tv ABC World News ABC March 4, 2017 4:00pm-4:31pm PST
welcome to "world news tonight." breaking news. president trump making a dangerous accusation, without providing proof, accusing president obama of spying on him. the bombshell accusations unleashed in a blizzard of tweets. president obama's aides firing back. brian ross standing by. west wing chaos. the heated exchange inside the oval office. why the president went "ballistic" and why top aides didn't get on air force one. winter whiplash. the blast of bitter cold for millions from the great lakes to the northeast. plus, the new developments in that multicar pileup that turned deadly. student killer? the shocking twist in a 12-year-old cold case. the former students accused in connection with the death of this high school teacher and beauty queen. how a podcast may have helped
detectives. and invasive pat-downs. reports of new, rigorous pat-downs at airport security checkpoints. if you want to fly, get ready to get more up close and personal with the tsa. and good evening. thanks for joining us on a very busy saturday. i'm tom llamas. we begin tonight with that breaking news, president trump's striking allegations against former president barack obama. president trump in a twitter tirade accusing the former president of spying on him at trump tower by wiretapping phones, but offering no evidence, or even what prompted those allegations. a spokesman for president obama firing back, saying, neither the former president nor the obama white house ordered or interfered with any such surveillance. this, following reports of a dramatic and heated exchange, you see it there inside the oval office, with key trump advisers,
which led to some key aides not accompanying the president on air force one as he took off for florida. abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross leading us off tonight. >> reporter: it was just before sunrise in palm beach, when the president of the united states took to twitter to make one of his most stunning accusations ever. "terrible. just found out that obama had my 'wires tapped' in trump tower just before the victory. nothing found." followed by four more presidential outbursts taking on president obama and misspelling tap. "how low has president obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. this is nixon/watergate. bad (or sick) guy!" today, a senator from the president's own party, along with u.s. intelligence officials, called it a troubling development. >> i am very worried. i'm very worried that our president is suggesting that the former president has done something illegal. >> reporter: it would be a crime
to reveal such a secret fbi wiretap on trump tower and no u.s. official contacted by abc news would confirm the allegation. >> it's an extremely serious offense. anyone who would reveal the existence of a wiretap would violate federal law. >> reporter: because the president cited no proof, it is not clear tonight whether he based his allegations on a top secret white house briefing, or whether it came from reading an article on the conservative breitbart website, posted friday, that detailed speculation from a conspiracy-loving talk show host, mark levin. >> how many of trump's people were eavesdropped on? how many had their conversations intercepted, recorded, transcribed? because this, ladies and gentlemen, is the big scandal. >> reporter: a spokesperson for president obama quickly called the allegations false. and one of obama's former national security aides, ben rhodes, responded to trump -- "no president can order a wiretap. those restrictions were put in
place to protect citizens from people like you." the president's twitter rage today did serve to keep the focus on russia, and contacts between the russian ambassador and at least five top trump advisers. and it comes a day after a democratic member of the senate intelligence committee told abc nbc news that key wiretapes are, in fact, part of the investigation, although he said he has not read them. >> there are transcripts that provide very helpful, very critical insights into whether or not russian intelligence and senior russian political leaders including vladimir putin, were cooperating or colluding with the trump campaign at the highest levels to influence the outcome of our election. >> and chief investigative correspondent brian ross joins now live in the studio. brian, from what we know, there is a kernel of truth to what the president was saying, but he may have also raised some serious legal issues? >> reporter: that's right, tom. the fbi is investigating whether there was possible collusion between russian spies and the
trump campaign. and in cases like that, wiretaps can be used. but if anyone other than the president reveals the existence of a wiretap, that breaks the law. but legal experts tell us, tom, the president does have the power to declassify anything he wants. >> a story still developing. all right, brian, thanks so much. now, to that escalating political drama unfolding inside 1600 pennsylvania avenue. senior white house sources telling abc news that the president went, quote, ballistic, with a meeting with top staff over attorney jeff sessions' recusal into russia's meddling into the election. that key aide steven bannon and reince priebus volunteered to remove themselves from the president's flight to florida and that president agreed. new revelations painting a chaotic picture, as abc's david wright reports tonight. >> reporter: moments before his departure for florida, president trump summoned his top aides to an oval office meeting, where, senior white house sources tell abc news, the president went "ballistic," erupting at them in anger.
about 10:40 friday morning, marine one already parked on the south lawn, a pool camera in the rose garden was rolling outside the windows, capturing this glimpse of the tense scene inside. that's senior adviser steve bannon, who seemed animated at one point. among the others on the receiving end of this tirade -- chief of staff reince priebus, ivanka trump, jared kushner, and white house counsel don mcgahn. sources tell abc news trump's anger had been brewing since thursday, when attorney general jeff sessions caught him by surprise by recusing himself from any investigations into russia's meddling in the 2016 campaign. >> i have now decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matter relating in any way to the campaigns for president of the united states. >> reporter: hours earlier, trump had expressed his full confidence in the ag. >> should sessions recuse
himself from investigations into your campaign and russia? >> i don't think so. >> reporter: white house sources tell us trump was furious, noting sessions' recusal would only embolden his adversaries. sources say trump also made it crystal clear he's frustrated that in a week where he gave that big speech to congress -- >> we will look back on tonight as when this new chapter of american greatness began. >> reporter: -- the russia story should end up dominating the news. quote, we should have had a good week. we should have had a good weekend. but once again, back to russia. that's how one senior official summed it up. bannon and priebus were both scheduled to accompany the president to florida. but sources say after this meeting, those plans abruptly changed. at 10:45, the president held hands with his grandchildren as he crossed the south lawn to the helicopter. his daughter ivanka and son-in-law jared kushner joined him. but as marine one made the
ten-minute flight to rendezvous with air force one, staffers called ahead, removing bannon and priebus from the manifest. these two key advisers sidelined, at least for this trip. >> and david joins us live now. david, what a difference a day makes. we're learning at least one of those aides is back with the president tonight? >> that's right. steve bannon made his own way down to florida. he'll be having dinner tonight with the president and the attorney general as well as a late meeting with them. not here is the chief of staff, reince priebus stayed in washington. make of that what you will. tom? >> david wright with the president tonight in palm beach, florida. david, thank you. turning now to abc news chief political analyst, matthew dowd. matt, the president started off the week strong with that rousing speech to congress, but are these new tweets about to derail his focus? >> everybody talked on tuesday night that he was going to pivot to a more presidential way. as you know, in basketball, you have to have that pivot foot
firmly planted. his pivot foot seems to be in quicksand. it's going to make it much more difficult to accomplish his legislative agenda in short term. and not only that, his unprecedented attacks on a former president, saying that former president wiretapped him is going to make it very difficult for him to unify the congress. >> matt dowd for us tonight. matt, thanks. and, of course, much more on these breaking political developments coming up tomorrow on abc's "this week." next, to the bitter chill blasting americans from the great lakes eastward this weekend. some of incredible images from those cold temperatures. firefighters in new jersey dealing with ice like this. and the new drone images coming in tonight of that deadly pennsylvania pileup. that accident apparently triggered by a blinding snow squall. more than 30 vehicles involved. one person killed. abc's senior meteorologist rob marciano has more. >> attention ladder one, ladder one, they have a three-alarm fire. >> reporter: firefighters battling this deadly inferno in new jersey, up against that winter blast, fighting frozen lines and flying embers.
>> the flames are just out of control because of the wind. >> reporter: flames first tearing through homes, killing a young boy and injuring his father. then blustery winds spreading the fire to a historic church, its steeple collapsing onto the street below. the neighborhood covered in ice from the firefight. the northeast in the midst of one of the coldest weekends this winter. with wind chills 20 below, just days after recording record-breaking warmth across the region. tonight, this new drone video giving a fuller picture of that massive pileup on interstate 81 in pennsylvania. >> look at that one. >> reporter: winter whiteout conditions within seconds causing more than 35 cars to crash into each other, killing one and hospitalizing at least 19 others. >> i appear to have multiple injuries. >> reporter: this vehicle crushed between two 18 wheelers. >> and rob joins us live now from new york with the forecast. rob? >> reporter: hey, tom. even colder air coming into the northeast tonight and some records will fall by tomorrow
morning. single digits easily, especially when you consider the wind chills. look at the numbers. it's going to be bitterly cold tomorrow morning. 9 degrees in pittsburgh and 3 here in new york city. we've got winds and dry air on the backside of this thing. so, we've got fire danger, a couple of fires breaking out across oklahoma today. they will continue to be a threat tomorrow. warm, dry air will be pushing off to the east. monday's high is in the mid-40s, well above average by 15 to 25 degrees. more cold air by the end of the week. winter is not over by a long shot even though it's march. tom? >> we'll take the warm weather when we can get it. rob, thanks. next to the cold case involving a beauty queen turned high school teacher. unsolved for nearly a dozen years. now, a major break in that case. not one, but two former students from that school under arrest, and the podcast that may have helped bring new details to light. here's abc's eva pilgrim. >> reporter: a beloved high school teacher, a beauty queen, vanished. tonight, two men are facing charges in the disappearance of
a georgia woman. >> i can't even put this into words. it's unreal. i mean, it is just unbelievable. >> reporter: 30-year-old tara grinstead went missing in october 2005. for more than a decade, no answers -- until now. >> i need an appointed attorney. >> reporter: authorities say ryan duke arrested in late february, broke into her home, robbing and killing her with his bare hands before getting his high school friend, bo dukes, to help him hide the body. dukes charged friday. >> do you guys have anything to say? >> no comment. thank you. >> he knew what happened to tara. >> reporter: an atlanta filmmaker who produces this internet podcast is credited with keeping interest in the case alive. >> i heard bo dukes' name from several former friends and classmates of ryan duke, right when ryan duke was arrested last week. >> reporter: tara's family shocked by both arrests. her sister says she stayed with bo dukes' family during the initial search. >> they were some of the most heartbroken people in the area over tara's disappearance. >> reporter: the filmmaker tells us that bo dukes frequented his
podcast message boards. now, neither man has yet to enter a plea. authorities are still searching for grinstead's body. tom? >> eva, thank you. to iraq now, and the miserable images coming out of western mosul. thousands of iraqi citizens enduring wet and muddy conditions, waiting for buses and trucks to flee that last isis stronghold in iraq. the international red cross condemning new reports that toxic chemical agents may have been used on some civilians there. back here at home, to the immigration crackdown. the department of homeland security confirming to abc news that a proposal is under consideration to separate families illegally crossing the border. here's abc's jim avila. >> reporter: the department of homeland security is actively considering a proposal aimed at discouraging families from illegally crossing the border by separating mothers from children when caught. this, as i.c.e. deportations inside the u.s. draw controversy. the cries of a 13-year-old girl recording her undocumented
father vanish at the hands of government agents. that's raomulo avelica gonzalez, between two i.c.e. officers, who pulled him over as he drove his daughters to school in los angeles. critics of the president's immigration stance say it's a signal that families in the u.s. without legal documents are now at risk. >> it's terrible to feel and see your family being torn apart. >> reporter: the 48-year-old avelica-gonzalez came here 20 years ago illegally, working and raising his family. but i.c.e. says he was picked up because of a ten-year-old dui, and other convictions, gonzalez says he knows nothing about those. >> we are getting the bad ones out. these are bad dudes. >> reporter: but more than alleged criminal immigrants are being pushed out. this dreamer, brought to mississippi illegally bill her parents as a child, has a clean record, but was still arrested immediately after protesting trump's new deor the passion plan. chef was three months late
reupping her papers, and is asking for a judge to hear her case. tom, this is just a proposal, but already immigration troches are telling me, it's harsh and un-american. tom? >> a major headline, no doubt. all right, jim, thanks so much. much more ahead on "world news tonight" this saturday. a high-speed police chase comes to an end. we'll show you the dramatic conclusion. and you think tsa's invasive now? get ready for pat-downs to get even more intense. the details ahead. and keep your eyes on the queen's handbag. do you know what it means? the secret signal. we'll tell you after the break. why do some cash back cards make earning bonus cash back so complicated? they limit where you can earn bonus cash back to a few places... ...and those places keep changing every few months. the quicksilver card from capital one doesn't do any of that.
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failures at airports nationwide targeting many travelers' least favorite part of flying -- the pat-down. up until now, tsa officers made risk-based assessments for each passenger, choosing one of five pat-down methods accordingly. now, a single standardized method will be used universally. longstanding policy includes the head, neck, arms, torso, legs and feet, and sensitive areas such as the breast, groin and the buttocks, requiring "sufficient pressure to ensure detection." currently flyers can opt for a pat-down instead of the screening machine, or be subject to one if tsa detects a red flag. >> if you are an average traveler like most of us, we know we are not guilty of carrying anything but they don't know that. >> reporter: the new policy comes two years after a damaging report that found major security lapses across the country. weapons and other hazardous materials made it past screening in 95% of tests conducted. tsa says, this is not expected
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killing in chicago. now, to the dramatic end to a wild police chase. check this out. two armed bank robbery suspects, leading officers on a high-speed chase through a houston neighborhood yesterday. their car battered, the suspects jumping out. one appearing to try to carjack another driver, but quickly tackled and arrested. a passenger in that car shooting this video. the other suspect caught a short time later. and now to a secret signal system from the royals. reports say queen elizabeth uses her trademark purse to signal to aides she wants to end a conversation when she switches it from one arm to another. they swoop in and move her along. and when things get really bad, she'll put the bag on the floor and twist her wedding ring. all right, good to know. and a gender switch for the famous brawny paper towel man. no honor of women's history month, the lumberjack now a woman. check it out. the limited edition package available at walmart. and up next, he liberated a concentration camp, and survived the battle of the bulge. you won't believe what he's
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finally tonight, the story of a real hero, a world war ii vet who hasn't stopped helping or caring. here's abc's john donvan. >> reporter: archie fagan, 91 years old, and he keeps getting invitations. to be the grand marshal at the parade. to be in a commercial. to throw out the first pitch. what does this guy do anyway? >> we give you service with a smile. >> reporter: well, now days, he bags groceryies in flemington, new jersey. >> ladies and gentlemen, the sandwich is on top. >> reporter: he greets the customers and he announces the
special. >> get a hot sandwich before they're all gone. >> reporter: people just love this guy and they also love his life story, straight from high school into world war ii, where he survived the battle of the bulge. >> saw the desolation, the human misery. >> reporter: and as a german speaker, because hi parents were jewish immigrants from eastern europe, he spent time in nuremberg, where the nazis were put on trial. his family ran their own grocery store for awhile, but he eased into this. his charm makes him a celebrity around these parts and he uses that to put out a message -- >> we owe a note of gratitude to our fighting men in all the wars. >> reporter: a more important message probably more than this one -- >> i love to sell pork chops and roast beef, yes. >> reporter: but that is archie's job. john donvan, abc news. >> and we thank archie for all of his service. "gma" and "this week" in the morning. i'll see you right back here tomorrow night. i'm tom llamas. have a great evening. good night.
edition of abc 7 news, a clash of two political protests heats up with arguments and fistfights. >> the president going after barack obama as his administration faces more scrutiny over its russia connections. and expect a little more rain and a lot more cold. details where you live. abc 7 news starts now. punches, pushes and pepper spray. dualing protests heat up to the point police are forced to step in. i'm matt keller in for eric thomas. police detained one person hoping to cool off the heated confrontation at civic center park in berkeley. leslie is there live. >> reporter: they turn to burn items here, tossing smoke bombs in