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PoliticsNation, Monday, June 22nd, 2015

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Date: June 22, 2015
Guest: Jamelle Bouie; Joan Walsh, Tara Dowdell, Ryan Grim, Lesley Jane

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on "Politics Nation," time to move
the flag. South Carolina`s governor calls on the confederate flag to be
removed and come down.

And President Obama makes big headlines talking about race.

Also, closing in, police find DNA from the killers who escaped from a New
York prison.

And the first lady tries out a new job, magazine editor with some special
help from the president. We`ll take you behind the scenes.

Welcome to "Politics Nation." We begin with breaking news, South
Carolina`s Republican governor calling to remove the confederate flag from
the statehouse grounds.


GOV. NIKKI HALEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: For many people in our state, the
flag stands for tradition that are noble, traditions of history, of
heritage and of ancestry. The for many others in South Carolina, the flag
is a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past. Today we are
here in a moment of unity in our state without ill will to say it`s time to
move the flag from the capital grounds.



SHARPTON: Governor Haley says she wants the legislator to act on taking
the flag down this summer. This comes less than a week after the brutal
racist massacre at the mother Emanuel AME church.

This photos surfaced showing the accused gunman posing with confederate
flags. It`s a symbol of racism and hate. The same symbol we saw a tea
party protester waving outside the White House in 2013. There is no place
for this in our politics. And today, some of South Carolina`s top
officials agreed.

MSNBC`s Craig Melvin is live in Colombia, South Carolina.

Craig, how does the governors, how did the governor`s announcement, how was
it received there on the ground of South Carolina?

CRAIG MELVIN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: You know, Rev., I have yet to talk to a
person so far whose opposed to the decision that was announced today. I
was in the Ratunda (ph) when that announcement was made. And you played
(INAUDIBLE) there and you heard some applause.

There was at least five or six occasions where people who were in that room
applauded. One of the things that may have gotten lost in all of this for
folks not familiar with South Carolina politics, the sheer optics of what
we saw them. We saw the Republican governor flanked by two Republican
senators along with the assistant democratic leader Jim Calvert (ph). Then
at the end there, you saw the son of the late Senator Strom Thurman (ph), a
well-known segregationist at one point.

I`m from Colombia. In my 30 plus years of living, I`ve never seen that
kind of bipartisan presentation in the dome behind me. This is state and
capital, unfortunately, that has no -- long been known for its political
polarization, but today not so much. Now, here is the thing, though.

SHARPTON: But let`s be clear, Craig, a lot of this is in reaction to this
massacre and the outpouring of outrage all over the country. I`ve been
going to South Carolina for years, spend a lot of time there when I ran for
president. These very same people that stood today including Governor
Haley had a much different position not too long ago.

MELVIN: You beat me to it. And not just Governor Haley, I mean, you talk
to, you know, Lindsey Graham, you talk to a lot of these Republican
officials who are in that room today. You talk to them six months ago,
they were singing a wildly different tune.

The governor has called for the Senate and house the to come back. I`ve
spoken with a number of state lawmakers that said this is not a done deal.


MELVIN: You would think they would have had the votes counted before
today`s announcement. Apparently not so much. The this is still, this is
still something that has to be approved by a super majority. We`re talking
two-thirds of the general assembly in South Carolina.

SHARPTON: And it may not be done this session. So we got a nice
announcement. We picked up big support but those of us that I guess to
play. But this is by no means a done deal.

Thank you MSNBC`s Craig Melvin. Thank you for your reporting tonight.

In the moment since Governor Haley`s announcement, we`ve seen a flood of
Republican presidential candidates trying to avoid getting caught on the
wrong side of the issue. This weekend, Mitt Romney tweeted take down the
confederate flag at the South Carolina capital. To many it`s a symbol of
racial hatred. Remove it now to honor Charleston`s victims.

But none of the big names in the GOP field did 2016, that is, none of them
echoed the statement. And the only coming out now that you`ve gotten
political cover from Governor Haley.

Jeb Bush just tweeted, kudos to Nikki Haley and all the South Carolina
leaders standing with her for doing the right thing.

But over the weekend he said South Carolina should do the right thing, but
he wouldn`t say what that was. And last week, he wouldn`t even say the
Charleston attack was about race. In new interview, President Obama talked
about how far we have to go on these issues using some blunt language.


Crow discrimination in almost every institution of our lives, that cast a
long shadow and that`s still part of our DNA. That`s passed on. We`re not
cured of it.


OBAMA: Racism, we`re not cured of.


OBAMA: And it`s not just a matter of it not being poll lite to say (bleep)
in public. That`s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not.
It`s not just a matter of overt discrimination. We have -- societies don`t
overnight completely erase everything that happened two to 300 years prior.


SHARPTON: Racism and discrimination still exist, and if you pretend they
don`t, it shows in your policies.

Look at poverty, look at education, criminal justice reform, healthcare,
voting rights, these issues all impacted by race, all disproportionally,
negatively impact the African-American community, then the Latino
community, and those of us that raise it are not being divisive, are not
polarizing. Those that won`t deal with an unfair structural gap, they are
the ones that are being polarizing. They are the ones are being extreme in
trying to pull the country apart. Because to pull the together tonight,
you must have fairness, you must have equal opportunity and equal
protection under the law.

Let`s talk about it. Let me go over, we have tonight, let me walk over to
our guest, Jamelle Bouie and of course Joan Walsh. (INAUDIBLE) tonight.
Glad to have you with us.



SHARPTON: Joan, over the weekend, lots of Republicans try to dance. I
mean, literally dance.

WALSH: Literally.

SHARPTON: Dance around the flag issue. Around the issue of race. I mean,
let me show you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For those of us running for president, everyone is
being baited with this question with somehow that has anything to do
whatsoever with running for president and my position is, it most certainly
does not.

decisions that should be made by people. You know, I don`t think the
federal government or federal candidate should be making decisions on
everything and opining on everything. This is a decision that needs to be
made here in South Carolina.


SHARPTON: So you have one candidate saying a confederate flag hanging in
front of a state building that gets federal money and you have people that
are paying federal and state taxes has nothing to do with being president.

WALSH: None of our business.

SHARPTON: None of us business, even though it`s public money. You got
another one, his answer is state`s rights, let the states handle it.

WALSH: Right. And you know, these guys had no problem weighing in on
Indiana`s so-called religious freedom law. They weigh in right and left on
local, women`s rights and all 50 states. They weigh in constantly on the
things they are based, that they believe their base cares about, Rev. And
I think it`s so outrageous that the one Republican who really stepped out
and took a stand, Mitt Romney is a Republican who is not running for

SHARPTON: And he did take that stand when he was --

WALSH: No, he did not.

SHARPTON: In South Carolina last time.

Jamelle, your reaction to the kind of dancing of the Republican candidates
this weekend.

BOUIE: Well, like Joan said, it`s funny to watch candidates going to weigh
in to a whole host of things. And I should say if either of them were
president, they would be asked to weigh in on things like this. So I`m
like, but how could it be said. This is very much, the question is very
much part of being president of the United States, of running for president
of the United States.

You know, I`ll say real quickly in Mitt Romney`s defense, in 2007 he did
actually speak out against the confederate flag. He didn`t say anything
last time around but he sort of, you know, it`s been in the history to
oppose the flying of the flag over the statehouse.

SHARPTON: No. He has taken the position, but he did not campaign on it
and he certainly didn`t say it during the South Carolina primary last time,
but he has said it earlier. Jamelle is absolutely correct.

And talking about saying it earlier, I must give credit. Dr. Ben Carson
wrote an op-ed actually criticizing his colleagues in the Republican Party
for not calling what happened in South Carolina racism. And when we know
find out that the -- and let we show some of that op-ed.

There are people who are claiming they could lead this country who dare not
call this tragedy an act of racism, a hate crime for fear of offending a
particular segment of the electric. We have to face the facts.

And I don`t agree with Dr. Carson, but that I think was right on as we
would say and we find that a white supremacist that who is the leader
quoted by the shooter had actually donated to Republicans. They are not
keeping the money, but he had donated $65,000 of Republican campaign funds.

WALSH: Right, including I think Mia Love, you know. So I mean, this is
very deep, Reverend Al. And this party has sadly been too often trying to
play at the edges of racism and racial hate. They know there is a segment
of the base. It is not the majority of their base, but they know there is
a strong vocal segment that does harbor racist attitude.

So I want to the applaud what Nikki Haley did. I want to say thank you to
all those people who stood there today together. It was a beautiful sign
of unity as Craig Melvin said.

But I also want to say this is a weird event that is at the same time long
overdue and yet, it happened shockingly fast today. And it really
shouldn`t have taken this horrible massacre. We didn`t need martyrs for us
to suddenly learn that this flag is a sign of hate. And there was an
element of self-congratulations in that performance today that kind of
bugged me. There was a little bit of smiling. We are burying nine people
who died because of racism. It was not a happy day.

SHARPTON: Nine people, Jamelle, that died because of racism by, in my
opinion, a domestic terrorist act, and it takes that. And not only
shouldn`t take that to get them to say the flag should come down, it can`t
end with just a flag coming down because you can`t remove something that
shouldn`t have been there in terms of optics and not deal with the
policies. That`s why I talked about dealing with the poverty and the
criminal justice system and all of these things. You can`t just take the
flag down and say, we did that in memory of them. Let`s move on with
business as usual.

BOUIE: I think it is absolutely right, you know. You can`t just take down
the flag. You have to think in terms of policies. You have to think in
terms of both places where there is possibilities for bipartisan
cooperation and that is going to be criminal justice reform.

But also, I think the Republican Party needs to the look itself in the
mirror and begin to think about its policies on things like voting rights,
on things like voter ID, that it is unusual, not unusual, it`s weird to
watch a party congratulate itself about taking down the confederate flag
but also enter, you know, the same breathe so to speak, support of the
restrictive voter ID laws which we know for a fact harm the ability of
minorities and African-Americans in particular to vote. And I would love
to see Republican candidates speak out against those laws. But the fact of
the matter is we`re not going to see that and that is I think deeply

SHARPTON: And that is why I think people have to continue being active,
that is why those of us who have public platforms or positions have to
raise the issue because those are the civil rights issues, those are the
human rights issues of today, Joan.

WALSH: Right.

SHARPTON: Voting, poverty, income inequality, wealth gap based on race,
education based on race. To stand around and congratulations yourself for
taking down a flag over 150 years after the civil war is nothing to pat
yourself on the back about.

WALSH: Exactly.

SHARPTON: They lost the civil war.

WALSH: A long time ago.

SHARPTON: Or did they get the email?

Joan Walsh and Jamelle Bouie, thank you both for your time tonight.

BOUIE: Thank you.

WALSH: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Breaking news ahead, police find DNA, boots and bloody socks
from the killers who escaped from the New York prison. Are police closing


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a confirmed lead for us. It`s generated a
massive law enforcement response as you can see and we are going to run
this to ground.


SHARPTON: Also, think Hillary Clinton would be hurt by supporting the
president? Think again. We have big numbers from our new NBC poll you`ll
see first here tonight.

And we`ll go behind the scenes as Mrs. Obama take the as turn as magazine
editor and gets personal about the first family.


SHARPTON: Breaking news in the manhunt for those two escaped murders.
Tonight, search teams may be finally closing in as they track DNA clues.
The two convicts have been spotted at a location just 20 miles away from
the prison. Details, coming up.


SHARPTON: Breaking news in the search for two of the FBI`s most wanted
criminals. Today, there is evidence that Richard Matt and David Sweat were
recently in a cabin just 20 miles north of that prison they escaped from.
NBC News has learned that police found n DNA from both prisoners in that

The (INAUDIBLE) Republican reporting that boots, bloody socks, and
toiletries were found, along with a water jug and a jar of peanut butter
that had been opened at the hunting camp. And "The New York Times" reports
a pair of prison-issued underwear was also found in the cabin.

Joining me now is retired ---


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have evidence the suspects may have spent time in a
cabin in this area. We have recovered specific items in the cabin. We
afforded them to the appropriate laboratories.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a confirmed lead for us. It is generated a
massive law enforcement response, as you can see and we are going to run
this to ground.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is retired ATF special agent in-charge Jim

Jim, thanks for being here.


SHARPTON: How important are these discoveries in the cabin, Jim?

CAVANAUGH: Yes. Reverend Al, this is a big discovery for the fugitive
team because it`s so certain, you know. They have seen the prison
underwear, the items and they have matched the DNA to both mean. So this
is a strong lead. They are on their heels. These guys are on foot. They
have no help. I think they will have them rounded up here in the next few

SHARPTON: Now, here is another twister that`s come up, Jim, because today
the editor of the Plats Burg Press Republican tweeted that the Mountain
View hunting camp where the intrusion took place is owned by a group of
correction officers. I mean, what do you make of that re revelation, Jim?

CAVANAUGH: Yes. The importance to that, Reverend Al, is that talk is all
over the prison. When you`re inside a detention facility or jail,
everything that`s said goes around and around and around and everybody
knows everything. You know, we all worked at buildings, at places and
companies and organizations and we know how information travels. When you
take that into a prison, you can magnify that about 10,000 times.

So if one correction officer says to another, you know, I`ve got that old
cabin up by the lake. Yes, I`m not going to go back up until August or use
it in the fall or whatever thanks goes right around. One trustee sweeping
the floor, let me tell you, every inmate will know that pretty soon.

So that information that it owned by a correction officer tells me that
somehow it got to Matt and Sweat. It may not necessarily be got to them
criminally, doesn`t mean a correction officer necessarily helped them, that
could be, but it could be just talk and rumor in the prison.

SHARPTON: So it could be either way. Now the bloody sock, could it be
that one of them was injured?

CAVANAUGH: No, I think that`s absolutely true. You know, the woods are
very, very treacherous of people that don`t travel in the woods. If you`re
traveling or running in the woods and especially at night trying to get
away from someone, you have a great chance of being injured. You know, you
fall, you cut your ankle on a rock, your ledge. So you know, desperate
fugitives will do desperate things, but desperate wounded fugitives, you
know, they will do desperate and stupid things.

These guys are at a point where they are going to have to do something if
they are on foot in the woods with a time after them, that it is high time
for a crime. So everybody needs to be really on their toes. These guys
are going to have to, you know, do what we talked about a few weeks ago.
They are back to just getting out of the manhole with all the officers on
their heels. So they are going to try to carjack somebody, get a vehicle,
hurt somebody to get away.

I`d say they likely got there on foot and they were able to last for a
while. But it is going to become to the ahead soon because they can`t
travel fast on foot if they are wounded and hungry and tired.

SHARPTON: Now, we also learned that police have been questioning another
correction officer from the prison, Gene Palmer. Gene Palmer has worked at
that prison for 28 years. He reportedly had routine access to the prison
tailor shop where Sweat and Matt worked and he received a painting from
Richard Matt. He`s been put on administrative leave from the prison.

Jim, his attorney says he didn`t know anything about the escape plans but
could there have been someone else on the inside helping these guys break

CAVANAUGH: Well, it`s possible, certainly, Rev., but it doesn`t
necessarily mean it`s the this officer, either. Remember, Matt and Sweat
could have been working the officers and that`s where, you know, maybe he
has some relation or friend to who owns the cabin or knows the cabin is up
there and giving him paintings, trying to give him information. But that
doesn`t mean he`s necessarily a conspirator.

Remember, the district attorney has not charged him. He`s just under
administrative leave. So right now he`s a witness for the state and they
are going to have to decide what exactly his role was there, his attorney
says he`s cooperating. The fact that he`s not charged leads me to believe
that they don`t have any direct serious information he has, you know,
helped them at this point.

So it may just be that there is some and maybe it`s his cabin or there are
some -- he got a painting from Matt. So there is some questions to be
answered, but the outcome is yet to be determined.

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

CAVANAUGH: Thanks, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Coming up, breaking news on 2016, we`re moments away from the
new NBC News poll, what it says about Hillary Clinton, the GOP, and the
Obama effect.

Plus, oops, Rick Perry`s new answer on healthcare has him back in tonight`s
"got you."


SHARPTON: Any day now we`re expecting a major decision from the Supreme
Court on Obamacare. It`s a pivotal moment and putting pressure on the GOP
presidential candidates to explain the their own records on healthcare. It
was former Texas governor Rick Perry`s turn at the plate this weekend.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looking out for the little guy when 21 percent of
Texans didn`t have health insurance?

RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, if how you keep score is how
many people you force to buy insurance, well, then I would say that that`s
how you keep score. That`s not how we --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the flip side, how many people don`t have health

PERRY: Let me explain what we do in Texas, and this is a state by state
decision. We make access to health care the real issue.

SHARPTON: If access to healthcare is the real issue, isn`t the number of
people accessing healthcare and new coverage exactly how Texas should keep


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the governor for 14 years, don`t you feel some
resposiblity when 21percent of the people in your state dodnt have health

PERRY: But that`s not how we keep score. I mean, I think it is a fallacy
to say access to healthcare is all about insurance.


SHARPTON: I think it`s time to take a look at Perry`s score card from his
time as governor. Over 5.7 Texans lacked health insurance, the highest
uninsured rate in the country. Nearly one million people fell into the
coverage gap because Governor Perry refused to expand Medicaid and over
800,000 people are at risk of losing insurance if the Supreme Court rules
against health care subsides. Because Perry didn`t create a state

Did Rick Perry think we wouldn`t notice his losing score on health care?
Nice try. But here is my score for him. We got you.


If you do your part, you ought to be able to get ahead. When President
Obama honored the bargain, we pulled back from the brink of depression,
saved the auto industry, provided health care to 16 million working people.



SHARPTON: So far in her campaign, Hillary Clinton is praising President
Barack Obama and touting the issues he holds dear. And tonight we have
breaking news. It`s working. Critics from the right say the more she
embraces the President`s progressive ideas, the worse she`ll fair. Ideas
like raising the minimum wage, expanding voting rights and reforming our
immigration laws, but brand-new numbers from an NBC News Wall Street
Journal poll show the critics are flat wrong.

When you look at the new poll, Hillary Clinton versus the presumed front
runner Jeb Bush, 48 percent to 40 percent in a head-to-head matchup. Let`s
keep going. Hillary Clinton versus her next opponent the Senator Marco
Rubio. Fifty percent to 40 percent in a heads up matchup. Let`s keep
going. Hillary Clinton versus Scott Walker, who governor of Wisconsin in a
head-to-head matchup. Fifty one percent to 37 percent. And when we look
at the last figures that we releasing tonight, we find that the candidates
themselves, the Republican wanted to go a few graphs down, 22 percent for
Jeb Bush, 17 percent for the Scott, Governor Scott Walker and 14 percent
for Senator Rubio. Now, when you look at this, the top contender can only
get 22 percent, that is not exactly a mandate from his party.

But let`s talk about it. With Tara Dowdell and Ryan Grim. Thank you both
for being here tonight.



SHARPTON: President Obama`s approval rating has been on the upper trend in
the last ten months, let`s say. It`s up eight points, now we see all of
the predictions, Ryan, that if Mrs. Clinton identify with President Obama
would hurt her, has not hurt her at all. We just released a brand-new NBC
poll. What does this tell you?

GRIM: The President`s approval rating, you know, has gone up in
coincidence with him taking more progressive and more bold action from the
White House. You know, whether it was climate change or whether it was for
immigration order. You know, the more he has kind of dealt with his base
and, you know, satisfied those particular concerns, the stronger the entire
country has rallied around him as you`ve often said. You know, progressive
ideas are actually not that divisive. You know, you`ll often will find 60-
70 percent support for a lot of ideas that`s considered to be more

So, you know, Hillary picking up some of these ideas, clearly, is going to
pick up a lot of that strength and what she`s saying here is this is going
to be a base election and I`m not going to have some kind of sister soldier
moment where I attack democrats but instead Hillary Clinton and Democrats
together are going to go into election day.

SHARPTON: And it has not hurt her, Tara. She`s openly embraced some of
President Obama`s issues, some of his positions, said some pretty bold
things, the opposite of what a lot of us are still watching to see and
she`s actually in the polls, she`s been helped by it.

DOWDELL: Right and let`s look at what is telling Hillary Clinton to
distance herself from the President. It`s Republicans. Why on earth would
any democratic politician take advice from Republicans on how to run a
campaign --


DOWDELL: -- when they`re running against Republicans? Makes zero sense.
The bottom-line is as Ryan pointed out, progressive policies, particularly,
economic progressive policies are popular. The minimum wage, paid sick
leave, these are things that President Obama has championed throughout his
term and his tenure. And when he champion them, we saw him laid them out
in the state of the union following every state of the union address. We
saw a massive support for the policies that this president has laid out.
So why would she take advice from Republicans and run against the guy whose
policies --

SHARPTON: Well, it makes sense to me. But Ryan, you know, Jeb Bush who is
at this point the front runner, he sounds a lot like the last republican
nominee. Listen to this.



JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ObamaCare is clearly a job killer.

ROMNEY: Do we want a European style government centric nation?

BUSH: The new normal is European-style growth.

ROMNEY: The government is so intrusive that it can command free

BUSH: The most complicated confusing intrusive regulatory system.

ROMNEY: It is wrong to make any change that would make America more of a
nation of government dependency.

BUSH: They have built a spider web that traps people in perpetual


SHARPTON: So, it`s a little eerie there Ryan that they sound so much alike
but from a political strategist point of view or a political commentator`s
point of view, wouldn`t you say you would not advice someone to sound like
the guy that lost last time against these same policies?

GRIM: Not with this political alignment. And, you know, ironically he
sounds a lot like Mitt Romney but it`s his brother, George Bush that kind
of ushered in our current political realignment, which was a major shift
from the coalition that elected President Clinton. Obama solidified that,
his coalition came in and it is the precise one that Hillary Clinton is now
picking up and planning to run all the way into the White House with -- so,
you know, when you have the numbers that you`re facing, in other words, you
know, as Mitt Romney said, there is 47 percent there with democrat --


GRIM: -- you know, it`s actually a lot more than 47 percent, about 53
percent. The numbers, you know, they just don`t add up for this type of a
strategy and sure, maybe Mitt Romney didn`t know that at the time and he
gave it a good shot. But for Jeb Bush to repeat the same strategy, you
know, does call it into question a little bit.

SHARPTON: Tara, if the debates were today, here, let me show you the ten
candidates that would make the cut. The top ten. Now what is interesting
about that is on the stage is everyone from Jeb Bush to Carley Fiorina.
Here is the candidates who would not make the cut including John Casey who
is the governor of Ohio where the debate would take place.


DOWDELL: That`s actually kind of funny. But of course, these guys
wouldn`t make the cut. First of all, is Trump even really running? So,
there is that. I mean, this looks like one big marketing opportunity for
him. So, he`s not serious. And I think the republican electorate, the
republican base voters, I think they realize he`s not serious. And then
when you look at Governor Pataki, unfortunately he`s not been able to
excite the base and Lindsey Graham, same thing. Kasich thought I think is
interesting. You know, obviously I`m on the democratic side but he`s
interesting because his economic policies actually make --

SHARPTON: And Lindsey Graham can be very provocative.

DOWDELL: Oh, yes.

SHARPTON: Tara Dowdell and Ryan Grim, thank you for your time tonight.

GRIM: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Ahead, the first lady takes control. First, she sends out this
vintage photo of Barack Obama with his daughters and it goes viral on
Father`s Day.

And now she`s about to make even more news. She guest edits a leading
women`s magazine. I`ll talk to the editor and chief, next.


SHARPTON: The First Lady has been on magazine covers before but this one
comes with a big twist, Michelle Obama is guest editing the issue of "More
Magazine." A leading publication for women. As an editor, Mrs. Obama had
her hand in everything, pitching and choosing articles for the issue. It`s
mean is more impact and it features some of her own initiatives like the
"Let`s Move" campaign to combat childhood obesity and work as an advocate
for children and military families. The First Lady also sat down with
actress Meryl Streep to talk about their families, their careers and their



MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: How are you? You`ve been busy.

STREEP: Thank you so much for doing this.


SHARPTON: And the magazine gets personal with a photo album of Mrs.
Obama`s favorite family snapshots. It`s a rare and inside look at the
First Lady`s private life and public goals. A look we`ve never quite had
before. The issue hits the newsstands tomorrow.

Joining me now is Lesley Jane Seymour, editor-in-chief of "More Magazine."
Thank you for being here first of all, Leslie.


SHARPTON: Leslie, this is pretty incredible. Having a First Lady guest
editor of a magazine. How did it come about? Who prompted Mrs. Obama to
do this?

SEYMOUR: It`s crazy. Right?


SEYMOUR: I`m so ecstatic. I wanted to do something I`ve never done before
and I approached him with this crazy of her being the guest editor which
we`ve never done. And shockingly, they said, yes. So, it`s great.

SHARPTON: Wow! Now working with her --


SHARPTON: What surprised you? What`s the thing that stood out that
surprised you about working with her?

SEYMOUR: What is so amazing is first of all, I mean, I traveled with her.
I traveled chasing her. I wasn`t on the plane, to Japan and to Cambodia to
watch her launch, "Let girls learn." And I also worked with her in the
White House for the shoot. We had most of the day working on the shoot
with her. So, there are two really interesting things. One is, when she
travels, the world, like I got into a cab and Cambodia and my cab driver
was like, oh my God, Mrs. Obama is coming, we`re so excited. There is a
little pixy dust that goes along with her. There is something very
glamorous we have not had in a long time.


SEYMOUR: She`s got the brains, she`s the knowhow and then she`s got that
little extra kind of package. And then in the White House, what was really
interesting as we were going through all her photos and talking about
history. And I finally at the very end, I said you have to tell me like
how are you so grounded? You live in this place. You go through, you
know, this incredible news cycle all the time. She`s just like, she`s just
grounded right in there. And she was so interesting. She said, you know,
this place makes you more of whoever you are, and she is this, she`s just
like grounded. She hasn`t forgotten.

SHARPTON: I`ve found her to be very authentic.

SEYMOUR: Very authentic. And she loves, you know, what is interesting is
I never really understood her craziness for kids. Like I`m a mom, I love
kids, too.


SEYMOUR: And it was so interesting to understand as I followed her around
to Cambodia and I saw her with these young kids in Cambodia who, you know,
want to get to school and have to face all these impediments to get to
school. One little girl had to get up at 4:00 in the morning and cows and
put out the rice for the family. Walking out of the school. And she says,
she`ll say to them and she said it over and over but it`s kind of the
through line is that she really sees herself in them.

SHARPTON: Oh, yes.

SEYMOUR: You know, she said I was under estimated. Nobody thought much of
me. No one thought I was going to go anymore. No one thought much of me.
They were passing me over. And that`s what is so interesting about her is
she kept her humanity and she`s kept her realness.

SHARPTON: And not with any kind of bitterness or I`m going to get even.


SHARPTON: But just to grow and to be that example. Why the interview with
her and Meryl Streep?

SEYMOUR: Oh, we wanted to pick. Okay. You say we got the first lady and
who do you want to put her in a room with? Who do you want to hear her to
talk about? Who has more in common with her in terms of being an enormous
celebrity, raising strong young girls, both of them have very strong girls
and then creating balance in a life. How do you do that? Who are the two
most interesting people that you would want to be a fly on the wall in the
room with? Meryl Streep. And Meryl was there. And Meryl said, yes.

SHARPTON: She is a great person.

SEYMOUR: It`s a great interview too.

SHARPTON: Now, one of the benefits of having the First Lady as your guest
editor, is the President also wrote an article for your magazine --


SHARPTON: On how being president made him a better father. I was
intrigued by that.

SEYMOUR: Yes. Very cute.

SHARPTON: He also admitted not being the perfect dad, quote, "I helped on
my terms and on my schedule and the expectations and the burden
disproportionally and unfairly fell on Michelle, as happens to many women."
He was pretty candidate about his faults. Did that surprise you?

SEYMOUR: Yes, I was very surprised by her candidness, by his candidness
and I love that. That`s kind of what "More" is all about. We`re all about
being very real and being very honest with our readers. It`s a lifestyle
magazine and we have very intelligent readers who have, you know, their bs
level turned all the way up and you can`t put things over them. So, that`s
what lovely.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you a question, Leslie. What Hilary on the ballot in
2016, will women have more impact on the elections?

SEYMOUR: The last few elections women have been a turning point so I am
guessing absolutely. And I think this is a moment that a lot of women have
been waiting for. So, let`s hope.

SHARPTON: Lesley Jane Seymour, thank you for your time tonight. And be
sure to check out the July-August edition of "More" magazine available on
newsstands tomorrow.

Still to come, honoring the beautiful nine, big news about how the city of
Charleston is coming together.


SHARPTON: It`s the million dollar question about the $10 bill. The
Treasury Department is putting a woman on the $10, but who will it be?
People are talking about abolitionist Harriet Tubman. All women`s rights
activist Susan B. Anthony, it could be First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt or
civil rights activist Rosa Parks but that`s just the start of the debate.
Some believe a different bill should be overhauled. There had already been
a separate push to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with a woman.
And the guy currently on the $10 bill, Alexander Hamilton will stay remain
on the bill in some capacity.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So a woman is not getting her own bill at all? She`ll
be splitting it with Alexander Hamilton. This is basically the perfect
embodiment of the women right`s movement. Women ask for something they`ve
earned. A bunch of men get to get there and talked about it and then they
give the woman half and ask her to share it.


SHARPTON: Even a former chairman of the Fed is speaking out. Ben Bernanke
writes, replace Andrew Jackson a man of many unattractive qualities and a
poor president on the $20 bill. The debate is on but what we do know,
change is coming and it is historic.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, remembering the Charleston beautiful nine.
This was the front page of Sunday`s local post and courier, dedicated to
all nine lives cut short by tragedy. At Emanuel Church, hundreds gathered
outside to mourn. The church overflowing with worshippers, inside more
than 1,000 filled the pews coming together for the first service since the


Emanuel Nine requires us to work until not only justice in this case but
for those who are still living in the margin of life.


SHARPTON: Last night, thousands of people took to the streets in the city
forming a unity chain to remember those lost. The day was particularly
hard in Charleston because it wasn`t only Sunday, it was also Father`s Day,
a tragic Father`s day for the victims` families, a day that some children
went through without their dad, and that some fathers went through without
a son or daughter. Funerals for the victims are expected this week.
President Obama will deliver the eulogy for Reverend Pinckney on Friday.

As I travelled last week down to Charleston, having met and been with
Reverend Pinckney several times, and at least two of the other victims. I
like many wrestled with trying to make sense out of this horrific terrorist
attack to me. You can`t make sense of it. My fear now is whether history
will have a problem making sense on what we do in response to it. We can
never go back to that night and turn it around, but the days after, how we
deal with the underlying issues and the legal system, will that make sense
when people look back on how we behaved after the this massacre?

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


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