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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  March 8, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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torero ca captioning sponsored by cbs >> pelley: the president's wiretap claim: still no proof but many questions. >> is the president the target of a counterintelligence investigation? >> pelley: also tonight, the battle begins over the republican health care plan. >> this is a conservative wish list. >> this is a bad joke. no wonder you've been hiding this dog in the cave with an armed guard until monday night. >> pelley: tragedy on the tracks. the search for ways to make things safer. and a pint-sized toreador makes a stand for equality. >> we live in a climate that says women are devalued, and that's a way the stay that's not who we are as americans. this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley.
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>> pelley: this is our western edition. the white house said today it does not believe that the president is under investigation by the f.b.i. the question came up because of president trump's insistence that his phones were tapped during the campaign on orders from president obama. mr. trump has not taken a question from reporters in the five days since he called the wiretapping a fact and called mr. obama a bad or sick guy. the f.b.i. has been investigating contacts between the trump campaign and russian operatives. u.s. intelligence has concluded that russia did meddle in the presidential election. but one top u.s. official told us so far there is no evidence of collusion between the russians and the trump campaign. f.b.i. director james comey repudiated mr. trump's wiretapping charge, and mr. trump's staff has been
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struggling to fill his silence. margaret brennan pressed the question with white house spokesman sean spicer. >> is the president the target of a counterintelligence investigation? >> i think that's what we need to find out. the president has made clear he has no interest in russia, and yet a lot of these stories that come out with respect the that are frankly fake. >> he doesn't know whether or not... >> i think that's one of the issues we have asked the senate and house to look into. >> are you saying there is a possibility he is the target of a counterintelligence probe? >> no, no, no. i think what i'm saying is that there is a difference between that narrative and the narrative that has been perpetuated over and over again. the concern that the president has and why he asked the senate and house intelligence committee to look into this is to get to the bottom of what may or may not have occurred during the 2016 election. >> reporter: the press secretary was then handed a piece of paper and he clarified. >> and there is no reason to believe that there is any type
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of investigation with respect to the department of justice. >> reporter: the white house says that mr. trump may have been swept up in surveillance that was not directly targeted at him, though the president has claimed it was his phones that were tapped, an allegation denied by former director of national intelligence james clapper. >> there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time or against his campaign. >> reporter: today senators lindsey graham and sheldon whitehouse sent a letter to the justice department requesting copies of any warrant applications and court orders related to the wiretapping of mr. trump and his campaign, adding, "we would be equally alarmed to learn this a court found enough evidence of criminal activity or contact with a foreign power to legally authorize a wiretap." now, former president obama has denied president trump's allegations, which have seemingly ended their otherwise cordial relationship. aides to president obama say he
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found the accusation upsetting but now he's pretty relaxed about it. scott? >> pelley: margaret brennan at the white house. today we wanted to get some insight into all of this from leon panetta. first let us remind you why washington listens when he speaks. panetta was chairman of the house budget committee, director of the office of management and budget, white house chief of staff under president clinton, director of the c.i.a. when osama bin laden was killed, secretary of defense under president obama, and is co- founder of the panetta institute for public policy. in the last few weeks the president has told his military that there are terrorist attacks no one knows about because the press covers them up. he's described the news media as the enemy of the american people. he has likened his own intelligence agencies to nazis. and now we have the wiretapping charge against president obama. is it appropriate to ask whether the president is having
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difficulty with rationality? >> scott, the coin of the realm for any president is trust, trust of the american people in the credibility of that president. and when he says the things that he says, in particular this allegation about wiretapping that has no bit of evidence to support it, it raises concerns about trust in the president because there are one or two conclusions you draw. one is that he says these things knowing that they're not true in order to divert the public, and if he's doing that, he's misusing the powers of the presidency. or he truly believes that they are true, when indeed they're not true, and he has not tried
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to find out the truth, which then shows a real lack of judgment. either way, i think it undermines and weakens the strength of the presidency in this country. >> pelley: how is this calculated in moscow, in beijing, in pyongyang, north korea? >> well, that's the greatest danger. you know, in many ways we've seen the president say the things he's done and we often kind of move on, but the danger is what if something should happen that requires the president of the united states to take action? for example, we're dealing with north korea and the threats from north korea. what if the president decides that we have to take military action as a result of that, or what if we find out that iran is actually developing a nuclear weapon that requires military action? he's got the stand up and tell the world and this country that
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that's required when indeed his credibility is now subject to question. i think that is raising the most serious danger with regards to the ability of this president to relate to a very dangerous world. >> pelley: and what about his domestic agenda? >> in order for a president to be able to deal with members on the hill, he's got to have credibility, and if he's dismissed because somehow he's not relevant, because people don't think he's really in touch with reality and what's going on, then that could damage his agenda on the domestic front. >> pelley: secretary leon panetta, we appreciate your time. we are grateful. thank you. today the c.i.a. said the latest revelation from the web site wikileaks has jeopardized u.s. personnel and operations and given u.s. adversaries the tools to do america harm.
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yesterday wikileaks published top-secret c.i.a. documents and computer code that describe how the agency can hack into phones, read encrypted messages, and use tvs for eavesdropping. the f.b.i. is investigating who leaked the files. at the white house tonight, president trump returned to deal making as he tried to persuade leaders to support the republican replacement for obamacare. nancy cordes tells us that the bill is meeting more opposition than expected. >> reporter: republicans began pushing their obamacare replacement bill through two house committees today, trying to outpace mounting criticism. >> what this bill needs is some extreme vetting. >> reporter: first the american medical association came out against it, then the a.a.r.p., which warned, "this bill would dramatically increase health care costs for americans aged 50 to 64 in the individual market."
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that age group would see the largest cuts to obamacare tax credits, in some case by more than $5,000 a year. at the same time, insurers would be allowed to charge them a premium five times larger than younger americans, up from the 3-to-1 ratio under obamacare. standard & poor's estimates those changes plus cuts to medicaid would leave six to ten million americans to lose coverage. pennsylvania democrat mike doyle. >> this is bad joke. no wonder you've been hiding this dog in a cave with an armed guard until monday night. >> reporter: republican leaders argued americans are already losing coverage. louisiana's steve scalise. >> families are facing over $10,000 deductibles in many cases because of the unworkable mandates and taxes in this bill. >> reporter: but their main sales pitch is aimed at their own right plank. >> this is a conservative wish list. look at what this bill does. >> reporter: g.o.p. hold-outs
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like kentucky's rand paul say the bill is too big, too expensive. >> i saw the president said he was open to negotiations. >> reporter: have you gotten a phone call? >> i'm reading the art of the deal. when i get through "the art of the deal," i think i'll be ready to negotiate with the president. >> reporter: he's going to have to speed read, because republican leaders want to hold a final vote on the bill in the house within the next couple weeks. even though lawmakers still don't know, scott, how much this plan costs and how it will be paid for. >> pelley: nancy cordes on capitol hill, thanks. in the battle over iraq's second largest city, isis fighters are using snipers and car bombs to hold off the iraqi military, which is backed by the american special operations troops. but the liberation of mosul, the city of nearly a million, is gaining ground every day, and our holly williams is covering the conflict. >> reporter: it looks like a toy plane. >> just a really big slingshot. >> reporter: and sounds like a lawnmower.
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but the rq7bv2 is a $1.5 million drone. the u.s. military calls it "the shadow." in the skies above mosul, it allows the american coalition to do this. [explosion] call in air strikes targeting isis positions. sergeant joe pinchott is a drone pilot with the 82nd airborne division in northern iraq, surveilling the battlefield in incredible detail from the back of a humvee. >> by the vehicles they're driving and what they're wearing, it's pretty easy to tell. >> you can see what people are wearing? >> enough to make out if they're american or not. i can't read their name tag or anything, but i can tell what they're wearing. >> reporter: the average age of the drone pilot in shadow platoon is just 22, many of them video gamers, but their screens here are too secret for us to show you. how is it different to a video game?
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>> well, it's much slower paced. the graphics aren't quite as good. the controls aren't quite the same. it's like a video game, but nobody would buy to play this video game. >> reporter: isis has its own drones, which it uses to guide its suicide bombers, and which they've even adapted to drop munitions. for the most part, though, the extremists rely on low-tech weapons like rifles and explosives. but america's military technology is gradually beating back the enemy. holly williams, cbs news, qayyarah west airfield, iraq. >> pelley: quite a few women stayed home from work today. they marched and some wore red in solidarity with what they're calling a day without a woman. but anna werner was on the job. >> a day without a woman is a day without me. >> reporter: from new york to los angeles, istanbul to st.
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petersburg, women walked off their jobs to protest. >> i wanted to show the white house that we are here. we're not leaving. >> reporter: and to demand equity. >> we're rejecting a world that still pays women less. >> reporter: women make about 79 cents for every dollar made by men. on capitol hill, democratic lawmakers highlighted the inequities by stepping out themselves. >> we walked out to say enough is enough. >> reporter: teachers in alexandria, virginia, agreed. 300 of the district's 1,400 educators stayed home, forcing the schools to close. self-employed mother anna yeager took her children to the playground instead. >> my sixth grader just finished up a national history day project where the theme was people taking a stand in history. so today he gets to see his teacher taking a stand. >> reporter: district spokeswoman helen lloyd says the closure decision was based on safety. what do you say to the parents who say, you're closing because of this in >> we've had that reaction and
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we understand it. for us it's not because of any political reason or because of any cause. it's simply looking at the data. >> reporter: alexandria's jill erber, who owns three wine and cheese shops, says she's making her own statement. >> to me the best way to demonstrate the strength of women in the workplace is grow our businesses and be in the workplace and employ the women we employ. >> reporter: 76% of teachers are women. and while more women graduate from college than do men, scott, just 4% of the c.e.o.s of fortune 500 companies are women. >> pelley: anna werner, thanks. that protest was brought to wall street by a new statue. we'll have that story, but up next on the "cbs evening news," accidents at railroad crossings are on the rise. e. there's a more enjoyable way to get your fiber.
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kris van cleave reports that crossing collisions are happening more often all over america. >> multiple people all over the road. >> we need an ambulance. we're going to need some ambulances. >> reporter: the charter bus carrying 49 passengers got stuck on the tracks before the freight train came through. witnesses said passengers tried to escape. the train's engineer applied the emergency brakes but couldn't stop in time. in addition to the four deaths, 40 passengers were injured. they were on their way to a casino. robert sumwalt from the national transportation safety board. >> as the bus traveled over the hump, it reportedly became stuck on the track. determining the length that that bus sat on those tracks will be critical to this investigation. >> reporter: since 1976, there have now been 17 collisions at that railroad crossing, including two others with fatalities. deaths at rail crossings nationwide had been on the
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decline until an uptick in 2014 when 264 people died. they rose again last year. following a 2015 accident between a commuter train and a pick-up in california, the n.t.s.b. called for g.p.s. makers to warn drivers about the more than 200,000 street-level rail crossings in the u.s. one other issue, outdated or malfunctioning signals. that's what led to this crash outside dallas in 2007. >> there's so much more that we can do. >> reporter: sarah feinberg was the federal railroad administrator under president obama. >> level out the crossing. put more signs around the crossing. do more to warn drivers that they're approaching a dangerous crossing. >> reporter: last year the federal government gave states nearly $400 million to improve safety at rail crossings. scott, that mississippi crossing with its 17 accidents didn't even make the government's top list of most dangerous crossings. >> pelley: kris van cleave, thanks. coming up, a mighty wind in the midwest. midwest.
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>> pelley: isis militants >> pelley: isis militants disguised as doctors slaughtered at least 30 people today at a military hospital in afghanistan. the attackers went floor to floor with automatic rifles and grenades. the afghan president said the attack "trampled on all human values." lighter wind and higher humidity are helping firefighters tame the wildfires that killed six people this week in the plain states. more than a million acres were scorched in kansas, oklahoma, texas and colorado. powerful winds knocked down trees and power lines from upstate new york to the midwest today. in toledo, ohio, a tractor- trailer was blown off the road. there it goes on the right. and in ypsilanti the plane carrying the university of michigan basketball team was nearly blown off the runway. a storm destroyed the azure window, a formation that jutted
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she's called "fearless girl," and she's taking a stand for women's equality by facing off with the charging bull. people young and old are flocking to her. a group of school children stopped by. >> i think that it's really a symbol of power. >> i think that it's cool that they've actually put a girl standing up to the bull there. >> reporter: she's become an internet sensation. the idea was hatched by one of the financial world's biggest firms, state street global advisers, as a call to action for more women to serve on corporate boards. >> she's a force to be reckoned with. >> reporter: lori heinel is an executive with the firm. >> she's engaging in a powerful way. this isn't about pushing men aside. this is about playing in the space that 50% of the population rightly should lay claim to. >> reporter: "fearless girl" was installed in the middle of the night two days ago, a tribute to the resilience women. charging bull appeared as a sign
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of resilience after the '87 stock market crash. alisa france works on wall street. >> she's great, amazing and powerful. just opposite the bulls shows this little girl, it doesn't matter your size, you that power in you. >> reporter: it's part of a movement. that has grown since president trump's inauguration. miriam mejia has been on the march. >> this is our moment. the little girl is just, it's an attitude, i'm empowered. >> reporter: empowered with a message to the titans of wall street. alex wagner, cbs news, new york. >> pelley: a girl with true mettle. from cbs news to all of you all around the world, we wish you a very good night. captioning sponsored by cbs ca media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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hazardous fuel. neighbors demanding.. they be moved from bay area railroad tracks. good eveni kpix 5 news at six begins with a battle over trains hauling hazardous fuel. neighbors demanding they be removed from bay area railroad tracks. good evening, i'm veronica de la cruz. >> i'm ken bastida in for allen martin. new at 6:00, wine country neighbors are pushing back against a plan to store railroad tanker cars close to their homes. the tankers carrying liquid petroleum set off alarm bells when they first showed up near the town of schellville a few months ago. kpix 5's emily turner says that there may not be much neighbors can do about it. emily. >> reporter: yeah, ken. these 6,000 feet of tracks right here behind me are the intersection point of two very opposite arguments. those who want those tankers here and those who certainly do not. 3.5 years ago, a small propane tank caused this explosion in
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schellville and leveled a pallet facility. the neighbors haven't forgotten about it. so when big tanks of flammable lpg showed up in the same spot, they got worried. now they are getting ready to take action. [ inaudible ] >> let alone these families and our families and the businesses. >> reporter: the tanks are stored here by northwestern pacific railroad. legally on rails that smart owns. the two parties have an operating agreement but haven't clarified the transport of hazardous materials until last month. you guys came out really strong out of the gate against this lpg but now there's an agreement in place. >> mm-hm. >> what's changed? >> so what's changed now is that we have the ability to require them to provide some important public safety precautions. >> reporter: but legally, that's as far as smart can take it. so local emergency responders ran drills last week in case of an explosion. but max ans

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