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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  May 19, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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capt captioning sponsored by cbs >> mason: breaking news in the russia investigation. new reports that the president ellled james comey "a nut job" and fired him to relieve pressure on himself. and law enforcement may be looking closely at a senior white house adviser. also tonight-- >> we have multiple people run >>er. >> mason: ...prosecutors say he wanted to kill them all. the driver is now charged with murder in the times square crash. t seems like a no-brainer, so why can't kids use sunscreen at many schools? >> it's a big deal when he comes home with sunburns. all right! >> mason: and steve hartman on how two lives were changed when a driver rolled down her window. >> then i couldn't get him out of my mind.
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this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> mason: good evening. scott's off tonight. i'm anthony mason with a western edition of the broadcast. president trump has left on his first overseas trip but he cannot escape the controversies engulfing his administration. just as air force one flew off, a new report raised questions about mr. trump's motive for firing f.b.i. director james comey. jeff pegues begins our coverage. >> reporter: it was a move that the president said relieved great pressure on him. that's what president trump told russian foreign minister sergey lavrov and ambassador sergey g toyak. according to the "new york times," the comments were made icring the may 10 oval office meeting. "i just fired the head of the f.b.i. he was crazy, a real nut job," the report quotes mr. trump as saying in the official white ususe account of the meeting. "i faced great pressure because of russia. that's taken off." white house press secretary sean spicer did not deny the comments
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but in a statement said "by grand standing and politicizing re investigation into russia's edtions, james comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate in russia." ve and i also got a very, very strong recommendation, as you know, from the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein. preeporter: the president has given conflicting accounts of why he fired comey. oust yesterday, he pointed to his deputy attorney general, who wrote a memo criticizing comey's handling of the clinton email investigation. but last week he said it was because of the russia investigation. >> this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. >> reporter: in response to today's revelation, democratic senator patrick leahy tweeted, "this is what obstruction looks like." the f.b.i. counter-intelligence investigation has been scrutinizing the president's former national security adviser michael flynn, former campaign chairman, paul manafort, and
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former foreign policy adviser carter page. former u.s. intelligence officials tell cbs news that e ring the last seven months of cee campaign, electronic surveillance picked up multiple contacts between trump associates and russian officials or operatives. flynn was fired just 24 days into president trump's term for lying to the vice president about his contacts with ambassador kislyak. but other trump officials also spoke or met with the russians, among them attorney general jeff sessions and the president's adviser and son-in-law, jared kushner. yast december, kushner met with kislyak at trump tower, and then at kislyak's urging, met with the head of a state-owned bank with deep ties to russian intelligence. tonight, according to the "washington post," the f.b.i. rsvestigation has identified a significant person of interest as a current white house stficial. anthony, "the post" did not offer a name but said the person is a senior white house adviser who is close to the president.
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>> mason: jeff pegues. tank you, jeff. today, the man whose blistering memo preceded comey's firing explained to house members why he wrote it, but many questions remain. here's nancy cordes. >> reporter: deputy attorney general rod rosenstein told lawmakers behind closed doors today that no one told him what to say in that scathing memo he sent to the president, the same day comey was fired. according to his prepared remarks, rosenstein said, "i wrote it. i believe it. i stand by it." he also said that he and attorney general jeff sessions had "discussed the need for new r neership at the f.b.i.," as far back as last winter. >> i think we are still puzzled about the memorandum. >> reporter: there were many questions rosenstein wouldn't answer today. did he suggest that he was pressured in any way to come down hard on james comey in that memo? >> he avoided at least 10 times
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any question that would answer your question. >> reporter: after he was fired, comey told friends he has notes detailing the president's attempts to extract his loyalty and influence the investigation. >> comey was just completely disgusted by it. >> disgusted. >> disgusted by the episode. tt reporter: one of those stiends, benjamin wittes, says comey tried to establish boundaries, like the time he attended a white house ceremony rt odays after the inauguration. >> he stands in the part of the mpom that is as far from trump as it is physically possible to be. >> oh, and there's jim. >> reporter: trump singles him out. >> he's become more famous than me. >> reporter: in a fashion that he regarded as sort of, you know, calculated. he thought it was an intentional attempt to compromise him in public. >> reporter: the deputy attorney this evening the senate intelligence committee announced comey has agreed to testify in open session. he had been sought after by several commercial committees
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and anthony we are told he will testify some time after memorial day. >> mason: nancy cordes. thank you, nancy. saudi arabia is the first stop on the president's trip. this week, his son, donald trump jr., delivered a commencement address in neighboring united arab emirates. as julianna goldman reports, the younger trump's appearance in abbai is raising new questions about potential conflicts of interest. >> thank you. >> reporter: when donald trump jr. spoke to graduates of the american university in dubai earlier this week, he joined the ranks of such distinguished commencement speakers as former president bill clinton and former secretary of state colin powell. >> when i look back on what my father did in this past election, and the risk he took. >> reporter: clinton got an50,000 for his speech in 2002. another speaker told cbs news s ey were paid $60,000, plus first class airfare. the trump organization wouldn't say how much the president's son paceived but told us he's "been ngagicipating in business-
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related speaking engagements for over a decade." >> you can do it all! >> reporter: during the paesidential campaign, trump jr. hammered bill clinton for accepting speaking fees from esreign entities while hillary clinton was secretary of state calling it "pay to play." while the university is private, sources tell cbs news dubai helped found and holds a continuing stake in the school, hiising the ethical question of whether a foreign government could be trying to curry favor with the president through his family. >> donald trump jr. is, you know, is part of his father's business, but he doesn't really have other experiences that would make him kind of a normal speaker at these things. >> reporter: karen young is with the arab gulf states institute. >> certainly, from the trump pubnization perspective, this is, like, good public relations, right. it's good community relations. >> reporter: the speech comes as he's actively marketing multi- million-dollar condos at a new trump-branded golf resort in dubai.
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lso e there, trump also had lunch with their business partner in the development, who posted this picture on social media. this is donald trump jr.'s second visit to dubai in three months. anthony, his last trip to open that golf resort racked up at least $16,000 in hotel costs for ecs taxpayer-funded secret service protection. >> mason: julianna, thanks. iran voted for a new president today. no results yet. the campaign had a familiar theme-- a populist facing the incumbent. elizabeth palmer is in tehran. >> reporter: this race came down to a clear choice between the e prent moderate president hassan rouhani, whose promises for liberal reforms appeal to young people. and the hard liner, ibrahim raisi, a populist, who promised his cash handouts and millions of jobs. one of the things iranians are voting on today is how their thuntry will relate with u.s. and the world, with cooperation
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led by rouhani the reformist, or with suspicion and hostility under ibrahim raisi. 38 years ago, iranian students held 52 americans hostage in the u.s. embassy. their spokeswoman was masoumeh netekar. today, she's one of iran's vice presidents who's done something of a 180 over the years and now hopes for better relations with the u.s. are they likely to come under ayinident trump is on the record as saying iran is a hostile presence, is that a problem? >> he's also changing a lot of his positions as well. he's also making a lot of u- turns. >> reporter: so you're hoping president trump will change his position on iran. >> i hope he'll adjust them to epe realities. >> reporter: realities like the nuclear deal which was backed by millions of voters here who hope it's the first step toward even stronger ties with america. but another reality is at the
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moment, there is no sign the trump white house is sharing in fact, anthony, the u.s. added some fresh sanctions against iran this week. so the signs are that things are about to get decidedly frosty. >> mason: in tehran, elizabeth palmer. thanks, liz. a man was arrested today after disrupting a flight from l.a. to honolulu. transportation correspondent kris van cleave has more on this toeaking story. kris. >> reporter: anthony, the passenger on board this american airlines flight from los angeles to honolulu, was described as m itering around the bathroom at the front of the plane. he was carrying a laptop, was asked to sit down by a flight attendant. at that point, made some kind of a movement that appeared as though he was trying to force his way into the cockpit. we will show you some video of the f.b.i. leading the man off the airbus a-321 after it landed in hawaii. initial reports are he became belligerent on board after he was asked to be seated and had
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to be subdued by an off-duty honolulu police officer. the plane was also escorted into honolulu by two f-22 fighter thts. we understand the plane abruptly descended to a lower altitude. that could be done as a precautionary measure if there is a concern about an explosive device being on board. now, this is a little unusual it's department of homeland security has issued a statement s.ying the secretary of d.h.s. was notified about the incident, thd, anthony, the agency says they are monitoring all other flights but at this point there are no other reports of disruption. >> mason: scary moments for the passengers. kris van cleave, thanks. 152 years and one month after confederate general robert e. lee surrendered his army to ulysses s. grant, a statue of lee is falling in new orleans tonight. omar villafranca is there. >> reporter: after 133 years of standing over new orleans, a statue dedicated to confederate general robert e. lee is the final statue to come down.
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new orleans mayor mitch landrieu: >> these monuments celebrate a fictional, sanitized confederacy, ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement. >> reporter: the statue of lee is the first one to come down in broad daylight. under the cover of darkness, workers removed the statues of confederate president jefferson davis, general p.g.t beauregard, and the liberty monument because police say there were threats made against the crews. >> if we take down these statues and don't change to become a more open and inclusive society, then all of this would have been in vain. >> reporter: protests erupted in new orleans when the city decided to remove the monuments. both sides argued over whether these monuments celebrated racism or southern heritage. dr. maria ortiz with the southern christian leadership council worked for 44 years to bring the monuments down. >> i would point up there and i would say, "you devil. you coming down one day." i thought was oppression and what my grandmother, sweating blood.
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>> reporter: businessman frank stewart thinks the statues should remain. >> i really don't think that anybody should have the privilege of changing history because history is truth. >> reporter: no word on where the statues will end up, but, anthony, the mayor says they cannot be displayed outdoors on arblic property. >> mason: omar villafranca, thank you, omar. coming up next on the cbs evening news, new details about the driver in the times square tr attack. square car attack. he told me to look at this grid every day. and we came up with a plan to help reduce my risk of progression, including preservision areds 2. my doctor said preservision areds 2 has the exact nutrient formula the national eye institute recommends to help reduce the risk of progression of moderate to advanced amd after 15 years of clinical studies.
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morn on to a bustling sidewalk on 42nd street, mowing down a crowd of people seen here falling off of the hood of his car. triaped up, barreling through more pedestrians, including 18-year-old alyssa elsman, who died at the scene. this woman is struck as she tries to get away. parts of the car are torn off as the vehicle runs over another fleeing pedestrian. as the car accelerates, people take cover anywhere they can. a block later, the car comes to a crashing halt, slamming into steel barricades put in place to stop terrorist attacks. it all took less than a minute. t reporter: the suspect then jumps out of his car, running erratically across 45th street. 26-year-old richard rojas is apprehended a few moments later. sources tell cbs news that rojas claimed to have heard voices and
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that he did it for god. he told police he smoked marijuana laced with p.c.p. before the incident. three people remain in critical condition, anthony, as people come down to times square to memorialize what happened, anthony, just one day ago. il mason: terrifying video. michelle miller, thank you. still ahead, new laws to unblock sunblock at schools. swimmer who's stared down the best in her sport. but for both of them, the most challenging opponent was... pe blood clots in my lung. it was really scary. a dvt in my leg. i had to learn all i could to help protect myself. my doctor and i choose xarelto® xarelto®... to help keep me protected. xarelto® is a latest-generation blood thinner... ...that's proven to treat and reduce the risk of dvt and pe blood clots from happening again. in clinical studies, almost 98% of patients on xarelto®
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>> mason: in many cases kids need a docto >> mason: in many cases kids need a doctor's note to put on sunscreen at school, but jericka sncan found out some states are starting to rub out that policy. >> reporter: on sunny days, susan grenon and her 10-year-old son, paul, enjoy spending time in the backyard of their smithfield, rhode island home, but before they head out, they always lather on the sunscreen. r i've had three basal cell reecinomas four precancerous
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moles removed in the past three years. t reporter: you don't want your son to go through that. >> absolutely not. >> reporter: the threat of skin cancer was a wake-up call to protect herself and her son, who burns easily. olt when paul is at school, he and other students cannot apply sunscreen without a doctor's note. that's because the food and drug administration classifies sunscreen as an over-the-counter e is like cough syrup. rhode island is among eight states with pending legislation that makes an exception for sunscreen. at least seven states have passed a law allowing students to apply sunscreen without special permission. dermatologist dr. jeff ashley helped craft california's law to >>low sunscreen in schools. >> we would sure like for every school in the country to have an allowance for the children to use sunscreen. >> reporter: according to the c.d.c., one sunburn in childhood nearly doubles a person's lifetime risk of getting melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.
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>> if there was widespread use of sunscreen and it was used inoperly, we would definitely see a decline in our skin cancer rates. en reporter: susan grenon says e ining a light on sunscreen safety may save lives. >> all the damage is done young, but you don't know it now. but you're preventing it when they get older. >> reporter: states in the northern region have some of the highest rates of melanoma anthony. each year, more than 70,000 people are diagnosed. frout 9,000 die from the disease. >> mason: thanks, jericka. and "on the road" is next. steve hartman found the biggest heart in texas. next. steve hartman found the biggest heart in texas. would you like to overcome sluggishness? trubiotics can help you feel lighter, more energetic, by naturally supporting your digestive and immune health. trubiotics, a daily probiotic that helps restore the balance of good bacteria. trubiotics, from one a day.
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>> reporter: used to be when she er sprouse came across homeless people she would often give them something-- her two cents. hy i would say, "why don't you 'st a job?" or "what's your problem?" it made me very uncomfortable. i didn't want to have anything to do with it. i've been that way my whole life. >> reporter: but about a year ago, ginger, who owns a cooking school outside houston, decided she didn't like that about herself and would at least try ng change. >> he would stand right here on the corner. right there. >> reporter: he began by approaching a guy she used to see all the time on her way to work. his name is victor hubbard. victor says he told ginger how he ended up on the streets after his mother moved away and left him. you had no idea where your mom went. >> no, i had no idea where she ns. >> reporter: he said ginger listened to his story and went an her away. >> then i couldn't get him out of my mind. and i was like okay, fine, i'll go back. but what really got me-- this is probably after the third time i met him-- he said, "when are you woming back?" a> people would come by and i
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was like, "you know, i have a friend named ginger. she's on her way." i was trying to let them know-- >> reporter: somebody was watching out for you. >> yes, i was taken care of. >> reporter: this continued for a few months until the day ginger realized she couldn't keep going on like this. od was a cold december night, and although victor had food and blankets, there's only so much comfort you can pass through a car window. so ginger did something, something the old ginger would have never dreamed of doing. >> i could not leave him there. >> reporter: she went to her husband with a request. >> i asked dean would it be okay with you if i went and got him? and i said, "if he could just stay one night because it's raining." >> reporter: okay, stop right there. >> okay. k i had to think about it. ur reporter: i'm sure you did. >> reporter: i'm starting to recognize a slippery slope here. >> yes, exactly. the honest truth is when she says, "i feel compelled to help this guy" how i can say no to that. t' reporter: and that's how victor hubbard found his second family.
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>> oh, yeah! >> reporter: he now lives with ginger and dean full time. >> that was my favorite. >> reporter: they helped him get social services and doctors' appointments, introduced him to the community, and made him part of it. victor also works two jobs now, one at a burger joint-- >> yup, just like that. >> reporter: and another at a cooking school where he has one of the most compassionate bosses in south texas. >> there you go. looks good. life is messy, but if you're going to love other people, you have to be willing to step into their mess. my whole life i wanted to avoid that. that's why i rolled the window up and wouldn't look. give it some distance. >> reporter: and that's why she now rolls it down to let the blessings blow in. steve hartman "on the road" in houston, texas. >> mason: that's the cbs evening news. for scott pelley i'm anthony mason. i'll see you tomorrow on "cbs this morning" saturday. thanks for watching. good night.
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new at 6: caltrain riders could be paying the pr the transit agency i good evening, i'm veronica de la cruz. >> i'm ken bastida. new at 6:00, caltrain riders could be paying more for record ridership. the transit agency is so popular, it may have to raise fares substantially just to keep up. kpix 5's len ramirez is at the diridon station in san jose, where some riders say the fares are already too high. >> reporter: that's right, ken. riders have been saying that the fares are going up and up and up. they like the service. they like how it runs from, you know, the peninsula down here to san jose, san francisco, a lot of high-tech riders. but they also noticed that a lot of the service reliability is just not there. now with these new price increases, it has some wondering if there are better options.
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people are used to high prices in silicon valley but the new fare increases proposed by caltrain are so high, some are considering going off the tracks. >> other options, uber, you know, carpooling options. whatever i can do maybe the buses. >> reporter: jared doesn't usually ride caltrain but just bought a ticket from palo alto to san francisco and got sticker shock at the $8 fare. >> i have used transit systems all over the country, chicago, new york. it's usually $4 to $5 from the suburbs to the city. >> reporter: with ridership up it may not look like caltrain is struggling financially but only half of its operating budget comes from fares. the rest comes from partner transit agencies in santa clara, san mateo and san francisco counties. caltrain says support from them has come up drastically short and with an aging fleet of trains maintenance costs are skyrocketing. >> we're looking at a $20.7 million shortfall. >> reporter: caltrain proposes increasing zone


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