Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: March 10, 2015
Guest: Barbara Boxer, Michelle Cottle, Jamal Simmons, Bernie Sanders,
Naome Kadira, Shira Center, Jimmy Williams, Tara Dowdell
REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you for
Breaking news tonight, Hillary Clinton breaks her silence, seven days after
her email controversy erupted. She`s talking about why she used the
personal account at the state department.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: First, when I got to work as
secretary of state, I opted for convenience to use my personal email
account, which was allowed by the State Department because I thought it
would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for personal
emails instead of two. Looking back, it would have been better if I had
simply used a second email account and carried a second phone but at the
time this didn`t seem like an issue.
Second, the vast majority of my work emails went to government employees at
their government addresses, which meant they were captured and preserved
immediately on the system at the State Department.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Then she addressed what happen after leaving office. Giving up
copies of 55,000 pages of work related emails but not her personal emails.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: At the end, I chose to not keep my private personal emails,
emails about planning Chelsea`s wedding or my mother`s funeral
arrangements. Condolence notes to friend as well as yoga routines, family
vacations, the other things you typically find in inboxes.
Fourth, I took the unprecedented step of asking that the State Department
make all my work-related emails public for everyone to see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: And those emails will be public, the State Department saying it
will post her emails online. But the right is already attacking. Moments
after the press conference, the head of the House Benghazi Committee fired
back, demanding her to hand over her private server. But the breaking news
tonight, Clinton says she fully complied with every rule she was governed
by on email records.
Joining me now is Senator Barbara Boxer of California. Senator, first of
all, thank you for being here.
SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: Of course.
SHARPTON: The right wing is revving up the machine again. What`s your
reaction to her press conference, Senator?
BOXER: Hillary Clinton followed the letter of the law and the spirit of
the law and all the rest it`s total politics. Now, you know, people said
to me why didn`t she come out and speak about this, because I know when
this whole thing broke, the press asked, what do you think? I said it`s a
nothing burger, but they never, ever, with all due respect, the press asked
me what do you think, I said it`s a nothing burger but they never ever with
all due respect, Revered Al, the press never quoted me. They just like the
controversy and they`re going to get it.
The Republicans are playing politics. I want to prove it to you. Colin
Powell, another Secretary of State that I respect and admire, just as I
respect and admire and support Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell admitted that
he got rid of all his emails when he was Secretary of State. Could you
find me one Republican that is asking why he did that when Hillary Clinton
turned them all over?
Now if the Republicans want to have an email, please come into everyone`s
homes and go through their private lives, you know what? That`s
SHARPTON: But senator --
BOXER: And they could just back off, they should just back off because she
did everything right, the letter, the spirit of the law.
SHARPTON: But talking about backing off, the Benghazi Committee is boiling
on this. How do you take this?
BOXER: Well, we all know the Benghazi story. There been seven hearings,
they`ve seen everything, everything. So it`s more politics. And they`re
just chasing their tail until they look at the polls, and the polls show
that people are finally saying, leave Hillary Clinton alone, she did the
right thing, let`s hear what she has to say about this great nation. And
so it will be the next thing they`ll come out with, this is what they do.
It`s all they have to say. Because they have no idea how to govern, we`ve
seen that with their terrible fiasco. Writing to the hard liner in Iran,
they don`t know what they`re doing. And it`s really a sad situation. But
I was so proud of Hillary Clinton today. I was proud of her today.
SHARPTON: I want to get back -- I want to get back to that letter but let
me get this clear --
BOXER: Yes. Sure.
SHARPTON: You are not bothered at all about the private server, private
emails any of that.
BOXER: Listen to me. It`s allowed, they changed the law when John Kerry
became secretary of state and she said it had a highly secured -- she had a
highly secure server because it was the former president`s server. So it
could be even more secure than anybody else`s. But the bottom line is, no
I`m not bothered by it because it was completely allowable. Why don`t you
ask some of these senators, ask them, any senators and members of the
House. If they want somebody going through their emails and if they only
use a government email, they don`t. I can tell you right now.
So it`s all much ado about nothing and that is the truth. The law changed
when John Kerry became Secretary of State. Colin Powell never saved
anything. Now when Republican is asking one question about that, they`re
just going after Hillary Clinton because guess what? She`s going to be a
great candidate for president.
And frankly, the more they continue this, they run the risk of really
turning the American people against them. Because it`s getting to the point
where it`s just -- it makes no sense, how many times does a person have to
say this is what I did? And she stood there and she did it, and there`s no
there, there. What she did was a 100 percent legal she obeyed the spirit
and the letter of the law. That`s it.
SHARPTON: Now, let me switch gears.
SHARPTON: We`ll talk more later in the show about the emails, but I want
to switch gears what`s you brought up because Former Secretary Clinton did
address the question of this letter to the Iranians. How do you respond to
47 of your colleagues have written the Iranians and undermined in my
opinion the president of the United States?
BOXER: Well you know, I`ve seen them a lot of things. They`ve invited the
Israeli leader who gave a great and powerful speech but it was meant to
undermine our president`s negotiation. They wrote a bill that will require
a vote, which is never been done before in terms of an executive action
like this. And that would meant to undermine the negotiations. And this
letter is a desperate cynical ploy to, again, undermine negotiations.
Now here`s the thing, it`s outrageous. It may even be illegal. I`m not
going to comment on that, not an attorney. But the truth of the matter is,
back in the 40s, the Republican is then head of the Republican Senate who
was in charge of foreign relations said politics should end at the water`s
edge. And he didn`t like policies of FDR or true man. So they are
undermining -- not just this president, but the possibility that we could
stop the development of a bond by the Iranians.
And I want to make this clear to you and your viewers, Revered Al, I think
it`s important to note, we have never before when it came to Iran`s program
that really started when Ronald Regan was president, had a verifiable pause
that we have right now.
And the alternative to not getting a good agreement and the president said
he only do a good agreement is unfortunately back to the old status quo,
which could lead to war, and who in their right mind wants it? And why
would 47 Republicans do this? It`s stunning to me.
SHARPTON: It`s unprecedented. But I must ask you this. Tom Cotton who
lead the charge on this letter; he`s only been a senator a few months. Was
that surprising to you that he would step up and lead this and gets 46
other members of the Senate to go along with this?
BOXER: I`m absolutely stunned at this, because what is at stake is, you
know, a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, a possible war. It could
hurt our ally, Israel, who they say their helping -- I don`t think that`s
helping Israel. And the bottom line is this is unprecedented, may even be
illegal. It is stunning and it`s a horrible, horrible mistake, they ought
And I think Hillary Clinton is right, she was right direct when she said,
you know, either they want to scuttle a deal, or they`re really helping the
right wing in Iran, the hardliners. That`s really what is true. I think
she`s right on that.
SHARPTON: Senator Boxer, thank you so much for your time tonight.
BOXER: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Joining me now are Michelle Cottle from the "National Journal"
and Democratic Strategist Jamal Simmons. Thank you both for being here.
MICHELLE COTTLE, NATIONAL JOURNAL CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Rev.
JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thanks, Revered.
SHARPTON: Michelle, how do you think that a Former Secretary Clinton did
today responding to this controversy?
COTTLE: Well, she did what she had to do. Now, did she answer everybody`s
questions? Will there be more questions out of her press conference? Yes.
People are going to want to know why she`s not handing over her server.
They`re going to still ask why she did this. They`re going to ask why she
is so confident that she took care of the sorting of this and you know, how
do we know that she didn`t erase something that was pertinent.
All of these things are going to continue to percolate, but she had to get
out there and she had kind of lance that boil and address this issue and
that she got done.
SHARPTON: Now Jamal, you know, I mentioned earlier, Republicans wasted no
time. Congressman Trey Gowdy, who chairs the Benghazi Committee said, and
I`m quoting, "Because Secretary Hillary Clinton has created more questions
than answers, the select committee is left with no choice but to call her
to appear at least twice."
Congressman Darrell Issa said quote, "The expectation that we merely trust
that Secretary Clinton shared all relevant emails is insulting given the
Clintons` well-established history of misleading the American people."
I mean, how is this going to play out, Jamal, especially with a probable
campaign in the horizon.
SIMMONS: Well, Rev., I think you know, one thing that happens with the
Republicans is they find an old sweater and just start pulling on thread
after thread after thread and see if there`s something there. But at the
end of the day, you know, what happens? It just end up with a hanger,
there`s no sweater left. I mean, that`s what we know about these
investigations into the Clintons. Is that they may be annoying. They may
be a problem, you know, little though nicks picks here and there. The
people don`t really want to talk about.
But at the end of the day, there`s nothing under neat that except for two
people who have devoted their live for the last, I don`t know, 25 years
that I know about, but 35 years since they were in Arkansas, they devote
their lives to public service, they`re helping people, to being focus on
the middle class, just try to make sure the country is a better place,
lives up to its values. And even when I disagreed with them in the past,
I`ve never disagreed with their heart and what their intention of trying to
make the country a better place.
And I mean, at the end of the day, that`s what people sign up for. They
sign up for the coincidence. They know they got two people who were
fighting to make life better for average Americans. And so the sooner
Hillary Clinton can get out and start talking about that, the better it of
SHARPTON: Michelle, did Secretary Clinton leave an opening here for the
Republicans? Is this something that she could have for or should have
COTTLE: Absolutely. I mean, for all of their political gifts, the
Clintons sometimes just kind of stumble into these situations, which they
have to know on some level are going to lead people to address that story
line. That is always there with the Clintons, which is that they`re not
transparent enough, that they`re prone to secrecy, that they don`t like
having to answer to people that the ends justify the mean.
And what you don`t have to worry about, if you are the Clintons, are people
like Trey Gowdy. I mean, the Republican overreach is actually kind of
their friend on some level. What you have to worry about is that the kind
of prevailing story line will remind people of Clinton fatigue or kind a
the drip, drip, drip of how exhausting and political this whole thing can
Now, at the end of the day, will she probably wind up being harmed by this
enough for her to hurt her candidacy? No, but it`s still one of those
things that they have to be very careful about. Because Clintons fatigue
everybody had it in the `90s, you know, as Clintons a terms was ending, and
they do not want to kind of readdress that.
SHARPTON: Jamal, it was interesting in that in the beginning of her
statements after she made initial statement about the emails, she talks
about the letter of 47 senators, Republicans senators sent to the Iranians.
Was she plays a little politics in there?
SIMMONS: Listen, you know, part of the rule book is once you deal, you
explain your situation, and then you attack back your enemies. These
people do not have clean hands. They`re coming after Hillary Clinton. And
the 47 senators that made this the sent this letter, it`s really a pretty
despicable thing. I mean, we haven`t really seen anything like this.
And can you imagine, can you imagine if the Democrats in Congress in 2001
or `02 sent a letter to Saddam Husain while we were planning on trying to
go in to war. With Saddam Husain and Iraq, and the Democrats had sent a
letter to Saddam try to get him to do something, not go along with abiding
by U.N. resolutions. I mean, this is a really an atrocious thing that I
think the Republicans has to ask for it.
SHARPTON: No. I couldn`t imagine this. I couldn`t imagine it, Jamal, and
I have good imagination.
Michelle Cottle and Jamal Simmons, thank you both for your time tonight.
SIMMONS: Thanks for having.
COTTLE: Thanks for having.
SHARPTON: Coming up, breaking news from that Oklahoma fraternity`s racist
video. Two students expelled, and a new twist in this disturbing video
from their so-called house mom.
Also, more on that letter to Iran and growing outrage from both sides on
unprecedented disrespect to the president.
Plus what`s next in Ferguson after a city judge resigns?
And the Boston bomber`s final note covered with blood and interrupted by
bullet holes. We`ll tell you about today`s dramatic day in court, next.
SHARPTON: Breaking news tonight. Today in the Boston`s bombing trial,
jurors were shown the note that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wrote on the side of the
boat he was hiding in before he was caught by police. The note covered in
blood and interrupted by bullet holes in it.
Tsarnaev claimed the killing of innocent people was allowed by Islam.
Jurors also saw this surveillance tape showing Tsarnaev running away from
the second bomb. He`s standing right there, as the blast occurs, fleeing
along with innocent bystanders. Minutes later, he was seen on camera
calmly buying milk. The trial resumes tomorrow morning.
We`ll be right back.
SHARPTON: Now to the rising tide of anger at 47 Republican senators trying
to sabotage President Obama`s foreign policy. The outrage erupting after
Senator Tom Cotton sent a letter signed by himself and 46 others to Iranian
leaders saying any nuclear deal with President Obama won`t last under the
Now the back lash to the letter is coming from Democrats and Republicans
and the American people. This is the front page of "the New York Daily
News" flat-out calling them "traitors." Forty seven traitors was also a
top trender today on Twitter. Vice President Biden slammed the letter as,
quote, "Highly misleading," "expressly designed to undercut a sitting
president," and "beneath the dignity of the Senate and institution I
But it`s not just Democrats. The conservative "Wall Street Journal" called
the letter a distraction. Republican Senator Bob Corker chairs the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee, but wouldn`t sign the letter, saying it was,
quote, "probably not something that`s going to be helpful for me to be
involved in it." And Maine Senator Susan Collins said, quote "it`s more
appropriate for members of the Senate to give advice to the president, to
Secretary Kerry, and to the negotiators." But the senators who signed the
letter aren`t backing down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TOM COTTON (R), ARKANSAS: Many senators agree with my views even if
they didn`t sign the letter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got to say about this. I want you to know that we
LUKE RUSSERT, MSNBC ANCHOR: Do you regret?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Regret? I would sent another one tomorrow. I think
that the risk of nuclear on is so great that we need to do everything
COTTON: I welcome more Democrats and Republicans to join the letter. It`s
an open letter. They can join it at anytime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: These are the photos of the 47 Republicans who signed this
letter. Here are my questions for them? How can they undermine the
commander in chief? What would they say if Democrats did this to a
Republican president? And where is their loyalty to the U.S.?
Joining me now is Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont. Thank
you for being here, Senator.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: My pleasure.
SHARPTON: Tell us, why was this Republican letter inappropriate, in your
SANDERS: Well, very simply, Al. The president of the United States is the
person, whether he`s a Democrat or Republican, who leads us in foreign
policy. As Senator Collins indicated, the function of the Senate is advice
and consent. It is not to undermine the work that the president of the
United States is doing.
Can you imagine, before the war in Iraq, or during the war in Iraq, if some
Democrat had written a letter to Saddam Hussein talking about concerns. So
what they are doing is clearly trying to sabotage this effort to prevent
Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. That`s what they`re trying to do.
And I`ll tell you what really troubles me, Al, is apparently these fellow
have not yet learned the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan. And they are now
thinking that maybe the only solution to deal with Iran is not to try to
have a negotiation, not to try to have a peaceful resolution to prevent
Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but in their minds, maybe the only
solution is another war.
Two wars is not enough, maybe we need a third war in the Middle East, and I
think that is a disastrous idea.
SHARPTON: Now that there`s a petition on the White House Web site to file
charges against the senators. It`s already gotten over 70,000 signatures.
If it gets 100,000, the White House will respond. No one in history has
ever been punished under the Logan act, so this is highly unlikely in any
case, but what does this say to you? That this many people are paying
SANDERS: Look, I think it says that people all over the country understand
this is outrageous behavior. It shows the continuing contempt that
Republicans have for the president. They invited Netanyahu to a joint
session of Congress that they forgot to tell the president. Now they`re
trying to undermine these negotiations.
But the most significant point is, Al, is I want these negotiations to
succeed. I want to see a situation where Iran does not get a nuclear
weapon, but that that conclusion is reached in a peaceful way. I do not
want to see a war in Iran. The American people do not want to see a war in
And to try to undermine the president`s work not only with our country, but
with the U.K., France, China and Russia and Germany, to try to undermine
that effort for a peaceful resolution, and then what? What happens then?
Well if this doesn`t work, I think these guys will be hot to trot for a
war, and that frightens me very much.
SHARPTON: What is also striking and I must say this, we`re out of time, I
said it to your colleague Senator Boxer, Tom Cotton, the senator that led
this, has only been in the Senate for two months, and has shown this kind
of disregard and disrespect for the president and commander in chief?
SANDERS: Yes. You`re right. It is -- that`s what we have seen here for
the last six years, but again the fear here is -- forget, you know, the
attacks on Obama. Forget all that stuff. What happens if -- what happened
is undermine, what happens if he and the other five countries are not
successful? What`s the alternative? Do these guys really want a war with
Iraq? What are the implications of that? How many more decades will the
United States and our young people be in the Middle East? Will it be a
never ending war? How much is it going to cost us in terms of treasure, in
terms of human life? So the goal here is, and Obama is trying to do this,
negotiate an agreement and to undermine that effort to me is simply an
SHARPTON: Well, there`s a lot of troubling question, and as always you
bring it really home and to a real bigger picture that is even more
Senator Bernie Sanders, thank you for your time tonight.
SANDERS: Thank you, Al.
SHARPTON: Coming up, breaking news from Oklahoma. Tonight more fallout
from a fraternity`s racist video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There will never be a n-- S-A-E. You can never hang
them from a tree, but they`ll never sign with me. There will never be a n-
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Today new revelations from the frat`s house mom.
Also tonight, what is Mitch McConnell say about Loretta Lynch`s
confirmation vote? Stay with us.
SHARPTON: Where were you five years ago when the number one song in the
country was Imma Be Black Eyed Peas. Allison Wonderland was the top movie
at the Box Office. "Two and a Half Men" was the highest rated show on the
TV. The Affordable Care Act was just a few weeks away from being signed
and Rush Limbaugh said this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: If this passes and it`s five years
from now, and all that stuff gets implemented, I am leaving the country.
I`ll go to Costa Rica.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: But before packing his bags, he did everything he could to stop
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIMBAUGH: The government`s making the decision who lives and dies. That`s
what ObamaCare is. It`s just a glaring illustration that there are indeed
death panels in ObamaCare. The individual mandate is an onerous thing. It
is a sign of an oppressive statist, pure socialist government. It`s the
law offed land, right? Well, let`s see, what else at one time was the law
of the land? Slavery.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Wow, time flying when you`re trashing a law that`s saving lives.
The five years are up. He made that promise five years ago this week, and
the health care law is doing better than ever. We just learned the law`s
projected cost is continuing to fall due to low premiums. So let me just
be the first to say -- Bon Voyage, Rush. I hope you have a great time in
Costa Rica, but if you decide the Caribbean isn`t really your thing, try
visiting the Eiffel Tower in France, or hang with kangaroos in Australia.
Or eat sushi in Japan. You won`t have to worry about the health care
debate in any of those countries. They have universal care, so Rush, it`s
finally time, you can jump for joy, dance like nobody`s watching, throw
your hands in the air, those five years are up. You`re on spring break.
Did Rush Limbaugh think that we really wouldn`t ignore what he said and
ignore a celebration like his going-away party? Nice try, but no vacation
from this, because we gotcha.
SHARPTON: Now to breaking news, the University of Oklahoma expelling two
fraternity brothers identified as ringleaders of that racist chant caught
on video. Now, students still living at the SAE frat house have less than
six hours to move out under orders from the university president, who says
more punishments could be coming.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID BOREN, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA: They`re moving their
belongings out of the SAE house, and while they do, I hope they`re doing a
lot of thinking about the damage that they have done and the hurt that they
have caused. We`re going to send a message I hope across the country that
other people ought to show zero-tolerance also. Let`s have zero-tolerance
for racism. That`s our message out of all of this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: But now, the controversy is expanding to the fraternity`s
housemother, who lived in the house for the last 15 years. On Monday, she
condemned the video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I heard the words. Unbelievable. This is not SAE.
I`m very disappointed, very ashamed and embarrassed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: But today, a 2013 video surfaced showing her apparently rapping
a racial slur.
(Bleep) (Bleep) (Bleep)
SHARPTON: Today she released a statement saying, quote, "I am heartbroken
by the portrayal that I am in some way racist. I was singing along to a
Trinidad song, but completely understand how the video must appear in the
context of the events that occurred this week. But the focus tonight is on
investigating is the culture that let anyone think this kind of hate was
Joining me now is Naome Kadira, Naome Kadira is the co-director of
"Unheard," the black student group at OU that first posted the video.
Thank you for joining me, Naome.
NAOME KADIRA, CO-DIRECTOR, OU, "UNHEARD": Thank you for having me.
SHARPTON: Naome, today two students involved in the video were expelled.
What`s your reaction to that?
KADIRA: I was definitely shocked when I saw the expulsion letter, but
after thinking about it, I`m definitely glad that the president is taking
this action this quick. As he said, sending out this message that this is
intolerable. There`s zero-tolerance for such action. So, it was
definitely shocking when I saw that letter, but we as unheard, are standing
behind our President and fully supporting his decisions, and glad to see
that this issue is receiving.
SHARPTON: Now, we don`t know the full context of the video of the
housemother, but what does it tell you about the acceptance of some of this
KADIRA: Definitely seeing from the video that initially was posted on the
bus, and then seeing the video of the housemother, you definitely see the
emotion on their faces, that this is something that is regular, this is
something that they do, this is something that they think is okay. So that
says a lot about the culture that they were living. Not that they were
living in outdoors, but when they were in their comfort zones, this is what
SHARPTON: Now the "Today" show spoke with a woman who said she heard the
chant before at an SAE social event. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We talked exclusively to an OU senior, who asked that we
not use her name or show her face, because she didn`t want to be associated
with the fraternity. She said she was invited to an SAE date party two
years ago and heard the same chant on the bus.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I was disgusted and appalled -- at the same time I
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Is that something you`ve been hearing that people are saying,
these chants were not uncommon at this fraternity?
KADIRA: Not exactly the chant with the fraternity, but these things being
said, these words being said, it`s not a surprise. These things that we
were not shocked to hear coming out of their mouths.
SHARPTON: Now, SAE chapters have been involved in -- or punished for
racial incidents before. In 2002, the Syracuse chapter was suspended. In
2006, two students were suspended from the chapter at the University of
Memphis. In 2013, the chapter at Washington University in St. Louis was
suspended. In 2014, the chapter leadership at Clemson resigned. Doesn`t
this show these are issues at a lot of college campuses, not just at the
University of Oklahoma?
KADIRA: Definitely. This does show that there is a Trent, this isn`t a
coincidence, this was not a mistake. As I said, seeing these videos,
seeing the expressions, this is something that`s a regular, not something
new to this group.
SHARPTON: Naome Kadira, thank you for your time tonight.
Still ahead, Hillary Clinton`s two phones defense of her e-mail server.
Republicans finally set a date for the Loretta Lynch nomination vote. And
people have spoken, they want Tina Fey. "Conversation Nation" is next.
SHARPTON: Time now for "Conversation Nation." Joining me tonight, Roll
Call Shira Center, and democratic strategist Jimmy Williams and Tara
Dowdell. Thank you all for being here tonight.
JIMMY WILLIAMS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thank you.
TARA DOWDELL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thank you.
SHARPTON: I want to go back to the breaking news today. Hillary Clinton
broke her silence on why she used a personal e-mail address for all her
correspondence as secretary of state.
Tara, does this put the matter to rest? Or does it race even more
questions for you?
DOWDELL: Well, unfortunately for Hillary Clinton, this is not going to put
the matter to rest, because the republicans are going to continue to make
this an issue. Just what they did with Benghazi. They talked about
Benghazi for years. They still talk about Benghazi.
SHARPTON: Well, they`re going back to it on this.
DOWDELL: Exactly. The Hillgazi, so I think this is an opportunity for
Hillary Clinton. I think she needs to take this as an opportunity to
prepare herself, because this is going to be just like the rest of her
campaign. They`re going to throw everything at her plus the kitchen sink.
And she needs to be prepared to handle it. So, this is an opportunity to
start to fight back, and to hone her campaigning.
SHARPTON: Jimmy, how did she do today?
WILLIAMS: I mean, she didn`t hurt herself, I don`t think, but again this
is, here`s what we know. Republicans hate her because she`s a Clinton, and
they`re never going to love her and they don`t thrust her. So, that`s just
a given. We know that`s a fact of life. Just like the sun comes up, and
then it comes down at the end of the day. Those are given facts. The
problem here is why is there a double standard? I don`t know why it is
that Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Jeb Bush all use private e-mails, they are
running for president, and yes, I get that they`re all like, you know,
governors of their states, but if you`re going to hold Hillary Clinton to
this standard, then everyone else should be, too, especially if they`ve
held elected office. And I`m not hearing that. And I`ll tell you what
else I`m also not hearing it. I`m not hearing it from the media on the
left, either. They`re piling on this and making this a faux scandal when
in fact it is not a scandal at all. If her last name would not Clinton, we
would not be having this conversation, I guarantee you.
SHARPTON: Shira, you`re in Washington, you`re close to the conversation in
the Beltway. Is this toughening Ms. Clinton up for a fight if she does run
for president as expected? Or is this the beginning of the republicans
using an opening that she may have given them to begin to bring her down.
SHIRA CENTER, ROLL CALL: Make no his take today`s event was the start of
the 2016 campaign for former Secretary of State Clinton. This is want to
begin this press difference was in many ways a dry run for her or what she
can expect over the next two years when she is running for president. Now,
for the republicans on Capitol Hill, elections have consequences. And this
is what happens when the opposing party wins the majority in the House.
They can launch investigations like this, and it is not going to stop
anytime in the next two years. I think it`s part of the calculus for House
republicans on how they can run against Clinton. And in many ways divert
attention from what`s going to be a very large crowded and divisive primary
on the wrong side of the next two years.
SHARPTON: Well, Tara, they do have the House and the Senate. You`re
already hearing Gowdy talk about how he wants Mrs. Clinton to have to come
before the Benghazi committee at least twice. Do they have, because of the
control of Congress, the ability to drag this out?
DOWDELL: Oh, absolutely. That is what they wanted. Rather than govern,
rather than deal with some of the tough issues facing this country, they`re
going to focus on this. And so I think that they`re going to drag it out
to the greatest extent that they can. And again, I go back to, you know,
Benghazi. I mean, if you ask a republican what they had to breakfast, they
say Benghazi. I mean, so this is going to be the same thing until they
find the next shiny object to take on.
SHARPTON: All right. Let`s move on. The Senate finally is holding a vote
on the President`s nominee for Attorney General. One hundred twenty two
days after President Obama nominated Loretta Lynch to be the next attorney
general. Senate republicans announced her confirmation vote will be held
sometime next week. Lynch`s confirmation has taken longer than any other
recent attorney general.
Jimmy, you know the Senate well. What was the point of all this delay?
WILLIAMS: Oh, I don`t know. I mean, maybe they just didn`t like her
credentials, I mean, maybe they didn`t like that she was a woman. Maybe
they didn`t like that she was an African-American woman, maybe it`s D, all
of the above. But if I were a communications director, a press secretary
for a sitting United States senator today on the republican side, I would
be tapping my boss on the shoulder and I would be saying to him or her,
hey, you have a problem, which is the optics of this look very, very bad.
She`s qualified. If you don`t like her, just vote against her. That`s
pertinent enough. But instead, they dragged this out 100 and something
days. And it just looks bad. And by the way, who does it look bad to?
African-Americans. And when you want to say that you have a big tent, that
you want African-Americans to vote for you as a party, the Republican
Party, this does not send a very good signal. It`s bad optics, it`s
terrible. She`s going to be confirmed. Why delay it? They hate Holder.
So, if they hate him so much, why don`t they just going to put her?
SHARPTON: That`s what Holder said.
WILLIAMS: Why? Exactly. Yes.
DOWDELL: Petty politics and obstruction. This is the name of the game. I
mean, it`s just their m.o. They did this with so many other appointments.
It`s just they will not leave this president alone. It`s almost as if
they`re obsessed with him. I mean, the guy has two years left on his term.
And they`re still doing this. I mean, it`s actually incredible.
CENTER: I actually think they didn`t hold on to this for any kind of petty
grievance against the President. Because as Jimmy pointed out, I don`t
know if there`s anyone they dislike more in the Obama administration than
Eric Holder. By holding up her nomination, they`re just keeping him in
office a little longer. I think they did this for strategic reason. I
think they wanted to keep something in their back pocket to rebuke the
President when the DH funding situation didn`t fall the way they wanted it
to. And lo and behold, they didn`t fall the way they wanted it too, and
they`re going to go ahead and most likely confirm Loretta Lynch next week.
SHARPTON: Well, we`ll have a vote next week. I don`t know their
reasoning. I don`t know if they even reason, but I agree the optics looks
bad, and my instincts make me feel even worse. Everyone stay with me.
When we come back, could Tina Fey be coming back to TV? And what`s next in
Ferguson after a city judge resigns? Stay with us.
SHARPTON: We`re back where our panel, Shira, Jimmy and Tara. Finally
tonight, a burning question -- who will fill Jon Stewart`s shoes? The host
of "The Daily Show" is stepping down later this year. And a new poll shows
the top choice to replace him is Tina Fey. But would she do it? She was
great on SNL`s weekend update.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TINA FEY, COMEDIAN: We have come so far as feminists that they don`t feel
obligated to vote for a candidate just because she`s a woman. Women today
feel perfectly free to make whatever choice Oprah tells them to.
FEY: Later this month, George W. Bush will make his first European trip as
president visiting Prime Minister Tony Blair in London, hoping to make a
good impression, Bush has spent the last week trying to learn a few English
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Shira, what do you think?
CENTER: I think Tina Fey would be absolutely amazing at that desk. I
would tune in every single night. More Tina fey is a better life for me,
my friends, my family, everything. I don`t know if she`s going to do it.
SHARPTON: All right, Jimmy?
WILLIAMS: I agree with Shira, but the show is bigger than just the host,
as our friend Liz Winstead will tell you, it`s about the writers and the
producers. So, whoever they put in, listen, I pray it`s Tina Fey. Shira
is dead right, the more Tina Fey we get, the better our lives are. Just
don`t forget the people that write it though. They are also behind the
scene and they matter.
SHARPTON: Yes, but a lot of people really look to the outgoing host, Tara.
Don`t play down Jon Stewart, and don`t play down the meaning of a host with
a big personality -- Tara.
DOWDELL: Well, Tina Fey has definitely got my vote on this. Whether she
does it or not, I don`t know. She has a lot on her plate. She produces.
She has her hands on so many different things, and that is a nightly grind.
That show was a nightly show. So, I would love her to do it, I don`t know
if she would, and she definitely contributes in other ways too and she`s
SHARPTON: Well, I would just point in the pole, I voted for Jimmy
WILLIAMS: Never going to happen.
SHARPTON: Shira, Jimmy, Tara, thank for your time tonight.
WILLIAMS: Thanks, Reverend.
SHARPTON: We`ll be right back with a march towards justice in Ferguson and
SHARPTON: We close tonight by talking about fixing the problems in
Ferguson and beyond. Ferguson Judge Ronald Brockmeyer has resigned after
being named in that Justice Department report on bias in the city`s Police
Department and in the courts. He was a key figure in the abuse identified
by the attorney general.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HOLDER, WHITE HOUSE ATTORNEY GENERAL: A community where both policing
and municipal court practices were found to be disproportionately harmful
to African-American residents. The city relies on the police force to
serve essentially as a collection agency for the Municipal Court, rather
than as a law enforcement entity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: City officials bragged that Judge Brockmeyer had been successful
in significantly increasing court collections over the years. The Feds say
many of these fees are widely considered abusive and may be unlawful. At
the same time the report says the judge used his influence to get rid of
tickets for himself and his friends. Brockmeyer no longer works in
Ferguson, but he still works as a judge in a nearby town and a prosecutor
in three others. In fact "New York Times" says, quote, "There are cities
around St. Louis with far greater racial disparities in traffic stops than
Ferguson and cities with court systems that appear even more predatory."
But of course we know the problems aren`t limited to St. Louis or to the
state of Missouri. This is happening all over the country and it`s wrong.
And let us not forget the Justice Department came in because of the
protests, because people raise their voices, because people are outraged,
because Michael Brown`s family stood up. If they had not been for those
young people that would not stop protesting, if it wasn`t for those of us
who helped to amplify. If the attention wasn`t there, that judge may not
have resigned. That may not mean a lot to a lot of people, but if you are
one that had to stand in front of him, it means a lot to you. Sometimes
progress takes large steps, sometimes small steps, but we must fight,
because every step is a step in the road toward what is fair and just and
what works for all, equal protection under the law. This judge shows that
we are the commandos that shed light in a constructive way on a destructive
situation in the criminal justice system in that part of the country.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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Show: POLITICS NATION