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Politics Nation, Transcript 6/11/2017

Guests: Adriano Espaillat, Liz Plank, Charles Ellison, Robert Traynham, Don Christensen, Vernice Armour

Show: POLITICS NATION Date: June 11, 2017 Guest: Adriano Espaillat, Liz Plank, Charles Ellison, Robert Traynham, Don Christensen, Vernice Armour


JAMES COMEY, FORMER U.S. FBI DIRECTOR: Although the law required no reason at all to fire an FBI director, the administration then chose to defame me and more importantly, the FBI. By saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the work force had lost confidence in it leader. Those were lies, plain and simple.


AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good morning and welcome to "PoliticsNation".

That was perhaps the most compelling moment in Thursday`s senate hearing of former FBI director James Comey. And his assertion that President Trump spread lies about him. Comey came to Capitol Hill after weeks of being called names by the president. Being called a grandstander, unpopular, crazy, and a real nut job. It was then Comey`s turn to give his account of his relationship with Donald Trump. Three days removed, where is this story moving to now?

Let me ask my panel. Liz Plank is a senior correspondent at Charles Ellison, a democratic strategist and radio host of "Reality Check" on WURD Philadelphia. And Robert Traynham, a former Bush-Cheney senior advisor, now a political strategist and MSNBC contributor.

So, we`re here, Liz, three days later. We are told Tuesday that Attorney General Sessions has asked to come in front of the intelligence committee and he was scheduled to talk to judiciary. I understand he`s now has to go in front of the intelligence committee. What did he learn from Comey? And did Comey put this president in trouble? I mean, the bottom line is he walked in. When he walked out, was Donald Trump in more trouble, or was it a lot of disappointment for that who felt he would do that?

LIZ PLANK, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, VOX.COM: I think it`s hard to see how Donald Trump not end up in trouble after that Comey testimony. I mean, a lot of the people on the GOP end, Paul Ryan said, "Donald Trump is just new to this. I think it`s time to dispel the myth that Donald Trump doesn`t know what he`s doing. In fact Donald Trump, according to Comey`s testimony, he knows exactly what he`s doing.

The way that he -- what I heard from that testimony is not the behavior of a president who doesn`t know what he`s doing. It was the behavior of a mob leader. Taking people outside of the room to make sure there`s no witnesses when he was talking to Comey and asking him -- I hope you can stop this investigation. Asking for pledges of loyalty. These are all things that are not normal for the leader of the government to be doing. And are extremely worrying. And for Comey to be basically not telling the truth, he would have to have written factious diary entries and then spares him --

SHARPTON: Because diaries -- or his copious notes were done in real-time.

PLANK: And shared with his co-workers before he was fired.

SHARPTON: Right. Rob, what do you say? The president asking people including the attorney general who Comey works for to leave the room. He wants to talk to them one on one, there is several meetings and phone calls. How do you say to president, A, he doesn`t know what he`s doing, and B, that he was not engaged in an effort here to try to get the Flynn investigation if not the whole Russia investigation sidestepped.

ROB TRAYNHAM, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, to your point, Reverend. Good morning. I think we learned two things. One, the president knew exactly what he was doing. Sophistication knowing that, hey, you know what? If Vice President Pence and if the attorney general is in the oval office with the FBI director, I`m asking him to do something that`s probably not a good idea, so I`m going to ask them to leave.

So what we see here -- or we think we see is a president that understands that he probably should have a one on one conversation. We also understand the president is very sophisticated to call FBI Director Comey from his personal phone and not to the White House which for knowing that that call probably would be traced and logged.

We also know that Director Comey -- we already knew this already that Director Comey is a pretty good witness. He was very quick on his feet. He came across as very earnest. He came across as not arrogant at all. He`s just actually a little remorseful that he was in this situation. Memorializing his notes saying, Lordy, I hope there is tapes. I hope -- I don`t care if it`s near. I hope that the American people can hear this conversation.

So, again, came across as very earnest, very sophisticated and very truthful while the president, I believe, came across as a bit cunning.

SHARPTON: And you`re the Bush-Cheney guy on this panel.

Charles, let me ask you that if both my republican strategists and Liz who is basically on the left, if they think the president is in trouble, what`s the next step, Charles? Where does this potentially go?

CHARLES ELLISON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIS: Right. There`s a short game and a long game here. In the short game, there was this assumption that this would be extremely damaging for the president politically. But unfortunately, in the short game, while the optics may be really bad for the president, and while this Comey testimony was very embarrassing that day for the president, his base is still intact. I mean, we see polling numbers coming out about a couple days after. There`s a poll which is showing that still 80 percent of republicans feel the president is trustworthy.

Still you`ve got a percentage of whites who feel that they`re on board with the president. His base, that voter for him last year in the 2016 election is still for him. So the key here really is his base. If he`s still in that 35 percent to 40 percent percentile range, really the key here is what are democrats going to do? How are they going to get folks mobilized in 2018? Because at the end of the day, congress has to move one this toward any sort of impeachment proceedings. They`re the ones who have to basically draft the articles of impeachment to make this thing move any more as far as showing that the president did, indeed, commit a crime here. Nothing is really going to move on this until 2019. So the long run approach --

SHARPTON: What happens, Liz, and I`ll come back to you on it, Charles, because you kind of brought us there. What happens in `18? At what point as you`re facing the midterm elections and you`re a republican, in a district that may not be safe, now one of the gerrymander say districts. How long do you stay with the president that has been depicted by the FBI director, this is the first time that I`ve seen people some on the left, some in the African-American community that I work with every day, actually rooting for the FBI. I mean, I`ve never seen this before.

PLANK: And let`s remember, James Comey. A couple weeks or months ago republicans loved Donald Trump during the campaign, praised him for the way he handled that he the Hillary Clinton investigation. And now suddenly using that as a reason for why he fired him.

So all of this in addition to the Russian investigation in itself and all of the -- there`s also health care happening right now. There`s a repeal of ObamaCare that is being drafted right now in the house and that senate republicans could put out any moment. All of these things are going to add up and are going to be a difficult hill to sort of surmount for 2018 for many republicans.

SHARPTON: So, Charles, you`re the democratic strategist on the panel this morning. How does a lot of the people handle midterms? Not only the republicans that I asked Liz. But what do the democrats have to sell that they did not sell before in light of what`s going on with Mr. Trump?

ELLISON: Right. Democrats have to sell themselves. Democrats are going to have to sell a persuasive policy platform message that shows that, OK. We`ve given you the reasons why you shouldn`t vote for republicans or why you shouldn`t have voted for Donald Trump. That`s an old message. That`s 2016. The 2017, 2018 message, because don`t forget we`ve got New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races and we`ve got that special election in 26.

But that -- the important message here is why should you vote for democrats? And it can`t be this it`s all about a resistance thing. No. It has to be a very positive sort of forward thinking message about, OK, what makes us better than the republicans? What makes us the future? And that`s what the focus has to be. That`s how you have to inspire and mobilize voters for 2018.

SHARPTON: Robert, the thing that probably disturbed me most given my civil rights background in terms of my own life`s journey, is that in six meetings, Comey testified they never once discussed the fact that a foreign government who is perceived as an adversarial foreign government undermined the voting in this country. I mean, people that fought for voting rights and all is there, but the whole country, the American Revolution was based on taxation without representation. The whole idea was to vote. He never, the president, never asked Comey one time, Comey said, is there anything to Russian intervention here in terms of our vote? For the head of the free world not to be concerned that the actual tenets of the country may have been compromised or violated, that is really a problem for me.

TRAYNHAM: Well, you know, two things. One, I`m not in the president`s head. And I`m not his spokesperson. Remember the day after the election Sean Spicer went on national television and said three that three to five million people voted illegally, Americans. So I think the president`s head is not with Russia. I think he thinks that three to five million people voted illegally in this country which we know is not true.

But if I can shift the conversation just very slightly to go back for a second. I would back and look at the polls back in 1973 and 1974. The republican base for Richard Nixon never went below 50 percent. Never went below 50 percent. So back then, there were republicans on Capitol Hill that did not look at the polls but they looked at themselves and they looked at themselves in the mirror and they had their own conscience. And Howard Baker, republican from Tennessee and others went down to the White House, didn`t even look at the polls but looked at the constitution, listened to their conscience and said, Mr. President, you have to resign for the good of the country.

So with all due respect, I mean, the polls are important. There`s no doubt about it, what`s really important here is congressional republicans in the house and the senate to do the right thing. And I`m not calling for impeachment. I`m certainly not there yet. What I`m saying --

SHARPTON: You sound like you`re calling for resignation though and --

TRAYNHAM: No. That`s not what I`m calling for. Let me be very clear. What I`m calling for is for every single politician to do their constitutional duty and to put the politics aside. They swore to uphold the constitution. Just do that. Just be transparent and ask the right questions and have an open mind. That`s what I`m asking for.

SHARPTON: Well, I`m sure the president watches "PoliticsNation" since we go way back, and I hope he does the right thing and at least stand up for the democracy that the country is supposed to be based on even though it took a long time for some of us to even get participation in it. Thank you, Liz Plank, Charles Ellison, Robert Traynham.

Now for an important update. Comedian Bill Maher returned to his HBO late night show Friday after his much maligned use of the "N" word during last week`s show. He atoned for the controversial social media lightning rod. Many of us got involved in attacking him. But he atoned for it with frequent guests, Michael Eric Dyson before a more complex exchange with entertainer, Ice Cube.


ICE CUBE, ENTERTAINER: What made you think that it was cool to say that?

BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN: You know, I just explained. There was no thought put into it. Obviously, I was telling Dr. Dyson, comedians, they react. And it was wrong, and I apologized. And more than that I can`t do.

CUBE: I accept your apology. I like your show. I like you, but I think this is a teachable moment not just to you but to the people that`s watching right now. Dude, I`m not --

MAHER: I think the people watching right now are saying that point has been made.

CUBE: Not by me.



SHARPTON: I think Mr. Maher got the message. We`ll be right back.


SHARPTON: Is the U.S. Military racist? That`s the question we want to explore after this week. We learned that black troops are punished far more than white service members a new study by the advocacy group Protect Our Defenders found strong discrimination in the military. Where for example black soldiers were far more likely than white ones to be court marshalled.

More details, I`m joined by retired Colonel Don Christensen, president of the organization that led the study. And Vernice Armour. A former Marine Corps officer who was the first African-American female combat pilot in the armed forces. She`s now a motivational speaker who wrote a book called "Zero to Breakthrough: The Seven-Step Battletested Method for Accomplishing Goals that Matter."

Let me go, first, to you Mr. Christensen. Tell me what the study says that actually --


SHARPTON: -- documents the fact that blacks are treated more severely punished, more court marshalled more than whites. Give me the data and how you arrived at it.

CHRISTENSEN: Thanks, Reverend. The data is that blacks are more substantially be prosecuted, more substantially to be punished through administrative process than what white soldiers are. We looked at 10 years` worth of data through all the services and found that in the army they`re 40 percent more likely. In the navy -- excuse me. 61 percent more likely. In the navy, 40 percent likely.

SHARPTON: Sixty-one percent more likely in the army, 60 percent -- 61 percent and 40 percent in the navy?


SHARPTON: OK. Go ahead.

CHRISTENSEN: In the air force, 71 percent more likely. In the Marine Corps is what really is troubling, the more serious the response to the misconduct or the alleged misconduct, the more likely an African-American is to be punished. So in the Marine Corps, when we get to our felony level courts, they`re almost three times more likely to be punished than they are in -- than a white person is.

SHARPTON: So we`re saying now in the armed services, the defenders of the country, the people that are there to keep us out of danger`s way, even their people are treated differently, punished more harshly if they are black as opposed to others? I mean, it`s almost like stop and frisk on a military level.

Does your study find out the cause? Is this cultural? Is this some kind of methodical understanding of racial profiling is what operates through the military? I mean, how does this happen?

CHRISTENSEN: Well, that`s the real question, Reverend, is how and why is this happening? Our study shows what the raw data is, but we don`t know the reason. What`s really important about this is the military has known about this issue for years. You could probably say decades but they have done nothing to really try to find a cause. And that`s why at Protect our Defenders, we brought this forward because we`re saying it`s time for congress to say to the military, what is the cause of this racial disparity?

SHARPTON: Let me go to you, Miss Armour. You were in the military. You certainly are celebrated breakthrough. Did you ever see any evidence of this in your own military experience of racial discrimination in terms of how people are more -- punished more if they`re black or more severely disciplined?

VERNICE ARMOUR, FORMER MARINE CORPS OFFICER: Well, my experience was actually pretty interesting, because I fell into three categories being black, gay, and a woman. Right? So sometimes you couldn`t tell what the difference was. But when I was driving through the gate one particular time, a guard backed up. My mirror hit his back. I immediately stopped. Hey, if we need to make a report, let`s -- go ahead and call your supervisor. No. Go ahead. Didn`t look at my I.D., didn`t get my plate, nothing. An hour and a half later, I got a call on my desk from the base safety officer that said hey, understand you had an incident with one of my marines at the front gate. I was immediately ticked because I wanted to be on site when that happened. But after we went through the formal reporting process, I said, OK. help me out. I came through the front gate, no I.D., no tags, no identification. How did you find me? He said, well, ma`am, honestly, you`re the only black female on a flight suit on the entire base.

So when it comes to minorities, just standing out, looking different, I could have been standing around with 20 flight students, think of top gun, blonder hair, blue eye. If something happened, a general walked up. No one saluted. But when we got back to the squadron and it was reported, he couldn`t point out any other guys but he remembered a black woman in a flight suit.

So, you know, there`s unconscious bias and the conscious bias. And I think sometimes with especially minorities, when we stand out more than the majority, some of that is absolutely going to happen.

SHARPTON: isn`t it, though, troubling that some people in the African- American community and other communities of color go into the military to escape some of the kinds of discrimination and unfairness in their hometowns in terms of getting a job, getting a career, and to run into it when you`re doing what is noble to defend a country has got to be even more of a slap in the face. You`re running to escape, and you`re running to protect the home of the free, the land of the brave. In here you`re looking at this kind of situation, Miss Armour?

ARMOUR: Well, first, I don`t think folks really understand that`s a situation that they`re running to, because they do have the other objectives in mind, but I remember when I was going into the Marine Corps. And I`d already been in the reserves as a soldier. Now, I was going to be a marine. And my dad, he was a marine. Three tours to Vietnam. And grandfather was a Montford Point marine. World War II, one of the first platoons that trained blacks to be in the Marine Corps.

And I remember my dad saying, baby, I don`t want you to go into there. I don`t want you to be treated the way I saw women being treated and I said - -

SHARPTON: This was your dad telling you this?

ARMOUR: Yes. And because he`d experienced it himself. Right? And what I knew is if I -- and I said this to my dad. If I don`t go, who. And we`ve heard if not now, when, but seriously. If we -- because the objective here with the study is not to harp on what it is but how can we change it. And that`s going to take two things, Rev. Accountability from the top.

Because think about it. The senior leaders in the military right now, they`ve been in for 30 plus years. It was a different mentality back then. It was a different mentality when I first came in in 2000 when there hadn`t been a black female pilot ever in the Marine Corps. Ever. There still hasn`t been a black female general ever in the Marin Corps. And it`s not because black woman aren`t smart enough. We do have to get to the real issue. So, how do we have accountability at the top to truly shift the needle and how do we take responsibility to stand up when we see something that can be different?

And I`ll be honest. That`s why I got out of the Marine Corps, not because I was dissatisfied with my service, but I saw that I could make a change, an impact as a black woman out here as Miss Armour more than I could as Captain Armour.

SHARPTON: Don, you said that it`s been known for decades. You hear a very eloquent and passionate statement by Miss Armour but nobody doing anything about it. How do we move the government to deal with what is known, what is documented now with this new study that documents it again. But it`s accepted behavior in of all places, the military.

CHRISTENSEN: And I think that`s the most important question. How do we make sure this is solved? How do we make sure someone is looking at this seriously? And what we need to do is not accept the military`s answer that they always give, is that they`re committed to something. They put out a press statement, and that just -- they hope it goes away, and I think that we really need to do is have public pressure, pressure from the African- American community, pressure from others, congress especially, saying military find out why this is happening. Find out why promotion rates for African-Americans is less. Find out why we had very few African-American generals. Find out why as we progress African-Americans don`t have the opportunities that white troops do.

And without that pressure, the military won`t change. And accountability is the key. Making sure people are held accountable and making sure there is pressure for change.

SHARPTON: Thank you so much, Don Christensen and Vernice Armour.

Coming up, when it relates to the Trump family, the apple doesn`t fall far from the tree. My gotcha for the week in just a moment.


SHARPTON: And now for this week`s Gotcha. What`s becoming a family affair, a Trump family affair here. Last week Donald Trump Junior incensed by comedian Kathy Griffin`s no infamous photo featuring his father`s severed head tweeted, "Imagine a conservative did this to Obama." We at "PoliticsNation" let it slide. Though the irony of Junior`s implication was not lost on us. But we`ll get to that shortly, because this week the president`s younger son, Eric, while criticizing some democrats on Fox News this week, said this.


ERIC TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP`S SON: I`ve never seen hatred like this. To me, they`re not even people. It`s so sad. I mean, morality has just gone. Morals have flown out the window. We deserve so much better than this as a country.


SHARPTON: Now while much of the social media response was focused on the immorality of suggesting that millions of Americans are not even people, at "PoliticsNation" we couldn`t help but notice that for the second week in a row a Trump son displayed what we hope is selective amnesia about what political hatred really looks like.

Allow me to add this history lesson just in case the Trump sons are watching. Your father went out of his way to convince early 90s New York City that a group of black teens should have been executed for a crime they didn`t commit. It was your father that we heard bragging on tape about being able to sexually assault women with impunity. Not a bridge too far considering his many, many, many comments on female attractiveness. Not the least of which being the ones he made to radio host Howard Stern about your sister Ivanka.

Yeah. You might want to drop the whole morality thing. Oh, and just because I can hear again -- here again is that Obama hatred you apparently missed for eight straight years. Funny, because one of the central means that the president was not even a citizen, and therefore a criminal, was famously pushed by a guy you know. You were maybe just too busy helping your dad find the birth certificate to notice. Either way, I got some history books and the internet connection to either of my friends, the adult Trump sons and. And I Gotcha.


SHARPTON: Welcome back. With controversy surrounding president Trump evolving each day, one new member of congress has been and has seen enough. Adriano Espaillat is the first formally undocumented immigrant to be elected in the House of Representatives, and is now fighting primarily against President Trump`s proposed immigration ban and his problematic health care proposal.

Joining me now is Congressman Adriano Espaillat, democrat of New York. He`s a member of the education and workforce committee as well as the foreign affairs committee. Thank you for being with us.

ADRIANO ESPAILLAT, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, NEW YORK: Thank you, Rev. Thank you for inviting me.

SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you. The health care bill, one of the things that has troubled me is with all of the focus on the Russian investigation and the Comey testimony which is extremely important, that we`re seeing the republicans try to move health care and other things in the house almost below radar, and if it wasn`t for people like you there fighting it, they would just slip everything through while we weren`t looking.

ESPAILLAT: Well, for two occasions, on two occasions Ryan was unsuccessful in passing what they call the repeal and replace of ObamaCare. On a third occasion, they were just slightly able to pass it with a couple of votes. And now it`s in the senate, the senate said that it was dead on arrival. I say push it through.

Now, you must consider that this effort not only goes away with the opportunity for people to have preexisting conditions to access health care.

SHARPTON: It does away with that.

ESPAILLAT: Yes, it does away with that, because it gives the states an opt- out option. And that will dramatically increase the cost of health care for people that have preexisting conditions.

But in addition to that, the ACA, the ObamaCare provided extensive funding for Medicaid and Medicare. It closed the donut hole for seniors. It allowed pregnant women to get maternity care. It also provided for mental health services and opiate drug treatment.

So this is an important piece of legislation that was really watered down to the bone and was sent over to the senate. The senate said it was dead on arrival. We`re going to see what they`re going to send back to us.

SHARPTON: So the people that voted for Donald Trump, the people that felt that they wanted change had no idea they were really getting a health care bill that would cut their Medicaid and would eliminate preexisting conditions but the house bill by Paul Ryan and the republicans does exactly that?

ESPAILLAT: Does exactly that, and not only that but it`s the biggest transfer of wealth from the middle class and working class back to the rich. It`s a trillion dollars that will be transferred back to the very rich. So this is, perhaps, the biggest hoax, the biggest robbery in the history of our nation. When you had, really, a transfer of wealth the other way when Obama pass it providing great opportunities for health care for both working class and middle class families.

SHARPTON: Now, one of the other things that he whipped up firm about was the whole question of travel bans and immigration. You`re the first undocumented immigrant to be elected to congress by way of disclosure to congressman where the home base of National Action Network is located.


SHARPTON: My congress in terms of National Action Network`s offices. Where are we with the immigration fight now?

ESPAILLAT: We know that courts push back on the Muslim ban, and some of the immigration initiatives that he very early on in his administration tried to impose. He tried to circumvent the legislative process and go through executive orders after having criticized President Obama for DACA and DAPA.

We see how courts throughout the country in different jurisdictions have pushed back against his executive orders and have pushed back at his notion that sanctuary cities should be defunded. So the courts have stepped in. I think he was going to have to take this to the Supreme Court. And we`ll see what they have say.

SHARPTON: So you`re determined and your colleagues and the democratic caucus and other caucuses are determined to fight even though you don`t have near a majority vote in the house?

ESPAILLAT: That`s correct. We`re going to continue the fight, and I think that the American people are fighting. They have given us the impetus, the direction to go out there and fight Trump. When I walk around my district whether it`s Harlem or East Harlem or Washington Heights, what I hear from my constituents is that they want me to fight.

SHARPTON: Harlem, East Harlem, Washington Heights, not NoHa or SoHa?

ESPAILLAT: That`s correct.

SHARPTON: Thank you, Congressman Espaillat.

Up next, democratic candidates are running and winning political offices down south in deep red states. Is that evidence of a nationwide trend? We`ll be right back.


SHARPTON: A lot has been written about GOP vulnerability in red state congressional races post Trump. And democrats are looking at the upcoming runoff election for Georgia`s sixth district as a sign that they can win in a south that went solidly for President Trump in 2016. And elsewhere, we`re seeing pockets of progressive resistance spring up in those deep red southern states. Is this the beginning of a trend? And can it continue into the midterms? I spoke to Georgia`s house minority leader Stacey Abrams, a democrat who is now running to be the next governor of Georgia.


SHARPTON: Thank you for being with me. Let me ask you. What is the present climate of politics in the south, particularly as it relates to African- American candidates? You are taking on this race for governor of Georgia which is in many of us, a nationwide, a heavy task. Has politics changed a lot in this age of Trump where you feel you can win, or is it more divided as it`s appeared around the country, and we`re going to see a polarized vote in Georgia and around the south?

STACEY ABRAMS, AMERICAN POLITICIAN: I think the reality for Georgia and the south in the Sunbelt is that we have more opportunity than we realize. What the Trump phenomenon is doing is galvanizing voters so they do vote, but the reality is we already have the capacity to win. In Georgia between 2000 and 2010, 1.5 million people moved into the state. Eighty percent were people of color. What that means is that we have a new opportunity to reshape our politics by talking to everyone. And unfortunately in the past elections, we focused on trying to convince a narrow sliver of conservatives that they really intended to be liberal instead of spending our time and our energy building a coalition of voters, people of color African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans and progress of white voters who can build a coalition that can win.

SHARPTON: And who have common interest in many cases. But for example, take in Georgia, and it`s true around the country. There`s a lot of people, over a million, you said, that moved into Georgia. Are they being registered to vote? Are they being pulled out to vote?

ABRAMS: And that`s a big part of it. The first piece of registration through a nonprofit that I started in 2014, the new Georgia project registered more than 200,000 voters of color. Registration is a constant battle and it has to be an ongoing platform because we have people coming in but we have voters being purged every cycle. And so we can never relent on voter registration. But that`s the first part of the puzzle. The second part is actually talking to the voters who are registered to convince them to vote.

And that`s the place where democrats have been the weakest, especially among black voters and brown voters. We have to have messages that resonate with those communities and we have to speak to everyone instead of narrowly tailoring our message to convince conserve voters they really intended to vote with us. We have to convince our voters, our coalition of progressive voters that this time, they have a candidate they can trust and a message they can believe.

SHARPTON: Now, the issue around confederate statutes, the issue around other matters is one issue that is very near and dear to people like me. But I think you also got to talk about what`s happening with Medicaid. What is happening in terms of health care generally? What is happening in terms of what will tax reform do and other issues that also have broaden appeal and bring people in the tent with those of us that are concerned about Medicaid and the confederate statutes coming down.

ABRAMS: We have to recognize that people care about their lives. And that means they care about having a living wage. And even more, they want to thrive. We`ve run campaigns for too long based on survival. Let me just help you get by. We have to run campaigns that talk about success. We have to talk about prosperity and opportunity. And we have to match it with policies. Medicaid expansion is a perfect example in Georgia. If we were to expand Medicaid in the next seven years, we would add 56,000 new jobs in Georgia. That means were guaranteeing health care for our poorest citizens, many of whom are working poor.

But we`re also adding jobs so that they can move their families into economic security. And on the issue of the confederate flag and confederate monuments, the confederate monuments are history and they belong in museums where we can study them. They should not be giving places of honor.

And I think what we`re doing has to focus on the lives the people lead but also where they come from and how they understand themselves. I`m --

SHARPTON: Let me ask you this, Stacey. It`s important. The whole country is watching your state, the sixth congressional race. Is Ossoff going to win?

ABRAMS: I think he will.

SHARPTON: What message will that send nationwide if in Newt Gingrich`s old district that we see a democrat elected?

ABRAMS: It`s going to demonstrate that democrats can win everywhere when we are willing to invest, when we`re willing to work and we`re willing to talk to everyone.

SHARPTON: And if Ossoff wins, will that also lead to that same kind of fervor to bring you in in your gubernatorial race?

ABRAMS: I hope that it`s a sustained effort to turn Georgia blue, starting in the 6th but carrying it all the way through to November 2018. On November 6th, intend to be the first African-American woman to become governor of any state.

But more than that, I intend to redefine what we believe it means to lead in our states and to make sure that everyone feels that they have a part of that victory.

SHARPTON: All right, Stacey Abrams, thank you very much for being with us this morning.

ABRAMS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Up next, my final thoughts.

But first, the moment that truly defined game four of the NBA finals.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are a good man with a good heart. And it`s hard for a good man to be a king.


SHARPTON: The first trailer from Marvel Studio`s "Black Panther" dropped Friday and the social media`s response was, as the kids say, "So lit," and based on the film`s first poster, some are already making the connection between the fictional Black Panther and the historical ones. We at "PoliticsNation" can`t wait to help the film make its own history when it premieres in February of 2018. We`ll be right back.


SHARPTON: As I said to the congressman, while we were not looking, a lot of things happened that have far-reaching impact on your life and mine if they go all the way through the senate, and some have already been decided. This week Dodd-Frank, the house passed the so-called financial choice act, effectively repealing Dodd/Frank by re-enabling government-backed banks to take the same kinds of risks that prompted the 2008 crash.

If it passes the senate, there is an issue there that really brings us back pre-Dodd-frank days. We also saw third-party funding, the Sessions` Department of Justice decided that it will no longer give part of the money collected in major fraud settlements to third-parties like community groups that work to help people harmed by corporate wrongdoing. This was already decided by the justice department and has far-reaching impact on those nonprofits and those community groups that work to make sure that whatever it is that was wrong, found to be wrong, is corrected in the long term. That has very serious implications.

On ObamaCare repeal, senate majority leader Mitch McConnell invoked a rule that will allow the house`s ObamaCare repeal bill to bypass the usual committee process and make it filibuster-proof to democratic opposition. So as you heard me talk to the congressman about the health care bill that the republicans propose that would cut Medicaid, that would not include pre- existing conditions, now we`ve seen McConnell put it through a way that it will skip the process and be filibuster-proof.

This is serious stuff that happened this week. Yes, we had reason to be watching the Comey testimony, and we must watch every step of this Russian investigation, but we must not miss is what I`m trying to say those things that are happening below the radar. That does it for me. Thanks for watching. I`ll see you back here next Sunday.