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PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton, Transcript 1/10/2016

Guests: Valerie Jarrett; Cannon Lambert; Geneva Reed-Veal; Sabrina Siddiqui; Susan del Percio; Lisa Nichols

Show: POLITICS NATION Date: January 10, 2016 Guest: Valerie Jarrett; Cannon Lambert; Geneva Reed-Veal; Sabrina Siddiqui; Susan del Percio; Lisa Nichols



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Battle Royale, Republicans start 2016 with a new resolution to attack.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If a Jeb type, which won`t happen, no energy. I mean this guy`s got no energy.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Say yes or no. Senator Rubio can`t even seem to get that that down.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Chris has a liberal record to a Republican.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did Trump`s birther being hurt Cruz and do voters care about Bill Clinton`s past? Our panel weighs in.

Also, President Obama`s final state of the union. We`ll talk to senior White House adviser Valerie Jarett about why it could be unique in American history.

And the state trooper indicted in the Sandra Bland case, now trying to get his job out of the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the car, I will light you up!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now! Get out of the car!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will get reaction from Sandra Bland`s mother.

From Rockefeller Center in New York, this is "Politics Nation" with Al Sharpton.


REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good morning. I`m Al Sharpton.

The first full week of 2016 shows the Republican race has gotten tougher, nastier, and trumpier. With less than a month until Iowa, Donald Trump is dominating the field and the national debate with his unique brand of political entertainment.


TRUMP: Throw him out into the cold. You know, don`t give them their coat.

I`m winning with the smart people. I`m winning with the not so smart people, too. I`m winning with everything.

They never show the crowd. That`s why I love protesters. Whenever there`s a protester, you know, I think they can`t move the cameras, right. That they are fixed. They turn into pretzels, they can move them. If there`s a protester behind and under the camera, it will do a somersault.

Hillary Clinton doesn`t have the string, the stamina.

We need someone with strength, stamina, with energy, with big, big, big, beautiful fat brain.

If a Jeb type, which won`t happen, but if Jeb -- that one can`t happen. No energy. This guy`s got no energy.


SHARPTON: Trump is also reviving birther questions about Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada to an American mother. Most experts agree Cruz is allowed to become president, but that doesn`t stop other Republicans from jumping on Trump`s birther band wagon.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Absolutely without question he is qualified and eligible to be the prime minister of Canada.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I think there is a question. I am not a constitutional scholar on that, but I think it`s worth looking into.

TRUMP: I`m doing this for the good of Ted. I`m not doing it for me because I like him and he likes me.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As a legal matter the question is quite straightforward and settled law that the child of a U.S. citizen born abroad is a natural born citizen.


SHARPTON: Meanwhile, Chris Christie getting stronger in New Hampshire, suddenly finds himself under attack, and he is firing back.


RUBIO: Chris has a liberal record for a Republican. I mean, he supported common core, he ran for office as a supporter of gun control.

CHRISTIE: You want someone on that stage against Hillary Clinton who has been through the wars, not somebody who say first term United States senator who has never had a tough race in his life. She`ll pat him on the head and then cut his heart out.

TRUMP: Look, here`s the story. The George Washington Bridge, he knew about it.

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My record is one as a conservative, applying conservative principles and moving the needle in the right direction. I don`t think he can make that same claim.

CHRISTIE: You know, if that`s what Jeb, and John and Marco want to do, that`s fine. I`m going to continue to do what I did.


SHARPTON: Joining me is our panel, MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter, Sabrina Siddiqui of "the Guardian" and Republican strategist Susan Del Percio. Thank you all for being here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Great to be here.



SHARPTON: Well, Susan`s first full week of the year and Donald Trump still dominating Donald Trump`s race.

SUSAN DEL PERCIO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: It is, right now it is. He is leading in all the polls nationally. He is leading in some polls in Iowa. He is looking good in New Hampshire but a lot of things can change. Ted Cruz does have a good organization in Iowa. And Iowa is an organizational state. And folks in New Hampshire are known to change their mind at the very last minute, which I think is most likely. I think you are going to see a lot of independents who can vote in the New Hampshire primary, vote to kick Trump out, and fire him from the primary.

SHARPTON: But isn`t the hope, Sabrina, that if the independents vote in New Hampshire, is the hope of many progressives they will go Sanders and not Trump. I mean, isn`t that going to be a problem there? And isn`t it a lot of wishful thinking by the Republican establishment that something may trip up Trump in Iowa, something may trip him up in New Hampshire, and he hasn`t tripped up yet and he is done everything that people would feel would have undermined any other candidate?

SABRINA SIDDIQUI, THE GUARDIAN: Right, I think the big question mark, when I talk to a lot of rival of these Republican campaigns is, are these supporters of Donald Trump going to turn up and caucus for him? Are they going to turn up at the polls in New Hampshire and vote in this primary?

But when you -- outside of Donald Trump then get into the alternative candidates, Marco Rubio in New Hampshire is a slightly comfortable second but he still only leads by a few points. And then you have this very fractured field where you have John Kasich, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie trying to make a mark. And I think that -- part of why you`re seeing them bring out the knives and sharpen their attacks against each other, is because if your name is not Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, I mean, there`s a sentiment among them this is potentially anyone`s for the taking if there is going to be an alternative. And I think what you`re trying to see especially from Marco Rubio`s point of view since he is seen as from formidable and his rival trying to take him down a peg in Iowa, because if he does not post a strong showing in Iowa, they hope he`ll have a ripple effect in New Hampshire and some of them can break through.

SHARPTON: When you see, Jonathan, Trump go birther on Cruz, is that fear? Is that he thinks that Cruz is gaining in Iowa, and possibly the south? Is that safing his bet? What is the birther stuff all of a sudden with Cruz?

JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: So Trump wants to beat Cruz in Iowa. Right now, everybody says, Cruz is going to win Iowa easily. Trump is nowhere. That`s not what Trump thinks. And by the way, in recent weeks he has developed a pretty good ground game in Iowa. If he wins Iowa --

SHARPTON: He, being Trump.

ALTER: Trump. If he wins Iowa, Rev., it`s over, he is the Republican nominee. I mean, you can never say it is over.

SHARPTON: Do you agree with that?

ALTER: You can never say it`s over. But he will then win New Hampshire and then go south with a huge head of steam and I think it would be very hard to stop if he won both Iowa and New Hampshire. I don`t think it`s likely. Probably Cruz winning Iowa, Trump winning New Hampshire and then the question becomes who does better than expected. It becomes an expectations game. And so, if a Chris Christie --

SHARPTON: I want to come back to that. Do you agree if he wins Iowa, do Trump wins Iowa, it`s over?

DEL PERCIO: No, I don`t.

SHARPTON: OK, let me then ask you this --

DEL PERCIO: Because based upon just to follow this --

ALTER: I shouldn`t say it`s over. I`ve been covering this long enough to know you should never say it`s over like Yogi Berra.

DEL PERCIO: I don`t think if he wins Iowa he wins New Hampshire. That`s where the disconnect.

SHARPTON: But it gives him more momentum.

But let me ask this. If he wins in Iowa or New Hampshire and heads south, it`s very difficult then, but don`t you start seeing a lot of the other candidates fall off and you end up with a narrower race? Couldn`t he get clipped if becomes a three or four-person race?

ALTER: Yes. I mean, if you have a Cruz/Trump/Kasich race or Cruz, Trump, Rubio, yes. The so-called establishment candidate is going to get a lot of votes. But you have these winner-take-all primaries early in the Republican process. So if Trump is leading going into a lot of those. He is going to rock up a lot of delegates before they get to the proportional primaries. So anyone who thinks that, you know, Trump is just going to collapse now, that`s real 2015 thinking. He is going to go to that convention with a lot of delegates whether he wins or not.

DEL PERCIO: And there was also something in your introduction, I kept seeing all those clips of candidates looking to kill each other especially the Christie/Cruz/Rubio/Bush folks all after each other. I mean, I was like well, that`s a food fight. Who wins a food fight?

SHARPTON: And it is about who is the establishment candidate?

SIDDIQUI: And that`s where, you know, let`s say you have a situation where Ted Cruz wins Iowa and Donald Trump wins New Hampshire, it depends on what the margins are for the remaking candidates.

ALTER: Right.

SIDDIQUI: Because if Jeb Bush posts better than they are expected to and Marco Rubio does not in fact have a significant second or third showing, then there isn`t the same incentive for them to drop out right away. They might want to live see another day there in South Carolina.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you something. You are one of my favorite Republicans, and it is early in the year.

DEL PERCIO: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Explain something to me. What is this fascination with Rubio`s heels being high on his shoe?


SHARPTON: I mean, we have so many serious problems going on in the country. Do you all really have nothing to talk about, obsess about in the Republican Party than he has on higher heels?

DEL PERCIO: I have not discussed or tweeted about Marco Rubio`s shoes until right this very minute.

SHARPTON: All right, well, go ahead.

DEL PERCIO: That`s the first time I`m talking about him and hopefully it is last time.

SHARPTON: But you are in the minority because the others have, let me show you.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think of those boots?

TRUMP: Well, I can`t quite -- I don`t know what`s -- you won`t see me wearing them. I don`t know what to think of those boots. They`re big heels. They`re big heels. I mean, those heels were really up there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor, you changed your shoes.

BUSH: I did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For New Hampshire snow or what happened?

BUSH: The heels are low heels, just for the record.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you letting loose in those boots?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, were you wearing the boots?

MARCO: No, not that day. I don`t think I had them yet. I like them. We`ll see. Listen, they may make a comeback at some point. They`re for special occasions.


DEL PERCIO: I don`t think they`ll come back any time soon.

SHARPTON: Not the thing I would want to be talking about if I was running for president.

ALTER: Look. I`m an Imelda Marcos fan that I love shoes. I am happy to talk about the shoes, but this is the silly season.


ALTER: `Any time there`s something that gets people like us talking, that`s not about, you know, what`s their tax policy, what`s their policy on, you know, increasing the defense budget, all the things that voters at a person point --

SHARPTON: Well, maybe they talked about their tax policy and all that, maybe they will afraid they`ll get the boot.

ALTER: That`s a good one. Also they don`t have a lot to say that`s fresh. It`s not like they`re offering the American people a lot of really new, fresh ideas to argue about.

SHARPTON: Everybody, stay with us. There`s a lot more ahead we have to talk about. Stay with us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming up, President Obama`s final state of the union. It will not be what you`re used to. We will hear from White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Also, should Bill Clinton hit back against Donald Trump?

And Sandra Bland`s mother talks about the new indictment in her daughter`s case.



SHARPTON: President Obama`s final state of the union on Tuesday will be non-traditional. Lots of laundry list of policies and then a call to action. Over the past seven years, this speech has given us some of the president`s most memorable moments.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They deserve a vote. Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of new town deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote.

I have no more campaigns to run. My only agenda -- I know, because I won both of them.


SHARPTON: It`s also become a forum for Republican opposition. One GOP congressman invited Ted Nugent as his guest. Last year others invited stars of "Duck Dynasty." Now, Ted Cruz says he is going to skip Tuesday`s speech to campaign. His spokeswoman says it`s not meant as disrespect.

Joining me now is White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. Thank you for being here.

VALERIE JARRETT, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER: My pleasure. How are you doing, Reverend Sharpton?

SHARPTON: I`m very well. Let me ask you at the outset here. There are reports this will be a quote "nontraditional state of the union." What can we expect?

JARRETT: Well I think, I don`t want to get too far ahead of President Obama, but he is really looking forward as he always does to having an opportunity to speak directly to the American people, and really tell his story about his vision for America, which is a very optimistic and hopeful vision, which I know won`t surprise you.

It`s not going to be the traditional state of the union where he talks through all of the accomplishments of the prior year, and the challenges of the year ahead, so it will be much more visionary. And it`s one that he is spending a lot of his personal time working on, because as you know, it`s his last state of the union.

SHARPTON: As you say, it`s the last state of the union. He is in his last year. What are his priorities? What are his goals for this last year?

JARRETT: Well, several, Reverend Sharpton. As you saw from last week, as we entered into the second half of the fourth quarter, the president really had a lot that he announced in terms of what we want to do to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn`t have them, keep our communities safe, focus on where we can provide broader mental health services, improve the way that we do data collection to ensure again guns don`t fall into the wrong hands and work on gun technology so that we can have smart guns. If you can figure out a way to design an iPad so your thumbprint keeps it from falling into the wrong hands we should be able to do the same with our guns.

So he started with a big week. We had a great jobs number on Friday of 292,000 jobs, unemployment rate five percent, coming down strongly in the African-American community as well, over well over one percent in just one month although it does tend to fluctuate. So we have a lot going for us. And so, looking to the year ahead he is going to focus on criminal justice reform. As you know, he gave a speech last year at the NAACP, focusing on what we can do in our community, what we can do in our courtrooms and what we can do in the cellblock to reduce the number of people who are incarcerated for overly lengthy sentences. And once people have pay their debt to society and earn the right to re-enter we need to make it easier for them to do that. We are going to focus a great deal on how we can continue to strengthen the relationship between police and the communities they serve, monitoring the implementation of the 21st century task force report, climate change is a big, big priority for the president. We want to figure out what we can do to make sure that we leave our planet in better condition for our children and our grandchildren.

SHARPTON: I want to get back to the unemployment numbers, but I want to delve a minute into what you talked about when you say gun control, because the president in an op-ed he wrote for the "New York Times" this week, he said the following and I`m quoting from him, he says "I will not campaign for a vote for or support any candidate, even in my own party, who does not support common-sense gun reform." That`s a pretty heavy statement for incumbent president.

JARRETT: Well, there are going to be a lot of people who expect him to get out there and campaign for them and he wanted to set the record very clear, what his expectations will be. And he is hoping that the American people do the same thing. He is convinced the only way we are going to break the stranglehold that special interest groups such as the NRA have over members of Congress is if there is a counter force and there`s no better counter force as we know than that, that the American people can provide.

On Friday the president had a call with over 25,000 volunteers from around the country who have been working very hard on putting in place ways of keeping guns out of the wrong hands, and he called on them to spread the word about how important it is to educate the American people about what`s at stake here.

The town hall that he had last week on Thursday where he had a chance to speak directly and have a conversation with those who disagreed with his program, as well as with those who did, demonstrating one can disagree without being disagreeable and it was an honest conversation. And gave him a chance, Reverend Sharpton, to debunk a lot of this nonsense that you`re hearing about his intent to take guns way.

He is in the seventh year of his administration. What evidence is there that he is trying to take any law-abiding citizen`s guns away? He just wants to make sure that everybody goes through the same background check that the law-abiding citizens who buy guns from licensed dealers do, and that it shouldn`t matter where you buy your gun. If somebody`s in the business of selling guns, then they should register and they should perform background checks before they sell to people.

SHARPTON: Let me go back to the unemployment numbers because they are impressive. I mean five percent unemployment, 8.3 unemployment among blacks, over a point lower than last year. I mean, these are very, very important figures, and a good forecast as he gets ready to make his last state of the union address.

JARRETT: Yes, they are very good numbers, and we`ve seen consistent, you know, over the last 70 plus months of private sector job growth and that`s tremendous. But we also know, Reverend Sharpton, that there are a lot of people out there who want work and we need to make sure that they have the training that they need, and the opportunity to work and it shouldn`t matter what your zip code is. Every young person should have that opportunity to have a job, provide for their family, thrive in our communities.

And so for the president`s last year, what he has said to his team is look, do not take your foot off the accelerator. I want you to leave it all on the field, to use a sports analogy. Do everything we can to focus on how we can improve the quality of life of the American people. They`re counting on their government to work. The president tends to lead by example and I`m sure that he could do everything within his power to deliver on behalf of that promise.

SHARPTON: White house senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett, thank you for your time and we`ll all be watching the president Tuesday night.

JARRETT: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Up next, the state trooper in the Sandra Bland case, trying to get his job back. We will hear from Sandra`s mother.

And then, Bill Clinton`s strategy for dealing with Donald Trump.



SHARPTON: The Texas state trooper who was fired after being charged with perjury in the Sandra Bland case wants his job back. Trooper Brian Ensignia pulled bland over in July for making an improper lane change. She died days later in her jail cell. Her death was ruled a suicide. This week, a grand jury indicted Ensignia on suspicion of lying in a police report about her arrest. He was just fired and surrendered on a perjury charge. He wrote in his report quote "I had Bland exit the vehicle to further conduct a safe traffic investigation." This part of that arrest from the camera on his traffic report.


SANDRA BLAND, VICTIM: Don`t touch me. I`m not under arrest.

BRIAN ENSIGMA, TROOPER POLICE: You are under arrest?

BLAND: I`m under arrest for what?

ENSIGMA: FM 290, send me another unit. Get out of the car. Get out of the car. Now!

BLAND: Why am I being apprehended? You`re trying to give me a ticket in.

ENSIGMA: I`m saying get out of the car?

BLAND: Why am I being apprehended?

ENSIGMA: I`m going to drag you out of here.

BLAND: So you`re going to drag me out of my own car.

ENSIGMA: Get out of the car! I will light you up.


ENSIGMA: Get out of the car, now!



SHARPTON: If convicted, the trooper could face up to a year in jail, and a $4,000 fine. He turned himself in, and is out of jail on bond. His attorney now says his termination was "unwarranted."

Joining me now is Sandra Bland`s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal and Bland family attorney, Cannon Lambert. Thank you for being here.

Let me go to you first as the mother. What is your reaction to the news that this trooper wants his job back?

GENEVA REED-VEAL, SANDRA BLAND`S MOTHER: Well, Reverend, my reaction is, I am hopeful that the system will do what it needs to do, so that that doesn`t happen. The gentleman should not be allowed to interface with another individual and cause this type of pain to anyone else`s family member.

SHARPTON: Now, you talk about the pain. Your daughter died in that jail cell. The grand jury did not indict this officer or find forward anyone on the death. How do you feel now that a grand jury indicted him for perjury and he faces a year in jail? Is that any form of justice to you?

REED-VEAL: No, sir. That is not a form of justice to me. It actually just feels like a slap on the wrist. For me, my daughter is gone. She doesn`t have the ability to do administrative leave, and so she is gone. And to be afforded the opportunity to have someone up on a perjury, perjury charge, where there is that type of up to a year and $4,000 fine, that`s not justice. I feel like that`s a slap on the wrist. And ultimately I just feel like it may be yet another obstacle, another ploy here to keep my side from getting what it is they need to have, so that they can move forward and find what really happened to my daughter.

SHARPTON: Attorney Lambert, when she says her side and the family`s side getting what they want, what other measures can be done now?

CANNON LAMBERT, BLAND FAMILY ATTORNEY: Well, as you know, we are pursuing a civil action, and part of the civil action requires that we do as much as we can to investigate what took place. Part of that includes getting the Texas Ranger report. The Texas rangers did an investigation and we want to know what the outcome of that investigation was.

SHARPTON: You do not have that report, the Texas Ranger report?

LAMBERT: No, sir, and as it stands, what we are hopeful of, is that we`ll obtain it, but my fear is, frankly, that they will use as a tactic to try and prevent that from happening the fact that there now is an indictment, but an indictment on a misdemeanor shouldn`t prohibit this family from finding out what happened to their daughter.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you, Ms. Reed-Veal, you are a mother, and as people around the nation watch you, we hear a lot of cases, stand with a lot of cases, but give us a sense of your daughter. You lost your child. What type of person was she? The officer said she was threatening. We watched the tape. Give us a sense of the type of person she was that you lost and mourn for.

REED-VEAL: The type of person Sandy was, was very, very, very, very smart. She was aggressive. When she needed to be. Take note, Sandy did not get aggressive with the officer until she was asked to exit her vehicle, OK? That`s when she began to really, there was a shift there. Sandy was a smart, beautiful young lady who had a lot going on for her and was ready for the next chapter in her life.

I often tell people, when they say to me, well, my goodness, don`t you think, why couldn`t she have just gotten, just shut her mouth and just moved on? Well, you know what? What would have happened if Rosa Parks would have moved on? What would have happened if Malcolm X would have moved on? What would have happened if Martin Luther king would have moved on?

I totally feel that Sandy was called for such a time as this, and I am thankful that she was able to realize who she was, who she was becoming, and she was ready for that journey to let people know that she was totally and completely against social injustice, and she was going to be loud about it. And she is still being loud about it. So just as there was one of the individuals I mentioned to you, there was one Sandy Bland. One Sandy Bland.

SHARPTON: Well, I think we`re going to leave it at that. I think you stated it exactly the way you would want to.

Geneva Reed-Veal, Cannon Lambert, thank you both for your time and we`ll stay on top of this story.

LAMBERT: Thank you.

REED-VEAL: Thank you, Reverend.

LAMBERT: Thank you so much.


SHARPTON: This morning by popular demand, we are bringing back our "gotcha." And today it`s about the conservative reaction to President Obama on guns. The president moved to tears when talking about the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.


SHARPTON: A president`s pain on display for all to see, but some Republicans weren`t moved by the emotional call to action. Like house speaker Paul Ryan.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: What did you think when the president cried?

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), HOUSE SPEAKER: I didn`t really think about his crying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Were you affected by it?

RYAN: I was affected by it but I thought we should have had the same kind of reaction when James Foley was beheaded, when San Bernardino and Paris occurred.


SHARPTON: Ryan also called President Obama`s focus on gun control a quote "distraction" from issues like terrorism.

But look at this. Last year 20 Americans lost their lives in terrorist attacks in places like Paris and San Bernardino. That`s 20 too many. But in that same period, over 13,000 Americans were killed by gun violence, 13,000. This isn`t a distraction. It`s a national crisis. And here san actual distraction. Conservative pundit, wondering whether the president`s tears were even real.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would check that podium for a raw onion or some no more tears. It`s not really believable.


SHARPTON: "Not believable"? I can`t believe anyone would say something like that on an issue like this. Did these righties really think I`d let them get away with it? Nice try. But here`s something to cry over. We gotcha.


SHARPTON: President Bill Clinton getting on the campaign trail for the first time this cycle. The political world kept close watch, and it also took note when Donald Trump seized the opportunity to dredge up old scandals.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Women`s rights are human rights, and human rights are women`s rights. Once and for all, let`s keep fighting for opportunity and dignity.

TRUMP: Hillary called me sexist, that I had an inclination. What does she know about me? I had an inclination. When she said that, I said, well, your husband`s now campaigning, it`s open season.


SHARPTON: But the former president didn`t take the bait.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Donald Trump is again today making an issue of your past transgressions. Do you want to respond and are you worried that your past could hurt your wife`s campaign?

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don`t have a response. If he wins the Republican nomination, we`ll have plenty of time to talk about it. I have no interest in getting involved in their politics or doing anything except trying to help Hillary.


B. CLINTON: He is said a lot of things.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: What is your reaction to --?

B. CLINTON: I have no response.


SHARPTON: Back, back with more of our panel, Jonathan Alter, Sabrina Siddiqui and Susan Del Percio.

Did the former president do the right thing, Sabrina, by not responding, not taking the bait, as I put it?

SIDDIQUI: Absolutely. I think that there is no use in them engaging with Donald Trump on this subject right now. His role right now is to boost Hillary Clinton`s campaign especially in Iowa and New Hampshire, where she and Bernie Sanders are still locked in this dead heat. And they don`t want to at least right now in the primary re-litigate the past.

I will say there has been some concern among some Republican operatives, though, when you bring these attacks back up against Bill Clinton and his past, that they actually might help Hillary Clinton in a general. So that`s where I think there would be concern among Republicans if anything that is this something she can rally women around? Is this something that makes her seem more sympathetic? Because polling in the past has shown that amid, you know, the scandal that plagued them at the time was when her favorite ratings were at the highest.

SHARPTON: Jonathan, you know the Clintons. You written books on the last race and many other things. They had to assume that these issues were going to rise, arise at some point when they decided she was going to run. Is this, in your opinion, their strategy to really not comment on it until later when there`s a nominee or what? I mean, what is the strategy here? Because you and I know Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton did not imagine this was not going to come up at some point.

ALTER: I think they`re comforted by the fact even in 1998, 1999, 2000, when Republicans tried to raise this as an issue it boomeranged so much, and book actually went up. And Hillary Clinton`s number went up so much that she walked into the United States Senate in 2000 partly because people thought this was ridiculous and had no place in our politics.

But having said that, some things have changed, and the conversation over feminism and assault, sexual assault, has changed in the last 15 years. So when Hillary tweeted not too long ago she believed the woman when, in any he said/she said situation involving sexual assault, you now have a situation where people are going, you know, reasonable people are going, all right, well if you always believe the woman, then why not believe Juanita Broadderick who claims that Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her in 1978. And she says, well there`s no evidence of it. Well, often there`s no evidence. So they could get into one of these discussions about sexual assault that would not be helpful for their campaign.

SHARPTON: Do you think it`s smart or not for your leading Republican candidate to start digging this kind of mud-throwing, when in fact, there are so many hard issues that people really care about and where he, himself, has, I don`t know anything about women or anything, but has a flashy kind of lifestyle. I mean, why would he want to even get into whose lifestyle and all of that kind of stuff is an issue.

DEL PERCIO: Because Donald Trump doesn`t care about what`s politically right to do, smart. He hasn`t been brought up through the trenches saying this is what you have to say in front of these people. He just goes out there and does it by gut.

The fact is, while Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton may have been expecting them to be challenged on some of those issues, they never expected a Trump- like challenge. It`s over the top. No one would do that. How could anyone in this, any of the other candidates on the Republican side would never go there until Donald Trump went there.

So I think it`s very smart for Donald Trump. I don`t like that kind of politics, but he is doing a great thing. He is doing the one thing that Republicans for the last 16 years have wanted. They wanted someone to go after the Clintons and go after them hard, and that`s what he is doing. It`s a great strategy.

SHARPTON: But Sabrina, he is still Bill Clinton, isn`t he an asset on the trail?

SIDDIQUI: On the campaign trail, especially in a Democratic primary right now, I think they view him as an asset. He is one of the most, you know, popular living presidents and most polling continues to show that he remains to be that way. And I think that one of the benefits that he brings is, when he was campaigning for her, I was out there in New Hampshire, he really humanizes her. I think he really was able to effectively tell the personal story behind Hillary Clinton, you know, one of the things people often criticized she doesn`t come across as personable and relatable and he is effective in peeling back behind who she is as a person. And I also think that one of the cases he was making was why she should be the standard bearer for the Democratic Party and he didn`t mention Bernie Sanders, but of course, the argument being why should he not be --

SHARPTON: But Sanders is showing real support in New Hampshire. And he is competitive in Iowa. Jonathan?

ALTER: Well, if Bernie Sanders wins Iowa and New Hampshire, we are going to be talking a lot about the Democrats in this campaign. It`s quite possible that he could do so. I think he will amass some delegates in some liberal states. And you`re going to see him being a factor all the way through, this especially with younger Democrats who really, really like him.

And so she can`t take anything for granted. She is very likely to be the nominee, but she is going to have to continue to work for it. I think it`s good for her to have this competition, if it was just a coronation, she would be rustier when it came to the general election so it is probably -- ultimately a good thing, but could be a painful thing for a while.

DEL PERCIO: But the problem is even with the democratic primary, I think, you have Bill Clinton being the story of the day when it comes to Trump`s attacks. That`s what we heard the last couple of days. It`s not going to go away because Trump will not stop this line of attack. So it reminds a lot of people they don`t like the Clinton baggage, while Hillary Clinton`s very popular. If he remains the story on this kind of, you know, Bill Cosby and Anthony Weiner, that is the last thing that the Clinton campaign wants to see, so he could become problematic.

SHARPTON: We`re out of time. You notice, Sabrina, that Susan got in Bill Cosby and Anthony Weiner. That was a little Republican drop.

Jonathan Alter, Sabrina Siddiqui and Susan del Percio, thank you and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

DEL PERCIO: Thank you.

ALTER: Thanks, Rev.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will be back with life coach and bestselling author Lisa Nichols who advice on how to keep the New Year`s resolutions.


SHARPTON: 2016 is just getting started but already some people may be struggling with those New Year`s resolutions. That brings me to my next guest.

Lisa Nichols, she knows a thing or two about setting goals. Two decades ago, she was a single mother with $11 to her name. Today, she is a life coach, a motivational speaker, and a bestselling author. Just over a year ago, Nichols made her own New Year`s resolution, to lose weight. Since then, she shed 78 pounds. She did it while writing her new book "Abundance Now."

Joining me now is Lisa Nichols. Thank you for being here.

LISA NICHOLS, AUTHOR, ABUNDANCE NOW: Thank you for having me, Reverend, I appreciate it.

SHARPTON: I got to ask you, first, how did you lose the weight?

NICHOLS: Well, you know, the first thing I realized was that a lot of it was emotional. We never look at that. We look at eat less, work out, but I had on a 78-pound jacket, and I had to look at what was it covering, what was it doing for me. And so I looked at the things that I, that cause me to put it on, shame, blame, guilt, resentment, you know, the things I never want to talk about on stage and I dealt with those. And then it was easy, because I wasn`t afraid of the woman that would show up. I wasn`t afraid of being beautiful in my physical body again. I didn`t have to hide behind a bunch of colors or a bunch of hair.

SHARPTON: Now, it is a lot of this emotion as you know, you know I lost a lot of weight.

NICHOLS: I do. Congratulations.

SHARPTON: But tell me, what stops people from remaining committed to their new year`s resolution? People are just starting this year, and many of them won`t get to the end of the month. What stops people from keeping their resolution?

NICHOLS: People expect to move their lifestyle, but they haven`t moved their mind-set, that your mind-set, you need to look at how you think about money, how you think about success, and some of us need to pack our bags and literally move our mind-set to a whole another zip code, because anywhere your mind-set is, your lifestyle will follow.

When people win the lottery, but they haven`t thought about money any differently, they go back to broke. It takes them a little longer and they`re in a lot more debt when they get back in debt. So when you shift your mind, when I wrote this book, it was about a single mom who had $11.42 to her name.

SHARPTON: Tell me about your path. You are talking about your journey, the struggles of a single mother with no money.

NICHOLS: Yes. I was born and raised in south central L.A. I lived in the (INAUDIBLE) `50s and `60s, not cheerleading squads. And when I was 28 years old I had my son and had to get on government assistance to have my son. I had to get on public assistance just to give birth to him. I had to get on WIC, Women, Infant and Children, and I was grateful. I was grateful for the pasta, the cheese, the butter, everything, the milk, everything.

But when my son was eight months old, I went to the ATM to get money to get him pampers, and I only had $11.42 in the bank. I had to wrap my son, Reverend, in a towel for two days. And nothing was more shameful than having to wrap my son in a towel. And that day I said, obviously I don`t know enough. I need to go somewhere and learn something that I don`t know, because what I know got me here. I need to learn something different. I look up 21 years later, my company just went public a year and a half ago, and my life is barely recognizable, which is why I wrote this book. Because people kept asking me how did I go from public assistance to going public?

SHARPTON: The book "Abundance Now," what is it and how can people achieve it?

NICHOLS: It explodes the myth that abundance is for some people. That is for a select few of a certain hue or origin or a certain status. It allows you to see abundance is available to all of us. It also explodes the myth that abundance is singly focused, it`s just money, just possession. True abundance is a 360 experience. Its abundant spirituality, its abundant relationships, its abundant finances and its abundant health. I have a lot of very wealthy friends who are not abundant. They are just wealthy.

SHARPTON: There`s been a poll how angry a lot of Americans are. How do you feel we should channel that anger?

NICHOLS: Right. So grab something that`s bigger than you. Serve some people. Have a goal this year that literally pours into the lives of other people. While you`re building your own life, while you`re mad, channel it into something that`s going to make a difference. Plant new seeds to grow new fruits.

SHARPTON: Lisa Nichols, thank you for your time. And her new book is "Abundance Now: amplify your life and achieve prosperity today."

That does it for me. Thanks for watching. I hope you are having luck with all your new year`s resolutions. I`ll see you back here next Sunday.