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Politics Nation with Al Sharpton, Transcript, 6/19/2016

Guests: Glozell Green; Tara Dowdell; Annie Karni; Matt Welch; Ben Cardin

Show: POLITICS NATION Date: June 19, 2016 Guest: Glozell Green; Tara Dowdell; Annie Karni; Matt Welch; Ben Cardin


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump in trouble, sinking in the polls and lashing out at GOP leaders.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Just be quiet. Let me just do it by myself. I will do very well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are Republicans really now pinning their hopes on George W. Bush?

Also, the fight for gun control after Orlando, are we at a turning point?

Plus our new special series on the injustice of our prison system.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty years, four months, four days, and one hour is how much time I did.

One man`s journey from a life sentence to redemption.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe in your ability to prove the doubtful wrong, sincerely, Barack Obama.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All that, plus the return of the rights. Obama derangement syndrome and a visit from You Tube star, Glozell Green.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First, I have to ask you, is you OK?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get ready for a few surprises.

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

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

We start this morning with Donald Trump. All alone and painting himself into a corner. He has done it to himself, most recently his response to the Orlando massacre and now the biggest names in the party are leaving Trump on an island.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MAJORITY LEADER: Yes, I`m not going to be commenting on the presidential comment today.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: I`m not spending my time about commenting about the go -- the ups and downs and in between by the comments.


SHARPTON: Trump`s relationship with the RNC is reportedly getting more quote "sour." Republicans up for reelection are now looking to campaign with former President Bush instead of Trump and rather than patching things up, Trump is telling GO Pleaders to shut up.


TRUMP: The Republicans, honestly, folks, our leaders have to get tougher and be quiet. Just please be quiet. Don`t talk. Please be quiet. They are the leaders because they have to get tougher. They have to get sharper. They have to get smarter. We have to have Republicans stick together or let me do it by myself. I`ll do well.


SHARPTON: Republicans might be happy to keep their distance given Trump`s plummeting numbers against Hillary Clinton. An NBC poll shows that more voters hold positive views of Clinton a five-point edge. A Bloomberg poll gives her a 12-point favorability advantage. "The Washington Post" has her 14 points ahead on favorability. And Clinton is already looking to increase her advantage. She is out with her first TV ads of the general election across eight battle ground states.



TRUMP: I would like to punch him in the face, I tell you.

CLINTON: Do we help each other?

TRUMP: Knock the crap out of him, seriously.

CLINTON: Do we respect each other?

TRUMP: I don`t know what I said. I don`t remember.

CLINTON: Do we stand together?


SHARPTON: Let`s bring in our panel. Democratic strategist Tara Dowdell who knew a different side of Trump as a contestant on "the Apprentice" and Annie Karni, political reporter who has been covering the Clinton campaign and Matt Welch, editor at large of "Reason magazine." Thank you all for being here.

Matt, have Republican leaders finally dropped their hopes that Trump will change?

MATT WELCH, EDITOR AT LARGE, REASON MAGAZINE: Oh my God, yes. I mean, the idea that he was -- that a 70-year-old man was about to change his spots and pivot hard in the general election, I think they knew was fantasy to begin with. So a question of, excuse me, how you dealt with that in advance. Did you do it by saying I`m not going to show up at the convention? Did you do the song and dance like Paul Ryan where he looks the worst of a lot of I`m not going to endorse, I am going to endorse or do you pull a Mitch McConnell and just say I`m going to endorse him. I never going to talk about him again and hopefully we don`t get slaughtered in the down ballot race. They know now he is not going to change. This is what they are saddled with. And there are a lot of people having to answer really bad, the question --

SHARPTON: Well, he is not only not changing, it seems to be getting worse, I mean. And you`ve been covering the Clinton campaign. Are they just popping popcorn and sitting back enjoying this like it is a matinee?


SHARPTON: Like the movies?

KARNI: Not quite but they are really confident and they see what they think a lot of unforced errors, him going after the judge Curiel for one. And now the Republicans sort of fleeing from him. What we saw right after he became the presumptive nominee in early May was it looked like consolidation and the polls showed it. And the poll showed that even though this isn`t a normal candidate, like it looks like it could shape up to be a norm election where Republicans fall in line with their nominee and the Democrats for the Democrat.

But then, there seems to be a reverse. Hillary Clinton now looks like she`s unifying the party and what looked like a unified from the other side seems to be falling apart.

SHARPTON: And she seems to be picking up some Republicans even.

You know, I saw an interesting headline, Tara, in "The New York Times" late this week where the unlikely savior emerges to help endangered Republicans, George W. Bush. I mean, what does it say that you`ve got people running for reelection to the Senate that are now going -- saying they want George W. Bush as opposed to the Republican nominee to come in and campaign for that, for them, and raise money for them. I mean, what does that say?

TARA DOWDELL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It was not long ago when George W. Bush was persona non-grata within the Republican Party --

SHARPTON: Most unpopular man to leave the White House.

DOWDELL: Exactly. Did not want to be seen with him, did want to campaign with him, did not want to talk about him. So the fact that now, people would rather campaign with George W. Bush who was once very toxic versus their own nominee is really problematic with Donald Trump. I would say this though with respect to Trump, when you look -- this is a guy who has spent his whole life being coddled. Someone whose constantly been told yes, he surrounds himself with yes people so the notion he would ever take advice from the Republican party and fall in line what they wanted when he surrounded himself with yes people, he was going to be told no by the Republican Party on certain things, that was a non-started. That was never going to happen.

SHARPTON: But talking about how he has been all his life, I mean, even his language when you talk about how he has turned off certain people, his language has always been sort of different. I can go back to 2011 when he talked about the blacks, he says the blacks, the women, the Muslim. I mean, people don`t talk like that anymore. Let me show you what I am talking about though.


TRUMP: I have a great relationship with the blacks. I have always had a great relationship with the blacks.

Everyone says Trump with the Mexicans. The Mexicans love me.

The Muslims have to work with us.

And for the gays out there, ask the gays and ask the people. Ask the gays.


SHARPTON: I mean, the gays, the Mexicans, it`s all -- it`s very much implying they are different. It`s them, not us. That`s the inference.

WELCH: Well, the selling proposition of his campaign is of his vision of American nationalism right? So it is filled with others. The main others are the Muslim others, the Mexican others and the Chinese others and there are other others.

SHARPTON: And the president wasn`t born. We started with the ultimate other individual who happened to be the president of the United States and commander in-chief.

WELCH: Which is amazing. And the fact that there is any Republicans this week, last week saying we can`t believe that Trump is saying this about the president. He was the biggest birther on the planet in 2011, but another thing that Trump does is he changes his spots. In 2012 he said Mitt Romney lost the election because of this (INAUDIBLE) anti-Mexican.

SHARPTON: Yes. We are going to get to that more in the next block.

But Annie, let me go to the fact that there is one who is not done that in terms of denouncing the president and that`s Hillary Clinton. In fact, they sounded very similar, President Obama and her this week. Let me play you what the president said and what she said and the similarities were note-worthy. Let`s put it that way.


CLINTON: Is Donald Trump suggesting that there are magic words that once uttered will stop terrorists from coming after us.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is no magic to the phrase of radical Islam.

CLINTON: Trump`s words will be in fact they already are a recruiting tool for ISIS.

OBAMA: That`s their propaganda. That`s how they recruit.

CLINTON: Will responsible Republican leaders stand up to their presumptive nominee?

OBAMA: Do Republican officials actually agree with this?


SHARPTON: Annie, how effective is this one-two punch?

KARNI: I think it was very effective. It came on a day before they were supported to campaign together, an event that was cancelled because of the shooting. But they effectively were campaigning together, obviously, corded message. Hillary Clinton`s campaign started tweeting hashtag in sync about let the coordination of them.

This will be coming, we will see a lot of as Obama hit the trail. But also, Hillary is going to have to kind of walk a fine line here because she and Obama are not completely in sync on all foreign policy decisions.

SHARPTON: There is a difference in Syria and all.

But Tara, let me ask this. Are we seeing that the president whose favorability is high, is no longer considered as some used to say risky for her to kind of like really hope the president endorses and he`s already endorsed but embrace and get out there and she identifies as much as she can with the president?

DOWDELL: Yes, President Obama, I think even when people were saying he was risky, he was still going to be a huge asset to her. Now he is even a bigger asset to her because his favorability numbers have gone up. But the people who like President Obama, he has a very strong coalition that has maintained itself even when things weren`t going great for him in terms of the media coverage.

But I will tell you this, Donald Trump is used to being on the offensive. He is not used to having to play defense. It is very smart strategy for the president and secretary Clinton to continue to hit him and not just hit him randomly but to hit him on the issues that people already have concerned about, to hit him on things that make people nervous about him and his being a loose cannon, his being a risk to this country from a foreign policy standpoint, those are things that give people pause. Those are the things that make even some of -- some Republicans concerned about him.

SHARPTON: Let me take my break. I will come right back to you, Annie. Everybody stay with us. Lots more ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Next, is it a game change for gun control? Democratic senator Ben Cardin on the fight in Congress.

And later, the Alton Mills story, the debut of our new series following one man`s path from prison to redemption.



OBAMA: I held and hugged grieving family members and parents and their asked why does is this keep happening? And they pleaded that we do more to stop the carnage. They don`t care about the politics and neither do I.


SHARPTON: President Obama calling for a political breakthrough on gun control in the wake of the Orlando massacre and this week the Senate is planning to take up several propels. After a dramatic democratic filibuster, one measure is aimed at stopping those on a terror watch list for buying guns. It could make a difference. Last year 244 transactions involved a person from a terror list trying to buy guns. They were able to do it 223 times. That`s a 91 percent success rate.

The other issue on the table, stronger background checks. An 89 percent of Americans support it. Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Mother Emanuel church that killed nine people. Reverend Sharon Risher who lost her mother and two cousins said her heart could not take it when she heard the news from Orlando.


REV. SHARON RISHER, MOTHER AND TWO COUSINS KILLED IN CHURCH SHOOTING: I plead with you, I plead with you with everything that I have in my heart I ask everyone to join me in this walk to disarm hate.


SHARPTON: President Obama warns of dire consequences if we don`t act.


OBAMA: This debate needs to change. It`s out grown the old political stalemate stalemates. Those who defend the easy accessibility of assault weapons should meet these families and explain why that make sense. If we don`t act, we will keep seeing more massacres like this because we will be choosing to allow them to happen.


SHARPTON: Joining me now senator Ben Cardin, Democrat from Maryland. He was part of the filibuster on the Senate floor.

Thank you for joining me, senator.

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D), MARYLAND: My pleasure. It is good to be with you.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you. This week we expect to get to some votes. Are you confident Republican wills join you and other Democrats in voting on the no fly issue and background checks?

CARDIN: I am not confident that we will have the support. I hope that we do. I know we have the support of American people. I know this is common sense to stop those who are terrorists from being able to get handguns. I know it is also common sense to have background checks so we know people are legally entitled to have a handgun.

This is common sense gun safety legislation that is overwhelmingly supported by the American people and we are going to see how members of the Senate vote this coming week.

SHARPTON: Let me show you what two Republican leaders, senator Cruz and of course, speaker Ryan had to say because some Republicans are casting this as about terrorism and not about gun control. Listen to this.


RYAN: So the question is, is going after the second amendment how you stop terrorism? No. That`s not how you stop terrorism. We need to make sure that we are focusing on the real issue here which is terrorism.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is not a gun control issue. This is a terrorism issue.


SHARPTON: What`s your response to those comments?

CARDIN: What we are talking about doing is people who should not have handguns being denied the opportunity to buy them. I don`t think any American wants a terrorist able to go and legally buy a handgun in our country. I think all Americans believe that our laws that prevent those who have felony records, those that are mentally have problems, those are not entitled to have a handgun shouldn`t be able to get it. We shouldn`t have a loophole that can go to a gun show and be able to buy the handgun without a background check.

This is not about the second amendment. The second amendment is very clear, the Supreme Court interpreted that that law-abiding citizens have the right to purchase handguns. There is nothing in any of these amendments that will affect law-abiding citizens.

SHARPTON: Now, you said that the main obstacle to reform, I`m quoting you, "pandering to the NRA." How do we overcome that?

CARDIN: You`re absolutely right. The NRA basically wants to block anything meaningful from happening. There is no rational for that. The NRA believes that they control the Congress. I think the American people have a say how Congress should act. And I hope you will see my colleague`s respond to Americans want us to do. Look. We have gone through too many tragedies in our community and the one option that should be off the table is do nothing. It`s time for Congress to act.

SHARPTON: We are at one year since Charleston, South Carolina in the massacre there at the Emanuel Church now in Orlando. Are we at the tipping point here?

CARDIN: I will tell you, I`m as frustrated as the people of this country. These tragedies are happening too frequently. We need to take action to keep American safe. And it is got to be on many different tracks. Yes, we have to go after terrorists who want to come to America and make sure we keep our country safe. Yes, we have to deal with radicalization within our own country. And yes, we have to deal with keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn`t have them.

SHARPTON: Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, thank you for being with us this morning.

CARDIN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: And on this topic, you should check out a powerful new column by White House senior advisor Valeria Jarrett. She writes in part, after one year from the atrocity at Charleston, the mass shooting in Orlando last Sunday reminds us that our work is far from done. You can find the whole piece at

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming up, one lawmaker has called to drug test rich people who get tax breaks. We will tell you what it`s all about.


SHARPTON: Speaker Paul Ryan is desperately trying to show that the GOP has an agenda separately from Donald Trump starting with the poverty plan.


RYAN: We should measure success based on results, outcomes, are our efforts working to actually get people out of poverty instead of measuring success based on input by effort. Are we spending enough money? Do we have enough programs? Do we have enough people on these programs?


SHARPTON: Do we have enough money? Do we have enough programs? Spoken like a man who has repeatedly called from cutting trillions of dollars from the safety net. And he made those comments in front of a drug rehab center, underscoring the false view that all poor people are on drugs. That was the last straw for Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Moore. She is sick of states drug testing the poor for benefits even though studies show they useless drugs than people not on assistance. So Moore unveiled a bill that would drug test the rich. If they want tax breaks from the government, if someone is getting over 150,000 in tax deduction, Moore says they should prove they are not on drugs. She is treating welfare for the rich just like welfare for the poor. Let`s see if speaker Ryan adds that to his poverty agenda. Nice try, but she got you.



TRUMP: I love the cowboy hats but I love the make America great again hats, too. You know, the protester just gave me an idea. We will say make America great again on a cowboy hat. Right? I love that idea. Thank you Mr. Protester.


SHARPTON: It seems like the right is suffering from a relapse of Obama derangement syndrome. Of course, it all started with patient zero, the original birther king himself Donald Trump. He spent a lot of time after the Orlando shooting implying the president was somehow on the wrong side.


TRUMP: He doesn`t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands. I happen to think that he just doesn`t know what he is doing but there are many people that think maybe he doesn`t want to get it.

We are lead by a man that either is not tough, not smart or he`s got something else in mind and the something else in mind, you know, people can`t believe it.


SHARPTON: Trump even issued a statement saying quote "he continues to prioritize our enemy over our ally and for that, the American people for that matter. Trump then tweeted out this debunked article that claimed the Obama administration had actively supported ISIS.

Let me bring back our panel. Tara Dowdell, Annie Karni and Matt Welch.

Let me go to you, Annie. Why is this kind of language bubbling up again?

KARNI: Well, for one, I think it is happening because Obama just endorsed and now he is going to be the most effective surrogate for Hillary Clinton. Her path to nomination is still the Obama coalition. And he is a big part of getting those people to vote.

But one thing I would say is the attacks on Obama are a gift to Hillary Clinton, I think. I think she looks best not when she is defending herself but when she is not role of defending her president, defending Obama. Voters I talked to all through the primary, a big motivating factor is she had his back. People love her in that position. And she has a problem --.

SHARPTON: It would energizes his base.

KARNI: But she`s -- so her -- Hillary is defense or attack dog for Obama is a more likable image of her than if she was just defending herself or defending her husband. So I think that Trump is actually doing her a bit of a gift by letting her play that role here.

SHARPTON: Tara, the Obama derangement syndrome seems to be spreading. This week Senator John McCain said President Obama was responsible for the Orlando massacre. Listen to this.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Barack Obama is directly responsible for it because when he pulled even out of Iraq, Al-Qaeda went to Syria, became ISIS.


SHARPTON: Now later in the week senator McCain, of course, walked it back and said he was talking about the president`s policies, not the president personally. But it`s still a very disappointing thing coming from John McCain.

DOWDELL: Well, Donald Trump is a rabid dog and he appears to have bitten John McCain and spread the rabies. No, in all seriousness though, He`s John McCain is in a fight. He is in a fight. And so you see him trying to appeal to Trump supporters because they are energized and they are going to --

SHARPTON: You mean his reelection. He`s in a tough reelection.

DOWDELL: Yes, yes. And so, you see him trying to appeal to Trump supporters. And what mobilizes Trump supporters is this anti-Obama, this veiled in John McCain`s case, veiled discriminatory statements, where Donald Trump is more of a whistler. You know, John McCain is still dog whistling. But that type of thing energizes his supporters. And he is - it is not lost on John McCain. Those folks are going to show up and vote.

SHARPTON: But Matt, before we get too far over there, there is a startling poll I want to raise this week. NBC polled Americans are split on Trump`s call for a Muslim ban, 50 percent support it, 46 percent oppose it. I mean, is that what Trump is appealing to this wide spread hostility toward Muslims?

WELCH: I mean, he has popularized that. That number would be different if he hadn`t been talking about this for the last six months which gets in our minds the steaks of this election and rhetoric around it, which should I think certainly be alarming to a lot of people. It`s just ridiculous on the face to ban people waiting to ask them, are you Muslim?

SHARPTON: Or constitutional DOJ.

WELCH: That`s a little bit less clear. But, you know, it is for McCain, it is another thing. Remember last time John McCain had a competitive election in 2010. That`s when he has made the worst commercial we have seen in a long time called complete the dang defense, right? So the problem with Trump is not necessary that he is so different than Republicans but he actually emanates from a lot of the same kind of things we have seen from him for the last 15 years. It is not just under Obama, it is the 2004 Republican National Convention here in New York, the way that they are calling Democrats girly men.


SHARPTON: Annie, when you look at the fact that Trump loves his Obama conspiracies, will we start seeing him start rolling out his Clinton conspiracies?

KARNI: I`m sure. I think that he is saying he is just getting started on Hillary. He is down in the polls and kind of acknowledging as much, which is rare for him to acknowledge he is losing and say I haven`t started. So yes, I mean, we have seen him go after Bill Clinton. I have been a little surprised that he seems to prefer, actually, maybe this is interesting, he seems to prefer Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as head on targets over Hillary Clinton herself.

SHARPTON: Interesting.

KARNI: I have sort to be surprised he didn`t make more the emails, the other week when the IG report came out.

SHARPTON: Interesting.

Well, let me ask you, Tara, a lot of this fear mongering work for him during the primaries, will it work during a general election?

DOWDELL: Well, I think Donald Trump`s fear mongering will continue to keep his supporters energized and certainly that`s a priority for him. The part of why he doesn`t want to pivot on certain issues that he probably would be willing to pivot on since he`s OK with having being on every side of every issue to begin with, I think one of the reasons he doesn`t want to pivot is because he does not want to alienate those folks to have been his long-time supporters. So that`s a factor for him. That`s something that he is clearly considering and is a part of his thought process.

But I do -- I want to say one thing, I do think you have to be careful. I think some of what he believes is more popular than we would like to think.

SHARPTON: Tara Dowdell, we`ll have to leave it there.

Tara Dowdell, Annie Karni and Matt Welch, thank you for your time this morning.

WELCH: Thank you.

KARNI: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Straight ahead, the Alton Mills story, our new series on criminal justice, mandatory minimums, a life sentence and struggle for a second chance.


SHARPTON: Today we are launching a special installment of our bending towards justice series. The story of Alton Mills. This year, we will be following Alton, a promising high school football player who became a low- level drug carrier and ended up in federal prison with a life sentence.

It was part of the so-called war on drugs which really became a war on people. Harsh sentencing guidelines were sold to the public as a way to crackdown on crime. Instead, they ruin lives and put a shocking number of non-violent offenders behind bars.


KEVIN RING, VICE PRESIDENT, FAMILIES AGAINST MANDATORY MINIMUMS: What you see in Alton`s case and in others is completely disproportion sentences. So you have series of individual cases that injustices that taken together have produced a system of mass incarceration, essentially.


SHARPTON: Since Congress created mandatory minimums in the 1980s, our prison population has exploded. Today there are 2.2 million people behind bars, a rate that far exceeds any other country.

"Politics Nation" went to Chicago to put a face to this issue. We followed Alton Mills and his family through the injustice of mandatory minimums, the despair of incarceration and the fight for a second chance.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was still dark outside when they came. It was the FBI. They had shotguns and everything. You would think it`s a nightmare, you know, think it`s just going to go away but it don`t. It don`t.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was a big teddy bear. That`s what he looked like. He wasn`t troublemakers. He wasn`t mad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was a good kid. I had the type of mother and father that raised me to be respectful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I started seeing him staying away from home and wasn`t coming home, I knew something wasn`t right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had a friend that came to me and offered me a job and the job was to be a courier. I hung out with a bunch of goldfishes that was dealing with some sharks and the sharks caught the goldfishes up and we was the ones to end up going to prison. They arrested me at my mother and father`s house. That was the worst day of my life because my mother had never seen me in handcuffs and I never seen my mother cry.

So that day when I got in the squad car, the FBI agent told me, he said listen. You have a great family. Don`t you know you`re going to get life in prison? I said life in prison? I said for what? I didn`t do nothing but sold a little drugs. He said no, it`s a bigger picture than that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Until this year, violent crime was rare and blame the up surge on drugs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing he would say that we are winning the drug lord.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some say it`s more like crime and no punishment these days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Clinton signed a crime bill into law.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mandatory minimum sentences, what Congress has answered to public demand to get tough with drug dealers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I knew that one day I was going to go to jail, but I didn`t have the thought in my mind that I was going to be going to jail for the rest of my life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were a lot of problems in my view in the justice system at this time and this was one of them. The mandatory sentences which took discretion out of the judge`s hands completely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They told me you know your son looking for life in prison. I said what did he do? You know, he isn`t killed nobody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the time of the sentencing, I clearly expressed my discomfort with the law required me to do and I had no option.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Alton`s daughter was 19. So when he was incarcerated, he missed his daughter growing up. He missed birthdays, graduating from eight grade. Graduating from 12th grade.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They took the remainder of my 20s, all of my 30s and part of my 40s.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s never been to prison in his life and he`s going to prison and he`s going to die there and that`s it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Being on the inside in prison is a nightmare. I used to go to sleep at night and always dream of a place that I wanted to be. Like my mom`s house when she used to send me pictures of the house, of the barbecues, I always look at the picture and at night I would dream of being there. Those are 22 years that I lost that I can`t get back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never gave up. You know, because I said he`s not going to die up in there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I used to always tell his mom, he`s going to come home. He`s going to come home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When president Obama gave his inauguration, I was in Greenville and the only thing that I said about President Obama was that he is going to make some changes.

OBAMA: Earlier today I commuted the sentences of 95 men and women who had served their debt to society.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a letter from President Obama. Dear Alton, I want to personally inform you that I am granting you your application for commendation. I believe in your ability to prove the doubtful wrong and change your life for the better. So good luck and God speed, sincerely, Barack Obama, president of the United States.

I just don`t know how many times I read that thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He called me and told me mom, I`m home. I`m coming home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After I got off the phone with him, I sat in the track and cried because I couldn`t believe it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, God, when he came through that door and he cried, he cried, and heard me and stuff, you know, and said I`m fixing to get emotional. And I thought I would never see you-all again, never. You know, and that was a good feeling. It was a good feeling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I waited 22 and a half years for my brother to come home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did 22 years, four months, four days and one hour. That`s how much time I actually did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If someone has been in prison for a long time and does not have the support system, it`s very easy to go back to a life of crime. You need all the help you can get.


SHARPTON: He needs all the help he can get. There are a lot of Americans just like Alton Mills trying to rebuild lives after years or even decades lost to our broken criminal justice system.

In the next part of our series, we`ll follow Alton as he navigates life on the outside living in a halfway house, looking for work and learning what it means to be free after two decades in prison.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can open up the window and see freedom. Instead of looking out the window with the bars and constantly seeing what`s going on on the compound I`m on but here, open up the window and I see freedom.


SHARPTON: To share your thoughts on Alton and his story and for more updates on his progress, go to and follow us on twitter.


SHARPTON: Finally this morning, we talked to someone who has taken a different path to celebrity and that`s an understatement. In 2003 Glozell Green was a struggling comedian trying to make it in Hollywood but then she began posting original videos in You Tube and her popularity took off with her signature green lipstick and wild personality. Glozell has become an internet sensation offering had advice, interviewing celebrities and doing crazy stunts like eating hot peppers in cinnamon.


GLOZELL GREEN, COMEDIAN: Hello, is you OK? Is you good? Because I wanted to know. I`m here with the kid president. Go gators, I can`t really -- I don`t --


SHARPTON: She has more than four million subscribers. Her videos have been viewed more than 700 million times. And that fame even landed her an interview with President Obama.

Joining me now is comedian and You Tube star Glozell Green who just wrote a new memoir, is you OK?

Thanks for being here. First, I have to ask you, is you OK?

GREEN: Yes, I is OK. I`m so excited. I almost teared up because it`s Reverend Al Sharpton talking about me. I`m so excited. I`ve been watching you a few sizes ago. I just love you. I love you.

SHARPTON: I love you. I mean, let me ask you something, you are a You Tube sensation. Why use technology that`s thousands of years old to tell your story. You`re writing a memoir now or you`ve written one.

GREEN: Yes, there is nothing wrong with the written word. And it is good to hold a good book and just get intimate. So yes, I`m going and throwing back to a book, you know. I`m bringing reading back, making reading great again.

SHARPTON: All right. Now, your interview with President Obama, I mentioned the president did an interview, it got a lot of criticism because of this moment. Watch this.


GREEN: My mama said when you go to somebody`s house, you have to give them something, don`t come empty-handed so I have green lipstick lipsticks, one for your first wife --

OBAMA: My first wife? Do you know something I don`t?


GREEN: For the first lady. And he first children.

OBAMA: First lady and the first children.

GREEN: Sorry.

OBAMA: I`m teasing.

GREEN: Sorry. All right. I`m going to put these here.

OBAMA: Let me take a look at these, though.

GREEN: It`s green.

OBAMA: Yes. I mean, it is impressive. I`m so sorry. I`m going to see how it looks and ask Michelle to try it on, maybe tonight.

GREEN: OK. All right.


SHARPTON: I mean, you are used to people knit picking and criticizing you, I`m sure.

GREEN: Yes, of course, when you`re online you get a lot of people who are going to troll you and say all kinds of horrible things, but I could have died in that moment, really. I`m glad you showed a clip because I didn`t even remember after I missed up. I went somewhere else. So that was crazy.

SHARPTON: Now you talk about in the book and it`s a great book people should read it.

GREEN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: You talk about growing up in the non-digital age.


SHARPTON: How were you able to do that and transition into being such a success in this age?

GREEN: Because I was working hard on doing standup and trying to figure out my way when You Tube came along, I`m like this is the medium for me. I could reach a lot of people. I wasn`t quite sure but putting down ideas and I thought maybe one day I`ll have a show and I will have my ideas already on a video because I kept losing pieces of paper where I was putting my ideas. But I didn`t know that the You Tube, the internet would be the medium that launched my career.

SHARPTON: And it definitely has done that. Let me ask you something between you and I as you say I used to be much larger, I have come down a lot but I`ve been thinking about increasing my image online, my profile. I want your advice. Let me show this and let me ask you, do you think that would work?


GREEN: That is beautiful. I love it. You post that, you know, everybody is going -- you`re going to get millions of more views right there. Yes, definitely.

SHARPTON: Thank you so much.

GREEN: I love you.

SHARPTON: The book is "is you OK," Glozell Green, thank you for your time.

GREEN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: That does it for me. Thanks for watching. Enjoy your father`s day. I`ll see you back here next Sunday.