
works full time should have to live in poverty and raise the federal
minimum wage to $9 an hour. So join the rest of the country. Say yes.
Give America a raise. And everyone in this Congress who still refuses to
raise the minimum wage, I say this. If you truly believe you can work
full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, try it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But the Congress still hasn`t raised it. We see Los Angeles as
the first big city. Are we at a defining moment yet, councilman?

KREKORIAN: I believe so. I believe there was a turning point that
happened yesterday. And I hope that Congress will listen to the president.
I hope every state house in America will listen to the president. But Los
Angeles is not going to wait. We`re going lead. We took a big step
forward yesterday. And I hope that the rest of the nation will soon
follow.

Los Angeles city councilman Paul Krekorian, thank you for your time
tonight.

KREKORIAN: My pleasure. Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, why Republican might be freaking out today over a
big move by Hillary Clinton. What it means for 2016.

Also, the first lady workout video that is blowing up the Internet. Wait
until you see her kickboxing routine.

But first, Bobby Jindal is running, all right. He is running straight into
tonight`s a "Got You."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`ve heard a lot of GOP politicians blasting President Obama
for executive actions, including some folks who want his job.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: Now he is saying I`m still going to
break the law. Talk about arrogance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The simple fact is the president has gone way beyond
his constitutional powers to do this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lawless illegal immigration should not be rewarded by
lawless executive action.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But it turns out these Republicans do like executive power as
long as they`re the ones who have it. In Louisiana, governor Bobby Jindal
issued an executive order to allow businesses to discriminate against same-
sex couples, overruling his state`s own legislature that squashed the law
just hours before. And Jeb Bush proudly declared he would undo the
affordable care act by, you guessed it, executive order.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you become president, what are your top five
priorities in the first 100 days.

JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: Undoing. Yes, right. Undoing the
-- by executive order, undoing what the president has done using authority
he doesn`t have.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And Dr. Ben Carson said that if he were president, he would
ignore Supreme Court decision on laws legalizing same-sex marriage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The legislative branch creates a
law or changes a law, the executive branch has responsibility to carry it
out. It doesn`t say they have the responsibility to carry out a judicial
law.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So all these guys are for executive power unless the one who has
it is President Obama.

Did they think we wouldn`t notice their flawed logic? Nice try, but here
is what executive order I definitely sign. We got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If Congress continues to
refuse to act, as president, I would do everything possible under the law
to go even further.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Hillary Clinton earlier this month vowing to push for
immigration reform. And today another sign it will be a major part of her
campaign. She hired activists and former dreamer student Lorella Praeli.
She hired as her Latino outrage director. Praeli came to the U.S. from
Peru when she was ten years old. She got her green card a few years ago,
but her mother is still undocumented. I spoke to her in 2012 after
President Obama`s decision to stop deporting young people brought here as a
child.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LORELLA PRAELI, UNITED WE DREAM: It also means that we do not -- we no
longer have to live with this kind of cloud of deportation. That any
moment individuals like ourselves could get picked up. And that I think
brings some peace to our lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Having Lorella Praeli on her team is a big signal that Clinton
is committed to fixing our broken immigration system. It`s the right thing
to do morally, and it`s certainly the right thing to do politically. In
2012, more than 11 million Latinos voted in the presidential election. But
that was out of more than 23 million eligible to vote. More than half of
Latino voters stayed home and among voters who did turn out, over the last
decade, they`ve been less and less likely to vote for republicans. And
Hillary Clinton is reminding everybody why.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: Make no mistakes, today not a single republican candidate
announced or potential is clearly and consistently supporting a path to
citizenship. Not one. When they talk about legal status, that is code for
second class status.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now is Clarissa Martinez de Castro, deputy vice
president of the National Council of La Raza, and Erika Andiola,
immigration activist and dreamer. Thank you both for being here.

CLARISSA MARTINEZ DE CASTRO, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF LA RAZA: Thank you.

ERIKA ANDIOLA, DREAM ACTION COALITION: Thank you for having us.

SHARPTON: First, Clarissa, your reaction to the Clinton campaign on
bringing in Lorella Praeli.

MARTINEZ DE CASTRO: Well, I think this is a big get for the Clinton
campaign. Frankly, because Lorella is an inspirational and courageous
leader in the immigrant rights movement and in the Latino community. And
so, if the Clinton campaign manages to absorb the commitment, energy, and
passion that Lorella brings, I think they`ll do quite well.

SHARPTON: Erika, you`re a dreamer, and you got a temporary protection from
deportation under President Obama`s executive action.

ANDIOLA: That`s right.

SHARPTON: What kind of statement is the Clinton campaign making with this
hire?

ANDIOLA: I think for me, you know, I am really -- I`m really excited to
see that someone like Lorella, I actually have worked very close with her
in the past. She is an amazing woman. I think she is definitely capable
of doing so much. I really hope that you know, like Clarisse said that the
campaign actually understand that, you know, she has so much to bring, that
they`re not just using her. They`re not just using the name of her being a
dreamer in the past. And they really understand that there is so much more
that can be done right now. Not necessarily just as campaign promise, but
things that the President, actually President Obama and the Democratic
Party actually can do now right to relieve some of the deportations, some
of the tension, some of the things that happen in detention centers right
now. And so many things that our community needs. Even before she can be
president of the United States.

SHARPTON: You know, Clarissa, "The New York Times" had a story this week
that most Americans already have an opinion about Mrs. Clinton. But it
said, quote, "Young people and the Latinos are two demographic groups whose
opinions Mrs. Clinton may still be able to shape, democratic pollsters
say." How could she shape Latino opinions?

MARTINEZ DE CASTRO: Well, I think Latinos, frankly, like the rest of their
fellow American voter, want to hear how candidates propose to solve
problems. What is their formula to solve problems? From Clinton, it was
important that when talking about immigration reform, for example, she
didn`t just talk about supporting immigration reform, but how she would
actually use the powers of the executive if Congress continues to not be
able to move forward on the issue of immigration. I think voters across
the nation are really interested and frustrated with the state that things
are. And therefore interested in how people are going to get things done.

SHARPTON: And the vote in the Latino community is vital and is exploding.
The demographic there is growing in leaps and bounds.

MARTINEZ DE CASTRO: That`s absolutely right. So as you said, almost 12
million Latinos voted in 2012. That`s still punching below our weight.
But even with that, we were a determining factor in shaping the political
landscape at the national level. And that is going to happen again. I
think that is why for republicans, if they want to continue spouting the
politics of mass deportation like Romney did in the previous election, they
can expect to receive the same level of support, which translates into not
being able to get the keys to the White House.

SHARPTON: Let me push you on that a little bit, Erika. Talking about a
punch, you made a lot of news when you confronted Congressman Steve King
last summer over some anti-immigrant rhetoric. I want to play part of
that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDIOLA: For you to be fighting this much against dreamers, saying we have
--

REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: This is not what I do. This is not what I do.

ANDIOLA: Calling us names, saying we have calves like cantaloupes --

KING: I don`t call you names, I say, no, no, that`s drug smuggling.

ANDIOLA: I just don`t understand.

KING: Please, please. You`re very good -- stop a minute. You`re very
good at English you know what I`m saying.

ANDIOLA: I was raised in the United States.

KING: As I just said, I spoke of drug smugglers. You`re not going to tell
me you`re one of them, are you?

ANDIOLA: Do I look like a drug smuggler to you?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now Congressman King has an extreme record. Very extreme on
this. But in January, a lot of presidential hopefuls on the republican
side attended an event he held. What does it say to you that they would go
to that hosted by him?

ANDIOLA: You know, to me, it just reminds me of 2012. Just like Clarissa
was reminding everyone about Mitt Romney, right? One of the huge mistakes
that he made is he didn`t recognize that there was something wrong with the
rhetoric he was using on self-deportation. I think right now for us, you
know, it`s important that they understand that the Latino community is not
only going to fall for rhetoric, but it`s also about seeing actions. And
the fact is the majority of the actions having taken right now by the
Republican Party specifically leading, you know, being led by Steve King
has been trying to get rid of DACA, you know doing all these things that
for us, you know, is just really something that clear message to the
community that they need to do more. And I`m hoping that someone like Jeb
Bush has been talking a lot about immigration that he understands that they
need to get away from people like Steve King and actually start doing
something positive now that they have the power right now in both, you
know, in Congress. And so that`s definitely something that we`re looking
forward to action and not just, you know, rhetoric from both parties.

SHARPTON: Clarissa, it just doesn`t make sense. I mean, not only morally
but politically it doesn`t make sense. On the GOP side, Marco Rubio is
Cuban-American, and Jeb Bush is bilingual. And his wife is from Mexico.
The L.A. Times recently asks can Rubio or Bush help republicans finally win
Latino vote in 2016? Are their personal stories enough, or it is about
policy?

MARTINEZ DE CASTRO: It`s all of the above. Latinos in that respect are
not different than the rest of American voters. Well want politicians and
candidates who are going to speak about the issues that we care about who
are meaningfully going to reach out to our community, and who are going to
put solutions on the table. Frankly, I think that any republican candidate
who decided that they want to stand on the side of common sense, on
immigration and on other issues could make inroads with Latinos, that
people are trying to divide our nation by putting us in boxes. But the
reality is that the vast majority of Americans just like their fellow
Americans of Latino origin, we support immigration reform, and we want a
solution to this issue. So we`re going to be waiting anxiously to see
which of the republican candidates are willing to stand on the side of
common sense and the side of the American people.

SHARPTON: Well, Hillary Clinton made a big statement today, and we`re
going to be watching this issue all the way through this. Clarissa
Martinez de Castro, and Erika Andiola, thank you both for your time
tonight.

MARTINEZ DE CASTRO: Thank you both.

ANDIOLA: Thank you. Have a wonderful day.

SHARPTON: Breaking, breaking, breaking news. NBC News confirms the first
republican presidential debate will be limited to candidates who finish in
the top ten of an average of national polls. So if you use the last five
polls recognized by NBC News, that debate stage would look like this. From
Jeb Bush and Scott Walker at the top to Rick Perry and Donald Trump at the
bottom. So Donald Trump is in. And out would be Carley Fiorina, Bobby
Jindal, Lindsey Graham, and Rick Santorum. Amazing. So far no response
from any of the candidates. That debate will take place in August.

Coming up, the must-see video going viral of an NBA star`s daughter at a
press conference. It will put a big smile on your face.

And speaking of smiles, a legend signs off tonight. After 33 years, David
Letterman will take the stage for the last time. His former producer and a
regular guest join me ahead on Dave`s legacy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s the end of an era in late night TV. Tonight, after 33-
years on TV, David Letterman signs off. Letterman broke new ground. He
was innovative and always unpredictable.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Theoretically, I`ll -- I`ll hit the wall and stay there,
right?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes. Theoretically.

(LAUGHTER)

Okay. Go high. As high as I can go. Okay. Could you?

(Drum roll)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

DAVID LETTERMAN, COMEDIAN: It`s time now for another installment of
stupid human tricks.

The list tonight, top ten signs your kid is Batman. We have him right
here.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

It`s time once again for stupid pet tricks.

(LAUGHTER)

Yes!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And through the years, you never quite knew what would happen on
that stage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Is that a rug?

LETTERMAN: You`re talking about my hair? What is that? A swim cap? What
are you wearing?

I`ll take care of this.

Oh my God!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Tonight, we`ll celebrate the legacy of the man who changed it
all.

Joining me now is Daniel Kellison, who was a writer and producer for "Late
Night" and "Late Show" for eight years. He is writing about his memories
of working for Letterman in the 1990s. And actor and comedian Jay Thomas,
who has been a regular guest on Letterman through the years with his annual
quarterback challenge. Thank you so much for being here. Jay, what is the
David Letterman legacy?

JAY THOMAS, ACTOR AND COMEDIAN: Well, he acts so stupid on "Late Night"
television, and I mean, they`re making a big deal out of it. And I think
it`s great. But you know, we`re just act. We act. You know, we look a
lot alike, you and I. People have been telling me this for a long time.

SHARPTON: Is that why people call me Jay all the time?

THOMAS: They must, because we look like each other since we lost weight.

SHARPTON: I was trying to figure it out.

THOMAS: Yes. But I think he is fantastic. But I do believe that all the
things he did that we saw, the young guys are doing now. And that`s not
who Dave wants to be. And I don`t think it`s a sad thing. I think he is
moving on. I think if he wants to do something else in broadcasting, you
know, a more serious -- maybe he wants to interview political people or be
more serious.

SHARPTON: Is he a more serious guy?

THOMAS: Absolutely he is. The man is not funny off the air. He doesn`t
go to dinner with anybody or drink or laugh or do anything that I can tell.
And I`ve been there a long time. I mean, maybe you can tell us more with
Daniel backstage.

SHARPTON: Daniel, you worked eight years with Dave. What can you tell us
about working with him?

DANIEL KELLISON, CO-FOUNDER, JACKHOLE PRODUCTIONS: I thought he was every
bit as funny as he was on screen. He is sort of pretty consistent
throughout the day, you know. He was always funny I thought in the office.
But, yes, I thought he was pretty consistent.

THOMAS: Oh. See, he was never funny. I don`t think he liked me that
much.

KELLISON: He loved you, Jay.

THOMAS: He did loved me? Okay.

KELLISON: Yes. And not only that, you know, I got to produce Jay a couple
of times, but Mary Connelly mostly produced Jay.

THOMAS: Yes. Uh-huh.

KELLISON: But it was like having the day off when you had Jay on show.
You didn`t really have to do much. Just wind him up and he would go. He
is great.

SHARPTON: You kind of get that feeling interviewing him. You know, our
camera crew went outside the Ed Sullivan Theater today asking the fans,
what will they miss the most. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Dave is just Dave. I mean, there is no one else like
him. Who else does all the pet tricks?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It was all the practical kind of humor that, you know,
when you`re a kid you think is hilarious. When he put on the Velcro suit.
That was great.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He has made a lot of people happy, he`s brought a lot of
fun on a lot of people`s lives.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I liked it when he did his segment where he threw
stuff off the roof. That was pretty funny. You get a sense of who he is.
The audience feels like we know him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Daniel, what will you miss the most?

KELLISON: I`ll miss Dave. I mean, I hope that he does find another outlet
and finds another place to be on TV. But he was such an important part of
my life when I was a college kid. I wanted to be, you know, somehow
associated with him. And that was my goal was to work there, you know.
And just to even be clearer, I only wrote about this experience for this
farewell. That was sort of my -- I wrote for something for grant land.
But no, I hope that he finds -- I think, you know, it would be great for
him to have something like the tomorrow show, which Tom Seder had.

SHARPTON: Yes, I remember that show.

KELLISON: A free form conversation where he can just sort of speak about
what he wants and have longer form conversations. I would love to see
that.

SHARPTON: Jay, what do you think you`ll miss the most about the day
Letterman and this kind of show?

THOMAS: The 880 bucks I got every Christmas. When I -- football and told
that story.

SHARPTON: Daniel, you produced many of those iconic guest moments. What`s
your favorite memory?

KELLISON: Oh, I mean, I think the Drew Barrymore segment was a lot of fun
to producer and there was sort of -- especially fun because it was a little
bit mysterious. We weren`t able to sort of say what was going happen. We
didn`t know what was going to happen. We didn`t know how it would play
out. And it was -- it was really -- that was exciting. I think Madonna
was really fun to produce as well.

SHARPTON: You know, David Letterman show was vital for politicians to stop
by. Here are some of the highlights, Jay and Daniel.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FMR. PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), UNITED STATES: Number seven. Make sure the
white house library has lots of books with big print and pictures.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Let me give you one that I think works out of my
collection. How can you tell Al Gore from a roomful of secret service
agents? He`s the stiff one.

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: You look sharp!

LETTERMAN: You haven`t seen me naked.

OBAMA: We`re going keep it that way.

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Number nine.

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What`s up, gangsters?
It`s the M-I-double tizzle.

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: No, it`s not. No, it`s not.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I noticed over the years
that you have had a few things to say about my pant suits. And how about
the time you said you can tell it`s summer. Today Hillary Clinton hit the
beach in a one-piece pant suit.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now he could laugh around with them. But he could ask some
tough questions too, didn`t he?

KELLISON: He has the ability to be serious too, which is a rare trait, I
think, these days. And I think that he could -- he had a lot of range in
that regard.

SHARPTON: Tonight`s the last show. What do you expect tonight, Jay?

THOMAS: I expect Jay Leno. That`s what I`ve been saying. I mean, in
fact, it should be that. I hope it is. I mean, they were great friends,
and then there was that rift.

SHARPTON: They had a long-time rift.

THOMAS: They did. And Jay is not a bad guy at all.

SHARPTON: No.

THOMAS: And neither is Dave. And I hope they`re together tonight. I know
there is other people that they`ve said have gone. I think Chris Rock is
there tonight. People have seen him going in. But, yes, I hope Jay Leno
is there. I don`t know.

SHARPTON: What do you think, Daniel? What do you hope to see tonight?

KELLISON: I`m not a big Jay Leno fan. But I hope to see Chris Rock and
everybody else there.

THOMAS: You don`t think Dave would want a Jay Leno?

KELLISON: I know that he does. I just, I can`t forget or forgive what
happened back in the day.

THOMAS: Really?

KELLISON: Yes.

THOMAS: Wow!

KELLISON: Personally, just because I care about Dave. And I thought that
what Jay did was wrong.

SHARPTON: Sometimes people around you are less forgiving and forgetting
than the people that are actually in the riff.

THOMAS: I have a very disloyal staff. So I`ve never known that type of
loyalty.

SHARPTON: Daniel Kellison and Jay Thomas --

THOMAS: Sorry, Daniel.

SHARPTON: Thank you both for your time and enjoy the show tonight.

Ahead, the work out video that`s lighting up the internet. Does your
exercise routine measure up? Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Now to some videos going viral online. First Lady Michelle
Obama posted her "Give Me Five Fitness Campaign." And she is showing off
her fierce workout skills.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA (D), FIRST LADY: Don`t forget, always drink up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Next, forget about breaking the internet. Our next video tried
to melt it. That`s NBA star Steph Curry with his two-year-old daughter
Riley at a postgame press conference. But she was the real star.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN CURRY, NBA STAR: You stand right there.

RILEY CURRY, STEPHEN CURRY`S DAUGHTER: I want to sit on your lap.

STEPHEN CURRY: Okay, okay. We`re both supposed to.

RILEY CURRY: Get to work, daddy.

STEPHEN CURRY: I know. Hold on one second. Okay.

RILEY CURRY: Be quiet.

(LAUGHTER)

STEPHEN CURRY: You know, he plays well and obviously he did that for his
team. And we`ll live with those shots. So, she`s so funny. A playmaker
or, you know, taking and making shots. But you just got to come out.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: -- brings to this team?

STEPHEN CURRY: We -- now she is out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He may have won the game, but she stole the show. Way to go,
Riley.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: President Obama told graduates of the Coast Guard academy at
their graduation ceremony today saying ignoring climate change would be a
dereliction of duty.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Even as we meet threats like terrorism, we cannot and we must not
ignore a peril that can affect generations. I`m here today to say that
climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security. An
immediate risk to our National Security. And make no mistake, it will
impact how our military defends our country. And so we need to act. And
we need to act now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And he called out climate change deniers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I know there are still some folks back in Washington who refuse to
admit that climate change is real. Denying it or refusing to deal with it
endangers our National Security. It undermines the readiness of our
forces. This cannot be subject to the usual politics. And the usual
rhetoric.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The usual politics and the usual rhetoric does not apply when we
have a situation that we are all going to have to face. We can debate what
we do with reality, but we can`t debate reality. Because that what is
reality is reality.

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


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

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