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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Read the transcript from the Tuesday show

August 27, 2013

Guests: Nia-Malika Henderson; Karen Bass; William Barber; G.K. Butterfield, Bill Press, Dana Milbank, Angela Rye

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Thanks to you for tuning in, coming to you
from Washington D.C. Tonight`s lead, hot list GOP conservatives are
reaching deep into their bag of insults to attack Americans who are hurting
and to justify what`s increasingly become a Republican Party hostile to
those in need.

On Fox News, Bill O`Reilly can`t wait to give you his expertise on
poor people.


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Most of the poor are in that
circumstance because of poor personal decision making. This country offers
great opportunity to everybody, but you must work hard to seize it.


SHARPTON: Poverty comes from poor decision making? What about if
you`re a child and poor? Is your decision making under suspicion? This
cartoonish stuff isn`t new for the likes of Hannity, Beck, or O`Reilly.


O`REILLY: My contention is that the Obama administration is
encouraging parasites to come out and, you know, take as much as they can
with no remorse. And this is how a country declines. This is how we
become a weak nation.


SHARPTON: So if you need food stamps, you`re a parasite. That wasn`t
exactly his language when he supported billions of dollars to bail out
bankers in need. But this is the heartless talk we keep hearing from the
right and Bill O`Reilly is hardly alone.

Tea party Senator Rand Paul is comparing the use of food stamps to
slavery. In an interview he said access to food and water is not a right,
because, quote, "once you conscript people and say oh, it`s a right, then
really you`re in charge. It`s servitude. You`re in charge of me, and I`m
supposed to do whatever you want to tell me to do."

So if you take food stamps, you`re accepting servitude. Senator, what
about if you`re hungry? And it doesn`t stop at food stamps. Here is what
Republican Congressman Dave Joyce was caught on tape saying about the


REP DAVE JOYCE (R), OHIO: There`s three million jobs every month in
this country that go unfilled and want to learn the necessary skills to go
forward and be able to do those kinds of jobs.


SHARPTON: Three million unemployed people can`t find jobs because
they`re on drugs? This is how mean-spirited and cruel the Republican party
has become. Here is GOP Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania few months


GOV. TOM CORBETT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: There are many employers that say
we`re looking for people, but we can`t find anybody that has passed a drug
test, a lot of them and that`s a concern for me.


SHARPTON: Well, Governor, here is what a concern for me. Look at
this inequality chart. The blue line shows over the last three decades.
The poorest 20 percent in this country had income gains of 16 percent. And
this red line during the same period, the top one percent enjoyed gains of
281 percent. That`s right. That 281 percent growth. Something is
seriously wrong with this picture. Yet they`re attacking the unemployed,
attacking Americans on food stamps, and attacking the poor. It may fire up
their base, but it`s a heartless thing to do, and it`s wrong.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Karen Bass and Nia-Malika Henderson.

Thank you both for coming on the show.

You know, Congresswoman, Bill O`Reilly and his ilk say that poverty is
a result of poor decision making. I mean, what do you say to that?

REP. KAREN BASS (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, you know, on the one hand, I
do think it`s cruel and all, but I also think it`s profoundly ignorant.
And that`s the thing that is so shocking, that my colleagues on the other
side of the aisle and newscasters like O`Reilly do not have a clue how poor
people live.

The fact of the matter is the majority of poor folks work. The
problem is that people might work one, two, three jobs, but they don`t earn
enough now in order to support themselves and that`s a problem of our
society overall.

SHARPTON: And I think that`s a critical point. The majority of poor
people that live under the poverty line work.

BASS: Right.

SHARPTON: Now, you have got some real battles in Congress this fall.
This is not just guys talking, firing up the base on talk shows.


SHARPTON: You have Congress people.

BASS: Right.

SHARPTON: Who are trying to legislate based on this.

BASS: Absolutely. And I know when I come back in a couple weeks what
we`re going to have to face are the cuts that they`re trying to impose to
food stamps. And it`s not just the cuts, but the amendments that
individual Congress members are introducing really reflects the narrative
of what they think of poor folks.

SHARPTON: BASS: Give me an example of the amendments that are most
disturbing to you.

BASS: A couple of examples. One, a work requirement, that people
work a certain number of hours a week in order to qualify for food stamps.
Once again, the narrative that they try to project is that people are at
home watching TV. People are working minimum wage jobs. They`re working
at fast food restaurants, which is why you see the actions that are taking
place today.

SHARPTON: By the wages at these fast food places.

BASS: Right. Another amendment requires drug testing. Now, why
would we waste all of this taxpayers` money on drug tests for what? Again,
the narrative is that people who are poor use drugs.


BASS: Are felons, and don`t want to work and that`s just ignorant.

SHARPTON: Nia-Malika, the fact that you have a guy like Bill
O`Reilly, who has a long history of blaming the poor for their own poverty.
Listen to this.


O`REILLY: There is almost always a reason attached to it. It is not
the capitalist system`s fault. It`s usually personal responsibility or
something like that. And the causes are these -- poor education,
addiction, irresponsible behavior, and laziness. The majority of blacks
want money spent to level the playing field, to redistribute income from
the white establishment. There are 50 percent of the voting public who
want stuff. They want things. And who is going to give them things?
President Obama.


SHARPTON: Now, Nia-Malika, does the moderate Republicans that you
cover agree with this? I mean, saying that the majority of blacks want
money spent to level the playing field and to redistribute income from the
white establishment, 50 percent of the voters want stuff. Do moderate
Republicans believe this and follow this kind of rhetoric?

think you hear from moderate Republicans that they`re certainly more in the
mold of George Bush, who came into office or at least campaigned on
compassionate conservatism, and campaigned against the house Republicans at
the time saying that he didn`t think it was right to balance the budget on
the backs of the poor.

I think another thing we`re missing here in terms of what poverty
looks like in America. It`s increasingly in the suburbs. And if you look
at polls out recently, four out of five of adults in this country will, at
some point struggle with poverty, possibly have to accept food stamps. So
this, I mean, I think sometimes some people sort of focus on this old idea
of poverty that it`s in certain areas, in the inner city. I think we have
Ronald Reagan in many ways to thank for that consistent image about poverty
and about people who are poor and taking advantage of the system. It`s
just not true.

Poverty is much more widespread. It crosses much more demographics
racially than it has in many, many years and it`s very sad. I think you`re
going to see somebody like Cory Booker who looks like he will be the
negotiation senator from New Jersey, he somebody who wants to come in and
really talk about the poverty. The Democratic Party I think for many years
have not wanted to talk about poverty. And it looks like along with folks
like Karen Bass and Cory Booker, they are going to have these champions to
talk about poverty.

SHARPTON: Well, you know, I have been around the country, and I have
seen things on the ground. And this is atrocious, Congresswoman. People
are really hurting. This is real. I`m talking about people that get up
and go to work every day. They do everything they`re supposed to do.

Let me show you some of the priorities how it`s hurting real
Americans, putting politics over people. Watch what cuts to head start is


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Head start is going to enroll fewer children
because of sequester-mandated budget cuts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are the most, you know, devastating cuts
that we`ve ever, ever seen, the sequestration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have my four children with me when I was
homeless at the time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That make you feel bad about being poor, even
though you`re doing everything right. I`m going back to school. I`m doing
everything I`m supposed to do. But you can`t get a break.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You need this program, because they help them.
They give them the support that they need. They give them that little
boost. There are kids that needed a lot of help, and they got it from this


SHARPTON: And that is a priority, Congresswoman, of some of your
colleagues across the aisle to cut back on head start, when you have people
saying how it really hurts, and it really interferes with the future of our

BASS: Right.

SHARPTON: In terms of our young people.

BASS: Absolutely. And I think it`s also very important that we look
at the ideology that drivers this, because remember how we thought when
Romney made his quote/unquote "slip" about the 47 percent?


BASS: We see that that`s actually the driving ideology for the
Republican party, which basically says there really shouldn`t be a safety
net. That safety net should be handled by churches, by nonprofits. But
the government really shouldn`t be involved in it.

However, when it comes to them, you know that 14 Republicans receive
farm subsidies totaling over $7.2 million. So when it comes to government
money, for people who are wealthy, we are OK with them. When it comes for
government money for big business, we`re OK with that. But they are trying
to divest our society from the responsibility of the most vulnerable. And
I think that`s a fundamental change to our society, and one that I
certainly won`t stand for.

SHARPTON: You know, Nia-Malika, if you look at the cuts to head
start, because of GOP fuel budget cuts, $400 million slashed from the
budget. It will eliminate over 57,000 children from the program. And look
at the farm bill, what it does to food stamps. It would cut $40 billion in
funding, up to six million people could lose assistance. These are very
heartless things to do to people that are vulnerable. You say moderate
Republicans don`t agree with this. Why aren`t they speaking up?

HENDERSON: Well, I think that`s a good question. And I think you
give those numbers, and it really is children, right, who benefit from some
of these programs. If you look at food stamps, most of the folks who are
getting food stamps, the supplemental nutrition assistance program, they
have children. And head start, certainly, I went to head start certainly
benefits the kids in the early education years that are so crucial. So, I
do think there is an opportunity for Republicans to speak up around these

And in some ways, I mean, you have -- if you look at, for instance,
what Rick Perry is doing down in Texas, a different issue around Obamacare.
He doesn`t agree with Obamacare, but he is at the same time trying to get
$100 million in Obamacare to take care of the elderly and disabled. So it
does feel like there is some room for Republicans to frame this issue in a
way that works for them, in a way that resonates, because, again, this is
about children. It`s often about the elderly. It`s often about the
disabled. And this idea that the poor should be demonized, it just doesn`t
resonate with people.

SHARPTON: Well, I hear you about the senator. But even a broke clock
is right twice a day.

Thank you, Nia-Malika Henderson and Congresswoman Karen Bass. Thank
you for your time.

BASS: Thanks for having us on.

HENDERSON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: President Obama will speak at the Lincoln Memorial at
tomorrow`s anniversary celebration of the march on Washington.

Coming next, I will speak with two activists fighting for the
protection of the right to vote.

And more on Donald Trump facing a $40 million lawsuit for fraud.
Tonight you will hear what some of the alleged victims are saying.

And the stunning inside story of Michele Bachmann`s presidential
campaign. Her former staffer has written a tell-all book, and it`s all in
there, the firing of a pregnant mother on Christmas eve, the money paid to
buy support in Iowa, the incredible details ahead.

What`s on your mind? E-mail me. Friend or foe, I want to know.
"Reply Al" is ahead.


SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? We hope you will.

Everyone`s been talking about the lawsuit New York attorney general
filed against Donald Trump for deceptive business practices. And he says
if these allegations are true, I`m with the Attorney General Schneiderman.

Deborah says Trump can dish it out, but he can`t take it.

And Cheryl says, now show your records like you asked the president
for his birth certificate.

Good one, Cheryl.

Coming up, you will hear from some of the victims and see who Donald`s

But first, we want to know 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 believe in a new America. It`s time to march for a new
America. It`s time to organize for a new America. It`s time to register
and vote for a new America. We are on our way. We`re on our way. We are
on our way.


SHARPTON: We are on our way.

Now, one day away from the 50th anniversary of the march on
Washington, President Obama will deliver a major address tomorrow, from the
same spot where Dr. King delivered his famous "I have a dream" speech at
the Lincoln Memorial. He is expected to talk about the progress, but he is
also expected to confront the right wing assault on voting rights in

And now that we have marched, it`s time to take action. Today, we are
fighting some of the same battles we fought 50 years ago. We`ve seen the
lines, the chaos, and the suppression. Today, North Carolina has the most
radical voter suppression law on the books, a strict voter ID requirement.
No same-day voter registration. Early voting slashed by the week. But
we`re ready to act.


SHARPTON: We are on our way to North Carolina. We are on our way to
Texas. We are on our way to Florida. And when they ask us for our voter
ID, take out a photo of Medgar Evers. Take out a photo of Goodman, Cheney
(INAUDIBLE). Take out a photo of Viola Louisa. They gave their lives so
we could vote. Look at this photo. It gives you the idea of who we are.


SHARPTON: It`s not enough to commemorate e activists that paved the
way, we must emulate them.

Joining me now two activists fighting to protect the vote, the
Reverend Dr. William Barber, the president of the North Carolina NAACP, and
congressman G.K. Butterfield, representing North Carolina`s first
congressional district.

Thank you both for being here tot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Reverend Barber, let me start with you. Your state now has
the country`s most radical voter suppression law. How are you fighting

you know, Reverend Al, what they`re doing is they`re fighting to roll back
what we want. We`ve been organizing and fighting with the NAACP in more
than 150 organizations. And we want same registration and early voting and
Sunday voting.

What we are seeing now is extremism on steroids, Jim Crow 2. They
have rolled back, signed a registration, early voting, Sunday voting.
They`re wanting to deny 17-year-olds from preregistering. They want to end
public financing and all an attempt. They passed a voter ID law that is
worst than Alabama, South Carolina. For 13 weeks, we had thousands of
people come to the legislature, nearly a thousand people registered. We`re
moving across the state. Within one hour after the governor signed this
monster bill we had already filed suit working with the NAACP, and with the
advancement project. We have 13 rallies tomorrow in the 13th congressional
district. We are organizing massively on our college campus, and we`ll
have a massive march on the governor`s mansion in the early part of

We are not going backwards, Reverend Al. We say forward together not
one step back. Well will win in the courts. We will organize in the
street. We will file our pulpits. We have the most massive coalition right
here in North Carolina. We are building a movement from the bottom up.
This is our Selma, and we will stand our ground.

SHARPTON: Now Congressman Butterfield, you and Reverend Barber was
with us Saturday here at the march. But tell me, that`s what we`re doing
with agitation. How do we stop this with legislation? What is going on in
the congress, what can go on?

REP. G.K. BUTTERFIELD (D), NORTH CAROLINA: First of all, Reverend
Sharpton, let me thank you for putting a spotlight on what is happening in
North Carolina. We now indeed have the worst elect laws in the United
States. It happened very quickly. Three things were standing in the way
of the Republicans doing this.

Number one, they didn`t control the legislature. Now they do. They
were not in the governor`s mansion. Now they are. And then section 4 of
the voting rights act was invalidated by the Supreme Court on June 25th.
And by July 25th, these laws had been enacted. And so, we have a real
struggle in Reverend Barber and a conference of the NAACP has worked very
hard in organizing more on Mondays.

But now the attorney general of the United States must act. I have
written a letter to Mr. Holder asking for justice department intervention.
I spoke to him Saturday at the march in Washington, and, again, reiterated
the importance of bringing federal action against North Carolina, because
we have thousands of thousands of not just African-Americans, but students
and senior citizens, and many other groups who are now going to be

SHARPTON: Now Reverend Barber, you have put together an unusually
effective coalition of all races, all ages, all religion, and have been
doing more Mondays` civil disobedience. Many of us coming in to support
that after this national march. How important is activism to achieving

BARBER: Well, it`s extremely important. And it`s extremely important
that we build it indigenously from the bottom up, from Montgomery up. not
from Washington down. It`s important that it`s broad, that it`s deep, that
it`s diverse. It`s important that we frame the issues, not necessarily
Republican and Democrat, but who is immoral versus who is moral. Who is
extreme versus who is constitutional, that we root it in our deepest
biblical values and our deepest moral values. And that`s why we`re seeing
Republicans and Democrats coming together.

Reverend Al, we went in Mitchell county a few weeks ago, talking about
these issues, not just voting, but attack on Medicaid, the attack on poor,
the attack on public education. And in a county that is 99 percent White,
89 percent Republican, the Republican chair announced in the party, sent
his daughter to bring people to moral Monday, and they`re organizing up
there and joining forces with us. And then join 10,000 people in
Asheville. What we need is for people to support indigenous leadership as
we build a movement state by state by state.

SHARPTON: No. And that`s the only way it`s going to work. That`s
the way it worked 50 years ago.

Congressman, conservative Phyllis Schlafly, she defended the North
Carolina voting law by saying, I`m going to quote her, "the reduction in
the number of days allowed for early voting is particularly important
because early voting plays a major role in Obama`s game plan. The Obama
technocrats have developed an efficient system of identifying perspective
Obama voters. So early voting is an essential component of the Democrats`
get-out-the-vote campaign."

I mean, She flat-out admits the real reason of these laws is to
actually keep people from voting.

BUTTERFIELD: Reverend Sharpton, that means they just pulled the Band-
Aid off this room and explain to you what is going on in North Carolina.
The Republicans did not expect President Obama to win North Carolina in
2008. It was a complete surprise. We won. The president won by 14,000
votes in North Carolina. And they developed a strategy after that to make
sure that President Obama and Democrats never again win a presidential
election in North Carolina.

And so the tea party emerged. And they got active. They became well
funded. They had a national network. They were very vocal. And won the
legislative races in 2010, came back in `12 and won the governor`s mansion.
But they still couldn`t execute their agenda. And you know why? Because
of the voting rights act. Section 5 was standing in their way.


BUTTERFIELD: But then June 25th by 5-4 decision the Supreme Court
struck down the provisions that enable section 5, that`s when the floodgate
opened, and all of this discriminate story legislation got passed. And so,
the only way to stop it now is to go into the federal courts and ask for a
review of these decisions.

SHARPTON: What about the congress? Could the Congress do a new
voting rights act? Let me show you Congressman James Sensenbrenner who
said as a Republican he would fight to restore voting rights act. Let me
show this.


REP. JIM SENSENBRENNER (R), WISCONSIN: I am committed to restoring
the voting rights act as an effective tool to prevent discrimination. More
subtle discrimination now than overt discrimination. This is something
that has to be to be done by the end of the year so that a revised and
constitutional voting rights act is in place before the 2014 election
season, both primaries and general elections.


SHARPTON: Can that happen by the end of the year, Congressman?

BUTTERFIELD: It can happen. I`m cautiously optimistic. As you know,
I`m the vice chair of the congressional black caucus and chair the rights
committee of the caucus. And we have put together some recommendations
that we have given to Nancy Pelosi and Jim Clyburn, and Steny Hoyer, and
they have those, and they`re in negotiation right now with Eric Cantor and
Mr. Sensenbrenner whom you just saw a minute ago.

We have dozens of Republican congressmen who were in Congress in 2006
when we extended the voting rights act then. And I believe these men and
women who voted for it in `06 do not want to be inconsistent with their
votes. They don`t want to send the wrong message. And I believe at the
end of the day, the 202 Democrats in congress will support it. And another
20 to 30 Republicans will support it. we only need 218 for the passage. I
believe it will happen by the end of the year.

SHARPTON: We`re going to keep pressure on. Reverend?

BARBER: Reverend Al, and that`s why we`re having these 13 rallies in
the 13 congressional districts, to call on them, the Congress people to do
the right thing. It`s also why we must put this pressure on. On the day
Shelby case came down at the center of the Africa darkest era, now that the
headache has been removed, we`re going do what we want to do.

He described a bill that was written in Medgar Evers` blood as a
headache. That`s why we`re going to fight. That`s why we filed a lawsuit
in federal court with advancement project, and while we`re doing everything
we must to not allow them to turn this country back or this state back.

SHARPTON: Well, that`s why a couple hundred thousand of us said on
Saturday. You`ve been doing it every Monday. We`re going to keep on for
the good of the country.

Congressman G.K. Butterfield and Reverend Dr. William Barber, thank
you both for your time.

BARBER: God bless you.


SHARPTON: One program note. Tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m., MSNBC will
air Dr. Martin Luther king`s "I have a dream speech" in its entirely.
That`s a special broadcast of the whole speech, Wednesday at 8:00 on "All
In with Chris Hayes." It will be a special show. Please tune in.

Coming up, the incredible inside story of what happened behind the
scenes in the Bachmann campaign. Most incredible of all, how she made the
decision to run.

And Donald Trump firing back against the $40 million fraud lawsuit he
is facing tonight. We`ll hear tonight from some of the victims. Stay with


SHARPTON: Donald Trump is facing a $40 million lawsuit for allegedly
defrauding students at his Trump University. Serious accusations from the
New York Attorney General. But I`m sure he has a reasonable explanation.


DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR: I`ve been a very harsh critic of the
president. They meet on Thursday evening. I get sued by this AG
Schneiderman. I get sued on Saturday at 1:00. He met with President
Obama. He then signed the lawsuit.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: So you`re saying President Obama is behind this?

TRUMP: George, let me -- it`s possible, who knows.


SHARPTON: He didn`t try and blame the president. But we`re hearing
from the alleged victims. Donald, it`s your time to show us the
transcripts, next.


SHARPTON: Donald Trump is firing back against a $40 million lawsuit
he is facing over allegations that he scammed people who signed up for his
-- signed up to learn his real estate secrets at Trump University. His
for-profit investment school. Mr. Trump claims the lawsuit brought by the
New York State Attorney General is political. He is innocent until proven
guilty. But just listen to what his former students say.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: They promised me that I would be one of the
insiders, and that whenever Trump put up a condominium, that we would get
first crack at getting into it. He took my self-respect, and he
embarrassed me.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I just felt foolish. I said I must have been
pretty stupid investing so much money in this. Maybe I didn`t see
something that I should have seen. But it looks like I wasn`t the only


SHARPTON: No, it doesn`t. The New York Attorney General says
thousands of people have gone to the school after seeing ads prominently
featuring Trump. And he promised success.


TRUMP: I think the biggest step towards success is going to be
signing up at Trump University. We`re going to have a professors and
adjunct professors that are absolutely terrific, terrific people, terrific
brains, successful. We are going to have the best of the best.


SHARPTON: The best of the best. But what exactly does the best of
the best include? Don`t ask Mr. Trump. The New York daily news just
obtained the deposition that he gave last year where he was asked about
Trump U. When he was asked, he said which of your real estate secrets were
taught as part of the mentorship, he answered you would have to ask Trump
U.`s president. He has all that information.

It`s his university, named after him, but he doesn`t have the
information? Maybe he should go get that team of private investigators
back from looking for birth certificates in Hawaii to help him find out
what is going on at his own university.

Joining me now is Bill Press. Thank you for being here.

great to see you, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: And your first time back on the show.

PRESS: I know. In quite a while. Good to see you.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you, what is your reaction when you hear these
alleged victims speak up?

PRESS: You know, two things, I think, one is just the arrogance and
the cruelty of this billionaire, Donald Trump, to prey on these poor
people, to fleece them just like he fleeces some people in his casinos,
taking advantage of them in what looked like, look, as you said, innocent
until proven guilty. But I`ve looked at a lot of this stuff to a classic
bait and switch. Bring them in at one level and says you`re going to learn
a lot. But you got to pay more if you want to learn really the secrets,
and then you still have to pay even more.

They come in at a thousand dollars. They pay $35,000 for a course and
they learn nothing. That`s one. The other reaction is I must marvel at
the suckers who fall for this. I mean, again, a classic bait and switch.
Remind me of the people who give money to TV preachers. You know, you`re
going to be -- you`re going to get salvation.


PRESS: And the more money you give us, the more certain you`re going
to go to heaven. It`s sad. And I think Trump is in real trouble. This
looks like consumer fraud to me.

SHARPTON: Now, the New York Attorney General says Trump was actively
involved in recruiting. Let me play you the attorney general.


Trump U. has testified under oath that Trump was very interested in the
promotional materials. He was the chief pitchman. He was very involved in
luring in students with using his celebrity status. The students thought
they were going to get to meet Mr. Trump. What they ended up is getting a
chance to have their picture taken next to a life-sized poster of Trump to
make it look as though they had met him.


SHARPTON: Bill, a cardboard cutout? I mean --


SHARPTON: This is a serious accusation. The Attorney General says,
Trump lured students in so he could how could he not be there? I mean,
forget the obvious. How do you do that and you`re not involved, the
students that you lured in with that promise?

PRESS: Yes. Again, this is classic Trump operation. What he does,
he puts his name on whatever it is. Neckties or shirts or a casino or a
hotel or a building or a golf course, and then he has nothing to do with
it. It`s just his name. And in this case he promise he was personally
going to select the professors. He did not, apparently. He said that they
were all going to be real estate experts. They were not, apparently. They
said he was going to show up, right, and be part of it. He never showed
up. And then as you said, they`re going to get their picture taken with
him, and it`s a cardboard thing like you see of Barack Obama on the streets
of Washington, D.C. Total fraud.

SHARPTON: Now, people might hear about this and say the school
sounded too good to be true. But here is what allegedly happened. People
would go to a free lecture, get convinced to buy a three-day seminar that
costs $1500. Once they were there, instructors told them we need longer
than three days. And they would get convinced to sign up for the elite
programs. That costs from $5,000 to $35,000. In a gradual process like
this, is it easier to be convinced to spend, Bill?

PRESS: Well, it shouldn`t be. It was for too many people. Five
thousand people fell for this hook, line, and sinker. And you know what
they`re doing, Reverend Al, they were told to do this by the Trump people.
Oh, you can`t afford this? Put it on your credit card. Oh, your credit
card level is too low? Well, then lie to the credit card company. Tell
them you got a source of income they didn`t know about. Get your credit
card level raised and then use that credit card to give us more money.
Trump himself made $5 million in profits out of this university.

SHARPTON: Well, it`s very serious allegations. We`re going follow
this case and see where it goes. Bill Press, thank you for your time

PRESS: Good to be here, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Coming up, think Michele Bachmann`s campaign was made for
"Saturday Night Live"? Today we`re learning just how similar it was. And
how is Sarah Palin President Obama`s secret political weapon? She is in the
news today again. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Michele Bachmann`s former staffer tells all. Next.



REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Thank you for welcoming us.
I`m Michele Bachmann. I am running to be president of the United States of



SHARPTON: Remember when Michele Bachmann ran for president? Yes,
that actually happened. And now we`re hearing the amazing story of what
went on behind the scenes in her 2012 campaign. A new tell-all book from
her former adviser reveals the incredible details, allegations of bribery,
back-biting among staffers, reasons behind the ethics investigation. But
really, there is one part we need to talk about. Are you ready for this?
It`s the story of how she decided to run.

Her husband Mark counseled her, quote, "The test of whether his wife
should run for president was ultimately a simple one in Marcus view. He
instructed her to get off the bed and go to the full-length mirror in the
bedroom. If you can look at yourself and say it, then you are ready to run
and you should, he explained. She listened nodding internally. She stood
in front of the mirror, said Michele Bachmann, looking at herself, I am the
president of the United States." Now I wasn`t there, but I imagine that it
all unfolded like this.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`m good enough, I`m smart enough, and doggone it,
people like me.


SHARPTON: Who knew the Bachmann campaign is even more like an "SNL"
skit than we ever imagined?

Joining me now are Dana Milbank and Angela Rye. Thank you both for
coming on the show tonight.

DANA MILBANK, THE WASHINGTON POST: Good to be with you, Reverend.


SHARPTON: I mean, Dana, what would you have given to be a fly on the
wall at the Bachmann mirror?

MILBANK: Oh, it`s so terrific. But it`s a very common practice in
politics. Right now President Obama is looking in the mirror and asking
what he should do in Syria. So we see this sort of thing.

SHARPTON: There is a little difference in this.

MILBANK: Slight difference on that.

SHARPTON: Yes. I had previously I thought the congresswoman had
indicated that God had told her to run. So now we have her in fact doing
mirror mirror on the wall who is the most interesting candidate of us all.

SHARPTON: Angela, with all the talk about Bachmann being not really
authentic, the book alleges she was anything but that. Let me quote from
the book. Bachmann was not able to make a decision on her own without a
consultant`s filter. This speaks to who she was. So far right Minnesota
candidate who got in over her head and turned huckster for advice.

RYE: Well, I think we not only see that she needed to rely on
consultants, she probably needed them in her ear just like this, because we
also see that she always fails PolitiFact tests. Like most, I looked
through four pages and mostly all of them are either pants on fire, false
or mostly false. So she needed somebody to be telling her what to do more
regularly. Perhaps she probably should have hired some more consultants,
but maybe in an ethical manner.

MILBANK: There is an article to carry a full length mirror around
with her to tell her what --

SHARPTON: So you hired these hucksters.


SHARPTON: You know, Bachmann build herself as a Christian candidate.
That was one of her big things. But behind the scenes they say she was
ruthless. Dana, her consistent services are notoriously lousy. Her
treatment of staff objectionably unchristian. My favorite example of this
was when she fired a staffer with seven children, the eighth on the way on
Christmas Eve.

MILBANK: It sounds kind of Dickensian, doesn`t it? But this is not
the first time we`ve seen this sort of thing, preaching one way and acting
in sort of a different way. But you know, politics is a ruthless game.
And you don`t get into this because you are -- you`re always because your
motives are pure. If you started out that way, it becomes an absolutely
ruthless game. And it did catch up with the congresswoman, because some of
the people mention this book, got in all kinds of legal trouble that she
is still battling right here in the capital.

SHARPTON: Yes. Now, Angela, you wonder where Bachmann gets all these
crazy ideas and crazy theories from. How about the far right wing`s
websites. According to the book, she pretty much read all the time what
was a concern of her chief of staff, though, was her reliance on World Net
Daily which he thought was a little too tin foil hat, even for him.

RYE: Sure. I mean, this is a woman who chaired the Tea Party caucus
in the house. My personal experience with the Tea Party members and also
hearing the reflections of the CBC members is that they were awful. You
know, during the affordable care act vote, these members were spat upon by
Tea Party supporters.


RYE: So I`m not surprised that, you know, of --

SHARPTON: Yes. But the World Net Daily, Dana, is the same website
that thinks President Obama is a gay muslin Kenyan. So much for her being
well informed.

MILBANK: Although that is actually the mainstream in a lot of
republican thought right now. So it`s not that far out there. But yes,
this is the same website that I have heard Ted Cruz quote from repeatedly
now. Occasionally what you read on World Net Daily is correct, but that`s
only a chance.

SHARPTON: Michele Bachmann of course was Angela, a gaffe machine. I
mean, before her run for president and after. Watch this.


BACHMANN: I wish the American media would take a great look at the
views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-

Obamacare as we know is the crown jewel of socialism.

Not all cultures are equal. Not all values are equal.

We were extremely careful and we were almost mistake-free.

The very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until
slavery was no more in the United States. Men like John Quincy Adams, who
would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country.

I haven`t had a gaffe or something that I have done that has caused me
to fall in the polls.


SHARPTON: Angela, she was leading the pack at one point. The Iowa
straw, the thing they do early, the Iowa straw poll, she won. I mean, how
does this happen?

RYE: Well, I think easily. One, Iowa straw poll isn`t necessarily
leading the pack, Rev. I know it kind of be a fluke. So I think her
leading is not exactly right. She lost the caucus. I think she placed
sixth in the Iowa caucus just days later. So, she wasn`t tremendously a
leader. But easily, anyone that says that the founders of this country
were also the folks that emancipated slaves.


RYE: Basic history. Basic history. Yes.

SHARPTON: I mean, but I think the other part of this, all jokes
aside, Dana, the book talks about some very serious allegations against the
congresswoman, among them that she paid an influential Iowa state senator
$7500 a month under the table in the lead-up to the Iowa caucus, that she
used presidential and political action committee staff to promote her
memoirs, and that she pays her legal counsel $20,000 a month to purchase
silence. That`s some serious allegations.

MILBANK: Well, the congresswoman said that her plan to retire from
Congress has nothing to do with all these legal and ethical actions against
her. But they`re very much there. And they were very serious things. And
very serious policy issues she took, such as the vaccine program lie were
overshadowed by some of the crazier things like saying the revolutionary
war began in New Hampshire.

SHARPTON: Dana Milbank and Angela Rye, I`m looking in the mirror to
say, thanks for your time this evening. We`ll be right back.


SHARPTON: It`s time for "Reply Al." Remember, friend or foe, I want
to know.

Harrison wants to know, "With the 50th anniversary of Reverend Martin
Luther King`s march and speech, what do you think he would he say about
things today?" Well, I don`t know, and I don`t think anyone can say
exactly what he would say. But I can only imagine and only say with some
certainty he`d have the same principles and the same values he had 50 years
ago. And would judge the things going on today like voter suppression,
like the fact we can`t pass a jobs bill, he would judge them the same
basis that he judged similar things 50 years ago would be the way I think
he would respond.

Well, thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right


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