New push to legalize marijuana in New York state

This is a rush transcript from "The Story," December 21, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ED HENRY, HOST: Thank you, Bret. You know, Bob Corker said, everybody should go home and have a scotch. Maybe that guy in the tree listened a little too closely. I don't know, but I hope you have a Merry Christmas.

In the meantime, everybody got some big stories breaking. The president's big immigration promises from 2016, under assault tonight on multiple fronts. Both in the courts and here on Capitol Hill. As the highest court in the land deals his asylum policy, a big blow. In Congress, barrels towards a partial government shutdown.

Moments ago, the president tweeting about a now-canceled flight to Mar-a- Lago. Pointing the finger at Democrats to "protect America's southern border".

Good evening, everybody. I'm Ed Henry, in four Martha MacCallum. Where we stand right now is a government will likely shut down partially, at least, at midnight. Question now, how long will it stay closed?

I notice Senator Corker said, "Go have a scotch." So regardless of your beverage of choice, the blame game over this shutdown already underway. As a president who just a few days ago, boasted he was more than happy to own a shutdown, now recalibrating.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP STATES: Totally up to the Democrats as to whether or not we have a shutdown. It's possible that we'll have a shutdown, I would say the chances are probably very good. Because I don't think Democrats care so much about maybe this issue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: Well, Democrats sometimes with some colorful language called him out. Because remember, it was the president who ordered those T.V. cameras into the Oval Office meeting where he embraced a shutdown.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., SENATE MINORITY LEADER: President Trump, you own the shutdown.

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, D-CONN.: He's boasted he can do it, and he owns it.

SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI), SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: And effort on his part to blame, the Democrats will be such -- that as I said before, I would hardly be able to stand it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: Oh dear, but how much of this actually lies with Republicans on the Hill, who had, at least, nominal control of the House and Senate for the past two years.

Yesterday at "Fox & Friends", had pressed the House Freedom Caucus chair, Mark Meadows on that point and he was blunt.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: What did you do for the last two years?

REP. MARK MEADOWS, R-N.C.: Well, we failed, we fumbled.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: Well, we've got Fox team coverage live tonight with two of my teammates who never dropped the ball. Peter Doocy live on the Hill with where this partial shutdown stands at this hour. But first, Kristin Fisher with another bombshell story breaking right now that's also impacting the immigration fight this evening. Good evening, Kristin.

KRISTIN FISHER, CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Ed. Yes, this is definitely a blow to the president's immigration policies. What this means is that people who cross into the United States illegally will still be allowed to claim asylum.

Now, remember, the Trump administration has been trying to impose a new policy that would only allow asylum claims to be made at specific points of entry.

Last month, a U.S. District Judge in San Francisco ruled that those new policies violated U.S. immigration laws. Then, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which President Trump has called a big thorn in our side on multiple issues refused the administration's request to lift that lower judge's order which brings us to today, when the Supreme Court sided with the Ninth Circuit, and denied the Trump administration's request that it be allowed to enforce these new policies immediately.

The court was split 5-4 with Chief Justice John Roberts casting the deciding vote. Four justices would have granted the president's request to let the order go into effect including the two justices that he appointed to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

At today's Supreme Court ruling is the second major blow to the president's immigration policies just this week on Wednesday. A federal judge here in Washington struck down large portions of Justice Department policies that made it harder for immigrants to claim asylum because of domestic or gang violence.

And then, of course, there's the fight that's happening right now on Capitol Hill over funding for the president's border wall. So, Ed, he said two losses on immigration this week, we'll see in the next few hours or maybe even days if he's able to get a win on his wall. Ed.

HENRY: Absolutely. Kristin Fisher, thanks for that report. At this hour, as Kristen noted, sources telling Fox the down to the wire negotiations are still underway to secure some type of funding for the president's wall as the clock counts toward a partial shutdown to midnight.

Peter Doocy live on the Hill with what we know at this hour. Good evening, Peter.

PETER DOOCY, CORRESPONDENT: Ed, good evening. Tonight, the U.S. Senate said they can't stomach the border wall bill that easily passed to the House yesterday. And now, rank-and-file members are going to sit on their hands until a grand bargain can be reached.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BOB CORKER, R-TENN: We're not voting on anything else in this chamber relative to this issue until a global agreement has been reached between the president and these two leaders and the leader of the House. So, there won't be test votes, not going to be a tabling vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOOCY: And since the Senate is going to make some changes to the bill, the likelihood of a shutdown rises because the House would have to approve any changes, and the House isn't going to have any more votes tonight.

Some House lawmakers have already been spotted at the airport flying home and Democrats believe, they've got major leverage to squeeze major concessions out of the Republican majority.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHUMER: His wall does not have 60 votes here in the Senate, let alone 50 votes. That much is now clear.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOOCY: There were 47 votes in favor, 47 votes against advancing to the border wall bill. So, Vice President Pence had to break a tie. He's been here for hours with Jared Kushner and incoming White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. Meeting behind closed doors with leaders on the House side and the Senate side, including Schumer.

Some lawmakers have told us there was some discussion about maybe agreeing to less than $5 billion in border wall money. But, there has not been a breakthrough yet. And so, there is no plan to avoid a shutdown, yet. Ed.

HENRY: Yes, yet. Peter, thanks for that report. Here now, David Avella, he's chairman of GOPAC. Chris Stirewalt, of course, Fox News politics editor. And Michael Scherer, he's national political reporter for The Washington Post. Good to see you all.

Breaking a moment ago, I understand as Peter was talking, I understand that the House adjourned, they're coming back in noon Saturday. So, Michael, that means the government will shut down to midnight. They're going to not going to pass anything new. What comes next?

MICHAEL SCHERER, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, what the president's gotten is, is he's showing that he's taking a stand. And that's what he wanted to show to his base. The question is how long will he stick to his position. I think, right now, Democrats feel like they have the upper hand there was just a House election and Democrats won. Even though immigration was front and center by almost nine points.

The polling on the wall right now says about 59 percent of the country doesn't want the wall that the president wants, even though his base wants it. And so, Democrats feel like they have the upper hand right now. And the question really is what Trump feels he can get by pushing this forward, you know, into the weekend?

HENRY: So, what do you think, David, as being part of the president's base, what did you find acceptable? It doesn't look like $5 billion for the wall is going to happen. Can he get a billion, can he get $2 billion, what's the sweet spot?

DAVID AVELLA, CHAIRMAN, GLOBAL ORGANIZATION OF PARLIAMENTARIANS AGAINST CORRUPTION: Ultimately, the president needs to get as much money as he can right now for border security. And then, also get added all the additional costs that were going to pay down the line when just look at DHS numbers. That we're -- look at what happened last year at the border. 3,800 known or suspected terrorists were stopped. 17,000 criminals were stopped, over a thousand gang members were stopped.

If we're not going to stop them at the border, we have to be prepared that they're going to be in the country, and local law enforcement is going to have to deal with it. So, you're going to have to get money for them. So, whatever amount of money --

(CROSSTALK)

HENRY: Sure. Department Homeland Security partly put -- throws those stats out all the time. It's hard to verify exactly how many gang members are coming through. There's no doubt the president's made his point that he wants to secure the wall at the border, I should say, Chris, with a wall. But it's been a brutal week for him.

CHRIS STIREWALT, POLITICS EDITOR: If they get 3,800 terrorists through at the -- that can't be 3,800. I don't think we have 3,800 people on the terrorist watch list. Look, this is a fake stupid fight. It is insulting to the intelligence of any voter who pays even a second of attention in a government that is running a $1 trillion deficit.

We are fighting over the difference between $1.6 billion and $5 billion. There is no wall, the wall is made of slats now. And so, the Democrats say you can build walls if you don't call them walls. The Republicans say you can build fences but you must call them walls.

This is as dumb and unworthy as anything I've seen this Congress or any Congress do. The normal thing that humane decent people would do and say, you're at 1.6, you're at 3.0 -- you're at five -- 3.3, sounds pretty good to me.

(CROSSTALK)

HENRY: Well, that's why I asked about a sweet spot.

STIREWALT: It's just so dumb.

HENRY: (INAUDIBLE) David, why can't? And I mentioned this with Mark Meadows, your party had at least control the House. I realized in the Senate, you need 60 votes, so it's a little more nebulous. But you were running both chambers, and you didn't get the money.

AVELLA: You got to get to 60 votes in the Senate. If legislation is like sausage-making, we got a broken grinder at the moment. And it's a great preview --

(CROSSTALK)

HENRY: I did that one before.

AVELLA: It's a great preview of what we're going to see next year. Why is that? Because the last two years you had 10 Democrats in states that Trump won. So they had to find ways to work with him. You're going into the 2020 election, there are two Democrats. Gary Peters in Michigan and Doug Jones in Alabama. There is no motivation for Democrats. As we see in this fight is going --

STIREWALT: There's no pressure and no valve.

AVELLA: Exactly. And the only way presidents win these fights is to get the American people, calling their member, and putting pressure on that.

HENRY: Michael?

SCHERER: I think, as far as I remembering though that less than a year ago, Senator Schumer went over the White House with a proposal. And back then, we were talking about $20 billion or more for the wall.

HENRY: Right.

SCHERER: And the deal was you, you, basically legalized the DREAMers who are here right now. President Trump walked away from that. He want changes to legal immigration status. It's, it's pretty clear he hasn't gained leverage since then.

HENRY: OK, but you said earlier, Michael, as I recall that polls suggest that people don't want the wall. Chris said this is a stupid fight. Let me just show you what happened in the Oval Office, I believe 10 days ago, and what Nancy Pelosi said. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF, HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: There are no votes in the House, a majority vote for a wall. No matter where you start.

SCHUMER: That's exactly right. You don't have the votes in the House.

TRUMP: If I needed the votes for the wall in the House, I would have them in one session, it would be done.

(CROSSTALK)

PELOSI: Well, then go do it. Go do it.

TRUMP: I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not going to blame you for it. The last time you shut it down, it didn't work. I will take the mantle of shutting down.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HENRY: So Chris, we're being fair and balanced and pointing out at the top. Then the president's flipped on who's taking the mantle. However, he doesn't -- he get credit for the fact that he called that Pelosi and Schumer to their faces in front of the cameras and said, "I can bring this up in the House." And regards what the polls say and the fact is House Republicans brought up the money under his direction. And they passed it, they got $5 billion. The Senate has not approved, but they got.

STIREWALT: Paul Ryan is like -- it's like the immaculate reception. He's a lame duck speaker, and earlier, somebody said easily pass. It pass by one vote, they had to fly people home to get that. But they pulled it off, and it was a remarkable accomplishment at the end.

And it puts the pressure back on the Senate. So, the Senate can act. So, now we are at impasse. And I will only point out not to take any drama when everybody should say glued to their shutdown clock.

However, however, Monday is a holiday for federal workers because the president gave it to them off. Tuesday is Christmas which is a holiday for everybody in the country. This is a four-day weekend that we are going into. The real consequences don't start to pile up until Wednesday.

HENRY: So, the real deadline might be Monday or Tuesday in terms of a negotiation. Quick point for Michael and I want to get to the --

SCHERER: Yes, I think we can't forget that President Trump has a Mar-a- Lago Christmas Party planned on Monday and Tuesday. So, that's another pressure here.

(CROSSTALK)

STIREWALT: Well, that won't due. That will not due. That will not due.

HENRY: That's another pressure point. I want to ask you David about this Supreme Court decision that was mentioned at the top by Kristin Fisher. So, let me quote from Judge Tigar, who said, "Whatsoever the scope of the president's authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden."

Is this one of the things that just completely irritates the president and his base, which is that you have these federal judges saying, "Oh no, you don't have power to make immigration law. When meanwhile, Congress seems as Chris and everyone else has pointed out, hopelessly deadlocked on $5 billion. Let alone major comprehensive immigration reform. They can't move, the president saying, "I'm going to act on an executive basis."

AVELLA: As we saw during the Obama administration who ruled by executive order after executive order.

HENRY: And Republicans were mad.

AVELLA: And the Republicans were upset about that. But look, there is progress being made. We've worked it, worked out with the asylum seekers that they're going to stay in Mexico until we get legal status for them or some status for them to bring them into the country for their asylum.

So, progress is being made here and you know the judge's ruling isn't certainly -- what the White House was hoping for, but it's not to say progress isn't being made.

HENRY: Last question, Chris. Not a lot of progress with Chief Justice Roberts it appears.

STIREWALT: So, this is more of a question. This is more of a question here about whether individual judges have the power to issue moratoria nationwide.

HENRY: Yes.

STIREWALT: Some judges -- some courts hold that they can't, others say they can't. This is more an issue about judicial authority than on the merits here what Roberts is saying, no, you've got to work through the system and the judge has the power to issue that injunction.

HENRY: David, Chris, Michael, a Merry Christmas to all. Appreciate your insights tonight.

SCHERER: Merry Christmas.

HENRY: Up next, President Trump's bold but controversial military moves in the Mideast. Including plans to bring home half of our troops from Afghanistan. We talked to the former deputy commanding general of forces there about whether the president strategy is on target, and what comes next -- and not just in Syria but in Afghanistan.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HENRY: It has been a week of monumental foreign policy decisions from the President. And tonight, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is demand hearings on the planned withdrawals of U.S. troops not just in Syria but also Afghanistan where the President is looking to draw down about half of the 14,000 troops we have there.

The announcement largely overshadowed by the imminent resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis who's exiting at the end of February. He's upset he had a break with the president over policy. Here now General Anthony Tata, retired, former Deputy Commanding General of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Good evening, sir.

RET. GEN. ANTHONY TATA, FORMER DEPUTY COMMANDING GENERAL OF U.S. FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN: Good evening, Ed.

HENRY: So talk a little bit about this break because Secretary Mattis had been by the President's side through thick and thin. They weren't always exactly on the same page. They've had their differences but he kept it inside. Why is Syria a breaking point?

TATA: Well, first of all, I think there's a lot to celebrate about the Trump Mattis alliance. You know, they got record spending for the Defense Department, they reformed business practices, they created better trained and ready forces for all of the U.S. forces and Army Air Force Marines, etcetera, Navy Coast Guard. So there's a lot to express satisfaction over with regard to that alliance.

You know, Secretary Mattis pointed out the collective security arrangement that NATO and other alliances that he might have differed with the President on. And then China Russia he used the term clear-eyed about that.

HENRY: Sure.

TATA: I think you know the President's national security strategy identifies China and Russia as pure competitors and he's resourced the budget to contest them. So I didn't really understand that point --

HENRY: Well, he's taking on China as you say on the tariffs for example in Russia while the media spends a lot of time saying he's in Putin's pocket. On the other hand, we've had all these sections against Russia that many in the media don't talk about. The President today praised some of your commentary on television. Among other things, he said -- he quoted you as saying, I think he is making the exact right move in Syria. All the geniuses who are protesting withdrawal of troops from Syria are the same geniuses who cooked the books on Isis intelligence and gave rise to Isis.

Part of my question, what about the Kurds? We're hearing from some of the President's allies saying -- normal allies like a Lindsey Graham and others saying wait a second, you've got Erdogan in Turkey who wants to run them over, wants to maybe kill them. What about our allies -- what about the Kurds?

TATA: So the Kurds have been right by our side throughout this fight for the last four years that we've been in Syria and they are our allies and they have been even during the Iraq war they were our allies, and they provided safe haven for a lot of our troops. And so yes, we have a great Alliance and friendship dating back to the first Gulf War with the Kurds. And Turkey has not been happy with the Kurds for decades, if not centuries, and so I don't know that there's going to be any real effort to go after the Kurds. And we're going to have the diplomatic means to influence Erdogan and we've also got information and military and economic elements of national power --

HENRY: So if that were to work out and we'll see that's a big if. And what about Iran because you know, another key ally of the president in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who's also expressing concern. He's saying look, you've got Iran's proxy Hezbollah already has dug tunnels into Israeli territory and now there's a fear that Iran is going to fill this vacuum in Syria. Answer that one.

TATA: Well, so we've got 2,000 troops on the ground on completely the other side of Syria that have nothing to do, they're not close to Israel or the border with between Syria and Israel. There's no connection there whatsoever other than the fact that the U.S. has 2,000 troops. We could probably get 2,000 paratroopers from Fort Bragg to that border before we could get those 2,000 troops on the ground in Syria.

So if we have an issue with Israel, and Israel is our number one alliance and ally in the Middle East and is the primary effort that we need to protect there, then you know, we can respond as necessary.

HENRY: Let's switch over to Afghanistan because there's a Taliban commander who said among other things, the 17-year long struggle and sacrifices of thousands of our people finally yielded fruit. We proved it to the entire world that we defeated the self-proclaimed the world's lone superpower. You have the Taliban celebrating right now.

The President in 2017 said basically that we can't pull out of Afghanistan because then there's going to be the safe haven for terrorists and yet it seems like he's doing the opposite now. He's pulling out. What about his own words that this is maybe going to provide a safe haven for the Taliban and others?

TATA: Well, I would say, first of all, he's not pulling out. He's proposed a reduction in force there.

HENRY: By half.

TATA: By half, up to about 7,000 which you know, he increased the force previous to that under General Nicholson. And you know, the purpose in Afghanistan is to deny sanctuary to terrorists. You have 150,000 Afghan National Police, 175,000 AFGHAN National Army that we have trained and that have been really carrying the fight to the enemy. and we are very much in it advise and assist role.

So with and over the horizon force as I'm sure will happen in Syria as well from Iraq, you know, we can have -- you know, we've got Bagram Air Base and we've got Kandahar Air Base. We can have these over the horizon forces that can respond as necessary. But it's time to let the Afghan National forces to carry this fight to the Taliban and --

HENRY: The nation's longest war.

TATA: Well, that's correct. I mean, when do we get out of these wars? You know, four years in Syria. People probably don't realize four years in Syria. Nobody even thought we were ever going to be in Syria.

HENRY: And everyone's expressing surprised when the President campaigned and said back in 2016 were not going to be the world's policeman folks. And so, that leads me to my final question which I mentioned he praised you about your television commentary today. If he picks up the phone and says I want to consider you for defense secretary, what would you say?

TATA: I'm always proud to serve my country. I've served as a general in combat, I've served as Secretary of Transportation in North Carolina, and I've served as superintendent of schools and Raleigh area, the 15th largest school district in the country --

HENRY: It sounds like you want to serve again.

TATA: I'm proud -- I'm proud to serve my country any time and would welcome any opportunity to do that.

HENRY: General Anthony Tata, author of the new book dark winter, a novel. Check it out. Merry Christmas, sir.

TATA: Merry Christmas!

HENRY: I appreciate your insight.

TATA: Thank you.

HENRY: Up next, a break in the case of a missing Colorado mom, last seen Thanksgiving Day.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HENRY: One month after Colorado mom mysteriously disappeared on Thanksgiving Day, police finally have a murder suspect. Trace Gallagher has a troubling new details from our West Coast newsroom. Good evening, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Ed. The suspect is also the fiance. And breaking right now 32-year-old Patrick Frazee just made his initial court appearance via video camera. The judge read the murder charge, set the next hearing for New Year's Eve and said court documents will remain sealed. It was the very height of the search for 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth when the Woodland Park Police Chief was asked if Frazee was a suspect. The chief said Frazee was the quote father of Kelsey's daughter and we're going to leave it at that.

So despite Frazee's lawyer saying his client had turned over his phone and given a DNA swab, all the signs pointed to police having inside information pointing to Frazee. Here's the chief on the focus of the investigation. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MILES DE YOUNG, CHIEF, WOODLAND PARK POLICE: The investigators have recovered a number of items that make us suspicious that the crime did occur at Kelsey's residence and that's why we have been coming back to her residence as we get additional information that leads us to various locations.

GALLAGHER: Berreth was last publicly seen Thanksgiving Day on surveillance cameras at Safeway grocery store in Woodland Park, Colorado. Later her fiance apparently came to Berreth's home to pick up their one-year-old daughter. Frazee and Bharath war either engaged or had just broken up depending on who you talk to. The fiance then got a text from Berrett's phone three days after Thanksgiving though police have not released the details of what was written. But the same day Berrett's phone also texted her employer where she works as a flight instructor to say she needed time off.

And later the same day her phone pinged to a cell tower in Gooding, Idaho some 800 miles from her home. And there is no indication she flew anywhere. Watch again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DE YONG: And we were still working to recover that phone. And that's about all I can comment. But that phone information was accurate, her phone did end up in Idaho and we are working to try to recover that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: So police think she was killed in Woodland Park, yet her phone was in Idaho. In recent days, police crews have been using a backhoe to dig up Patrick Frazee's property though it's unclear if they are looking for human remains. Ed?

HENRY: Just gruesome. Trace Gallagher, I appreciate your report tonight. Up next, Al Sharpton wants New York to legalize pot. But first, he wants the state to make amends for its, quote, unquote, "racist drug policies." Bill Bennett, the nation's first drug czar is here next. Let's just say he's got a few thoughts about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: As a menace, though, but from an occasional cigar. I'm a nonsmoker. But I'm more interested in justice than judgment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREW CUOMO, GOVERNOR OF New York: We must also end the needless and unjust criminal convictions and the debilitating criminal stigma and let's legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: Well, it was only a few months ago that New York Governor Cuomo called it a gateway drug and now he is pushing for the empire state to join 10 other plus Washington, D.C., to actually legalize use of marijuana. The main argument for legalization is tax revenue. But the Reverend Al Sharpton argues it's not just about money but making amends.

Bill Bennett served as our nation's first ever drug czar under President George H.W. Bush. He's now the host of the Bill Bennett podcast and a Fox News contributor. His book "The True Saint Nicholas: Why He Matters to Christmas" is out now and it makes a wonderful Christmas gift of course. We're going to get to that in a moment. Secretary Bennett, good to see you, sir.

BILL BENNETT, CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Ed.

HENRY: What are your thoughts on Al Sharpton's take on this?

BENNETT: It's almost unbelievable. But with Al Sharpton, I guess you can believe it. You know, Jesse Jackson, another man of the cloth, said years ago drugs like marijuana appeal because it's short-term pleasure but he warned its long-term gain. He talked about these drugs imprisoning people, which is what they do.

A great scholar James T. Wilson said, you know, they destroy the mind and enslave the soul. Marijuana is discussed by Reverend Sharpton as a civil right access to marijuana. It's really quite incredible.

There' s professor at Northwestern Medical School, Hans Breiter, he's a psychiatrist and practitioner who said if you wanted to design a drug worst suited for young people in order to keep them down in the bottom ranks of society, you couldn't do better than marijuana. It decreases attention, focus and memory. If you smoke it regularly, once a week, for several years, you will lose I.Q. points.

Why in heaven's name would we want to make such a drug more generally available? Well, the legalization lobby has been very effective and very successful. But think of those kids in the community of which Al Sharpton says he represents. All the programs, all those scholarships, all those efforts, all those heads start and then you are going to make pot more generally available.

HENRY: Well, Bill, but there is also the reality of you have Mayor de Blasio in New York City every time I'm in New York to host Fox & Friends you could smell marijuana in the streets. I'm not exaggerating. Practically every street in New York you smell the pungent odor of marijuana. It's all over the city and--

BENNETT: Yes.

HENRY: -- he has ordered the police to not crack down on it at all.

BENNETT: Yes. By the way, there are very, very few people who are in jail or prison for smoking a joint. Most of the sentences we look at are the people who have pleaded down from trafficking and large amounts.

When I was drug czar they said let's try in a state. And see what happens. Well, we've tried it in some states. Trying it in Colorado, take a look at the numbers. Look at the hospital room admission so that the fatalities on the road. Watch the SAT scores in a few years. Yes, it's there, it's available.

And there is another argument that you heard Governor Cuomo talk about. The adult use, yes, it will be restricted to adults just like beer has been restricted to adults because of age.

HENRY: All right.

BENNETT: This is a terrible thing that is being done to these kids.

HENRY: Dr. Bennett, I want to talk about your book as well. It's a Christmas season. Tell us a little bit about why you decided to put together the true Saint. Nicholas.

BENNETT: Another man of faith. This is a real man of faith. Messenger of God. Saint Nicholas, Nicholas of Patara born in Asia Minor. He is Greek. He is famous for throwing gifts, throwing of gold through a window at night in a poor man's house. The gold fell into the stocking and the shoes of young people. That should sound familiar. That's carried on 1,800 years now.

But also, this was again, a man of tremendous influence in the church. He went to the council of Nicaea where Constantine presided and he was angry at the heresies there that he spalled the major, the bringer of these heresies in the face.

He was imprisoned by Diocletian, the Roman emperor, tortured. He ministered to his fellow prisoners while being tortured. When he got out, he became a bishop.

A remarkable man and became the patron saint of sailors, but most of all he became the patron saint of children. Children all around the world loved him and still do. The name Nicholas is popular in Greece and in other places. Not least of all because of this wonderful and blessed man. I wanted to tell his story because it's a real guy.

HENRY: Absolutely. And we got 30 seconds. We're going to do a story about the late President Bush in a moment. I know you served under him. And it made me think as I get ready to tease that, when you talk about a man of faith, you talk about the Christmas season. We try to get people to focus on other things beyond commercialism and whatnot. President Bush was somebody who we can we simply cannot forget. We lost him this year.

BENNETT: Absolutely. The selflessness. I love what Jon Meacham said at the funeral when he read to George Walker Herbert Bush what he was going to say about him at the funeral, the president said, gee, it's an awful lot about me, isn't it? Yes, sir, it is. That's the kind of selflessness.

HENRY: Absolutely, who was taught by his mother early on not to be braggadocious and he certainly--

(CROSSTALK)

BENNETT: Don't be braggadocious. Don't brag on yourself.

HENRY: Dr. Bennett, good luck with the book. And we hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

BENNETT: Merry Christmas to you, Ed. Thank you very much.

HENRY: All right. Up next as I mentioned, how the late President George H.W. Bush helped to shape the life of a young boy in the Philippines. This is a new story that we have not heard before. How he changed his life forever.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HENRY: Welcome back to The Story. As we noted a moment ago, it's been nearly one month since the loss of President George H.W. Bush. But tonight, there is fresh new proof of the powerful legacy he leaves behind.

This story began in 2002. It's a secret. The president started sponsoring a child from the Philippines named Timothy. Writing at the time, quote, "I'm an old man, 77. But I love kids. And though we have not met, I love you already."

Their relationship as pen pals would develop for 10 whole years. The president signing his name simply as George Walker with each message. Wow! Now, Timothy is a 25-year-old man. You see him there.

He says, quote, "my biggest take-away from being a former beneficiary is that I was molded in the right path and in the ways of God. To the late and the former President of the United States of America, Mr. George Bush, thank you very much for being my sponsor."

Joining me now is Tim Glenn of Compassion International, that is the non- profit behind President Bush's child sponsorship. They help literally a couple of million people around the world. And Tim, I want to welcome you in tonight. Welcome.

TIM GLENN, COMMUNICATIONS PRINCIPAL, COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL: Thank you for having me.

HENRY: How did they come together? It's such a beautiful story.

GLENN: Isn't this a great story? You know, I love how they came together. But, you know, they say character is what you do when no one else is looking.

HENRY: Yes.

GLENN: And this is a perfect example of President Bush's character. This was at an Amy Grant concert in 2001. A Christmas concert. President Bush was there. And Amy is a friend of Compassion and during an intermission in the concert she talked about Compassion International. She told people all you have to do is sponsor a child and raise your hand and we'll bring a packet to you.

And here was President Bush raising his hand at the concert, surrounded by a security detail and they passed the packet down to him. He chose Timothy right there that night and he started sponsoring him in January of 2002.

HENRY: Wow! And what would a sponsor -- what does a sponsorship, since this continues with other children, what does it entail? Does it entail money? It's just encouragement with letters? Talk about that.

GLENN: Yes. Compassion International is a child development organization. So, we work through the local church and the 25 countries where we work. We have 7,000 of those church partners in those 25 countries. And we have two million children who attend those church partners to receive the child development program.

That involved educational assistance, after school tutors, health and hygiene education, social skills, help to become employable as adults--

HENRY: Right.

GLENN: -- and spiritual development as well. Because we know that poverty- -

(CROSSTALK)

HENRY: Now I know--

GLENN: -- is about more than just money. I'm sorry, go ahead.

HENRY: Yes. And pardon me. I know that you are protecting his privacy so we don't know where Timothy is right now.

GLENN: Yes.

HENRY: And we don't want him to be, you know, bothered or harassed by people.

GLENN: Right.

HENRY: We want him to be able to live his life. But has he had contact with others in the Bush family?

GLENN: No, he has not had contact with the Bush family that we know of in the last 48 hours. I've been chatting with him for the past 48 hours and he is doing well. He is married. He has a wife named Dianne, a daughter named Yosha (Ph), and he has a job with a government office, and he also plays in band, plays guitar in a band at night.

HENRY: Yes. So, last question, I saw in some of the letters back and forth the former president mentioned almost in passing. You know, I was at the White House last night and I wanted to send you in Christmas booklet. You know, pamphlet about all the decorations.

But there was -- that was amazing. This one is truly amazing. He said at one point the president, "P.S., be sure to say your prayers. I do every day. This birthday present will show you the time all around the world." The gift was a calculator.

GLENN: Yes.

HENRY: How remarkable is that?

GLENN: Yes, isn't that amazing? And you know, you don't have to be a president of the United States to sponsor a child. You just go to Compassion.com and you can start that kind of relationship, too. You can start writing letters to your sponsored child, you can send gifts. Small gifts through the mail.

And you can even visit your child with a trip to their home, to their village, to the community, to their church project and see first-hand the impact that Compassion's program has.

HENRY: Wow! Well, Tim Glenn, we want to thank you for your work all around the world and for bringing us what is really a truly terrific story about the late president and Timothy as well. Please if you talk to him, give him our best.

And you can go to Compassion.com as you see on the screen. Seems like a wonderful idea over the holidays. Thank you, sir.

GLENN: Thanks, Ed. Thank you. Merry Christmas.

HENRY: Merry Christmas to you as well. Up next, former president -- former first lady, I should say, Michelle Obama makes a bit of a fashion statement in New York City. And the internet goes wild. Stay tuned for ladies' night where we will debate a little less important story up next.

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HENRY: So, look, sometimes you have to transition from a wonderful story about faith to something about Michelle Obama's arms that are not all the rage these days. Another big thing that's the rage.

First lady stepping out in thigh-high yellow boots, adorned in sequence at an event in New York this week. Turns out they cost $4,000 from a big-time designer. So big-time I can't even pronounce it. I'm not even going to try it.

And let's just say the internet -- Balenciaga. I don't want to get it wrong. And the internet, apparently, everybody else knows where these boots are from. Everybody was going wild.

And here is now for ladies' night, Penny Nance from the Concerned Women for America, president and CEO, Jennifer Holdsworth, Democratic strategist and the former campaign director of Senator Cory Booker, and Kimberly Klacik, Republican strategist and talk America radio contributor.

Good to see you all. I want to start with you, Penny, what did you think about this?

PENNY NANCE, CEO & PRESIDENT, CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA: Listen, Concerned Women for America stands firmly in bipartisan support for fabulous, unserious shoes. So, I loved them. I love her shoes. I also by the way wrote a piece not too long ago in Foxnews.com standing alongside Melania Trump and praising her beautiful shoes. I said very clearly, I think we need to talk about all the important policy issues we have today.

But look, I'm wearing Jimmy Choo today in solidarity with our beautiful first ladies.

HENRY: Jennifer, what about that? Because remember when the first lady, there was a, she was wearing pumps instead of sneakers to go visit the hurricane. Everybody went crazy. For no apparent reason.

JENNIFER HOLDSWORTH, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: No. I mean, I think the boots were just fabulous. I mean, I wish that I could pull them off. But I don't know if I have the confidence or the height to do it.

But I think one thing we can get together on bipartisan is that we have had two incredibly trendy, beautiful first ladies in a row with a wonderful design and fashion aesthetics. So, it is one thing that both the parties can get together on.

HENRY: Kim, you bring a lot of fashion to the table.

KIMBERLY KLACIK, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yes.

HENRY: What are your thoughts?

KLACIK: Thank you. I wish I could afford Balenciaga boots but I cannot.

HENRY: It just rolls off your tongue.

KLACIK: But I'm glad--

(CROSSTALK)

HENRY: I don't even want to read it off the prompter. Balenciaga.

KLACIK: Yes.

HOLDSWORTH: You'll get used to it.

KLACIK: Yes. But I'm glad that she wore them. Because not too long ago I was on Fox & Friends defending Melania Trump and what she wore in Africa. And everyone talked about her expensive tastes. So, now hopefully the left can stop talking about that because $4,000 boots it doesn't get more expensive than that.

HENRY: You know, I'm going to get hit probably by Congresswoman-elect Ocasio-Cortez. Because we did a segment on the show a few weeks ago and we were talking about the shoes she used on the campaign trail and how they were being put in a museum and it was positive story.

And she kind of got mad and tweeted about how we were only focused on her shoes. We were not. We were focused on her, the historic nature of her campaign.

NANCE: Well, and this--

(CROSSTALK)

HENRY: So, the story ends up becoming a big blown out of proportion.

NANCE: Well, this is woman by the way who has embraced socialism so it's hard to take her too seriously when she is wearing $10,000 outfits and all of that. Michelle Obama made $65 million in the joint book deal. So, I'm thinking she can afford the four grand for the shoes.

HENRY: Jennifer, on that point, what about the fact that first lady Melania Trump, she never appears on the cover of any of the big fashion magazines. As has been noted we should be bipartisan. Michelle Obama, a beautiful woman. Melania Trump, a beautiful woman. And both beyond their looks, we should point out, both are very good first ladies.

They both had strong causes. Michelle Obama talked about healthy eating, she helped our veterans. Melania Trump is talking about anti-bullying. Why won't any of the magazine just give her a tiny bit of due?

HOLDSWORTH: Well, I think if you compare the number of magazines that first lady Melania Trump was on versus Michelle Obama, I think Melania Trump would win any day of the week--

(CROSSTALK)

HENRY: Well, before she was first lady.

KLACIK: Right.

HOLDSWORTH: But, you know, in terms of her being on the magazines while President Trump is in office, I think that's because a lot of people disbelieve the credibility of her Be Best campaign while the president is insulting people on Twitter. So, there is a little bit of a concern there.

HENRY: Kimberly, this photo, by the way, there is another fashion magazine we just showed it up there. The Christmas photo. The president and the first lady were holding hands. And I think was it Vogue? They were going crazy about it.

KLACIK: Yes.

HENRY: My God, it doesn't look real.

KLACIK: Everybody was going crazy about it. But here, you have the first lady that is actually an immigrant. And you think the left would champion her, because hey, they are all about immigration. But here they are not doing that. They're thumb in their nose at Melania. I mean, she can't help that she is beautiful and intelligent and speaks so different many languages. I mean, what does she is supposed to do?

(CROSSTALK)

HENRY: Quick point, Jennifer and I want to go--

(CROSSTALK)

HOLDSWORTH: Sure. She is the first immigrant first lady since Louisa Adams that's very historical, but it's certainly a different story when you want to slam the door behind you.

HENRY: Penny, what happened with this engagement ring that Paris Hilton is going to keep? What is it like? Worth $25 million bucks or something?

NANCE: No, I think $2 million.

HENRY: Two million. OK. I'm exaggerating.

(CROSSTALK)

NANCE: Two.

HOLDSWORTH: You can see the karat.

HENRY: I see tweets about it all day. She's keeping this ring.

NANCE: Still, $2 million. I mean, listen, apparently in celebrity world you don't even pay for your own engagement ring. I mean, that's the kind--

(CROSSTALK)

HENRY: It was like some deal cut with the jeweler.

NANCE: Yes. Like even I don't know what woman.

HENRY: So, it's promotion.

NANCE: I mean, I just think that's bizarre. I don't know what woman would want an engagement ring. I don't care how small it is that isn't paid for by the person who loves you versus some like deal where, you know, your whole life is a commodity.

HENRY: Kimberly wants to jumps in here.

KLACIK: Yes. No, I agree. I mean, obviously my husband, I would want him to pay for it.

HOLDSWORTH: Yes.

KLACIK: It shows that his love and how he feels about me. This is all about publicity for the jeweler. And I think she should keep it honestly.

HENRY: Jen.

NANCE: I wish she donate it to charity.

HOLDSWORTH: She should donate it. That's a really good idea.

NANCE: Yes, it's a good idea.

HOLDSWORTH: It looks like Paris Hilton is the new Elizabeth Taylor just keeping all the diamonds that she collects along the way. But look, when I was in law school, I read a case called Heiman v Parrish and it says that engagement rings are conditional gifts.

KLACIK: Yes.

HOLDSWORTH: And if it's the condition is not met you have to get it back. So, Paris Hilton's ex-fiance is very benevolent in letting her keep this ring.

HENRY: By the way, what do you guys think about the president, he is about to sign the farm bill yesterday and he tweeted this video of him singing a Green Acres song. That was kind of a fun moment.

NANCE: Hilarious.

HENRY: But a little odd, too.

NANCE: No. He never gets the credit for being funny and self-deprecating.

HENRY: There it is.

NANCE: That's when he is the funniest when he is been self-deprecating. He talked about his hair. But they never going to give him credit for it. I thought it was hilarious.

HENRY: Quick point.

HOLDSWORTH: I think this is just a reminder that the president is an entertainer. It was a dad joke. But it in the grand pantheon of President Trump tweets that was not the most absurd.

HENRY: Kimberly?

KLACIK: Yes. It doesn't get more transparent than that. It's projected to save us the farm bill, that is, $15 billion over the next 10 years. I'm glad that they are doing it. I'm glad he could poke fun.

HENRY: You had to inject policy into a series of fun group of stories.

HOLDSWORTH: I know.

HENRY: Kimberly, Jennifer, and Penny, we appreciate you all coming in. Merry Christmas.

NANCE: Thank you.

HOLDSWORTH: Thank you.

KLACIK: Thank you.

HENRY: That's "The Story" from Washington on this Friday night. Have a wonderful weekend. Safe travels if you're going out of town for the holidays. Tucker Carlson, he'll be coming up next. Have a merry Christmas, everybody.

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