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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

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Date: July 29, 2015
Guest: David Birdsell, Jimmy Williams, Natalie Azar, Cecil Thomas; Wendell
Young; Areva Martin; Paul Butler; Jonathan Capehart

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on "Politics Nation," a campus
police officer charged with murder for shooting an unarmed man during a
traffic stop. We`re live in Cincinnati.

Also, how do you debate Donald Trump? Attack him? Ignore him? GOP
candidates are prepping for the worst.

And the story that`s touched millions of people. A young boy given a new
set of hands. We`ll look at his road ahead.

Welcome to "Politics Nation."

We start tonight with breaking news. A University of Cincinnati police
officer is in custody tonight after a grand jury indicted him for the
murder of an unarmed man. Today prosecutors released video from the
officer`s body camera. It shows Officer Ray Tensing pulling over Samuel
Dubose for a missing traffic plates, license plate last week.

In the police report the officer said Dubose` car dragged him, almost ran
him over, and that he was forced to fire his gun. The shot struck Dubose
in the head, killing him. We`re going to play the body camera video for
you. We should warn you. It is disturbing.


SAMUEL DUBOSE, VICTIM: I have a license. You can run my name.


DUBOSE: I don`t think I have it on me.

TENSING: Be straight up be me, are you suspended?

DUBOSE: No, I`m not suspended.

TENSING: Why then don`t you have it?

DUBOSE: I just don`t. I`m just going to go in the house.

TENSING: OK. Where are you staying? Down here?

DUBOSE: Right around the corner.

TENSING: (INAUDIBLE). Go ahead and take your seat belt off.

DUBOSE: I didn`t do nothing.

TENSING: Just take your seat belt off.


SHARPTON: The prosecutor says it`s clear that the officer was not dragged.
After the shooting, you can see the officer running after the car. The
prosecutor says the car sped forward after Dubose was shot. He calls the
video shocking.


over 30 years. This is the most asinine act I`ve ever seen a police
officer make. He wasn`t dealing with someone who was wanted for murder.
OK? He was dealing with someone who didn`t have a front license plate. I
mean, this is, in the vernacular, a pretty chicken crap stop. All right?


SHARPTON: The family of Samuel Dubose is thankful for the video and they
never doubted what happened.


ALOREY DUBOSE, SAMUEL DUBOSE`S MOTHER: Seeing that video let me know that
my son did absolutely nothing. Not nothing. Nothing to even provoke this

TERNA ALLEN, SAMUEL DUBOSE`S SISTER: When you know somebody, you know
somebody. So, we knew the video was going to -- it wasn`t like, maybe,
could have, should have. We knew the video was going to vindicate our


SHARPTON: We`ve seen protesters demanding to know what happened. And
today, we`re starting to get some answers.

Joining me now from Cincinnati, city councilman Wendell Young, and Ohio
state senator Cecil Thomas, who spent almost three decades in law
enforcement. They have both been close to this case. Thank you both for
being here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Senator Thomas, as a former police officer, what`s your reaction
to what we saw on that body cam video?

STATE SEN. CECIL THOMAS (D), OHIO: Well, it was what we had been hearing.
It was shocking. It was something that we didn`t want to see, but that`s
exactly what it did. And it really speaks to the frustration that African-
American communities around this country have had over the years since
policing has been in existence. Thank God for the video now these things
are being highlighted.

And mind you, it`s not all police officers. It`s a few. And when citizens
complain, often times without the video, it would have been, well, it`s
your word against the officer`s and often times, the officer`s word is

SHARPTON: You see this councilman, you see the report this university
policeman submitted, that the car dragged him, he had no choice. Then you
see the video, and none of that happened. And the prosecutor`s saying it`s
the most asinine thing he`s seen. I mean, one shot to a man`s head. You
attended the funeral for Samuel Dubose, what is the mood in the community?

I want to say to you is thanks for having us on. Secondly, the mood in the
community, I think, is calm. I think many of us are surprised that the
officer was indicted for murder. A lot of us didn`t expect there would be
an indictment at all. And many of us who thought there would be one,
thought it would be for manslaughter and not for murder. So we`re very

And at the same time, I don`t want to use the word happy, but I`m glad like
Cecil Thomas that for the video, because without that, I`m not certain we
see any charges at all. But that video was indisputable evidence that a
crime was committed by the police officer, not by Mr. Dubose. And now, we
need to wait now and see justice served.

SHARPTON: You know, senator, the community`s reaction to the news of the
indictment for murder, the councilman says, they were surprised. And it
goes back to your statement and I`ve been involved in these things for a
long time. It`s sad when people are surprised that something as this
blatant as this video appears to be does result in charges. We don`t know
what would happen at trial, but you would almost think that it`s sad that
we would be surprised that something that happened that is clear as this,
would even end up in charges.

THOMAS: You know, absolutely, Reverend. The transparency that we worked
extremely hard for here in the city of Cincinnati and let me preface that
with the fact that this is not a Cincinnati police officer involved in
this. This is a University of Cincinnati police officer. And the
university is in the city of Cincinnati. But transparency.

After the civil unrest we had in 2001, the reason we had that unrest was
simply because it was a refusal to be transparent in that investigation of
the officer that shot and killed the young man. And we had pretty much the
same kind of situation here.

However, we all feared the worst in that video. And we were demanding for
ten days that the video be released, so the citizens and the family can
know exactly what happened. And so, we`re saying, basically where do we go
from here? Cameras have to be the order of the day for law enforcement.
It speaks to how much training is still necessary out there. It also
speaks to the mere fact that there are some officers out there that will do
whatever they can to avoid being prosecuted.

SHARPTON: Councilman, the prosecutor thinks that Cincinnati police should
patrol the campus, not the university police. A reporter asked the
school`s president if he`d consider it. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have not. The policing that`s required of university
and college police are very different from the policing in a metropolitan
area. The important thing is to ensure the safety of the entire community
and also, frankly, of the university community.


SHARPTON: Now, I remember 2001. In fact, I came out and worked with
Reverend Damon Lynch and others then, but since then, there have been
reported better policing methods in the city of Cincinnati police, though
clearly a lot more has to be done. So is this an idea people in the
community support, councilman, having the Cincinnati police, police the
campus rather than the university police?

YOUNG: Well, Reverend, first of all, let me say that I certainly have my
differences with our prosecutor, Joe Deters. But on this one, we also
disagree. I want to commend him for the work he has done thus far on this
case. But I think that (INAUDIBLE), the president of UC is correct when he
said that policing on the campus is different from policing in an urban

I was also a police officer in Cincinnati and before that a police officer
in the United States air force. Policing in the air force, I found to be
different than policing in Cincinnati. It`s just not really the same
thing. The purposes are so very different.

What I also like, however, is that there`s a plan for even more cooperation
between the city of Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati police
department. I think that really is the way to go. I think that a closer
relationship between the two can result in a better university of
Cincinnati police department.

The Cincinnati police department is far better than it was in 2001.
However, I don`t want to paint the picture that we have utopia here. But
we do have a system that many Cincinnatians are able to embrace. We have a
police chief here who is all over the place all the time, highly visible in
the community. It does an awful lot, I think, to help instill that police
officers in Cincinnati are here to serve.

Again, like I said, we have issues, but at the end of the day, I think
Cincinnati has learned some lessons that UC can benefit from. So I want to
see that occur. But at this point, I`m not sure that Cincinnati taking
over the university policing is really the way to go. I think it bears
discussion. But I think at the end of the day, the University of
Cincinnati will maintain its police department and just work a lot closer
with us.

SHARPTON: Well, we`ll certainly be watching this over the next few days as
the university policeman is arraigned and we head for trial. We`ll also be
watching the Cincinnati police who do not have body cameras in the city of
Cincinnati policing.

Councilman Wendell Young --

YOUNG: We don`t have them now, Reverend Al, but there`s certainly going to
be a push to get them.

SHARPTON: Well, I thought I`d bring it up to see if I can get that push
out there, so our audience would know it.

Councilman Wendell Young and State Senator Cecil Thomas, thank you both for
your time tonight.

Now, let`s bring in former federal prosecutor Paul Butler and legal analyst
Areva Martin. Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: This video is shocking, I mean to say the least. I want to
start by getting both of your reactions -- Areva.

MARTIN: You know, I was so disturbed by it, Rev. But even before the
gunshot, something really important happened in this video. This officer
assumed that Mr. Dubose had a suspended driver`s license.


MARTIN: He pretty much concluded that without any facts to justify that.
So when we talk about police officer training, we have to also deal with
the issue of implicit bias. This officer made assumptions about Mr.
Dubose. So we have to assume but for the reason that he was African-
American. He was an African-American male driving, he gave his name, he
did nothing other than drive without a front license plate and this officer
made an erroneous assumption without facts that led to this horrific

SHARPTON: And he said, I live around the corner, that`s where my license
is. I mean, he said, I`m right around the corner.

Paul, your reaction? I mean, here we have the case of a change in lanes
without a signal in Texas with Sandra Bland. Now, over a license plate in
Cincinnati, resulting in a videotape of a University of Cincinnati police
officer shooting a guy and killing him. I mean - and you look at this
video, what`s your reaction in this climate?

BUTLER: First of all, I don`t understand why a campus cop is making an
off-campus traffic stop. You know, if you`re not trained in how to do a
traffic stop, that`s asking for trouble.

We look at Sandra in Texas, if we look at Walter Scott in North Charleston,
those were the results -- those tragedies were the result of traffic stops.
And this cop has even less cop than a regular cop. So again, it`s just a
recipe for disaster. It`s almost like he thought because he had a gun and
a badge, he had a license to hunt down African-American people. And that`s
just wrong. They do need better training whether it comes from the
Cincinnati police department or some other standard. They really need to
get out of the business of doing traffic stops.

SHARPTON: But let me go beyond training. Because Areva, I want to read
part of the account of the shooting in the police report. Quote, "Officer
Tensing repeated that he was being dragged by the vehicle and had to fire
his weapon. Officer Kidd told me that he witnessed the Honda accord
dragged Office Tensing."

Now, you don`t need training to tell the truth. The prosecutor said
they`re looking at the second officer`s claims. I mean, what options do
they have on both officers, because these are, on its face, appear to be
filing false police reports if you look at the video?

MARTIN: Filing false police reports, and they thought, rev, that their
fabricated stories would never be revealed. Thank God that those body
cameras are on the University of Cincinnati police officers and that that
body camera was on when Mr. Dubose was shot.

That second officer is just as guilty as that first officer. He was
prepared to back that fabricated story. So I`d like to see, and I`d want
to send a strong message and I hope this district attorney does, he`s been
very firm, very aggressive, to all those officers out there that are
willing to back false statements by other officers. That day is over.
That will no longer be tolerated and they should be prosecuted to the
fullest extent of the law, charged with felonies and hopefully serve jail
time just like the officer that pulled the trigger in this case.

SHARPTON: All right, Paul Butler and Areva Martin, I want to thank you
both for your time tonight.

MARTIN: Thanks, Rev.

BUTLER: Great to be here, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Republicans brace for an opponent like no other. How
do they debate Donald Trump?

Plus, medical miracle. We`ll talk to an expert about what`s next for that
8-year-old boy who got a double hand transplant.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). If you push yours, you can do anything.
Anything you dream to do.




SHARPTON: Also, Democrats rally to stop the right from rolling back 50
years of progress. Medicare and Obamacare under threat in 2016. Big show
tonight. Stay with us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are just two weeks away from the first Republican
debate. Just two weeks away, which means, we will finally, we will finally
get a chance to hear what Donald Trump thinks. No more playing it cool-
aide, Donald.



SHARPTON: Breaking news, tonight a new clue in one of the biggest aviation
mysteries ever. NBC news sources confirm that investigators from Boeing
have examined photos of aircraft debris found on an island in the Indian
Ocean. And it believes it came from a Boeing 777.

They also say it`s likely from MH370. That`s the plane that disappeared on
a flight from Malaysia to Beijing last March with 239 people on board.

The debris was found on an island of Reunion, which is 3,000 miles from the
plane`s last known location off the coast of Australia. But experts say it
is possible pieces of the wreckage could have floated that far over the
past year.


SHARPTON: It`s the biggest player in the Republican player. I`m not
talking about Jeb Bush or even Donald Trump. I mean the conservative media
and whether it`s a (INAUDIBLE) or FOX News or far right blocks, these are
the places that determine which contenders break through the noise. And
the candidates will throw all kinds of red meat to win them over. Just
check out a sample from the last 24 hours on FOX.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Obama would get creamed if he
ran again.


TRUMP: I would love to run against him. I would love to run against him.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I believe history will prove this deal with
Iran is worse than Munich 1938. I pray that I`m wrong. Am I wrong?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not wrong. You`re right.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: The reality is, this president is taking
us on the path to socialism.

TRUMP: You look at the policies, the way they represent us, it`s a


SHARPTON: And this is just the tip of the iceberg. A new report from the
Harvard Kennedy School says establishment Republicans now think that right-
wing media has become a big problem for the party pushing Republicans to
extremist positions and impeding Republicans` ability to govern and to win
presidential elections. The conservative media`s pushing the GOP further
and further right. So on the big issues, they`re getting more and more

Joining me now, Jonathan Capehart. Thank you for being here.


SHARPTON: Jonathan, the candidates who are more extreme get more air time.
But where does it stop?

CAPEHART: You know, I don`t know where it stops. I mean, you know, the
report that you talked about from the Kennedy school, actually, it`s sort
of a confirmation of what we`ve long known and suspected, and that is that
the conservative media has an enormous influence on the Republican Party
and on members of Congress and other people who aspire to be in Congress.

Now, you look at what happened during the tea party rebellion in 2010. A
lot of those folks were whipped up by what they heard and the
misinformation that they heard on FOX News, on Rush Limbaugh`s radio show,
from Sean Hannity and others.

And the interesting thing here to keep in mind is also that the folks
watching those shows are really extremely vocal. They let their
representatives know and their leaders know that they`re unhappy about what
they`re hearing. How many times have we seen stories about members of
Congress living in fear of what Rush Limbaugh is going to say about them on
any given day?

SHARPTON: Talking about rush Limbaugh, he weighed in today, attacking the
Republican establishment, and he`s begun weighing in on Donald Trump`s
chances. Let me play this to you.


establishment level, you know as well as I do, that if they can throw away
the Christian right and the conservative tea party, they would do it.

Trump is tapping into the voters the Republican Party can win with. And he
is demonstrating to them how they can win.


SHARPTON: The seal of approval by Rush Limbaugh. How much is that really
worth, Jonathan?

CAPEHART: Well, it`s worth a lot in a primary, if you`re a sitting member
of congress, and you are worried about a primary challenge, having Rush
Limbaugh on your side, is a good thing. But I would have to challenge
Rush`s assertion that Donald Trump is -- yes, he`s tapping into a
constituency that feels abandoned and ignored by the establishment
Republican Party. But there`s no way a Republican running on a national
ticket can win with just that sliver of the angry piece of the Republican
Party electorate. That`s just foolish to say that.

SHARPTON: Now, let me tell you something I`ve found interesting. Look at
the number of appearances the GOP candidates have made on FOX since they
launched their campaign. Senator Rand Paul has the most. Followed very
closely by Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump.

Now watch this. Jeb Bush is in last place of all 16 candidates with just
three appearances. Trump and Huckabee near the top. What does this say,

CAPEHART: Well, if I`m remembering correctly, all three of those folks,
certainly Huckabee and Trump, will be in that debate next week in Ohio.
And you know, Jeb Bush will also be on that debate stage, and even though
he has fewer FOX appearances, his poll numbers are high, guaranteeing that
he`ll be on that stage.

But that just means that Huckabee and Trump and rand Paul, because they get
more air time on FOX, have the ability to make life a living hell for Jeb
Bush, as he tries to win his way, especially through the early primaries.
Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina. There`s a long way to go for governor
Bush to get to Florida with FOX News and other conservative media beating
him up and giving air time and positive stories to Donald Trump, Mike
Huckabee, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and the other 13 or so who are running.


All right, Jonathan Capehart, thank you for your time tonight.

CAPEHART: Thanks a lot, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead, he`ll be the biggest wild card on that debate stage. How
can the other Republican candidates take on Trump?

Plus, an 8-year-old boy gets a double hand transplant and touches millions.
I`ll talk to a medical expert about what`s next for him.


SHARPTON: Presidential primary debate season is about to kick off.
Republicans say they didn`t want a circus this time around. They said they
didn`t want a repeat of this.


FMR. GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: It`s three agencies of government when I
get there that are gone. Commerce, education, and the -- what`s the third
one there? Let`s see.

not appearing to be zany and --


say when they`re applauding, stop.


when I hope what happens in Vegas doesn`t stay in Vegas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I kind of feel like the pinata here at the party.

ROMNEY: There are a lot of reasons not to elect me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Dancing with the Stars" or "American Idol"?

GINGRICH: American idol.

ROMNEY: I`ll tell you what, 10,000 bucks. Ten thousand dollar bet?

PERRY: I`m not in the betting business. I can`t. Third one, I can`t.


SHARPTON: The 2012 GOP debates made for some entertaining television. But
of course it`s hard work being up on that stage. I remember what it was
like when I ran for president in 2004.


SHARPTON: I wanted to say to Governor Dean, don`t be hard on yourself
about hooting and hollering. If I had spent the money you did and got 18
percent, I`ll still be hooting and hollering.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of you pledge to support the winner of this?

SHARPTON: I`ll work for him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ll travel all over this country to make Al Sharpton

SHARPTON: My favorite song is James Brown on the Republican Party, talking
loud, saying nothing.



SHARPTON: Punchlines work, but you also need policies. In 2004, I had
specific issues that I wanted to talk about before a national audience. So
what about Donald Trump? What`s he fighting for besides himself? And how
will Republicans take him on? That`s next.



DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I never debated before. I don`t
know. Maybe I`ll be great. Maybe I`ll be terrible. I don`t know, I have
no idea.


SHARPTON: We`re just eight days away from the first presidential debate
and Donald Trump`s presence on that stage is going to make for one bumpy
night for the rest of the GOP candidates. Newt Gingrich warned that,
quote, "It`s like dealing with nitroglycerin." And a top adviser to Ohio
Governor John Kasich tweeted, imagine a NASCAR driver mentally preparing
for a race, knowing one of the drivers will be drunk. That`s what prepping
for this debate is like. One thing`s for sure. When Donald Trump gets on
that stage, he won`t be pulling any punches.


TRUMP: I`ve been nice to Scott Walker. And then today, I read this
horrible statement from his fund-raiser about Trump. I said, oh, finally,
I can attack.


I think Bush is an unhappy person. I don`t think he has any energy. And I
don`t see how he can win.

Senator, what a stiff. What a stiff. Lindsey Graham.


Rick Perry should have to have an IQ test before getting on the debate


SHARPTON: Joining me now is David Birdsell, co-author of presidential
debates, the challenge of creating an informed electorate and MSNBC
contributor Jimmy Williams. Thank you both for being here.


SHARPTON: David, how do candidates deal with a guy who other Republicans
are describing as nitro glycerin and a drunk driver?

puzzle. If you`re a Bush, you probably want to stay as far away from him
as possible, if he`ll let you clearly and you showed some clips a moment
ago that made this very clear, he will have no compunction about attacking
and attacking in personal terms and really trying to needle people in ways
that a normal politician would never consider on a debate stage.

SHARPTON: And Jimmy, does the strategy for debating Trump depend on who
you are and where you stand in the polls?

WILLIAMS: I don`t think so, no. I think, I mean, David`s right, I mean,
it`s not that Trump isn`t going to sit passively by, he`s going to attack
all of them and stand out. I mean, that`s just -- that`s his m.o. We`ve
seen it now, well, for years. I don`t think it matters necessarily where
you are, if you are Carly, I mean, she won`t even be on the stage, but it
doesn`t matter who`s on that debate stage with him. He`s going to go after
them all, saying they`re part of the establishment, saying they are bought
and paid for by lobbyists?

SHARPTON: All of them? You`re not going to distinguish --

WILLIAMS: That`s right. That`s exactly right. And then he`s going to
attack Hillary and then he`s going to attack the President. And that`s his
m.o. we`ve heard this. We know what he`s going to do. The sad part is,
he`s like that kid with terets or something, he just shouts it out and
everyone just sort of, you know, shakes and trembles when he does it. If I
were on that stage with Trump, I would just ignore him. I would literally
rise above and ignore him.

SHARPTON: But does it David ignoring him might backfire, because then he
may even become more animated? I mean, I remember, I showed some zingers I
did when I ran. But I knew your zingers makes you not look too distasteful
to the public in terms of that. You can laugh at yourself. But then you
covered policies and I wanted to push social justice issues and the Iraq
war, all of that was the issues in 2004, health care, some real issues.
And I had pressure on me that if I didn`t come prepared and raise the
issues after the zinger, I would embarrass my colleagues in the movement.
I don`t feel Donald Trump has that kind of pressure, because he`s not
representing causes or issues, or comes out of a broader movement. He
represents himself, and he represents his brand. There`s no pressure on
him. When you look at last week, Donald Trump questioned the fact
surrounding the number of undocumented immigrants in the country. Watch


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do we handle the 11 million already here?

TRUMP: I don`t think that`s an accurate number anymore. Because I`m now
hearing it`s 30 million. It could even be 34 million, which is a much
bigger problem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who you are hearing it from?

TRUMP: I`m hearing it from other people and I`ve seen it written in
various newspapers. And nope, the truth is, the government has no idea how
many illegals are here. They have no idea.

SHARPTON: I mean, how do you debate someone when they just make up their
own facts, David?

BIRDSELL: Well, it becomes hard. I think one of the only angles that I
can imagine and in general, I sympathize with Jimmy`s point that you want
to try to stay away as much as possible, but he`s gotten the paths on
pretty much every policy position. We know he wants to build a fence, we
know he hates immigration, we know he thinks he can expand the economy
dramatically and give it to the Chinese. But he`s never said anything
about how he wants to do that. And one thing that his fellow debaters can
do is to push him a little bit on what those things look like. And then
the facts will have to be out there, they`ll be open for the fact-checkers.
That won`t matter for his base. They won`t care about that. They`ll be
perfectly happy to get Trump facts rather than facts that come from some
discredited government source. But it will make a difference in his
demeanor and might have some chance of keeping him on the defensive.

SHARPTON: Jimmy, I would debate him similar to what David`s talking about.
I would come at him straight out. I would not ignore him. I would
confront him and say, Mr. Trump, you talk about jobs, my jobs programs
would be infrastructure. I would have this job`s bill. This costs this.
And when you talk about immigration, here`s my point, A, B, C. Now what is
your point, one, two, three? And I would rattle him. I would force him to
either have to admit that he has no program, or just be reduced to name-
calling and people would understand he really can`t answer policy


SHARPTON: Just simply confront him.

WILLIAMS: You can do that to a certain degree, absolutely. But the other
thing is is that, we`re not having a discussion about the moderators of
this debate, or basically these three-tier debate thing that FOX has going.
FOX has been Donald Trump`s biggest proponent and Trump has been FOX`s
biggest proponent. Do we actually think that the FOX moderators are going
to press Donald Trump on the specifics like that?

SHARPTON: Which is why the candidates have to do it.

WILLIAMS: That`s exactly right.

SHARPTON: Which is why if I would on that stage, David, I would say, thank
you for the question, but Mr. Trump, let me go to you and go right at them.
And what are the moderates going to do? If he`s up there all night
offending everyone, you have the right to then put aside the process and
they`re going through and just say, let`s go specifics. People are hurting
in this country. People are unemployed. People need answers. Here are my
answers. What are your specific answers?

BIRDSELL: And there`s another thing that makes it very important for
republican candidates who want to retain their credibility into a general
election. Another big reason to do that, and that is to try to
disassociate Trump from the big stamp on the Republican Party. The biggest
risk for the GOP here is that Trump becomes absolutely synonymous and
coterminous with the Republicans. And many polls are already showing that
many population groups are believing that and some think he`s already the
nominee. Obviously that`s wrong and we`ll have the better part of 12
months to figure that out. But that`s very dangerous for a party that
needs to broaden its base and this is not the way to do it. So they have
to think about making those distinctions.

SHARPTON: Does Trump need to come off more presidential, Jimmy?

WILLIAMS: That`s impossible.

SHARPTON: Does he have to try?

WILLIAMS: No. Because he`s Donald Trump. He`s never tried, he`s never
going to try, he never will try. You can`t do something that you are
physically incapable of doing. There`s nothing about Donald Trump that`s
presidential. Everything about him is Trumpian. And that`s why I say he`s
like the kid in the classroom with terets. You just never know what`s
going to --

SHARPTON: Well, then --

WILLIAMS: I mean, Teddy Roosevelt was not like this. I can`t think of any
president ever, period, in the history of this country that was as
bombastic and as off the cuff as this guy. He`s not presidential at all.

SHARPTON: Well, I think that then I would use that. I would say, can you
imagine this man as the leader of the free world? Would you want him to
get the 2:00 wake-up call the way he`s behaving on that stage? I would
rope-a-dope him. I`d lean him and let him punch himself out. David
Birdsell and Jimmy Williams, thank you for your time tonight.

WILLIAMS: Have a great day, thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, an eight-year-old boy becomes the first child ever to
get a double hand transplant. How does this breakthrough, how will it help
thousands of other patients?


SHARPTON: Now to a remarkable story and how major innovations in medicine
are completely transforming lives. Eight-year-old Zion Harvey was missing
something most people take for granted. Hands. But that changed this
month when he became the first child in the world to receive a double hand

NBC News` Rehema Ellis has more.


REHEMA ELLIS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What this child has
endured could defeat most grown-ups. At two-years-old, Zion developed a
life-threatening infection. Both his hands and feet were amputated. Then
he got a kidney transplant from his mom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nice deep breaths.

ELLIS: For the ground-breaking procedure, a team of 40, including ten hand
surgeons, operated on Zion, for nearly 11 hours at children`s hospital of

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see the hand right here, starting to pick up.

ELLIS: New hands that will grow with Zion.

getting started and realizing medicine`s potential to treat patients like
Zion. We`ve made a big step forward with this operation.

PATTIE RAY, ZION HARVEY`S MOTHER: When I saw Zion`s hands for the first
time after the operation, I just felt like he was being reborn again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Okay, relax and open wide.

ELLIS: Therapy is exhausting, but Zion`s determined.


SHARPTON: After the surgery, Zion showed off his new hands for the first
time and he expressed his gratitude to his doctors and his family.

some of my family stand up for a minute, please?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to stand up?

HARVEY: I want to say to you guys, thank you for helping me through this
bumpy road.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is NBC news medical contributor Natalie Azar.
Dr. Azar, Zion is the first child to ever have this surgery. This is
ground-breaking, isn`t it?

breaking. You know, there`s only been a number of these performed
throughout the world. I think somewhere close to 25. The second one at
Penn a couple years ago, they did it on an adult, but this is what we
believe, the youngest person who ever have undergone this procedure
successfully at all.

SHARPTON: You know, NBC`s Rehema Ellis, he actually asked him what his
first thing will be when his bandages come off. Listen to his response.


HARVEY: My favorite thing to do, go home, pick up my little sister from
daycare and wait for her to run in to my hands and I pick her up and spin
her around.

ELLIS: And now you hold her hand and what`s Zoe going to be able to do
with you?

HARVEY: Grip on to it.

ELLIS: She`s going to be able to grip on to what?

HARVEY: My hand.


SHARPTON: I mean, it`s remarkable to think that this young boy will be
able to hold his sister`s hand.

AZAR: I know.

SHARPTON: How long will that take?

AZAR: Well, he can already hold the hand, of course. But what the doctors
are projecting is that it will probably be a number of months, maybe seven,
eight months before he`ll really going to start to get the feeling back in
his hands and be able to use them. He is undergoing pretty extensive
physical therapy right now. Obviously there`s good vascular supply,
meaning there`s blood flow to the hands obviously that is necessary --

SHARPTON: Yes. But what really struck me doctor was the head surgeon said
that his hands will actually grow with him. Watch this.

AZAR: Yes.


LEVIN: The finger bones, the wrist bones, the forearm bones have what we
call growth plates. And these growth plates, based on our experience in
traumatic replantation, once we re-attach the parts, the growth plates stay
open and allow the amputated part to grow. So we have every reason to
believe that because Zion`s hands are alive and his growth plates are
intact from the donor, that he will grow like a normal child.


SHARPTON: So as he grows, his hands will actually grow with him?

AZAR: Right. Exactly. And we all reach a certain point in time, boys and
girls reach at different ages in adolescence where their growth plates stop
growing and that`s when we stop growing. But they have every reason to
believe that the donor tissue was viable and took, so to speak and that his
hands will grow with him.

SHARPTON: But this is a long road, I mean, this is a tough thing this
young man going.

AZAR: They basically say that the nerves regenerate at about two
millimeters, you know, a day. That`s really, really slow. And so, it will
take some time for him to get all the feeling back, and for him to be able
to execute, you know, function, to be able to use the hands.

SHARPTON: And "The New York Times" is reporting, he has immune suppressing
drugs he`ll have to take us to ensure that the body --

AZAR: Doesn`t reject it.


AZAR: Which he`s already on, because he`s been on them for four years
already since his kidney transplant. So, that you know, in and of itself
made him a descent -- for this because he`s already been on these drugs.
So, you know, I mean, he`s going to need to be monitored for the rest of
his life, but he certainly has a very different outlook than had he not had
this procedure.

SHARPTON: Such a great story.

AZAR: Phenomenal.

SHARPTON: Such a strong character in this young man. We`ve reached out to
him, we hope to have him on the show --

AZAR: That will be great.

SHARPTON: -- he`s able to do it. Dr. Natalie Azar, thank you for your time

AZAR: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, Democrats sound the alarm as Republicans try to
reverse 50 years of progress. Medicare to ObamaCare under threat in 2016.


SHARPTON: Ahead, the republican effort to roll back 50 years of progress,
including their latest strategy to repeal ObamaCare. It`s all coming to a
head. And now Democrats are warning about the high stakes in 2016. That`s


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, the high stakes in the 2016 election. Today
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and fellow Democrats sounded the alarm,
warning of new republican attempts to dismantle core social programs.
We`ve seen those attacks from republican candidates, like Jeb Bush, who
talked about phasing out Medicare. It would reverse a half century of
progress. Tomorrow marks 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson signed
Medicare and Medicaid into law. Landmark programs that have helped
millions of Americans.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: We must not allow the promise
of Medicare and Medicaid to be undermined, or be betrayed. We must
strengthen, not cut or voucher or block grand these essential pillars of
America`s health and economic security.


SHARPTON: We`re also seeing new attacks on more recent landmark programs,
like the Affordable Care Act. In the Senate, Mitch McConnell is making a
new push to repeal ObamaCare, using a strategy that would require just 51
votes. Conservative groups are hoping a republican president would sign
that repeal into law in 2017. And we`re coming up on the 50th anniversary
of the voting rights act next week. A triumph of the civil rights era,
gutted by conservatives on the Supreme Court. President Obama`s
administration has been committed to restoring the voting rights act. Will
the next president share that commitment? So as we see the debates start
and the beauty contest parts of the next election form, let`s not just look
at who we like. Let`s deal with what we like and what we need. Not who
appeals to us. But whose interest will be served. Fifty years of progress
can go down the drain, if we don`t take this time seriously.

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


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