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PoliticsNation, Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

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Date: July 23, 2015
Guest: Sharon Cooper; Cannon Lambert; Joaquin Castro, Jess McIntosh, Laura
Bassett, Geneva Read-Veal

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST, THE ED SHOW: That`s "the Ed Show." I`m Ed
Schultz. "Politics Nation" with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on "Politics Nation," Donald Trump
hits the border. He says he is going on win the nomination. And if not,
he`s threatening to run as an independent.

And Jeb Bush says he wants to quote "phase out Medicare." What exactly
does he mean? It will be a big issue for 2016.

Plus, Sandra Bland`s mother is speaking out. I`ll talk to her in an
exclusive interview tonight. Her first since her daughter`s death.

Thanks to you for tuning in. We start with Donald Trump at the border with
Mexico. And it was a media circus. Trump started the day boasting that he
is making the trip despite great danger. But when he got there, he said


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What I say it is a great danger
but I have to do it. And people are saying it`s so dangerous, what you`re
doing, Mr. Trump. It`s so dangerous what you`re doing. I have to do it.
I have to do it.


SHARPTON: Donald Trump today speaking as loud as ever for the GOP,
creating a media frenzy and putting a spotlight on immigration. Reminding
the world of those offensive comments about rapists he made when he
launched his campaign.


TRUMP: When Mexico sends its people, they`re not singling their best.
They`re not sending you. They`re not sending you. They`re sending people
that have lots of problems and they`re bringing those problems with us.
They`re bringing drugs, they`re bringing crime, they`re rapists, and some,
I assume, are good people.


SHARPTON: Today reporters pressed Trump on immigration, including his
repeated claims that the border is dangerous.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: You keep saying that there is a danger. But
the crime along the border is down. What danger are you talking about?
What are you afraid of?

TRUMP: There is great danger with the illegals and we`re just discussing
that. But we have a tremendous danger on the border with the illegals
coming in. Yes, ma`am?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Have you seen any evidence here to confirm
your fears about Mexico sending its criminals across the border?

TRUMP: Yes, I have and I`ve heard it. And I have heard it from a lot of
different people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: What evidence specifically have you seen?

TRUMP: We`ll be showing you the evidence. There is a huge problem with
the illegals coming through. And in this section, it is a problem. In
some sections, it is a massive problem.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: What would you do with the 11 million
undocumented immigrants who are already here?

TRUMP: The first thing we have to do is strengthen our borders. And after
that, we are going to have plenty of time to talk about it. Thank you very
much. Thank you, everybody.


SHARPTON: Trump will show us the evidence later. In the meantime, he
seems only to be gaining momentum appearing with local officials today.
Leaving yet another national poll ahead of Scott Walker by two points and
declaring that he will defy all predictions and win the Hispanic vote.


TRUMP: I think I`ll win the Hispanic vote.

I win all over with the Hispanic vote because they know I`ll take jobs back
from China. I`ll take jobs back from Japan and every other country that`s
killing us. I`ll bring the jobs back. And, you know, the Hispanics are
going to get those jobs and they are going to love Trump and they already


SHARPTON: And for any Republicans hoping this would end soon, now Trump is
threatening to run as a third party candidate. And that could be a great
danger for the GOP.

Joining me now is Congressman Joaquin Castro, Democrat from Texas, and the
political analyst Erin McPike. Thank you both for being here.


REP, JOAQUIN CASTRO (D), TEXAS: Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Congressman, Donald Trump was at the border warning of danger
but giving no evidence. What`s your reaction to his visit today?

CASTRO: Well, the first thing is that if you look at the border cities,
cities like Laredo and (INAUDIBLE), they are some of the safest American
cities. In fact, El Paso is the safest American city with a population
over 500,000 people. So it is very likely that Donald Trump was not in any
great danger today. He was in a great American city.

SHARPTON: Erin, you know, today Trump was asked about his threat to
potentially run as a third party candidate. If he doesn`t get the GOP
nomination which he claims he will get, but he threatened that, here`s what
he said?


TRUMP: Look, I`m a Republican. I`m a conservative. I`m running. I`m in
first place by a lot, it seems, according to the polls. I want to run as
Republican. I think I`ll get nomination. We`ll see soon enough. But I
think I will get the nomination. The best way to win is for me get the
nomination and run probably against Hillary. Hillary is the worst - look,
easily, she the worst secretary of state in the history of our country.
She is going to be beaten and I`m the one to beat her.


SHARPTON: So should Republicans be worried about this, Erin, about him
running as a third party candidate?

MCPIKE: Well, yes, they should, obviously. Because if he does run as an
independent, then he is going to split the Republican vote and it will be
much harder for a Republican to win the general election and almost
guarantee that a democratic nominee would win the election.

But the more pressing issue is that he is the frontrunner for the
Republican nomination right now. And that is what Republicans should be
scared of, those who don`t like Donald Trump. Now, again, I would say that
Donald Trump is speaking a language that many Republican primary voters are
very interested in. They do want to see more border security. They want
to see a wall built and he is really speaking to them. And I think that`s
the bigger concern for Republicans is that right now we should be treating
him as a frontrunner and covering him as the front runner.

SHARPTON: Congressman, talking about that language that some seem to like.
MSNBC`s Jose Diaz-Balart, he asked Trump about his claim that crossing the
Mexican border are rapists. Listen to this.


JOSE DIAZ-BALART, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Many feel that what you said when
you said that the people across the border are rapists and murderers.

TRUMP: No, no. We`re talking about illegal immigration. And everybody
understands it. And you know what, that`s a typical case - wait. That`s a
typical case of the press with misinterpretation. They take -- they take a
half a sentence. By the way, they take a half a sentence and then they
take quarter of a sentence. They put it all together. Typical thing.


SHARPTON: Is that what plays so well to the far right, Congressman, this
brash defiance in the face of all the facts?

CASTRO: Yes. It certainly is. There was no misinterpretation of his
comments, his very hateful comments about go immigrants. And what should
be most troublesome to the Republican Party is exactly how much support
Donald Trump is getting from Republican voters.

For somebody like Donald Trump to win the Republican nomination or to
become president or even somebody like Ted Cruz who has been saddling up to
Donald Trump, it would mean that the country is in a very bad place that
there is a lot of anger and quite frankly, nativism out there and we`ve
seen this in our country before, you know, when the Germans came, when the
Irish came, we had the Chinese exclusion act. So we have gone through very
raw and ugly periods before and Donald Trump seems to be ushering in
another era of that in this country.

SHARPTON: While you`re talking about Cruz and others making him look good,
you sent out a tweet to the mayor of Laredo who appeared with Trump at the
press conference. And it says quote "Donald Trump just used you and the
other councilmembers to make him look good, embarrassing for south Texas
and Hispanics.

Why are you so concern about the mayor appearing with Trump today,

CASTRO: Well, I was really very surprised. First of all, I met the mayor
on a few occasion and as he good man and a good public servant. But I was
very surprised when I was watching the news conference and saw that city
leaders here, the mayor, the city manager and some city councilmembers
rolled out the red carpet for this man who made such hateful comments about
immigrants, specifically from Mexico. The city of Laredo is probably 75 or
80 percent Mexican-American. Many of those folks are immigrants or have
parent or relatives who are immigrants to roll out the red carpet for
something like that, just seems very strange.

SHARPTON: Why do you think they did it?

CASTRO: You know, I guess I can`t read their minds. I was just really
surprised that it happened, you know. I know that they said they wanted to
talk about the city of Laredo and how safe it is and try to set the record
straight. But that is not the impression that was --


Erin, that`s not what is projected and clearly, by them rolling out the red
carpet and not confronting Trump, it gives some kind of validity in the
minds of his base. Clearly not to a lot of others that maybe this is some
credible kind of representation of what`s going on at the border.

MCPIKE: Well, right. But again, he is currently the frontrunner for the
Republican nomination. And he is doing what presidential candidates do. I
mean, this is a big thing that candidates do. They go to visit the border.
And as a candidate for president, he is taking that excursion that he needs
to do. So don`t be surprised if he begins to do things real candidates do
as he is really running this time.

SHARPTON: No, I got that. What I`m surprised is that others are going to
cooperate with it, particularly those that are not Republican.

MCPIKE: You know, and I understand that. But they have to treat him also
as the frontrunner and he is getting a ton of media attention. And they
also want to get some media attention for trying on say that they`re a safe

What I think we want to look for from Donald Trump is what does he do after
this visit? He said he has evidence to show? OK. So, let`s see whether
that evidence is. But is he going to come up with a more sophisticated
platform and policy position about what to do about border security? We`ve
obviously heard him talk a lot about wanting to build a huge wall. Well,
of course, there are Republican that agree with that. But we know that
that is not logistically feasible and it may not work. So does he come
back and say, well, I still want to do that? But here are all the things
that I want to do.

I think that is the thing that we need to watch. And I think, you know, I
understand what the congressman is saying, but he has to be treated as a
really presidential candidate at this point.

SHARPTON: No, and let me say this.

CASTRO: Can I point out, Reverend? And I understand the political
analysis. But I think also, when you`re the frontrunner, I don`t think he
necessarily needs to change anything right now. If Republican primary
voters are making him the frontrunner by wide margin, why make any major
changes in this point unless he start going down in polls.

SHARPTON: Well, I think that he should be treating with the respect of a
candidate. I certainly wanted that when I ran. I also think people have
the right to cooperate or not cooperate with it. And we`ll see. I heard a
lot over the last few days. I`ve heard a lot of statements from him. A
lot of (INAUDIBLE). I`m waiting to hear what Erin said, policy. What is
your plan? How are you going to get jobs? You are going to take jobs from
China and japan he says? And the Hispanics will get them? How, Donald?
Tell us how are you going to do that? We`re listening. You`re the
frontrunner. We want to know.

Congressman Joaquin Castro and Erin McPike, Thank you both for your time

MCPIKE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Breaking news on the Sandra Bland case. Officials announced
results from her autopsy. As we talk to her mother, in an exclusive
interview about the last message she got from her daughter.


SANDRA BLAND, DIED INSIDE THE JAIL: Hi, mommy, it`s me. I just want to
let you know that I made it. I am here. I am here. Call me when you get
a chance. Love you, bye-bye.


SHARPTON: Plus, why did a GOP senator compare John Kerry to possibility
just Pontius Pilate? It`s an attack that goes way over the line.

And Republicans tried to defund Planned Parenthood by hijacking a bill to
help America`s veterans. That`s ahead.


SHARPTON: Breaking news, officials release details on Sandra Bland`s
autopsy. But there are still major questions about her death. We`ll get
reaction from Sandra Bland`s sister next.


SHARPTON: Breaking news in the case of a woman found dead in a Texas jail
cell. Prosecutors just announced finding from Sandra Bland`s autopsy.
Even showing photos from their investigation. The full report may be
released tomorrow. But today, they said the evidence lines one the initial
ruling of a suicide.


WARREN DIEPRAAM, PROSECUTOR: The medical examiner`s office as you know has
listed the cause of death as hanging. And the manner of death as a

At this particular point in time I have not seen any evidence to indicate
that this is a homicide.


SHARPTON: When Bland was booked into jail, she had some, had to answer
some questions about her mental health. The district attorney says the
sheriff told him, some of the questions were answered inconsistently.

In the first form it says, quote, "question. Have you ever been very
depressed? She wrote yes. Do you feel this way now? Yes. Have you ever
attempt suicide? Yes." But on a second form, asking if she had attempted
suicide, the answer was no.

At a press conference, prosecutors also said they found marijuana in her
system. And they discussed some abrasions they found on her back and cuts
they found on her forearm.


DIEPRAAM: There were some abrasions, some super official abrasions. We
know them as scabs on her back. Those are consistent with somebody
applying force against her back or with her applying force against some
other object. In a hypothetical situation, this injury could be consistent
with a knee in the back and a struggle.

But we are not saying that`s what happened. There were approximately 30
cut marks on her left wrist which were also in a state of healing. These
roughly 30 cut marks were both in a state of scoring and scabbing
indicating they may have been placed on her body roughly two to four weeks
prior to her incarceration.


SHARPTON: Back with me now is Sandra Bland`s sister, Sharon Cooper, and
the Bland family attorney, Cannon Lambert. Thank you both for being here.

SHARON COOPER, SANDRA BLAND`S SISTER: Thank you for having us. We
appreciate it.

SHARPTON: Sharon, what`s your reaction to this news conference today?

COOPER: I wish I could have a definitive reaction, Rev. Unfortunately, I
haven`t seen the full autopsy report so I don`t want to make a premature
statement about it. And unfortunately, since we don`t have it, I`m not
able to give on just yet.

SHARPTON: Now, what do you think attorney Lambert, of the inconsistencies
reported in the paperwork? Because they came out last night with a big,
making a lot of news about, she had said yes that she once committed,
attempted suicide. But now we find out, but she said on another form, no.
What did these say to you?

CANNON LAMBERT, BLAND`S FAMILY ATTORNEY: Well, inconsistencies create
questions. Inconsistencies cause people to have difficulty with the coming
to ultimate conclusions. And so, when we`re in a situation where they are
trying to suggest that they know what the cause of death is and they know
the manner of death and you have all the inconsistencies that we are
looking it, it really creates difficulty in sifting through the situation.
It makes you question what they`re telling you.

SHARPTON: Right. Now investigators have not said when or where or how she
may have ingested marijuana. The prosecutor was asked about it today.
Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: If she smoked marijuana three days ago, how
could it still be affecting her three days later? You said it was a drug
that affects (INAUDIBLE) system. How could that affect her state of mind
three days after she smoked it, assuming it was not in the jail cell.

DIEPRAAM: Well, because the marijuana substance THC or (INAUDIBLE) is a
mind altering substance. If it is in your body, it is going to impair you
no matter when you smoked it.


SHARPTON: I mean, what will this add or takeaway from in term of the case
Attorney Lambert?

LAMBERT: Well, it is just an interesting trickle down, right? I mean,
you`re getting trickling of information but you are not getting the
totality of the information that is really relevant to the case. I can say
that when I looked at the stop, she sure didn`t seem that she mood altered
or mind altered. She was lucid. And I can say that when they booked her,
I`m sure they searched her, I would suspect they did, you know. And it is
hard for me to understand why you would trickle this stuff out but for the
fact you`re trying to sully people`s character.

I think you give everything that you have. You let the chips fall where
they may. And that way you can feel good about the fact that there is been
transparency and you can feel good about the fact that this family can get

SHARPTON: Which is what Sharon and the family has been saying from day
one. Putting it all out there but don`t (INAUDIBLE).

You know, Sharon, your sister, the district attorney also talked about
trying to get information off her cell phone. Listen to this.


of the car in that video holding that phone, it appears that she`s filming.
So I want to know what if anything was filmed. What if any pictures were
taken, what if any text messages were sent, emails, Facebook postings,
anything that will give us a greater insight into what was going on in that
car between that exchange.


SHARPTON: What light do you think the data from a cell phone could shed on
this, Sharon?

COOPER: I think we could have, if there is a recording with regard to
exactly what went on in the car. I think that would be helpful. I can
tell that you the dash cam that is available is very clear to me from my
viewing. And it is that the officer was overzealous and simply went too

The dash cam video, whether it is the first version or the second version,
whichever one you like to watch, it is very clear that the officer went

SHARPTON: Let me ask you, Sharon, you have been pushing the campaign on
social media. You`ve been very grateful and thankful to people all over
the world that have come in saying a lot on social media. And this trying
time, and I`m going to have your mother on later. As you grieve and
prepare to bury your sister, how do you feel about the, about an
international and world concern and attention that this case which your
sister has brought about.

COOPER: I have to tell you, Reverend, the first word that comes to mind
for me is just proud. I am so proud of that fact that my sister who was
unequivocally confident, who was outspoken, who was assertive, none of
which is a crime at all, has managed to stir up so much social awareness
and conversation around the policing of citizens and what rights they truly
do have. Last, if you would have told me ten days ago that the entire
world would know Sandra Bland, I would have told you, absolutely not. I
would have thought this would be dealt as a very - dealt with a private man
terms of fact that this doesn`t seem to be slowing down, I am humbled
beyond measured, I know my family is. And we are just really, really
pleased with the level of outpouring of love we have received and do not
want to be remiss in reminding people, please hash tagging, keep tweeting,
keep posting at this point. Justice for Sandy. Because at this point we
don`t have what we need. And Saturday is going to come with some sense of
closure in the sense that we will be able to ultimately lay her to rest,
but the work is just beginning.

SHARPTON: Sharon Cooper and Cannon Lambert. Thank you for your time

LAMBERT: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: And Sharon, I`ll be speaking to your mother about how she is
handling all this later in the show.

COOPER: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Thank you. Thank you, attorney Lambert.

But first, Hillary Clinton says Planned Parenthood is under a concerted
attack on right. We will tell you what is happening.

But first, a Republican senator compares John Kerry to Pontius Pilate?
We`ll be checking the scripture on that one in tonight`s Got You.


SHARPTON: Today secretary of state John Kerry was making a case for the
Iran nuc deal to Congress. This deal has sparked a lot of passion on both
sides which is fine. Unless it gets personal. Just listen to what Senator
Tom Cotton said on "Morning Joe" earlier.


SEN. TOM COTTON (R), ARKANSAS: This may have been a firm line that Iran
would not draw and the United States negotiating team simply was refusing
to draw their own line or walk away from the deal. So John Kerry acted
like Pontius Pilate. He warning his hands, kicked it to the IAEA.


SHARPTON: John Kerry acted like Pontius Pilate? The man who washed his
hands and allowed for the crucifixion of Jesus? In a policy debate this
important, nobody should be making personal attacks. And as it turns out,
I know a few things about the Bible myself, Senator Cotton. I know Matthew
says, "Blessed are the peacemakers. For they shall be called the children
of God." And Isaiah says, "They shall beat their swords into plow shares
and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword
against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." I could quote Bible
verses at you all day, Senator Cotton. But instead, I`ll just say this.
Nice try. But we got you.


SHARPTON: It`s the latest attack on Planned Parenthood. Two videos
released by an anti-abortion group claiming to show Plant Parenthood
officials talking about selling tissue from fetuses. The videos claim are
graphic and disturbing. They`re also not true. In an editorial, the "New
York Times" called the videos part of the campaign of deception against
Planned Parenthood, saying they were, quote, "edited to eliminate
statements explaining that Planned Parenthood does not profit from tissue
donation which requires the clear consent of the patient." And their
dishonest attempt to make legal, voluntary and potentially lifesaving
tissue donations appear nefarious and illegal.

But for Republicans, the videos are not excuse to go after Planned
Parenthood and the millions of women it helped. And now we are seeing
headlines like this. What do highways have to do with Planned Parenthood
and ObamaCare? Nothing. But Senator Rand stocked an amendment to defend
Planned Parenthood on highway bill and Democrats had to pull a veterans
health bill because Republicans tried to use that to attack Planned
Parenthood. Senator Patty Murray called them out.


SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D), WASHINGTON: I know some Republicans are trying to
use this latest issue as just one more opportunity to roll back the clock
and take away women`s healthcare options. We can have that fight. We`ve
had it many times before. But we should not be putting veterans into the
middle of it. Don`t take something that should be above politics are
sacred duty to our veterans and pull it down in the muck of petty politics.


SHARPTON: If Republicans want to fight about women`s healthcare, they
should say it. And not go after veterans while they do it.

Joining me now is Jess McIntosh of Emily`s List and Laura Bassett who
covers women`s rights and those issues around women`s right for "The
Huffington Post." Thank you both for being here.

LAURA BASSETT, "THE HUFFINGTON POST": Great to be here. Thank you.

JESS MCINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST: Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Jess, we`ve seen a lot of republican efforts over the years to
defund Planned Parenthood. But why go after the veterans in the process?

MCINTOSH: Yes. Every time Republicans try to Defund Planned Parenthood,
they overplay their hand. We saw this the last time. They almost caused a
government shutdown. When they wanted to defund Planned Parenthood, that
went really poorly for them but it did take a couple weeks to build up to
that. In this case, they overplayed their hand within days. Within hours.
And they did it for a bill to help wounded veterans have children. I mean,
if any bill is going to appeal across the aisle to republican women, to
anybody who counts themselves as pro family --


MCINTOSH: -- it is Senator Murray`s and they`re willing to tank helping
wounded veterans have children for a thoroughly discredited smear campaign
against one of the nation`s largest health care providers, which by the
way, one in five women has visited personally.

SHARPTON: You know, Laura, let me dig into that a little deeper because I
mentioned as Jess has about Republicans bringing down the veterans bill
with an anti-Planned Parenthood amendment. But I want to talk about what
that veteran`s bill would have done. It would have provided fertility
treatment, counseling and paid for adoption expenses for veterans with
infertility conditions, incurred or aggravated while on active duty. I
mean, it`s really a noble goal. Shouldn`t it be above politics?

BASSETT: Well, it was above politics. It was bipartisan. It was fairly
noncontroversial. The bill helps wounded women veterans. Have children
and helps them get fertility treatment. And no one was really objecting to
that until Senator Tom Tillis tried to attach an amendment that says, also
we don`t want to allow the V.A. to work with any organization that sells
fetal parts. First of all, Planned Parenthood has not been shown to sell
fetal parts. The videos that have been released so far have proven nothing


BASSETT: And secondly, the sale of fetal parts, the alleged sale of it has
nothing to do with veterans` health. It has nothing to do with in-vitro
fertilization. It has no business being on that bill. So, that speaks to
the deeply political nature of this situation.

SHARPTON: Jess, you talked about Planned Parenthood. And there are a lot
of misconceptions about what Planned Parenthood does. But there are some
facts. It provides care to five million people a year. Mostly
contraception, cancer screenings, and STI treatment. Just three percent of
its health services are abortion services and laws already prohibit federal
funds from paying for abortions. So in the last time Republicans tried to
defund Planned Parenthood in 2011, it nearly brought to us a government
shutdown. I mean, do they really want to pick another fight over women`s
health issues and women`s health care?

MCINTOSH: I mean, if they had shown any inclination to learn from past
mistakes, the answer to that would be no. But they haven`t. They seem
more than willing to throw women under the bus every time they need a
political boost. And Laura is absolutely right. The fact that they are
willing to attach it. This bill is only relevant because it deals with
women`s health. That`s the only tie-in between their Planned Parenthood
non-scandal and Patty Murray`s bill to help wounded veterans to have
children. It is about women`s health. So, they seem really happy to get
in the mix whenever they can restrict or make it harder for women to get
the whole round of health care options that they need. And women know
this, the reality of women`s experience that will play with Planned
Parenthood is exactly what you just said. Most of us have been there for
birth control to get questions answered. I went in college because I liked
that better than I liked my student doctors. I mean, that`s our reality.


MCINTOSH: And Republicans just don`t seem to realize that women know
better than they do on these issues of women`s health. And that`s why the
backlash is so swift every time they try to take it down.

SHARPTON: Most republican candidates, let me put it that way are not going
after Planned Parenthood. But Hillary Clinton said, while they have to
answer questions, the group does important work. Let me play that for you,


that Planned Parenthood has been the object of such a concerted attack for
so many years. I`m hoping that this situation will not further undermine
the very important services that Planned Parenthood provides across our


SHARPTON: How significant is this that Hillary Clinton has come out and
said this?

BASSETT: I think it is extremely significant that a democratic
presidential candidate was willing to come forward and defend Planned
Parenthood. Especially considering the inflammatory nature of the videos.
I think Democrats have been a little bit hesitant to say anything about the
videos, mainly because there`s been a Congressional investigation launched
and all the facts haven`t completely come out and supposedly there`s more
videos coming out. And I think they`re afraid of saying something and then
having it turn out that Planned Parenthood was doing something illegal.
But Hillary Clinton is kind of sticking her neck out for Planned Parenthood
and saying, look, this is an organization that provides birth control to
low income women, they do a STD testing, they do a STD treatment, they do
all kinds of things that have nothing to do with abortion and let`s not
loss the force for the threat here. We are attacking a massive healthcare
organization that for a lot of people, is the only healthcare that they

SHARPTON: Jess McIntosh and Laura Bassett, thank you both for your time

MCINTOSH: Thanks, Rev.

BASSETT: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, Jeb Bush`s stunning call to reverse 50 years of
progress and destroy a landmark program that has helped millions.

Also, as the investigation into Sandra Bland`s death continues, how is her
family coping? Sandra`s mom joins me for an exclusive interview, next.


SHARPTON: As the investigation into Sandra Bland`s death continues, we
must not forget her family. Grieving their loss in the final days before
she is laid to rest. Just a week before her death, Sandra Bland took a
road trip with her mother to visit family in Memphis. This week, Geneva
Read-Veal remembered her daughter at a memorial service.


GENEVA READ-VEAL, SANDRA BLAND`S MOTHER: She was not a convict, she was
not a suspect, she was my baby.

Yes. We have some issues. It was strained but we still loved each other.
There is not anywhere that I can see that my baby took her own life.


SHARPTON: With me now is Geneva Read-Veal, Sandra Bland`s mother. First
of all, thank you for being here tonight. And my condolences to you and
your family.

READ-VEAL: Thank you, Reverend. Thank you for having me. Thank you.

SHARPTON: First of all, how are you holding up right now?

READ-VEAL: By the grace of God. How else do you hold up?

SHARPTON: Yes. You know, you and your daughter took a road trip together
just days before she died. Tell me about the time you spent together. How
were her spirits?

READ-VEAL: Her spirits were lifted. She was excited about the next
chapter in her life. She talked about this new position that she had been
waiting on a callback for. And she was ready to get started. She really,
really was. She was excited.

SHARPTON: Now your attorney provided us with a voicemail Sandra left you
four days before she died. With your permission, I would like to play that

READ-VEAL: Yes, sir. Please do.


wanted to let you know that I made it. I am here. I am here. Call me
when you get a chance. Love you. Bye-bye.


SHARPTON: When you hear that voicemail, when you hear it now, what goes
through your mind?

READ-VEAL: That that was the last voicemail that I got from her. And I
can just see her face, letting me know, mom, I am here for real. Because I
told her that I could not believe that she took the trek by herself. So,
when I hear that voice right now, what really goes through my mind is the
absence of that smile. Of that laughter. Of that joy that she had just a
few days before her death.

SHARPTON: Then, what was your reaction when you first saw the video from
your daughter`s arrest?

READ-VEAL: My initial reaction when I first saw the video, disgust. I was
disgusted. There was no reason for her to be stopped. None.

SHARPTON: You don`t think she should have been pulled over and arrested?

READ-VEAL: No, sir, I do not. Based on what I`ve seen.

SHARPTON: Right. Now, in the paperwork that she filled out at the prison,
your daughter reportedly said that she had once tried to take her own life.
Were you aware of any of this?

READ-VEAL: I was not aware of any of that. And there are several things
that are coming out that I am just -- I`m actually appalled by. Because a
lot of these things, I am not aware of or was not aware of. And so, I`m
kind of looking at everything with a fine toothcomb. Because I`m still
grieving here.


READ-VEAL: And it is hard to receive this type of information not knowing,
and then you have to process and you`re still trying to bury your child,
you know?

SHARPTON: Now, that`s exactly right. And given the paperwork, if it is
so, should jail officials have done more to supervise Sandra while in jail?

READ-VEAL: Well, I unfortunately haven`t seen the paperwork, Reverend, I
opted not to look at the things that are out in the atmosphere, because the
information I was promised when I got down state, I could not get it.


READ-VEAL: So, I`m not paying attention to what`s being released right
now. Because I haven`t seen any of that.


READ-VEAL: I can`t trust social media with that.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you this. You say she had a revelation about her
life`s purpose on your road trip with her. Can you share that with us?

READ-VEAL: She did. Absolutely. We had been going back and forwards
about some of the things over the years that we needed to apologize for
and we did all that and we were laughing and we`re joking and we started
talking about taking accountability for the things you do and how you can`t
blame other people for the way you end up. And that it is your choice to
turn things around if that`s what you want to do. Sandy had been applying
for jobs all over the place. And so she and I just agreed that she was
going to stick to going back to Texas. She was going to also be on her
master`s program. And she said, "mom, you know, I know what my purpose is
now." She says, "my purpose is to go back to Texas and stop all the
injustice against blacks." That is what my daughter. She and I were in
the car. And that was what she was going to do.

SHARPTON: Wow! Do you have confidence in the investigation right now?

READ-VEAL: I have confidence in God and knowing that he is in control and
he is going to reveal the real truth. Confidence in man I do not have at
this point. I have confidence in what he is going to allow to come to

SHARPTON: How do you feel about the national reaction, people all over the
country showing such concern and interest? How did that make you feel?

READ-VEAL: Well, I have to tell you, Reverend, I would hope that everyone
would understand that it makes me feel great that they`re paying attention
to the story. It makes me feel overwhelmed at the same time, overjoyed
because as everyone is talking about Sandy, Sandy, Sandy speaks, after all
the lights are over, I still have a dead baby.


READ-VEAL: Okay. And so it is exciting on the one end. And on the other
end, it is a little emotional.

SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you this. How do you, you`re the mother. You
brought her in this world. How do you want your daughter to be remembered

READ-VEAL: I want Sandy to be remembered as an activist, sassy, smart, and
she knew her rights. And so, while everybody is in an uproar, go do your
research while this is all going on so that you know your rights. And it
is not your daughter, your son, your kid. That`s what I want. The anger
can be channeled into something that can be something so much greater than
the incident that happened to Sandy. We all have a time to get out of
here. We do. As much as I would like to go in my sleep, I may not go that
way. But when my time is up, it`s up. So Sandy`s story is up on this
side. But she is still speaking on the other side.

SHARPTON: Geneva Read-Veal, thank you so much for sharing your memories of
Sandra tonight. And again our prayers and condolences to you and your
entire family in this difficult time.

READ-VEAL: Thank you, Reverend. I really appreciate it. Thank you so

SHARPTON: Thank you. We`ll be right back.


SHARPTON: Ahead, 50 years after the launch of a landmark social program
that has helped millions of Americans. Here come a new attack from a top
presidential candidate threatening to dismantle it. That`s next.


SHARPTON: It is hard to believe next week marks the 50-year anniversary of
the Medicare program. On July 30 of 1965, President Lincoln B. Johnson
signed the landmark legislation into law. With former President Harry
Truman sitting by his side. Truman was the first American to sign up.
Fifty years later, we`ve seen millions benefit from the security of access
to health care in their old age. We`ve also seen generations of political
attacks from the right. The latest coming from presidential candidate Jeb
Bush. Here`s what he just said about Medicare last night.


JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think a lot of people recognize
that we need to make sure we fulfill the commitment to people who have
already received the benefits. That are receiving the benefits. But we
need to figure out a way to phase out this program for others.


SHARPTON: We don`t need to phase out Medicare. We need to strengthen it.
It is part of the same project of ObamaCare. And Medicaid expansion.
Ensuring all Americans have access to care and there`s good news to report
on that front. The governor of Alaska recently announced he would be
expanding Medicaid over republican objections. And now Utah reached a deal
on Medicaid expansion as well. Two deeply red states doing right thing for
their citizens. And it`s time Jeb Bush and all Republicans running for
president get on board. Yes, sometimes in politics you play to your base
but often you have to rise and decide to help those in your base.
Healthcare, Medicaid and Medicare is one way we are sure helping people
despite their party. Tomorrow`s papers may remember Governor Bush what she
said. But history will remember what you did.

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


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