tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC January 31, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
world news tonight is coming up next. >> for all of us, we appreciate your time. we'll see you again at 6:00. tonight, breaking news as we come on in the west. president trump's prime time pick. his supreme court nominee just revealed. what we know about him. the president and his tv reality roots moving to prime time. our terry moran live from the supreme court. new pushback tonight on the immigration order. the white house press secretary now saying this is not a ban, even though the president and press secretary used that word themselves. and the acting attorney general fired, the white house saying she betrayed the department of justice. the deadly secret raid. the navy s.e.a.l. killed. new questions tonight about the american mission. did al qaeda know the americans were coming? the dangerous commute tonight. more than 200 crashes in the northeast, the storm system affecting millions. and new security revealed
tonight ahead of the super bowl. what they're concerned about. good evening as question come on the air in the west tonight. breaking news, president trump just moments oorks revealing judge neil gorsuch is his pick. he said, i am a man of my word, and for many voters, this was the most important issue. judge gorsuch and his wife, louise on the side there. apart from previous presidents, hoping to drive up viewership. he is quite young. turning 50 this year. he could serve a very long time. president trump as a candidate said he would replace the late antonin scalia with someone who would be, quote, scalia reincarnated.
terry, a lot of comparisons tot late justice scalia. >> reporter: absolutely. promise kept by president trump on this score. there is no question that neil gorsuch has modeled his career on justice scalia. he sticks to the letter and text of the law and its original meaning and it doesn't bring in the way society might have changed. he is a very scalia-esque judge. >> even his writings have been compared to him, and clear, and routinely entertaining as well. >> reporter: he is a fine writer. there is a big difference between judge neil gorsuch and antonin scalia. there is nothing for that scalia liked than a good fight, and you knew you were in fight with him, and gorsuch has a much warmer personality on the page and in person. this was in the east room of the
white house. it was quite a moment. >> reporter: in the east room tonight, president trump -- >> thank you. thank you very much. >> reporter: enjoying the presume time spotlight as he announced his supreme court pick. judge neil gorsuch. >> so was that a surprise? was it? judge gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline and has earned bipartisan support. when he was nominated to the tenth circuit court of appeals, he was confirmed by the senate unanimously. also -- unanimous. can you believe it? nowadays with what's going on? >> reporter: judge gorsuch stepping forward speaking of the honor of the moment. >> acutely aware of my own imperfection, i pledge if i'm confirmed, i will do all my powers commit to be a faithful servant of this country.
a judge who likes every outcome he reaches is likely a very bad judge. i am so thankful tonight for my family, my friends and my faith. >> reporter: gorsuch, 49, a federal appeals court judge in denver with sterling credentials. harvard law, oxford university, and stark comparison in the stark mold of justice scalia. >> he is said to be among the fi finest and most brilliant, any of the writings of any judge in a long, long time. i scuddied every aspect of his life. he could have had any job for any amount of money. what he wanted to do with his career was to be a judge to write decisions and to make an impact by upholding our laws and
constitution. >> reporter: a critical issue for mr. trump and the campaign and he knew it. >> you have to vote for me anyway. you know why? supreme court judges. >> reporter: with this appointment, the balance won't change. replacing justice scalia. squaring off against did four liberals. three of them, women. with justice anthony kennedy. the crucial swing vote. >> if you can duplicate that, it would be absolutely perfect. >> reporter: the court's agenda to face abortion cases. the battle to overturn roe v. wade still raging. >> i am pro-life and i will be appointing pro-life judges. >> reporter: and cases driven by president trump's nationalist agenda, like immigration and refugee issues, including the president's controversial executive order. voting rights, especially as the president claims massive
electoral fraud, and the scope of presidential powers. >> back to terry, and there was no action for president obama's pick for supreme court for ten months. republicans would not move on it. tonight, are the democrats are preparing the same strategy? any hits? >> reporter: it looks like they are spoiling for a fight. some of them caused a stolen seat because of what they did. and they are bringing up a case that judge gorsuch ruled on where he said, the employers don't have to provide under contraceptive coverage, and democrats will make an issue of that or try. >> thanks so much, terry, and one of the issues that could make it to the supreme court is the president's executive order on tonight, the new backlash, and white house in damage control. the press secretary saying, it was not a, quote, ban in the first place. but president trump used that
word himself, and it turns out so did the press secretary. abc's chief white house correspondent, jonathan karl. >> reporter: in the face of mounting legal challenges and a growing political backlash, secretary of homeland security john kelly stepped forward today to defend the extreme vetting executive order. >> this is not, i repeat not, a ban on muslims. reporter: despite report that he was blindsided by the details of the executive order, kelly insisted his staff helped write it, and he had seen several drafts himself. >> clearly, it was -- this whole approach was part of what then-candidate trump talked about for a year or two, so we knew all that was coming. >> reporter: the trump administration is battling these images -- families detained at airports when the ban on refugees and people from seven majority muslim countries went into effect. lives in limbo. and now two of america's largest companies, amazon and microsoft, are joining lawsuits to stop the order. speaker of the house paul ryan said he wasn't even told about the order until it was signed. >> no one wanted to see people with green cards or special immigrant visas like translators
get caught up in all of this. so i think incredibly -- the rollout was confusing. >> reporter: in damage control announcing, 872 refugees will be allowed into the country this week because keeping them out would have cause extreme hardship, and the white house press secretary said today, the order isn't even really a ban after all. >> first of all, it's not a travel ban. i think you heard secretary kelly. i apologize. i want to get this straight. >> reporter: but wait. the president himself called it a ban in a tweet just yesterday. >> he is using the words that the media is using. at the end of the day -- >> wait a minute. those are his words this week. >> thanks, but i would like to talk. it can't be a ban if you are letting a million people in. if 325,000 people from another country -- that is by nature, not a ban. >> reporter: and spicer himself has called it a ban twice over the past several days. >> it's a 90-day ban. the ban deals with seven countries. >> reporter: this was the president on saturday.
the day after he signed the executive order. >> we will have a very, very strict ban, and we are going to have extreme vetting. >> reporter: we tried to ask about that today. >> sean. sean -- the president called it a very strict ban. >> we'll see you at 8:00. >> he called it a strict ban. was the president wrong? >> jon karl at the white house. and the republicans are furious with democrats for bringing the form nation of the president's cabinet to a near halt. >> reporter: they are crying foul on this. in fact, only four of the cabinet nominees have been confirmed. that's a record. you can go back to the 1800s, and not find a president that had so few nominees confirmed at this point. >> jon karl with us as well. thanks. many of those democrats holding up the cabinet selections are cheering on the former acting attorney general who was swiftly fired by president trump overnight. the acting attorney general, sally yates questioning whether the order was lawful. telling the lawyers not to
defend it. the white house then calling it betrayal. promptly firing her. that drama spilling over into the confirmation hearings for the next attorney general now, and abc's senior justice correspondent, pierre thomas at the justice department tonight. >> reporter: the white house says she betrayed the department but tonight, democrats are embracing former acting attorney general sally yates as a hero. >> i know sally yates as a person of integrity. >> sally yates stood her ground. >> that statement took guts. >> reporter: yates sent shock waves through washington with her announcement that the justice department would not defend the president's executive order. in a dramatic letter to the department attorneys, she questioned whether the immigration ban was "consistent with this institution's solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right," adding she is not "convinced that the executive order is lawful." within three hours, yates, an obama holdover, was out, fired by president trump. >> for the attorney general to turn around and say "i'm not going to uphold this lawful
executive order" is clearly a dereliction of duty, and she should have been removed, and she was. >> reporter: yates received the news in a letter hand delivered to the justice department. in a blistering statement, the white house called her "weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration." >> if you have a legally executed order, and the attorney general says, "i'm not going to execute it," it truly, clearly is a betrayal. >> reporter: her successor -- dana boente, another career prosecutor. his first order of business -- pledging to enforce the president's executive order. the clash comes as the trump administration battles to get its attorney general nominee, senator jeff sessions confirmed. ironically, sessions once questioned yates in 2015 at her own confirmation hearing. the topic -- justice department independence. >> if the views the president wants to execute are unlawful, should the attorney general or the deputy attorney general say no? >> senator, i believe that the attorney general or the deputy attorney general has an obligation to follow the law and
the constitution and to give their independent legal advice to the president. >> reporter: today, democrats questioning whether sessions himself could demonstrate that kind of independence from president trump. >> reporter: the democrats did block today oops vote knowing a little known procedural tackic and republicans will try again tomorrow. they are livid. >> pierre, thank you. there is new reporting at this hour after a secret mission in yemen turned deadly. a navy s.e.a.l. was killed, and they are now revealing his identity. william ryan owens from illinois. he was part of the team raiding an al qaeda compound. the first combat death of the trump administration, and tonight the question. did al qaeda know the americans were coming? here's chief global affairs correspondent, martha raddatz. >> reporter: the raid started going terribly wrong from the beginning. the mission targeting the al qaeda operations compound had been in the works for months. but as the team of navy s.e.a.l.s -- flown in secretly from a u.s. warship -- and
dozens of partner forces approached the compound, the s.e.a.l.s were met by withering gunfire. a source familiar with the raid told us today it was clear al qaeda knew the americans were coming. the pentagon says male and female combatants took up positions with heavy weapons, the intense firefight in close quarters, leaving s.e.a.l. william ryan owens dead and three other americans wounded. an osprey was called in to medevac the wounded, but in the darkness and dust, a hard landing left three more americans injured. the pentagon says at least 14 al qaeda fighters were killed, but officials are also assessing reports that the firefight left dead the 8-year-old daughter, her picture posted online, of radical american-born cleric anwar al alawki, killed in 2011. >> and martha raddatz with us live from washington. martha, as you just reported, sources telling you that al qaeda seemed to know the americans were coming. the white house did say though,
that the s.e.a.l.s, quote, recovered a tremendous amount of information. >> reporter: they did. this mission from the beginning was meant to gather valuable intelligence from that compound. it's why president trump signed off on it, and despite the efforts of al qaeda to fight off the s.e.a.l.s, they managed to grab electronics with data they hope will prevent future terror attacks, david. >> thank you, martha. and new details now about that terror north of the border. this car landing upside down. a fleet of ambulancens on i-91 in connecticut after a 30-vehicle accident. ginger zee is tracking it all for us. ginger? >> reporter: just about an inch of snow and groppel here in new york city, and connecticut state police tell us almost 300 car accidents. looking at the clipper system with the winter weather advisory on the map from parts of
massachusetts through rhode island, and even the bands will come through, and you see wednesday evening is when we start to see this move new england and out then i want to leave you with just how much snow left behind. some places in the higher elevations, three to six inchei, david. >> thank you. there is much more oi head on "world news tonight" this tuesday. the scrutiny involving security at the super bowl. the senior who had $400,000 still toen. the irs phone scam hitting every state in the country. you need to hear the audio after the break here. the new heart health study, and what it reveals about dinner and how late or early you should be eating it. and the fast-moving jewelry thieves tonight. $200,000 worth of merchandise stolen in 30 second. this west coast edition of "world news tonight" continues in a moment. dicine. i talked to my doctor and found a missing piece in my asthma treatment with breo. once-daily breo prevents asthma symptoms.
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thousands of victims receiving phone calls, and tonight, you will hear the threats. abc's clayton sandell on how to protect your money tonight. [ phone ringing ] >> reporter: they are the fake irs agents looking to steal real money, and this tax season, they are working overtime. >> before there is an arrest warrant issued on your name, i want you or your attorney to give us a call back. >> reporter: cindy stillwell's 85-year-old father joe was scammed by phone over two years, losing $400,000. >> it infuriates me that there's people out there doing this to senior citizens. >> reporter: her dad isn't alone. since 2013, phone scammers tricked more than 10,000 victims out of more than $54 million. fake agents are aggressive, even threatening to call the cops if i didn't pay up. >> and within the next hour, they will be at your doorstep to handcuff you and put you behind the bars. >> reporter: now the irs is warning about a 400% spike in another scam, phishing e-mails. looking to steal your personal
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one suspect arrested and police searching for two others. new health guide lines for your heart tonight. the american heart association suggesting when and how often you eat may cut the cause of obesity and heart disease. doctors sticking to that long-standing rule saying don't skip breakfast. also, they say, periodic fasting may help weight loss, but they say more evidence is needed. the report also suggesting late dinners may have a negative impact on the heart. much more on our website tonight. to the retail delivery war this is evening. walmart challenging amazon offering free two-day shipping to all customers beginning today. they have a subscription program that included free shipping to members only. there is a minimum purchase of $35 to qualify. when we come back, america strong. the surprise at school. the principal who never saw it coming. beware the mascot. ♪ look at you, saving money
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america strong. the school mascot always delivers surprises, but this one -- here's linsey davis. >> reporter: the pep rally at castleman creek elementary school in hewitt, texas, started out like any other. only the principal didn't know the cheers were for her. >> mandy, marry me! >> reporter: under that panther costume is russ johnson, principal mandy vasek's boyfriend. the look on her face says it all. [ cheers ] >> i think my heart stopped for a few minutes. it seemed like the world stopped turning there. just because i was, like, oh, my gosh. this is really happening to me? i couldn't believe it. and then when he walked over my heart just melted.
it's official, president trump names neil gorsuch to fill the vacant seat on the supreme court tonight. find out what this nominee has in common with former president obama. obamacare faces an uncertain future, but what is certain is the deadline for covered california is just hours away. i'm jonathan bloom with what you need to know ahead on abc 7 news. as an oakland guy i'm all for whatever deal falls apart in vegas, keep it in oakland. two major changes over the last 24 hours breathe new life into the fight to keep the raiders in oakland. the most important decision a president of the united states can make is the appointment of a supreme court justice. >> that decision has been made and just announced live president trump has named neil gorsuch to fill the ninth and final seat on the supreme court. good evening, thank you for joining us tonight. i'm ama daetz. >> and i'm dan ashley. this could be one of the longest lasting acts of the presidency. justices often serve until their
deaths. >> kristen sze with what to expect. >> neil gorsuch is the youngest nominee in a quarter century. if confirmed he could shape our nation for decades to come. gorsuch has served on the 10th circuit court of appeals in denver for more than ten years, attended harvard law school with former president barack obama, in fact, before getting his ph.d. at oxford. he's had prestigious clerkships including for retired justice byron white and anthony kennedy. gorsuch is originally from colorado but spent years in washington. his mother was actually head of the epa for ronald reagan before being forced out because of a toxic waste cleanup scandal. gorsuch will replace justice antonin scalia, a man he looked up to and paid tribute to. as for how he would rule gorsuch says he takes the constitution and balance of powers seriously. >> mr. president, mr.