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PoliticsNation, Monday, June 9th, 2014

Read the transcript from the Monday show

June 9, 2014

Guest: Brian Wice; Brian Murphy, Scott Surovell, Krystal Ball, Jay Gray,
Heidi Beirich

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thank you. And thanks to you for
tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, Republicans crossing the line on sergeant Bergdahl. Day by
day, the GOP story on Bergdahl is collapsing as we learn new horrific
details about his captivity.

"The New York Times" says quote "Bergdahl has told medical officials that
his captors locked him in a metal cage in total darkness for weeks at a
time as punishment for trying to escape."

Meanwhile, "AP" reports that Bergdahl also says he was beaten and tortured
by his captors.

Obviously, this is serious. There`s still a lot we don`t know. And it`s
why the military is investigating Bergdahl`s capture and captivity by the

But that hasn`t stop the right them from treating the whole thing as a big
punch line. Here`s Senator Rand Paul just this weekend trying to make a
joke out of it.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Mr. President, you love to trade people, why
don`t we set up a trade, but this time instead of five Taliban, how about
five Democrats? I`m thinking John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi.
Couldn`t we send them to Mexico?


SHARPTON: Next time, trade Democrats instead of the Taliban? This isn`t
funny, it`s shameful.

But Governor Bobby Jindal didn`t want to be outdone. He touted out this
punch line over the weekend.

Quote "apparently our president has adopted a catch and release policy
towards terrorists."

Catch and release, really? Does he forget that 532 detainees were released
from Gitmo under President Bush compared to just 87 released under
President Obama. I don`t remember the GOP talking about catch and release
during the Bush era. And they certainly weren`t entertaining calls for
impeachment like they are now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should impeachment be on the table?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, again, that`s a long way down this road.


SHARPTON: The correct answer is no. Not a chance, no way. Impeachment
shouldn`t be on the table. At the heart of this is a story of an American
soldier who says he was beaten, tortured, abused. Since when do we use a
situation like this to play political games in Washington?

Joining me now are Jonathan Capehart and Joan Walsh. Thank you both for
come on the show tonight.


SHARPTON: Joan, last week, the right claimed that sergeant Bergdahl was
declaring Jihad with his captors. Now we learned he was tortured. Isn`t
the GOP story collapsing around them?

JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, SALON.COM: It look like it`s collapsing and
it never shouldn`t have been a story in the first place. They had a lot of
help ginning up these tales of desertion and other things that may -- some
of them may turn out to be true, Rev., some of them won`t. But the point
is this man was a prisoner of war.

And I just want to single out Rand Paul. Because you and I both know, we
are going to be sold a bill of goods if that man runs for president that
he`s got an innovative new foreign policy. It is specifically on the issue
of foreign policy, that he`s supposed to have gravitas and be going up
against his party`s neo-con establishment. But he has a chance to say
something about this gigantic national issue and he chooses to make a joke
about trading Hillary Clinton.

SHARPTON: Which is not funny at all.

WALSH: It`s not funny. It should be beneath him, but it`s not. And you
know, is impeachment on the table? It`s always on the table when you` got
a Democratic president.

SHARPTON: Jonathan, let me raise this to you. I mean, we don`t know what
happened. We don`t know all that we will know and probably never know
everything. But clearly, when we hearing what we read in "the Times" over
the weekend about him being held in a cage, clearly there`s so much on all
sides, clearly didn`t the GOP over jump their bounds here? Didn`t they go
too far in terms of a lot that they had said before we started hearing
information whether all of these things prove right wrong. Clearly there`s
no conclusive things that could have led to some of the stuff they were
saying that was implying that he was calling for jihad with our enemies?

CAPEHART: A lot of sort of outrageous claims were made. And, you know,
once the military finishes its investigation into what exactly happened
with Bowe Bergdahl that had him leaving post, being captured, and then what
happened during that entire time, all -- that`s what they`re doing right
now. You know, talking to him and sort of reintegrating him, getting him,
you know, well again so that he can come back to the states and face
whatever justice or accountability that he must for getting into the
trouble that he did.

But, you know, the trouble that the Republicans have is, and we were
talking about this last week, and it`s still the case this week, they were
pushing very hard for his release.

SHARPTON: Correct.

CAPEHART: Plenty of tape -- I think we talked about this last week, didn`t
we, Rev., with Senator John McCain saying Bowe Bergdahl should be released.
And here we are, he`s released --

SHARPTON: Wait a minute, Jonathan. Let me go to Joan here. Part of what
really smacks at a lot of people as being curious to disingenuous to others
is the fact that people like McCain had taken such a different position not
that long ago. Let me show you in February, which is what John is
referring to. Senator John McCain supported the deal. Now he continues to
twist himself into knots over Bergdahl`s release. Now listen to this.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Well, first of all, I wouldn`t release
these men.


MCCAIN: Second of all, I would release people who -- not these men. I
believe there are other prisoners, some of whom we have already released,
that we could have released in exchange.


SHARPTON: I wouldn`t have released these men. Now, he said he would.
Then he`s saying we would have released other prisoners that we could have
release. How do you release people that are already released?

WALSH: I don`t know. It`s a little bit worrisome. I mean, it`s a very,
very strange comment and he is changing his story. And I want to give him
the benefit of the doubt, but he was talking about the exact same Taliban
detainees to Anderson Cooper in that February interview.

SHARPTON: And we played that on the show.

WALSH: We played it. There`s no confusion there. The confusion seems to
be now. And I understand it.

You know, also, looking at these pictures and also reading that, you know,
kind of poignant New York times story this morning about Bowe Bergdahl`s
condition, the young man is in a fragile condition still. They don`t think
he`s well enough to even be reunited with his family. So this notion that
some of these guys, Saxby Chambliss, they were diagnosing him as just fine
based on video they had watched, not their medical degrees, not having
interviewed him the way military personnel had.

The idea that they would do on TV. They have skipped briefings about him
to go on TV and talk about how he was healthy enough to survive another 30
days in captivity.

SHARPTON: Well, actually go on TV while the briefing was still going on
that they had left.

And you know, the politics of this, Jonathan, is a new poll that asked if
the United States is responsible for securing a captive soldier`s release
no matter the circumstances, 75 percent of Democrats say yes. So do 58
percent of independents. But just 39 percent of Republicans. What does
that poll tell you?

CAPEHART: Well, that right there tells you sort of the polarized nature of
our country, that a long-standing tradition of leaving no man or woman
behind, no member of the armed forces behind during a time of war, that`s
something that this country is all about. That`s something that the
president has said from the very beginning, and he`s not making anything
up. This isn`t anything new. This has been sort of the mantra and the
motto of the military and the president of the United States as commander-
in-chief for as long as there`s been a United States.

So the idea that Republicans are against the United States bringing someone
home, well, that`s partisanship. That`s politics right there. And the
fact that 58 percent of independents believe that, you know, we should
bring someone home no matter what, it`s the independents, those folks in
the middle, those folks who are independent, not on either side, who the
Republicans should be looking at and be worried. When most of the country
is taking a position that goes against where you`re standing, especially on
something like this, you`re on the wrong side.

SHARPTON: Well, it`s chilling also, Jonathan and Joan, because what are we
telling our military men and women? We`re telling them that based on the
politics of the day, if you serve the country and you`re taken captive, God
forbid, we may or may not go after the captors and try to secure your
release based on the politics of the moment or the party or who might be in
the White House? What will that do to the morale of those in the military,
what will it do to protecting our nation? It is absolutely unthinkable
that we would allow this to even be a part of the discussion.

Jonathan Capehart and Joan Walsh, thank you both for your time this

CAPEHART: Thanks, Rev.

WALSH: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, five dead in Las Vegas. Police describe the blood
bath as chilling new details emerge on the alleged shooters. Why did they
wrap bodies in don`t tread on me flags? What was the connection to the
lawless rancher. We`re live in Las Vegas ahead.

Plus governor Chris Christie`s chief of staff under oath today in the
bridgegate scandal. And there`s new questions on what the governor knew
and when he knew it.

And thoughts and prayers for my friend Tracy Morgan, injured in a deadly
car accident. Tonight, an update on his condition and a call to action for


SHARPTON: Chris Christie under pressure. Today, bridgegate investigators
grilled his top aide, and that testimony raised more questions than
answers. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Today, testimony from Chris Christie`s inner circle and it
opened big new question. His chief of staff under oath for the first time
on the bridgegate scandal. Kevin O`Dowd testified for more than seven
hours. O`Dowd reports directly to governor Christie. He`s Christie`s pick
for attorney general. He also supervised to Bridget Kelly who sent that
infamous e-mail, time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.

Today, O`Dowd said Kelly told him she had nothing to do with the closures.
But then a dramatic revelation. He said on December 13 last year, Kelly
shared an e-mail she received during the lane closings about the traffic.
O`Dowd said he told the governor about it.


KEVIN O`DOWD, GOV. CHRISTIE`S CHIEF OF STAFF: She does hand me a document
that I believe is the September 12th e-mail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you tell the governor before his press conference
that Bridget Kelly had a contemporaneous e-mail while the lane closings
were going on.

O`DOWD: I did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You told him that one of his staff members knew about
the lane closings while it was going on?

O`DOWD: I showed him the e-mail.


SHARPTON: Again, that was December 13. Kevin O`Dowd showed the governor
an e-mail indicating a staff member knew of the lane closings. But listen
to what the governor said that day, right after getting that information.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Can you say with certainty that someone else
on your staff or in your administration on your behalf ordered the lane

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I have absolutely no reason to
believe that answer. And I made it very clear to everybody on my senior
staff that if anyone had any knowledge about this, that they need to come
forward to me and tell me about it and they all assured that they don`t.


SHARPTON: The governor said he had no reason to believe anyone had
knowledge of the closes. But according to his own chief of staff, he had
just learned Bridget Kelly did have, at least, some knowledge. Another big
mystery in a story that`s all of them.

Joining me now from outside the state house in Trenton is Brian Murphy,
assistant professor at Borough College and in Houston, criminal defense
attorney Brian Wice.

Thank you both for joining me.


SHARPTON: Brian Murphy, you were at the hearing all day today. So there
was a difference between what O`Dowd said today and what the governor,
governor Christie, being who I`m talking about, said in December. How
significant is that in your view?

the end of a day when we had already learned there was a lot going on. On
the day of that press conference that you mentioned, that`s on the 13th of
December. The day before that, we learned about a lot of activity that`s
going on in the governor`s mansion in Trenton relating to this story.

So I think, you know, this Mastro report paid for by taxpayer dollars that
exonerated the governor, that report is dying a death by 1,000 cuts. And
at the end of the day, this is after a 5:00 after whole day of testimony,
we get this issue with O`Dowd saying that, you know, he gave this e-mail to
Christie and it was right before Christie went out and did that press

SHARPTON: A press conference where the governor said he didn`t know of
anything on the staff, yet O`Dowd is now testifying under oath that he had
just given him this document that said at least that Bridget Kelly did have
a telegram and was told about the traffic.

Now, Brian Weiss, from a point of view from a prosecutor, prosecutors are
looking into this case, when you have this kind of glaring inconsistency,
what does that mean to a prosecutor? Where does it go?

what it finally means is we`ve got some drama. This legislative
investigation has shown all the drama and suspension of the final season of
"Gilligan`s Island." It`s about time they called an a-lister.

But as a prosecutor, I`m looking at this problem, this conflict, this gap,
if you will, between what governor Christie has said and now not just one,
but two senior staffers. First Bill Stepien and now Kevin O`Dowd.

And I think Brian is right. I think this is death by a thousand cuts. And
I think this is a situation where remember what Goldfinger said to James
Bond, there is a saying in Chicago, Rev., once is happenstance, twice
coincidence, the third time is enemy action. I really think that as this
drama finally begins to unfold, Paul Fishman and his special federal grand
jury have finally perked up their ears.

SHARPTON: Now moments ago, Brian Wice, under questioning, Kevin O`Dowd
acknowledged that governor`s statement at the press conference was
inconsistent. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the point in time that the governor makes his
statement, there is an e-mail that a member of his senior staff, Bridget
Kelly is aware of that discusses the lane closures and that she received it
contemporaneous with the lane closures.

O`DOWD: That`s correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does that contradict his statement?

O`DOWD: A plain read of this, it seems to be inconsistent. The governor
was aware, as I testified to earlier, I handed him that document prior to
that press conference..


SHARPTON: How important is that, Brian Wice?

WICE: Well, Reverend, I think it`s obviously important. I mean, Kevin
O`Dowd is a straight shooter. This is a guy who worked under governor
Christie in the fraud division of the U.S. attorney`s office. He was at
one point a nominee for attorney general. This is a kid from central
casting who is not going to lie or bend the truth merely because it may
ultimately suit his boss.

Now, I think governor Christie`s take is well, I had a lot going on.
Perhaps there`s multiple ways of looking at what the substance of that e-
mail was. But as long as you don`t parse that e-mail like a fifth grade
grammar schoolteacher 1950`s, Kevin O`Dowd is right, there is a conflict
and it is a big deal.

SHARPTON: How big a deal do you think it is, Brian Murphy? I see you

MURPHY: You know, there`s -- what`s interesting is that a lot of the
action in the building behind me with these hearings, it just hasn`t been
there. It`s been boring. And it has been boring because they haven`t been
able to get their a-list witnesses because all the a-list witnesses are
testifying in north jersey at the courthouse where there`s a grand jury and
now we learn a special grand jury.

I think it`s important. And one of the things the committee is
investigating here isn`t just the events around the lane closure itself,
but the cover-up. And how this was handled and how it was possibly
manipulated. And I think we`re going to see a lot of attention fixating on
the 12th and 13th of December.

And it`s important also, as you note, Kevin O`Dowd had been the attorney
general nominee and one of the reasons he`s testifying here today is
because governor Christie would like to re-nominate him for that job. And
when this was going on, at least until about 4:45 in the afternoon, people
would say, absurd as it may sound, this guy is a lock for confirmation.
Because, you know, for a variety of reason, but also because jersey is the
way that jersey is.

SHARPTON: Now, let me go back to you, Brian Wice. O`Dowd said that at one
point when Bridget Kelly was searching for e-mails about the lane closing,
she said sometimes she deletes e-mails. Listen to this.


O`DOWD: She referenced the fact that sometimes she deletes e-mails.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it didn`t pique your curiosity as her boss while
your employee might be in the context of her asking her for e-mails on this
topic says to you oh, and I sometimes delete e-mails?

O`DOWD: I`m trying to focus on the particulars of the transaction. She
provided this e-mail and indicated to me that she does not believe there
are any other e-mails on the topic.


SHARPTON: I mean, Brian Wice, is this credible to you? She deletes e-
mails? I mean, this seemed like a big deal to me.

WICE: Well, I think her defense is going to be when I used to say when I
would beat up on my little brother and I would tell my mom, I hit him, but
it was accidentally on purpose.

Look, I mean, if she deleted those e-mails with the intent to harm or
otherwise preclude the truth from coming out, she`s going to have some
explaining to do down the road, which is probably why she`s taking the
fifth, as she absolutely has the right to do. But I certainly think
anytime you start hitting the delete button, Reverend, I`ve seen this
movie, it generally ends badly.

SHARPTON: All right, well, we may be seeing some cracks in these as of
today. We will see. And we certainly will be following this up.

Brian Murphy and Brian Wice, thank you both for your time tonight.

MURPHY: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, chilling new details about the anti-government
couple accused in those horrific Las Vegas shootings. Is there a
connection to extremist views on the right?

Also, we`ll introduce you to the lawmaker stepping down as part of a GOP
scheme to deny health care to nearly 500,000 people. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Las Vegas police release chilling detail on a murderous rampage
from a couple that allegedly killed two officers and another man before the
wife killed her husband and then herself. Police revealed what happened
after they shot the officers.


shooting are finishing, the suspects pulled the officers out of the booth
and on to the ground, where they placed a Gadsden flag, which is a don`t
tread on me yellow flag on the body of officer Beck and they also threw a
swastika on top of his body. At that point Mr. Jerad Miller then pinned a
note to office Saldo that basically stated that this is the beginning of
the revolution.


SHARPTON: Is there any link between this violence and extremist rhetoric
from the far right? And what was this couple doing at the Cliven Bundy
ranch? To find out, we`ll go live to Las Vegas next.


SHARPTON: Just how low will Republicans go to deny people health
insurance. Turns out, pretty low. Meet Phillip Puckett. Until today, he
was a democratic state senator in Virginia. But "The Washington Post"
reported late last night that Virginia Republicans persuaded Puckett to
resign. That gave the GOP control of the state Senate, putting them in
position to possibly block new attempts to expand Medicaid.

Refusing the Medicaid expansion denies coverage to 400,000 people in
Virginia, including more than 20,000 in the former state senator`s
district. So why on earth would he help the GOP? The Post said the move
paved the way for Puckett`s daughter to be appointed to a judgeship and for
Puckett to become deputy director of the State Tobacco Commission. And his
old part-time job as state senator, Puckett earned $18,000 a year.

The last deputy director of the Tobacco Commission earned nearly $150,000.
Democrats called out their old colleague for what looked like a shady deal.
And this afternoon, the "Post" reported, he won`t take the Tobacco
Commission job after all. So once everything was out in the open, the
Senator backed away from the deal. But you know who really gets a raw
deal? Those 400,000 Virginians who still can`t get health insurance.

Joining me now are Virginia delegate Scott Surovell and MSNBC`s Krystal
Ball. Thank you both for being here.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST: Thanks for having us, Rev.

Hi Reverend.

SHARPTON: Delegate Surovell, thank you again for being here. What did you
think when you heard about Senator Puckett`s resignation. I mean, did he
make a deal with the Republicans?

DEL. SCOTT SUROVELL (D), VIRGINIA: Well, Rev, I was shocked when I found
out last night around 7:00 reading the paper. It`s been pretty well known
that Senator Puckett has been getting -- he`s been wanting his daughter to
get a full appointment on the Juvenile Domestic Relations Court down there
and that Senate Republicans have been telling him that it isn`t going to
happen as long as he`s serving in the state Senate. That`s been out there
for a while.

This Tobacco Commission thing just came out of the blue. And according to
the (INAUDIBLE) they scheduled a meeting to consider employment on Friday.
Within 24 hours of that, the Senator`s resignation letter had been
delivered to the clerk of the Senate. And you know, as of today, the
senator is now saying he doesn`t want the job and the meeting has been
canceled that was scheduled for Wednesday to consider employment matters.

So it looks like everybody is backtracking from this, but there`s a lot of
smoke out there, and there`s some dots out there. And I don`t think
they`re very hard to connect. But the whole thing to me is just shocking.
The extent that Republicans will go to deny health insurance to working
Virginians, 400,000 hard-working Virginians.

And that`s the point, 400,000 hard-working Virginians. But Krystal, a
deal? I mean, because my understanding is that as long as he was in the
Senate, they could say you can`t confirm a member of his family as a
judge, but if he left, they could confirm him and give him a nice job if,
in fact, this was part of a deal. It helps to even cushion that even more.
But his daughter gets the job because he`s no longer a senator. But then
the majority, with him leaving, they get a majority of one vote that puts
them in a position to block Medicaid expansion.

BALL: That`s right. And to be clear, you know, it wasn`t certain that
Democrats were going to be able to expand Medicaid. They don`t have
control of the House. But this was going to put them in a position to
essentially jam the House, to force them to deal with it and make them
responsible for a government shutdown if they didn`t ultimately go forward
with the Medicaid expansion. So Democrats had a very clear, a very strong
strategy here, and obviously Republicans felt threatened by it.

I mean, as the Delegate Surovell is saying here, we`ve got a lot of dots,
we had a lot of smoke. We don`t have that, you know, direct connection.
But the timing is very suspicious. And the fact that he wanted his
daughter to get this post in particular I think, you know, I`m glad he`s
looking out for his daughter, but what about the families of the 400,000
people who aren`t going to get health insurance? I don`t understand how
you sleep at night honestly with that on your back.

SHARPTON: You know, let me go back to you in a minute, delegate. Because
you`re in the middle of the tough budget fight there in Virginia including
the Medicaid expansion and a fight about real people. We`re not talking
about rich man state capital in house politics. We`re talking about real
people that need to have services, that need to have coverage. And other
things. Here`s what your republican colleagues say about it.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I believe Virginia would -- should chart a course that
provides health care to the neediest among us without growing government
or becoming entangled in Washington`s health care mess.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Just like every ObamaCare expansion scheme, we`ve seen
so far, it`s built on the false premise of free money from Washington.


SHARPTON: Obama scheme? ObamaCare scheme? The false premise of money. A
free money? I mean, what`s your response to this delegate?

SUROVELL: You know, these arguments are specious, Rev and they have been
from the beginning. And I think what really happened here is the
Republicans realized that the Democrats were standing strong, were standing
together, and we were willing to cause the government to shut down to get
health care for these folks. And what that meant was, you`re going to
start thinking people that couldn`t get their driver`s license, you`re
going to start seeing the situation where schools and lot of rural areas
would have to talk about whether they would open or not.

And once Virginians really start to focusing on who was to blame and the
reason that we didn`t have a budget, they start to realize that these guys
want people to choose between a mortgage payment and health care, the
voters were going to blame the Republicans. And they figured that out.
So, instead of debating us on policy, they changed the rules of the game
and pressured, you know, one of the most vulnerable senators we had out
there to leave his seat. To me it`s reprehensible.

SHARPTON: You know, Krystal, you`re from Virginia. You ran for Congress
in Virginia. And 400,000 people would be eligible if Virginia expanded
Medicaid. Here`s what real people on the ground had to say. Listen to


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: She doesn`t qualify for disability. She can`t afford
insurance and because of that, she cannot be put on a list for a liver

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I mean, if I don`t get some type of insurance, then
the state of Virginia sign my death certificate.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: You worry so much about getting the bills paid and
getting food on the table, and how am I going to get this medication?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Meanwhile, Richmonders like Lily are no better off than
they were before the new health care law passed, still uninsured.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: And in the meantime and between time, you have to


SHARPTON: I mean, do Republicans just want to pretend these people just
don`t exist

BALL: It`s absolutely heartbreaking. I don`t know how they can sustain
it. Because, I mean, this is not hyperbole, people have and people will
literally die for lack of this coverage. Not to mention if you want to
talk about being a Cisco conservative and you want to think in terms of
dollars and cents. All the money that would be saved if people had care
from the start and they could get that preventive care that would keep them
healthy. The state would ultimately save money from being able to do that.
It`s heart breaking that those same people if they lived right across the
border in West Virginia would have an entirely different outcome.

SHARPTON: Well, this is the next big fight in health care, expanding
Medicaid, and Medicaid expansion deals with five million people that are
being denied in this country right now. This is the next big fight.
Delegate Scott Surovell and Krystal Ball, thank you both for your time

BALL: Thanks, Rev.

SUROVELL: Thank you.

SHARPTON: And be sure to watch Krystal on "THE CYCLE" weekdays at 3:00
p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC.

Coming up, Tracy Morgan is more responsive today after the deadly crash
over the weekend. My thoughts and prayers for friend of mine and what
needs to change in response to this tragedy.

But first, the bloodbath in Las Vegas. What fuelled a couple`s anti-
government hate? Is there any connection to extremist rhetoric on the
right? We`re live in Las Vegas, next.


SHARPTON: Now to that shocking murder suicide in Las Vegas that left five
people dead including two police officers. The shooting began at a pizza
restaurant just before noon on Sunday. A man and a woman ambushed two
veteran police officers having lunch. Both officers were shot at point
blank range. Next witnesses say, the suspects took the officers guns and
ammunition and walked across the street just inside the front door of a
Wal-Mart. They killed another man. Witnesses say the couple were yelling
about revolution.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: They were screaming the revolution has begun and, you
know, get out the store.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: At first, I heard like a firecracker type of sound. So
we all ducked down behind machinery. Next thing I know right behind me,
the shooter was -- had I guess a gun and kept shooting and shooting and
shooting and hollering about freedom.


SHARPTON: As officers rushed in, there was a brief gun battle before
according to police the woman shot the man then turned the gun on herself.
And today, we`re learning more on the background of the alleged shooters.
The couple are husband and wife, Jerad and Amanda Miller. They draped the
Gadsden flag on the body of the officers, a flat that`s symbol for the Tea
Party movement that reads, "don`t tread on me." They also threw a swastika
on the top of one police officer`s body.

And they support the lawless agenda of the lawless Nevada ranch of Cliven
Bundy. The video you see here is Jerad at the ranch back in April. The
couple was also known to dress up as Batman characters. The joker and
Harley Quinn. And in his last Facebook post before Sunday`s fatal
shooting, Jerad wrote, quote, "the dawn of a new day may all of our coming
sacrifices be worth it."

Joining me now NBC`s Jay Gray who`s in front of that Wal-Mart in Las Vegas
and Heidi Beirich, of the Southern Poverty Law Center who tracks hate
groups. Thank you both for being here.


SHARPTON: Jay Gray --


SHARPTON: Let me go to you. What can you tell us about this couple? What
did police say?

GRAY: Yes. Let`s talk about what you were talking about initially,
Reverend Sharpton. It started in a pizza restaurant just around the corner
from where we`re standing right now, ended up in the Wal-Mart just behind
me, five people dead, including that young couple, the Millers. And police
saying today that they have little question this killing spree was
motivated by their, quote, "anti-government and racist beliefs." This is
something that they had talked about since moving here to Las Vegas in

The apartment they were living in at the time of the shooting, they would
been there since February, and neighbors there said they were quiet, rather
reserved. But when they did speak, they spoke about hating the government,
wanting to kill police officers and that they routinely walked around with
guns drawn, with guns out in the open here. We know that Jerad did have
some problems with the law before. Convicted felon, one of those crimes
auto theft in Washington State. You talked about his time on the Bundy
ranch. I can tell you this, he was kicked out by the militia there because
they had problems with his beliefs and his criminal background, Reverend
Sharpton. So he didn`t even fit in there and came to Las Vegas following

SHARPTON: Now, let me follow up with that. Jerad went to the Cliven Bundy
ranch and was interviewed by a local NBC reporter. Watch this.


JERAD MILLER, ALLEGED SHOOTER: I feel sorry for any federal agents that
want to come in here and try to push us around or anything like that. I
really don`t want violence toward them, but if they`re going to come bring
violence to us, well, if that`s the language they want to speak, we`ll
learn it.


SHARPTON: Now Heidi, obviously you can`t say everybody at the Bundy ranch
is going to be an alleged murderer, but it`s interesting to see Jerad
there. What does this tell you about this movement?

BEIRICH: Well, look, this movement`s rhetoric is so --

SHARPTON: Go ahead, Heidi.

BEIRICH: This movement`s rhetoric is so extreme in terms of hatred of
police, federal officials, the entire government apparatus, the Obama
administration, et cetera, it`s not surprising to see somebody like that,
like Miller, making these basic threats towards, of course, law
enforcement. This is where this rhetoric leads. To hatred of all those
kinds of officials and often violence.

SHARPTON: Now, NBC News caught up with Miller`s neighbor today. Listen to
what he had to say.


LARRY BURNETT, NEIGHBOR: After the Bundy thing going on over there, they
went over there for a couple of days. Then they come back. And I guess
after that, Jerad became anti-government, anti-police. I mean, he was
talking about killing cops. He didn`t want nothing to do with the
government. He had his wife quit her job that she`s had for a while. And
you know, he wouldn`t even let her collect unemployment or food stamps or


SHARPTON: So this is Jay, was the picture you`re painting for us that the
neighbors and others were saying that they were really anti-government when
they would speak, even to the point he had his wife quit her job?

GRAY: Yes. And Reverend Sharpton, I think it`s important to point out
here, police today said they are looking into the idea that the only reason
this couple was here is because they didn`t fit in at the Bundy ranch and
they were looking for a place to land. They also say that they`re studying
the idea that people of the same bent, of the same mindset are move into
this area, leaving the Bundy ranch and populating this area. It`s
something they`re taking very seriously.

SHARPTON: Wow. Let me ask you this, Heidi. Jerad Miller`s Facebook posts
are chilling. On May 2nd, he wrote, quote, "I will willingly die for
liberty." He talked about ways to die for liberty. Quote, "Most notably
is the suicide by cop routine." Later that month, he posted quote, "About
time to start killing cops." This is on his Facebook page. And just days
before the shooting he posted, quote, "to stop this oppression, I fear can
only be accomplished with bloodshed." I mean, did police talk about this
further? Is there any concern that it wasn`t flags here, Heidi? If these
are things posted on a Facebook page.

BEIRICH: Yes, I mean, I have some, you know, real concerns about the
amount of attention that`s being paid to people in this movement, and to
that kind of openly hostile rhetoric. Because he was to some extent sort
of advertising what he wanted to do. That`s also true according to

SHARPTON: But do you think authorities are not taking these kinds of
things seriously enough, these hate groups seriously enough? I mean, to
have these kinds of postings, several of them on a Facebook page, read
flags should have gone off somewhere.

BEIRICH: I would say basically --

GRAY: It`s clear Reverend Sharpton that his neighborhood wasn`t paying
attention. And police say that that`s a big problem here. The whole see
it say it campaign. This is something that these -- this couple had been
talking about for a long time. And neighbors today, a day after the
shooting are saying we heard it, we didn`t take it seriously. We thought
he was just talking. He had been talking like this and carrying guns for a
long time.

SHARPTON: Yes. But Heidi, I think that the government also, my question
to you is, is the government taking a lot of these groups seriously by
monitoring something as simple as Facebook pages. It`s pretty clear what
this guy was posting.

BEIRICH: Yes, I mean, look, the fact of the matter is, in 2009, the
Department of Homeland Security warned that we`re going to see more right
wing terrorist attacks. And they put out a report that was roundly
criticized by conservative media and pulled. And they shut down their
Intel division at that time. So until recently, no. The government has
spent most of its time worried about Islamic extremism and very little on
white supremacist and sort of militia extremist like the Millers. So no,
and the government needs to take this seriously. These types of people
have killed more Americans domestically than Islamic extremists in the last
several years. This is a serious threat and the government has to be
looking at these things.

SHARPTON: Well, we`re going to keep watching this and we`re going to keep
following this, I promise that. Jay Gray and Heidi Beirich, thank you for
being on the show tonight.

Still ahead, the latest on Tracy Morgan`s condition after that horrific car
accident this weekend. But first, emotional words from the First Lady.
Her very personal speech at the Maya Angelou memorial. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: This weekend, we said goodbye to a phenomenal woman of
inspiration. Maya Angelou`s Memorial Service was a celebration of her life
and legacy with powerful eulogies from Oprah Winfrey, President Bill
Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama. She spoke of how important Maya
Angelou`s voice was to women across the world.


MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: When I think about Maya Angelou, I think
about the affirming power of her words. The first time I read "Phenomenal
Woman" I was struck by how she celebrated black women`s beauty like no one
had ever dared to before. You see, she didn`t just want to be phenomenal
herself. She wanted all of us to be phenomenal right alongside her.


SHARPTON: She wanted us all to be phenomenal. Maya Angelou always spoke
for those who had no voice. That was her gift and will always be her
legacy. It`s now our job to ensure her spirit lives on.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, thoughts and prayers to my friend, Tracy
Morgan. He remains in critical but stable condition tonight after a deadly
crash on the New Jersey Turnpike early Saturday morning. A Wal-Mart
tractor trailer hit the limo van carrying Morgan and friends. Comedian
James McNair died and two others were injured. Morgan is expected to stay
in the hospital for a few weeks. Truck driver Kevin Roper was charged with
one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto.

And today we learned he was driving for over 24 hours. Sadly it takes a
tragedy like this to shine light on the issue of truck driver safety. Just
last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment that
would suspend a requirement that truck drivers rest for at least 34
consecutive hours.

It was pushed by Senator Susan Collins and passed with 21 votes. I pray
for everyone involved in this tragedy. I`ve been a Tracy Morgan fan for
years. I first met him hosting "Saturday Night Live." He would
impersonate me and I always got a kick out of it. At last year`s White
House Correspondents` Dinner, we took a selfie together. And tonight, I`m
praying for his recovery and that all the others involved in this terrible
crash recover as well.

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


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