POLITICAL SHOWDOWNS

President Trump stands resolute against passing a budget if the border wall isn’t funded. And while the political maneuvering continues on Capitol Hill, federal workers most likely won’t see a paycheck this week. On the eve of his State of the City address, we examine Mayor de Blasio’s plan to guarantee healthcare for all. What would the reality of these moves mean for New Yorkers in dollars and sense? Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expected to leave the Department of Justice. What lies ahead for the Mueller-Russia investigation?

Aired on January 9, 2019. 

TRANSCRIPT

> MY FELLOW AMERICANS TONIGHT I'M SPEAKING TO YOU BECAUSE THERE IS A GROWING HUMANITARIAN AND SECURITY CRISIS AT OUR SOUTHERN BORDER.

EVERY WEEK SFINS ARE KILLED BY HORN ALONE, 90% OF WHICH FLOODS ACROSS FROM OUR SOUTHERN BORDER.

THIS IS A HUMANITARIAN CRISIS, A CRISIS OF THE HEART AND A CRISIS OF THE SOUL.

HOW MUCH MORE AMERICAN BLOOD MUST WE SHED BEFORE CONGRESS DOES ITS JOB?

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

LAST NIGHT PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP ADDRESSED THE NATION AND HELD FIRM STATING HIS CASE FOR A WALL ALONG OUR SOUTHERN BORDERS AND THE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH IT.

EVEN IF IT COMES WITH THE COST OF OUR GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN UNTIL FUNDING IS FOUND.

IN RESPONSE SENATE MINORITY CHUCK SCHUMER AND HOUSE LEADER NANCY PELOSI HELD A RARE JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE.

RESOLUTE.

SADLY FULL OF MISINFORMATION AND EVEN MALICE.

PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS CHOSEN FEAR.

MUST STOP HOLDING AMERICAN PEOPLE HOSTAGE, MANUFACTURING A CRISIS.

OPEN THE GOVERNMENT.

SYMBOL OF AMERICA SHOULD BE STATUE OF LIBERTY, NOT A 30-FOOT WALL.

IN MIDST, ROSENSTEIN ANNOUNCED HE WOULD BE LATEST TO LEAVE THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION.

AT STAKE THE MUELLER PROBE AND INVESTIGATION INTO RUSSIA.

AND MAYOR de BLASIO, STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS.

JOINING US, NEW YORK STATE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, POST AND BETSY McCOY AND ALICE HENEGHAN.

WELCOME TO YOU BOTH.

START IN WASHINGTON WITH REACTIONS FROM BOTH.

TRUMP MADE A VERY STRONG MORAL ARGUMENT FOR BUILDING THE WALL.

WHAT A WASTE OF TIME, CAN I HAVE MY EIGHT MINUTES BACK PLEASE?

PERFECT DESCRIPTION OF HOW AMERICA SEEMS TO FEEL.

BUT SOME OF THE POINTS THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS MAKING, WE DIDN'T HEAR HIM IN TRADITIONAL WALL STANCE HE'S TAKEN.

HAMMERED THAT WE NEED TO BUILD A WALL.

SEEMED TO BACK OFF FROM THAT A LITTLE BIT MORE.

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE TONE OF HIS ADDRESS?

I THOUGHT IT WAS COMPASSIONATE AND INCLUSIVE.

WHEN I MENTIONED MORAL CASE, ACCUSED SO OFTEN OF ASKING FOR IMMORAL WALL.

WHAT HE SAID WAS IMMORAL NOT TO BUILD THE WALL, TO ALLOW 500,000 VERY IMPOVERISHED PEOPLE TO FLOOD ACROSS THE BORED AND EXPECT AMERICAN TAXPAYERS TO PAY FOR FOOD, HOUSING, MEDICAL CARE.

AMERICANS ARE MAXED OUT HELPING PEOPLE ALREADY HERE.

IN NEW YORK, 63,000 HOMELESS, UP 43% OVER TEN YEARS.

WE NEED TO TAKE CARE OF OUR OWN FIRST.

ALEX?

GREAT ARGUMENT FOR COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM.

NOT FOR A WALL.

WHAT WE GOT LAST NIGHT WAS SAME WARMED OVER ARGUMENTS THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN MAKING MORE THAN TWO YEARS.

AMERICANS AREN'T CONVINCED BY IT.

CAN'T GET IT THROUGH CONGRESS.

WASN'T ABLE TO GET IT THROUGH CONGRESS WHEN HIS PARTY CONTROLLED BOTH HOUSES OF IT.

I GOT TO TELL YOU, I THINK THE NETWORKS GOT TAKEN LAST NIGHT, ALL OF US SUCKED INTO SOMETHING THAT REALLY SHOULD BE HELD FOR IMPORTANT NATIONAL EVENT.

THIS WAS A FRAUD.

LET ME POINT OUT IN FACT THERE IS STRONG PUBLIC SUPPORT AND SUPPORT IN CONGRESS.

FUNDING FOR WALL WAS PASSED IN 2006, 2013 AND 18 MONTHS AGO.

LET'S DEAL WITH THINGS WE KNOW WILL WORK, IGNORE THINGS THAT -- PUT IN HANDS OF ACTUAL EXPERTS, NOT PBASED ON A SLOGAN HE'S YELLING OUT TO YAHOOS WHO LEARNED TO ANSWER IT BACK.

WHETHER A WALL WORKS, AT BEGINNING EUROPEANS SAID WALL WASN'T NECESSARY.

THEN BECAUSE OF THE FLOOD OF MIGRANTS FROM THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA, THEY'VE REALIZED IN ERA OF MIGRATION WALLS ARE NECESSARY.

FOR EXAMPLE THE UNITED KINGDOM BUILT A WALL IN CALAIS, FRANCE, TO PREVENT MIGRANTS COMING THROUGH THE TUNNEL AND HOPPING ON TRUCKS AND CARS GOING TO GREAT BRITAIN THROUGH THE TUNNEL.

THEY BUILT A WALL.

THERE IS EUROPE AND AMERICA.

AMERICA IS SUPPOSED TO BE A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS.

LEGAL IMMIGRANTS.

YOU AND PRESIDENT HAVE TRIED TO MAKE THAT ARGUMENT FOR YEARS NOW.

IT'S FAILED.

COULDN'T GET IT THROUGH CONGRESS.

STILL CAN'T.

WHY WE NEED TO SHUT DOWN IMPORTANT PART OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN ORDER TO HOLD US HOSTAGE SO THE PRESIDENT CAN TRY AND ACHIEVE IN A UNILATERAL WAY -- SURPRISED AS CONSERVATIVE YOU APPROVE OF THAT -- BUT UNILATERAL WAY THAT OUR POLITICS IN AMERICA WON'T ALLOW.

LET'S FACE IT, WITHOUT A WALL, WE DON'T HAVE BORDER.

NOT TALKING ABOUT CONCRETE WALL.

PRESIDENT HAS --

SAID HE WANTED SLATS.

MANY EXPERTS SAY THAT'S BETTER SO BORDER GUARDS CAN SEE THROUGH THE SLATS AND ANTICIPATE A PROBLEM.

WITHOUT SOME BARRIER, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO POLICE A BORDER AS LONG AS DISTANCE FROM NEW YORK TO DENVER.

IT'S A VERY LONG SPACE.

WE HAVE SOME SORT OF BORDER ON ABOUT A THIRD OF THE SPACE.

WHERE APPROPRIATE.

IN 2/3 OF THE SPACE MIGRANTS ARE BEING BROUGHT ACROSS, SO MANY OF THEM DYING.

500,000 LAST YEAR CAME ACROSS ILLEGALLY.

30% OF THE WOMEN FACED SOME SEXUAL ASSAULT.

11,000 CHILDREN ARRIVED UNACCOMPANIED.

THIS IS A HUMANITARIAN CRISIS.

AND BUILDING SOME SORT OF BORDER WILL PREVENT COYOTES FROM EXPLOITING THESE PEOPLE, OFTEN TO THEIR DEATH.

EVERYBODY CAN AGREE THERE IS A HUMANITARIAN CRISIS.

QUESTION IS WHAT BECOMES OF THE PEOPLE ATTEMPTING TO -- LOT OF THEM TRYING TO CLAIM ASYLUM WHEN THEY GET TO THE BORDER.

ONLY 8% QUALIFY UNFORTUNATELY, IT'S FOR PEOPLE PERSECUTED BY THEIR GOVERNMENT.

AND MOST OF THESE PEOPLE ARE SEEKING ECONOMY BENEFITS.

THEY WANT TO COME TO A COUNTRY WHERE THEY CAN GET A JOB.

THAT'S UNDERSTANDABLE BUT THINK ABOUT THIS.

OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING IT LEGALLY.

I ALSO HAVE A LOT OF HEART FOR THE PEOPLE WHO ARE WAITING IN LINE, OBEYING THE LAW, HOPING TO GET TO AMERICA AND MAKE A BETTER LIFE.

THEY'RE DOING IT THE RIGHT AWAY.

WHY SHOULD THESE PEOPLE BE ABLE TO JUMP IN FRONT OF THEM?

HERE'S THE PROBLEM, NOT ONE OF THESE THINGS, SOME LEGITIMATE AND SOME EXAGGERATED THAT YOU SAID, NONE SOLVABLE BY A WALL.

FAMILIES FROM SOUTH AMERICA SEEKING ASYLUM, A PROCESS THAT REQUIRES THEM TO GO TO LEGAL POINT OF ENTRY AND SUPPORT THEMSELVES.

MOST OF THEM DON'T.

I UNDERSTAND.

THE DRUGS THAT YOU AND PRESIDENT SO CONCERNED ABOUT, VAST MAJORITY COME OFF TRUCKS AND AIRPLANES AND HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TWO,000-MILE BORDER.

LARGEST GROUP OF PEOPLE HERE ILLEGALLY COME ON LEGAL VISAS AND OVERSTAY THEM.

BUILD A WALL 1,000 FEET IN THE SKY AND WON'T DO A THINK.

THIS IS A CAMPAIGN SLOGAN, NOT A POLICY.

IF YOU HAVE AUTO ACCIDENT PROBLEM, DON'T SAY MORE PEOPLE DIE OF CANCER.

NO CAN SOLVE VISA OVERSTAYERS AND PEOPLE --

RIGHT NOW TALKING ABOUT THE PROPOSITION OF THE WALL.

HE WASN'T ONLY PERSON WHO SPOKE.

WANT TO ADDRESS THE DEMOCRATIC RESPONSE?

I THINK IT'S UNFAIR FOR THE DEMOCRATS TO LABEL THE WALL IMMORAL OR RACIST.

THEY CAN HAVE A DISAGREEMENT ON POLICY.

I RESPECT THAT.

THAT'S OUR SYSTEM BUT TO USE UGLY UNFAIR WORDS IS WHY THERE'S NO COMPROMISE.

ONCE YOU CALL SOMEBODY IMMORAL OR A RACIST, HOW CAN YOU COMPROMISE WITH THEM?

IT'S NOT RACIST THAT THE BORDER WALL ASKED FOR IS ON THE SOUTHERN BORDER.

CANADIAN BORDER, 349 PEOPLE CAME ACROSS IT ILLEGALLY LAST YEAR.

WHEN SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY FROM CONNECTICUT SAYS IT'S RACIST TO WANT A BORDER WALL IN SOUTH NOT THE NORTH, IT'S NEEDED WHERE THE LAWBREAKERS ARE.

500,000 PEOPLE COMPARED WITH 349.

BETSY MAY NOT BE MOTIVATED BY RACIST FEELINGS BUT THIS WAS USED IN RACIST WAYS BY THE PRESIDENT AND MANY PEOPLE ARE RESPONDING TO IT IN WAYS THAT ARE RACIST.

AND GET BACK TO THE PRACTICALITIES, THERE IS A ISSUE WITH BORDER WE NEED TO TEAL WITH BUT NO ARGUMENT FOR SHUTTING DOWN THE GOVERNMENT WHILE WE HAVE THE DEBATES, HARMING ALL SORTS OFPO INNOCENT PEOPLE IN T COUNTRY.

TAKING DECISIONS AWAY FROM PEOPLE WHO -- PARTS OF THE BORDER MAY NEED A FENCE.

WE HAVE SOME ALREADY.

NOTION OF SEA TO SHINING SEA OF WALLS, I DON'T THINK THE PRESIDENT BELIEVES IN IT ANYMORE.

WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE BUT SO MUCH NEWS.

FROM THE PRESIDENT AND DEMOCRATIC RESPONSE, MOVE ON TO ROD ROSENSTEIN.

YOU KNOW WHAT, HE'S BEEN A STERLING PROFESSIONAL, APPOINTED BY REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT AS YOU KNOW.

LOT OF MY REPUBLICAN FRIENDS LOVED HIM.

HE'S BEEN A BULWARK, PROTECTING THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION, GOING BY RULE OF LAW, NOT ALLOWING HIMSELF TO BE BROUGHT INTO POLITICAL HIT JOBS.

IT MAKES ME NERVOUS HE'S LEAVING.

GOT TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH.

I'M NOT NERVOUS, HE SAID THE DAY HE TOOK THE JOB HE'S STAYING TWO YEARS.

LEAVING ON SCHEDULE OF HIS OWN VOLITION, PRESIDENT DIDN'T ASK HIM TO LEAVE.

WE HAVE A NEW ATTORNEY GENERAL COMING IN, CUSTOMARY TO BUILD HIS OWN TEAM.

NO RED FLAGS WITH ROD LEAVING.

MOVING ON TO THE INVESTIGATION THAT ROD HAS PLAYED A HAND IN PROTECTING.

SOME PEOPLE ARE SAYING, THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION.

SEEN HEADLINES AROUND THAT.

RESPONSES TO THE LATEST DEVELOPMENT?

STILL HAVEN'T GOTTEN A REPORT.

AMAZING TO ME AFTER ALL THIS TIME HE'S NOT CONNECTED THE DOTS.

ISSUED QUITE A FEW INDICTMENTS WHICH I'VE READ CAREFULLY, AGAINST RUSSIANS, RHEIN COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUALS.

AND SEPARATELY GONE OFF PAUL MANAFORT FOR ACTS THEY COMMITTED LONG BEFORE THEY WORKED FOR TRUMP.

BUT NOT ABLE TO LINK ANY OF THE MISDEEDS TO THE WHITE HOUSE, THE PRESIDENT OR HIS CAMPAIGN.

NOT SEEN THAT YET.

JUST CAME OUT YESTERDAY, CHAIRMAN OF THE PRESIDENT'S CAMPAIGN, MR. MANAFORT, WAS SHOWING INTERNAL POLLING DOCUMENTS TO SOMEONE INTIMATELY CLOSE TO THE PUTIN REGIME IN THE KREMLIN, OUGHT TO MAKE ALL OF US NERVOUS.

WHY?

BECAUSE THEY'RE COORDINATING WITH THE RUSSIANS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ELECTION.

I DON'T SEE EVIDENCE OF THAT YET.

IT'S IN THE COURT PAPERS THAT CAME OUT YESTERDAY.

SERIES OF INDICTMENTS, GUILTY PLEAS AND COOPERATING.

EVERYBODY PLEADS GUILTY IN OUR SYSTEM, UNFORTUNATELY NOW RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY IS VIRTUALLY PBANISHED.

PROSECUTOR SAID IF YOU PLEAD GUILTY AND COOPERATE, ONLY A LITTLE PRISON TIME BUT PLEAD INNOCENT AND DEMAND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY GOING TO GIVE YOU LIFETIME IN PRISON.

EVEN PEOPLE WHO AREN'T GUILTY PLEAD GUILTY TO SAVE THEIR NECKS AND THEN TESTIFY AGAINST SOMEONE ELSE.

CAMPAIGN MANAGER, DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER, PRIVATE ATTORNEY, LIST GOES ON AND ON.

NEVER HAPPENED IN OBAMA ADMINISTRATION DID IT?

NOT CONNECTED TO THE PRESIDENT.

WHOLE OTHER SHOW ON THAT ONE.

GOOD STUFF.

MOVING ON TO THE LOCALE FRONT.

MAYOR de BLASIO, NEW PROPOSALS.

BIGGEST IS HEALTH CARE.

YOU HAVE A LOT TO SAY ON HEALTH CARE.

BOTH OF US DO FOR SURE.

THIS WAS POLITICAL HOAX, MADE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT IN CITY OF NEW YORK EVERY SINGLE PERSON WILL HAVE ACCESS TO PUBLICLY PROVIDED HEALTH CARE AND THEIR OWN DOCTOR.

HE SAID HE WAS GOING TO ACCOMPLISH ALL OF THIS FOR $100 MILLION A YEAR.

THAT WORKS OUT TO $170 PER YEAR FOR PERSON.

MIGHT GET APPOINTMENT WITH NURSE PRACTITIONER FOR THAT MONEY PROVIDED YOU DON'T EXPECT FOLLOW-UP TESTS OR MEDICATIONS.

STAND UP FOR NURSE PRACTITIONERS FOR A SECOND.

THEY'RE THE FUTURE OF HEALTH CARE.

DIDN'T DISS THEM, CHARGE LESS THAN PHYSICIAN.

THERE'S A BIG PROBLEM.

IN A DECENT SOCIETY, PEOPLE HAVE RIGHT TO HEALTH CARE.

SHOULDN'T HAVE SICKNESSES, ILLNESSES AND PROBLEMS AND BE UNABLE BECAUSE OF ECONOMIC REASONS TO GET DECENT BASIC HEALTH CARE.

IT'S COMPLICATED, EXPENSIVE, ALL KINDS OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE INTERESTS ARE FIGHTING ABOUT IT.

BUT GIVE THE MAYOR A LITTLE BIT OF CREDIT TO STAND UP, SAY THIS IS IMPORTANT, THIS IS COMPASSIONATE CITY, WE HAVE A LOT OF MONEY HERE, LET'S TRY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT.

MIRAGE, THIS IS HIGHLY AMBITIOUS MAYOR WHO WANTS TO BE IN THE FIELD WITH THE PRESIDENTIAL WANNABES.

WANTS TO BE ON THE STAGE.

IT'S MAJOR ISSUE SO HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE.

THERE IS NO MEAT BEHIND IT.

NO CHANGES.

CAN'T TAKE $100 MILLION AND ENSURE ALL THE PEOPLE PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN.

WHAT HE PROMISED.

NOT HAPPENING.

HOAX.

MAYBE GET SOME OF THE WALL MONEY WE HEARD ABOUT.

EXACTLY HOW IS ALL OF THIS GOING TO BE PAID FOR?

IT'S COMPLICATED AND EXPENSIVE.

THAT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH ANSWER.

BECAUSE OF THE INSURANCE COMPANIES AND PROFIT MOTIVE AND BUREAUCRACIES AND HISTORY OF THIS, IT'S VERY CHALLENGING.

IN THIS COUNTRY SPEND MORE THAN ANYONE ON EARTH AND GET WORSE RESULTS THAN MANY DEVELOPED COUNTRIES.

THAT'S NOT TRUE.

AND WE HAVE MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WHO DO NOT RECEIVE ADEQUATE HEALTH CARE, DON'T HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE, CAN'T AFFORD IT, BURDEN EVEN FOR MIDDLE-CLASS PEOPLE.

I WANT OUR POLITICIANS SOLVING IT.

JOIN ME ON MEDICARE FOR ALL.

MAYORS GO TO ALBANY FOR TIN CUP DAY, WONDERING IF THIS IS A PLOY TO PUSH ALBANY.

I DON'T THINK CUOMO WILL DO THAT.

HE HAS HIS OWN EYES ON THE WHITE HOUSE IN 2020.

HE KNOWS HIS LANE IS MODERATE LANE AND UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE PROPOSALS ALL REQUIRE THAT 160 MILLION PEOPLE WITH HEALTH CARE ON THE JOB, MANY IN PUBLIC UNIONS, GIVE UP HEALTH CARE TO BE PART OF THE PUBLIC SYSTEM.

IT'S NEVER GOING TO FLY.

FACT IS ANDREW CUOMO IS TOO SENSIBLE TO GET BEHIND THAT.

HEARING FOR A LONG TIME FROM CONSERVATIVES FRIENDS WE CAN'T DO IT, TOO COMPLICATED, TOO EXPENSIVE, AMERICANS REALLY DON'T -- I DON'T BELIEVE ANY OF IT.

OTHER COUNTRIES DO IT WAY BETTER.

YES, DIFFICULT AND EXPENSIVE BUT WHY NOT START TRYING STUFF?

THESE ARE HUMAN RIGHTS.

PEOPLE SHOULDN'T BE SICK AND UNABLE TO GO TO DOCTOR.

I'M FULLY SUPPORTING OF HELPING UNINSURED BUT NOT GOING TO RIP HEALTH COVERAGE FROM PEOPLE WHO ALREADY HAVE IT AND LIKE IT.

165 MILLION PEOPLE EARNED ON-THE-JOB HEALTH CARE SHOULDN'T BE TOLD THEY HAVE TO GIVE IT UP.

GOOD.

I HOPE TO HAVE YOU BOTH BACK FOR DEBATE.

GOOD.

FAIR ENOUGH.

THANK YOU.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

WNET

© WNET All Rights Reserved.

825 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10019