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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  June 2, 2017 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT

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>> mason: feeling the heat. >> yes or no-- does the president believe that climate change is real? >> does the president believe today that climate change is a hoax. >> what does the president actually believe? >> mason: also tonight, the president gives ethics waivers to more than a dozen white house aides. >> now, let's dial the number. >> mason: please hold-- it's the future on line 1. the phone company wants to cut the cord. >> reporter: what would you do? >> i might die, i might die. >> give me 5. that's it! >> mason: and steve hartman. >> 26-"f," follow me. >> mason: from usher with love. >> i get more hugs and kisses now than i ever got in my life. captioning sponsored by cbs
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this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> mason: good evening. scott's on assignment for "60 minutes." i'm anthony mason. the white house defended the president today against a world of opposition to his decision to withdraw from the paris climate accord. the deal, signed by nearly 200 countries, commits them to voluntarily reduce pollution linked to global warming. the president's chief defender heads the agency whose mission is in its title-- environmental protection. chip reid begins our coverage. >> the president made a very courageous decision yesterday on beof america. >> reporter: e.p.a. chief, scott pruitt, a leading voice in convincing president trump to get out of the paris climate accord, today defended him against worldwide condemnation. >> we have nothing t to be apologetic about as a country. >> reporter: other top white house officials hit the airwaves, making clear the president was focused, not on the environment, but on jobs. >> we're putting the american
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worker, the american economy first. >> he promised to protect american jobs, american interests, american workers. >> reporter: it's a position that appears to have limited political downside. a cbs news poll found when asked, "what is the single most important problem for the government this year?" 13% volunteered that it's the economy and jobs. just 2% said the environment and global warming. former secretary of state john kerry negotiated the paris accord and said president trump's decision was based on bad research. >> that's not a real study. that's an industry-based study by people who oppose climate change, action, and who have been among the leaders in-- in the whole theory of a climate hoax, which, by the way, there is not one scientific fact that supports the notion in a peer-reviewed study that it's a hoax. >> the global warming and the that-- a lot of it's a hoax. it's a hoax. >> reporter: pruitt was asked repeatedly today if the president still believes that
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position from the campaign trail? >> yes or no-- does the president believe that climate change is real and a threat? >> does the president believe today that climate change is a hoax? >> reporter: but he refused to give a direct answer. so did white house press secretary sean spicer. >> does he still believe it's a hoax? could you clarify that, because apparently nobody else in the white house can? >> i have not had an opportunity to have that discussion. >> reporter: spicer also declined to explain exactly why the president did not simply invoke u.s. power under the paris agreement to change the u.s. greenhouse gas emission targets to make them less onerous on american businesses. why renegotiate? the united states has the authority to simply reduce the targets. why not just do that? >> because the president believes that it is in our country's best interest to renegotiate the deal. >> reporter: secretary of state rex tillerson seemed to downplay the president's decision today. he said he believes the u.s. will not diminish its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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anthony. >> mason: chip reid. thanks, chip. around the country, governors and mayors are saying that if the president won't lead the way on protecting the environment, they will. carter evans is in san francisco. >> reporter: you go into china today, what message does that send to washington? >> wake up. >> reporter: we caught up with governor jerry brown as he was boarding a flight to beijing to attend a clean energy summit. he's going as the leader of the sixth richest economy in the world-- the state of california. >> when mr. trump does something so outrageous to the science and to the reality of climate change, we can't stand idly by. this is serious stuff. >> reporter: when president trump pulled out of the climate accord, brown immediately formed the u.s. climate alliance with washington, new york, mexico, and canada, to honor the commitment of the agreement. those three states make up a fifth of the population and 11% of the u.s. emissions. california has adopted the naegz toughest car emission standards,
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then pushed solar and electric cars. the president says it's putting us at a disadvantage. >> yeah, mr. trump is wrong on the facts, wrong on the science, wrong on the economy. >> reporter: california has seen a boom in green jobs. andrew thurrey was a plumber before working in solar. >> i live a pretty good middle-class life right now. i was able to buy a home. i know it would be hard to do going back to one of the other professions. >> reporter: solar now accounts for 260,000 jobs in the country, five times the number of coal industry jobs. california accounts for one out of every six new jobs since 2012. >> eventually, the trump administration will have to come around. he cannot deviate from the entire world in the way that he's trying to right now. >> reporter: now, individual states cannot sign the paris agreement, but they can commitment comit to the same standards. and, anthony, during governor brown's trip to china, he plans to push for even more cooperation on green energy
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policies. >> mason: carter evans, thanks, carter. the labor department reported today that job creation slowed in may. employers added 138,000 jobs, 66,000 fewer than the month before. the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3%, the lowest in 16 years. back in january, president trump signed an executive order that bars former lobbyists in his administration from working on issues related to their previous jobs. but this week, the white house posted a list of white house staffers who have been given waivers. julianna goldman has been looking into that. >> we are going to drain the swamp. >> reporter: president trump promised to rid washington of powerful special interests. but for certain top white house aides, mr. trump has made exceptions. he's issued at least 14 waivers to ethics rules, some of which he himself put in place in january. one retroactive waiver allows chief strategist steve bannon to
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communicate with editors at breitbart, the conservative news site he used to run. other waivers perpetuate the so-called revolving door between the public and private sector, allowing staffers who are recently paid by companies and organizations to now advance their same agendas in the white house, like counselor kellyanne conway, whose consulting business had dozens of clients, or michael catanzaro, a former lobbyist for oil and gas companies who now advises the president on energy matters. >> government officials and employees ought to be doing their job in a disinterested way. >> reporter: robert walker is an attorney who advises clients on government ethics rules. >> that includes not having matter comes before them where their former clients, recently former clients had an interest, the notion being their decisions might be biased or affected by their association with their former claets. >> reporter: the white house says it issued the waivers to bring in expertise on certain matters, a rationale also used
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by the obama administration. but walker says president obama's ethics rules went further. >> under the obama pledge, officials agreed they would not be employeed by a governing agency which they had lobbied. that aspect of the pledge was not carried over. >> reporter: mr. obama had issued only four white house waiver by this point in his presidency, and fewer than 20 over his two terms. anthony, more waivers for employees across the federal government are expected next week. >> mason: julianna goldman, thanks. now to the investigations of russian meddling in the u.s. election and whether anyone in the trump campaign was involved. today, russia's president weighed in. here's jeff pegues. >> reporter: vladimir putin mocked u.s. investigators today, questioning whatever proof may exist that his government was behind the u.s. election hacks. "which fingerprints?" he asked. i.p. addresses can be completely made up and sent from your home
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address by your children. while putin has been talking, russian banker sergey gorkov has not. gorkov, who heads russian investment bank v.e.b. had a secret meeting with president trump's son-in-law, jared kushner, in december in new york. the white house says mr. kushner was acting as a transition official and sources say the two men discussed setting up a secret back channel between the trump team and the russian government. but v.e.b. told "the new york times" mr. gorkov met with kushner in his capacity as a real estate executive. whether the meeting was about business or politics, critics say it raises questions. >> the appearances here look really not very good for mr. kushner. >> reporter: tim frye, a russia scholar at columbia university, says vladimir putin likely knew about kushner and gorkov's meeting. >> i think it would take extraordinary gumption for the head of a state-owned bank in russia to engage in diplomacy at
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this level without at least some support from the kremlin. >> reporter: the meeting is now part of special counsel's miccounsel'srobert mueller's inn into whether the trump team colluded with the russians. mueller was selected to lead the probe after it was revealed fired f.b.i. director james comey had written memos about his meeting with president trump. sources say one wrote that president trump asked comey to drop his investigation into fired national security adviser michael flynn. comey is set to testify before congress about that memo next thursday. today, white house spokesman sean spicer was asked if the president would invoke executive privilege to prevent comey from speaking. >> i have not spoken to counsel yet. i don't know what that-- what they're-- how they're going to respond. >> reporter: according to an associate, comey wants to testify. anthony, this person says that comey has not received any executive privilege notice from the justice department. some legal scholars believe that
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any notice would be legally dubious, and the committee itself may resist. >> mason: jeff pegues, thanks, jeff. in an interview with oscar-winning director oliver stone, putin was asked whether edward snowden's release of confidential n.s.a. documents was justified. snowed sen living in exile in russia after leaking documents that detailed bulk surveillance operations. the interview is part of an upcoming shotime special. >> let me ask you, i'm sure you must have, as an ex-k.g.b. agent, you must have hated what snowden did with every fiber of your being. >> did you agree with what he did? >> no.
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>> did you think the national security agency had gone too far in its eavesdropping? >> but he should not have when i wasled-- he's saying that she hee should not have whistlebrown, and should have resigned in principle, on the principle, like mr. putin did when he resigned from the k.g.b.? >> mason: th "the putin interviews" will begin airing monday june 12 on showtime, a
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division of cbs. in the philippines, police initially said no one was seriously wounded in an attack yesterday at the resort world casino in manila. they later found at least 37 dead, apparently from smoke inhalation. authorities say the gunmen set fires before taking his life. isis is claiming responsibility, but police say it was a botched robbery. comedian kathy griffin apologized again today for a photo showing her holding a mock-up of president trump's bloody head. griffin says she's getting death threats, is under investigation by the secret service, and she said the president is trying to ruin her life. >> he broke me. he broke me. and then i was like, "no, this isn't right! it's just not right!" and i apologized because that was the right thing to do and i meant it. >> mason: griffin has had several performances canceled, and she lost her job cohosting
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cnn's new year's eve show. coming up next on the cbs evening news, is it the end of the line for wired phones? and later, steve hartman with phil coynphilphil coyne. like an "unjection™". xeljanz xr. a once daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well. xeljanz xr can reduce pain, swelling and joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz xr can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections, lymphoma and other cancers have happened. don't start xeljanz xr if you have an infection. tears in the stomach or intestines, low blood cell counts and higher liver tests and cholesterol levels have happened. your doctor should perform blood tests before you start and while taking xeljanz xr, and monitor certain liver tests. tell your doctor if you were in a region where fungal infections are common
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>> mason: 141 years after alexander graham bell made the first phone call, at&t, once known as bell telephone, wants to cut the cord. less than half the homes in the u.s. now have landlines. dean reynolds says illinois may be among the first states to hang up on old technology. >> sale, this is mother. >> reporter: imagine, this is the way people once said usedded the telephone. you dialed the number and your voice was carried along landlines connected to telephone poles across the country. the no-frills phone worked well in its day, and people like 75-year-old michelle charous, see no need to change something that works. >> my landline, i can talk for
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literally hours. the phone goes right here, and i just sit there and talk. the battery neveridize. >> reporter: but demand for 21st-century phone technology is crowding her and the 400,000 other households in illinois where phones use land lines. about 10% of at&t's phone business. the state legislature, and those in 19 other states where at&t is the primary carrier, have voted to allow at&t to end landline service in order to invest more in wireless or internet-based phone networks. but consumer advocate jim chilsen of the citizens utility board says the change would fall disproportion aetsly on seniors. >> what we're talking about is some of illinois' most vulnerable phone customers who depend on a reliable landline connection to give them 911 service, medical monitoring services, and home security systems. >> reporter: customers like michelle charous.
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what would happen if you are forced to make this change which at&t wants? >> my life would be at stake for emergencies. >> reporter: the bill still needs the governor's signature and regulatory approval. in the meantime, though, at&t says 5,000 illinois customers are voluntarily dropping their landline connection every week. dean reynolds, cbs news, chicago. >> mason: kind of miss those old rotary phones. coming up, a crackdown on greek life at penn state. it kills all three through contact. no biting required. so they don't have to bite? that's right. no biting required. k9 advantix ii. wise choice.
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>> mason: the death of a pen state student has led to a crackdown on greek live at the school. jericka duncan is there. >> reporter: the university president told me that what happened here in february is what led to these changes. 19-year-old timothy piazza died after an alleged hazing ritual at the beta theta pi fraternity house. 18 students face criminal charges. the board members took several measures today, including the university will now take control
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over the greek system and be responsible for disciplinary actions. there's a zero tolerance for hazing incidents, with a push for stronger criminal punishments and hard liquor has been banned at social events. fraternities and sororities are allowed to have just 10 parties each semester, down from 45. piazza family attorney: >> there have been no concrete, real changes made today. we still have in the same exact spot. >> reporter: anthony, if these greek organizations do not follow these new guidelines, president baron said he is not shy about banning them from the university. >> mason: jericka duncan at penn state. thanks. in an inn prus dented decision, supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg is putting out a workout book. we're not kidding. ginsburg will take you through the routine that keeps her in shape at age 44.
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why put up with just part of a day? aleve, live whole not part. tell you what, i'll give it to you for half off. >> mason: we en the land of three rivers, where brazen buccaneers steal with absorbed, and one intrepid guide helps folks navigate their way. here's steve hartman in pittsburgh. >> reporter: a lot of baseball stars can put fans in the seats, but only phil coyne cleans them first. >> there we are. >> reporter: i wonder if he's a bigger celebrity than anybody on the field? >> he is. i think it makes their day. >> it was like, wow, that was great. >> follow me. >> reporter: what makes phil famous around here is how long he's been around here. >> there we are! >> reporter: at 99, he's still
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working as an usher for the pittsburgh pirates. >> feel free to get out of the sun. >> reporter: seating people in sweltering heat, climbing up and down stairs that would hospitalizize any other soon-to-be centinarian. >> when i'm not working, i carry a cane. >> reporter: do you? >> yeah. and the reason i carry a cane, it gets me a front seat on the bus. >> reporter: phil grew up near the old forbes field in pittsburgh. in fact, when babe ruth hit the last home run of his career over this wall, phil was one of the kids who ran after the ball. becoming an usher was simply a rite of passage in his neighborhood. every kid did it for a year or two. but not phil. he's still at it. 81 years later. >> give me five! that's it! >> reporter, of course, he did have a day job for many years, worked as a machinist. he also took time off to save the world in '41. but other than that, it's been this. >> god bless you. >> thank you.
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>> reporter: you still look forward to coming to work judge oh, yeah. >> reporter: what do you like about it? >> the people. i get more hugs and kisses now than i ever got in my life. how you doing! >> reporter: to many of us, success means climbing a ladder, always doing something different, something bigger. but phil coyne has a gift for finding joy in the same place he found it yesterday. i saw that most clearly during the national anthem. ( applause ) he's probably heard that song 10,000 times, and yet, when it ended, he was moved to tears. that national anthem, is that emotional for you every time? >> yes. something happens. >> reporter: love of country, love of people, and happiness and hard work-- if you want the secret to life, now you know. >> 26-"f." follow me. >> reporter: just follow the usher. steve hartman, "on the road," in pittsburgh. >> mason: and that's the cbs evening news.
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tonight, kathy griffin in tears. >> i screwed up. i had everybody turn on me. >> why she's all lawyered up now. after apologizing to the world. >> he picked the wrond red head. >> then, new video of tiger woods in jail. struggling to take a breathalyzer test. plus, who is returning to "american idol"? >> they wanted me to take ryan is he crest's job. we're with two former judges. what does paula think about katy perry's reported $25 million payday? >> let's put it on record i was not getting 25 million dollars. and we're behind the scenes of "celebrity family feud." we're getting the dirt on boyfriends. >> mom! >> cash, career, crib and car.

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