Skip navigation

PoliticsNation, Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Read the transcript from the Tuesday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

Date: May 19, 2015
Guest: Jay Dobyns, Patrick Swanton, Brian Katulis, Shira Center, Angela
Rye, T.D. Jakes

Schultz. "Politics Nation" with Reverend Al Sharpton start right now.

Good evening, Rev.

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

We start with breaking news on that bloodbath on Waco, Texas that left nine
dead Sunday. Police arrested 170 bikers and they told us they would each
being held on a $1 million bond. We are awaiting a press conference from
Waco police any moment now. They expected to talk about three bikers who
bonded out.

NBC News confirms three of them bonded out on Monday with much lower bonds,
just between $20,000 and $50,000. The sheriff says this was not a mistake.
The men were, three of the first arrested initially on lesser charges.
They are now wanted on the felony charge faced by other bikers.

This new challenge comes at agent used dogs to comb through the huge
restaurant crime scene today. And they deal with this as they deal with
threats from these gangs.


reliable threats towards law enforcement in and around our area. I would
tell you those have toned down albeit over the past 24 hours. In the gang
world and in the biker world, that violence use really condones more
violence. Is this over? Most likely now. We would like it to be. We
would ask there to be some type of truce between whatever motorcycle gangs
are involve.


SHARPTON: We are hearing form law enforcement now in Waco. Let`s go live.

SWANTON: I would like to share with you and really nothing new other than
about the three arrested. So let me go over the scene staff quickly and
then we will get to that.

We are continuing to remove cars and motorcycles from the scenes as you
have seen that done all day. We will do that throughout the night. A good
optimistic time frame for us to clear the scene will be by sometime
tomorrow mid-morning.

We want to get our businesses back in business and get their employees back
to work. That is a goal that we have without messing up any evidence with
all obviously, that`s our first in charge.

We like to again thank those businesses that have put up with us, securing
this parking lot to keep you all safe and keep our officers safe. And we
absolutely appreciate the cooperation with the understanding that it has
been drained on them and their employees. And we will get that cleared up
and out of there hurry as we can.

I can tell you from the weapons -- I`m sorry, from the vehicles that we
have searched this afternoon and throughout the day, we are continuing to
find weapons on in those vehicles. Some of those weapons are high caliber
weapons and that is all I say about that. But that search is obviously
still obtaining evidence. And we will continue that until we get entire
lock clear of motorcycles, cars, and trucks.

All right, that kind of brings up to date, everything was good from this
morning that I have told you. We are still good with all of that. No
changes on that. We talked about responsible reporting this morning and
making sure that if you verify at something, you probably should make sure
if it deals with anything with that arrest or deals with anything that have
knowledge of, to please ask us and will clarify if you don`t understand,
that did not happen today.

There was a report of three individuals that were inadvertently released or
I think the article quoted mistakenly released from jail. That is not
true. They were not mistakenly released. Within the compounds of the law,
they have the right to bond that was set very early. They made that bond
and got released. It was not a mistake. That is the way that our legal
system works.

Now, that being said, those three individuals were Jim Harris, Juan Garcia
and Drew King. Those are the three individuals that I told you about
Sunday evening that got arrested outside our perimeter for coming to scene
with weapons. Those three individuals rode up on motorcycles wearing
colors of biker gang members. They were stopped, detained, and ultimately
arrested because they have weapons and they were charged with engaging an
organized crime. They were transported to our county jail and booked in.
Everything is on the (INAUDIBLE), on those charges and where they went and
how they got there.

The first thing that we do when we book somebody in is everybody has a
right to bond in our legal system unless they are of live risk. These
individuals have a right to bond. Our (INAUDIBLE) have warned which is
normal, came in, saw their charges, engaging an organized crime, it had a
different case number from what the Twin Peaks case number is. Those
individuals were set a bond depending on their charge, their degree of
engaging an organized crime, set a normal bond, they were able to make that
bond and released from the McClain county jail. It was not a mistake.
That is the way our legal system works.

Nobody asked me about that this morning or this afternoon before that
information went out that somebody screwed up. Nobody screwed up. It was
a way our legal system works. The person that messed up is the person that
put that information out there incorrectly.

Moving forward, what we now know is that one of our judges that is
intimately involved with setting the bonds for the 170 people that were
arrested here in Twin Peaks was going through the records. He was sharp
enough to realized there were three individuals with a very closed case
number that may have had something to do with this case. He looked back at
that case, realized what it was that it was involved here in Twin Peaks,
and it had a very reasonable similarity to what we were doing with the 170
individuals we were arrested.

It was his decision and his option to revoke their bonds. They have been
released, he revoked their bonds, reissued arrest warrants and those
individuals, two of them had been rearrested, that being Jim Harris and
Juan Garcia. We are currently looking Mr. King. He has an arrest warrant
out for him. We expect him to be apprehended shortly. The other two were
arrested with the assistance of the U.S. marshal task force which I will
tell you is doing a heck of the job doing some additional roundups for us
as well.

So we have one of those three that is outstanding warrant. It, again, was
not a mistake. It tis the way our legal system works. Judges have the
option to revoke bonds. The reason that he revoked their initial bond and
had arrest warrants reissued, their bond has been set in the million
dollars as well. It is because our legal system in Waco, Texas takes
killing nine people very seriously. And we don`t play around. So what the
judges have done has issued that million-dollar bond and arrest warrants
and we expect that third individuals be in our custody soon.

I hope that clarifies that. It was not a mistake on anybody`s part. It is
my understanding that somebody was trying to blame the (INAUDIBLE) county
sheriff`s department and that is wrong. You cannot blame them. We were
following the process of the legal system.

All right, it brings us up to date on today`s dealings. What we will
continue to do throughout the night is finish processing, we hope, our
crime scene. And we will get people back to a little bit of normal

I got time for a couple of questions. I`d like not to re-harsh (ph) old
staff, if we can avoid that. And I appreciate your all patience again
tonight for being here. I don`t know that there will be a whole lot more
updates. I got some interview schedules with some of you. I will be here
tomorrow and I don`t mind visiting with you one-on-one as we have time.

Yes, sir?


SWANTON: It is all one in the same. The restaurant, the parking lot, some
businesses, you saw the cars behind me being entered, those are part of the
crime scene that are being process. Is there an estimate of when will be
done? It is done when it is done.

Yes, ma`am?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE). What`s make you think that he is going
to be turning himself in shortly? Are you working (INAUDIBLE)?

SWANTON: I didn`t say he`d be turning himself in. I said we will have him
in custody shortly.


SWANTON: I couldn`t tell you that. It would be our recommendation if he
is listening to me, come see us before we come see you. Anybody?


SWANTON: Yes, Sir.


SWANTON: Sir, I don`t know. Yes. As far as -- the question was the
vehicle behind us, they are involved but who they`d belong to, I can`t tell
you. I don`t know.


SWANTON: I`m sorry, sir.


SWANTON: I have not been made a word at.

SHARPTON: That was sergeant Patrick Swanton of the Waco police giving an
update. He says that there are weapons still being found in vehicles there
including some high powered weapons. He also said that the reports three
of those that had been arrested were mistakenly released was false. They
were released on lower bonds. They were among the first arrested and given
lower bonds and the judge has now reissued arrest warrants. Two of the
three have already been apprehended and he expects the first one to be
apprehended shortly. He said there is no time frame for how long the
investigation will continue.

Joining me now are Jay Dobyns, former ATF agent who was the first ever law
enforcement officer to infiltrate Hell`s Angels biker gang and MSNBC law
enforcement analyst Jim Cavanaugh. Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Jay, your reaction to the press conference.

DOBYNS: I thought the Waco police department spokesman articulated what
happened with the release of the prisoners very well. I think it made
perfect sense to me having spent, you know, my career, my adult life in law
enforcement. With regards to the crime scene, I think Jim touched on that
yesterday. It is both massive in size and it is going to have to
meticulously done in detail. And I personally, based on my experienced in
the biker world, would not be surprised ultimately if in those vehicles who
are at that crime scene, homemade explosive devices were not recovered
because that is one of the tools of the trade in the biker game.

SHARPTON: Now, when we look more closely at these two specific gangs, Jay,
the bandidos and the Cossacks, the bandidos have 900 members in America.
It takes two years for a new member to get in. And the department of
justice says it is one of the nation`s most dangerous bike game.

Less is known about the Cossacks, the gang formed in 1969 and it is
affiliated with Hells Angels in Texas.

How are these two gangs different?

DOBYNS: They are different in size. The bandidos obviously being larger,
being an international crime syndicate. The Cossacks being smaller and
being more localized side in numbers, in influence, in control of area or
territory are the big difference. I think they are, for the most part, all
one in the same, when you are a bike gang member. I know it is a buzz word
in today`s political correctness, but they are thugs. When I was a Hells
Angel, I acted like a thug. That`s who they are and they showed that
that`s how thugs handle their business when they have a conflict. They
shoot each other. They kill each other.

SHARPTON: Now, Jim, police not just dealing with the youth crime scene,
but also with bad information. Listen to this.


SWANTON: The issues are, are some of the flyers in this are not being
honest with us. We have people calling in saying they are family members
trying to find out who was killed and who was injured. Are we
interrogating the individuals that are on jail? What degree of cooperation
are we getting? Absolutely, that is something we are doing. The level of
cooperation we are getting varies from individual to individual.


SHARPTON: Jim, how do they deal with this? I see here, we see bad
information. We see that their dealing would have be large crime scene.
How do you go about charging 170 people?

CAVANAUGH: Well, you know, Rev., I`m shocked, shocked that outlaw
motorcycle gang members would lie to the police. I mean, like Jay said,
these are criminal organizations deeply in trench when they join the gang.
They are in there for life.

They may be some members to get out in good standing, but it is like their
religion as Jay said earlier. It is their religion. It is their life.
There in this. They are like (INAUDIBLE). This is their being. They are
going to lie to the police They are going to do anything they can. And
they have deep seated feelings or revenge over this.

How do the police the crime scene? Just like they are doing, TDS,
forensics, laser mapping, photographs, collecting the evidence. You saw
the ATF bomb sniffing dog out there, that yellow lab, they will find
ammunition, explosive device. To put all this together, there is videos.
There may be some statements from witnesses, witnesses and the police
officers, witnesses that are patrons, bikers maybe not so much help, but
they will be able to put a case together on some of these trigger force and
maybe some of the conspirators.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you this, though, Jim. I want to show you the scene
as police arrested 170 people in Waco. It is a very difference scene from
what we saw in Baltimore and in Ferguson. I have call for national
standard in policing. What`s your reaction to the difference that we see
and police reactions in Waco where you -- where they knew they were coming
in to a scene with people that were criminal and in protest in Ferguson and
in Baltimore.

CAVANAUGH: Right. Well, I think it is going to be a very different
scenarios of Ferguson and Baltimore. You were facing them a lot of guns.
And these motorcycle gang members are coming armed with firearms that have
teeth (ph). They already said they`d recovered 50 or more firearms and
knives, they recovered rifles. So the police are there with SWAT officers.
They are coming in and they are taking gunfire, they are returning gunfire,
you know, that wasn`t what happened in Ferguson, Reverend Al. You remember
there our first night. IT was people throwing rocks and bottles at the

SHARPTON: But that`s what I am saying. They are militarized environment.
We didn`t see in Waco. And which is why I think you must have national
status (ph).

Let me say this, Jay. When you are hearing about the threats that the -- a
sergeant talked about, are you concern about the threats given the culture
of these biker games?

DOBYNS: Beyond concern, Reverend, terrified. Personally, I have
experienced death and violence threats from biker gangs based on my work.
My house was burned to the ground in 2008. With everything I owned, it
destroyed. I know firsthand that when threats are made, they are serious.
They have the ability and the capability to carry out what they say and
what they threaten. And I pray for all the people there in Waco. And for
those men and women in uniform that they stay safe. And that the violence
be contain.

SHARPTON: All right, Jay Dobyns, Jim Cavanaugh, thank you both for your
time again tonight.

CAVANAUGH: Thanks, Reverend.

DOBYNS: Thank you, sir.

SHARPTON: Coming up, speaker Boehner`s model message. He says the
president isn`t good enough from ISIS, but refuses to grant the president
war problems. Today, his new excuse.

Also tonight, breaking her silence, Hillary Clinton today taking her first
questions from reporters in nearly a month, including one that`s stunt Jeb

And one of America`s leading pastors, I will talk to Bishop T.D. Jakes
about the biggest issues facing the country including criminal justice
reform. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: We are back with developing news from Iraq where today ISIS
militants control the city f Ramadi, just 70 miles from Baghdad. The Iraq
key army has fled the area and now Shiite militias backed by Iran are
mobilizing to help Iraq recapture the city. It is a clear challenge for
President Obama as commander in-chief. But he is not getting much support
from Congress.

It has been over three months since he ask Congress to approve a new
resolution authorizing the use of force against ISIS. And they still
haven`t done anything about it.

Today, speaker John Boehner said, the president didn`t ask for enough apart


withdraw the authorization of use of military force and start over. It is
the president`s responsibility to wage this battle. And the president, in
my view, is not taking this threat seriously as he should.


SHARPTON: He is not taking the threat as seriously as he should, the
president has authorized thousands of airstrikes on ISIS while Congress has
done nothing. It is easy to criticize from the sidelines. But for threat
like ISIS, the U.S. needs a united front and a national commitment to the

Joining me now are Brian Katulis, senior fellow at the Center for American
Progress and MSNBC contributor Steve Clemons from the Atlantic. Thank you
both for being here tonight.

Steve, we have been bombing ISIS for months now. Is Congress advocating
their responsibility by not authorizing a new resolution for military force
against ISIS.

STEVE CLEMONS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Congress is advocating its
responsibility as it has for very long time on most national security
issues, not just this one. But the fact is that President keen and ask for
authority in a national conflict of national consequence and they have been
able to untie the knot inside Congress. So, in my view, they are
advocating responsibility. That doesn`t mean that more force fixes the
problem in Iraq. Those are two different things.

SHARPTON: Now Steve, listen to what the president said when asked -- when
he asked Congress to authorize use of military force against ISIS back in


when the president and Congress work together. Today, my administration
submitted a draft resolution to Congress to authorize the force of force
against ISIL. I believe this resolution can grow even stronger with the
thoughtful and dignified debate to this moment demands. I am optimistic
that it can win strong bipartisan support and that we can show our troops
and the world that Americans are united in this mission.

SHARPTON: Steve, what are the implications for national security strategy
when Congress is not invested in a major military campaign like we have
lost against ISIS?

CLEMONS: Well, it froze more power into the executive branch to take
action. But it is the president going out on a limb in a way the Congress
is showing that it is unable to support its commander in-chief at a time of
need and their enormous implications of that. That`s read as weakness and
it is read as a -- also creating an opportunity for other to come in and
try and defund. And as we have seen, we have 535 members of Congress, each
of whom want to behave as a commander in-chief on time.

In authorization of use of military force gives a frame that basically gets
everybody on the same page. It is important that it hasn`t happen --

SHARPTON: Brian, what is your view on this.

with everything Steve and you said here. Congress clearly has advocated
its responsibility. And we have this trend of politicizing national
security to such an extent that actually hampers our ability to get
anything done.

The second thing I`d add to it, though, is that this strategy that the
Obama administration has, both in Iraq and in Syria, quite clearly is not
working the way that they wanted to. So there is a real point that we need
to have here. And the debate is what might work. And I think the
president has the right approach in trying to get the Iraqis to fight for
themselves and stand up for themselves. It would be foolish for us to try
to go back there and reinvade Iraq or as Lindsey Graham, the senator,
proposed 10,000 more troops. We shouldn`t do that.

But when you see what happen in Ramadi over the last couple of days, it is
clear that the U.S. strategy here and Iraqi strategy is not where we wanted
to be.

Now, the U.S. began airstrikes against ISIS in August. The Pentagon says
that over 6,000 targets have been damaged or destroyed in Iraq and Syria
including tanks, buildings and fighting positions.

Brian, now ISIS has taken Ramadi so if airstrikes won`t stop them, then
what is the solution?

KATULIS: Well, there is no solution that we can implement ourselves. The
thing that is missing inside of Iraq, but then also in Syria, because ISIS
is in Syria, is a credible ground force largely from the Sunni-Iraqi
communities. And it is just horrific what happened the last few days if
you look at the details in Ramadi where ISIS sweeps in, they get on the
loud speakers of masks and say to the people we are going to protect you.
We are going to give you food and shelter and clothing, and then they
massacred people, right?

So, the answer isn`t to send U.S. troops in there. The answer is to get
the Iraqi-Sunni community to stand up on their own. President Obama has
had this as strategy, but there was ceremony on Monday where we are going
to give weapons to the Iraqi-Sunni community. And quite frankly, they are
just not as strong and cohesive enough. They got to be a key part of the
answer, not U.S. troops.

SHARPTON: Is that the problems, Steve? They got to be part of the answer?


CLEMONS: What we are rushing to do which is to arm and equip and train
some Sunni tribal leaders and factions is something we should have done two
years ago, We are late to the game on that. And what we were been afraid
to say is that there is essentially incipient of a war right now in Iraq
between the Sunnis who don`t trust Baghdad and that the Shia groups. And
the Shia militias that Abadi, President Abadi, Prime Minister Abadi, who
just called to come in are the exact ones that re-character there just two
years ago inside Ramadi.

So these regions don`t trust one another. And until we broker some new
deal between them is not going to work.

Brian Katulis and Steve Clemons, thank you both for your time this evening.

CLEMONS: Thank you.

KATULIS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Straight ahead, Hillary Clinton takes questions in Iowa. What
will the right complain about next?

But first, forget the garden state, Governor Chris Christie might be in the
state of denial when it comes to 2016. That`s next.


SHARPTON: It`s one thing to be jersey strong. It`s another to be jersey
head strong, but here comes Governor Chris Christie. He`s having trouble
accepting that New Jersey voters just aren`t that into him anymore.


MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Sixty five to 25 percent margin the New
Jersey voters say you would not make a good president. Now, they know you
the best. Why shouldn`t we trust them?

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: They want me to stay. A lot of those
people in that 65 percent want me to say.


SHARPTON: Got to hand it to the governor. Great spin there. So the 65
percent of New Jersey voters who say Christie would not make a good
president are just using reverse psychology? Let`s hear the rest.


CHRISTIE: They want me to stay. A lot of those people in that 65 percent
want me to stay, and I`ve heard that from lots of people at Town Hall
meetings, don`t leave to run for president because we want you to say.

KELLY: But they say you would not make a good president.

CHRISTIE: I think people hear the question they want to hear.


SHARPTON: What are the people hearing? For a year New Jersey voters have
heard a question from pollsters, do you think Governor Christie would make
a good president, and for a year over half of New Jersey voters said no
consistently, but he thinks they are just showing their love because really
what`s not to love, right?


CHRISTIE: Did I say on topic? Are you stupid? On topic, on topic. Thank
you all very much and I`m sorry for the idiot over there. You know what,
first off, it`s none off your business. I don`t ask you where you send
your kids to school. Don`t bother me about where I send mine.

Let me tell you something, after you graduate from law school, you conduct
yourself like that in a courtroom you`ll get yourself thrown in jail,

Somebody like you doesn`t know a damn thing about what you`re talking about
except the stand up and show off when the cameras are here. Until that
time sit down and shut up.


SHARPTON: Don`t you think we wouldn`t notice he`s in a garden state of
denial. Nice try, but we got you.


SHARPTON: Hillary Clinton hasn`t been talking to the press much lately,
and I guess they were starting to feel a little left out. Check out how
FOX News reporter interrupted Clinton during a roundtable in Iowa.



UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Secretary Clinton, can you take questions from the
media as well? We haven`t heard from you in a month.

CLINTON: Yes. Maybe when I finish talking to the people here. How is
that? I might. I`ll have to ponder it, but I will put it on my list for
due consideration.


CLINTON: Yes, sir.


SHARPTON: She sure didn`t seem to take this scandal very seriously, and
neither did the people laughing in the audience, but a few minutes later
she did take questions, including one that republicans have really
struggled with lately, the 2013 invasion of Iraq.


CLINTON: Look, I know that there have been a lot of questions about Iraq
posed to candidates over the last week. I`ve made it very clear that I
made a mistake, plain and simple.


SHARPTON: It took Jeb Bush a week to answer that question. It only took
Hillary Clinton ten seconds and just hours after a judge ruled the State
Department needs to start releasing her e-mails, Mrs. Clinton weighed in on
that, too.


CLINTON: I have said repeatedly I want those e-mails out. Nobody has a
bigger interest in getting them released than I do. I respect the State
Department. They have their process that they do for everybody, not just
for me, but anything that they might do to expedite that process I heartily


SHARPTON: Agree or disagree, Clinton didn`t seem afraid to talk about
those topics, and unlike her GOP rivals she didn`t end up with her foot in
her mouth.

Joining me now are the "Boston Globe`s" political editor Shira Center and
political strategist Angela Rye. Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Hillary Clinton got some flak for not speaking to the press, but
now that she has, how did she handle that Iraq question compared to her GOP

CENTER: She handled it much better than several of her GOP opponents. Not
only did Jeb Bush fumble that question, Marco Rubio fumbled it this week as
well. But I will Clinton has an advantage in this regard in that she`s
answered this question many times before. She included the answer in her
book, and in many ways much of the entire 2008 primary versus Barack Obama
was centered on this very question of whether or not Congress should have
given authorization to go to war in Iraq so she`s answered this question
before. She should have done well and she did.

SHARPTON: Angela, Hillary Clinton also addressed her e-mail controversy
and questions about the Clinton Foundation. How do you think she did?

RYE: I think she did fine. I think the one thing that I actually applaud
her team for doing is ensuring that Hillary Clinton did not speak on these
issues until she was ready. She was making the media work for her, and I
think that her answers have been clear. They have been concise. She`s not
confused about where she stands and I think her saying all the more, hey, I
want these e-mails released more so than any of you, I want them out there,
I think it`s a great answer because it`s also demonstrating that this is a
very transparent Hillary Clinton. They have been accused of being not so
transparent and hiding the ball, but if you`re honest, we lived in a
different day and age then. There was no Twitter when the Clintons were
last in the White House.

SHARPTON: Shira, you know, MSNBC learned today that besides just visiting
early primary states, Hillary Clinton`s heading to Texas, Florida and
Missouri in the next few weeks. Texas is about as republican as a state
can be. What does she gain by campaigning there now?

CENTER: You know what they call Texas and politics? The great ATM of
America. Now I haven`t seen her schedule. I don`t know what she`s doing
there exactly but when candidates wants to raise a lot of money Texas is
usually one of their first stops, along with Florida, but obviously Florida
is a politically competitive state. Let`s say there`s a slight chance that
she might be looking into laying some groundwork there, an increased
minority voting population in the state has made democrats think they could
stand a chance there down the line. I don`t know if 2016 is going to be it
for that though.

SHARPTON: Angela, another issue Hillary Clinton addressed today was
restoring voting rights to felons. Let me play that.


CLINTON: I think if you`ve done your time, so to speak, and you`ve made
your commitment to go forward, you should be able to vote and you should be
able to be judged on same basis. You ought to get a second chance.


SHARPTON: If she keeps pushing issues like this, Angela, and criminal
justice reform, what kind of impact could that have on her campaign?

RYE: I think it will have a tremendous impact. I know that Rand Paul
accused her of being late to the party, but this is, you know, some place
where she`s been throughout her entire career. You just asked Shira about
Texas and Florida. And I just want to remind the viewers that she started
her career registering voters in Texas. So, part of going back home sort
of speak is her rekindling her roots and demonstrating that hey, I`ve
always been for voter enfranchisement. She`s registering Black and Latino
voters back in the day before it was a purple state and I think that this
is just another step towards saying, listen, we want to make these
elections free, open and accessible. We want to ensure that people whether
they can pay to play or not have the right to vote and her stepping up so
early in the campaign and making this a core issue I think is huge and
really central to her campaign.

SHARPTON: You know, Shira, one of the things that I took note of today
that I thought was impressive to me is she seemed not only to answer all
the questions, she seemed really at ease at the press conference that she
gave or the interview that she allowed whereas you`ve heard all of this
bickering about she won`t talk to the press. Not only did she talk she act
as though what`s the big deal.

CENTER: Yes. Well, she`s done this before. I mean, not even just a few
months ago when she addressed the e-mail controversy at the U.N. This is
not the first time she`s taking questions from reporters. In fact, she`s
taken much difficult -- much more difficult questions from reporters over
her time as first lady, and U.S. secretary of state. So I`m not surprised
she seemed kind of -- she seemed kind of at ease about it all.

SHARPTON: And yet they are trying to drum it up as some big deal, the
critics. But Angela, NBC says, let`s look at the other side. NBC News
says there are at least 18 republicans considering presidential campaigns,
and today "The National Journal" reported the Republican National Committee
is trying to do damage control over reports that it would try to cap the
number of debate participants. The RNC doesn`t want to make any candidates
mad, but what are they supposed to do here if you end up with 15 to 18

RYE: Well, I definitely think they have got to get really creative here.
It`s not in their best interest to cap participation, but I also think they
need to be really honest about who is a viable candidate. Another thing
for them to consider, Rev, we talked about the autopsy report 100 types.
They definitely don`t want to get rid of the women, they definitely don`t
want to get rid of the only two people of color they have on their side and
I think starting with Donald Trump and kicking him out of it is probably a
great place to start since he`s the real bigot there.

SHARPTON: Well, I think that I would advocate inclusion, inclusion. I
want to see all 18 on the stage with equal time. Shira Center and Angela
Rye, thank you both for your time tonight.

RYE: Thank you, Rev.

CENTER: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, I talked to a world-renowned pastor. Bishop T.D.
Jacques is here, and we`ll cover a lot of ground, including criminal
justice reform.


SHARPTON: Now to building trust between law enforcement and the community.
Today Attorney General Loretta Lynch visited a Cincinnati school as part of
her national tour promoting community policing. The officers and kids
talked about genuine relationships. One of the people tackling this issue
is the legendary bishop T.D. Jakes who recently launched his nationwide
research series "Conversations with America," surveying the community on
everything from economic issues to education, to criminal justice. It
comes ahead of his major event, the Mega Fest in Dallas this August. It`s
one of the largest faith-based multi-day festivals in the United States, in
the world really. So far reaching nearly one million people worldwide and
attracting big names like Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Hudson.

Joining me now is the legend himself, Bishop T.D. Jakes, senior pastor of
the Potter`s House of Dallas and chief architect of the MegaFest. He leads
a 30,000-member church in Dallas, and he`s also a "New York Times" best-
selling author. His last back "Instinct" which I read religiously, "The
Power To Unleash Your Inborn Drive." Bishop, it`s an honor to have you
with us here tonight.

you would have me.

SHARPTON: What stood out the most in your conversations with America?

JAKES: You know, one of the things that strikes me the most is the word --
is the highest particularly economic empowerment with minorities. There
was a great deal amount of optimism in spite of the predicament that they
were in. The pessimism is tended to be more amongst non-black and brown
people it is a relates to the country recovering from economic travesties
that we`ve seen in the past.

SHARPTON: So you found more optimism.


SHARPTON: Among minorities?


SHARPTON: How do you explain that?

JAKES: It`s kind of odd to me really. The only way that I can explain it
is two things. I think that first of all, I think optimism or pessimism
is based on where you get the news, and if you`re constantly fed a diet of
the country is not recovering, the country is not recovering I think it
breeds fear and separatism. I don`t think that people of color are being
bombarded with those kinds of messages. Secondly, I think that we`re tough
bootstrap people, we`ve seen tough times before and we`re more optimistic
that we`ll come out of it again and I think all of that lends to how we see
the world, and then we tend to be people of faith, and as people of faith
the way that we are taught faith is to believe, hope against hope, and I
think that serves us well when we`re backed in a corner.

SHARPTON: After Baltimore, you`ve called on the church to do more in the
criminal justice fight. Why?

JAKES: You know, I think it`s important that we do it. When I say the
church, not just the black church. I`ve called together both black and
white leaders, brown leaders of faith along with Bishop Harry Jackson and
James Robinson. It`s called the reconcile church. People can look it up
on the website. There`s seven bridges of hope that we need all of the
church to buy into. I think as long as the problem is franchised over to
the black leadership or black churches, then it`s going to be a black

SHARPTON: You had this unique coming together to form this group in
Dallas, and I remember, and you probably are the only one in America that
could bring the far right and evangelicals all the way to a black clergy
and Latino. You brought everyone together. It was really a historic
gathering, but you wouldn`t play it up in the media. You downplayed it.
What happened at the gathering?

JAKES: I wasn`t interested in media points. I really wanted to help
explain one side to the other. I thought I could be a bridge-builder, and
because of time constraints, too, I really couldn`t get out on the trail
and talk to the press. I wanted to talk to the church behind closed doors
and say, there`s some things here that you`re not getting that you need to
get, and we need to talk to each other rather than read about each other or
watch each other on TV. Let`s walk across the street and get to know each
other. The truth of the matter is the church has its own dirty laundry as
it relates to the -- that was still far more segregated that it ought to
be. Segregation behind closed doors in the church leads to segregated
points of focus in our ministries and message and our ideology about faith
is separate at a time that we`re being politically correct.

Our streets are on fire, and I think that the burning of the streets that
we see in Baltimore, that we have seen in St. Louis and all around the
country really are a result of the silence of the leadership in part in the
church and that we need to break that silence and communicate with each
other and lead a national discussion that goes far beyond the church into
every outlet, criminal justice, economic empowerment, education, all of the
areas where our communities are hemorrhaging.

SHARPTON: Tell me about the events that`s going on in August, MegaFest.
How did it start, and what`s going to happen this year?

JAKES: Well, one of the things I`m doing -- MegaFest started with our
women`s empowerment session and man`s empowerment session brought together
so that we`re having both events simultaneously which opened up a very
important door for us to be able to bring young people and children. So,
now it`s become more of a family festival, and in the midst of us having
spiritual components and great singing and great preaching and all of that,
we also have humor and comedy shows and concerts and activities for people
to spend time with their kids. I thought I could use the platform to also
economically empower people, so we`ve got several corporations that are
coming to stand along with us, to economically empower our community and to
really begin to teach and to train people and to provide, some that are
coming with job opportunities, colleges that are trying to stimulate people
to go on to college. I want to use my platform for tangible results as
well as the intangible benefits of a spiritual awakening.

SHARPTON: Well, Bishop T.D. Jakes, it`s been an honor to have you on the
show. You can learn about MegaFest by going to You will
not be the same.

JAKES: Thank you. It`s a real pleasure.

SHARPTON: Thank you, Bishop.

JAKES: Always an honor.

SHARPTON: Still to come, what Guinness World Record did President Obama
just set? I`ll give you one hint. It took him less than a day. Stay with


SHARPTON: Coming up next, President Obama sets a Guinness World Record and
a million people were part of it. We`ll tell you what it`s all about next.


SHARPTON: President Obama has only been on Twitter for a day, and he`s
already setting records. His Twitter account is the fastest to reach one
million followers. Here he is sending his first tweet.



UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That looks good.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s out there.

OBAMA: It`s out there, baby, all the tweets.


SHARPTON: According to Guinness World records, it took less than five
hours, and Twitter continues to welcome the President. Valerie Jarrett
said the bear is loose on the Twitter sphere. Welcome to the interweb, Mr.
President. Vice President Biden says hey, Potus, welcome to twitter. See
you around the neighborhood, and The Washington Nationals Baseball team
tweeted, "Welcome to Twitter voters, your predecessors Teddy Roosevelt and
William Taft are here to help with any questions." What`s your favorite
reaction to the President joining Twitter? Let us know at POLITICS NATION
or on our Facebook page. And, Mr. President, we`re waiting for the follow.

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


<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2015 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Transcription Copyright 2015 ASC LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is
granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not
reproduce or redistribute the material except for user`s personal or
internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall
user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may
infringe upon MSNBC and ASC LLC`s copyright or other proprietary rights or
interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of

Sponsored links

Resource guide