TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS

We have the details. A searing New York Times op-ed sets off a wild guessing game about its author after the alleged unknown White House senior official blasts President Donald Trump and many of his policies. Jon Stewart is best known for The Daily Show, but tonight the comedian is teaming up with a veteran and 9/11 first responder to sound off in defense of the thousands of rescue and recovery workers afflicted with illness from their service. We have the details. How do New Yorkers feel about legalizing recreational marijuana? Governor Cuomo has set up a series of 15 “listening sessions,” to get the word on weed.

Aired on September 6, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS,' ANONYMOUS RESISTANCE AGAINST PRESIDENT TRUMP, A SEARING 'NEW YORK TIMES' OP-ED SENDS OUT A WILD GUESSING GAME ABOUT ITS AUTHOR.

AFTER A SENIOR WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL BLASTS DONALD TRUMP AND HIS POLICY.

WE HAVE DETAILS.

> JON STEWART IS BEST KNOWN AS THE HOST OF THE DAILY SHOW, BUT TONIGHT HE TEAMS UP WITH A 9/11 RESPONDER TO SOUND OFF -- THE THOUSANDS OF RESCUE AND RECOVERY WORKERS AFFLICTED WITH THE CONTINUED HEALTH EFFECTS OF THE COUNTRY'S DEADLIEST TERRORIST ATTACK.

> AND GOVERNOR CUOMO WANTS TO KNOW HOW NEW YORKERS FEEL ABOUT LEGALIZED POT.

TO THAT END HE'S SENDING A TEAM OF EXPERTS IN A LISTENING TOUR ACROSS THE STATE TO FIND OUT.

> THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

♪♪♪

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAPHAEL P. ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P.

WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.

AND BY DISTURB.

> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS,' I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

TALK OF A RESISTANCE WITHIN THE WHITE HOUSE AND A RECENT BOMBSHELL 'NEW YORK TIMES' OP-ED ESSAY, ANONYMOUS SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL CALLED INTO QUESTION PRESIDENT TRUMP'S JUDGMENT AND SUGGESTED AIDES HAVE DISCUSSED WAYS TO REMOVE HIM FROM OFFICE.

IN THE OP-ED TITLED 'I AM PART OF THE RESISTANCE INSIDE THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION,' THE ANONYMOUS SOURCE WRITES 'TO BE CLEAR OURS IS NOT A POPULAR RESISTANCE OF THE LEFT.

WE WANT THE ADMINISTRATION TO SUCCEED AND THINK THAT MANY OF ITS POLICIES HAVE ALREADY MADE AMERICA SAFER AND MORE PROSPEROUS.

BUT WE BELIEVE OUR FIRST DUTY IS TO THIS COUNTRY AND THE PRESIDENT CONTINUES TO ACT IN A MANNER THAT IS DETRIMENTAL TO THE HEALTH OF OUR REPUBLIC.'

PRESIDENT TRUMP QUICKLY LASHED OUT DISMISSING THE OP-ED AS REALLY A DISGRACE AND GUTLESS, ASSAILING THE AUTHOR AND THE 'NEW YORK TIMES' FOR PUBLISHING THE ANONYMOUS OP-ED.

IT'S THE FAILING 'NEW YORK TIMES' HAS AN ANONYMOUS EDITORIAL, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT, ANONUS.

> RICK, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

GLAD TO BE HERE.

SO FIRST OFF WE JUST HAVE TO START WITH, IS THERE ANY HISTORICAL PRECEDENCE FOR THE ARTICLE THAT WE'VE JUST SEEN?

IN A WORD, NO.

AND THE REASON IS, WE'VE JUST NEVER HAD A PRESIDENT LIKE DONALD TRUMP SO WE'VE NEVER HAD OFFICIALS SECOND GUESSING HIM IN THE WAY THAT THIS OFFICIAL IS APPARENTLY DOING SO.

I HAVE STUDIED ALL THE PRESIDENTS IN MY RESEARCH CAREER, AND THERE'S NOTHING LIKE THIS.

WE HAVE BASICALLY A MAD KING WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THE WHITE HOUSE, WHO'S GOT HIS FINGER ON THE NUCLEAR CODES.

AND THIS HAS PUT HIS OFFICIALS IN A TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE DILEMMA.

THEY WANT TO BE LOYAL.

THEY PRESUMABLY ADMIRE SOMETHING ABOUT HIM, OTHERWISE THEY WOULDN'T HAVE TAKEN THE JOB, AND THEY PROBABLY SHARE SOME OF HIS GOALS AS REPUBLICAN PARTY OFFICIALS.

BUT WHEN THE KING BEGINS TO ACT LIKE A MAD KING, THEN THEY'RE PUT IN THIS TERRIBLE POSITION OF WEIGHING LOYALTY TO THE MAD KING OR LOYALTY TO THE COUNTRY.

AND THE RESULT IS THAT WE HAVE A LOT OF OFFICIALS WHO APPARENTLY ARE FEELING VERY DISLOYAL RIGHT NOW.

THEY'RE LOYAL TO THE COUNTRY BUT THEY'RE DISLOYAL TO THE PRESIDENT.

FIRST OF ALL, THIS SEEMS TO BE AN INCREDIBLY LEAKY WEST WING.

WE'VE SEEN NUMEROUS INSTANCES OF EITHER BOOKS, FIRE AND FURY WAS RELEASED EARLIER THIS YEAR, THINK OF HER, OMAROSA HAS SAID NUMEROUS THINGS IN HER OWN BOOK.

WE HAVE THIS BOOK FROM BOB WOODWARD THAT'S SAYING SIMILAR THINGS AND THEN THIS OP-ED COMES OUT.

SO I'M WONDERING, DOES ALL OF THIS POINT TO THE FACT THAT THERE MAY POSSIBLY BE SOME SORT OF SLOW-MOVING COUPE BEHIND THE SCENES WHEN YOU HAVE OFFICIALS WHO ARE ACTIVELY SAYING WE ARE DISMISSING WHAT OUR COMMANDER IN CHIEF SAYS?

WELL, IT'S INTERESTING.

WHEN TRUMP WAS ELECTED I REMEMBER WRITING ON A BLOG POST THAT MY REAL HOPE HERE IS THAT THE ADULTS IN THE ROOM WILL RESIST WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAYS IF HE ISSUES SOME CRAZY ORDER.

SUPPOSE HE TOLD MATTIS OVER IN THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT I WANT YOU TO BEGIN A WAR WITH SYRIA.

AND START LOBBING MISSILES OVER THERE, DROP NUCLEAR BOMBS.

REMEMBER, TRUMP HAS TALKED CARELESSLY ABOUT USING NUCLEAR BOMBS AND HE ASKED HIS OFFICIALS AFTER HE BECAME PRESIDENT, HOW COME WE DON'T USE THESE THINGS IF WE'VE GOT THEM?

WHAT I WROTE IN MY BLOG POST WELL, THEN I WOULD WANT THEM TO DISOBEY A PRESIDENT'S ORDER WHICH WOULD, EFFECT, BE A -- YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THE MILITARY DOING WHAT THEY WANT TO DO.

AND THAT'S SUCH AT VARIANCE WITH AMERICAN TRADITION AND WHAT WE ALL THINK SHOULD BE GOING ON.

WE WANT CIVILIAN CONTROL OF THE GOVERNMENT, NOT THE MILITARY CONTROLLING THE GOVERNMENT.

BUT IN THAT KIND OF A CASE I WOULD WANT THE MILITARY TO DO SOMETHING, I WOULD WANT THEM TO RESIST, TO LEAK TO MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND THE CONGRESS WHAT WAS GOING ON BEHIND THE SCENES.

OR WRITE AN OP-ED THAT SHOWS UP ON THE OP-ED PAGE OF THE 'NEW YORK TIMES.'

WELL, WHILE THIS OP-ED HAS SHOWN UP, WHAT I WILL SAY, AS I ALLUDED TO WITH ALL THESE PREVIOUS BOOKS AND PREVIOUS LEAKS WE'VE SEEN, NOTHING CHANGES.

HE REMAINS IN CHARGE, NOBODY HAS TAKEN ANY STEPS TO ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THIS PRESIDENT.

SO DOES THIS MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE?

WELL, NOTHING'S GOING TO HAPPEN UNTIL THE ELECTIONS.

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS GOING TO STICK WITH DONALD TRUMP UNTIL THE ELECTION.

AFTER THE ELECTION, IF IT TURNS OUT THAT THEY LOSE IN A MASSIVE BLUE WAVE, THEN YOU'RE GOING TO SEE SOME CHANGES BECAUSE THE REPUBLICAN FISHES AREN'T GOING TO WANT TO GO DOWN WITH THE SHIP.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED WITH NIXON.

THE REPUBLICANS TURNED AGAINST NIXON FINALLY IN THE SPRING OF 1974 WHEN THEY SAW THAT HE HAD LOST PUBLIC SUPPORT.

AND AT THE NEXT ELECTION THEY DIDN'T WANT TO BE THE ONES WHO WOUND UP TAKING THE FALL FOR HIS MISTAKES.

SO NOTHING'S GOING TO HAPPEN BETWEEN NOW AND THE ELECTION IN SOME 60 DAYS.

WELL, LISTEN, I WANT TO THANK YOU SO MUCH.

WE, OF COURSE, WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU BACK AS THIS CONTINUES TO DEVELOP.

WE SHALL SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

BUT I GUESS THE BIG THING IS TO WAIT FOR NOVEMBER.

THAT'S GOING TO BE THE MAKE OR BREAK POINT FOR THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE.

WE'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

ALL RIGHT, WELL, LISTEN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU.

> TONIGHT WE OPEN OUR SERIES ON POST 9/11 VETERANS IN AMERICA, FRONT LINES OF THE HOME FRONT, FOLLOWING THE 9/11 TERRORIST ATTACKS FIRST RESPONDERS FROM ALL OVER THE NATION CAME TO THE AID OF THOSE IN NEED.

AND NOW THOUSANDS OF THEM ARE SUFFERING AND EVEN DYING FROM A RANGE OF ILLNESSES, MORE WILL CERTAINLY BE DIAGNOSED WITH THESE ILLNESSES IN THE COMING YEARS, AND INDEED IN THE COMING DECADES.

BUT EVEN SO, SOME NEW ADMISSIONS ARE BEING CHALLENGED IN SPITE OF STRONG OBJECTIONS.

AMONG THOSE OBJECTING IS ARMY VETERAN 9/11 FIRST RESPONDER JOHN FIELD WHOSE FOOT WAS CRUSHED AT GROUND ZERO.

HE HAS BEEN BATTLING LAWMAKERS WHO OPPOSE THE JAMES DROGA IN 2010 AND ITS RENEWAL IN 2015.

HIS FIGHT IS NOT YET OVER.

HE'S HEADING TO WASHINGTON AGAIN, AND HE HAS STAR POWER BEHIND HIM, COMEDY ICON JON STEWART HAS BEEN SUPPORTING MR.

FIELDS' FIGHT WITH LAWMAKERS FOR YIERS.

JON STEWART JOINS JOHN FIELDS TODAY.

WELCOME TO BOTH OF YOU.

THANK YOU.

LET ME TALK ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON RIGHT NOW.

BECAUSE, AS WE KNOW, 2010, THE ACT GETS PASSED, 2015 IT GETS RE-UPPED.

I SUSPECT IF YOU ASK FOLKS ON THE STREET ABOUT THIS, THEY THINK IT'S ALL DONE AND EVERYBODY'S BEING TAKEN CARE OF.

WHY IS THAT NOT THE CASE?

WHAT IS THE REAL STRUGGLE NOW?

IN 2010 WHEN WE GOT THE BILL PASSED THE FIRST TIME, CANCER WASN'T EVEN ADDED TO THE BILL.

RIGHT.

THEY HADN'T YET DONE THE PROOF.

THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT WAS NEVER GIVEN TO THE FIRST RESPONDER COMMUNITY.

YOU HAD TO PROVE, INITIALLY --

26 YEARS OLD WITH NASAL CANCERS, REALLY UNUSUAL CANCERS, REALLY UNUSUAL RESPIRATORY ILLNESSES, STRANGE CLUST TERES OF THAT AGE AND THEY WERE BEING MADE TO PROVE TO THEIR GOVERNMENT, ANYBODY WHO LIVED DOWN THERE COULD TELL YOU WHATEVER AIR WAS BEING BREATHED DOWN THERE WAS NOT SAFE.

IT WAS CLEAR.

IT WAS THE TYPE OF BURN PITS YOU WOULD ONLY SEE IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN.

AND THESE GUYS WERE ON IT FOR MONTHS AT A TIME, 24 HOURS A DAY, NO BREATHING APPARATUS BECAUSE THEY WERE TOLD THAT THE AIR WAS SAFE.

WELL, NOW HERE WE ARE, IT'S NINE YEARS LATER, THEY'VE BEEN WATCHING PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY GET SICK AND DIE FROM THESE BIZARRE ILLNESSES AND NO ONE WILL LISTEN.

IT'S VERY SIMILAR TO WHAT THE VIETNAM VETERANS FACED WHEN THEY CAME BACK AND IT WAS THE AGENT ORANGE ISSUE.

SO ONCE AGAIN, WHEN THEY WEREN'T RIGHT ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE POSITION TO HELP US THEY WERE IGNORED.

AND IT WAS INFURIATING.

WHAT'S THE OBSTACLE?

POLITICIANS?

POLITICS AND IGNORANCE.

AND UNEDUCATED --

A LACK OF EMPATHY.

AND A LACK OF EMPATHY.

YOU KNOW, AGAIN IN 2010 WHEN WE GOT THE BILL PASSED, WE GOT FIVE YEARS OF HEALTH CARE ON THE CONVERSATION.

WHEN WE GOT IT RENEWED WE GOT 75 YEARS.

EVERYBODY WAS JUMPING UP AND DOWN, 75 YEARS OF HEALTH CARE FREE.

THE COMPENSATION EXPIRES IN 2020.

WE'RE NOT GOING TO WAIT UNTIL 2020.

WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF MONEY AND TIME.

THERE'S A DEADLINE FOR THOSE WHO ARE SICK.

SO WE IMPLORE EVERYBODY TO GET INTO THE WORLD TRADE CENTER HEALTH PROGRAM AND FILE A VICTIM'S COMPENSATION PLAN.

GOT FORBID YOU GET SICK AND THEY CLOSE THESE PROGRAMS.

THOSE ALREADY IN THE PROGRAM WILL BE GRANDFATHERED IN.

FOLKS NEED TO KNOW THAT, GET THEMSELVES INTO THE SYSTEM.

WE HAVE 10,000 PEOPLE WITH CERTIFIED 9/11, THESE NUMBERS ARE GROWING, CLOSE TO 100,000 PEOPLE, MORE THAN 40% OF THEM ARE BEING TREATED FOR MORE THAN ONE ILLNESS.

THIS IS NOT A NEW YORK ISSUE, THIS IS A NATIONAL ISSUE, AND THIS IS A LIFELONG GENERATIONAL EPIDEMIC UNTIL THE VERY LAST PERSON DIES FROM A 9/11 ILLNESS.

HOW DOES THIS GET DONE?

YOU LOOK TO HOW LONG IT TOOK TO GET THIS ACT PASSED, 2010 FINALLY GETS THROUGH, RE-UPPED 2015.

BUT IT WAS A BATTLE.

AS YOU SAID, YOU'RE WORKING THE HALLS.

IT WAS DIFFERENT.

IN 2010, JOHN AND FEELGOOD AND OTHER GROUPS WERE DOWN IN THE HALLS JUST TRYING TO CONVINCE CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP AND, YOU KNOW, CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS THAT THIS WAS A REAL ISSUE, THAT THIS WAS A REAL PROBLEM.

THE SCIENCE OF IT HAD NOT YET -- THANK GOD FOR THE FDNY BECAUSE THEY HAD HEALTH RECORDS.

WITH THAT BASELINE YOU COULD MAKE THE PROOF.

IN 2010 THEY WERE JUST FIGHTING TO PROVE THAT THERE WAS A CONNECTION, AND THAT THEY WEREN'T CRAZY, BEING GAS LIT BY THAT.

THEY FINALLY GET THAT DONE.

IN 2015 THEY HAD TO PROVE THAT IT WASN'T JUST A NEW YORK ISSUE OR THAT IT WAS JUST OVER NOW AND EVERYTHING WAS FINE.

IT WAS ALSO A LITMUS TEST THEY GAVE US IN 2010.

THAT'S RIGHT.

TO PROVE THAT THE PROGRAM WORKED, GAVE US FIVE YEARS TO PROVE THAT THERE WAS NO ABUSE OF FRAUD.

THAT'S BEEN PROVED.

WE PROVED THEM WRONG.

THERE'S NO FRAUD.

THE WORLD TRADE CENTER HEALTH PROGRAM IS NOT SPENDING MONEY FRIVOLOUSLY.

LISTEN, WE'RE GOING TO GET THIS BILL PASSED.

DO WE -- LOOK, THE ENVIRONMENT HAS CHANGED DRAMATICALLY IN THE LAST COUPLE YEARS.

IT WAS HARD IN 2010 TO GET IT DONE.

IT WAS HARD IN 2015.

IN 2015 IT WAS MORE POLITICAL FOOTBALL.

KEPT MOVING THE GOAL LINE.

YEAH, AND THEN THEY WERE USING IT FOR THEIR OWN PURPOSES SO THAT THEY WOULD SAY THE MONEY WOULD BE THERE BUT IT'S -- THEY COULD TAKE IT FROM THE TRANSPORTATION BILL.

WHERE IS IT COMING FROM?

THEY WOULD SAY, OKAY, IF WE'RE GOING TO GIVE YOU THE HEALTH CARE AND THE COMPENSATION, YOU HAVE TO GIVE US A CHANGE IN IMPORT/EXPORT TAXES.

RIGHT.

THEY'RE LOOKING AT THAT SAYING WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO -- IT'S CONGRESS IS THE PROBLEM.

I KNOW WHERE YOU'RE GOING WITH YOUR QUESTION.

THE ANSWER IS WE DON'T CARE WHO CONTROLS THE WHITE HOUSE, THE SENATE OR THE CONGRESS, WE'RE GOING THERE TO GET A BILL PASSED FOR TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE.

ARE YOU WORRIED, I'M SURE YOU ARE, BUT LET'S TALK ABOUT WHY.

IT'S A DIFFERENT CLIMATE.

I'M TALKING ABOUT BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE.

TIME AN INDEPENDENT.

I'M LOOKING AT IT FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE.

THE NOTION OF COMPROMISE IS OBSOLETE NOWADAYS.

AND IT'S PROBABLY THE APT METAPHOR TO USE, WE HAVE A TOXIC ENVIRONMENT DOWN THERE TOO.

SO ARE YOU CONFIDENT THAT YOU CAN GET BOTH SIDES TOGETHER AND SAY, ALL RIGHT, LET'S -- WE'LL WALK AWAY FROM OUR TOXIC ENVIRONMENT, LET'S DEAL WITH THE TOXIC ENVIRONMENT AND THE CONSEQUENCES FROM 9/11.

9/11 WAS UNPRECEDENTED, CHALLENGED HUMANITY, DIDN'T CARE IF YOU WERE BLACK, WHITE, JEWISH, REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT.

AFTER 1,100 MEETINGS, WE HAVE THIS DOWN TO A SCIENCE, WHOEVER GETS IN OUR WAY AND VOTES AGAINST US, SO BE IT, BUT IF THEY'RE GOING TO OBSTRUCT US, AND DO STUFF THAT WE DON'T FIND SUITABLE FOR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, WE'RE GOING TO MAKE THEIR LIVES MISERABLE.

DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER WE YIELD.

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE BEHIND US.

WE HAVE A LOT OF INFLUENCE.

WE PUT 400,000 SIGNATURES TOGETHER ON 2015.

WE HAVE 400,000 MORE AFTER THAT NOW.

I'LL BRING A MILLION PEOPLE ON PETITION TO D.C. WITH MY HARD CORE ASS-KICKING MEMBERS OF FIRST RESPONDERS, AND I'LL BET MY ONE KIDNEY THAT WE GET THIS BILL RENEWED.

LAST QUESTION FOR YOU, JOHN, SIMILAR TO WHAT I ASKED JOHN.

IT'S A DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT, TIME HAS PASSED.

HAVE PEOPLE LOST THE SENSE OF EMPATHY FOR THE PEOPLE THAT WE NEED TO STEP UP AND DO THINGS FOR?

DO YOU THINK THERE'S A POLITICAL WILL DOWN THERE?

THERE'S CERTAINLY THE WILL HERE.

BUT WE NEED THE POLITICAL WILL COMING OUT OF WASHINGTON TO GET THIS DONE.

DO YOU THINK IT'S THERE?

I THINK POLITICAL WILL IS LESS THE ISSUE NOW.

BECAUSE IT WAS -- WHEN THEY FIRST HAD TO GET THIS DONE, THE ENTIRE PROGRAM HAD TO BE FORMATTED.

THE LEGISLATION HAD TO BE WRITTEN.

THE CONDITIONS THAT WOULD BE ASSOCIATED WITH 9/11 HAD TO BE IDENTIFIED AND HAD TO BE PROVEN.

ALL OF THOSE THINGS, THEN THE PROGRAM HAD TO COME THROUGH, WHETHER IT WAS THE ZADROGA HEALTH CARE PROVISIONS OR THE VICTIM'S COMPENSATION FUND.

THE BUREAUCRACIES HAD TO BE ESTABLISHED AND STREAMLINED TO CREATE AN EFFICIENT PROGRAM SO THAT VICTIMS COULD FIND THEIR WAY THROUGH THE SYSTEM AND GET THEMSELVES INTO THE PROGRAM AND THEN SERVICED BY THE PROGRAM.

SO ALL THAT HAS BEEN DONE.

THE INFRASTRUCTURE IS LAID.

THIS IS NOT A COMPROMISE SITUATION ANYMORE.

IT'S JUST A QUESTION OF WHAT DO YOU VALUE?

DO YOU VALUE THE LIVES WHEN WE'RE IN TROUBLE AND WE CALL UPON FIRST RESPONDERS AND WE CALL UPON VETERANS AND WE CALL UPON VOLUNTEERS AND WE CALL UPON THE TRADE UNITS, WE EXPECT THAT THEY'LL BE THERE BECAUSE THAT'S -- WE UNDERSTAND THAT THERE'S A CERTAIN MIND-SET THAT SOME INDIVIDUALS HAVE THAT WHEN SOMETHING GOES DOWN THEY DON'T RUN AWAY FROM IT, THEY RUN TOWARDS IT AND WE COUNT ON THAT AS A SOCIETY TO SUSTAIN OUR SENSE OF SECURITY AND BALANCE.

BUT IN TURN, WE OWE THEM, NOT JUST WHEN WE NEED THEM, BUT WHEN THEY NEED US.

AND IF WE CONTINUE TO TREAT FIRST RESPONDER COMMUNITIES AND VETERAN COMMUNITIES IN THE MANNER THAT WE DO, WHICH IS WE WRAP OURSELVES IN THE FLAG AND WE MAKE ALL KINDS OF SYMBOLIC GESTURES TOWARDS PATRIOTISM AND WE SAY ALL THE RIGHT THINGS AND STAND WHEN WE'RE SUPPOSED TO AND SALUTE WHEN WE'RE SUPPOSED TO, BUT THE TRUTH IS REAL PATRIOTISM, REAL LOVE OF COUNTRY, REAL COMPASSION COMES FROM THE ACTIONS THAT YOU TAKE WHEN THOSE INDIVIDUALS THEN NEED US.

YOU CANNOT DISCARD THEM IN THIS WAY.

AND YOU CAN'T SAY WE HAVE $1.5 TRILLION FOR TAX CUTS, WE HAVE $15 BILLION FOR THIS AND SAY THAT WE DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO TAKE CARE OF INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE SUFFERING BECAUSE OF THEIR HEROISM, AND THEIR DEDICATION TO SERVICE AND TO COMMUNITY.

AND THERE'S NOTHING MORE INFURIATING THAN GOING INTO A POLITICIAN'S OFFICE WHO'S BEEN TWEETING OUT, NEVER FORGET THE HEROES OF 9/11 AND WON'T LOOK THESE GUYS IN THE EYE.

IT HAPPENS WAY MORE THAN YOU'D IMAGINE.

THIS IS WHAT SUSTAINS MY INVOLVEMENT AND CONTINUES TO GIVE ME THE GREATEST ADMIRATION FOR IT.

JOHN IS SELLING HIMSELF FOR HUMBLY AND SHORT.

HE MADE THIS HIS LIFE'S WORK.

IF HE HADN'T, IT WOULDN'T HAVE GOTTEN DONE.

AND, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT GETTING GUYS LIKE RAY PFEIFFER WHO HAS HAD STAGE 4 CANCER, CANCER ATE AWAY HIS LEG WHERE HE HAD A STEEL ROD AND THE CANCER ATE AWAY THE STEEL ROD AND HE'S SPENDING HIS LAST WEEKS ON EARTH GOING DOOR TO DOOR IN CONGRESS AND HELP OUT HIS BROTHERS AND SISTERS AND YOU CAN'T WITNESS THAT AND NOT THINK I HAVE TO GIVE WHAT I CAN GIVE.

LET'S CLOSE WITH A FAVORITE CHURCHILL QUOTATIONS, HE STOOD UP AND SAID NEVER, EVER, EVER GIVE UP.

I THINK HE WOULD BE PROUD OF YOU GUYS.

HE SAID THE SAME THING.

NEVER, EVER, EVER GIVE UP.

I'M A STRONG ABE LINCOLN --

ANY NATION THAT DOESN'T HONOR ITS HEROES --

EXACTLY.

HE'S MAKING YOU MARIANO -- GENTLEMEN, AGAIN, A PLEASURE TALKING WITH YOU.

THANKS.

BEST OF LUCK TO BOTH OF YOU.

THANK YOU.

TAKE CARE.

> JUST LAST YEAR GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO OPPOSED LEGALIZING RECREATIONAL POT GOING AS FAR AS CALLING MARIJUANA A 'GATEWAY DRUG,' SINCE THEN AND FILE FACING A TOUGH PRIMARY CHALLENGE FROM CYNTHIA NIXON, THE GOVERNOR HAS SWITCHED COURSE.

LAST MONTH AFTER A STATE SUDDEN WHICH HE COMMISSIONED CONCLUDED THAT THE POSITIVE IMPACTS THIS A REGULATED MARIJUANA PROGRAM WOULD OUTWEIGH THE NEGATIVES, THE GOVERNOR ANNOUNCED A TEST CREATING A FAMEWORK FOR LEGALIZATION.

AS PART OF THAT TASK FORCE, THE CUOMO ADMINISTRATION IS SENDING OUT A LISTENING TOUR TO GAUGE HOW NEW YORKERS FEEL ABOUT POT.

THE FIRST WAS IN ALBANY.

DAVID LOMBARDO WAS THERE AND HE JOINS US NOW.

DAVID, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

WHAT ARE THE LISTENING TOURS MEANT TO ACCOMPLISH?

SO THE 15 LISTENING TOURS THAT THE STATE'S WORKING PANEL IS CONDUCTING IS SUPPOSED TO COME UP WITH LEGISLATION THAT THE LEGISLATURE WILL CONSIDER IN JANUARY.

THEY'RE HEARING FROM SUPPOSEDLY AVERAGE NEW YORKERS ABOUT WHAT THEY WANT TO CENA RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA SYSTEM OR WHAT THEY DON'T WANT TO SEE WITH REGARDS TO MARIJUANA.

AND THEORETICALLY THAT'S ALL GOING TO BE THROWN TOGETHER AND PUT TOGETHER FOR A PIECE OF LEGISLATION THAT COMES OUT IN JANUARY WHEN ALBANY LEGISLATORS COME BACK.

YOU WERE THERE YESTERDAY, AS I MENTIONED, WERE MOST OF THE PARTICIPANTS FOR OR AGAINST LEGALIZING POT?

OF THE APPROXIMATELY 30 OR SO SPEAKERS, IT WAS MOSTLY A PRO-LEGALIZATION CROWD.

THERE WAS A HANDFUL OF PEOPLE WHO RAISED CONCERNS ABOUT THE ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA.

BUT FOR THE MOST PART IT WAS A CROWD THAT SAW THIS AS A REALLY POSITIVE OPPORTUNITY, A CHANCE TO ADDRESS CRIMINALIZATION ISSUES, A CHANCE TO ADDRESS THE OPIOID CRISIS, AND AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE SOME MONEY TOO FOR THE STATE.

SO THOSE WERE ALL THE ISSUES.

WERE THERE ANY OTHER KEY ISSUES BROUGHT UP YESTERDAY?

A LOT OF RECURRING THEME WAS THE WAY THIS COULD REPLACE OPIOIDS.

ALTHOUGH NEW YORK HAS EMBRACED A MEDICAL MARIJUANA SYSTEM SINCE 2014 IT WAS REALLY NARROW AND IT'S GROWN A LITTLE BIT SINCE THEN.

BUT A RECURRING THEME WAS ACTUALLY HOW WE NEED TO DO MORE ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA DURING THIS HEARING, I GUESS YOU'D CALL IT, AND PEOPLE ARE SAYING THAT HOPEFULLY IN THIS PROCESS MARIJUANA WILL BECOME CHEAPER AND MORE ACCESSIBLE FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED IT FOR MEDICAL PURPOSES.

AS I SAID IN THE INTRODUCTION, THERE SEEMS TO BE A POLITICAL CONNECTION OR A POLITICAL ELEMENT TO WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE.

I'M SHOCKED THAT YOU --

AT LEAST CYNTHIA NIXON SAYS THERE IS.

IS THERE?

MY STARS.

SO JADED AND CYNICAL.

I JUST -- WOW.

WELL, THIS ISSUE REALLY BECAME SOMETHING THAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT STARTING IN JANUARY WITH THE GOVERNOR'S STATE OF THE STATE WHEN HE BASICALLY SAID I WANT TO COMMISSION A STUDY TO LOOK AT THIS.

AND SO TO HIS CREDIT THAT'S A FEW MONTHS BEFORE NIXON JUMPED IN THE RACE.

SINCE THEN IT KIND OF BECAME A THING THAT NEW YORK IS GOING TO HAVE LEGALIZED MARIJUANA.

NO ONE WAS SURPRISED IN JUNE WHO YOU KNOW HOWARD ZUCKER WHO SAID THE STUDY WOULD SAY PRO-MARIJUANA, BENEFITS OUTWEIGH THE CONS.

NIXON AND HER DEFENDERS SAY THIS IS ALL PART OF THE #CYNTHIA EFFECT AND THAT IT'S THE GOVERNOR TRACKING TO THE LEFT AND THAT IT'S NO SURPRISE THAT THE GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES LISTENING TOURS JUST WITHIN A MONTH OF WHEN HE AND NIXON ARE SUPPOSED TO SQUARE OFF IN A PRIMARY.

AS I SAID IN THE INTRODUCTION LAST YEAR HE CALLED IT A GATEWAY DRUG.

HE'S NOT ALONE IN SAYING THAT.

SOME EXPERTS SAY THAT.

WHEN WE'RE IN THE MIDST OF AN OPIOID CRISIS, DID THAT COME UP IN THE FIRST LISTENING TOUR, AN ISSUE WORTH TALKING ABOUT?

IT WASN'T SO MUCH THAT IT WAS A GATEWAY DRUG, OR THAT IT WOULD TRANSITION PEOPLE TO OTHER MORE SERIOUS DRUGS, THE REAL CONCERN, RAISED BY A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE -- THERE ARE ADVERSE EFFECTS TO MARIJUANA, DRUGGED DRIVING COULD BE AN INSTANCE OF A REAL NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCE.

THOSE PEOPLE ALSO SAID, THOUGH, IF YOU ARE GOING TO EMBRACE RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA AT LEAST PUT AN AGE LIMIT, AND THEY SUGGESTED 25.

SO WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE LISTENING SESSIONS, DAVID?

WELL, WE HAVE 15 LISTENING SESSIONS, INCLUDING SOME ALL OVER THE STATE.

AND WHAT I ANTICIPATE IS GOING TO HAPPEN IS IN LATE DECEMBER, THE GOVERNOR, WHEN HE'S PUTTING OUT ALL OF HIS STATE OF THE STATE PROPOSALS IN ADVANCE OF THE STATE OF THE STATE AND JUST REALLY OWNING THE NARRATIVE, ASSUMING HE IS REELECTED, WE'RE GOING TO SEE A BILL PROBABLY ROLL OUT IN ONE OF THOSE PRESTATE OF THE STATE PACKAGES.

AND MAYBE IT WILL BE TUCKED INTO THE BUDGET BECAUSE THAT REALLY IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR HIM TO EXERT HIS MUSCLE AND REALLY GET WHAT HE WANTS.

SO YOUR BEST GUESS, COME NEXT YEAR, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE LEGALIZED MARIJUANA, AND IF WE DO, WHAT DOES THAT LEGISLATION LOOK LIKE?

I THINK ONE OF THE FACTORS THAT WE NEED TO LOOK FOR IN TERMS OF RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA AND WHETHER IT IS ACCOMPLISHED IS THE STATE SENATE.

IT'S CURRENTLY CONTROLLED BY SENATE REPUBLICANS WHO HAVE SHOWN REALLY NO APPETITE FOR THIS.

THEY'VE BEEN CALLING IT A GATEWAY DRUG.

THEY'VE BEEN FINED WITH MEDICAL MARIJUANA.

BUT IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE THEM, IF THEY CONTROL THE CHAMBER, OF GOING ALONG WITH THIS.

SO I WOULD SAY THAT IT'S GOING TO BE A REAL TOUGH FIGHT IN 2019 IF THEY CONTROL IT.

IF IT'S SENATE DEMOCRATS I THINK IT'S A DIFFERENT STORY.

I THINK THERE'S A REAL APPETITE FOR THIS, AND I THINK THAT WE'LL SEE LEGISLATION, MOST LIKELY TUCKED IN THE BUDGET.

WHAT THE FORM LOOKS LIKE, I THINK THAT IS WHAT WE'RE GOING TO SEE FROM HERE.

I MEAN, ONE OF THE BIG ISSUES IS A BIG COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION, IS IT SMALL GROWERS?

THAT WILL ALL BE WORKED OUT IN THE LISTENING SESSIONS.

DAVID, WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US TODAY AND TALKING ABOUT THIS ISSUE.

I APPRECIATE IT.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

♪♪♪

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