Right before Christmas, Rev. Al Sharpton trashed conservative evangelicals who are backing President Trump. He said "they would take this shameless con man over the principles that they’re preaching. In the holy season as we celebrate Jesus, they would sell Jesus out if they felt they could get something from it."
From the man who's never worn a "What Would Jesus Do?" bracelet on the Tawana Brawley hoax and its aftermath.
So it was shocking when Al Sharpton opened his MSNBC show this evening by announcing that, in response to his "moral appeal" to the White House, President Trump, "to my surprise," had called him to discuss the compassionate treatment of the homeless and incarcerated in light of the coronavirus epidemic.
Sharpton was downplaying it when he said "He and I have exchanged some very contentious words over the last several years and . . . we have not changed our view of each other."
Sharpton did go on to say that, in response to his suggestions, President Trump "made no promises, but the fact we talked helped put it on the national radar." And this man loves being on the national radar. That's sometimes hard to do when you're stuck doing a weekend show on MSNBC.
Here's the transcript.
5:00 pm EDT
AL SHARPTON: Good evening, and welcome to Politics Nation. Tonight’s lead: this week, in the spirit of unity, I made a moral appeal to the White House to consider the homeless and the incarcerated amid the covid-19 crisis. To my surprise, President Donald Trump called me to discuss it.
He and I have exchanged some very contentious words over the last several years and though we have not changed our view of each other, we did talk about the fact that in the midst of this pandemic, people that may be on different sides politically must discuss and try to come to some kind of common ground to deal with those in this country and around the world that are most vulnerable.
I wanted to raise the point of those that are homeless and those that are incarcerated. They must be part of the equation, because it is a moral issue, it is a humanitarian issue, and it is impractical to tell people that are homeless, that are not even in shelters, to stay home. It is really against any form of logic to tell people incarcerated in 6 X 12 cells to stay social distance six feet away from each other.
So how do we test them, and how do we make sure that they are not in fact infecting others. How do we deal with the fact that most people in jail have been convicted of nothing, and therefore would be dealing with possible life sentences if they get the coronavirus while they're awaiting trial, acquitted, go home, and they have been infected, and the worst could happen. He said he would consider it, made no promises, but the fact we talked helped put it on the national radar.