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News Wrap: Trump followed generals’ advice on Yemen raid

February 28, 2017 at 6:45 PM EDT
In our news wrap Tuesday, President Trump said in an interview on FOX News that he followed his generals' advice in ordering a U.S. military raid that left a Navy SEAL dead. Also, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross was sworn-in by Vice President Pence after winning confirmation in the Senate last night.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: President Trump said he followed the advice of his generals and defense secretary in ordering a U.S. military raid in Yemen that left a Navy SEAL dead. He was asked about it in his FOX News interview.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, this was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something that was, you know — just, they wanted to do. And they came to see me. They explained what they wanted to do, the generals, who are very respected.

Again, this was something that they were looking at for a long time doing. And according to General Mattis, it was a very successful mission.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The raid had been in the planning stage for months. It took place five days after Mr. Trump took office.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The president’s Cabinet gained a commerce secretary today. Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross easily won confirmation in the Senate last night. After being sworn in by Vice President Pence this morning, Ross said he hopes the Democratic support he received is a sign of bipartisan progress to come.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The nominee for director of national intelligence is promising his full support for a congressional investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election. Former Indiana Senator Dan Coats had his confirmation hearing today, and told lawmakers they will get all the intelligence they need.

DAN COATS, National Intelligence Director Designate: Russia has a long history of propaganda and trying to influence various nations’ cultures and elections. It’s a very key issue that we understand fully what has happened and how it happened, and have a full report on that.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Coats also sought to assure senators that his office will not be swayed by political pressure.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The U.N. Children’s Agency Today laid bare the harrowing conditions facing women and children at migrant camps in Libya.

UNICEF said armed groups have turned the camps into makeshift prisons, with widespread beatings, rapes and starvation. The report said, “For the thousands of migrant women and children incarcerated, the centers are living hellholes, where people are held for months.”

JUDY WOODRUFF: The FBI now says it is investigating last week’s shooting death of an Indian man in a Kansas bar as a hate crime. That word came today after the victim’s body was flown home. Hundreds of family and friends gathered to mourn the 32-year-old engineer in the southern city of Hyderabad.

The case has touched off widespread outcry in India. The gunman, who is in custody, allegedly yelled, “Get out of my country,” according to a witness. He said he thought the victims were Iranians.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Back in this country, Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned the country faces rising murder and violent crime rates, and he pledged to put bad men behind bars. In a speech to state attorneys general, Sessions said police have turned overly cautious over fear of what he called viral videos.

JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. Attorney General: The Department of Justice has an absolute duty to ensure that police operate within the law, and if they violate the law, they have committed a crime, just as much as any other citizen who commits an assault. But we need, so far as we can, in my view, to help police departments get better, not diminish their effectiveness. And I’m afraid we have done some of that.

HARI SREENIVASAN: FBI figures show that violent crime rates have been rising of late, but are still far below the levels of the 1980s and early ’90s.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Former President George W. Bush says racism is tainting the political climate in Washington, under President Trump. Mr. Bush tells “People” magazine in an interview: “I don’t like the racism and I don’t like the name-calling, and I don’t like the people feeling alienated.”

Still, President Bush says he’s optimistic the country will come through it.

HARI SREENIVASAN: On Wall Street, Target and other retailers slumped, and led the broader market lower. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 25 points to close at 20812. The Nasdaq fell 36 points, and the S&P 500 slipped six.

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