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PoliticsNation, Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Read the transcript from the Friday show

January 23, 2015

Guest: Dana Jacobson, Jimmy Williams, Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani, Shaun
Robinson, Diane Abbott

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Ed. And thanks for tuning

I`m live tonight from the great city of London, Endemand (ph). I`m here as
part of a trip highlighting the global challenges we face on civil rights,
policing, inequality and economic opportunity.

Earlier today, I spoke with members of parliament in the house of commons
and other leaders, and I had the honor of addressing the historic Oxford
union at the heart of the oldest university in the English-speaking world.
We`ll have much more on all that later in the show.

But we start with tonight`s lead. King for a day. Just days after
President Obama laid out a progressive agenda in his state of the union,
Republicans are heading backwards treating this guy like a party leader.
It is Iowa congressman Steve King.

And tomorrow, a who`s who of GOP presidential hopefuls are trekking out to
Iowa for an event he`s hosting. Ted Cruz will be there, so will supposed
moderate Chris Christie. Everyone from Sara Palin to McDonnell kicking off
campaign season by paying tribute to the man who just this week called an
undocumented woman a, quote, "deportable." Not that it was any surprise
considering what he said about dreamer students in the past.


REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: For everyone who is a valedictorian there`s
another hundred out there that they weigh 130 pounds and they`ve got cavs
the size of cantaloupes because they`re hauling pounds of marijuana across
the desert.


SHARPTON: Yes, to Steve King, dreamers are basically drug mules. And he
isn`t just extreme on immigration. Take a look at some of his other
greatest hits.


KING: I think Congress has to sit down and have a serious look at the rest
of this constitution and that includes that "I" word that we don`t want to
say. If you had Watergate and Iran/contra together and multiply it times
maybe by tens or so you are going to get in the zone of what Benghazi is.


SHARPTON: Immigration, Benghazi, and impeachment, oh, my. If the GOP were
serious about reaching new voters in 2016, they`d run as far as they could
from Steve King. But the fact that they`re running to him, it shows
they`re all too willing to cater to the most extreme elements of their
right-wing base.

Joining me now are former Pennsylvania governor and DNC chairman Ed
Rendell, and MSNBC`s Joy Reid. Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: So governor, are these presidential candidates going to kiss the
ring of Steve King. Doesn`t it perfectly capture the problems Republicans
have with their base?

RENDELL: Sure. They`re going to a forum who is being conducted by a guy
that`s a deplorable person who is antithetical to most of the values that
most Americans hold and certainly is anathema to Hispanic voters.

But you know the most interesting thing to me in all this to me, Rev? It
is not just the ones that are going to his forum, but the fact that none of
them nor governor Bush nor governor Romney who by passed the forum, no one
has condemned him for using the term "a deportable" about an American
dreamer who is in this country for no fault of her own, she was born in
this country. It`s disgraceful.

And those candidates, their silence in condemning him reminds me of the
silence of all Republican candidates during the debate three years ago when
the soldier from Afghanistan said he was gay and everyone booed him and no
one, of all the candidates, chastised the audience for booing an American

SHARPTON: That`s good point.

You know, Joy, what`s your reaction to all of these candidates going on to
Steve King after him this week calling an American first lady out for
hosting someone born here calling her a deportable?

REID: Yes. And Rev., first of all, I`d like to say congratulations to you
for speaking at the Oxford union. That`s really amazing and really great.

But on the subject of Steve King, I think that he has exerted an undue
influence on the Iowa caucuses for a really long time. And as a Des Moines
register writer pointed out in a piece today just really excoriating him,
the Iowa caucuses as a result for the Republicans have become less

You know, between 1972 in 2000, they picked the winning nominee, the person
who was ultimately nominated by the Republican party four out of five
times. But since Steve King sort of engineered this kind of hostile
takeover of the process there in Iowa, from 2000 on they didn`t picked a
single winner. They pick people like Rick Santorum who appeal to the far
right of the base but actually don`t get nominated where a democrat since
the same a lot of (INAUDIBLE) since even the `90s. Since `92 have picked
the winner every time from Iowa.

So Iowa, I think, as a result of King`s influence is becoming less
influential in the process overall. So it`s not a good thing and it not a
good thing for the current crop of candidates.

SHARPTON: You know, Governor, one of our reporters from
interviewed Steve King today. He says his staff kept a running list of
some 12 to 16 prominent Republicans who have leveled personal criticisms
against him. Going back to your point about people criticizing him. He
kept a list. And King says, quote, "their agenda has been marginalized.
Mine has been strengthened."

Is this the Steve King agenda? Is it going to dictate the GOP`s 2016
primary race?

RENDELL: Well, that`s the big question. Because if it does, the
Republicans are destined to lose the 2016 general election.

We saw what happened to Governor Romney, tried to become more conservative
to appeal to the base during the primaries and locked himself into
positions that come the general election he couldn`t get out of. If it
happens again, if someone, one candidate doesn`t stand up to the Steve
Kings and say no, we`re not going to use terms like deportable to talk
about someone born in the United States, we`re not going to denigrate
portions of our population. If they don`t do that, they`re going to kiss
off the Hispanic vote, they`re going to kiss off the gay and lesbian vote,
you`re going to kiss off so many constituencies that are important in a
presidential election.

So it`s a prescription for disaster for the Republicans. And someone ought
to stand up to people like Steve King and say what they feel. Someone
ought to have the courage to do it.

SHARPTON: Joy, you know when Republicans aren`t paying homage to the tea
party, they`re appearing before billionaires because this weekend senators
Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are all speaking at an event hosted by
the Koch brothers.

Now, which group is more important to the candidates, the tea party or the

REID: Rev., this isn`t even close. It`s the billionaires. The
billionaires run the party. I think the tea party was an escape valve for
a lot of energy on the far right. And they had a great deal of influence
in congressional races and house races and in moving the party overall to
the far right.

But when it comes to who picks the nominee, the tea party can love a far
right candidate all they want. In the end, the money people pick them.
They picked McCain in `08. They picked Romney in 2012. There`s very
little the tea party can do about it. And that`s really part of the source
of their frustration. That ultimately they make a lot of noise, they have
the Sarah Palins and the Steve Kings, they actually hurt the party`s brand.
But they can`t ultimately get a nominee to their liking. And they probably
still can`t now. You are probably still going to see an establishment pick
of Jeb Bush or, you know, I doubt a Marco Rubio, but somebody like the Jeb
Bush because the money people always win.

SHARPTON: You know, I`m glad you mentioned Sarah Palin because, governor,
Sarah Palin actually said today that she was caught working at a soup
kitchen when a reporter asked if she`s interested in a presidential run.
Here`s what she said.


SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: I mean, of course, when you have
a servant`s heart, when you know there`s opportunity to do all you can to
put yourself forward in the name of offering service, anybody would be


SHARPTON: And it raises the question, governor, even if she`s not serious
about running, do her views matter to primary voters in the Republican

RENDELL: I think definitely. There`s some voters in the Republican party.
And I would qualify what Joy said a little bit. Because Rick Santorum came
awfully close to beating Mitt Romney had he got 40,000 more votes in the
Michigan primary, I think he would have been the nominee. And he was a
creation of the tea party.

So although the billionaires still prevailed in 2012, it wasn`t by very
much. And I think the tea party is getting stronger and people in the tea
party listen to Sarah Palin.

But look, Rev., I`m hoping she does run. In fact, I`m working hard for a
Palin/Cruz ticket for 2016.

SHARPTON: Yes. Well, that`s one ticket.

But Joy, you know, we heard and we`re hearing the Republicans meeting with
billionaires and tea party this weekend. We heard another political agenda
this week and let`s not forget President Obama laid out a political agenda.
Listen to this.


pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the
same work.

Congress still needs to raise the minimum wage.

As Americans, we don`t mind paying our fair share of taxes as long as
everybody else does.


SHARPTON: The real question, Joy Reid, is which agenda will more Americans
go with?

REID: No, I think it`s pretty clear even the polls now show that President
Obama`s got the more popular side of the agenda. Things like raising the
minimum wage are even popular in red states.

And the interesting thing, Rev., is that you`re now going to see for the
next year and half a president who no longer has to tailor his message to
the blue dogs in his own party. He no longer has to tailor his message to
red state Democrats. He can now be kind of an unfiltered progressive
populist. And it is going to be interesting to see if the Republicans
respond by doing what Mitt Romney did, which is try to pretend that they,
too, care about anti-poverty programs and, hey, they don`t just care about
billionaires or what if they double down on things that the loudest part of
their base want to hear, which is thing about abortion, which is things
about stopping immigration because those things will all but guarantee
another democrat in the White House in 2016.

SHARPTON: Ed Rendell and Joy Reid, thank you for your time tonight. And
both of you have a great weekend.

REID: You too, Rev.

SHARPTON: And be sure to watch "the Reid report" weekdays at 2:00 p.m.
eastern right here on MSNBC.

Coming up, breaking news on the fight against terror. Plans for an
offensive against ISIS. And new worries about Al-Qaeda.

Plus the NFL responds to the controversy casting a shadow over the super
bowl. What is the league saying about Tom Brady and deflate-gate?

Also, the debate over President Obama`s interview with You Tube stars, was
that beneath the dignity of the office or was he reaching a new generation?

That for some highlights from my trip so far to London, it is all coming up
on a special edition of "Politics Nation."


SHARPTON: I`m across the pond here in London, but there`s a lot of news at

What is the NFL saying tonight about their investigation into the deflated

The late night comedians are having fun with it and so is someone inside
the White House.

And the president`s You Tube interview.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My mama said whenever you go to somebody`s house, you
have to give them something. Don`t come empty handed. So I have green
lipsticks. One for your first wife --

OBAMA: My first --


OBAMA: You know something I don`t?



SHARPTON: That got a good laugh. But some on the right don`t think it`s
funny. It`s all ahead when we come back live from London.


SHARPTON: Breaking news tonight taking giant steps in the global war
against terror.

U.S. officials tell "the Wall Street Journal" the Pentagon is planning for
a full assault by Iraqi troops to retake the key city of Mosul from ISIS
rebels by this summer. Already American troops are training Iraqi military
units and cutting off supplies to ISIS fighters controlling Iraq`s second
largest city.

This news comes as we`re learning more about the American-led fight against
ISIS. So far the U.S. has launched about 2,000 air strikes on ISIS targets
killing over 6,000 militants so far.


JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Fifty percent of the top command has been
eliminated. Hundreds of vehicles and tanks, which they captured, have been
destroyed as well as more than a thousand fighting positions checkpoints,
buildings, barracks in Iraq and in Syria.


SHARPTON: But as the U.S. goes after ISIS, there`s troubling news from
Yemen where the government has collapsed and been forced out by rebels.
Officials now fear Yemen will become an even bigger breeding ground for
terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda, which already control parts of the country.

Joining me now is Michael Kay, retired senior British officer and military
strategist, now foreign affairs correspondent.

Thank you for being here, Michael.


SHARPTON: Let`s start with the news about is. What do you make of the
U.S. plan to recapture Mosul?

KAY: Rev., there`s a big gaping hole that still remains here. I`ve always
maintained that the military are the blunt tool of diplomacy. And whatever
military sanctions are authorized by the Pentagon and the administration
and the coalition, it should be supporting some sort of political road map
and we don`t have that at the moment.

The landscape on the ground, the tactical battlefield, if you like, in
Syria at the minute, is incredibly complicated. It started off with the
free Syrian army and started off with Jabhat al-Nusra who were working
together against Assad and his regime. That`s the way this whole thing
started off in Syria in 2011.

What we`ve now move towards is kind of three main area. You have got
Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS who are the main jihadist groups. You`ve got the
Syrian regime and Hezbollah, which obviously the Shia force that work out
of south Lebanon traditionally against Israel.

So now they`re now working together. And now, you`ve kind of go the free
Syrian army and potentially the YPG, which is the Syrian Kurds. And it has
three main areas, and what we`ve got to kind of head our gets around on the
west, you mentioned early that we`re the way now training and equipping and
supporting moderate rebels is that the moderate rebels aren`t just fighting
ISIS. They`re fighting Jabhat al-Nusra, they are fighting Hezbollah and
they are fighting the Assad regime.

So in order for that to be successful in itself, that has to be a fairly
significant sizable ground force and air force to do that and that sort
what worries me.

SHARPTON: Now, turning back to Yemen, let`s go back to Yemen a minute.
It`s unclear what the political turmoil will mean to the war on terror.

"The Wall Street Journal" reports Yemen`s now former president personally
approved a U.S. airstrike and drone program that targets Al-Qaeda leaders
and training camps. The U.S. also trained Yemen`s elite counterterrorism
units and has spent nearly $1 billion on military economic and humanitarian
assistance to the government since 2011.

Now, Michael, is the situation in Yemen going to up-end U.S.
counterterrorism strategy?

KAY: It`s clearly a significant key to the war on trim in that part of the
world, but Yemen is kind of different to Syria. And the problem in Syria
is that you`ve got a president that just will not stand down. He`s there.
I mean, he`s not going away.

However, in Yemen we have this national dialogue conference. And what that
is, it`s a conference which was sponsored by the United Nations. It was
led by the GCC. And what effectively it was, it was a way of getting the
incumbent, the president to stand down. He stood down because he was
granted immunity. That allowed the vice president to stand up, who is the
president that just resigned.

So there was kind of an option in 2011, there was sort of a way forward, if
you like, to try and get this political roadmap that we`ve spoken about.

Now Yemen in the north, you`ve got the Houthis (ph) which is Shia dominate
and in the south the salafist groups. And the problem that we find at the
moment all comes back to the same form as in Syria as in Afghanistan. It`s
all about corruption. It is about the lack of bolstering the indigenous
security forces, the army, the police. And without those security
structures in place, then terrorism can run rife.

And that`s what you`re seeing at the moment. you`re seeing for the Shia
dominated north with the Houthis who now have the domination of the capital
Sana`a. And you see it in the south with the more jihadist groups.

So the key here is the security forces. And if you remember in Iraq when,
you know, we went in and we took out their security forces without a plan
to replace them, that`s when insurgencies thrive, that`s when Al-Qaeda
thrives, that`s when, you know, without the lack of governance, you know,
people can run free and do what they want.

SHARPTON: Well, we`re certainly going to be watching it and staying on top
of it.

Michael Kay, thank you for your time this evening.

KAY: Good to see you. Have a great time in London.

SHARPTON: Thank you.

Coming up, we learn more about the NFL`s investigation into the football
scandal. Is anyone from the team talking?

And why are some on the right freaking out over interviews the president
gave to You Tube celebrities?

Conversation nation is ahead live from across the pond tonight. Please
stay with us.


SHARPTON: You`re looking at live pictures of the world-famous London eye.
Europe`s tallest Ferris Wheel on the south bank of the Thames river. I`m
here in London where earlier today I met with members of parliament to talk
about civil rights and policing issues, both in America and abroad.


SHARPTON: The problems that we face in the United States and the problems
connected in UK are the same problems.

All we wanted was for the law to protect the citizens and to enforce the
law. We are not anti-police. We`re anti-police brutality.


SHARPTON: Criminal justice, civil rights, policing, economic opportunity,
these issues that I talk about every day back in New York and around the
U.S. are not just American issues. They`re global issues. And we need to
work together for global solutions.

I`ll have more on that and I`ll speak live with a senior member of
parliament ahead.


SHARPTON: Now, to the NFL`s investigation into the so-called deflate-gate
controversy. The NFL confirming today that evidence suggests the Patriot`s
footballs were in fact under inflated and that at least 40 interviews have
been conducted so far. The league also saying the team has pledged their
full cooperation. Team owner Robert Kraft said it`s giving the league
access to every employee and every communication device. But we still
don`t know if the league has talked to quarterback Tom Brady. Here`s Brady


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: They haven`t talked to you yet? The league has not
spoken, contacted you and gotten your side of the story (INAUDIBLE) --

TOM BRADY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: No, but you know, they may. I think
that`s their -- I think that`s obviously their choice.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Tom, do you find that odd, though, if they wanted,
like Tom said, to put this behind us and get ready for the Super Bowl, they
would contact --

BRADY: Sure. They might. They might.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: It`s odd that they haven`t at this point that, you
know, you`re the quarterback and you`re at the center of this story right
now and the league`s officials investigators haven`t talked to you
indicates to a lot of people that they`re letting this drag on, twist in
the wind?

BRADY: I`m not sure.


SHARPTON: While the investigation continues, many in the court of public
opinion have already ruled, and not just fans of social media, a growing
list of former players don`t buy Brady`s story.

Joining me now is CBS Sports network Dana Jacobson. Thank you for being


SHARPTON: Dana, what`s your reaction to the NFL`s statement today?

JACOBSON: Well, you know, I think that they`re being deliberate on
purpose. They really didn`t tell us anything that we don`t already know,
but I do think it`s important to point out this isn`t very easy to do. You
do have to talk to everybody involved. It wasn`t like somebody was going
to come forward and just say, yes, I know what happened, here you go, I`m
the person that deflated these footballs and I have the whole story. And I
think with the history they have right now, they`re trying to go through
everything very thoroughly. They hired somebody to investigate that people
should have a lot of belief in in Ted Wells. He`s the one that was in
charge of the investigation surrounding the Richie Incognito situation in
Miami. And I know everybody wants it solved right away, but this isn`t a
police crime drama that gets wrapped up in an hour. This is real life.

SHARPTON: Now, the NFL`s statement also saying, quote, "We have obtained
and are continuing to obtain additional information including video and
other electronic information and physical evidence." What are you hearing
about this, Dana?

JACOBSON: Well, it`s the same thing. They are investigating. I said it`s
almost like a CSI episode where they`re trying to find everything out
through any means necessary because this is the Patriots, this is the spy
gate team, this is the team that it was proven before did cheat, did
circumvent the rules and, in this case, while everybody seems to be in
agreement, and I agree, that this isn`t something that gave the team a
competitive advantage, if it`s rule breaking, it`s rule breaking and it
needs to be punished. So they have the figure by any means necessary what
actually happened and it`s not going to be because somebody tells them that
it happened.

SHARPTON: I mention many players don`t believe Brady had no knowledge.
Let`s play that now.


TROY AIKMAN, NFL HALL OF FAME QUARTERBACK: You know, it`s obvious that Tom
Brady had something to do with this. And so for the balls to have been
deflated, that doesn`t happen unless the quarterback wants that to happen.
I can assure you of that. Now the question comes, did Bill Belichick know
about it?

MARK BRUNELL, FORMER QUARTERBACK: I don`t believe what Tom had to say. I
don`t believe there`s an equipment manager in the NFL that would on his own
initiative would deflate the ball without the starting quarterback`s

BRIAN DAWKINS, FORMER NFL SAFETY: This is unbelievable. For you not to
know what you touch every play.


SHARPTON: Your reaction to that, Dana?

JACOBSON: I think they`re right. And every former player that I talked
with yesterday sort of had a similar reaction in the idea of nobody`s going
to mess with a team`s footballs unless there`s sort of a knowledge about
it. Now, I don`t necessarily say or believe and I`m not willing to stay
that I think Tom Brady lied about it. I don`t think he went up to somebody
and said, here, deflate these footballs, but it`s very strange that only
the Patriots` footballs were affected. Something had to happen and it
didn`t happen just by nature. It just doesn`t make sense that that would
have happened. So, I agree with those who were saying they have a hard
time believing what Tom Brady was saying because it does seem that he had
to have some involvement even if it wasn`t something that he ordered.

SHARPTON: Will we get a ruling before the Super Bowl next Sunday, Dana?

JACOBSON: I don`t see it happening. And really for the reason of, again,
this wasn`t a competitive advantage. They scored more points in the second
half when they were using the regularly inflated footballs and there are
even reports out now that towards the end of the first half they were using
the Colts footballs which had the appropriate PSI for the footballs. So I
think right now the NFL is trying to maybe quiet the storm a little bit,
let the game be played, and then they`ll rule. And it feels like no matter
what they say, no matter what the ruling there`s going to be more outcry,
so why not wait until after that game`s played. I may be wrong, Rev, but
that`s just a gut feeling on when we`re going to get a ruling.

SHARPTON: Dana Jacobson, thank you for your time tonight. Have a great
weekend, Dana.

JACOBSON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, is Sarah Palin running for president? Some on the
right are slamming President Obama for talking with YouTube celebrities.
Late night comedians are having a ball with deflate-gate. A special London
edition of "Conversation Nation" is next here on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: Time now for "Conversation Nation." Joining me tonight "Access
Hollywood`s" Shaun Robinson, democratic strategist Jimmy Williams and
HuffPost Live host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani. Thank you all for being



SHARPTON: We start with some on the right attacking President Obama. This
time over some interviews he gave to YouTube celebrities. President Obama
was interviewed by three stars at the White House as part of his State of
the Union rollout. They even took a group selfie together. But some
didn`t like it, especially his interview with GloZell.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It just seemed beneath the dignity of the office to be
hanging out with some of these YouTubers. This was scheduled as the first
interview two days after the State of the Union. Now, the State of the
Union is a serious policy speech and this looked like Obama was just going
to the d-list Hollywood after-party.


SHARPTON: Caroline, is it beneath the dignity or is it a smart way to
reach a younger audience?

MODARRESSY-TEHRANI: It`s so smart. I love that it`s beneath the dignity
of the office of the President to hang out with young American citizens,
what is beneath about that? I mean, I think, look, the State of the Union
this year received the lowest ratings for the last, I think, 15 years.
This is very smart strategy by the White House to make the President go
and, you know, be seen to be on YouTube. These channels are social
channels where, you know, young people today are getting their news from.
I mean, people aren`t sitting down to watch the State of the Union Address
anymore. They are going to YouTube, they`re finding clips. This is just
the way of being accessible and it`s the 21st Century, for goodness sake.

SHARPTON: Jimmy, what do you think? Is it beneath the dignity or trying
to reach a younger audience? I bring you on to reach a younger audience.

WILLIAMS: As an old man, I would suggest that the President`s doing
something very smart, which is reaching out to people that voted for him.
Crazy. Unlike Howard Kurtz who has no idea what YouTube is. I am willing
to bet Howard Kurtz probably uses an abacus to count and do his checking
account. But guess what, that`s okay. If FOX and their friends want to
think that the President of the United States or YouTube or Instagram or
Facebook or Twitter or anything that`s social media is below the dignity of
the presidency, I can`t wait to see when a republican actually gets back
into the White House -- hopefully not in my lifetime -- and see if they use
any kind of social media. Oh, wait, maybe that`s why they`ll never get
back in the White House but there`s young people won`t vote for them.
That`s why.


SHARPTON: Shaun, what do you think, Shawn?

ROBINSON: Well, Rev, this reminds me of when Bill Clinton as a governor
appeared on the Arsenio Hall show and played the saxophone. He was behind
in the polls. And everybody said the day after that really turned the race
around. And we know the outcome of that. Look, you know, these YouTubers
have millions and millions of followers.


ROBINSON: If you are saying that talking to these reporters are beneath
the dignity of the presidency, you`re also saying that the people who
follow them are not worth reaching out to.


ROBINSON: And that`s a very non-inclusive, very dangerous message.


SHARPTON: But I don`t know, Arsenio was before my time. I`m in the Jimmy
Fallon generation. But anyway, now I have to go back to -- I have to go
back to Sarah Palin. Is Sarah Palin running for president? A reporter
asked if she`s interested. Here`s that response again.


SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: I mean, of course, when you have
a servant`s heart, when you know that there is opportunity to do all you
can to put yourself forward in the name of offering service, that anybody
would be interested.


SHARPTON: Jimmy, do you think she`s serious?

WILLIAMS: Oh, I pray -- tonight, I don`t take prayer lightly, but I
promise you tonight when I go to bed I`m praying that Sarah Palin makes
good on her word. She is this weekend heading to Iowa to Steve King`s
cantaloupe conference. And I think it`s wonderful that she`s hanging out
with a bunch of people that think that immigrants are bad and gay people
are bad and black people shouldn`t be able to vote, et cetera, et cetera.
So if Sarah Palin`s running for president, bring it on. I hope she does.
Mission not accomplished once again.


ROBINSON: Well, Rev, look, you know, one of the things that was hanging --
the phrases hanging over Sarah Palin`s head when she was running for the
vice presidential slot under John McCain is, is this woman ready to be a
heartbeat away from the presidency. And so today she would not be a
heartbeat away. She would actually be the heartbeat. So the question is,
have people gotten over the gaffes of, you know, I can see Russia from my
backyard. Not being able to come up with a book or magazine that she is
read when Katie Couric asked her that question. And whether she is ready
to be the most powerful, not woman but the most powerful person in the
world, and so we will have to wait and see if that`s actually true. She
has those supporters. Of course she might be interested, does she have the
support, that`s the question.

SHARPTON: Caroline?

MODARRESSY-TEHRANI: I think everyone was getting out their popcorn,
weren`t they, when they heard it. I mean, you know, news hounds were
rubbing their hands with glee. I would only hope that by her suggesting
that she is even so remotely considering a run in 2016 make some republican
who is a little less crazy than the ones that we`ve seen coming out of the
woodwork of late and saying they`re throwing their hat in the race to maybe
come out and say, you know what? Maybe I will put my hat in the race as
well. Because honestly, the idea of having Sarah Palin as president,
sorry, that`s no verbal response, more of a physical thing, so yes.

SHARPTON: Before we go, I have to ask this one question because I`m here
in London where there`s no doubt who the royal couple is. Will and Kate
are the talk of the town. But I wonder who my panelists think are American
royalty. Shaun, what do you think?

ROBINSON: Well, my American royalty, Rev, is actually a threesome. It`s
Fitz, Olivia and Jake. Now, no matter who she chooses, it`s going to be
one hot and steamy romance next week on "Scandal."

SHARPTON: That is interesting. Jimmy?

WILLIAMS: Yes, that is interesting. I`m going with Neil Patrick Harris
and his husband David Burka. And the reason I`m doing it is because
there`s nothing that Neil Patrick Harris can`t do. He`s been nominated for
virtually every single award, he is hosted every single award show
including the Oscars, coming up very soon. And his husband`s an
accomplished actor in and off himself. So, I think they are not only
handsome, they`re great fathers to their children, but I think they would
make a wonderful royal couple in America.

SHARPTON: Caroline?

MODARRESSY-TEHRANI: I love that one. I was going to say Tom Brady and
Giselle, but obviously deflate-gate happened and deflated my answer.


You know, it`s a tricky one. But I was thinking of Ellen DeGeneres and
Portia de Rossi, because on the see, I mean, what a gorgeous teesome I
think there as a couple they are make, they are really, aren`t they?
They`re like first family material. I think they`re fantastic. And yes,
they`ll do. They`ll be my winning.

SHARPTON: All right. We`ll going to have to leave it there, Shaun, Jimmy
and Caroline, thank you for your time. Have a great weekend all three of

WILLIAMS: Thank you, you too.

MODARRESSY-TEHRANI: You too, Rev. Enjoy London.

ROBINSON: And say hi to the queen for me, Rev.

SHARPTON: We`ll be right back with the fight for social justice in London,
New York and around the world. You`re watching a special edition of
POLITICS NATION live from London. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Inequality, the wealth gap, the income gap. These aren`t just
American problems, they`re issues that people struggle with all over the
world. And my next guest has been fighting that fight here in the UK for

MP Diane Abbott, who was the first black woman to be elected to the House
of Commons and is a tireless activist and civil rights fighter and a
fighter for fairness. Thank you so much for being here, Ms. Abbott.


SHARPTON: You know, a lot of people don`t realize we`re all fighting this
same fight on inequality in every country around the world, isn`t that

ABBOTT: That is absolutely correct. Here in London, we have more
millionaires than any city in the world, more than even New York, I think.
But a quarter of our children live in poverty, and the inequality gap is
widening every day because even when people are in work, it`s low-paid
work, it`s nonunionized work, it`s insecure work. Inequality in London is
an open wound.

SHARPTON: Now, you hosted this meeting that you brought me to at the House
of Commons today and other members of parliament came, your colleagues
support you and you had leaders from all over England really come, and I
was struck by a lot of the same conversation, income inequality, economic
disparities and problems with policing that you`re dealing with right here
in England. It was almost like I never crossed the pond. And how in tune
people here are with the issues and the fights and the struggles that we`re
having at home. For example, there have been protests -- I don`t think a
lot of people in America know there have been protests in London over what
happened in Staten Island with Eric Garner and over Michael Brown in

ABBOTT: Yes, we`ve had a number of protests. I myself have spoken at
rallies outside the American Embassy here in London protesting Ferguson and
what happened in Staten Island and also we`ve had protests in shopping
malls where hundreds of young people have just lain down and they`ve closed
the mall down. And what`s interesting about it is the young people aren`t
getting their information from mainstream news outlets, they`re getting it
from online, they`re getting it from twitter, they`re getting it from
Facebook. We`re living in a world of globalized protest.

SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you this, Ms. Abbott, one of the things that
also struck me, and it`s very encouraging in the U.S., is we`re seeing
young people of all races coming together. And we talked today, they
talked about immigration, they talked about how we must struggle on not
only issues of bad police because we`re not anti-police, but bad police,
but on immigration, on Islamaphobia, on what is happening to gays and
lesbians and real commitment around a progressive agenda using peaceful
protest and the vote, you have a big election here in May.

ABBOTT: One of the positive things about current times is, yes, we`re
still in an economic crisis and yes many people are struggling, but young
people of all colors are coming together and campaigns on social justice,
around lesbian and gay rights, around immigration are more popular amongst
young people than ever and I think that`s a sign of hope for the future.

SHARPTON: Well, you`ve been there. And you`ve really paid dues and you`re
still one of those that is OUTFRONT leading the way. MP Diane Abbott,
thank you so much for staying up late to be here tonight. It`s late here
in London. Have a great weekend.

ABBOTT: Thank you.

SHARPTON: We`ll be right back with some highlights from my trip to Oxford
University. I was given a warm welcome and a chance to make some important
points about civil rights.


SHARPTON: I`m here in the UK because race, policing and criminal justice
aren`t just American issues. They`re global problems. And we should seek
global solutions. In 1981 riots broke out in Brixton in South London
sparked by the UK`s version of stop and frisk, and over the next two
decades several deaths of young black men in apparently racially motivated
attacks shocked the UK and the world. This is why I`m here today, to shine
a light on our shared struggle and talk about finding a way forward.
Earlier today I spoke at the historic Oxford union at the center of the
oldest university in the English-speaking world. I talked about how even
the darkest moments can lead to powerful change.


SHARPTON: This morning I was at the House of Commons in London, and as I
sat there I thought about how 24 years ago I came to England. I came to
lead a march for a young man who was killed by a self-described white
supremacist mo mob. The young man`s name was Roland Adams. I met a lady
at that time was his aunt, met his mother. This morning that aunt re-
introduced herself to me. She`s a member of the House of Lords in England
in 24 years. She went from just protesting to where she`s in a position of
power. That shows the ability to change and transform and be part of a
continuing transformation if we are determined to do so.


SHARPTON: Back in the U.S., the movie "Selma" has reminded millions of
Americans of how far we`ve come, but today at Oxford, I also talked about
how far we have to go a long we`ve got to go. There`s so much work yet to
be done.

When we look at America today, yes, there is still unfairness, inequality,
yes, there are still elements of racism and sexism and homophobia, but that
is all in transition because there are people that are fighting every day
in different ways to change that. The challenge is today on how do you
deal with making more fair the criminal justice system, how do you make law
enforcement accountable to where they are not above the law, does not make
you anti-police. We are not anti-police because we challenge a chokehold
case in Staten Island, New York. We are, in fact, pro-police, we work with

The injustices we still face are why people of all racist have been
marching peacefully in the streets over these last few months. And we must
continue to have these kinds of discussions, raise our voices, protest
where we must, but always towards solutions, always toward making it a
better and open and just society. Not just making noise but making change
all over the world.

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


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