Skip navigation

PoliticsNation, Friday, August 28th, 2015

Read the transcript from the Friday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: August 28, 2015
Guest: Dorian Warren; Ed Rendell; Faith Jenkins

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Right now on "Politics Nation," Donald
Trump`s grip on the GOP. Why aren`t Republicans trying to shake loose?
We`ll go live outside Boston where Trump is on the campaign trail.

Also, a verdict in the rape trial putting one of the nation`s most elite
prep schools in the spotlight.

Ten years after Katrina, a complicated return to New Orleans for former
President Bush.

And the cast of "the Wiz" falls in place. Reaction from one of the stars
on the "Today" show.

Welcome to "Politics Nation." We begin with Donald Trump`s hold on the
Republican Party. He`s not just pushing them to the right on immigration.
They`re following his lead on foreign policy, too. Just think, what`s
Trump`s favorite thing to talk about besides himself?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When was the last time anybody
saw us beating, let`s say, China, in a trade deal? They kill us. Who is
tougher on the Chinese than me?

The Chinese leader`s coming over here next week. We`ll give him a great
dinner, celebrate him. You don`t do that to people. Let`s have lunch.
You don`t need these big state dinners.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He`d be so tough on China. He`d cancel the Chinese president`s
state dinner. And what do you know? Today two other presidential hopefuls
bash China and talked about getting rid of that state dinner.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do not believe that we
should cancel Xi Jinping`s visit to Washington next month. I also do not
believe we should be rolling out the red carpet for him. This is an
opportunity to speak bluntly to this authoritarian ruler, not to treat him
to a state dinner.

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I just think when it comes
to an official state visit, those are something -- that`s one of the
highest prizes we can give to countries that we work with, that are allies
and partners. I think we need to not just look the other way. We need to
stand up and do something about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But the GOP isn`t just talking Trump`s lead talk and following
his lead on China, they`re looking to him for leadership on Iran, too. In
fact, Ted Cruz, a sitting U.S. senator, is joining up with Trump for a
rally against the Iran deal next month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We are talking to Ted Cruz, who is a friend of mine as a good guy,
about doing something very big over the next two weeks in Washington. It
will be announced and it`s essentially a protest against the totally
incompetent deal that we`re making with Iran.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A protest against one of the biggest diplomatic achievements of
the Obama administration and Trump`s leading it. But before he does, he`s
speaking to the media in just over an hour from an event in Massachusetts
where he says there he will probably start talking about things that the
rest of the party will hear, and I say they`ll repeat it.

Joining me now are Ed Rendell and Dorian Warren. Thank you so much for
being here.

DORIAN WARREN, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Good to see you, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Governor, canceling state dinners, rallying against the Iran
deal, is this serious?

ED RENDELL, FORMER PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR: Well, it isn`t serious, but the
other Republican contenders don`t know what to do with Donald Trump.
They`re afraid to take him on. They`re afraid to call him -- his ideas out
as ridiculous, outrageous.

I mean, Donald Trump actually professes that we`ll take 11 million people,
the undocumented, and physically deport them out of the country. That
would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, more than that. It would take
every law enforcement personnel in the country probably two or three years.
It`s a totally absurd idea on its face. And almost no one has had the guts
to challenge that idea because everybody`s afraid.

He is directing the band. There`s no question about that. And he`s moving
this party in a way that I think is going to make it untenable for them to
win in the fall.

SHARPTON: Dorian, you know, I was reading "The New York Times," I read
Paul Krugman a lot. And Krugman wrote that we`re hearing on foreign policy
from the GOP calling them -- these are the candidates -- crash test dummies
as Republican candidates for president.

He writes quote "how would the men and women who would be president respond
if crisis struck on their watch? And the answer on the Republican side at
least seems to be with bluster and China bashing," end of quote. I mean,
are we hearing anything of substance, Dorian?

WARREN: No, Reverend Al. And Paul Krugman hit it just right on the note
there. Bluster with no substance. So whether it`s China and this notion
that we have to be strong against China, that they`re somehow affecting our
markets, it`s global economy one on one. We are an integrated global
economy. China is not singing our tune, right? We`re not only responding
to China but to markets -- it`s deeper than all of that.

SHARPTON: Deeper than the currency battles that are going on.

WARREN: Exactly.

SHARPTON: I mean, we have real interconnected interests.

WARREN: Whether China or Iran.

SHARPTON: All over the world.

WARREN: Where Senator Cruz has indicted Donald Trump to this rally. Hey,
by the way, we can`t just tear up a deal with Iran as Scott Walker would
say he would do on his first day of the presidency. This is not a
bilateral deal potentially, right, this is a multilateral deal with
multiple countries. So what we do actually has an effect on the likelihood
of going to war.

SHARPTON: And in this global economy all things are multilateral. In
fact, when talking about the Trump/Cruz Iran rally, the White House press
secretary responded saying, it`s clear from any scrutiny of their position
that the position they may advocate makes another war in the Middle East
more likely. Is he right, Governor Rendell?

RENDELL: Well, there`s no question. If this deal craters, I mean, the
idea that we can get a better deal is, on its face, ludicrous. There is
going to be no better deal because the Chinese and the Russians who are an
integral part of this are not going to join with us. They`re going to stay
away. They`re going to lift their sanctions. We`re not in the position to
get a better deal. We don`t have any leverage. And if the treaty
collapses because the United States, everyone predicts within two years
Iran will have the bomb, and if they have the bomb, Lord knows what`s going
to happen. So the fiction of better deal, let`s negotiate a better deal,
that`s truly a fiction, and it makes no sense to propose that because it`s
totally unrealistic.

SHARPTON: And it`s a dangerous fiction.

RENDELL: No question.

SHARPTON: I mean, it is really, really very dangerous.

You know, Dorian Jeb Bush did try to hit back today. Let me play that for
you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He`s tapped into this anger and angst
that Washington`s not working. I totally get it. And I respect the fact
that, look, this is a guy who is the front-runner. He should be treated
like a front-runner, not as some kind of alternative universe to the
political system. Let`s have a debate of the ideas that people have as
candidates. And when we do, I think I`ll do a lot better than Mr. Trump.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The question, Dorian, is can he talk Republicans into stepping
away from Trump?

WARREN: No. Because he`s right to suggest that Trump is the front-runner.
That`s clear. But Trump is a front-runner because he is, in many ways, the
id of the American Republican party. And he has support across many
different spectrums of the party. You can`t just say Trump is the tea
party candidate. His support is broader than that.

So he is - this is the monster the Republican Party has created the last 40
years. And he`s exposed. He`s not even dog whistling in terms of using
strategic racism to make appeals around immigration. He is precisely this
monster, this Frankenstein the Republican Party has created with broad
support. So there`s nothing at this point Jeb can do.

And even when Trump criticizes him for having no energy, there`s a ring of
truth to that because he does seem a little sleepy in the campaign trail.
He`s not motivating any of the core Republican voters.

SHARPTON: Governor, you know, in that light, today secretary Clinton spoke
in Minneapolis to Democrats, and she, in essence, tied the whole GOP to
Trump, governor. I mean, is she right?

RENDELL: No question. He is writing the music, he`s writing the lyrics,
he`s conducting the band. Whatever he does and says everyone follows suit
because no one has the guts to take him on. And I`m waiting, I`m
interested to see in the September 16th debate whether anybody`s going to
step up and say, Mr. Trump, that`s a ridiculous idea and here`s why. Boom.
Let`s see. I don`t think anybody has -- they`re all afraid.

SHARPTON: But Dorian, they`re all afraid, but he`s already fired his
verbal assaults on all of them -- well most of them if not all of them.
What are you afraid of? I mean, he can`t say anything more negative about
Jeb Bush than he`s already said and Graham and the rest of them. So I
don`t understand what they`re feeling. He can only repeat his lines
against them. They can really start calling for a showdown here. They
have nothing to lose.

WARREN: They have everything to lose, Reverend Al. Because as you were
saying, as Hillary Clinton said earlier today, it`s no longer the party of
Lincoln, but the party of Trump. He is setting the agenda for the party.
He`s attracting the most amount of votes from the Republican Party primary
voters. Doesn`t mean that they can win in a general election but there`s
nothing the candidates can do to bring him down. Only Donald Trump can
bring down Donald Trump at this point.

SHARPTON: Well, Ed Rendell and Dorian Warren, thank you for both your time
tonight. And have a great weekend to both of you.

WARREN: You too, Reverend Al.

RENDELL: You too, Rev.

SHARPTON: Up next, Florida on alert as tropical storm Erika targets the
sunshine state. Florida`s governor already taking steps to keep people
safe.

Also ahead, justice file, a verdict in a case involving allegations of rape
and one of the country`s elite prep schools.

And later the "Politics Nation" report card reviewing President Obama`s
trip to New Orleans ten years after hurricane Katrina.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A city that for almost 300
years has been the gateway to America`s soul. Where the jazz makes you
cry, the funerals make you dance, the bayou makes you believe all kinds of
things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re monitoring tropical storm Erika and its effect on Florida.
Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency. The latest forecast
from the national hurricane center has the storm hitting the gulf coast
Monday. The entire state of Florida, along with parts of Georgia and South
Carolina, could see heavy rain in the coming days.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: We`re going to do everything we can. We
have a great state for emergency preparedness. We`ve got a great National
Guard in our state. But all of our citizens have to be active. You`ve got
to take care of yourself before we can help you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Meantime, the death toll from the storm is rising on the
Caribbean Island of Dominica. Local media reports as many as 25 people
were killed after the storm triggered flooding and mud slides. Searchers
can`t even reach some of the hardest-hit areas. We`ll be tracking this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s time now for the justice files. The jury came down with a
split verdict in the New Hampshire prep school rape trial. Owen Labrie is
not guilty of four charges including three sex assault felonies, but a jury
did find him guilty on five charges including misdemeanor sex assault and a
felony of using a computer to seduce a minor. As each verdict was read,
you could see the emotion on Labrie`s face.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guilty or not guilty?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You say, madam foreperson, that the defendant Owen
Labrie is not guilty?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So say you all, members of the jury?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guilty or not guilty?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You say, madam foreperson, that the defendant Owen
Labrie is guilty?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So say you members of the jury?

JURY: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This trial put the sex culture of an elite private school, St.
Paul`s, in the spotlight. Labrie`s defense argued he contacted the victim
as part of a student tradition. It involved senior boys sleeping with
younger girls. The school released a statement saying quote "it is our
responsibility to ensure that our students live and learn together in a
community that is built on respect, caring and support for one another.
Anything short of that cannot and will not be accepted. Labrie`s lawyers
says he will have to register as a sex offender.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

J.W. CARNEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Owen`s future is forever changed. A
conviction like this will be like a brand or a tattoo on him that will be
impossible to remove. He will spend the rest of his life, I`m sure,
showing people that this conviction should not have occurred.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A family spokesman for the victim says they are happy to see
justice.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAURA DUNN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SERVE JUSTICE: While we stood together as
a family through this process, it was our young daughter who took the stand
to speak the truth and request justice. We admire her bravery in coming
forward and speaking out in the face of great adversity. It is truly her
courage that has made a measure of justice possible today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now is Judge Faith Jenkins. Thank you very much for
being here, judge.

FAITH JENKINS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: My thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: We have a split verdict here. Are lawyers on each side looking
at this as a win?

JENKINS: I don`t think the defense is looking at this as a win. Owen was
convicted of four misdemeanors and a felony. The most serious charge is a
B felony that carries a three-and-a-half to 11-year sentence. I think the
only way they would have looked at this as a victory was if he would have
had an acquittal in this case.

But obviously based on the jurors` decision, you could tell that they
believed portions of his testimony and the victim`s testimony and they
rejected portions of both of their testimony. Because he was convicted on
the three misdemeanor sexual assault charges because the age of consent in
that state is 16. She was 15 at the time this incident occurred. Now,
they acquitted him on the three most serious charges, the felony sexual
assault charges, the rape charges because, you know -- and you can read
into that to say that they didn`t necessarily believe that it was not
consensual when she did engage with him.

SHARPTON: Let me go with the one felony they did convict him of. Labrie`s
defense attorney says he plans to file some sort of motion about that one
felony his client was convicted of, a charge involving using a computer to
lure a minor. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARNEY: We know why people who use computers to lure young children should
be treated harshly. They`re usually individuals who are pretending to be
18 years old themselves and truly have an evil intent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: How will they approach trying to change this conviction or
challenge it?

JENKINS: Well, when you look at the emails that the defendant sent to the
victim, if you look at them just by themselves, they`re seemingly innocent.
Hi, I`d like to hang out with you. Would you like to go for a walk? Would
you like to hang out? There`s nothing sexual in nature in those emails.
But I think when you put into the context of the entire case, which is what
the prosecutors argued, there was this senior salute. There was this plan
to try to seduce girls to get them to sleep with them. And this young lady
was on the defendant`s list. So those emails were not innocent. And they
were actually a part of a plan. He wanted to seduce her and those emails
were sent with that in mind. So that`s how that conviction came into play
in this case.

I think the defense attorneys are surprised because those emails taken by
themselves did not have a sexual nature to them, but again the prosecutors
argue look at them as a whole. It was all a part of a plan, a scream
scheme, premeditated. And that`s how it happened.

SHARPTON: The jury deliberated for eight hours. What do you read into
that, Judge Faith?

JENKINS: Well, there were a lot of counts for them to consider. And they
know the seriousness of this case, of the victim being a young girl and the
defendant being a young man who had been accepted into Harvard, into the
divinity school. He had no criminal record, no prior contacts with the
law. They knew the seriousness of the case. There were several charges
for them to consider. So I`m sure they went in, they took it very
seriously. And this is what they came back with.

SHARPTON: Now, let`s go to North Carolina where the state just dismissed
charges against a police officer who was accused of killing an unarmed man.
A judge ruled Randall Kendrick`s case a mistrial last week because the jury
could not reach a verdict.

Today a letter from the state attorney general says prosecutors have a
quote "unanimous belief a retrial will not yield a different result.
Police charged Officer Kendrick with voluntary manslaughter two years ago
in Charlotte. Prosecutor say he shot Jonathan Farrell ten times. Farrell
was seen on dash cam video walking up to police, then running out of view
on the camera. Police say he had been in a car accident that same night
and was looking for help. Carrick testified that he repeatedly fired
because Farrell kept charging at him. And that he did think his weapon was
working.

Faith, the jury was deadlocked here. How hard would it have been to get a
conviction in a second trial?

JENKINS: According to the prosecutors, Rev., they said that the
determining factor for them in this case was the discussion they had with
the jurors afterwards, the jurors who voted to acquit. And they said based
on that discussion they had with them and that they put forward what they
believe was the best case and the best evidence they had. They do not
belief that they empaneled another jury that that jury would come back with
a conviction. So that`s the basis for --

SHARPTON: The count was like 8-4?

JENKINS: It was 8-4, eight voted to acquit. And they sat down and they
spoke with those jurors, the eight that voted to acquit, and had a
discussion with them about the case and the evidence. And then they made
the decision going forward that, if they were to retry the case, they do
not believe they could get a guilty verdict.

Going in, they knew this case would be a challenge. This took two grand
jurors to even indict this police officer. They knew that based on the
facts it would be a challenge, and one of the reasons is because it`s a
police officer defendant and he testified for a number of hours on the
witness stand, and you`re faced with the fact that, when that happens in a
case like this where there`s a videotape and you have two different sides
arguing what that videotape means and what it says, but then you have
people who -- the standard is what would a reasonable police officer do in
that situation, Rev.

That`s when it gets challenging for a lot of people because a lot of people
don`t want to second guess the actions of police officers when they feel,
well, listen, I`m not in their shoes. They have to make these life or
death decisions, and I`m not in their shoes. I don`t want to second guess
what they`re doing. So whenever you have police officers as defendants,
that`s always a challenge.

SHARPTON: And the family of the victim questioned the makeup of the jury
as well.

Faith Jenkins, thank you for your time tonight.

JENKINS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, fight for justice ten years after Katrina. I`ll
talk to the brother of a man killed on the Danziger Bridge in the chaotic
days after the storm.

And former president George W. Bush returns to the big easy. Was he able
to shed the memories of the government`s poor response to the tragedy?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are the
resilience of a great American city whose levees gave out but whose people
never gave up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: It`s time now for Reverend Al`s weekly report card.

SHARPTON: Kids are heading back to school, and I`ve got a few students in
my class tonight.

First up, we`ve got a Maryland police officer finding a unique way to get
involved in his community by jump roping with them. Check this out.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)

SHARPTON: That police officer gets a D plus for double Dutch champion.
He`s really got some moves.

My next student is the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt. Yesterday he
won gold at the world athletics championship in Beijing, but then this
happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mamma Mia!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s a Segway knocking Usain Bolt over. Those are the most
valuable legs in the world. Luckily Bolt was okay. And tonight he gets a
U after posting to Facebook that he was unshakable, unbreakable,
unstoppable. I believe that. My final student tonight is President Obama.
He was in New Orleans this week and had lunch at Willie Mays Scotch House,
world famous for her fried chicken. But here`s what the President
confessed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I just sampled some of her fried
chicken. It was really good.

(LAUGHTER)

But I did get a grease spot on my suit. But that`s okay. If you come to
New Orleans and you don`t have a grease spot somewhere, then you didn`t --
you didn`t enjoy the city.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Tonight he gets an H for honesty. He admitted to getting a
little grease stain. We`ve all been there, Mr. President. Thanks to all
my students tonight. Class dismissed.

ANNOUNCER: That`s tonight`s edition of "Reverend Al`s Weekly Report Card."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Today, ten years after Hurricane Katrina, President George W.
Bush returned to New Orleans. It was a complicated visit. Bush`s
administration was heavily criticized for the federal response to the storm
and his praise of then FEMA Director Michael Brown has become infamous.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FMR. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), UNITED STATES: Again, I want to thank you all for
-- and Brownie, you`re doing a heck of a job. FEMA director is working 24
--

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: In later years, former President Bush said he made mistakes in
his response to Katrina and that he regrets the flyover of the damage
aboard Air Force One. Today President Bush traveled back to New Orleans
where he visited students and praised the city`s rebirth.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: All of us who are hold enough to remember will never forget the
images of our fellow Americans amid a sea of misery and ruin. We honor the
resilience of a great American city whose levees gave out but whose people
never gave up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Tomorrow marks the actual tenth anniversary of the Hurricane
Katrina making landfall in New Orleans. The city is planning a day of
service and volunteering from the Ninth Ward to Tremayne (ph). President
Bill Clinton will speak in New Orleans tomorrow afternoon. President Obama
visited the city yesterday. We turn now to a story from the chaotic days
following Katrina, one of the darkest moments in post-Katrina New Orleans
was the Danziger Bridge police shooting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just a week after Hurricane Katrina shattered New
Orleans, an urgent police radio call went out. Officers down at a bridge
over the city`s industrial canal. As an NBC News camera crew watched
police arrived in a rental truck, then dozens of shots were fired. Six
people were crossing the bridge to get to a supermarket, two others were
headed to see their brother, a dentist. When the shooting stopped two of
those people were dead and four were wounded, all of them unarmed. The
police claimed they were defending themselves.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The two victims were 17-year-old James Brissette, Jr. pictured
here at age 9 and 40-year-old Ronald Madison. In 2011 five New Orleans
police officers were convicted of violating the victims` civil rights and
attempting to cover up the killings. But just last week a federal appeals
court upheld a ruling that threw out those convictions because of
prosecutorial misconduct opening the door to a new trial. Ten years later
the flood waters have receded from New Orleans and much of the city has
been rebuilt, but the families of the Danziger Bridge victims are still
seeking justice.

Joining me now is Dr. Romell Madison, the brother of Ronald Madison who was
killed on the Danziger Bridge. Thank you very much for being here, Doctor,
and first of all, my condolences to your family.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ROMELL MADISON, BROTHER OF DANZIGER BRIDGE VICTIM: Thank you, Reverend
Sharpton. It`s my pleasure being here.

SHARPTON: How are you and your family reacting to the news last week about
the possible new trial for the officers?

MADISON: We`re quite disturbed about it. I guess the other families that
are involved also are upset about it.

SHARPTON: Now, what do you remember from the days following the storm and
from the day of the shooting?

MADISON: Well, we got information in bits in ports. I was told that my
brother was arrested, Lance, and, you know, we were trying to find out what
was going on and what happened, and then later we find out that my brother
Ronald had been shot and killed. So we were very, very destroyed by that
information. That small amount of information that we did receive. We
were out of touch with him for a few days after the storm started, and we
were desperately trying to locate them.

SHARPTON: Your brother Lance was with Ronald on the bridge.

MADISON: Yes.

SHARPTON: And was actually arrested in the cover-up. I mean, what was
that like for your family?

MADISON: Well, we knew that what they claimed that he did couldn`t have
been true. I know my brother well. He was there trying to help my other
brother Ronald make it through the storm. They were going across the
bridge trying to get help when they came up on the shooting. And when they
witnessed the shooting, they turned around and tried to run back the other
way.

SHARPTON: What would justice for your brother Ronald and James Brissette,
Jr., what would that look like to you and your family?

MADISON: Even though this was a case where we feel they were murdered, we
were relieved that they were found guilty and were sentenced. I guess just
the fact that justice had survived and was presented to the world that this
couldn`t happen or people couldn`t get away with this type of atrocity with
enough, I guess you would say, relief for us. We found some relief that
Ronald didn`t die for anything and my brother wasn`t falsely arrested for
anything.

SHARPTON: You know, I watched this and was down there a lot after Katrina.
And I can`t tell you how much I admire you and your family. The pain of
losing your brother and then having to stand up and take the pain of what
they`ve done. And you never, ever lowered the dignity and the stature that
this cause represents, and I appreciate you being here. Dr. Romell
Madison, thank you. And our prayers and condolences to your family.

MADISON: Thank you very much.

SHARPTON: Ahead, we turn to 2016 politics, and a development that has
people asking, why is Donald Trump succeeding with evangelical voters?

Plus, reaction to getting a dream role from one of the new stars of "The
Wiz."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Now that Donald Trump and his surprising success with
evangelical voters. Tonight, he`ll sit down for an interview with Sarah
Palin. She previewed their conversation today, going after reporters who
have questioned Trump about his faith. Quote, "lame stream media asks GOP
personal, spiritual gotchas. It is a personal what the heck does it have
to do with serving as commander in chief. I`ll cover this with my
interview with Donald Trump and other candidates tonight." End of quote.
Palin`s post comes after Trump made his headlines for this week for
declining to get into specifics. When asked about the Bible.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m wondering what one or two of your most favorite
Bible verses are.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I wouldn`t want to get
into it. Because to me that`s very personal. You know, when I talk about
Bible, it`s very personal. I don`t want to get into verses --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s no verse that means a lot to you that you think
about or cite?

TRUMP: The Bible means a lot to me, but I don`t want to get into
specifics.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He doesn`t want to get into specifics. And yet at the same time
he`s winning over the evangelicals? A new poll shows Trump with 24 percent
of the evangelical vote. Right now nearly double his closest competitor.
What`s the secret to Trump`s success with evangelicals, and could they help
get him the nomination?

Joining me now are "The Washington Post" E.J. Dionne and political
strategist Angela Rye. Thank you both for being here.

E.J. DIONNE, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Good to be with you, Reverend.

ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: E.J., are you surprised at how well Donald Trump is doing with
evangelical voters?

DIONNE: Well, I`m not surprised that he`s getting about the same share of
evangelicals as he`s getting of every other kind of republican. And I
think there are two things going on here. One, he is a celebrity, he is
well known, and he`s more interesting than any of these other candidates
even though the word "interesting" covers a lot of ground. The second
thing is, he`s doing better than average among conservatives who are
especially angry at their party`s leadership and there are a bunch of
evangelicals in that category. Having said that, I would bet -- if I can
bet with a man of the cloth -- that when people actually start voting,
Donald Trump isn`t going to be the evangelicals` choice. I would guess,
they would go more to Ben Carson, possibly Ted Cruz, maybe Mike Huckabee
will get a share. I think we`re making a lot of the fact that Trump leads
among them. We don`t know about the depth of this yet. And I have a
suspicion, you know, he can`t quote his favorite Bible verse and the like,
that a lot of evangelicals are going to go somewhere else.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, last month, Angela, at the family leadership
summit in Iowa, Trump was asked about whether he even asks God for
forgiveness. Now, listen to his response.

RYE: Right.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I`m not sure I have. I just go and try and do a better job from
there. I don`t think so. I think if I do something wrong, I think I just
try and make it right. I don`t bring God into that picture. I don`t. And
when I drink my little wine, which is about the only wine I drink and have
my little cracker, I guess that`s a form of asking for forgiveness. And I
do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed, okay?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Angela, I mean, how do you say that and get the support of
evangelical voters?

RYE: Well, Rev, you know what I`m starting to think? I`m starting to
think that he`s reminding them of someone they once knew perhaps in the Old
Testament. And since I know you`re about two days off from your next
sermon, let`s go to the Old Testament. I`m thinking King Nebuchadnezzar.
Pride comes before the fall. And he`s showing that in the worst way.
Right? Like here he is saying that he doesn`t even have to ask
forgiveness, and maybe not that he doesn`t have to but that he doesn`t
normally do that. I`m a Christian woman, I ask for forgiveness regularly.
Maybe I do more sinning than Donald Trump but I`m going to hedge my bet on
him. And since I am not going to throw stones living in a glass house, I
just would say, he certainly reminds me of someone I`ve read about in my
own bible. And I know the verse.

SHARPTON: Well, interesting night. I`ve got one man wanting to bet with a
man of the cloth and as political strategist telling me about King
Nebuchadnezzar.

RYE: Hey.

SHARPTON: But anyway, Trump has -- he`s made a point recently to talk
about what he calls a war on Christianity, E.J. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: There`s an assault on anything having to do with Christianity. A
week doesn`t go by where there isn`t some negative ruling on something
having to do with Christianity. I`ll be fighting on the other side much
stronger than anybody else that you have up there fighting because I think
it`s really outrageous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, is this the kind of talk that`s helping him with
evangelical voters, E.J.?

DIONNE: Oh, absolutely. By the way, on that quote about not asking for
God`s forgiveness, I do want to give Trump credit, which I don`t do very
often. That was an honest answer. And it is really hard to imagine Donald
Trump asking for God`s forgiveness.

SHARPTON: Well, you have to admit you`re wrong. You have to admit that
you`re wrong in something.

DIONNE: Right. Exactly. So maybe he has no since. But you know, I think
that he is picking up at many moments on the language that the white loves.
He did that with President Obama`s birth certificate. The conservatives
are talking a lot about the war on Christianity. He knows all of the
buttons to push. To pick up different pieces of the Republican Party. So,
I`m not surprised at all that he`s saying stuff like that.

SHARPTON: You know, Angela, this has real political significance because
evangelical voters made up a huge part of the electorate in 2012. Twenty
three percent of voters in 2012 said they identify as evangelical. How
important will the evangelical vote be in the 2016 election?

RYE: It`s only important if they turn out. And right now what we`re
seeing is that, for whatever reason, Donald Trump is ginning up that
particular base in the Republican Party. It is clear that they feel like
they want to hedge their bets on someone who will win. And they think that
he`s a winner because, as E.J. just said, he`s honest even if he doesn`t
have to request forgiveness. So, I think that`s really what we`re seeing
here, that it is not so much about whether or not he aligns with them from
a biblical standpoint and more about the fact that they`re tired of being
beholden to liberal interests, if you will. I think the other thing that`s
really interesting to watch is how evangelicals over the course of the last
four or five years have changed their views on things. I think you all
would recall when evangelicals were a huge part of the need for
comprehensive immigration reform.

SHARPTON: Right.

RYE: And siding with the 11 million folks who needed a pathway. Now all
of a sudden, they`ve taken a 180 and are on the opposite side of that and
siding with Donald Trump. So, I think it`s also interesting to see their
own evolution and we don`t know where they`ll end up by the time November
2016 comes.

SHARPTON: Now, E.J., "The Wall Street Journal" reports that Trump is set
to meet with a group of evangelicals later this month, but a spokeswoman
for Mr. Trump`s presidential campaign said the event isn`t affiliated with
his campaign organization, quote, "It`s a private meeting." What do you
make of this?

DIONNE: I think it`s a private meeting connected to politics. I don`t
know why they don`t want to talk more about it. I mean, where evangelicals
really matter are in Iowa where they are a very high percentage of the
caucus turnout, so Trump wants to go after them for that. And they also --
white evangelicals also matter a lot in the southern primaries. They
helped Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich beat Mitt Romney across a whole
series of southern primaries. So, if you`re a republican and want to win
Iowa and the southern primaries, you have to go after the white evangelical
vote. And he knows that.

SHARPTON: E.J. Dionne and Angela Rye, thank you for your time tonight.
And have a good weekend.

RYE: Thank you.

DIONNE: You too, Reverend, thanks.

SHARPTON: Still ahead. How the murder of a Chicago teenager 60 years ago
is still impacting us today.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: "The Wiz" has a new witch. Actress Uzo Aduba, best known for
her Emmy-winning portrayal of crazy eyes in the series "Orange is the New
Black" will be playing a new role. This time as Glenda, the good witch of
the south in NBC`s upcoming musical production of "The Wiz" live. Today,
Aduba said she couldn`t believe it when she got the part, but that when you
believe, anything is possible.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You were ready to get out of the business.

UZO ADUBA, ACTRESS: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you got the call for crazy eyes?

ADUBA: Yes. I got the job 45 minutes later, I got the call. September.
I will not forget it. September 14th, 2012, 5:43 p.m. I will be 90 and my
grandchildren will like, grandma, when was it and I`ll say, September 14th.
It really impacted my life and changed my life. And, you know, now getting
to go into "The Wiz" and sing a song like "If You Believe" feels even all
that more impactful, you know, because if you do believe, anything is
possible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: "The Wiz" live will air on NBC December 3rd.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Finally, Emmett Till`s legacy 60 years later. On this day in
1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till was murdered by two white men in Mississippi
for supposedly whistling at a teenaged girl who was white. He was
tortured, brutally beaten and shot in the head. The two prime suspects
were put on trial and acquitted of kidnapping and murder. Months later
they admitted to the killing, but the public confession didn`t lead no new
charges. At Till`s funeral, his mother insisted on an open casket. She
said she wanted the world to see what had happened to her baby.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAMIE TILL MOBLEY, MOTHER OF EMMETT TILL: Mr. Reynoff (ph) wanted to know,
was I going to have the casket opened. I said, oh, yes, we`re going to
open the casket. Let the people see what I`ve seen. I said, I want the
world to see this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Till`s mother later allowed photos of his mutilated body to be
published in "Jet" magazine to make sure the images were seen. These were
dark times in the Jim Crow south. And in time Emmett Till`s death would
help shine a light on the horrors of that era. On this same day eight
years after Till`s death, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous
"I Have a Dream" speech and he spoke of Emmett Till. 60 years later we
push on to live out that dream that Emmett Till never got the chance to. I
got to meet several times, Emmett Till`s mother Mamie Till Mobley. I am
inspired as we continue to fight injustices, unfairness and racism. I`m
inspired by how she never gave up the fight for justice for her son until
her dying day. We must continue.

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

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

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






Sponsored links

Resource guide