tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC August 3, 2017 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
>> 6:00. see you then. bye. tonight, breaking news as we come on the air. the new report tonight that special counsel robert mueller, has now empaneled a grand jury in the russia investigation. a sign his probe is now intensifying, what we have learned tonight, and what president trump's personal lawyer said just moments ago. also tonight, the young woman who texted her teenage boyfriend, encouraging him to kill himself. he did. well, today, the judge delivers the sentence. deborah roberts inside the courtroom. record-breaking heat. the wildfires and severe storms hitting in the middle of the country tonight. now moving east. severe turbulence after an american airlines jet takes off from the u.s. the pilot calling for help. dozens of passengers injured. the stunning images. what happens when you don't wear a seat belt in the backseat. and breaking now.
the images coming in tonight. the high-rise on fire. residents racing down stairwells as the alarms go off. good evening, and it's great to have you with us here on a thursday night, and we begin tonight with new signs the special prosecutor looking into russian meddling and any possible collusion with the trump campaign is now ramping up his investigation. "the wall street journal" first reporting late today that robert mueller is putting a grand jury to work. tonight, the key questions. for how long now? and what evidence are they looking at? and the president's own attorney reacting a short time ago. abc's chief white house correspondent, jonathan karl, leading us off. >> reporter: tonight, a sign the russia investigation has entered an entirely new phase. abc news has confirmed special counsel robert mueller has empaneled a grand jury. as the "wall street journal" first worted, that grand jury has been secretly working for weeks as mueller
investigates whether president trump or any of his associates colluded with the kremlin. the president's personal lawyer insists there is still no indication the president himself is a target. >> with respect to the empaneling of the grand jury, we have no reason to believe the president is under investigation here. >> reporter: the news comes amid growing questions about the trump tower meeting organized by donald trump jr. with a russian lawyer who he was told had dirt on hillary clinton from the russian government. this week we learned the president himself dictated don junior's initial response to that story, a misleading statement that said the meeting was primarily about russian adoption. the president has denounced the entire russia investigation as a witch hunt, acknowledging it was on his mind when he fired former fbi director james comey. >> when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. >> reporter: but today, the white house says they are, quote, fully committed to cooperating with the special counsel. the president has told me he is even willing to testify under oath. so if robert mueller wanted to
speak with you about that, you would be willing to talk to him? >> i would be glad to tell him exactly what i just told you, jon. >> reporter: but the president has also been trying to discredit mueller. >> i can say that the people that have been hired are all hillary clinton supporters. some of them worked for hillary clinton. i mean, the whole thing is ridiculous if you want to know the truth from that standpoint. >> reporter: and now in another sign mueller's probe is expanding, the special counsel recently hired greg andres, a former top justice department official, and expert on fraud and foreign bribery cases. >> so let's get to jon karl live at the white house tonight. and jon, with robert mueller's investigation now intensifying, there's a move from both democratic and republican senators to make sure he keeps his job? >> reporter: there are two separate bills in the senate, each with both a democratic and a republican sponsor, designed to prevent the president from firing mueller without cause. these bills, more than anything, are a sign that if the president tried to fire mueller, there would be an upheaval on capitol
hill. that said, the white house capitols to say that the president has no intention of firing the special counsel. >> jon, thank you. in the meantime tonight, the white house furious this evening over new leaks. the phone calls that made headlines early on, president trump and his first calls to world leaders. it turns out, though, the tension on the phone was worse than first reported. tonight here, the actual transcripts from those calls. here's abc's senior white house correspondent, cecilia vega. >> reporter: tonight, classified documents reveal the true nature of president trump's phone calls with world leaders in the days after his swearing in. "the washington post" published leaked transcripts of two contentious conversations. the first with mexican president enrique pena nieto, all about that wall. >> and who's going to pay for the wall? >> mexico! >> that wall will go up so fast your head will spin. don't worry. we are building the wall. don't worry. >> reporter: but on the phone, the mexican president is firm, calling the idea that mexico
will pay for the wall completely unacceptable. president trump responds, "the fact is we are both in a little bit of a political bind, because i have to have mexico pay for the wall. i have to. i have been talking about it for a two-year period." he tells pena-nieto the funding will "work out in the formula somehow," adding, "it will come out in the wash, and that is okay." in fact, the president was already publically laying the groundwork for the u.s. to pick up the initial tab. >> are you going to direct u.s. funds to pay for this wall? will american taxpayers pay for the wall? >> we're going to be starting those negotiations relatively soon, and we will be, in a form, reimbursed by mexico which i -- >> so they'll pay us back? >> absolutely. 100%. >> reporter: the wall was president trump's signature campaign promise, but in that phone call, he tells his mexican counterpart, "this is the least important thing that we are talking about, but politically, this might be the most important." still, peña nieto insisted mexico will not pay, so president trump implores, "you cannot say that to the press.
the press is going to go with that and i cannot live with that." in their conversation, president trump complains drugs are flowing across the border into the u.s., adding, "i won new hampshire because new hampshire is a drug-infested den." tonight, a new hampshire senator calling the president's comments disgusting, telling our mary bruce -- >> what an outrageous statement for him to make. >> reporter: the transcripts leaked today also show just how bad things got between president trump and australia's prime minister, malcolm turnbull. >> when you hear about the tough phone calls i'm having, don't worry about it. just don't worry about it. >> reporter: on the phone, the president furious about inheriting an obama-era deal to accept more than 1,200 refugees from australia, telling the prime minister, "this is going to kill me. i am the world's greatest person that does not want to let people into the country." he says the deal will make him look terrible, like a weak and ineffective leader, and a dope. the president abruptly ending
the conversation, "that is enough, malcolm. i have had it. this is the most unpleasant call all day. putin was a pleasant call. this is ridiculous." >> and cecilia vega with us live tonight, as well, as rain comes down there in washington. we knew about these calls. you reported on them, but we did not have such detail. >> reporter: david, this is excruciating detail for this white house, and now even the top democrat on the senate intelligence committee is calling for an investigation. mark warner saying, this is absolutely troubling. david, he says a president should be able to have confidential conversations. >> and one more question for you, cecilia. the president, after signing that bill on sanctions for russia over meddling in the election, he tweeted today, our relationship with russia at the lowest level in some time. blames democrats and republicans who forced his hand on the sanctions, but tonight, republicans are firing back. senator corker saying, don't blame them. blame putin.
>> what he is done is an affront to the american people to have an effect on the election outcomes here. it had to be spoken to. i think we did it in a very appropriate manner. putin, through his actions, is the one that has taken this relationship back to levels we haven't seen since 1991. >> cecilia, you heard it there. republicans saying blame putin. not them. >> reporter: they are firing back at this president on this one, david. they say that the blame for the relationship with russia rests squarely on vladimir putin. they say they understand the president's frustrations, but they say these sanctions were in the interest of this country. >> cecilia vega, we thank you for braving the elements for us tonight as always. the other major headline this evening, the judge's decision. the sentencing in a landmark case tonight. a young woman convicted for sending text messages and calls, encouraging her teenage boyfriend to commit suicide. he then took his own life. abc's deborah roberts was in the courtroom for the sentencing. >> reporter: the woman at the center of that landmark case walking into a massachusetts courtroom, her head bowed.
after three years and an emotionally charged trial that raised new questions about the power of the text, a judge sentencing 20-year-old michelle carter to 15 months in jail. >> she is a bright young lady, did well in school, and i am satisfied that she was mindful of the actions. >> reporter: but carter found guilty of encouraging boyfriend, conrad roy, to kill himself through text messages remains free tonight. the roy family in anguish. >> they have been dragging this through so long, and it's going to keep going. >> reporter: in 2014, carter, then 17, exchanged thousands of text messages with 18-year-old roy, leading up to his suicide. just before taking his life, he wavered texting, i'm freaking out again. i'm overthinking. she replied, i thought you wanted to do this. the time is right, and you're ready. you just need to do it. hours later, roy dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in his own truck.
today before sentencing, his father and sister speaking of their loss. >> knowing i'll never be an aunt to conrad's children or see him getting married is something i never thought i would have to live with. >> she has not shown any remorse. how could michelle carter behave so viciously and encourage my son to end his life? >> reporter: but the defense arguing that both teens struggled with depression and that carter was overwhelmed by her own mental illness. calling the case a tragedy for the two families, the judge giving a clear order to the woman who sent those tragic texts. >> part of the motivation for this activity that led to your conviction was a sense of self-aggrandizement. this court now orders that you are not to profit from the events of which you now stand convicted. >> deborah roberts with us live
outside the courthouse. and, deborah, we heard you report there the family of that teenager who took his life, conrad roy, saying there is no closure for them yet. any remorse or reaction from michelle carter? >> reporter: well, david, michelle carter was clearly emotional, trembling and weeping during the hearing, but she didn't speak. her lawyers say she is deeply remorseful, but the roy family says they haven't seen that remorse, and that's what troubles them, and the fact that michelle is at home with her family tonight and will remain there for weeks, if not months during this appeal, david. >> deborah will have a special one hour on this on "20/20" on friday night at 10:00. we'll be watching right here. we turn to the other news tonight, and the chemical leak at a pool sending dozens of children to the hospital. they were struggling to breathe, and tonight right here, they describe the symptoms as they began to breathe in those chemicals. abc's steve osunsami in north carolina. >> reporter: authorities in durham county north carolina, who raced to this ymca and had to triage young children in the parking lot are tonight releasing the 911 calls. we hear from witnesses who could smell the chemical spill from the street.
>> those kids were coughing and hacking and under duress. >> reporter: they were in the middle of swimming lessons at the indoor pool, when a lifeguard opened the door to the pool's pump room and was overcome by chemicals leaking onto the floor. 40 children and two adults were rushed to hospitals. >> they said i needed to meet them at the emergency room. >> reporter: the parents of kamali siler couldn't get to the e.r. fast enough. >> everybody came out coughing, choking, spitting up and then they told everybody to get out of the pool. >> reporter: the ymca tells us the pool is being repaired. >> they've been working on site today to fix the mechanical issues in the pump room, so that we can safely re-open to members of the public. >> reporter: the cdc reports that pool chemical injuries send more than 5,000 americans to emergency rooms every year. most of those, children. tonight this pool remains closed, david. >> steve osunsami on the story again tonight. thank you, steve. we turn next to the state of emergency in oregon. a record-breaking heat wave and
wildfires. this one near bend, oregon, burning 10,000 acres, 0% contained tonight. they have something on their hands here. severe storms with heavy rain and hail. this is from chicago not long ago, reaching the northeast tomorrow. it will be a tough 24 hours ahead. let's get to rob marciano with us tonight as well. tracking it all. hey, rob. >> reporter: hi, david. thankfully tonight in the northeast, not as many storms as last night, but it's getting hotter across the northwest as the heat wave peaks there. look at the warnings across washington, oregon, nevada and northern california, and that smoke, poor air quality choking some of those bigger cities. even though we're peaking today, the next few days will be above normal, and the winds will clear out some of the smoke on saturday. tomorrow, the high impact zone for severe weather will be columbus, pittsburgh, and up through syracuse. it could be a tough drive for those trying get out of town this weekend. david? >> tracking it for us tonight, rob marciano. thanks as always. next tonight, to some eye-opening images for the whole family. they show the dangers of riding
without a seat belt in the backseat. a new survey finding a surprising number of adults fail to buckle up, especially on short trips, even when taking taxis or ubers. here's abc's eva pilgrim with the video tonight. >> reporter: tonight, dramatic crash video. a warning to passengers riding in the backseat -- buckle up. watch the unbelted woman on the left slam into the car window and another passenger. and in this crack ksh, a family wearing seat belts. the father and son violently thrown from their seats. according to a new survey from the insurance institute for highway safety, adults in the backseat are far less likely to buckle up than when they sit up front. >> we've been telling people for years that it's safer in the backseat and we should put our children back there, but people have gotten a misunderstanding about the safety of the rear seat. >> reporter: and in this crash test, the unbelted passenger in the backseat crushes the driver into the steering wheel.
david, many of the those surveyed say they'd be more likely to wear a seat belt in the back if it was the law. only 20 states allow police to but you over if someone in your backseat isn't wearing a seatbelt in the back seat, david. >> all right, important reminders. wear a seat belt in the backseat. eva, thank you. there is much more ahead on "world news tonight" this thursday. the high-rise fire right now. residents using stairwells to flee as flames climb the massive tower. as you can see, the pictures are coming in, and they are horrific tonight. the severe turbulence on an american airlines plane taking off from the u.s. several passengers injured. the pilot calling for help. and tonight, the new list is out. the ten most stolen cars in the united states. they are very common makes and models, and many of them very likely parked in your driveway tonight. we'll be right back. stay with me, mr. parker. when a critical patient is far from the hospital, the hospital must come to the patient. stay with me, mr. parker. the at&t network is helping first responders
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fact, disguising the number coming into your phone. here's abc's chief business correspondent, rebecca jarvis. >> reporter: they're a nuisance. and your top consumer complaint. >> hello, this is rachel at cardholder services. >> reporter: tonight the fcc cracking down on one man and his company. >> mr. roesel was responsible for more than 200,000 robocalls a day. 21.5 million all together. >> reporter: philip roesel of best insurance contracts, hit with an $82 million fine. officials say he preyed on the elderly and poor, and disguised the origin of the calls by making it look like they were coming from different phone numbers. it's called spoofing. >> the record shows that he instructed his employees which consumers to pick on. as commissioner clyburn pointed out, his victim was "the dumber and more broke the better." >> reporter: regulators also warning consumers to stay on high alert for scams like this which claims you owe the irs money. >> don't disregard this message and do return the call before we
take any action against you. >> that's really something. rebecca with us now, and as rebecca said, the companies accused of actually disguising the phone numbers that come up on your phone to make them look like local calls or numbers you don't know. how do you block it? >> some of the carriers are offering free call blocking. there are apps out there to help, but there's no foolproof solution yet. what you have to do is let those calls go to voice mail if you don't want know the numbers. >> good thing authorities on it tonight. rebecca, thank you. when we come back here, the severe turbulence on an american airlines plane. several passengers injured. the pilot calling for help. and the high-rise fire at this hour. residents inside rushing to escape. new details after the break. ...i kept looking for ways to manage my symptoms. i thought i was doing okay... then it hit me... ...managing was all i was doing. when i told my doctor,... ...i learned humira is for people who still have symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease... ...even after trying other medications. in clinical studies,...
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there was a previous fire in the tower in 2015. no word on injuries or if anyone is trapped tonight. we'll stay on it. severe turbulence leaving passengers injured on an american airlines flight. the flight departing miami, hitting a rough patch of air on its approach to trinidad. the pilot calling for help. as many as 30 passengers were treated at the scene. three passengers were not wearing seat belts were rushed to the hospital. and the list of most stolen cars in america is out. they find that 1997 honda accords are the most frequently stolen vehicle, followed by 1998 honda civics and 2006 ford pickups. we have the complete list on our website for you tonight. when we come back, america strong, and the dance moves that helped send a high schoolers to college. you got to see this. ♪ ♪ i'm... i'm so in love with you. ♪
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finally, the high school seniors determined to go to college. byron pitts with the dance that got them there. >> reporter: for these young women -- this is sweet sound of dreams. >> i like to step, because it is empowering. >> reporter: a documentary called "step," three baltimore high school seniors preparing for a national step-team dance competition. prepping for college. >> are these grades your best? why does the step team get your best and i don't? >> i'm trying. >> school is what got me out of brooklyn. college is what's going to get you out of baltimore. >> reporter: they attend the charter school with a bold goal. >> my mission is to make sure each and every one of you graduates from college. >> reporter: it's that mission, and that team, that has been a lifeline for so many.
>> i'm kind of an introvert. i'm just everything that step is not. i'm not very dramatic, but all those parts come out of me when i step. >> i feel like stepping kind of came to me. because, like, it was instantly once i'd seen it, i couldn't let i be. >> reporter: it touched you? >> it touched me. >> reporter: changed you! >> it changed me. step is life. >> this is way bigger than stepping. it's about not making excuses. making sacrifices. having a positive attitude. >> reporter: achieving it all one step at a time at the beat of their own step. >> the incredible story tonight on "nightline." good night. sfloons police investigating a shooting in broad daylight at
one of the city's most popular parks. also, new information on the police pursuit that ended with a crash in the east bay. the sale of a san francisco institution, the makers of anchor steam beer explain why it's time to get out. dramatic images coming out of southern california t last few minutes. flash flooding causing major problems tonight. >> announcer: live where you live, this is abc 7 news. that breaking news is happening in san francisco tonight where police say three people have been shot at one of the city's most popular parks. good evening, i'm dan ashley. >> i'm kristen sze in for ama daetz. the shooting happened at the normally packed dolores park. >> what police and witnesses are saying. >> reporter: hi, dan and kristen. this is what i know. witnesses told me that about five to six young men with their faces completely covered, meaning bandannas, the works,
entered the park, walked towards the statue of bolivart, which leads to the pedestrian bridge. now, one of them apparently pulled out a gun and this is what happened next. >> everybody was sitting here hanging out, just chilling, enjoying the view, family walking by, kiddos, dogs, and these kids come running up in here, yelling gang reps. then people started running that way. you hear something say, they've strapped while i was in the middle of the bridge and he got off some rounds. >> we investigate everything independently. if there are gang ties, that's something we'll look at in the future. >> reporter: now, police are saying that this was not a random shooting. they were targeting someone. now, two of the victims, one of them police say is in his 40