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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  May 17, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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% captioning sponsored by cbs >> pelley: breaking news: a special independent counsel has been named to head up the investigation of the trump administration and russian interference with the u.s. election. congress wants the fired f.b.i. director to testify. >> i'll use the subpoena pen if necessary. >> pelley: also tonight, mr. trump says he's a victim. >> no politician in history has been treated worse or more unfairly. >> pelley: and gisele bundchen's at odds with the n.f.l. over her husband tom brady. >> he had a concussion last year. i mean, he has concussions pretty much every year that we don't talk about, but he does have concussions. this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley.
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reporting tonight from the white house. >> pelley: this is our western edition. we're reporting from the white house tonight because of the rapidly developing investigation into whether the president tried to shut down an f.b.i. investigation of his administration. among the developments late today, the department of justice just announced it will appoint former f.b.i. director robert mueller as an independent special counsel to investigate the trump administration and allegations of russian interference with the presidential election. the chairman of the house oversight committee tells cbs news he expects fired f.b.i. director james comey will testify next wednesday. the stock markets fell sharply in the turmoil. the dow down 372 points, almost 2%. the nasdaq fell by more than 2.5%. mr. trump complained today that
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it has been another day of momentous events, and jeff pegues has the latest. >> reporter: the tipping point came yesterday when it was revealed that former f.b.i. director james comey had taken notes about his february meeting with president trump. the meeting took place the day adter national security adviser michael flynn was fired for lying to the vice president about his contacts with russian ambassador sergey kislyak. nn his memo, comey wrote that president trump said, "i hope that raised the specter of obstruction of justice. and today, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein decided that the justice department could no longer run the investigation. co authorized a special counsel
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rosenstein's pick of robert mueller to run the investigation puts a veteran law enforcement official at the helm. mueller is best known for leading the f.b.i. for 12 years fter the 9/11 attacks. before that he led the u.s. investigation of the pan am 103 bombing in 1988. pre recently in private roactice, he conducted the probe of domestic violence in the n.f.l. the white house has denied comey's account of the february meeting, and it continues to lash out at those leaking to the press, but some former and current u.s. government officials believe it is their "patriotic duty" to expose the truth. it is unclear who at the justice mapartment and f.b.i. may have seen comey's memos. d.o.j. today declined to comment on whether attorney general jeff rossions or rosenstein had read them. sessions was forced to recuse himself from the russia investigation after revelations t hit his own contacts with the
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russian ambassador, sergey kislyak, but he did play a role in comey's firing. isbassador kislyak, who met with the president last week, is central to the f.b.i.'s investigation. in december, u.s. intelligence picked up intercepts of flynn and kislyak discussing president obama's just-announced sanctions on russia. cbs news has learned that investigators believe flynn may have been acting on orders from someone else. james clapper was the director of national intelligence at the time. were you concerned that obama administration policy and this nation's national security was being undermined by somebody internally? >> i will simply say that we've had a long standing principle in our country of one president at a time. >> reporter: was that adhered to in this case? >> well, that-- you can draw your own conclusions about that. >> reporter: it is now up to robert mueller to come to those conclusions, scott.
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he will have the power to to the best of my ability. >> pelley: jeff pegues, thanks. margaret brennan has the late reaction from the white house. >> the president responded with this paper statement, i will read to you saying, quote, as i have stated many times a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know, there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. i look forward to this matter concluding quickly. in the meantime i will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country. now this news broke as the white house was interviewing candidates to replace comey at the fbi. >> no politician in history i say this with great assuredly, has been treated worse or more isfairly. you can't let them get you down. >> reporter: a defiant president ngump rallied grand jury waiting
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coast guard cadets by recounting his own approach to diversity. >> you will find that things are not always fair. you will find that things happen to you that you do not deserve and that are not always warranted, but you have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight. >> reporter: sources say the president's own frustration is at a high point. he's doubting his top advisers, even son-in-law jared kushner, who supported firing f.b.i. director comey despite the ongoing russia investigation. the white house is also trying to contain fallout from president trump's decision to share classified intelligence with top russian diplomats. prday in moscow, russian president vladimir putin dismissed the scandal as "political schizophrenia." putin even said he would share transcripts of the president's comments with the u.s. congress if the white house approved. white house spokesman sean spicer said he was unaware of
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any russian recording of the meeting and said the public should rely on the accounts given by national security adviser h.r. mcmaster. >> what the president shared was wholly appropriate. >> reporter: president trump today said he's trying to ignore the media firestorm. >> i didn't get elected to serve the washington media or special interests. ingot elected to serve the forgotten men and women of our country, and that's what i'm doing. >> reporter: scott, a senior white house official told me that the administration's plans to broker a deal with russia in syria have not advanced as planned in large part because of what they see as bogus media reports about the president's ties-- alleged ties to moscow. >> pelley: margaret brennan, thanks. e w, last night the house oversight committee asked the f.b.i. to produce all of the notes of former director comey's conversations with the president. jason chaffetz chairs that committee.
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he's joining us now from utah. mr. chairman, how does the appointment of a special prosecutor change your plans to investigate this? >> look, the house has its own equities, and we will continue to pursue our own investigation and still plan and hope to have a hearing with director comey as early as next week. i do applaud and i do think that the department of justice, if they saw fit to appoint this special counsel, director mueller, impeccable credentials. i think he'll provide a great deal of comfort on both sides of the aisle. he's a real professional. people will have great trust in him. he served in the obama administration. he served in the bush administration. but amazing credentials. he'll do a great job. >> pelley: do you expect to have y:e fired f.b.i. director james comey sitting in the witness chair on wednesday? >> we've had a little bit of trouble contacting him. tes telephone number changed dence he left the department of wstice, but we have formally noticed the hearing for next 0 dnesday, 9:30 a.m. eastern
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time, and i've got some flexibility. it comes with an asterisk because i haven't spoken with director comey yet, but we do hope to hear from him and see the documents. remember, nobody has actually seen these documents, so we have to secure those documents, as well. >> pelley: what documents are you asking for? >> well, you know, the "new york times" report said that there were these documents and notes that director comey had taken, but we haven't seen the content of those. they've only been read out to a reporter, at least part of them have been. so we want to see what those documents are, and then we'll talk to director comey and rsderstand from his perspective thw did he take the information and the conversation with president trump. what was his reaction to it? and at the time, did he actually do anything about it, and if so, idat did he do, and if he didn't, why not? >> pelley: do you intend to have this hearing in public? >> yeah. i think it's important that the public gets to hear this. you have democrats and republicans both peppering the former director with questions.
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he's well seasoned in doing this, but it really should be in public. >> pelley: republican jason thaffetz, the chairman of the house oversight committee. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> pelley: nancy cordes is on capitol hill with the reaction there. nancy? or reporter: scott, democrats ine hailing the appointment of a special prosecutor as a victory and a good first step, and the move will be welcomed by a small but growing number of republicans, as well. in fact, just today alaska republican lisa murkowski put out a statement saying that w "these white house crises are eroding public trust and it may be that we need to look to an independent commission or special prosecutor to regain that credibility." this as her party debates just how damaging these comey memos are and what they mean for the thesident's future. >> if the allegations are true, yes. >> reporter: michigan's justin amash today became the first thpublican to say the president's actions might merit
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impeachment. >> i think it's pretty clear i have more confidence in director comey. >> reporter: the latest allegations have deeply rattled many republicans. >> it would be very serious, and i would think that the justice department would take a look at that. >> i think it's reaching a point where it's of watergate size and scale. >> reporter: three republican- led committees have sent letters to the f.b.i. seeking any notes or memorandum prepared by the former director, memorializing interactions he had with presidents trump and obama. >> obviously, republicans ought to be concerned. >> reporter: but for every concerned republican, there are several others who doubt the report. >> a lot of it is all n.eculation. >> the facts just aren't in. ha i'm convinced that the g esident did nothing that he thought was outside the best interest of this country. >> reporter: and house speaker paul ryan urged critics not to rush to judgment. >> it is obvious there are some people out there who want to
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harm the president, and i'm sure we're going to want to hear from mr. comey about why, if this happens as he allegedly describes, why didn't he take action at the time? " reporter: the "washington igst" is reporting tonight that , ul ryan's number two, house majority leader kevin mccarthy told ryan and other republican leaders in a private conversation last year that he thought that russian president vladimir putin was paying donald trump. his aides initially told the paper that he never said that until they were confronted with the existence of an audiotape. just a few moments ago, scott, mccarthy told reporters that it was a bad attempt at humor. >> pelley: nancy cordes on capitol hill for us. nancy, thank you. cell the classified intelligence that the president divulged to the russian diplomats involved isis plans to bring down mbtliners by hiding bombs in laptop computers. charlie d'agata is learning more. >> reporter: amid the bombed-out
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ruins of mosul university, u.s. officials say they've uncovered evidence that isis was developing a new type of bomb that could pass through an airport scanner undetected. we joined iraqi special forces here just days after the hard- fought battle to recapture the university in january. it's long been believed that sisul university was the center of the militants' bomb-making projects, using the school's equipment and labs. u.s. officials now believe that research includes a new generation of more powerful explosives that could be concealed in a computer. when isis overran mosul in 2014, they also captured the city's international airport and with it all the modern security scanner and screening equipment necessary to test their new bombs. on our trip, there were certain no-go areas. iraqi forces kept us well away from entering the most sensitive buildings, warning that isis had booby-trapped them. a commander told us isis had also torched some of the
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facilities in order to hide evidence, but it appears what was left behind has given u.s. officials new cause for concern. the threat from isis has already led in part to the u.s. banning electronics on flights from ten airports in the middle east and africa. scott, talks are now under way on whether to expand that ban to cities in europe. >> pelley: charlie d'agata in the london newsroom. now, in syria, u.s.-backed forces are closing in on the city of raqqa, the isis capital. families are fleeing the battle, and holly williams is inside syria. >> reporter: in the desert west ex raqqa, there is an exodus. in the only vehicles they have, their belongings caked in dust, they stream out of villages where isis is losing territory. heme shepherding the animals that are their livelihood. many women throwing off the black veils that isis forced them to wear.
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"they wanted to suffocate us, to cover us," said busaina al hamoud, who told us she lived under isis for three years and had her 13-year-old son smuggled out of the country, fearing he would be recruited by the extremists. aisha attia is seven months pregnant and told us she fled her home three days ago. thousands of people are now camped in the open with precious little water and no medicine. inside raqqa the u.s. believes are 3,000 to 4,000 isis fighters, killers and executioners. they're expected to fight to the death as america's kurdish partners tighten the noose. they recaptured the town of tabqa and its dam earlier this month, just 25 miles from raqqa. their commander rojda filat told us they'll reach the city by next month and could capture it by the end of the summer.
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that's a long time for these people, who have escaped isis only to find themselves stranded in the wilderness. holly williams, cbs news, west of raqqa. >> pelley: coming up next on the "cbs evening news," a surprising hevelation gisele bundchen made on the "cbs this morning" program. st-selling brand? you make it detect what they don't. stop, stop, stop! sorry. you make it sense what's coming. watch, watch, watch! mom. relax! i'm relaxed. you make it for 16-year olds... whoa-whoa-whoa!!! and the parents who worry about them. you saw him, right? going further to help make drivers, better drivers. don't freak out on me. that's ford. and that's how you become america's best-selling brand. brtry new flonase sensimists. allergy relief instead of allergy pills. it delivers a gentle mist experience
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and now many are wondering, did the patriots' star quarterback or team choose not to report the concussion, or did bundchen get it wrong? concussions have become a health issue in the sport. last year the n.f.l., which has been criticized for not swiftly addressing head injuries, introduced new rules concerning its concussion policy. teams can now be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars and possibly lose draft picks if they fail to take players out of games. over the last decade, researchers have linked a degenerative brain disease c.t.e. to football players and athletes with repetitive brain trauma. professor lee igel is co- director of the sports and society program at new york university. >> when a player like tom brady sustains concussions and they go unreported but then it's revealed at some point later down the line, it makes it tougher for other players to want to report concussions, and that's not only at the professional level, it trickles
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down and out and around to the youth level, as well. >> reporter: bundchen expressed concern for the toll football has taken on her husband. >> i don't think it's a healthy think for anybody to go through like a... you know, through that kind of aggression all the time. ki reporter: the n.f.l. says sayse are no records to indicate tat brady suffered a head ryjury or concussion. wcott, tom brady, the new england patriots, and the n.f.l players' union have no comment. >> pelley: jericka duncan, thanks. still ahead, a deadly swarm of tornadoes. and markets continue to rise and fall... predictable is one thing you need in retirement to help protect what you've earned and ensure it lasts. introducing brighthouse financial. a new company established by metlife to specialize in annuities & life insurance.
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>> pelley: we're back at the white house with the breaking news. the justice department has appointed a special counsel for the russia investigation. former f.b.i. director robert mueller will look into russian interference in the presidential election and all other matters that arise from that case, including president trump's dismissal last week of f.b.i. director james comey. the chairman of the house oversight committee told us his investigation will continue, and he expects comey will testify publicly next wednesday. it has been a turbulent two weeks for the president, and today he said, "no politician in history has been treated worse or more unfairly." that's the "cbs evening news" from the white house. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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the protected bird, delaying much needed repairs to some interstate 80 overpasses. kpix 5 news at 6:00 begins with the hawk bringing construction to a halt. the protected bird delaying much-needed repairs to some interstate 80 overpasses. good evening, i'm allen martin. >> i'm veronica de la cruz. the bridge retrofit could be delayed by as much as a year. work was supposed to start this week on both the midway and meridien bridges which cross 880 east of vacaville. but kpix 5's juliette goodrich reports plans changed when the crews found a nest. >> reporter: they found that nest in those trees directly behind me and the overpass was supposed to be demolished and rebuilt until nature flew in. "skydrone5" giving us a bird's- eye view. >> these bridges are built back in the '50s and it's something we have to update. and take care of. >> but if anything can put a
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sudden halt to a construction plan along the midway overpass -- [ birds squawking ] >> reporter: it's the protected hawk. >> i see them all the time. >> you do. >> yeah. >> reporter: owner of the olive tree farm and market right by the i-80 overpass. >> eggs are not hatched yet. >> reporter: the midway bridge is right over interstate 80. the plan was to demolish this bridge and construction the new one that met seismic safety standards. but then biologists made a discovery. right over there, in the tree. they discovered the swankton hawk was nesting in there and during a second inspection they discovered a nest. caltrans shut down the project altogether. these birds are protected and on the threatened list since the '80s. caltrans can't do anything within 600 feet of the protected area. "skydrone5" is also staying clear of the area, as well. >> everybody that builds in