News Wrap: Pressure mounts against national security adviser

In our news wrap Monday, multiple reports suggest President Trump’s national security team is in disarray -- and the fate of adviser Michael Flynn hangs in the balance -- after the release of calls between Flynn and Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. Also, President Trump fired back at North Korea after the country test launched a new ballistic missile. John Yang reports.

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    There is word from the White House tonight that the president is mulling the fate of his national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn. That follows a day when Mr. Trump hosted a new VIP visitor.

    John Yang has our report.


    Our two nations share much more than a border. We share the same values.


    President Trump may have been full of praise for Canada and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but the policy differences were clear. On immigration, Mr. Trump touted new roundups.


    And I said at the beginning we are going to get the bad ones, the really bad ones. We're getting them out. And that's exactly what we're doing. I think that in the end everyone is going to be extremely happy. And I will tell you right now a lot of people are very, very happy right now.


    Mr. Trump is also fighting in federal court to reinstate a ban on travelers from seven mostly Muslim countries. In sharp contrast, Mr. Trudeau has welcomed some 40,000 refugees from war-torn Syria, but, today, he declined to criticize Mr. Trump.

  • JUSTIN TRUDEAU, Canadian Prime Minister:

    The last thing Canadians expect is for me to come down and lecture another country on how they choose to govern themselves. My role, our responsibility is to continue to govern in such a way that reflects Canadians' approach and be a positive example in world.


    The two leaders also talked NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.


    Millions of good jobs on both sides of the border depend on the smooth and easy flow of goods and services and people back and forth across our border. And both President Trump and I got elected on commitments to support the middle class, to work hard for people who need a real shot at success.


    Mr. Trump has called for renegotiating NAFTA, but, today, he soft-pedaled that stance.


    We have a very outstanding trade relationship with Canada. We will be tweaking it. We will be doing certain things that are going to benefit both of our countries. It's a much less severe situation than what's taken place on the southern border.


    The president wasn't asked about Michael Flynn, his embattled national security adviser, and he ignored shouted questions after the formal news conference ended.

    The Washington Post reports that, despite his earlier denial, Flynn did talk to the Russian ambassador to the United States about dropping sanctions on Moscow before the inauguration. That would have been illegal, since he was a private citizen at the time. In addition, he appears to have misled Vice President Pence, who publicly vouched for Flynn.

    Now the retired general says he can't recall if he and the Russian envoy discussed the sanctions. Today, senior Trump Kellyanne Conway said Flynn still had the president's full confidence, that after senior policy adviser Stephen Miller pointedly declined to defend Flynn over the weekend.


    Would that be considered a fireable offense in the Trump White House?

  • STEPHEN MILLER, Senior Trump Policy Adviser:

    It's not for me to answer hypotheticals. It wouldn't be responsible. It's a sensitive matter. General Flynn has served his country admirably. He served his country with distinction.


    The Kremlin said again today that Flynn didn't discuss lifting sanctions with the Russian ambassador.

    For the PBS NewsHour, I'm John Yang at the White House.


    Matters took a different turn just within the past hour when White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer read a statement to reporters, saying that the president is — quote — "evaluating the situation" regarding Michael Flynn and he is speaking with Vice President Pence about it.

    In the day's other news: The U.S. Senate moved to confirm two more Trump Cabinet nominees this evening. They are former Goldman Sachs banker Steve Mnuchin for secretary of the treasury, and Dr. David Shulkin to head the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Senators grappled this afternoon over Mnuchin's record at OneWest Bank, when it foreclosed on thousands of homes.


    I simply cannot forgive somebody who took a look at that banking crisis, who took a look at the pain that Wall Street had sent in a wave across all of America and thought, ah, here's a great new way to make money, foreclosing on people. Done. I'm out. Sorry, can't vote for somebody like that.


    They have essentially thrown everything, including the kitchen sink, at this nominee in a desperate attempt to block his confirmation. Well, so far, Mr. President, nothing has worked. That's because none of the allegations that my colleagues have raised can withstand even a modest amount of scrutiny.


    Shulkin, the Veterans nominee, is a former Obama administration official and has had greater bipartisan support.

    President Trump vowed today to — quote — "deal with North Korea," after it test-fired a new type of solid-fuel ballistic missile early Sunday. He didn't elaborate. North Korean state TV today released video of the launch. A U.S. tracking of the intermediate-range missile showed it traveled about 310 miles, before landing in the Sea of Japan.

    A powerful storm dumped two feet of snow or more on states along the Northeast Seaboard today. The storm blasted its way from Upstate New York to Maine, touching off car crashes and closing roads and hundreds of schools. Crews worked to dig out streets, as the snow kept coming.

  • MAN:

    Our biggest concern moving forward is what's happening with all this snow. We're worried about snowplow drivers blocking vents or snow falling off of roofs.


    The storm is expected to ease tonight, but coastal towns are bracing for flooding.

    A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has denied the latest bid by two Sioux Indian tribes to block completion of the Dakota Access oil pipeline. The judge ruled that there's no immediate risk as long as oil is not yet running through the line. The tribes say the pipeline will endanger water supplies and cultural sites, and they vow to pursue the case.

    On Wall Street today, financial stocks led a broad advance. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 142 points to close at 20412, another new Dow record. The Nasdaq rose 29, and the S&P 500 added 12.

    They're still buzzing about the Grammy Awards and a banner night for Adele. She won for song and record of the year with "Hello," and album of the year, "25." It came at the expense of Beyonce, who won instead for best contemporary urban album with "Lemonade."

    But it fueled new criticism that black artists are overshadowed, and Adele said later that Beyonce deserved the album award. All this on the same day a seven-time Grammy Winner, Al Jarreau, died in Los Angeles, just two days after announcing his retirement. Jarreau was lauded for his deft vocals and earned critical acclaim in R&B and pop as well as jazz. His best-known hits included 1981's "We're in This Love Together." Al Jarreau was 76 years old.

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