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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Read the transcript from the Tuesday show

Date: February 17, 2015
Guest: Dana Milbank, Lloyd Doggett, Joe Madison, Midwin Charles, Ken
Padowitz, Angela Rye, John Fugelsang, Alyona Minkovski

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you
for tuning in.

We start tonight with breaking news. Late today, President Obama speaking
out against a court ruling from a Republican appointed judge temporarily
blocking his action on immigration. The ruling represents a major new
threat to nearly five million people protected by the president`s historic
move. And the president says he will fight it.


I disagree with it. I think the law is on our side and history is on our
side. And we are going to appeal it. And we will be prepared to implement
this fully as soon as the legal issues get resolved.


SHARPTON: In this new ruling, Judge Andrew Hanen claimed that the Obama
administration had exacerbated illegal immigration. And accused the
homeland security secretary of rewriting the laws and even creating them
from scratch. The Republican officials behind this lawsuit knew what they
were doing when they shopped for a friendly court purposely filing in Judge
Hanen district. He was appointed by President George W. Bush.

The conservative "National Review" says he has a record of hawkish
immigration positions. And in an opinion last year, he even claimed the
White House deportation policies endangers America.

The justice department is going to appeal this ruling. But in the
meantime, the president`s program is on hold with millions of people once
again left in the shadows by the GOP.


OBAMA: We should not be tearing some mom away from her child when the
child has been born here and that mom has been living here the last ten
years minding her own business and being an important part of the


SHARPTON: Those are the stakes right now. And tonight this fight is far
from over.

Joining me now are Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Democrat from Texas and Dana
Milbank of "the Washington Post." Thank you both for being here.


REP. LLOYD DOGGETT (D), TEXAS: Thank you, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Congressman, you`re a former judge. What`s your reaction to the
news that White House will fight this ruling?

DOGGETT: Well, I would say the more, the faster they can do it, I thought
it was very unusual to have an opinion come out of a federal court at 10:00
on a Sunday night, and be such an overreached.

I met today with some of the students who are dreamers. And we see this as
a clash, of course, nationally between the judiciary and the president.
But I`m concern about the impact on them. You got a woman named Lorino who
lived from being a rent chant (ph) and now hoping to become a civil
engineer. That`s the type of talent we need. And this judicial
overreaction really just impairs her future.

SHARPTON: Now Congressman, you talk about a young lady you met with. I
mean, do your colleagues, do your Republican colleagues not care about
these kinds of people?

DOGGETT: Well, sometimes I feel like maybe they`re on another planet.
They seem to be on the program that their whole immigration approach is
deportation today, deportation tomorrow, and deportation forever. They
want to deport the dreamers who have been here, 600,000 of them have gone
through the program already. They have cleared criminal background checks.
They paid a fee. They`re out there attending school or some in cases, here
at San Antonio, they`re out there working in our community already. It is
the type of talent that has made America strong in the past.

These young people have so much to contribute. Let`s not let one George
Bush appointee down in the southern tip of the United States prevent more
of these young people from participating in this program and then
eventually the parents of American citizens to do the same in May.

SHARPTON: Dana isn`t that really what we are talking about. We are
talking about a Bush appointed judge, known as an immigration hub (ph). Is
it really anyone surprise he ruled there way?

MILBANK: No, I don`t think so, Reverend. And that is why there is really
is just sort of a speed bomb here. Here, you have a judge has been
unwavering in his hostility to the administration, particularly on
immigration issues. There was venue shopping going on. And almost
certainly this will be -- the injunction will be lifted on appeal and
ultimately won`t be the policy.

So at most it does is slow it down a little bit. And, you know, if you
look at this crassly as a political matter, it`s not such a bad position
for the president to be on now that he`s on the side of this very important
demographic in American political culture right now. And you see George W.
Bush appointed judge standing in the way.

SHARPTON: No. Well, politically, you may be right, but for five million
people they`re not thinking about politics tonight.

MILBANK: Exactly. You`re right.

SHARPTON: But Congressman, in this decision, Judge Hanen accuses the
federal government of quote "complete abdication on its responsibilities on

Now, what struck me about that, Congressman, is it sounds very similar to
the absent indication rhetoric we hear from your colleagues, the
Republicans in Congress. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president has absent dated his statutory
responsibilities in enforcing the law --.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: The humanitarian crisis that is playing out on
our southern border right now, and the abdication of responsibility that`s
playing out in Washington, D.C.


SHARPTON: Congressman, again, you were a judge, won an appeal caught take
this political language with a grain of salt?

DOGGETT: It does sound in part a little like a stump speech. I have been
hearing there in the floors of the floor of the capitol. Yes, I think that
we will see this stayed. I hope it will be soon. And whatever the value
one way or the other politically, I just look at it from the perspective of
these young people I`ve been visiting with, the uncertainty that these
families face of being torn apart.

We will continue our efforts telling them get your application filled out,
be prepared to act as soon as this court has acted to stop this nonsense,
because these families want to be part of America. Many of these young
people have never known any other country and we need to give them that
opportunity. At the same time in Washington, we fund the department of
homeland security.

SHARPTON: You know, Dana, but isn`t that what is disturbing, right-wing
talking points in a legal decision? I mean, what does this say about the
judiciary here?

MILBANK: Yes. And I think they have to get the talking points straight.
So, is the president a monarch or is he abdicated? Because if he
abdicated, he`s no longer a monarch. So they have got to get straight on

Yes, I mean, look. You have seen, you know, we`ve heard a lot of
complaints about activist federal judges, typically from conservatives.
But of course, conservative judges can be activists, too. And here`s a guy
who is doing that, who is essentially legislating from the bench and trying
to undo what the duly elected president has done.

SHARPTON: Congressman Doggett, we also have the speaker, Speaker Boehner,
saying that he`s willing to let homeland security funding run out unless
Democrats agree to defund the president`s actions. Listen to this.


CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: And what if the department of homeland
security runs out?

should be to blame, very simply.

WALLACE: You`re prepared to let that happen?

BOEHNER: Certainly. The house has acted. We have done our job.


SHARPTON: Now, a new poll finds 53 percent of Americans would blame
Republicans if there is pause or shutdown of the homeland security
department. Just 30 percent would blame President Obama. Is it about
time, Congressman Doggett, that Republicans started rethinking their
strategy here?

DOGGETT: Absolutely. If they want to hide behind this erroneous decision,
they can use it as an excuse. Let`s not see furloughed some 30,000
department of homeland security employees at a time we face additional
international concerns about our security. It`s unfair.

Majority leader McConnell said earl why are in the years, no more
government shutdowns. And here we haven`t gone two month and they`re
talking about doing it again, for, of all things, the department of
homeland security, to say they will not fund it the way other federal
agencies are funded is just really incredible. And it jeopardizes the
ability of that department to provide grants to local law enforcement and
to do other things that it wants to do to assure that we are protected.
Same people that are complaining, we don`t have enough border security are
the ones who won`t fund the security we have and need.

SHARPTON: You know, Dana, let`s go back on that point from the
Congressman. Let`s go back to your point on politics. How do the
Republicans think they can have a future for the party when they offend a
major constituency in terms of Latino vote? And in these times where we
have all of these real anxieties about security, you`re going to even flirt
with shut down homeland security, and what that means to American people,
real or imagined?

MILBANK: Right. Well, Reverend, if you`re taking the long view, it really
is inexplicable. I mean, I think the Republicans feel they can get away
with this, you know, largely white male southern party for a little bit
longer. Obviously, they can`t do it for very long.

This sort of conflict is going to highlight that distinction, and that`s
why, you know, if anything, I think that the poll numbers that you cite
probably will be even more lopsided if the shutdown actually comes, because
the president, any president, tends to win these fights with Congress,
particularly because he`s got public support both on immigration, and he
can be suggesting that the Republicans are being weak on terrorism.

So it`s -- it`s a no-win situation they seem to have gotten themselves into
here. And you`ve got to think they`re going to find a way to climb down.

SHARPTON: Congressman, do you believe they will let the department of
homeland security shut down?

DOGGETT: It could happen, Reverend Al. It`s amazing, things happens with
these folks should never expect. Speaker Boehner was here in San Antonio
not so long ago last year telling us that he wanted to get immigration
resolved. He`s continued to say that throughout this. And the only reason
the president had to take this action is because of the total failure of
the House of Representatives to consider this issue and permit people of
goodwill, who are Republicans and Democrats, to come together and pass
comprehensive immigration reform.

They cannot even pass through the house a totally partisan Republican
homeland security bill only that was proposed earlier that would demand
before we act on other immigration that our border tighter than North
Korea, totally unrealistic bill. They were all for it committee and then
afraid to bring it up on the floor of the United States house. Anything
that smacks of action on immigration other than deportations seems to be
something that these Republicans will not get behind.

SHARPTON: Congressman Lloyd Doggett, and newly clean-shaven Dana Milbank,
thank you both for your time tonight.

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

DOGGETT: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the new GOP campaign to block the Loretta Lynch
nomination, the real reason they oppose her as attorney general.

Also, dramatic video from inside the Aaron Hernandez murder trial. Why did
he take apart his phone the day after the victim`s death?

All that plus the secret meeting between Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth
Warren. Why the first lady is teaming up with big bird.

And all reaction from my red carpet run-in with Sarah Palin.

Big show tonight. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Tonight there`s a coordinated effort in the GOP to derail
Loretta Lynch`s nomination for attorney general. Why is it happening? And
why now? That`s next.


SHARPTON: Winter snow closed most government offices in Washington D.C.
today, leading to scenes like this.


SHARPTON: A massive snowball fight in a D.C. park, since so many kids and
adults had a snow day. But it was still a busy day at the White House,
where vice president Biden today swore in Ashton Carter as our nation`s
news defense secretary.

It was a big day for Secretary Carter, and it should be. But this stands
in stark contrast to what happens happening to another Obama nominee,
Loretta Lynch for attorney general.

Take a look at this. It took 74 days from Secretary Carter`s nomination to
his swearing in. President Obama nominated Loretta Lynch 101 days before,
and the Senate committee hasn`t even voted on her confirmation yet.

And now, House Republicans are trying to block her, too. A group of house
complains are reportedly pressuring Senate judiciary members to oppose
Lynch`s nomination. And 20 of them have signed on the effort (ph).

Loretta Lynch is more than qualified to run the justice department. So
here`s my question. We got a new defense secretary today. Why haven`t we
gotten a new attorney general?

Joining me now is Sirius XM radio host Joe Madison. Thanks for being here,


SHARPTON: The house has no say in approving the president`s nominees. Why
are all these House Republicans trying to block Loretta Lynch from taking

MADISON: They do the dirty work for the Senate. The Senate is supposed to
be an August body, the more deliberate body, but what they do is allow the
house to be the rabble-rousers, particularly to rabble up their base.
That`s number one.

Number two, let`s go back to your last segment on immigration. This is
exactly one of the issues that they are definitely opposed to. She has
said and stated that she certainly agrees with the president`s position on
immigration, and would represents that position as the attorney general.
Well, that did it as far as those house members of concerned.

And then I think there`s the 800-pound gorilla in the room. I think the
fact that she`s a woman, that she`s African-American, that they think that
she`s going to be another Eric Holder, has a lot to do with it. And as you
know, being from New York, Loretta Lynch has taken on the mob, she`s taken
on terrorists, she`s taken on Wall Street. She has taken on some of the
most difficult cases that this country has, and if I`m not mistaken, she`s
been confirmed twice.

SHARPTON: Not only confirmed twice. In the hearings around the Judiciary
Committee, they were all praising her. Listen to this.


SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: I`m impressed with your qualifications, and I
hope to support your nomination.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m very impressed with your career and want to thank
you for upholding the law in your career.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS: And I should say congratulations to you for
an outstanding career.

CRUZ: A number of my friends and colleagues who practice law in New York
have reached out to me with words of praise for you.


SHARPTON: A compliment from Ted Cruz? I mean, here is no doubt she`s
qualified. Why don`t they just take the vote?

MADISON: Well, that is because they`re afraid of their base. That`s
exactly what this is all about. These guys are playing to their base. And
the bottom line is, once again, you know and I know, if there was any real,
real opposition, serious opposition to what Loretta Lynch could not do this
job, New York is full of legal minds that would express that.

So, you know, take the vote and let`s call it a day. As a matter of fact
there`s a historical opportunity for the Republican party to do just that.
Here we are in February, near the end of black history month, and they
could make some great inroads because, once again, as you know, they have
already confirmed her twice. They know this attorney general -- I mean,
this nominee almost better than they`ve known any nominee that`s come
before them.

SHARPTON: But Joe, I mean, and I hear you about her position on
immigration. I think Jeff Sessions of Alabama even said that, they are
reevaluating based on immigration stand. But isn`t this really also some
of them just spitting at President Obama and attorney general Holder?

MADISON: This is exactly what it is. You hit it. This is about going
after Eric Holder. I think I said this the last time. Think probably have
mentioned Eric Holder`s name more in this committee hearing than they have
mentioned Loretta Lynch`s name. This is exactly what this is about.

She is her own woman. She has been her even woman. She`s one heck of a
prosecutor, always has been, and they ought to allow the president to have
his attorney general bottom line take the vote, call it a day, and let`s
get on with enforcing the laws of the United States of America.

When she takes that oath of office, it would not be to uphold President
Obama. It would to uphold the constitution of the United States.

SHARPTON: Joe Madison, thank you for your time tonight.

MADISON: Thank you, Reverend.

Coming up, the prosecution rests in the American sniper trial.

Plus Hillary Clinton`s secret meeting with Elizabeth Warren. What happened
inside Hillary`s house? And why did she want it?

And everywhere I go, people are asking me about my meeting it Sarah Palin.
I enjoyed it. Those responses are ahead.


SHARPTON: The right wing is still cracking up over Phil Robertson, the
star of Doug Dynasty. He is being honored with a free speech award at the
conservative CPAC summit later this month.

Now, these folks can do what they want. But it does seem a little odd.
After all, Mr. Doug was the guy who compared homosexuality to bestiality,
who said African-Americans were happy picking cotton (ph) before welfare.
And who suggested people deserve to disease because of who they love.


PHIL ROBERTSON, STAR, : Now to me, either it`s the wildest coincidence
ever that horrible diseases follow immoral conduct, or it`s God saying
there`s a penalty for that kind of conduct.


SHARPTON: Since when is speech like that worthy of an award. Believe it
or not there`s actually one thing even more bizarre than Phil Robertson
receiving a free speech award.

The group giving it to him is Citizen United, the same Citizen United that
went all the way to the Supreme Court to argue that money was the same
thing as speech. So maybe they were just confused when they gave a free
speech award to Mr. Duck, because a group that also thinks money is free
speech doesn`t have a grasp of the concept.

Did they think we would be happy, happy, happy about this? Because we`re
not. Nice try. But we Got You.


SHARPTON: It`s time for the "Justice Files." Joining me now legal analyst
Midwin Charles and former prosecutor Ken Padowitz. Thank you both for
being here tonight.



SHARPTON: The prosecution rested today in the case today in the "American
Sniper" trial. Eddie Ray Routh is accused of killing the hero from the
movie, Chris Kyle, and his friend Chad Littlefield in 2013. They
volunteered to try to help Routh deal with his PTSD. The prosecution`s
case hinges on the question, did Routh know right from wrong. Routh has
pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. The prosecution showed Routh
driving Kyle`s truck in a high-speed chase before he turned himself into
police, and the moments after his arrest when he said, I don`t know if I am
insane. And a taped confession where Routh said, quote, "I was going to be
the next one getting my head shot off if I didn`t take out his soul, he was
going to take my soul next."

Midwin, how did the prosecution do?

CHARLES: I think they did the best they could with what they have. Here
you have a defendant with a history of mental illness, and so from a
defense perspective, I could see whether the defense would want to say,
hey, he`s not guilty by reason of insanity but I think the prosecution did
an effective job of showing that this guy knows the difference between
right and wrong by pointing out certain facts. One, he fled, which is
clearly is an indication that you know that what you just did is something
that you want to evade capture from.


CHARLES: And also, his statements, you know, he admitted to killing them
and said, he was sorry. What does that mean? It means that you feel bad
about what you did, because what you did you know is wrong. So, I think
the prosecution did the best that they could in showing that those are the
kinds of things that indicate that he knew the difference between right or
wrong at the time of the killings, not before or after.

SHARPTON: Ken, how do you think the prosecution did?

PADOWITZ: I think the prosecution did a very good job. I mean, I was a
homicide prosecutor. And I used to look at all the people that I
prosecuted from first degree murder, and I thought they were all crazy to
do what they did. But the reality is that in a trial where the defense is
insanity, most juries do not buy that as a defense. And I think in this
case is going to be the same problem for the defense. They`ll going to
have a hard time, the defense, convincing a jury that this client that
who`s on trial didn`t know right from wrong. He`s apologizing for shooting
these two men, so I think that very clearly is pushed by the prosecution to
this jury. He does in fact know the difference from right or wrong, and
most juries like I said, don`t buy the insanity defense.

SHARPTON: What does the defense need to do, Midwin?

CHARLES: At this point they`re doing all they can do. See, this is the
thing, when you`re a defense attorney, you get the case the way it is, you
have to work with what you have. And what these defense attorneys have, is
they have someone with a history of PTSD, diagnosed in 2011. They have a
client who was medicated, and who also took drugs, so they are doing the
best that they can do. And all they can do right now is point out, listen,
this person didn`t know the difference between right or wrong.


CHARLES: And he was out of his mind when he committed these crimes. I
think it`s an uphill battle, but they`re doing what it is they have to do.
All defense attorneys must represent their clients zealously and do as much
as they can to get an acquittal.

SHARPTON: Ken, let`s move to the Aaron Hernandez murder trial, and the
video his lawyers did not want the jury to see. Hernandez is accused of
killing semipro athlete Odin Lloyd in 2013. Here`s the video the
prosecution showed today from the day after the killing, when Hernandez
left the Police Department, a detective zoomed in on him with a
surveillance camera in the parking lot. And if you look closely, you see
his cell phone is in three pieces on his lap. Police say he took it apart.
Now look at this shot. It`s a little bit later, and it shows Hernandez
using two phones, the second one is from his lawyers. Prosecutors say he
used that new phone to call the one of the other men charged with Lloyd`s
murder. Ken, the defense tried to keep this video out of the trial. How
does it help the prosecution?

PADOWITZ: Well, it`s got to be really weak evidence, quite frankly, Rev.
I mean, somebody`s phone doesn`t work well, they take the battery out, they
reset it. You know, he didn`t destroy this phone, he didn`t demolish it,
he didn`t break the sim card in half. So, I think it`s a piece of
circumstantial evidence the prosecution wants to present to the jury, but
it`s not that strong. It`s a rather weak piece of evidence. And the fact
he`s using another phone may also just corroborate a defense argument that
the first phone wasn`t working properly. So, it`s rather weak. And as a
prosecutor, I would have presented it, but I would have framed it to the
jury that this is just a small piece of evidence to consider in light of
all the other evidence we presented to you in this front.

SHARPTON: What were they trying to do?

CHARLES: I think they were just trying to show that, you know, he made
certain calls at that particular time, and therefore trying to box him in.
And also, a lot of times what prosecutors do, is they introduce evidence to
sort of create a timeline of events. So, that could have been where they
were going, with introducing that evidence, but I agree with him, I don`t
see how strong it is. This is a circumstantial case, it is not a slam
dunk, but when you start adding circumstance after circumstance after
circumstance, you start marching towards a conviction.

SHARPTON: Let me raise this, though, Ken. Hernandez is inside a car in a
public parking lot. Is there an expectation of privacy here?

PADOWITZ: No, not at all. In fact, all the time when you`re in public,
for instance, even in a police station or in the back of a police car,
there`s no expectation of privacy. Police officers all the time put two
defendants together in the back of a car and hope they talk, and they
record that conversation. So, there`s no expectation of privacy that he`s
in another vehicle in a public parking lot taking apart a phone? No, no
expectation of privacy.

SHARPTON: So when you say this is a circumstantial case in terms of
evidence, but they`re trying to piece enough together that a jury would say
there`s enough there to convict?

CHARLES: Absolutely, but I think that I think is missing from this case is
motive. And I don`t know that the prosecutors are doing a good job of
showing motive. You don`t need it to get a conviction, but juries sure as
hell like it.

SHARPTON: Well, all right, thank you both.

Still ahead, the agenda for the secret private meeting between Hillary
Clinton and Elizabeth Warren. Also, apple`s next big thing. Why the auto
industry may have something to worry about.

And what you are saying about my surprise run-in with Sarah Palin.
"Conversation Nation" is next.


SHARPTON: Time now for "Conversation Nation," joining us tonight,
political strategist Angela Rye. Political comedian and Sirius/XM radio
host, John Fugelsang, and HuffPost Live host Alyona Minkovski. Thank you
all for being here tonight.



SHARPTON: We begin tonight with the secret meeting between two progressive
power houses. The "New York Times" reports Hillary Clinton met with
Senator Elizabeth Warren one on one in a private meeting in December. The
Times reports Clinton asked for policy ideas and suggestions from Warren,
and used the meeting to build a relationship with Warren. A democrat
briefed on the meeting called it cordial and productive, but Hillary did
not ask Ms. Warren to consider endorsing her likely presidential campaign.
Angela, a pretty juicy story. What do you make of this meeting?

RYE: I think that the democrats are better at keeping secrets than the
many republicans, Rev. You know that when Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney met,
just a couple of weeks ago, that was making front page news. Jeb Bush was
taking photos in the airport at DCA and now you have a meeting that took
place in December and we`re just not talking about it in February, so I
think we`re certainly better strategists in the sense, we`re able to hold
our water a little bit.


MINKOVSKI: I think it`s one of those situations where, you know, they say,
keep your friends close and your enemies even closer. Elizabeth Warren has
a lot of support. And even though she repeatedly have said that she`s not
planning on running for president. People want her to, they are begging
her to. They have set up a PAC without asking her, you know, without
asking her if she wants them to or not, in order to try to encourage her to
run. And so Hillary Clinton knows that this is someone who could be taking
attention away from her, and I think that hopefully she might pick up a
things or two. Elizabeth Warren has a big progressive race that really
does report her and her stands on issues when it comes to the economy and
Wall Street.


JOHN FUGELSANG, SIRIUS/XM RADIO HOST: You know, for millions of
progressives, Elizabeth Warren Rev is a melve (ph). Mom, I would like to
vote for. And I think it`s a very, very smart strategy on the part of Mrs.
Clinton. And I will read Mrs. Clinton`s book if she promises to read
Elizabeth Warren`s book.

SHARPTON: All right. Let me ask you, Angela, if Elizabeth Warren has
input and does not run, that clears the field of any potential superstar or
big name, but you still have others out there. Could any of them gain

RYE: I think other folks could gain traction Rev, but I think we need to
just level with the progressive community at this point. Elizabeth Warren
is not running. And sure, there are things that she could share with
Hillary Clinton, but Hillary Clinton is no rookie. We`re talking about a
woman who was first lady for two terms of her President`s tenure. We`re
talking about a senator from New York, we`re talking about someone who has
already run a presidential race. So, she can learn from them, but she can
also teach them. So, whether or not anyone else jumps in, it`s clear that
folks are ready for Hillary, and she`s certainly ready to run.

SHARPTON: But John, Karl Rove said if Elizabeth Warren ran, it could give
her a run for a money. Watch this.


KARL ROVE, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: It certainly would give her a scare. I
think this Elizabeth Warren`s hard-left prescriptions in the economy sing
to the heard of democratic primary voters. So, yes, I think she could give
her a run for her money.


SHARPTON: Run for her money, John?

FUGELSANG: Well, I want to give you credit Reverend for airing a sound
clip where Karl Rove isn`t wrong about something for the first time in
history. However, I do think it was very smart strategy on the part of
Mrs. Clinton to sit-down with Senator Warren not since Barack Obama have we
seen a senator this popular. I do hope she`s challenged by someone in the
primary season. I think, you know working on her debate skills will only
help her in the fall.

SHARPTON: Now, let`s move on to something else. Move over iPad and
iPhone. Are you ready for the I car? That`s right, the "Wall Street
Journal" reporting Apple has hundreds of employees working on an electric
car, while Apple has decline to confirm the rumors, people familiar with
the plan say the company is recruiting car technology experts and designers
and that the top-secret project has been code named "Titan." Alyona, is
the world ready for an Apple car?

MINKOVSKI: I think the world is definitely ready for an Apple car. The
world was ready for flying cars a long time ago.


MINKOVSKI: That`s the Hollywood toll that we were going to get. But the
technology obviously isn`t there yet. But I think the Apple is smart again
to this game. Because there`s a lot of competitors out there. I think
that google is certainly one of them, some of the rumors surrounding the
Apple car say that it might be a driverless one, which is something that we
already know Google is working on, and it also might be. An electric
vehicle and Tesla owns that game right now. And so, Apple I think is
trying to prove to investors that, you know, they have a lot of big plans
and ideas for the future as well as consumers and the automotive industry
that they are ready to move things forward.

SHARPTON: Angela, an Apple car?

RYE: Rev, I`m not sure about this one. I think that sometimes you have to
stay in your lane, all kinds of pun intended there. And I just think that,
you know, perhaps this is going one step too far. I know there were also
reports saying that they were considering a merger or a purchase of Tesla.
If that doesn`t happened, I don`t know why of if I would trust Apple behind
the wheel.

SHARPTON: Well, stay in your lane, we`re talking about which car you`re
going to have in your lane, John, what do you think?

FUGELSANG: Well, look, I mean, I`m thrilled that something else will going
to get made in China, Rev. That`s a great thing. You know, I guess I`m
just curious to know if the Apple car will come with windows, because that
will be a joke that everyone tells when they go to buy it. I`ve heard the
same rumor that they`re interests in buying Tesla. I`m thrilled to see a
new technology race on who`s going to have the most popular electric car.
And I hope that it has a battery life of more than 20 minutes. Considering
it`s an Apple program, I hate to see how large the multipack is for the
Apple car.

SHARPTON: How large the multipack is and whether it has windows. Ha ha, I
just got it. (LAUGHTER)

Now, let me ask you, would you be afraid, Alyona, of a car that has no
driver. If you`re out driving, and rumor comes that there`s the car that
drives itself, how do you think you and most of the public react that are
still driving their own cars?

MINKOVSKI: I think there`s a lot of questions that need to be answered
there. And that`s something that, you know, people are working on even
when it comes to the ethics of it like making a decision. Let`s say that
you need to swerve out of the way because there`s an obstacle in the road
and it`s, you know, either hitting a car that has five people in it or
hitting a pedestrian. Who is going to make that call or thrust a car to do
it and that`s something that we might be having a face in the future.

SHARPTON: All right. Everyone, stay with me. When we come back, the
first lady promotes healthy eating with some help from big bird, and Billy
on the street.

And the reaction from my red carpet meeting with Sarah Palin, next.


SHARPTON: We`re back with the panel, Angela, John and Alyona. Next up
tonight the video everyone is talking about online today. First Lady
Michelle Obama teamed up with "Funny or Die" comedian Billy Eichner, and
Big Bird as well to promote a new healthy eating initiative.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Tell us, what is e-brighter about?

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: We have the "Sesame Street" friends like Big
Bird teaming up with the produce industry to try to help make eating fruits
and vegetables fun and exciting for kids and their parents.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I love vegetables.

OBAMA: Me too.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We`re bribing kids to eat fruit!


SHARPTON: But the fun was just beginning.

Mrs. Obama along with a surprise contestant played Billy`s unique brand of
quiz show.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Be honest, who is hotter Abraham Lincoln or Barack

OBAMA: Oh, Barack Obama.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`m sorry. It`s Abraham Lincoln. It all goes by my
opinion. By the way, very offensive to Mary Todd. Next question -- slow
dance with Big Bird while I sing "Don`t Want to Miss a Thing." Just right
here, here we go, ready you guys? I don`t want to close my eyes, I don`t
want to fall asleep because I miss you babe and I don`t want to miss a
thing. Final question, for a dollar, give some a hug with a knowing look
that tells me it`s all going to be okay.

Oh, thank you so much. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Flotus wins the game. Eat brighter.

OBAMA: Eat your vegetables.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Well, you can eat lots of other stuff, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Okay, great, thank you.


SHARPTON: Angela, how effective is this for the First Lady?

RYE: I think it`s tremendously effective, Rev. We have seen in the recent
past the President as well going on to YouTube with some of the YouTube
sensations to promote health care. And I think this is one of those thing
where you have to go and meet your audience where they are. It`s a great
way to promote healthy eating and it`s also a great way to ensure that Big
Bird Keeps his job, given what Mitt Romney wanted to do to him during the

SHARPTON: John, those that say that it`s not what the President and First
Lady ought to be doing.

FUGELSANG: Well, you know, Reverend, people who hated Michelle Obama
before this, will still hate Michelle Obama after this. You can`t flip-off
the hate, it`s corrosive and it rots of brain. This is completely positive
and I would love to see Michelle Obama go a step further and warn people
against hitting crap out of boxes but it was very harmless and she can do
no wrong with me, I should be impeached, I like her so much.

SHARPTON: Alyona, let me go to this because I`ve got to do this. I have
to say, everywhere I go, people are still asking me about my red carpet
meeting with Sarah Palin.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is the shot I want. I want this right here.

SHARPTON: Talk about the odd couple, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: No, no, this is awesome. This is what SNL can do.

SHARPTON: We are the direct opposites of American politics, but we`re here

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: But you know what we both love
America so much?

SHARPTON: That`s right.

PALIN: I mean, it`s Americana all the way and respect for the
entertainment value that they provide our society.

SHARPTON: And they spoof both of us.

We`re equally spoofed. And I defend the fact that she actually sees Russia
from her house.

PALIN: Oh, good! See! I`m going to kick you in the shins.

SHARPTON: We can disagree without being disagreeable.

PALIN: Yes. Yes. And at the end of the day, I mean, there are some funny
things that are going on in this world today.

SHARPTON: I want you to run again. It will help us out.

PALIN: You think?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You running again, Sarah?

PALIN: Not if it`s according to his reasoning, no!



SHARPTON: Our Facebook fans have been loving it. Raymond said, "You made
my day."

Jerry said, "Never let them see you sweat."

And Donna says, "It`s sort of like keep your friends close and your enemies

True, Donna, but Sarah Palin isn`t my enemy. We can disagree without being
disagreeable. Alyona, meeting Rush next?

MINKOVSKI: Yes. Sure. I would take a meeting. Good on you Rev, for
giving her a hard time, but I think it was interesting, there was certainly
some tension there, it was palpable, she kept trying to give you a little
slap on the face, trying to kick you in the shins. She was feeling hurt.

SHARPTON: Well, I tried to get a couple of little digs in in a friendly
way. I will not even ask Angela her opinion. And I`ve got to go. Angela,
John and Alyona, thank you for joining "Conversation Nation" tonight.

RYE: Thank you.

MINKOVSKI: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Last night`s epic tribute to Stevie Wonder. My tribute to my
longtime friend is next.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, an all-star tribute for the musical genius
Stevie Wonder. The living legend was honored by the Grammys committee with
a star-studded tribute airing last night. Some of the biggest names in
music came out to celebrate like Beyonce, John Legend, Lady Gaga, Ariana
Grande, Pharrell, and others.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: You love Stevie Wonder like I love Stevie Wonder, I
want you to stand.



SHARPTON: Stevie is a legendary performer, and he`s also a dedicated
activist. He led the push for federal holidays to honor Martin Luther
King, Jr. He dedicated his academy award to Nelson Mandela, prompting the
apartheid regime to ban all of his music. Stevie and I go way back. I`ve
known him a number of years, both in business and in my personal life. A
highlight of my career was having him join us on our advancing the dream
special from the Apollo in 2013.


Stevie Wonder is peerless, is ageless, is genius. If anyone deserves an
award, it`s Stevie Wonder. It`s no wonder they did it all last night.
Thanks no watching, I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.


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