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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Read the transcript from the Wednesday show

May 22, 2013

Guests: Adam Schiff; Ryan Grim, Jamal Simmons, Lauren Ashburn

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tonight`s lead, forget the hype,
get the facts. Republicans have gone from peddling their bogus scandals
but they are coming up dry.

Toda y, right wing Republicans are all worked up about the IRS story.
After mid-level IRS official walked out on a house hearing after refusing
to answer questions. But the real point today was that the Republicans
totally failed to connect the controversy to the president.

The former head of the IRS made that crystal clear today with question
by congressman Elijah Cummings.


REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: Who nominated you to be head of
the IRS?


CUMMINGS: Are you biased against conservative groups?


CUMMINGS: Do you think they deserve more scrutiny than liberal or
progressive goods?


CUMMINGS: Did you ever order IRS employees to target conservative


CUMMINGS: Did you ever receive instructions from anyone at the White
House to target conservative groups?



SHARPTON: That`s the real story here. No conspiracy, no cover-up, no
nothing. The American people trust this president. A recent poll shows
the approval rating at 53 percent, 53 percent. That`s a higher percentage
than he got at the polls on Election Day. In fact, this approval rating is
2 percent higher than the president had back in April before these
Republican fueled controversies. The American people stand where the
president and his agenda.

Last night, a big victory for this president. A Senate panel approved
the immigration reform bill with some key Republican votes and a joyous
reaction from the crowd.


SHARPTON: (INAUDIBLE). Yes, we can. It is a huge step forward from
what could be the top achievement of the president`s second term.
Republicans are obsessed with the IRS and Benghazi and a host of other
conspiracy theories, but the president and the American people know what`s
really important.

Joining me now is Democratic congressman Adam Schiff who today in a
closed door briefing on Benghazi was there and here with me in my MSNBC
studios is my colleague, Karen Finney.

Thank you both for your time tonight.


SHARPTON: Congressman, are Republicans overreaching with all of these
accusations and conspiracy theories about t president?

SCHIFF: Yes, I think they are. And this is no more true than with
respect to the whole Benghazi investigation. We heard testimony, yet
again, from the intelligence committee today that there was no political
spin, no bias, no effort to protect Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama that
the talking points were written by the intelligence committee. There were
revisions made under the supervising capability of the CIA and other
intelligence agencies for legitimate, non-political reasons. So, if anyone
was still interested, once again, debunked the idea that these were spun
somehow. And made very clear that this was an intelligence committee
driven process.

SHARPTON: But this is not just a normal, casual thing, congressman.
They castigated Susan Rice. They raked over the coals, yet they will still
not apologize where no one, absolutely no one has linked any of this to the
White House or to Susan Rice. In fact, let me show you some of the what
the Republicans say when they question whether they would apologize to
Susan Rice.

McCain, no, of course not. Graham, she should be apologizing.

I mean, this is insane.

SCHIFF: Well, they really do owe her an apology. All right, of those
that were demeaning her and suggesting that she had spun the talking
points. This was the intelligence committee`s best estimate at the time.
And certain parts of it, the intelligence committee got wrong. And those
talking points said that at began as a protest. It didn`t begin as a
protest. But at the time, as they thought it had and they had intelligence
and other open source material that led them to that erroneous conclusion.
But Susan Rice relied on what the intelligence really said was their best
estimate and how can you falter for that?

Now that these e-mails have been made public, now the intelligence
committee has testified repeatedly on this. It has completely exonerated
Susan Rice. She had no role in directing the talking points. She wasn`t
spinning them. She was accurately conveying what was contained within
those talking points, created by the intelligence committee. So, I think
she`s owed an apology.

SHARPTON: Karen, there`s almost an obsession that they must lay
everything at the foot of the president. They can`t just say something is
amiss here. And even senator Mitch McConnell, when he was pressed on this
on "Meet the Press" about the scandals and accusing the president, let me
show you this exchange.



intimidation throughout the administration. The IRS was the most recent

DAVID GREGORY, HOST, MEET THE PRESS: Do you have any evidence that
the president of the United States directed what you call a culture of
intimidation at the IRS to target political opponents?

MCCONNELL: I don`t think we know what the facts are.

GREGORY: That hasn`t stopped you from accusing?


FINNEY: You know, it`s so offensive because clearly what they are
trying to do is link all of this together and by innuendo make it seem as
though, you know, this culture of intimidation, culture, they are trying to
even instill culture of corruption.

I would remind you that in 2005 and 2006, because I was with the DNC
at the time, I know this. We talked about a culture of corruption, but we
were talking about Tom DeLay and his (inaudible) system which got in the
web doing the people`s business. We were talking about a White House that
ousted a CIA operative in a time of war. Why? For their own politics.

So, when we were talking about a culture of corruption, there really
were links to the White House. There really were crimes being committed.
Here, it`s like they are just trying to throw as much innuendo. You know,
they keep saying when you ask them, OK, what`s the evidence? As David just
did, all they can say is we have to keep investigating and yet everything
we find out continues to, particularly in Benghazi --

SHARPTON: But it`s even a step beyond that because, congressman, you
not only have accusations that were made from one party to another where we
talked about things that ended up being the case, you don`t even have
accusers here. I`m not talking about where a guy makes an accusation
against the White House or the president or Susan Rice or whomever and ends
up not being true, we don`t have anyone going before the Congress or the
public saying this is what the White House did. This is all made up.

SCHIFF: That`s exactly right. And I think that was such a paralyzing
moment when David Gregory asked that question. They don`t have evidence
and they don`t have anyone that has come forward to say, oh, yes, the White
House instructed us to do this or we were pressured to do that. Even when
what we gathered so far from the IRS isn`t suggesting any kind of direction
from the White House or any culture of intimidation which just seemed
ludicrous. But, it doesn`t matter anymore. This is, here on the hill,
it`s become such an antipathy towards the president that they are willing
to level any accusation, no matter how little or no proof whatsoever, it`s
just now part of this institution, which is tragic because the American
people, they want us working on jobs.


SCHIFF: They want us working on immigration reform, they want us
working on responsible gun safety bills. And instead, all they are getting
is baseless accusation against the White House.

SHARPTON: And it is driving the hysterics again on the tea party


SHARPTON: I mean, look at rallies yesterday the tea party had, look
at some of the signs they had. Said, IRSS with a Nazi-style double S.


SHARPTON: Another sign about Obama care show the figure, pointing a
gun at the head of a person in a wheelchair. And another said, "Obama plus
IRS equals tyranny."

I mean, Karen, this is way odd stuff here.

FINNEY: It is. And remember, we saw some way out stuff from the tea
party several years ago, right, and during 2010 and leading up to that.
Look, this is part of the overreach that we`ve been talking about. I mean,
this kind of -- the thing is, there was clearly something wrong at what
happened with the IRS. But was it President Obama? No. I think what we
know is a bureaucrat somewhere made a bad decisions and then tried to --

SHARPTON: Under the decision of a Bush-appointed Republican

FINNEY: That`s exactly right. But again, there is no accuser.
There`s no evidence of particular wrongdoing. It plays into a, I think,
particular paranoia of some of the tea party folks, but that`s not, you
know, that`s not necessarily evidence that there`s a crime committed by the


FINNEY: More, they are using it as an excuse, quite frankly, it feels
like, to go back to what was some very harsh and sometimes racist rhetoric.

SHARPTON: When you look at the facts, yes, there is something wrong,
dig deep, get to the bottom of it, but you cannot ask the president and
those in the White House to defend themselves against the imagination and
hallucinations of the Republican leadership in the Senate and the congress.

Congressman Schiff, Karen Finney --

SCHIFF: I was going to say, there`s another casualty here, too, and
that is, we need the IRS to go against one of these sham 501c4

FINNEY: That`s right.

SHARPTON: No doubt.

SCHIFF: And I`m sure they are all too happy to intimidate the IRS
from doing the job which enforcing those laws equally, but enforcing them.
They have to be enforced. There`s just a large people to hide their donors
and we need to put a stop to that practice.

SHARPTON: Well, I promise you, we are going to keep an eye on that,
congressman, and not let it happen.

Thank you for your time tonight.

Thank you, Karen.

Ahead, a stunning twists in the Boston bombing. New evidence may link
the dead terrorist to an horrific triple murder months earlier.

Plus, GOP history on disaster relief. Since when did helping those in
need become a red state, blue state issue? And then, there`s this --


mistakes and I know I`ve let a lot of people down. I`ve also learned some
big lessons. I`m running for mayor because I have been fighting for the
middle class and those struggling to make it my entire life. And I hope I
get a second chance to work for you.


SHARPTON: Anthony Weiner is back and running for office. But wait
until you hear what the Clintons are saying. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet?

Today, Anthony Weiner`s big announcement had everyone talking. He
wants to be New York mayor. But after his mistakes, will people vote for

Koleman said, if I lived in New York, I would vote for him. He has
asked for forgiveness and what he did was not against the people.

James says, if Mark Sanford can get re-elected, why not?

But not everybody agreed.

Andre said, if you violate the public`s trust, you are no longer
worthy of public office.

Coming up, we got some more on Weiner`s shot at becoming the next
comeback kid.

But first, we want to hear what you think. Please head over to
facebook and search "Politics Nation" and "like" us to join the
conversation that keeps going long after the show ends.


SHARPTON: We are learning more about the devastation Oklahoma
tornado. Twenty three of the 24 victims have been positively identified.
Ten of those killed were children. The youngest were just four and seven
months old. The damage could top $2 billion.

Now, on Sunday, President Obama will get a firsthand look when he
tours the devastation. But he`s already made it clear. Oklahoma will get
every resource they need. It doesn`t matter that this is a red state. It
doesn`t matter that the president lost Oklahoma by 33 points in 2012.
Politics shouldn`t matter when Americans are need. And mostly it doesn`t.

But tell that to many in the GOP this time around. Most are eager to
give aid and they should be. But when hurricane Sandy ravished blue state,
they demanded offsets for aid, yet, they don`t see the hypocrisy.


SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: That was totally different. They
were getting that is supposed to be in New Jersey, they had things in the
Virgin Islands, they are fixing roads there, they are putting roofs on
things in Washington, D.C., everybody was getting in and exploiting the
tragedy that took place. That won`t happen in Oklahoma.


SHARPTON: See, it`s totally different but the hypocrisy doesn`t end
there. Senator John McCain voted against Sandy aid, but this time he
wouldn`t insist on offsets, saying when senator Roy Blunt, he says offsets
are not a priority. Even McConnell and Boehner have refused to comment on

Tragedy doesn`t discriminate and lawmakers shouldn`t discriminate with
aid for tragedy. Because as the president made it clear, we are one


some of our individual ambitious and we remain more than a collection of
red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States
of America.


SHARPTON: Not red, not blue, united.

Joining me now us Ryan Grim.

Ryan, it is terrific that we would get to tornado victims the aid they
need. But do Republicans seem to have a double standard when it comes to
red states and blue states, in your opinion?

although, you know, as usual, Tom Coburn, the Oklahoma senator, is pretty
consistent across the board. He is insisting that this aid to Oklahoma be
offset with cuts elsewhere. And yes, that`s pretty consistent with, you
know, his positions elsewhere but think about what that means. That means
that, OK, now a ton of federal money will go to Oklahoma and other places
around the country will have to sacrifice for that. So, it`s not exactly
fair to sit there and say that this is a principle stand when everyone else
is sacrificing for Oklahoma because states like Oklahoma, Texas, and others
in the plains, get far more than disaster relief than say a Rhode Islander
or somebody else that occasionally gets hit by something.

SHARPTON: And even with him saying that the leadership has not
committed they would that. And McCain and others who did take that
position with Sandy have said they don`t see that in this case.

But let me go to congressman Peter King who is a Republican from New
York. He says the people of Oklahoma should get every penny they need but
he slammed Republican hypocrisy and he is a Republican. He says, I think
there is a lot of hypocrisy involved here. Inhofe is saying Sandy aid was
corrupt, but Oklahoma won`t be. But, I don`t want to hold the people of
Oklahoma responsible for what elected officials are saying. This is a
Republican talking about his own party.

GRIM: That`s right. And for Inhofe to say that Sandy was exploiting
the disaster, this is the fact that Republicans in general exploits
disasters because they refuse to prefund, you know, a disaster relief full
of money because we know that tragedy is going to strike. We don`t know
exactly where it`s going to hit. But, we know it is going happen so you
can budget a certain amount for that for the year. So, that when something
happens, you don`t have to go through this fight and you say hey, look, you
were hit by something horrible, the country is here for you. So, they
don`t fund that. And then, every time there is a disaster, they say, OK,
well, we are happy to help, but we have to cut elsewhere. So what it is,
it becomes a way to exploit a disaster in order to pursue the agenda of
cutting government spending more generally.

SHARPTON: And then, when they are not playing the whole we need to
offset it, they drag their feet even to get there.

Look. Chris Christie, Republican governor of New Jersey, he slammed
the GOP leadership for dragging his feet on Sandy. Watch this.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: There Is only one group to
blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims. The house
majority and their speaker, John Boehner.

They did so, with callous indifference to the suffering people of my
state. Shame on you. Shame on congress.


SHARPTON: Now, this is probably the most popular Republican in the
country right now. Slamming his own party for dragging their feet on
Sandy, the victims of Sandy, something that we are not hearing this time in
a red state.

GRIM: Right. And I think that speech from Chris Christie is one
reason that you are hearing a little bit of a different song from
Republicans this time around. They don`t -- they don`t want to get
lectured like that again because, you know, what they have accomplished.
You know, they held up aid for, you know, several weeks, a pretty long
time, and eventually they caved on it. So, they didn`t win on policy and
they got destroyed on the politics. So, this time around, they are
thinking, OK, well, let`s not get ourselves creamed here. And also, of
course, you know, Oklahoma is a deeply red state and people have
connections to it.

SHARPTON: Yes. Well, Ryan Grim, thank you for your time this

GRIM: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Anthony Weiner`s political comeback. Will he get
any help from his old friends, the Clintons?

But, first, Republicans worried about spending, jet around the world
on the taxpayers` done, surprised? Me neither. That`s next.


SHARPTON: No matter what`s going on in the world, we can always count
on Republicans to complain about one thing, government spending.


think the American people agree, spending is the problem.

right now is we`ve got to do something about the spending.

greater than what the American people are willing to pay or able to pay to
fund our government.

BOEHNER: The goal here is to cut spending.


SHARPTON: Cut, cut, cut. That`s why I couldn`t believe when I saw
this. A list of all the trips that lawmakers have taken around the world
often to exotic locations at the taxpayer expense supposedly done to
promote U.S. interests abroad. Some of our favorite Republicans would
double as tour guides.

Take John Boehner. He took a taxpayer-funded trip to Brazil. I bet
it was a lot warmer in Rio than it was in D.C. last January. Maybe he
worked on his tan.

Or how about Eric Cantor? He squeezed in a trip to France. Sounds
like a great visit, especially if you don`t have to pay for it.

And congressman Darrell Issa took a break from peddling his so-called
scandals to visit Switzerland.

Other Republicans went to places like Monaco, Italy and Australia.
It`s practically the lifestyles of rich and shameless. Now, of course,
Democrats took these trips, too, but they are not the ones crying about
government spending.

Did Republicans think we wouldn`t call them out for their taxpayer
subsidized frequent pay flyer miles?

Nice job but we`ve got you.


SHARPTON: It`s official, former Congressman Anthony Weiner will run
for mayor of New York City. Here`s his first campaign ad featuring Weiner
and his wife.


mistakes and I know I let a lot of people down. But I`ve also learned some
tough lessons. I`m running for mayor because I have been fighting for the
middle class and those struggling to make it my entire life. And I hope I
get a second chance to work for you.

New York City should be the middle class capital of the world. And
I`ve got some ideas of how to do it. Sixty four of them. Right on my
website. Take a look and tell me know what you think.

HUMA ABEDIN, WIFE OF ANTHONY WEINER: We love this city and no one
will work harder than make it better than Anthony.

WEINER: I will fight for you every single day. Thank you for


SHARPTON: But "Politico" reports Bill and Hillary Clinton very
popular in New York are staying out of the mayor`s race. They used to be
political allies but now, they`re refusing to publicly support him.
Whether you have a stomach for him or not, there`s never been a bigger
fighter from the left in the house.


WEINER: This is put up or shut up time, if you don`t like national
health care, if you don`t like government run health care, this is your
amendment. I dare you. I double dare you. Vote yes on it. And then go
home and explain to your constituents, how you`re so philosophically
opposed to publicly funded health care that you voted to eliminate Medicare
on its 44th anniversary.

It`s Republicans wrapping their arms around Republicans rather than
doing the right thing on behalf of the hero. It is a shame. A shame. But
don`t give me the cowardly view that all of it was a different procedure,
the gentleman will observe regular order and sit down, I will not. The
gentleman will sit. The gentleman is correct in sitting.


SHARPTON: Many progressives cheered the fact that Weiner was never
afraid to take on the right wing media.


WEINER: The only question here is not whether or not there should be
attacks on that. The question is where the limit should be and how much
should the --

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: No, I`ll ask the question and you`re not
answering, just tell me how is it fair?

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: That`s why you and I are different, I
care about it, you don`t care about it. I do care about it. By the way,
you should, buddy.


O`REILLY: You should.

WEINER: This is the way interviews work. You get to ask questions
and I get to answer.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Oh, thank you. That`s helpful.

WEINER: When you put your commentaries at the end, they better be
factually correct, in this case, they are not.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: The bottom 50 percent of wage earners
only pay 2.9 percent of the federal tax bill.

WEINER: Do you want them to pay more?

HANNITY: No, I do not. No.

WEINER: You want the middle class to pay more?


WEINER: You want them to pay more.

HANNITY: No. I want you to --

WEINER: What`s the question?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I got to go congressman, thank you so much for
coming on.

WEINER: Great interview.


SHARPTON: Whatever happens, this is going to be fun. Full
disclosure, Anthony called me today and I agreed to sit down and talk with
them just like I agreed to talk to all of the mayor candidates. Let me
bring in Jamal Simmons and Lauren Ashburn, thanks for being with us
tonight. Jamal, you are a democratic strategist. Is this new ad, a Weiner
for Winner?

all of the right touchstones. You know, Huma, his wife, is in that ad.
She is as wonderful as she is in person. She comes across very wonderful
in the ad. You know, I`ve known Anthony for a long time when I was in the
house. His office was next to the office in the member I served with, and
you can hear him when he got off the elevator, because he was always so
loud and he came down the hall, he would laugh that Congressman Weiner was

He is going to be a tough fighter. However this goes, you`re right.
But what I think he`s got to do more of, is talk a little bit more about
what he wants to do for the City of New York and make this a little less
about his own personal redemption and more about what he`s going to do for
the city, the family, the students, and the, you know, the facilities of
that city and I think people may give him another chance. But I`ve got to
tell you, I have heard from a lot of people today and I don`t hear a lot of
support for him yet.

SHARPTON: Now, Lauren. Jamal says, he hasn`t heard a lot of support
yet, but a lot of progressives want a fighter and he has that fighting
voice. He does not show fear and take it on the right wing. Could that
generate some kind of support for him that might surprise people?

LAUREN ASHBURN, THE DAILY BEAST: Absolutely, Reverend. It could
generate that support. Look, people in New York love a good fight, right?
But the question right now about Anthony Weiner is not whether or not he`s
a fighter. It`s too early for that. The question is, is he sorry and do
we care? Actually, that`s two questions. So, the first one, in this ad,
did he say he was sorry? No, he did not.

If you look at it, he said, give me a second chance. He didn`t say,
I`m sorry. I really screwed this out. He might have said that, he did, in
the New York Times magazine article that went on and on and on...


ASHBURN: .was the mea culpa part of this. But the next question,
then, really turns on how can people or will people forgive his sins? It
used to be that you had to go on Oprah`s couch, you had to sit there, you
had to cry, you had to say, I`m so sorry and then move on with your life.
And the question is, did he really do enough of that?

SHARPTON: Well, but some say that he apologized to his wife, if she
forgives him, that may be enough. In fact, he played up his family in this
ad. Watch this, Jamal.


WEINER: Everyday starts right here. And it`s the best part of my
day. And then you step outside and New York is like no other place. This
was my neighborhood growing up. The middle class kid in Brooklyn. I
thought we had it all. Playing stickball late into the night. And if we
were lucky, a Mets game on the weekends.


SHARPTON: So, he plays up his wife Huma, he plays up Jordan, his son.
I mean, is this playing up the family, is this going to work for him,

SIMMONS: I think it`s going to be helpful, right? I mean, it`s good
for him, it shows that he`s been taking care of his family and he`s focused
on that and he`s now a family man. If I will campaign against him, I would
ask, he`s been out of work for the last couple of years. What has he been
doing for the city of New York? It`s good that he`s been taking care of
his family but how much of his own time has he been investing in some other
community project to make sure other people in New York are being taken
care of?

So, I think that`s a question he`s going to have to answer. But at
the same time, you got a whole bunch of other candidates in this race. You
got, you know, Christine Quinn, who was the first openly gay candidate
running for mayor of New York, you got Bill De Blasio who`s got a great
peace in New York Time today who is kind of wound up few people who leaves
outside the city of Manhattan. He`s from Burrow (ph), Brooklyn.

He`s running as kind of the out, you know, Burrow guy. He`s going to
have a tough race with a lot of good candidates and I think he`s going to
have to really show and prove that he`s changed and for voters who gave a
second chance.

SHARPTON: You know, the Clinton are staying far away from him, Lauren
in terms of endorsing him, anyway. A spokesman for Bill Clinton told
Politico, President Clinton has too many friends in this race who have been
good to him and his family. He wishes them all well but won`t be getting
involved. A spokesperson for Hillary Clinton says, Secretary Clinton knows
all the candidates. She has worked with many of them and he`s closed with
many of them.

So, won`t be weighing in one way or the other and as I said, I talked
to Anthony today and I talked to the other candidates, had them speak at on
policy at National Action Network, I think he has the right to win. I
think he has the right to run if he doesn`t win. I think the feel is full
of some very interesting candidates but I don`t think anyone should
begrudge Anthony Weiner from running and I remember him taking some pretty
tough stands.

ASHBURN: Right. And I understand exactly what you`re saying. But to
someone, Reverend, who is not a New Yorker, looking at New York and looking
at the fact that the Clintons, while they have lots of friends there, are
not supporting him, sends a pretty loud message. To everybody else. And
Chuck Schumer is not even supporting him.


SIMMONS: I`m not sure if that`s really a good measure. I mean, Bill
de Blasio ran. Hillary Clinton sent a campaign. So, he`s a friend.
Christine Quinn is the woman running for mayor, she`s a friend.

SHARPTON: Bill Thompson support --

ASHBURN: All I`m saying is that the Clintons, if they don`t throw
their weight in, that makes you question --

SHARPTON: You are sounding like New York because you`re talking over
each other.

ASHBURN: I`m not.

SHARPTON: I have to go. Jamal and Lauren, great interview. Aces.
Thanks for joining me.

SIMMONS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, on the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, a gruesome and
bloody triple murder happened in a Boston suburb. It was never solved.
Today, amazing news on that mystery. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: If you have a question for me, ask Rev. Friend or foe. I
want to know.


SHARPTON: It was the 10th anniversary of September 11th and a
gruesome triple murder made headlines in Waltham, Massachusetts.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: At this early hour, three people found dead
inside of an apartment.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This crime was not random. At this hour, they are
looking for two assailants.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The victims, man, all in their late 20s or early
30s were stabbed to death with a knife or possibly an ice pick.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: There was a girl running out of the house saying
there`s blood everywhere. And there`s like marijuana all over their
bodies, apparently.


SHARPTON: It was gruesome. Throats were slit from ear to ear. They
nearly decapitated. The murder was never solved. Nearly two years later,
no suspect was ever found. That is, until this amazing news tonight. Last
night, this man, Ibrahim Todashev was being questioned in Orlando, Florida,
by an FBI agent about his connection to the Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan
Tsarnaev. Quoting to the Washington Post, he brandished the knife and
threatened the officers doing the interview in his apartment. He was shot
and killed by the FBI agent. He reportedly knew Tamerlan through the world
of martial arts.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The Boston -- suspect he knew the older guy, older
brother. Just knew him back like couple of years ago when he used to live
in Boston. Right? And that`s it. He had his number in the phone, right?
But he only spoke to him like a month before that stuff happened, right?
And that`s it. He wasn`t close friends with him. He just knew, like
happened to know him.


SHARPTON: And just moments ago, we learned law enforcement sources
told NBC News that Tamerlan and Ibrahim killed three people in Waltham,
Massachusetts in 2011 in a simple drug rip-off. Sources say that what
began as a drug heist ended in the triple homicide when they realized their
victims would later be able to identify them.

Joining me now from Orlando is Boston globe reporter Wesley Lowery and
here in studio, Eugene O`Donnell, former police officer. Thank you both
for being here tonight.


WESLEY LOWERY, THE BOSTON GLOBE: Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Wesley, this is an incredible story. So, the FBI shot this
man, and he had just admitted that he and the Boston bomber committed the
three murders in Waltham.

LOWERY: Correct. The most grisly murder unsolved for you know, for
years that occurred in the ten anniversary, the September 11th attack. It
came out soon as Tamerlan Tsarnaev was named as a bombing suspect that some
of his best friends have been killed in this murder. Now, last night it
seems that the second suspect was here in Orlando preparing to admit to
this grisly crime when he just snapped, attacked an FBI agent and was shot
and killed just feet away from where I`m standing right now. So, this has
been a massive development.

SHARPTON: Wesley, what else can you tell us about what he actually
said to the agents?

LOWERY: You know, we`re still -- the details are so trickling out.
NBC has been upfront with a lot of this and Globe has gotten a lot of this.
Well, what we know so far, what we believe so far is that he is prepared
was potentially about to sign a confession to this triple homicide in
Waltham just outside of Boston when something snapped, something happened,
he got angry, threatened the officer, injured the officer, and that is when
he was shot and killed.

SHARPTON: Now, Eugene, it`s a bloody triple murder and the police
never came up with a suspect and now we find out the Boston bomber has now
been -- well, he`s been pointed out by his own accomplice in this gruesome
crime. I mean, what does this tell us about these guys if they did indeed
do it?

O`DONNELL: It raises questions about who these guys really are.
Whether this is ideological at all. Are these people just psychopaths,
organized criminals? Were they using the money to fund terrorist
activities? So what is their motivation is an obviously the larger
question is going to be, would this Boston bombing have been prevented?
Had these guys been brought to justice earlier?

SHARPTON: Now, what happens now? Are they going back to the scene to
see if others were involved?

O`DONNELL: Yes. I mean, this is no stone being left unturned. And I
assume law enforcement has to start double checking cases of all kinds
because this is the intersection now of ordinary street criminal activity
and the possibility that some of those people might be involved in more
sinister kind of activity. So this is kind of crucial in American history
in terms of criminal activity.


O`DONNELL: And the overlap with the terrorism.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you one more question, Eugene. You remember
doing our coverage of the Boston bomber here, he was missing at the
funeral. Now, this was a mutual friend that had said to reporters, this
was his best friend but he was not at the funeral. Quote, this is what a
mutual friend says, "he was somebody who was in contact with Brendan on a
daily basis. Anybody like that you would think he would have been around.
Tam wasn`t there at the memorial service. He wasn`t at the funeral. He
wasn`t around at all and he was really close to Brendan. That`s why it`s
so weird." This starts to make more sense today.

O`DONNELL: It certainly does. I mean, and it appears they didn`t
have suspects initially but if this is true, this is quite a dramatic trail
that eventually leads to this guy.

SHARPTON: Wesley, what about the cell phones? I understand that the
cell phones were found?

LOWERY: This is how they tracked down Ibrahim Todashev. Exactly.
Yes. When they seized Tamerlan Tsarnaev`s phone records, they saw that
there had been calls and contact between potentially before the bombing,
maybe after the bombing but that`s unclear. There had been contact between
Tamerlan Tsarnaev which Ibrahim Todashev which is what led them down here
to Orlando to interview him, to keep an eye on him. This was to our
understanding not the first time he`d been interviewed by the FBI but
subsequent interview and that`s how they found him, through Tamerlan
Tsarnaev`s phone records.

SHARPTON: Eugene, what would cell phone record mean in an

O`DONNELL: Well, they give you some sense of how many times they
speak, the relationship they may have. You get some ideas of where they
moved to and where they were coming from and they get some insights into
who else was in the network and obviously as we said before, in this kind
of case, they will know everything about these bombers. So if they did any
kind of minor infractions, that`s all going to come up. This is the most
investigated case in recent American history.

SHARPTON: So, you`re saying, this could change some of how we see the
Boston bomber? He could have been a psychopath, I think you said, he could
have been just some guy that was in the violence. Because this does not
appear ideological at all. This is a drug heist or an attempted to drug
heist that went into a triple murder.

O`DONNELL: A very bloody one. That the attempt was to kill these
people as witnesses. So, is this a criminal gang, is it terrorism? In
other countries there is overlap.


O`DONNELL: So this is more intriguing by the minute, really.

SHARPTON: And Wesley, this was a huge story in Boston with no
suspects for a long time after it happened in 2011.

LOWERY: Of course. For years. For years. No suspects on how it
happened. And again, it wasn`t until after the Boston bombing that
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was named by -- may have had this first report -- but
those are the first time that his name was formally been linked to it. And
now, the FBI -- both Tamerlan Tsarnaev as well as the suspect here in
Orlando had been considered suspects, potentially had been talked to, but
they didn`t have enough and now years later, it`s starting to be pieced

SHARPTON: Now, do we know if they were able to question Ibrahim about
what the communications were between him and the bomber with the cell phone
conversations? Because you said he talked to the FBI more than once.

LOWERY: It`s unclear what exactly he told them. According to his
friends who were out here, you know, near the scene, you know, based on the
local news reports, they said that he spoke to him before, that he had
admitted to having spoken to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, although there`s no
evidence to suggest that he had any knowledge of the bombing plot, at least
not at this point in time. But again, it`s still very unclear.

O`DONNELL: Right. There`s one cautionary note. The word of somebody
alone is not tremendously valuable. So, you want to have corroboration and
make sure there is supportive evidence.

SHARPTON: Wesley Lowery from "The Boston Globe" and Eugene O`Donnell
from John Jay College, a fascinating story. Thank you for your time

LOWERY: Thank you.

SHARPTON: When we ask you, friend or foe, I want to know, and the e-
mails are rolling in. My answers are next.


SHARPTON: It`s time to ask Rev. James writes, "With the way the
world has changed, do you think the Republicans will ever regain the White
House given the way they act?"

Well, it`s not how they act. It`s how the opposition acts. It`s how
those of us that don`t want to see the right wing back in charge. If we
don`t vote, if we don`t mobilize, they will regain not because they beat us
but because we didn`t fight.

Steve writes, "I don`t have a question but I have a prediction. By
Independence Day, the scandals will fizzle out like a sparkle on the fourth
of July."

Well, I think these scandals may fizzle out but they`re going to keep
coming with more, you must give them credit. They are tenacious, they will
find something to help keep trying to come. We have got to keep trying to
fight the fight, too. Don`t expect them to give out. Let us keep the
fight going.

Bam writes, "To what do you attribute your weight loss and the fact
that you get better looking every year?"

Well, that`s so nice of you Bam but I started exercising, I watch what
I eat. I don`t eat any red meat or chicken. I eat fish twice a week.
Other than that is salad and fruits. But most important, discipline. You
must have discipline. Watch what you put in your body.

Madonna writes, "I really admire your fighting spirit. How do you
keep from getting discouraged and giving up the fight for what is right for
all of the people?"

That`s a great question, Madonna, I keep from getting discourage by
remembering that America re-elected this president. He won. We`ve won the
fight. With all they did with voter suppression, we won. I remember he`s
rescued the economy. Creating nearly six million private sector jobs,
protecting 17 million children with pre-existing health conditions.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Insurance companies can no
longer impose lifetime limits on the amount of care you receive or drop
your coverage when you get sick or discriminate against children with pre-
existing conditions.


SHARPTON: The President saved over one million auto industry jobs,
with them are auto bailout, without support from the Republicans, he has
expanded Pell Grants and offered tax credits to make more college more
affordable. He`s kept his promise to bring our troops home.


OBAMA: After nearly nine years, America`s war in Iraq will be over.
Today, I can say that our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the


SHARPTON: So Madonna, we shouldn`t be discouraged. They`ll keep
coming with smears and scandals and we`ll keep coming with the two F`s, the
fight and the facts. Don`t be discouraged. We`re winning. Just because
they are swinging doesn`t mean they are scoring. I`ve seen too many
victories. I was in Johannesburg the night Mandela won. I was on the
stage the night Barack Obama was sworn in again.

I`ve seen too many victories to ever think that defeat is anything but
a temporary bump in the road because on the big ones, on the broad ones, on
the ones that matter, right always wins and it always will if we had the
courage to stand up and fight.

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


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