PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton, Transcript 12/4/2016

Guests:
Elijah Cummings, Joan Walsh, Yamiche Alcindor, Matt Welch, Karen Desoto, Areva Martin
Transcript:

Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: December 4, 2016
Guest: Elijah Cummings, Joan Walsh, Yamiche Alcindor, Matt Welch, Karen
Desoto, Areva Martin

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Billionaire boys club. Donald Trump stacking his
cabinet with the ultra-rich. How will democrats respond? We`ll talk to
Congressman Elijah Cummings. Also, standing up to the Trump agenda. How
sanctuary cities won`t be able to stop these deportations.

Plus, Dylann Roof, acting as his own lawyer, potentially grilling survivors
and victims` relatives.

And the jury in the Walter Scott case, weighing the fate of his killer.
The POLITICS NATION legal panel weighs in.

From Rockefeller Center in New York, this is POLITICS NATION with Al
Sharpton.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good morning. I`m Al Sharpton. For the 65
million Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton, only to wake up to find a
government controlled by republicans, here`s a reminder. The country has
been here before.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Election 2004 return the president to office and most
of the congress will be going back as well. Republicans picked up senate
seats in six states and on the house side, the GOP widened its majority.
All of this leaves the democrats doing a lot of soul-searching today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The increasingly critics say rural voters see
democrats as too smug, too urban, too elite. Now the party faces an
identity crisis. Should it move toward liberals like Dean and Hillary
Clinton or try to appeal to red states?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: For the left, 2004 was demoralizing and yet on election night
one of the few democrats who won that year to become a first time senator
had a message for those he called skeptics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I had three words for
them, the same three words that are going to carry us because as Dr. King
said, the ark of the moral universe is long, but advance towards justice,
as long as we help bend it that way, I have three words for them. What are
those words? Yes, we can. Thank you, Illinois. I love you! Thank you!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The left fought back. In 2005, President Bush tried to
privatize social security, but democrats stopped him. Then he botched a
response to Hurricane Katrina. And in the midterms, democrats rolled a
wave of backlash, winning back the house. Two years later, that first time
senator won the presidential election.

While democrats took control of the senate, this past week Donald Trump
began packing his cabinet with millionaires and billionaires and doubled
down on a right wing agenda, filled with giveaways to corporations and
more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`re going to
massively lower taxes and make America the best place in the world to hire
on regulation. We`re going to eliminate every single wasteful regulation.
And by the way, we are repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

We will construct a great wall at the border. And the nice part, our
victory was so great, we have the house, we have the senate, and we have
the presidency.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Today as democrats debate the way forward, they should remember
they fought back before and won.

Joining me now is Congressman Elijah Cummings, democrat for Maryland.
Thank you for being here, congressman.

ELIJAH CUMMINGS, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE FOR MARYLAND`S 7TH CONGRESSIONAL
DISTRICT: I`m glad to be with you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: First, I want you to take a listen to what a wise man said the
day right after the 2004 election when democrats were demoralized.

CUMMINGS: It`s been our philosophy that if we continue to press and press
hard on those issues that affect people on a day to day basis, that that
hopefully will yield success. We`ve some evaluating to do. We`ve got a
lot of evaluating to do. But one thing I don`t want us to do is take the
focus off of those things that affect our people on a day to day basis.

SHARPTON: Congressman, in the Trump era, what does it mean to keep your
focus on issues affecting people on a day to day basis?

CUMMNINGS: Reverend, without a doubt, jobs have to be number one. If a
person does not have a job at a livable wage, they cannot take care their
families, it`s hard for them to have hope and see a better future for their
children than what they had. And so we`ve got to concentrate on jobs. We
got to look at some of the things that president elect Trump has said
during the campaign.

And in some instances, we may be able to work with them, but hold them to
the promises that benefit Americans, but where there`s fraud, waste, abuse,
bigotry, racism, things of that nature, that we`re going to have to fight
them at every level. And we`ve got to show the American people, we`ve got
a message for the American people that we hear about them.

We care about the fact that they are now working harder, and earning less,
if you put inflation in there, and we`ve got to make sure that we are
telling them that we have solutions to address their problems and have been
trying to address those problems for years, particularly with the Obama
administration, but what we found is that we have had maximum opposition,
not only to the president, but to the democratic congress. And so we do
have work to do. We have to be vigilant.

SHARPTON: Let me push you on that work to do. Because we just had a
democratic leadership fight, you supported minority leader Nancy Pelosi.
But do the democrats need to change their messaging? Do they need to
change their message to get to the American public what they want to get to
them in terms of wage stagnation, in terms of jobs, in terms of concerns
for average workers that polls tell us were really turned around by the
Trump candidacy, even though many may feel – many of us feel that they
were being misled in terms of some of what was committed, promised or even
represented.

CUMMINGS: Reverend, you are absolutely right. I think we could do a far
better job of messaging when I think about the things that you just
mentioned, minimum wage, and supporting unions and I can go on and on,
those are things that we don`t just see as good politics, but more
importantly, that democrats truly believe in regardless of the politics.

So the question is, are we getting over to the American people, making them
hear us, but at the same time, Reverend, making them understand that a
Trump administration, from what we can see is going to probably be doing
everything in their power to destroy unions.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you this before we run out of time. You`re the
ranking democrat on oversight. And the GOP chairman is – said this week
that he won`t let it go when it comes to Hillary Clinton. Will he
investigate the conflict of interest of Donald Trump that has been raised?
He wants to go at Mrs. Clinton. What about these conflicts of interest
that the incoming president may have? Will that be investigated by the
oversight committee?

CUMMINGS: He claims that he`s going to hold Donald Trump to the same
standards, but, Reverend, we have asked now – or at least six times in the
last two or three weeks for them to do something and we had radio silence.

SHARPTON: Congressman Elijah Cummings, not radio silent on this show. We
will be watching and waiting and also moving to make sure America works
fairly and equally for everyone in the congress. Thanks for your time.

CUMMINGS: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Now, let`s bring in Joan Walsh from The Nation. Yamiche
Alcindor from The New York Times and Matt Welch, editor-at-large of Reason
Magazine. Thank you all for being here.

Joan, let`s pick up on that last part. If republicans refuse to do
oversight on Trump including conflicts of interest, how can democrats hold
his feet to the fire?

JOAN WALSH, NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT, THE NATION: They don`t have a
ton of power. Representative Cummings has asked for several inspector
general reports on conflict of interest, on the Comey letter. I think that
he has an aggressive agenda, Rev, but I don`t – I don`t know – they`ll
get a report, but they don`t have hearing power, you know. They can make a
big deal at hearings that others scheduled.

But as we saw in the last session, it`s tough getting to the bottom of
things when you`re in the –

SHARPTON: but are there ways that can dramatize this, by refusing to –
for example, Yamiche, you hear the threat by some to go ahead and
investigate Hillary Clinton, no matter what. In fact, at the rally the
other night, that Donald Trump had, they were still yelling lock her up.
Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We did have a lot of fun fighting Hillary, didn`t we? Right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, will the republicans go forward and could this back fire
and create an opening for the democrats?

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, NATIONAL REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: I don`t think
that the republicans are going to go forward, mainly because I feel like
while Donald Trump has said this and people are chanting lock her up, lock
her up, most people I feel like are ready to move on and like most
republicans, they`re so eager to repeal ObamaCare. They`re so eager to do
all the policies to look at abortion rights, to do all these other things
that they`ve been talking about and I think because they have both houses
of congress, to waste time then prosecuting Hillary Clinton, that`s really
– they may not have Donald Trump for eight years, so to waste that, I
think would just be – would be stupid.

And I also should just say, I`ve talked to a lot of his supporters and
Trump supporters aren`t waiting for him to lock her up. They say this and
it`s something that`s fun to say, but I don`t think that they`re really –
they see it as a mandate.

SHARPTON: And not digging in from your conversation?

ALCINDOR: No.

SHARPTON: All right. Well, Matt, is there an opportunity, a lot of us are
looking at the confirmation hearings. Trump has just appointed – or at
least nominated some millionaires and billionaires this week with all kinds
of interesting backgrounds.

MATT WELCH, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, REASON MAGAZINE: Wait, you`re saying there`s
millionaires in government?

SHARPTON: I didn`t just say – I mean – the confirmation hearings,
doesn`t that give an opportunity for democrats to bear down. There`s
nothing barring them from going after some of the things that we`re hearing
in the background of some of the nominees.

WELCH: Right. And I hope that in that process that they`re very
selective, and then it`s more than just that Wilbur Ross, for example, is a
cajillionaire. But it`s more that Jeff Sessions who`s supposed to be in
charge of the Department of Justice is against criminal justice reform, is
against civil asset – has a 180s era the kind of attitude about the drug
war and he`s going to be in charge for a lot of enforcement opportunities.

So picking the right fight among people who have the actual opportunity to
do things that democrats and non-democrats alike think are bad, that is
key, just throwing up your hands in the air and saying that they`re all
bad, they`re all rich, well they`re all republican, that`s not going to get
it done. A president does get deference with most of his cabinet.

SHARPTON: Unless they`re selective in your opinion, Joan.

WALSH: Yes, I agree with that. I mean, I think every hearing is an
opportunity to air the things in their backgrounds that don`t jive with
Trump`s promises. But I think Sessions will be a big one. I think Steve
Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, Goldman Sachs guy, apparently there`s a
Trump voter who just discovered that she was evicted by Mnuchin`s old
company, OneWest. And she`s despondent that she voted for Trump. She
believed his promises, he was going to drain the swamp and now we`ve got
swamp thing as treasury secretary. I mean, I think Tom Price will be a big
target. But you`re right, everyone can`t be subject to the same level –

SHARPTON: Price at HHS was the one who consistently went after
ObamaCare. But Yamiche, how concerned – I want to go to Matt`s point,
should democrats be about the fact that all of these multi-corporate
connected Wall Street millionaire guys. How concerned should democrats be
about that or should it be on specific issues and specific things that much
of the public may not even know about some of the nominees` background?

ALCINDOR: I think it should be a public concern about both the democrats.
I`m talking to are concerned about the fact that you have people who have
run private equity firms, who have all this money, making decisions about
people and really are not going to have the kind of working class, even
working class white voters, but I would also say working class of all races
at heart when they make these decisions. But the other thing –

SHARPTON: Well, you have a working class person nominated. I mean, what
happened to all of the blue-collar workers, and all of the people he was
rallying in key states, nobody liked that is nominated for this cabinet.

WALSH: Sarah Palin is calling the Carrier bailout crony capitalism, which
it is.

SHARPTON: Oh, really? She figured that out all by herself?

WALSH: I`m not praising her. I am just noticing that there are already
cracks in this coalition. And I think the hearings are an opportunity to -
-

WELCH: But I think there are microcracks at this point. I don`t think the
people voted for Donald Trump to make sure that someone with a perfect
blue-collar pedigree is going to be the head of the department of commerce.

SHARPTON: But an understanding of blue-collar people may be something that
you can at least get some light in. Everybody stay with me. Lots more
ahead.

Ahead this hour, accused Charleston Church shooter Dylann Roof goes on
trial this week. And he`s representing himself. What that could mean for
the families who will have to face him?

Also, a potential showdown at the longest running protest in recent
American history.

But, first, the fight to stop threats of deportation. I`ll talk to a
leader of the movement, an undocumented immigrant himself.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Hillary supports totally open borders. There goes your country.
There goes your country, folks. And strongly supports sanctuary cities
like San Francisco. We will cancel all federal funding to sanctuary
cities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It was one of Donald Trump`s key campaign threats. A warning
he`ll cut off federal funds to so-called sanctuary cities, areas that
refuse to coordinate with federal law enforcement to deport undocumented
immigrants.

At least 39 cities fit the bill. And since the election, some have come
forward, vowing they`ll keep on protecting immigrants. New York City Mayor
Bill de Blasio delivered that message at Trump Tower.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says he`ll resist Trump on this issue.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC GARCETTI, MAYOR, LOS ANGELES: Immigration is the responsibility of
our federal government. We`ve been very clear. It`s not the
responsibility of LAPD. I think anything that would take away federal aid
would cause social, economic, and security problems. And so I`m hoping
that we can have this conversation separate and without threats.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now is Cesar Vargas, co-founder of the DREAM Action
Coalition. He`s an undocumented immigrant. Thank you, first of all, for
being here, Cesar.

CESAR VARGAS, CO-FOUNDER, DREAM ACTION COALITION: Thank you so much for
having me.

SHARPTON: You`re an attorney. Do mayors have the legal basis for
resisting Trump on deporting immigrants?

VARGAS: Well, first, I hope that the mayor and the governor who have said
that New York City is a sanctuary city actually commit to those words that
is not just a campaign rhetoric. But it`s not only legal –

SHARPTON: As well as Garcetti and others.

VARGAS: Absolutely. But it`s not only legally defensible, but critical to
our national security, to assure and allow cities to enact sanctuary laws
to assure its taxpayer residents regardless of immigration status that
their local government will protect them from federal overreach, when in
case that infringes on the peace and security. And most importantly, we
have seen that states can provide more protections and cities to its
residents and that establishes jurisprudence.

So the most important thing is, one, the president does have to enforce the
law, but he has to enforce the law according to our constitutional rights.
And most importantly, he has to respect state constitutional protections,
city charter protections.

SHARPTON: Let me push you on that a little. Let me play the devil`s
advocate. What do you say to those opponents who say but the law must be
enforced?

VARGAS: Well, we have seen in history where we are in the same place, you
had that fugitive slave act, back one of the most controversial laws in the
19th century. This law congress passed. But in this situation – those
situations, northern states passed special legislation to defy the federal
government because they saw that states and cities could provide that legal
protection to its residents and the federal government cannot force states
or cities to strip its residents on protections that the states or cities
have provided.

So when we come here about, well, the president has to enforce the law.
Yes, but he has to enforce the law according to those constitution,
protections provided by the federal, but also the state and city charters.

SHARPTON: Let me raise something else to you that touches concerns here
from people. After the election, Trump said that he`ll deport two or three
million undocumented immigrants. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and
have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, when a lot of these
people, probably two million, it could even be three million, we are
getting them out of our country or we`re going to incarcerate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Are there two to three million undocumented immigrants with
criminal records? I mean, help me with the fact check here.

VARGAS: Well, first, the Migration Policy Institute has said that there`s
approximately 600 to 700,000 people with some criminal records. But let`s
be very careful. Who are these people with criminal records? Sometimes it
could be a parent who has worked with fake papers, right? When associate -
- who`s only –

SHARPTON: Which is called a criminal – creates a criminal.

VARGAS: But at the same time, we saw in Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio was
targeting Latinos and immigrants and charging them with felonies. In that
case, they were criminals. So in that case, let`s be very careful about
those terms. But in the reality, when we see Donald Trump talk about
persecuting immigrants, you`re creating social unrest because we`re not
just targeting undocumented immigrants.

Many of these families have U.S. citizen`s spouses, U.S. citizen children.
So it will create social unrest when we talk about this type of rhetoric.

SHARPTON: Cesar Vargas, thank you for your time this morning.

VARGAS: Thank you so much for having me.

SHARPTON: Coming up, one holdout among jurors in a police shooting that
grabbed national headlines. Will they buy this officer`s claim that he
fired out of fear?

But, first, dollars and nonsense. Why Trump`s Carrier deal just doesn`t
add up. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I just want to let all of the other companies know that we`re going
to do great things for business. There`s no reason for them to leave
anymore. These companies aren`t going to be leaving anymore. They`re not
going to be taken people`s hearts out. They`re not going to be announcing
like they did at Carrier, that they`re closing up and they`re moving to
Mexico

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Donald Trump boasting about the nearly 1,000 jobs he says he
stopped from moving to Mexico. Carrier agreed to keep the jobs here in
exchange for $7 million in taxpayer money. Obviously, we`re happy for
those workers. But what about others in the same boat? Like the 300
workers at the Rexnord Plant right off the block? They`re also about to
lose their jobs next year.

These are the workers all happy for their colleagues but wondering why they
didn`t get help too.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The issue we have is that I feel like the president-
elect Trump has actually put himself in a box now. So we`re – I mean,
we`ve got millions of manufacturing jobs across this entire United States.
This is like – they`re going to be like, OK. Well, am I next? Are you
going to come around with your stick and be able to actually go to every
CEO of these companies and save these jobs an keep all jobs in America?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The truth is Trump`s strategy is unrealistic to save jobs. You
need a policy, not a publicity stunt. Paul Krugman points out, “Trump
would have to do a deal like this every week for the next 30 years in order
to save as many jobs as President Obama saved with the auto bailout.

Those 1.5 million jobs made a huge difference to those families and to the
economy in general. But of course, pundits on the right hated the auto
bailout. Folks like Sean Hannity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Day number 70 of radicalism you can believe
in commander and CEO and that`s what we have tonight folks. And how better
to take charge of an industry and troubles then your federal government?
What we`re left with tonight is government running American business with
your hard-earned tax dollars.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Are you surprised that Sean Hannity is singing a different tune
now with Trump in charge? Me neither.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: And a major win for American workers, Donald Trump tweeted that
he that he has brokered a deal with air-conditioning manufacturer Carrier
to keep about 1,000 jobs that it was planning to send to Mexico right here
in America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, we`re happy for those thousand workers who are keeping
their jobs. But no one should pretend it`s a substitute for an actual
agenda to create jobs.

So nice try, Mr. Trump, but we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Tomorrow morning, a juror will resume deliberations in the
Walter Scott shooting. There`s apparently one holdout juror in the case.
The jury deadlocked about the guilt or innocence of Police Officer Michael
Slager. The case got national attention after this video was released
showing Scott running away as he was shot by Officer Slager. Scott was
originally stopped for a broken taillight. This week emotional testimony
from Scott`s mother.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUDY SCOTT, MOTHER OF WALTER SCOTT: He said they tasing me and I heard him
groaning like he was in in excruciating pain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The officer faces 30 years to life behind bars if found guilty.
The jury seemed to be focused on this question, did Officer Slager believe
he was shooting in self-defense?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL SLAGER, FORMER POLICE OFFICER, NORTH CHARLESTON: (inaudible) in my
mind, fear, scared.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now Defense Attorney and former prosecutor Karen
Desoto, and Areva Martin, managing partner at the law firm Martin and
Martin.

Karen, let me go to you first. What should we make of the fact that one
juror, just one, is the holdout here we`re told?

KAREN DESOTO, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, it`s interesting because this does
happen all the time in murder trials. As you know reasonable doubt is a
really high standard for jurors and it`s not unusual in murder cases. This
is the ultimate serious high as you can go is criminal penalties and a lot
of times it`s not unusual to have one juror hold out because they`re not
firmly convinced for some reason.

And so we don`t know if the holdout is for the murder charge or the
manslaughter charge in this case, we haven`t gotten that information yet.
So we don`t know exactly what information unless, of course, you have more
information on that.

SHARPTON: No, we don`t.

Areva, what`s your take on this?

AREVA MARTIN, MANAGING PARTNER, MARTIN & MARTIN: I think this is really
troubling, Rev. We`ve seen so many of these cases, African-American,
unarmed African-American men be shot by police officers, many of the cases
involving white police officers as is the case of
Walter Scott. And you see this videotape and for the millions of people
that saw that videotape, that was proof positive. That was all the
evidence that we thought would be needed for justice to be delivered for
the Scott family.

And now to have this jury say on two occasions that they don`t think they
can reach a unanimous decision is very troubling.

SHARPTON: You brought up –

MARTIN: This is a troubling case.

SHARPTON: Areva, you brought up an unarmed black man and I went down to
North Charleston, around this, right after it happened. The fact is this
jury is all white with the exception of one juror. Does this in any way
affect how they approached or should approach their case?

MARTIN: You`d like to think, Rev, that race doesn`t matter and the fact
that the jurors, the majority of them are white, isn`t what is causing one
juror not to be able to make a decision. But I think in the court of
public opinion, if there is a deadlock, if this juror is unable to reach a
unanimous decision, I think the country will have to explore, examine,
raise that question about whether this is about race.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you before we run out of time, Karen, the fact that
when Officer Slager says that in hindsight he wouldn`t have chased Walter
Scott in the first place, what is a jury supposed to make of that?

DESOTO: Well, I think that they had an expert on that says that when
you`re under traumatic experiences like that, you only as a police officer
have a couple of seconds. So thinking back on it, I think his thing was he
could have handled it multiple different ways, or at least that`s what the
defense was trying to grasp with that. That he could have done it
differently, unfortunately he`s a police officer, and because of his
training, you have to think quick and think fast and sometimes you make
mistakes and sometimes you don`t.

SHARPTON: The chase, we saw it – let`s turn to another case. This week,
the trial begins for accused Charleston Church shooter Dylann Roof. He`ll
be representing himself. That means he could cross-examine survivors and
victims` family members during the trial.

Roof has accused of gunning down nine black worshipers in June of
2015. Authorities say he targeted the victims because of their race.
Areva, how unusual is this courtroom scenario?

MARTIN: It`s very unusual, Rev, because you have a federal capital murder
case, very complicated case, even for lawyers, particularly lawyers that
don`t have specific experience in capital murder cases.

So to have an individual with no legal training, no expertise, representing
himself is highly unusual and you hit on one of the salient points here, is
that this shooter, this murderer will further humiliate, demean these
family members, the survivors who will have to give testimony during this
trial and not just face Roof as a defendant sitting at a table, but
actually have to be questioned by him and have to confront him to discuss
the most painful thing that you can ever imagine that has happened to them.
This is going to be an incredibly emotional situation for the family.

SHARPTON: Karen, the judge said that Dylann Roof, he found him to be,
quote, highly intelligent as – is he intelligent enough to be his own
attorney?

DESOTO: Absolutely not. I mean, people who are autistic are highly
intelligent, that doesn`t mean that they should be attorneys and in death
penalty cases be trying cases. I think this case is really disturbing on a
lot of levels.

His defense attorneys have been trying to take the reins back and the judge
really is denying them. Obviously again, the death penalty this is not a
case where you want him cross-examining. The judge has said that he wants
him to speak to the judge and not the attorney is when there are objections
or motion.

And that`s disturbing on a lot of levels. I mean, in the beginning of this
case, we had motions on whether or not he was even sane enough to even be
involved in the case, and now that they have ruled that he is in fact sane
enough, now they`re going to let him try his own case? It`s very
disturbing.

SHARPTON: Let me go back, Areva, to the human element here that I raised
that you picked up, the families, the victims` families, having to face
this man who killed a loved one and no one knows what he will do, how –
look into their eyes, you have to sit there and look at a man who gave you
the most painful experience in your life. I mean, I`ve never heard or even
imagined of this kind of situation.

MARTIN: It`s going to be traumatizing to say the least. And we`re going
to have to see how the judge lets this play itself out in a trial. We
don`t know what Dylann Roof`s agenda is. Clearly he has an agenda. He has
an agenda when he went into that church and sat quietly and waited and then
murdered nine people.

He has an agenda by asking his very skilled set of attorneys be relieved as
council. And I think the agenda is to further traumatize these families.

SHARPTON: Well, they said he said he wanted a race war. How do we know he
won`t use this as a platform for marking and just more pain who knows what
he`s going to do? It`s really, really a scary situation to me.

Karen Desoto and Areva Martin, thanks for being here.

DESOTO: Thanks, Reverend.

MARTIN: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, a picture is worth a thousand words. What Mitt
Romney`s face could tell us about the Trump transition?

Plus, the most surprising phone call I`ve gotten in years.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with a question that I want to raise. Is Donald
Trump using his transition reality show not to find the best talent, but
instead to humiliate his former critics and rivals?

He summoned Mitt Romney for two high profile meetings with photos that
generated instant mockery.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Ever in your career seen a
serious adult who`s wealthy, independent, has been a presidential nominee,
suck up at the rate that Mitt Romney is sucking up?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But sources tell NBC, Romney`s name is now not in the top tier
of candidates. So what is this all about? What was this all that we were
watching? Also, Rick Perry`s name was floated for the department of
energy. I wonder why they picked that department. Maybe it was because of
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK PERRY, FORMER GOVERNOR OF TEXAS: And I will tell you it`s three
agencies of government when I get there that are gone, commerce, education
and the – what`s the third one there? Let`s see. I would do away with
education, the – commerce – and let`s see. I can`t – the third one, I
can`t. Sorry. Oops. Well, every one of those and, by the way, that was
the department of energy I was reaching for a while ago.so –

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It was the department of energy he couldn`t remember. So now
some wonder if Trump is just trolling Perry with this possibility. So is
Trump using his transition to settle scores and satisfy his own ego? And
if so, what will he do in the oval office?

Let`s bring back our panel, Joan, Yamiche and Matt.

So, Matt, what was Trump doing to Mitt Romney?

MATT WELCH, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, REASON MAGAZINE: I will never try to get into
Donald Trump`s head because it just didn`t work this whole campaign. So
let`s talk about the effect that what Donald Trump is doing, not just on
Mitt Romney, but on the party.

Mitt Romney represents the kind of beating heart of anti-Trumpism in the
Republican Party, which was basically Mormons. It was Mike Lee who never
endorsed him, it`s Jeff Flake who never endorsed him, people found to be
vulgar and beyond the pale and not sufficiently patriotic. But a lot of
those people have come back in the fold including Senator Crapo from Idaho.

But so by having him twist in the wind for a really long time, and getting
those people`s hopes up, that level of kind of opposition to Trump gets
smaller. And a lot of these names have been floated including names that
has zero chance that being in the Trump administration represent little
nuggets from ideologies from potential sources of conflict.

They floated Tom Massie`s name as a potential administration member who`s a
libertarian and he has zero chance of being nominated but it`s to placate
that small little anti-Trump libertarian –

SHARPTON: There`s some politics there, but there`s also some of Trump
doing what some suspect is mocking people, others suspect – there`s a
personality trait that he has that he wants to talk to people himself.

He`s – I was on a show early this weekend and talked about how it is to be
an out of borough New Yorker and he is and I was and he actually called me
and made news.

He`s the kind of guy that`ll pick up the phone and talk direct to people
and deal with people and you don`t know what his motivation is and he knows
he and I don`t agree on much of anything. But he`ll talk to you. And you
never understand the motive and some of it is just him and some of it is
maybe having a little evening the score.

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, NATIONAL REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: I`ll go and say
we`re talking about the first reality TV show president. And the idea is
that a lot of his voters, millions of voters I think remember him from the
apprentice. And I think he`s having a really good time having these people
come in, kiss their the ring, having the people floated in front of the
cameras. This is someone who hasn`t held a press conference for months
now.

However when you look at the pictures of people coming in, he was holding
Chris Christie`s hand almost on a death lock, saying, you know, we`re still
posing. I don`t want to hear what you`re talking about, we`re still
posing.

And I think that those moments are really as a journalist what to me tells
me that he`s really enjoying his time and his really taking his time and he
really likes –

SHARPTON: He always enjoyed his time, whether we agree or not. The
question becomes will he act like this in the oval and what will the impact
be on the nation, on people that really need serious leadership. Because
clearly when you look at his speech the other night, and his victory tour,
he said I`m not going to hold you in suspense, I`m going to tell you my
nomination for secretary of defense or I was going to hold people in
suspense until Monday. Why even suggest holding people in suspense? We`re
talking about the defense department here.

JOAN WALSH, NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT, THE NATION: Right. Because
he`s telling them that they`re getting something special from him. That he
is the guy –

SHARPTON: But we`re talking about the defense department.

WALSH: I`m well aware, so to your original question, is he going to change
once he gets to the oval office. Of course not. He`s never once changed.
All the times we`ve been waiting for the pivot, for the gravity of the
situation, whatever, it never came, and it never will come.

I mean, we saw that with him calling the president of Taiwan the other day,
you know, first president since 1979.

SHARPTON: `79, yes.

WALSH: To speak to the U.S. president. What is – this is just what he`s
going to do. And some of it is going to seem really refreshing and
different to his supporters and some of it is going to get him in a lot of
trouble.

SHARPTON: But at the same time, let`s not underestimate that there is a
line here because the people that he has selected are almost the same kind
of ways he satisfied certain factors in the party. So even though he may
relish the parade, he seems to know strategically where he`s going or where
he`s taking council, Matt.

WELCH: Yes. There is strategy all throughout his picks. The fact that he
put Nikki Haley as the ambassador to the United Nations, was a big middle
finger to Ann Coulter and that wing of the party and Coulter very famously
calling Nikki Haley immigrant, which she`s not, and a bunch of other
things.

So he is picking people from different – Mike Flynn is not the same guy as
Mad Dog Mattis. Those people are going to butt heads. So he`s going to
have some team of rivals amongst each other inside of his cabinet and they
will represent different constituencies and it`s –

SHARPTON: And it`s a strategy, what I`m saying is – and I propose and
dealing with all of that now, but he`s been many things, stupid is not one
of them. And we can debate about how smart he`s been on terms of
understanding people and their pain, but he`s a strategist.

ALCINDOR: Yes. And he likes to have people, I think, be in conflict. You
think of Reince Priebus and then you think of Steve Bannon, they`re going
to be arguing in the White House all the time. So I think he also likes
the idea of people roughing it out and then him saying, okay –

SHARPTON: He`s got to make the ultimate decision. Joan Walsh, Yamiche
Alcindor, Matt Welch, thank you for your time this morning.

Still to come, standing their ground at Standing Rock. There`s more to the
story behind one group`s battle against big oil.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: I`d like to close the show this morning with a shout-out to the
protesters at Standing Rock. They`ve been camped out for months, trying to
stop construction of an oil pipeline they say threatens the environment and
sacred Native American land.

Authorities have ordered them to leave their camp by tomorrow. But
veterans are now moving in, starting today, to protect them and act as
human shields. The protests have been dangerous, police have allegedly
used rubber bullets and tear gas. They`ve also sprayed water on protesters
during freezing temperatures. There`s nothing glamorous about this.

Those protesters are cold. They`re hungry. And until recently they
weren`t getting any attention from the outside world. But they didn`t give
up. And whether you agree or disagree with their cause, you have to
respect that because that`s how change happens.

I know in my life I`ve seen protests that led to change. Sometimes we went
to jail, I went three months one time. People can`t pay you or give you
enough publicity. It`s got to be something you believe in, and for even
those causes that I disagree, I respect people that will pay a price
because that`s what will make us all move more toward a just and fair and
perfect union.

That does it for me. Thanks for watching. I`ll see you back here next
Sunday.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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