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tv   CBS Evening News  CBS  December 1, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by cbs captioning sponsored by cbs >> mason: flipping flynn. the special counsel strikes a deal with the former national security adviser to cooperate in the russia investigation. >> no one's above the law. we'll see what happens. >> mason: and there are new questions about the role of the president's son-in-law. also tonight, an independent review is sharply critical of police preparations for the white nationalist rally in charlottesville. harry and meghan make their public debut as an engaged couple. and steve hartman with jennifer jensen, and the judge who gave her life a second chance. >> i would not be here at all, probably.
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>> reporter: that's saying a lot. >> uh-huh. this is the "cbs evening news." >> mason: and this is our western edition. good evening. i'm anthony mason. the special counsel got himself a three-star witness. retired general michael flynn pleaded guilty today to lying to the f.b.i. and agreed to cooperate with robert mueller. mueller is investigating russian interference in the u.s. election, whether anyone in the trump campaign was involved, and any other crimes he may find along the way, including obstruction of justice. flynn, the president's first national security adviser, was an adviser to the campaign. he could serve as a guide as investigators look into the trump team's contacts with russia before and after the election. jeff pegues begins our coverage. >> reporter: michael flynn arrived at the courthouse this morning to plead guilty to making false statements to the f.b.i.
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once inside, a federal judge asked him if he was doing so willingly and voluntarily. the 58-year-old former lieutenant general answered with a simple "yes, sir." according to court papers, flynn lied to f.b.i. agents about the details of two phone calls he had with then-russian ambassador to the u.s., sergei kislyak, during the presidential transition. cbs news has learned flynn was directed to make the first call by president trump's son-in-law, jared kushner, described in court papers as "a very senior member of the transition team." on december 22, 2016, flynn called kislyak to urge russia to delay or defeat a united nations resolution concerning israeli settlements. a week later, flynn spoke to kislyak again-- this time about new sanctions imposed by the obama administration on russia. he relayed to the ambassador that the trump team did not want russia to escalate the situation. flynn made that call after consulting with someone court
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papers identify as a "senior transition official." cbs news has learned that was flynn's deputy, k.t. mcfarland. after the second kislyak call, russian president vladimir putin announced he would not retaliate for the u.s. sanctions and president-elect trump tweeted putin was "very smart." >> lock her up! >> reporter: flynn was a loyal trump surrogate during the campaign but he was fired as the president's national security adviser after just 24 days when it became clear he had also lied to vice president pence about his communications with kislyak. pence had publicly said they did not discuss sanctions. >> it was strictly coincidental that they had a conversation. they did not discuss anything having to do with the united states' decision to expel diplomats, or impose censure against russia. >> reporter: flynn's plea deal with the special counsel office requires him to cooperate with the investigation.
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in a statement today, flynn said his actions were wrong and his guilty plea was in the "the best interest of my family and of our country." what does flynn's cooperation signal about the direction of this investigation? >> it signals it's going forward and it's moving and advancing very quickly. >> peter ziedenberg is a former federal prosecutor. >> if anyone was going to be interacting with the russians or would know about it, it would be flynn. so if you can get him to talk it would be worth giving him a great deal. >> reporter: court paper says flynn could get up to six months behind bars, but he was under scrutiny for other alleged crimes, including failing to disclose payments from russian- backed companies and trying to orchestrate the kidnapping of a turkish cleric in exchange for $15 million. anthony. >> mason: jeff pegues, thanks, jeff. let's go now to our chief white house correspondent major garrett. major, this is the first time current and former white house official have been implicated in the investigation.
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what's the significance of that? >> reporter: well, it reveals a high-level status of talks with the trump transition and russia and suggests, or certainly points to, an openness and an easy level of engagement with a rival nation already suspected at that time, and confirmed by some u.s. officials, of meddling in the 2016 elections. still, these revelations today do not necessarily suggest that either jared kushner or k.t. mcfarland committed a crime. the two issues involved-- criticizing israeli settlements and russian reaction to new sanctions-- would be relevant to any incoming administration. and engaging the russians is something a presidential transition team might reasonably try to accomplish. but in the context of so many transition and white house denials about dealings with russia, today's court revelations strongly contradict at least some of those denials, putting them in a sharply different context. >> mason: so what is the white house saying about today's developments, major?
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>> reporter: well, the president was notified this morning, and he considered it a sad event, for sure, for general flynn and a serious crime for a three-star general, retired, to admit to. but the president still believes nothing that was revealed today threatens either him or his administration. and those close to the president tell us that he was neither angry nor frustrated by this particular development of the special counsel's investigation, and reassured that nothing that flynn pled guilty to touched his campaign and the actions that flynn did plead guilty to dealt with him and him alone. and the president, we are told, is still clinging to the belief reinforced by his legal team here, that the special counsel's investigation will be concluded relatively soon. >> mason: major garrett at the white house. thanks, major. justice reporter paula reid is at the u.s. courthouse in washington. paula, as you heard major just say, the white house insists the mueller investigation is nearing the end. is that what you're hearing? >> reporter: no.
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former federal prosecutors tell me an investigation of this scope could take years. and don't forget, the special counsel is still investigating whether or not the president or anyone else could have possibly obstructed justice in trying to tamp down this inquiry into mike flynn. now flynn and former campaign adviser george papadopoulos will be used possibly in a new round of charges against a new round of targets. additionally, you also have paul manafort and his associate richard gates. they're headed to trial, and that won't even start until midway through next year. so, anthony, this is not going to end any time soon. >> mason: paula, what did today's developments tell us about mueller's approach? >> reporter: robert mueller is a man of secrets and surprises. we knew it was possible that mike flynn could be inching towards a plea deal, but the explosive details revealed in court documents today, they were not revealed until after his plea hearing. and it was just a month ago that we were all here and we were
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surprised to hear about george papadopoulos, not just that he was pleading guilty but that he had been actively cooperating with special counsel for months. so this ability to robert mueller has to keep his cards really close to the vest, that should really concern anyone in this investigation who has something to hide. anthony. >> mason: justice reporter paula reid thanks. a special counsel was appointed after president trump fired f.b.i. director james comey, angry that he wouldn't drop the russia investigation. today, after the flynn guilty plea, comey tweeted a verse from the bible. "but let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." at the capitol today, senate republicans wrote and rewrote a massive tax overhaul bill. g.o.p. leaders say they now have the 50 votes needed to pass it, but when the vote will happen and all the details of the bill are not clear. here's chief congressional correspondent nancy cordes.
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>> here we are now, at 4:15. we still have not seen this bill. >> reporter: as g.o.p. staffers raced to finalize the senate tax plan, republicans downplayed the slap-dash nature of the closing act. >> this is perfectly normal, part of politics is drama. >> reporter: the drama centered around last-minute concessions to a few wavering republicans. adding in a deduction for individual property taxes, capped at $10,000, and reviving the alternative minimum tax for high earners. one republican whose demands were not met? deficit hawk bob corker. >> they know i've got fiscal concerns, and, you know, probably a dinosaur in that regard. i understand. >> reporter: corker wanted to scale back the bill after bipartisan number crunchers determined that the tax cuts would only spur enough economic growth to cover about a third of
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the $1.4 trillion price tag. but most of his g.o.p. colleagues dismissed those projections. >> oh, yeah. i think it will pay for itself and then some. and if i'm wrong, like every other republican, we'll pay a price. >> reporter: it's estimated a family of four earning $75,000 a year would initially get a tax break averaging $2,200. but democrats note those savings would be temporary. >> what a disgrace. >> after seven years, six out of ten middle-class families will have their taxes go up. not down. >> reporter: even if senate republicans do manage to pass this bill tonight, there is still going to be work to do. they will need to all hang together as they work out the differences between their plan and the plan that passed the house last month, and then, anthony, they will have to vote again on that final product. >> mason: nancy cordes on capitol hill. thanks. police and city officials did not do enough to prevent or stop the deadly chaos at a white
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nationalist rally in charlottesville, virginia. that's according to an independent investigator's report released today. here's kris van cleave. >> you're presenting your report as if you were there. i was there. i know what took place. >> reporter: tempers flared today, months after the violence played out on the streets of charlottesville. an independent investigation found the police plan for the unite the right protest was flawed. there was a stunning and obvious failure in preparation and communication was so poor, the right hand didn't be what the left hand was doing. commanders failed to use tactics that could have kept marchers and counter-demonstrators separated. >> they didn't protect public safety. >> reporter: a former u.s. attorney: >> a lot had not tried on the ballistic helmet or use the shield they had been given for that day. >> reporter: the report said officers failed to stand up to protect human life because some were told to stay behind barricades while others were ordered to break up only the
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most serious physical altercations and available swat teams weren't used. police also dismissed suggestions to block intersections with barriers or dump trucks that could have prevented james fields from driving through this crowd of people, killing heather haier, and injuring 19 others. the lone officer assigned to that intersection was pulled as violence began and the commanders were unaware the area was left unstaffed. charlottesville police chief al thomas. >> it's not a time for finger pointing. it's time to come together. i am committed to implementing the recommendations in this report. >> reporter: the report also found the city received bad legal advice and did not ban things like clubs, sticks and shields from the protest. white supremacist jason kessler said organizers had peaceful aims. he wants an investigation of the city and police. anthony. >> mason: kris van cleave, thank you, kris. across hawaii today, a blast from the past.
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( siren ) warning sirens in paradise. they blared in hawaiian cities and villages for the first time since the end of the cold war. it was just a test in response to a threat of an attack from north korea. coming up next on the cbs evening news, when harry and meghan met the public. and later, steve hartman with a judge who hands out justice tempered with compassion. if you could see your cough, you'd see all the sickness you're spreading. robitussin cf max.
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h.i.v. infections has declined since 2010. the number of deaths is down 50% since a peak in 2005. nearly 37 million people are now living with aids. red ribbons, the symbols for aids awareness, were on display today from the white house to the skyscrapers of shanghai. there were marches from new york to thailand. it's no coincidence that prince harry and meghan markle chose world aids day it make their first public appearance since getting engaged. harry's late mother, princess diana, was perhaps the world's best known aids activist. jonathan vigliotti reports from nottingham, england. >> reporter: meghan markle, an american television actress, is used to walking down red carpets, but today she walked into history. >> i just simply put my arms around her and loved her. and i said, "you're absolutely wonderful." >> reporter: 81-year-old irene hartman has seen a few royals but the thrill was still there. the first official joint
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appearance is a royal rite of passage. princess diana made it in 1981, and duchess kate in 2011. today's carefully chosen public debut was world aids day fair, a nod to harry's mother who championed h.i.v. awareness. >> i think in the beginning few months, and now being boots on the ground in the u.k., i'm excited to just really get to know more about the different communities here. >> reporter: today's warm reception, a sight-- the british public is smitten, too. jonathan vigliotti, cbs news, nottingham, england. >> mason: and when we come back, francis trades the pope mobile for a pope cycle. mobile for a pope cycle. 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.
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>> mason: for the first time in the u.s., a woma >> mason: for the first time in the u.s., a woman born without a uterus has given birth. it happened last month at baylor university medical center in dallas. in a prior operation, the mother had received a transplanted uterus. the hospital is not releasing the name of the proud new mom or her healthy baby. there was an ominous sight today along the italian rivera. a tornado formed off san remo and moved ashore, breaking windows and damaging cars. just one injury reported. tornadoes are fairly common in europe. about 300 occur every year. pope francis ditched the pope mobile today in bangladesh. too crowded in the capital, so he rode to an interfaith meeting as a native would. they call it a rickshaw, though it looks like a pedi-cab. whatever you call it, the pope seemed to enjoy it. steve hartman is next with a judge whose words are important as his sentences.
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♪ ♪ ( "on the road again" ) ♪ ♪ ( "on the road again" ) >> mason: i won't give away the ending to our final story this week except to say it is a happy one against all the odds. here's steve hartman "on the road." >> all rise. >> reporter: as a drug treatment court judge in minnesota, the honorable chris wilton has seen some pretty desperate cases, but he says none more desperate than the heroin addict who first appeared before him in the spring of 2014. her name is jennifer jensen. do you remember when she first came in here? >> i do. eight months pregnant, and clearly using drugs. that's as bad as it gets.
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there's nobody worse than her. >> reporter: and yet, woeful as she was, a smile still comes to his face at the thought of her. because today, 24-year-old jennifer jensen is clean, 33 months clean, with a healthy son by her side, and a wretched past behind. hooked on heroin by high school, jennifer posed for more mug shots than yearbook photos. and when she eventually landed in judge wilton's courtroom, he somehow saw potential. he took a special interest, stayed on her, made her appear in court more than any other-- 27 times total. >> at first i was like, it's annoying. i have to see this guy this much all the time? like, i don't want to see this judge all the time. >> reporter: but in hindsight, jennifer says he saved her life. >> i would not be here at all, probably. >> reporter: that's saying a lot. >> uh-huh. >> reporter: jennifer's mom, kerry martin, says she can't thank that judge enough. >> every time i see him i say,
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"you saved my daughter's life." and he said, "i'm just a judge." and i said, "no, she looks at you like a father." >> and that's why after her final appearance, jennifer approached the bench with a very special plea. >> she walked up and asked me if i would perform her marriage. ♪ ♪ and i was there. >> reporter: there are no quick fixes to america's heroin epidemic, but if there is a lesson in this happy ending, it's that the solution is rooted in tough love and good judges who know when it's time to go heavier on the tough. >> you're on thin ice. >> reporter: and when it's time to go all in with the love. steve hartman, "on the road", in chakapee, minnesota. >> mason: an uplifting end to the week. and next week, we start a new chapter in the nearly 70-year history of this broadcast when my colleague jeff glor takes over this chair. jeff is a fine journalist and a good friend, and he'll have the
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support, as i have, of an extraordinary team of reporters, camera people, producers, and crew. i thank them, and i thank you for your support over the past six months. temp work is rarely such a privilege. the "cbs evening news with jeff glor" debuts monday. i will be watching. i hope you will, too. have a great weekend, and i'll see you tomorrow on "cbs this morning saturday." good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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blames san francisco for kate steinle's death-- and plans to file new charges against her killer. ctuary cities new scrutiny on sanctuary cities. they blame san francisco for kate steinle start. >> they are looking to arrest the illegal immigrant of -- acquitted of the murder. they found this amendment involving a weapons charge two years ago. it said jose ines garcia zarate violated his probation by possessing the gun that killed kate steinle. it is important to say that if it has not -- had not had headlines it would have been released.>> melissa kane spoke with the district returner who
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is a vocal supporter of sanctuary cities and whose prosecutors lost this case.>> reporter: san francisco dea -- da gave his first interview where we reached him by phone. he said the trial of jose ines garcia zarate was a murder case plain and simple.>> it was a murder case as it was prosecuted and we got a verdict on the murder case. it was not the verdict that we were hoping for but the system works that way.>> he has supported san francisco sanctuary city laws before but today he was in no mood to talk politics.>> other times we can talk about sanctuary cities and other times whether it is good or not or what needs to be improved and this is not the time.>> for now, people should focus on the family.>>

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