tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS March 20, 2017 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
captioning sponsored by cbs >> pelley: the president versus the f.b.i. >> i have no information that supports those tweets. >> pelley: the f.b.i. director tells congress there is no evidence president obama wiretapped candidate trump. but he is investigating the trump campaign and russia. >> the whole truth and nothing but the truth? >> pelley: also tonight, the president's nominee for supreme court justice argues his case. >> the answers we reach are always the ones we believe the law requires. >> pelley: an american suspected of nazi war crimes is defended by his son. >> these are lice. this is defamation. this is sln der. -- slander. >> pelley: and... remembering the man who started rock on a roll. ♪ go, johnny, go.
go, johnny, go, go ♪ go, johnny, go, go. this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: today began the most critical week yet of donald trump's presidency with congress taking up his supreme court nominee and his replacement for obamacare. but both were overshadowed today by two revelations from the f.b.i. the f.b.i. director told congress he is investigating whether the trump campaign colluded with russia to sway the election. then the director and the head of the national security agency testified there is no reason to believe mr. trump's accusation that he was wiretapped by president obama. an extraordinary rift has now opened up between the white house and those who agencies critical to national security.
jeff pegues covered the hearing. >> i have no information that supports those tweets. >> reporter: several times f.b.i. director james comey rejected the president's claim that president obama ordered trump tower wiretapped. adam schiff is the ranking democrat on the house intelligence committee. >> you said there has been no evidence of an illegal wiretap by president obama. is that right? >> i've said the f.b.i. and the department of justice have no information to support those tweets. >> reporter: another white house claim that british intelligence wiretapped trump tower on behalf of the united states was dismissed by the director of the n.s.a., mike rogers. >> i have seen nothing on the n.s.a. side that we engaged in any such activity nor that anyone ever asked us to engage in such activity. >> reporter: comey did confirm that since last july the f.b.i. has been conducting a counterintelligence investigation into russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign and whether trump associates
colluded with russian officials. committee chairman republican devin nunes. >> do you have any evidence that any current trump white house or administration official coordinated with the russian intelligence services? >> that's not a question i can answer. >> reporter: comey declined to answer questions dozens of time, citing the ongoing investigation and classified information. >> don't overinterpret the fact that i say i can't comment. i'm not going to comment on anybody. >> reporter: but cbs news has learned that those under scrutiny include former national security adviser michael flynn, campaign foreign policy adviser carter page, onetime campaign chairman paul manafort and roger stone, a long-time friend of president trump. stone told us last week that he had not broken any laws. >> i have no fear, because i know i had no meaningful contact whatsoever with any russians. >> reporter: republicans on the committee pressed comey on how information about specific
individuals became public. last month michael flynn was fired as national security adviser after it was reported he had undisclosed contact with the russian ambassador to the u.s. south carolina's trey gowdy. >> i'm just simply asking you to assure the american people that it is going to be investigated. >> i can't, but i hope people watching know how seriously we take leaks of classified information, but i don't want to confirm it by saying that we're investigating it. >> reporter: the russian cyber plot was widespread. more than 1,000 organizations were hit with malicious e-mails and other attacks. scott, comey says the russians wanted the u.s. to know what they were doing, and he said that they're likely to do it again. >> pelley: jeff pegues in our washington newsroom. major garrett is covering this story from the white house tonight. >> reporter: president trump ignored yet another question about his baseless wiretap claims. but he couldn't keep quiet on
twitter even before today's hearing began. mr. trump wrote there was no evidence of trump campaign collusion with russian operatives, calling the narrative fake news. the democrats made up after they lost the election. >> do you have any evidence? >> reporter: then during the hearing, mr. trump highlighted testimony he said indicated no evidence russian meddling influenced the electoral process. a short time later connecticut democrat jim himes read the tweet to comey. >> is that accurate? >> we've offered no opinion, have no view, have no information on potential impact because it's never something we looked at. it certainly wasn't our intention to say that today because we don't have any information on that subject. that's not something that was looked at. >> reporter: the president also noted this exchange between republican trey gowdy and f.b.i. director comey about former national security adviser michael flynn. >> did you brief president obama on any calls involving michael flynn? >> i'm not going to get into
either that particular case, that matter, or any conversations i had with the president. i can't matter that. >> reporter: mr. trump tweeted, "f.b.i. director comey refuses to deny it." >> reporter: at the white house, sean spicer tried to deny the investigation into flynn and paul manafort. >> general flynn was a volunteer of the campaign. there has obviously been discussion of paul manafort, who played a limited role for a limited amount of time. >> reporter: spicer asserted that no evidence has been presented to suggest cooperation between trump associates and russian operatives. >> when the people who have been briefed by the f.b.i. about collusion between individuals, the answer continues to be no, and at some point take no for an answer. >> reporter: the white house still stubbornly clings to the president's wiretap allegations. scott, it does so without evidence and in the face now of
on-the-record denials from key figures in the law enforcement and intelligence community. >> pelley: major garrett traveling with the president in louisville, kentucky tonight. major, thank you. well, the intelligence committee chairman devin nunes declined an invitation to speak with us tonight, but we did talk to the ranking democrat on the committee, adam schiff. congressman sheriff, as we speak this evening, is there any evidence of collusion between the trump campaign and russia? >> well, i think what we saw in the hearing today was director comey acknowledged that there was sufficient evidence and credible information that warranted his opening up a counterintelligence investigation, that is is there coordination with a foreign power, has someone become an agent of a foreign power? there was sufficient evidence certainly for the director to open that investigation. that's certainly consistent also with what i've seen and the way i'd describe it is there is circumstantial evidence certainly of collusion or
coordination. there has been direct evidence of deception, and i think people i hope got the sense today during this long hearing about just why it's so important that both congress and the f.b.i. do a thorough investigation. >> pelley: but to be crystal clear, this evening, as we speak, there is no hard evidence of collusion between the trump campaign and the russians? you said there is circumstantial evidence? >> you know, i would not say... i would not phrase it the way you do. circumstantial evidence can be very powerful and it is hard evidence. you can certainly prove many cases on the basis of circumstantial evidence, so people shouldn't underestimate the power of that. >> pelley: during your committee hearing, someone using president trump's official twitter handle took issue with what was being said by the f.b.i. director, and the director was asked, and he rebutted that. that was pretty unusual, information maybe unprecedented for a congressional hearing. >> it was.
you don't usually have a real-time fact check of a presidential statement by the director of f.b.i. and the director of the n.s.a., but we did get that today, and i think the comment the president had misrepresented was the suggestion that the f.b.i. and n.s.a. had said there was no effect by the russians on the electoral process. that simply wasn't true. >> pelley: why do you think donald trump and the white house continue to insist that he was the target of surveillance on the orders of president obama when there doesn't seem to be any evidence to support that? >> kris: >> well, one of two things. it's it's they're the president simply cannot admit error, and that might be the most... well, the least damning explanation, as critical as that would be, or the more concerning would be he can't tell the difference between fact and fiction, and he has somehow persuaded himself of this alternate reality. that would be an even worse scenario, and honestly, at this
point i can't tell which it is. >> pelley: representative adam schiff, thank you so much for your time. >> thanks, scott. >> pelley: today 13 months and one presidential election after the death of supreme court justice antonin scalia, the senate opened confirmation hearings for his successor. jan crawford is following that. >> you sometimes hear judges cynically described as politicians and rogues seeking to enforce their own politics rather than striving to apply the law impartially. if i thought that were true, i would hang up the robe. >> reporter: pledging to uphold the rule of law, judge neil gorsuch told the committee judges must uphold the law. >> i don't think that's what it's about. >> reporter: the colorado native talked about his western roots and family and thanked his wife louise. >> i love you so much. >> reporter: but throughout the first day, another respective federal appeals court judge also was in focus.
>> chief judge merrick garland. >> judge garland. >> chief judge merrick garland. >> reporter: democratic senators like patrick leahy are still seething that republicans blocked president obama's nomination a year ago this week of judge merrick garland. >> it was totally unprecedented in our country's whole history. >> reporter: they also took aim at president trump and questioned gorsuch's commitment to judicial independence. connecticut's richard blumenthal. >> the possibility of the supreme court needing to enforce a subpoena against the president is no longer idle speculation. >> reporter: but republican senators said the hearing was not about judge garland or the president. north carolina's thom tillis. i hope this nomination hearing will focus on the one person here before us who i hope will go on to fill the supreme court. >> reporter: democrats are promising a thorough review of
judge gorsuch's record with a focus on workers' right, civil liberties and women's rights. he will be in this hot seat for about ten hours tomorrow, scott, and again on wednesday. >> pelley: jan crawford for us tonight. jan, thank you. in breaking news this evening, a new terrorist threat has been discovered, and tonight the u.s. is announcing that electronic devices will be banned for passengers flying on foreign airlines from eight countries in the middle east and north africa. chip reid is following this for us. chip, what do you know? >> reporter: well, scott, just officials tell us that electronic devices that are larger than a cell phone will be banned temporarily from flights coming to the u.s. from eight middle eastern and north african countries on airlines based in those countries. that means devices like laptops and ipads cannot be carried in the cabin. they will have to be checked. the airlines have 96 hours or four days to comply. it is unclear how long the ban will last.
again, as far as we know, this will not apply the u.s.-based airlines. u.s. officials tell thus step is based on intelligence gathered overseas. they say they've been told that this information is not about a specific time-certain plot, and, scott, a similar incident took place in 2014 when airlines banned electronic devices on some flights coming from europe. >> pelley: more details about this on "cbs this morning" tomorrow. chip reid, thanks very much. a passenger plane crash landed in south sudan today and burst into flames. there were 44 passengers and five crew aboard. more than a dozen were hurt, but believe it or not, everyone survived this. the pilot had overshot the runway while landing in bad weather. outside boulder, colorado tonight, fire crews are getting the upper hand on a wildfire that may have been sparked
yesterday by campers. the fire's 80% contained. more than 400 people were allowed back to their homes today. still ahead on the "cbs evening news," a minnesota man is accused of ordering a nazi massacre. and remembering chuck berry, the first inductee in the rock 'n' roll hall of fame. ♪ maybelene why can't you be true ♪ oh, maybelene why can't you be true ♪ introducing otezla, apremilast. otezla is not an injection, or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. some people who took otezla saw 75% clearer skin after 4 months. and otezla's prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't take otezla if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. otezla may increase the risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts,
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ukrainian unit who ordered the massacre of 44 polish civilians during world war ii. >> you go your whole life with your dad to have someone accuse him of being a nazi. >> these are lies. this is defamation. this is slander. it's unsupported. it's innuendo. it's allegations. >> reporter: but polish authorities say they have plenty of evidence against karkoc, including nazi pay stub records and karkoc's own ukrainian language memoir, in which he places himself at the site of at least one mass murder. karkoc did not reveal his nazi past when he applied for citizenship in the united states in 1949. or that he served with the ukrainian self-defense legion. affiliation with either group would have barred his entry. mark weitzman is with the simon wheeze all this center, a jewish human rights organization. >> you would think we know everything that we need to know about that period, but the reality is that we're still learning new things almost every day. historians are uncovering new things.
>> reporter: germany investigated karkoc's case four years ago but declined to prosecute saying he was mentally incompetent to stand trial. scott, so far the dependent of justice has not publicly commented on whether or not the united states will extradite karkoc to poland. >> pelley: jamie yuccas for us tonight. thank you. we'll be right back. and what if this happened again? i was given warfarin in the hospital, but wondered, was this the best treatment for me? so i asked my doctor. and he recommended eliquis. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots and reduces the risk of them happening again. yes, eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots. eliquis also had significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. both made me turn around my thinking. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding.
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died today. the long-time head of chase manhattan bank was the last surviving grandchild of standard oil founder john d. rockefeller and the brother of the late vice president nelson rockefeller. his philanthropic work earned him a presidential medal of freedom. david rockefeller was 101. if you want to know what new york sounds like, treat yourself to the words of jimmy breslin, the pulitzer prize winning columnist. about the true thief, he wrote, "there can be nothing too small to steal." about the hapless '62 mets, "marvelous marv was holding down first base. this is like saying willie sutton works at your bank." and about donald trump's "the art of the deal," "the book was nothing more than safe cracking by hard cover." jimmy breslin died yesterday. he was 88. coming up next, we'll remember when rock was young.
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>> pelley: elvis became its king. disk jockey allen freed gave it a name, and chucker berry, he ws the godfather of rock 'n' roll, its inspiration and guiding force. chuck berry died saturday at the age of 90. jim axelrod rod has his story and his music. >> reporter: there are plenty of ways to articulate the importance of chuck berry. he was the first inductee into the rock 'n' roll hall of fame, where the rolling stones' keith richards came clean. >> i lifted every lick he ever played. ♪ down in louisiana close to new orleans ♪ >> reporter: berry's masterpiece "johnny b. goode"
was on the voyager 1 when it launched, just in case some other form of life wanted to understand ours. ♪ i got a 1966 cherry red mustang ford ♪ and then the man himself explaining his uncommonly common touch. >> everybody drives cards. everybody has to have money. everybody has a love affair, inspirations. these are things i write about. ♪ roll over beethoven i got to hear it again today ♪ >> reporter: but the best way to measure chuck berry's influence is not through words but through music. for their very first song of their very first u.s. concert, the beatles chold berry's "rollover beethoven." ♪ rollover beethoven >> reporter: years later berry's agent would sue the beatles for sampling a bit too
liberally. they'd settle out of court. ♪ if everybody had an ocean across the u.s.a. ♪ litigation would also force the beach boys to give berry a writing credit for "surfing u.s.a." ♪ they're really rocking in bolton ♪ and pittsburgh p.a.m. paying homage to sweet little 16 was one thing. berry wanted to be paid royalties. ♪ oh maybelene can't you be true ♪ today flowers were placed on berry's star in hollywood. and rock 'n' rollers everywhere blasted a few of chuck berry's best-known licks. ♪ oh, johnny b. goode the ones that changed music forever. jim axelrod, cbs news, new york. >> pelley: and for all of us at cbs news all around the
♪ tonight, j. lo and a-rod love in the fast lane. ♪ >> she's already meeting his family and coming with him to work. is that making her ex, drake, jealous? what he revealed in his new song. then, inside a dancing double date. how the stars are preparing for tonight's premiere, as pro sharna gives "e.t." back stage secrets. >> you want there to be controversy. plus -- >> hey, "e.t." it's me joey mcintyre. >> word home with this new kid on the block and his family. >> it will knock your socks off. and -- why ryan reynolds and jake gyllenhaal are making beautiful music together. >> i'm wilson and phillips. [ laughter ]. >> sorry. what? now, for march 20th, 2017,