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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  January 31, 2017 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley.
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>> reporter: president trump fired acting attorney general sally yates, a career prosecutor and holdover from the obama administration, for refusing to defend the immigration executive order. the justice department's office of legal counsel approved the order, but yates said in a statement that wasn't good enough, arguing her job required she seek justice and stand for what is right, adding she was not convinced the order was lawful. in a statement, president trump said yates betrayed the department of justice. white house press secretary sean spicer. >> if you have a legally executed order and the attorney general says, "i'm not going to execute it," that clearly is a betrayal. >> reporter: senate democrats like vermont's patrick leahy called the firing shameful. >> his accusation that she betrayed the department of justice is dangerous. the attorney general is the people's attorney, not the president's attorney. >> reporter: in her 2015
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asked about the independence of the justice department by alabama republican jeff sessions, now mr. trump's nominee for attorney general. >> if the views the president wants to execute are unlawful, should the attorney general or the deputy attorney general say no? >> senator, i believe the attorney general or the deputy attorney general has an obligation to follow the law and the constitution and to give their independent legal advice to the president. >> reporter: sessions still awaits senate confirmation. the new acting attorney general, dana boente, has said he will defend mr. trump's policy. cbs news has learned secretary of defense jim mattis was incensed that the pentagon was not consulted on the drafting of the order. sources also said secretary of homeland security john kelly was not informing something he denied today. >> we had people involved in the general drafting of it. you know, clearly it was... this whole approach was part
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then-candidate trump talked about for a year or two. >> reporter: a dissent cable is a formal state department process dating back to the vietnam war to protest administration policy without fear of retribution. scott, that cable you referred to earlier also said in part, "decades from now we will look back and realize we made the same mistakes as our predecessors, shutting borders in a knee-jerk reaction instead of setting up systems of checks that protect our interests and our values." >> pelley: major garrett at the white house. besides firing sally yates, the white house attacked her personally, in line with mr. trump's way of answering critics. in addition to saying that yates betrayed the justice department, the white house statement called her "weak on borders and very weak on immigration." today the speaker of the house weighed in on all of this, and nancy cordes is on capitol hill. >> regrettably, the rollout was confusing. >> reporter: in his first public comment, house speaker paul ryan faulted the travel
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ban's launch but not the substance. >> so what is happening is something we support. >> you have a lot of military experts, intelligence experts warning that this is going to serve as a recruiting term for isis. >> reporter: the rhetoric surrounding this could be used as a recruiting tool, and i think that's dangerous. >> reporter: it's more than just rhetoric. according to internal at the present time department memo, officials throughout the muslim world have warned u.s. diplomats the timing of this has given isis a lifeline. "you could not have given our adversaries tter propaganda material." ryan answered it's a risk worth taking. >> there is an issue with terrorists trying to infiltrate our refugee populations. >> but they haven't been able to partly because of our vetting. >> let me ask your question. there is nothing wrong with taking a puz and making sure we have proper vetting standards in place. >> reporter: emboldened by protest, democrats are taking a harder line on a series of trump decisions. today they walked out on confirmation votes for the nominees to head the health
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department. ohio democrat sherrod brown. >> we have great concern that senator hatch is asking us to vote on two nominees today who have out-and-out lied to our committee. >> reporter: utah republican orrin hatch was left to preside over an empty hearing room. >> i'm very disappointed in this type of crap. my gosh, there's no excuse for it. >> reporter: things got more heated this afternoon when the senate's democratic leader accused the white house of incoral tense leading to chaos. the republican leader quickly shot back, scott, that it's democrats who are sewing chaos because they can't get over losing the white house. >> pelley: nancy cordes at the capitol. a new poll out today says that 49% of americans agree with the travel ban. 41% oppose. mark phillips is watching the reaction of u.s. allies. >> reporter: not just the crowds that have poured on to the streets of europe are angry with donaldru
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>> say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here. >> reporter: the disenchantment has now reached the highest levels of european politics. along with the menace of vladimir putin's aggressive russia and china'sil mitary buildup in the south china sea, and militant islam, donald trump's united states has become a threat to europe according to donald tusk, the president of the european union's most powerful body. >> we cannot surrender to those who want to weaken our invalidate the transatlantic bond, without which global order and peace cannot survive. >> reporter: what frightens the e.u. is president trump's support for the british the leave, expressed to prime minister theresa may, and for other countries to follow. that and his perceived lack of commitment the nato and now the refugee ban. >> this action is inhune
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and it's immoral. >> hear, hear. >> reporter: his unpopularity is expressed in parliament. >> the wretched, bigoted man. >> reporter: and the petition calling for the president's state visit to be canceled has clicked up over 1.7 million signatures. demonstration, angry words in parliament, petition, condemn nations from foreign leaders, the travel ban has driven yet another wedge between donald trump and the european allies. >> donald trump has got to go. >> reporter: and the peer is there is more to come. mark phillips, cbs news, london. >> pelley: well, the next thing to come will be tonight when mr. trump reveals his supreme court nominee. the seat has been vacant for nearly a year, as republicans refused to consider president obama's choice to replace the late conservative justice antonin sca -- scalia.
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jan crawford. >> we'll be announcing a supreme court justice, who i think everybody is going to be very, very impressed with. so we'll see you at about 8:00. >> reporter: hours away from announcing his supreme court nominee, president trump's likely pick is straight out of central casting, with degrees from harvard and oxford and establishment credential, judge neil gorsuch has a judicial philosophy modeled after the justice he would replace. >> people talk about members of their profissions alliance, and i have a difficult time understanding the analogy, not so with justice scalia. >> reporter: known as a sharp intellect with a gracious demeanor, he's sided with religious employers opposed to obamacare and in his book argued against assisted suicide as the taking of life. >> the nominee today is thomas michael hardiman. >> reporter: mr. trump's other finalist, judge thomas hardiman of pennsylvania, who like bojorquez, sailed through his confirmation hearing to the federal appeals court.
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interpret the law. >> reporter: if gorsuch is blue blood, hardiman is blue collar, first member of his family to graduate from college, he put himself through georgetown law driving a taxi. no matter who the president nominates, democrats have said they are going to fight. they are going to try to block this nominee, just like republicans blocked president obama's choice of merrick garland. >> pelley: jan crawford for us tonight, jan, thank you. cbs news will bring you live coverage of the president's announcement. as mr. trump said, it's coming up at 8:00 eastern time, 7:00 central. our cbs news political director john dickerson is joining us tonight from the set of "face the nation" in washington. john, with 41% or so of americans against the travel ban, is this having an effect on the president's ability to govern? >> well, in the sense that he is implementing his vision, he's been quite successful in governing so far, but the brisk pace has put some real dts
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today i talked to republicans in congress, and they describe a general view among their colleagues of criticism of basically every element of this executive order on immigration, the poor planning, the confused rollout, and the lack of a heads-up to people even in the administration who should have been involved. what they worry about is not just the specific case, but how chaotic it's going to be to work with this white house in the future. on the democratic side, in terms of governing, i talked to one house member today who said president trump had so enraged democratic voters that it will be hard to work with democrats no matter what the issue because their constituents don't want democratic members of congress to cooperate. >> pelley: what's at stake in the supreme court nomination? >> during the campaign reluctant republicans often cited donald trump's supreme court pick as the reason they were overlooking their doubts, and that's what this pick will do now, it will keep republicans knit together. and in a fight with democrats over the court, donald trump will be forgiven a lot of sins on other issues becaus h
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will determine the conservative direction of the court and the influence of law going forward. as one republican put it to me: today no matter what he may do in the future, he's given control to the court to us now. >> pelley: john dickerson, thanks. that travel ban is opposed by many of the biggest american tech companies, which ploy tens of thousands of foreign workers. we have more from john blackstone. >> reporter: when workers at google's silicon valley headquarters left their desk to protest president trump's immigration order, they flooded social media with images of their demonstration. >> i've spoken up strongly. >> reporter: the company's top executives joined them, including co-founder sergey brin, who was born in russia. >> the u.s. had the courage to take me and my family in as refugees. [applause] >> this is the land of the free. this is the land of opportunity. >> reporter: iranian-born, princeton
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heads a lab in california. he just canceled a trip to canada for a scheduled speech fearing as a green card holder he would not be allowed to return. >> i've lived here for ten years. i really don't have anywhere else to call home. so actually that feeling of not being wanted anymore, it really stinks. i cannot lie. >> reporter: companies across the technology and biotech industries have condemned the president's immigration order: in silicon valley, immigrants are seen as eventual to the growth that has made this one of the most innovative places on earth. economist robert reich was labor secretary in the clint administration. >> you have to understand, there has been for many years a brain drain from other countries to the united states. a lot of that to silicon valley. >> reporter: 37% of silicon valley workers are foreign-born, nearly three times the number in the rest of the nation. are they taking jobs away from americans? >> there is no evidence they're taking jobs away from americans. ey
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they're innovativing, and that creates more jobs for everybody else, for more innovators. >> reporter: several major tech companies are putting money into the fight against the immigration ban, including google, which has launched a $4 million crisis fund. and, scott, amazon has filed a declaration in support of a lawsuit by the state of washington challenging the president's order. >> pelley: john blackstone in the bay area. thanks. coming up next on the "cbs evening news," fire destroyed a house of worship. then something remarkable happened. (man vo) it was may, when dad forgot how to brush his teeth. (woman vo) in march, my husband didn't recognize our grandson. (woman 2 vo) that's when moderate alzheimer's made me a caregiver. (avo) if their alzheimer's is getting worse,
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we don't know what caused the fire, but we do know it ignited the passion of the city. here's david begnaud. >> reporter: this charred shell is all that's left of the victoria islamic center. >> this is the ladies' room here. >> reporter: dr. shahid hashmi is the center's president. he says after 2:00 a.m. saturday. he watched for three hours as firefighters lost the fight. >> it's a destroyed place but a sacred place. no doubt about it. no doubt about it. >> reporter: the mosque was burglarized nine days ago. investigators say it's too early to know what caused the fire, but the response has been uplifting. all faiths from the immunity have rallied in support of the center and turned out for a unity prayer service the day after the fire. around the world. >> from africa, from zimbabwe, from united kingdom. >> reporter: thousands of people have donated through an online go fund me page. you have nearly $1 million. >> we've gotten nearly $1 million from 20,0
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three days. >> exactly. this is unbelievable. this is unbelievable and so uplifting. i can not thank enough. i cannot thank god enough. i cannot thank the supporting people enough. branfman, a local jewish community leader, was one of the first to offer to help. >> what this spark did was instead of dividing us, it actually united us. >> reporter: what's the lesson we all should learn? >> it just gives you a confirmation of the faith in humanity, no matter which faith you belong to, which color you belong to, which country you belong to, it doesn't matter, it's always good. and good always wins. >> reporter: and to that very point, scott, today we saw a couple standing on the side of the mosque, the man was holding an envelope. turns out they're from wisconsin, were vacationing here in south texas, heard about the fire, and on their way home to the midwest went out of their way to drive by and hand deliver a donation. >> pelley: david begnaud, thanks. and we'll be back in a moment.
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>> pelley: the boy scouts are reversing a century-old policy and will now welcome transgender children who identify as boys. there was national debate last year when eight-year-old joe maldonado of new jersey was kicked out after scout leaders found he was born a girl. budweiser gave us a preview today of a super bowl ad that turns out to fit our times. >> you don't look like you're from around here. >> pelley: the commercial tells the story of co-founder adolphous busch and his tough journey immigrating from germany to america in 1857. the company says while the tale is relevant, it was not meant to be political. it was sink or swim for deette sauer. how she turned her life around next. before i had the shooting, burning, pins and needles of diabetic nerve pain
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>> pelley: americans are living longer and in many cases stronger, so tonight we begin a special series celebrating the folks leading the way to longevity and inspiring the rest of us. here's omar villafranca. >> reporter: six days a week at 5:30 a.m., you'll find 75-year-old deette sauer swimming a total of 120 laps at this houston aquatic center. sauer admits when she first started swimming she felt like a fish out of water. >> it was horrible. i quit in the middle of the first lap. >> reporter: you couldn't even make a lap in the pool? >> new york and i was swimming with my head out of the water so my hair wouldn't get wet. >> reporter: in her 40s, sauer was considered obese, tipping the scale at 250. she was ashamed when she couldn't fit enter a small boat on a
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to do something about her health. sauer changed her diet and started exercising. it wasn't easy, but she managed to lose 100 pounds in less than a year. >> you know what was funny, i had been so large that i forgot and didn't believe that you could actually get a waist back. >> reporter: she's competed in the last eight national senior games, an olympic-style competition for more than 10,000 seniors. she was 58 when she found her passion. >> i can't believe that i can be an athlete and win a medal at 58 years old. it's the senior games. >> reporter: now at 75, sauer has won more than 50 medals. michael phelps, never heard of him. >> oh, michael, what does he have, 12 or something? 23 times nine. >> reporter: she's also active outside of the pool. twice a week she tutors kids at a local church, and three days a week she teaches english and
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history to her grandchildren via skype. sauer's personal trainer julie green is amazed at how sauer has defined living stronger. >> i am so in awe of that motivation that came from within her. >> reporter: sauer is now training for the national senior games this june in birmingham, alabama. how long do you think you'll keep swimming? >> it will have to be taken away from me. i'm not going to give it up. >> reporter: and not giving up means going for gold, even in her golden years. omar villafranca, cbs news, houston. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, i'm scott pelley, and we'll be back right here at 8:00, 7:00 central with the president's supreme court announcement. we'll see you then.
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>> at least we will get back to acan tual functioning court. but no, it will not make a huge difference. >> first of all, it's not a travel ban. >> i have no confidence that senator sessions will do that. instead, he has been the fiercest most dedicated loyal promoter in congress of the trump agenda. >> good evening, welcome to off script, i'm bruce johnson. that was a snapshot of some of the thing s going on in the white house in capitol hill. let's start with the u.s. supreme court. in about an hour, president trump will announce his nominee to the highest court. all reports tonight sa


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