tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC October 23, 2017 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
tonight, breaking news as we come on the air. what abc news has just learned about the deadly ambush in niger. what happened to those four special ops officers. were they wearing body armor? and now we've learned about the second mission they were sent on. president trump does not answer when asked about the mission. late today, what the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff revealed. and we hear from the widow of the fallen about that phone call with the president. also tonight, senator john mccain. were his words a swipe at the president, about his vietnam deferments, one of them for bone spurs in his foot. the hunt right now for a possible serial killer. three victims in less than two weeks. the surveillance, who they want to talk to. the tornado watch up right now. and bill o'reilly and the stunning figure reported by "the new york times."
settling at least six cases of sex yult harassment, and reportedly agreeing to pay the last woman, a colleague, $32 million. good evening. and it's great to start another week with you. and we begin tonight with harrowing new details about what those four u.s. special ops officers encountered during that deadly ambush in niger. they were part of a larger team, and tonight, we've learned they were on their way back to base, when they were given a second mission. those four american soldiers did not survive the attack. toontd, we still do not know if they had body armor. what we doe know is when the call for help was made and how long it took in a rare moment today, the chairman of the joint chiefs coming before the cameras after the president today would not answer questions sent his way. abc's mary bruce leading us off. >> the assessment by our leaders on the ground at that time was that contact with the enemy was unlikely. >> reporter: but tonight, abc news is learning much more about
what really happened in the ambush that killed four american special ops soldiers and what their mission really was. it was october 3rd when 12 u.s. soldiers and out on a reconnaissance mission to a remote village. but a senior intelligence official tells abc news, but on their way back they were assigned a second mission, to kill or capture a high value target. they were supposed to be joined by a second u.s. team that never made it. but they told to proceed on their own. the officials tell us that mission was unsuccessful, but exposed the americans to the enemy. the next morning, the americans are heading home when they sense something is off. a village elder is trying to stall them. suddenly, 50 militants are upon them, armed with rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machines guns. according to the pentagon's account, one hour into the firefight, the americans called for help. >> my judgement would be that that unit thought they could handle the situation without
additional support. >> reporter: a u.s. drone arrives within minutes, unarmed, but able to provide video of the ambush. 30 minutes later, french military aircraft mobilize to help. two hours into the attack, those french planes arrive on the scene to provide cover. as night falls, two wounded u.s. troops are evacuated. so are the bodies of the three u.s. soldiers killed in action. but sergeant la david johnson is still missing. his body would not be recovered for another 48 hours. >> on the eventing of 6 october, sergeant johnson's body was found and subsequently evacuated. from the time the firefight was initiated until sergeant johnson's body was recovered, french, nigerian or u.s. forces remained in that area. >> reporter: congress wants answers, but some top lawmakers admit, they didn't know u.s. troops were there. >> we don't know exactly where we're at in the world militarily, and what we're doing. i didn't know there was 1,000
troops in niger. >> reporter: the president has been taking credit for victories against isis. >> i totally changed the attitudes of the military and they have done a fantastic job. yeah, isis is now giving up. they're giving up. they're raising their hands. they're walking off. nobody's ever seen that before. >> why didn't that happen before? >> because you didn't have trump as your president. >> reporter: but the pentagon today made clear who is responsible for the deaths of these four americans. >> so, our initial assessment is these are local tribal fighters that are associated with isis. >> and mary bruce joins us live tonight from the pentagon. and mary, we know the chairman of the joint chiefs said today, they believe contact with the enemy was not likely, but we're learning from a senior intelligence official, this was going to be a very high stakes mission. the team was on its way back to base, was told to turn around and was given a second mission to kill or capture a high value individual? >> reporter: yes, and david, a senior official tells us that that high value target was a
known senior al qaeda or isis operative. and that they were told, quote, they had high confidence they knew where he was. >> and mary, one more question on this tonight. according to an american survivor of this attack, he's now described what sergeant la david johnson did in those hours, calling him a war hero who gave everything he had in this fight? >> reporter: yes. and david, in fact, the survivor tells abc news, sergeant johnson gave everything he had during this ambush, saying he died fighting for his brothers. >> mary bruce leading us off tonight from the pentagon. mary, thank you. and that briefing, from general dun ford, came after the president would not answer questions on the mission. but he did tweet today. the president questioning what the widow of one of those fallen soldiers is now saying about her phone call with the president. tonight here, you will hear what that gold star widow told george stephanopoulos, then, the president's tweet. here's abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl. >> reporter: just days after burying her husband, their 2-year-old, la david johnson,
jr., holding the flag from his father's coffin, myeshia johnson is breaking her about the call she received from president trump. >> what he said was -- >> the president. >> yes, the president, said that he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyway. and i was -- it made me cry, because i was very angry at the tone of his voice, and how he said -- he couldn't remember my husband's name. that's what hurt me the most, because if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risked his life for our country, why can't you remember his name? >> reporter: less than hour after mrs. johnson spoke out on "gma," a tweet from the president contradicting the gold star widow. "i had a very respectful conversation with the widow of sergeant la david johnson and spoke his name from the beginning without hesitation." the president has also said that congresswoman frederica wilson, a friend of the johnson family
who heard the call, "totally fabricated" her account of what the president said. >> the president said that the congresswoman was lying about the phone call. >> whatever ms. wilson said was not fabricated. what she said was 100% correct. >> reporter: mrs. johnson, who said she was not allowed to see her husband's body, is demanding answers about what happened. >> i don't know how he got killed, where he got killed or anything. >> are you confident you're going to get the answers you need? >> if i keep pushing for them, i will. >> reporter: today, in the rose garden, president trump didn't answer questions. >> do you have any response to myeshia johnson, mr. president? can you talk to us about niger, mr. president? still, no answer. in the 19 days since the attack, the president hasn't said anything about what happened or whether he authorized the mission. but today, just hours after the president tweeted about mrs. johnson, the chairman of the joint chiefs made this
promise. to her and the other families of the fallen. >> we're going to go to every last length to try to satisfy their concerns or answer their questions. >> so, let's get live to jonathan karl at the white house tonight. and jon, when asked what she said to the president, mrs. johnson said she didn't say anything, she just listened? >> reporter: mrs. johnson said that the call made her even more upset than she already was and, david, asked today if she has anything that she would like to say to the president now, she said no, she has nothing to say to him. david? >> jon karl tonight. thanks, jon. meantime, senator john mccain, in an interview marking 50 years since he was shot down over vietnam, taking what many believed was a swipe at president trump about deferments, one of them for a bone spur in the president's foot. here's abc's cecilia vega. >> reporter: coming from war hero senator john mccain, it sure sounded like a swipe at president trump, who got five
deferments from serving in vietnam. >> we drafted the lowest income level of america, and the highest income level found a doctor that would say they had a bone spur. that is wrong. >> reporter: so, was mccain talking about the president? he was asked today on "the view." >> people thought you were talking about mr. trump. because he had a doctor's note that said he had bone spurs. >> i think more than once, yes. >> more than once. >> chronic bone spurs. >> do you consider him a draft dodger? >> i don't consider him so much a draft dodger, as i feel the system was so wrong that certain americans could evade their responsibilities to serve the country. >> reporter: their public sparring goes back to the campaign trail, when then-candidate trump took a shot at the arizona senator, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war.
>> he's a war hero because he was captured. i like people that weren't captured, okay. i hate to tell you. >> reporter: mccain has not forgotten. >> what i cared about was when he was talking about other prisoners of war, including our world war ii guys who are still around, there's an individual that lives in phoenix, he's 92 and he weighed 110 pounds when he got out of the german prison camp. and he said to me, he said, senator mccain, why does the president not like me? you know? that's hard to explain to a 92-year-old man. >> reporter: now, as he battles brain cancer, the 82-year-old senator has become one of the president's toughest critics. and the president has not held back. >> people have to be careful because at some point i fight back. you know, i'm being very nice. but at some point, i fight back and it won't be pretty. >> are you scared? >> doesn't he look scared? >> all right, so, let's get to cecilia vega live from the white house as well tonight.
and cecilia, senator mccain was also asked today if he still talks with the president, if they have any relationship at all. how did he answer this? >> reporter: david, he said he has almost no relationship with president trump. but late today, he also tried to clarify those comments he made about bone spurs, he said, he was not taking a shot at this president, but you heard him today. he was not holding back. we have asked this white house for a comment, david, so far, no response. >> cecilia vega here on a monday night, as well. thank you. we move onto other news this even, and to the killer on the loose in a florida neighborhood. three murders in ten days now. and blipolice are ask youing if your help in identifying this person, they want to talk to him. tonight, neighbors are being told to not go out alone. and abc's victor oquendo is in tampa. >> reporter: the manhunt for a possible serial killer intensifying tonight. >> whoever did this was able to sneak up on them and murder them. >> reporter: tampa police in inundating the seminole heights area. >> leave their porch lights on. be very observant of their surroundings. >> reporter: this grainy
surveillance video is their only lead, showing a person of interest. police not releasing much information about evidence but insisting the killings are connected. >> i assure you that they are related, they're linked. >> reporter: three people gunned down in ten days, less than half a mile apart. two of the three victims, benjamin mitchell and anthony naiboa killed near bus stops. naiboa just happened to take the wrong bus home when he was murdered last thursday. the transit authority has since altered its routes. the other victim, monica hoffa, was walking to a friend's home. her body discovered in an empty lot, hidden in high grass. >> we don't want monica to be forgotten, but we don't want everybody to forget there's two other families. >> reporter: memorials for the victims line the streets, marking the spots where they died. >> they were killing him just for nothing. just for fun. i step right on his blood right here. right here is his blood. >> victor oquendo live tonight from tampa. and victor, these were strong words from the police today, warning that the streets are too dangerous to travel alone? >> reporter: david, because this
killer attacked people who were alone, police are urging everyone to stay in groups. the chief adding, anyone who is alone is a potential victim or a suspect. they're now getting ready to brief this very concerned community at this school behind me. david? >> very tense nights in tampa. victor, thank you. we turn next to the tornado watch up in several states. at least six reported tornadoes across the south in the past 24 hours. damage reported just a short time ago in north carolina. tonight, we're told the severe threat is moving into the northeast in the coming hours. let's get to rob marciano along the west side highway here in new york tonight. hey, rob. >> reporter: hey, david. it's been flat-out balmy across the east coast for the past week, and that fuel is for the fire, as far as what's happening across the thunderstorms. we have the tornado watch, check it out, in through virginia and the carolinas. this stretching well into canada. during the day tomorrow, it will push off to the north and east. as it does so, d.c., baltimore, philly, new york city, all under the gun here. severe threats similar to today, and this whole system is going to amplify, which means strong
winds for all the northeast, not just tomorrow, but the day after that. could see some power lines coming down with those strong winds. david? >> all right, a rough 24 hours ahead. rob, thank you. we turn next here to an alleged terror plot foiled in miami. the alleged plot, to place a pressurer cooker or suitcase bomb in the dolphin mall the day after thanksgiving. he was taken into custody. the fbi says he made pro-isis videos, and told undercover agents he, quote, wanted to send a message, because he had, quote, resentment inside. there's still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this monday. the urgent manhunt right now. the former police officer now on the run. the officer, authorities say, cutting off his gps tracking device. now describing him as armed dangd rouse. bill o'reilly and the stunning figure reported by "the new york times." settling six known cases of swault, agreeing to pay a colleague $32 million. and the police stunts gone wrong tonight. the members of a motorcycle drill team crashing during a
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prudential. bring your challenges. next tonight, bill o'reilly's response. the audio from "the new york times" after the newspaper reported he agreed to pay a former female colleague $32 million to settle a sexual harassment complaint. here's abc's linzie janis tonight. >> you are about to enter the no spin zone. >> reporter: tonight, former fox news bill o'reilly. >> this is [ bleep ]. [ bleep ]. >> reporter: "the new york times" releasing this explosive interview after the paper reported o'reilly personally struck the settlement with former fox news legal analyst liz wheel in jan after she accused him of repeated sexual harassment. the $32 million, dwarfing the five other known settlements. >> it's on you, all right, because it's all crap.
>> reporter: the very next month, fox gave o'reilly a new $100 million contract. in a statement, 21st century fox said it was not privy to the amount of the settlement, and regarded it as a personal matter for o'reilly. but fox ended up dismissing him months later, when allegations of multiple settlements became public. >> i got to get help, guys. >> reporter: and tonight, more trouble for movie mogul harvey weinstein. the new york attorney general launching a civil rights investigation for sexual harassment, into the company he co-founded. this comes as hollywood a-listers are now under the microscope for what they knew. >> but this level of criminal sexual prestation is not something that i thought was going on. absolutely not. >> reporter: weinstein denies any allegations of non-consensual sex. and david, as for o'reilly, he maintains he never mistreated anyone. as part of that reported $32 million deal, wheel signed an affidavit renouncing all
accusations and allegations against him. david? >> linzie janis, thank you. when we come back, the new head call headline tonight about breast cancer. and the former police officer reportedly on the run, cutting off his gps tracking device. authorities say he's armed, and the manhunt tonight. in the mirror everyday. when i look in the mirror everyday. everyday, i think how fortunate i am. i think is today going to be the day, that we find a cure? i think how much i can do to help change people's lives. i may not benefit from those breakthroughs, but i'm sure going to... i'm bringing forward a treatment for alzheimer's disease, yes, in my lifetime, i will make sure. i'm val. the orange money retirement squirrel from voya. i represent the money you save for the future. who's he? he's the green money you can spend now. what's up? gonna pay some bills, maybe buy a new tennis racket. he's got a killer backhand. when it's time to get organized for retirement, it's time to get voya.
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were injured when they were knocked to the ground. a third was hurt while being dragged down the street. all three are expected to be okay. and the new hemedical headle tonight. 65 gene mutations linked to breast cancer. the findings may one day help to identify more women possibly at higher risk of breast cancer. those findings published in "nature." more on our website tonight. when weapon come back, america strong. the army medic. his courage under fire, and the heroic story that was kept secret for years. 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 connect with medical teams in near real time... stay with me, mr. parker. ...saving time when it matters most.
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finally tonight here, america strong. the vietnam vet receiving the nation's highest honor. his courage under fire, a harrowing battle kept secret for decad decades. and here's david wright. >> reporter: gary michael rose enlisted as a combat medic in vietnam. at age 22, on a secret mission behind enemy lines, his unit came under attack. he was the only medic for more than 100 men. so, for four days in the jungle, he treated his comrades, even though he was injured, too. when the choppers finally extracted them, his got shot down. all 16 soldiers onboard from his unit were injured, all of them came home alive. that's sergeant rose on crutches
there. he saved every one of them. today, at the white house, retired captain rose, now 70, received the nation's highest honor. plus, a pat on the shoulders, a hand shake and a well deserved salute. david wright, abc news, new york. >> and we salute captain rose, too. thank you for watching here on a monday night. i'm david muir. i hope to see you right back here tomorrow. good night.
we've summoned every possible resource we have. >> two dead, three injured, including a police officer. and multiple crime scenes in lake county and 61-year-old man is under arrest. i'm dan ashley in for larry beil. >> and aim dion in for ama daetz. still active investigation. >> lonni rivera is there live with details. >> >> reporter: let me show you the crime scene. this is one part of the crime scene. there's another at end of the cul-de-sac. two men killed and 61-year-old man is in custody. yellow tape closed off anchor village and keys boulevard in lake county. scene of double homicide. >> two homicide victims killed
behind me. two additional people shot, received nonlife threatening injuries. transferred to the hospital. >> reporter: chp officer responded to shooting, shot by the suspect too. bullet hit body armor. then alan aschmore drove away. >> fled the area, went to gas station, another shooting with ccw holder. >> reporter: left the gas station and led them on pursuit through remote area. >> total of seven crime scenes we are working. >> reporter: road blocks until ashmore finally surrendered. >> reports he had shot at people at winery. >> reporter: sheriff martin says all the resources are being used. there's crime scene investigators here.