tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC October 24, 2017 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
tonight, several breaking stories as we come on the air. two republican senators taking aim at president trump. what one of them did late today, standing before the senate, and what he declared. also tonight, abc news obtaining new video. who was behind the deadly ambush of four u.s. special ops soldiers. why did their mission suddenly change and was the cia involved? the severe storms right now. the dangerous commute. and nine reported tornadoes. the passenger plane losing radio contact in san francisco. air traffic control telling the cockpit six times, do not land. fearing there was a passenger plane on that runway. the standoff right now. the fugitive officer who cut off his gps tracker. the boulders thrown from an overpass. the windshield smashed. the father killed. tonight, authorities say the teenagers behind the deadly
prank. and remembering a well-known actor who made so many laugh. good evening. and it's great to have you with us here on a tuesday night. we begin tonight with two leading senators taking on president trump. one of them standing on the floor of the senate late today saying i rise to say enough. arizona's jeff flake adding, i will not be complicit. it comes just hours after republican senator bob corker reignited his very public feud with the president. corker calling the president, quote, an utterly untruthful president. president trump unleashing a twitter attack, and tonight, the white house responding. abc's mary bruce leading us off. >> reporter: standing on the senate floor, the republican senator delivered an extraordinary indictment of the republican president, calling donald trump "reckless, outrageous and undignified." >> i rise today to say enough. >> reporter: arizona senator jeff flake says he will not run for re-election, because he is so disgusted.
>> the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms and institution, the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons. >> reporter: and to his colleagues, a warning that, quote, "silence can equal complicity." >> we have fooled ourselves for long enough that a pivot to governing is right around the corner, a return to civility and stability right behind it. we know better than that. >> reporter: calling it a matter of duty and conscience, flake now joins a wave of top republicans ripping into the president. the morning, it was senator bob corker, letting loose on "gma." >> i would just like for him to leave it to the professionals for a while. >> reporter: in response, the president unloaded in a barrage of tweets, claiming he "ref"ref to endorse" corker. saying he "couldn't get elected dog catcher."
and calling the influential head of the foreign relations committee a "lightweight," "incompetent," adding "people like little bob corker have set the u.s. way back." corker, who has called the trump white house an adult day care center, tweeting back, "same untruths from an utterly untruthful president. #alertthedaycarestaff." he told reporters everyone sees through trump's bullying. >> and i think that the worst of it is going to be just the whole debasing, if you will, of our nation. >> reporter: you think the president is debasing the nation? >> i don't think there's any question. >> reporter: corker was an early supporter of trump. but asked if he would do it again, he said, "no way." it all comes the same day the president traveled to the capitol to rally republicans on tax reform. >> mr. president, any comment on senator corker? >> reporter: but his feuds are overshad doefing his agenda. >> does any of this make the president pause and wonder if he is doing anything wrong? that he bears any responsibility? >> look, i think the voters of these individual senators' states are speaking in pretty loud volumes.
i think that they were not likely to be re-elected and i think that shows that the support is more behind this president than it is these two individuals. >> let's get to mary bruce. and mary, the white house says senators corker and flake are from states that voted for president trump. they're still around for awhile, and the president needs their votes, especially with his big push for tax reform. >> reporter: exactly, and david, a reminder of the math here. senate republicans have just a two-vote majority. now, you have two top republicans who don't feel the pressure of re-election, and aren't exactly inclined to just fall in line behind the president. but some republicans are happy to see them go. a source close to steve bannon told abc news his reaction tonight, another day, another scalp. david? >> mary bruce leading us off tonight. mary, thank you. next tonight here, to new video obtained by abc news and new reporting tonight. who ambushed and killed those four special ops soldiers? we now know the mission changed for those four soldiers and their team. morphing into a second mission
for a high value isis target. and tonight, was it more than the pentagon, was the cia involved? here's our chief investigative correspondent brian ross. >> reporter: u.s. intelligence authorities tonight are examining this video of a militant group, active in the area of the niger ambush, young men with motorbikes and heavy weapons. shouting allahu akbar, god is great. looking to see if the two dozen or so men were directly involved in the deadly ambush that killed the four u.s. soldiers with the attackers all escaping on motorbikes. the video was provided to abc news by a former us military expert on west africa, the images reportedly recorded around the time of the attack near the village where it happened, the men speaking in local ethnic dialect. >> it says, if we capture them, what are we going to do with them, one of them says, we'll
decapitate them. >> reporter: rudolph atallah spent years in the region for the u.s. military, and says the video was actually shot by the leader of the local militant group, named abu walid, who last year pledged allegiance to isis, >> he is certainly one of the high value individuals that the u.s. government is looking at. >> reporter: u.s. forces have been in niger for four years now, training local troops and waging a secret war against terrorists that also involved the cia. >> so are they taking risks? they are. >> reporter: two senior u.s. intelligence officials tell abc news tonight that the mission went from reconnaissance to kill or capture, after the unit received information that a high value target had been located some eight hours away. they were ordered to move on his location, but found nothing. >> did the mission change? that is one of the questions that's being asked. it's a fair question. >> reporter: the ambush took place as the unit returned to base, low on sleep, their movements now being tracked by the militants. help did not arrive for two hours. >> and brian ross back with us tonight.
and we know the pentagon has said that when the original mission was planned, contact with the enemy was, quote, unlikely. we are now hearing that this mission changed to a kill or capture mission, so, the question, were these american soldiers adequately prepared for that change in mission? >> reporter: david, that's the key question. investigators have been told, there was a second green beret team that was supposed to chopper in and meet up with the first team, but they never made it. now the question tonight is, david, why? >> brian ross tonight and your team, thank you. now to the dangerous weather on both coasts tonight. a dangerous commute here in the east. thunderstorms, wind and rain. a regional airport in hickory, north carolina, take a look, ripped apart by severe winds. and this home in shelby, north carolina, pushed right off its foundation. reports of several tornadoes. and here's abc's linzie janis. >> reporter: tonight, high winds toppling trees, sending them crashes onto cars and power lines across the northeast. it's the same system that rocked the southeast overnight. in the carolinas, multiple ef-2 tornadoes now confirmed.
in spartanburg, south carolina, jesse sparveri huddling in the backseat of his car as the storm moved through. >> my car was shaking uncontrollably. at one point, i thought my car was actually in the air. i had no idea where i was. >> reporter: his windows shattered, a wooden projectile landing in the driver's seat. treatments snapped. a tractor trailer overturned nearby. our gio benitez is in north carolina. >> here at hickory regional airport, we're seeing some unbelievable damage. take a look. a hangar just destroyed. planes tossed around like toys. >> reporter: a half foot of torrential rain causing flash flooding in boone. this vehicle floating away. wes berry caught in his minivan. >> wave of water washed over the hood and it stalled out. >> reporter: in the west, critical fire conditions in parts of southern california. the region now a tinderbox. more than 4,000 firefighters battling blazes across the state. and david, these storms have made a mess at airports. more than 750 flights canceled.
nearly 300 of them here at newark airport. david? >> linzie janis, thank you. let's get right to ginger zee tonight. and ginger, you're tracking these storms and the record heat and the fires in the west tonight. >> reporter: absolutely, david. both, and let's start on the east, where we've seen the front just passing now here in new york city, but to our north and southeast, near boston, hearing of numerous trees down. back toward that low pressure system attached to the cold front, lake superior, giant waves, lake michigan, too, and gusts up to 60. wait to take you through the timing. it's over by noon tomorrow, out of new england. then, the headline, 103, a record high in downtown los angeles. red flag warnings, those heat advisories including santa barbara go through tomorrow for many, because the heat will still be on for game two. but tonight, david, will be the hottest world series game on record in l.a. >> all right, ginger zee with us tonight. ginger, thank you. we turn next here to the killer on the loose in a florida neighborhood. three murderers in ten days, as we've been reporting. and now, the urgent hunt for
this person. they want to talk to this man. tonight, the simplest tasks, from going to the grocery store to walking the dog have now become a real concern. abc's victor oquendo from tampa. >> reporter: tonight, a tearful plea from the father of monica hoffa, one of the victims gunned down in tampa. >> i need that community to stand up and i need them to point out, you know, who that man is. >> reporter: he's the person of interest tampa police are desperate to find, spotted near the site of the first of three shootings. three victims killed in less than two weeks. police say the crimes are connected. parents today escorting their children from school. >> i used to walk but with all this commotion going on, i've been driving. >> reporter: all the shootings within a half mile. benjamin mitchell shot and killed around 9:00 p.m. while waiting at a bus stop. four days later, monica hoffa's body was found in an empty lot. she'd been walking to a friend's home. six days after that, 20-year-old anthony naiboa killed after hopping the wrong bus after work. today, just a block from there, we met ron and sarah, after a
grocery trip that will no longer make at night. >> 7:00, we're in the house now. >> reporter: you're not going outside past dark? >> no. >> reporter: inside, their guns out of the safe and ready. they won't even walk the dog without carrying a weapon. >> now is the time. i've got to protect my family. >> reporter: a community, living in fear, prepared for the worst. the mayor and the chief of police promising not to stop until the killer is caught. david? >> victor, thank you. an air canada flight not responding to a call to abort their landing. authorities fearing there was already a passenger plane on that runway. here's abc's transportation correspondent david kerley tonight. >> reporter: the message was clear. a jet cleared to land in san francisco sunday -- >> air canadkan na dcanada 781,. >> reporter: told six times in 37 seconds to abort its landing. >> go around. >> reporter: the problem, controllers worried that an
aircraft already on the ground might not get off the runway in time. controllers tried the radio three more times, even using a flashing red light gun to no avail. the a-320 landed, safely. finally contacting the tower. >> air canada 781, there's something with the radio here. >> that's pretty evidence. >> reporter: this, after the july incident at the same airport, same airline. a jet lined up to land on a taxiway occupied be four other jets. a disaster avoided as the air canada pulled up, just feet from one of the aircraft. >> any time you have two instances of something that are very similar, it's a red flag. is there a problem with procedures? is there a problem with training? of crews flying into this particular airport? >> reporter: air canada says the pilots were cleared to land and it will land into why they didn't receive the ininstructions from the tower. but that airline is now subject of two faa investigations. david? >> david kerley, thank you. and next, more than a month now after puerto rico was struck by that devastating hurricane, three-quarters of the island are
still would power. tonight, your money. at stake, $300 million in fema disaster funds. and the montana company given the contract to get the power back on with just two workers when it landed that contract. one lawmaker tonight, saying this does not pass the smell test. and here's abc's pierre thomas. >> reporter: more than a month after hurricane maria hit puerto rico, 75% of the island is still in the dark. and tonight, new questions about the company that landed a key contract, hired to restore power. whitefish energy, a private montana company with just two full-time employees, awarded a $300 million contract by the puerto rico electric power authority. >> we're doing what we can with what we have and we plan to be here until everyone has power. >> reporter: the company showcasing its work on twitter. saying its newly hired team of 300 now working to rebuild those towers in puerto rico. but tonight, some democrats are already calling for an investigation into that contract. whitefish energy is from
whitefish, montana, population just over 7,000. hometown of interior secretary ryan zinke. >> look, i've been at this for 25 years, and this does not pass the smell test. >> reporter: zinke's office telling abc news he knows the owner because they both live in a small town. adding that the secretary's son worked a summer job at the company. but today, his office was emphatic. "neither the secretary, nor anyone in his office, have taken any meetings or action on behalf of this company." whitefish says they're simply the best team for the job, pointing out they use helicopters and repair buckets that reach 70 feet higher than typical power trucks. >> we specialize in difficult and mountainous terrain projects. >> every day that they're without power is a day that economy isn't functioning, it's another day people are suffering. >> reporter: david, purt lee cope's governor said today they had little choice, that whitefish was the one company willing to do the work without payment upfront. but he added the contract will
be audited. david? >> pierre thomas tonight, thank you. two new congressional investigations involving former secretary of state hillary clinton. republican leaders in the house launching an inquiry into why the obama administration allowed a russian company to acquire u.s. youranium lines and if russian donations to the clinton foundation played any role in that. and a year after the election, republicans with a separate inquiry, as well, as to why the fbi decided not to charge clinton for her use of a personal e-mail server. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this tuesday. remembering a well-known actor who made so many of us laugh. also at this hour, we do have breaking news coming in involving the standoff with a fugitive police officer who cut off his gps track ecker. what we've learned. those boulders thrown from an overpass. the father who was killed. and there is news tonight about the teenagers behind the deadly prank. and news of big changes this evening for the megamillions
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we turn now to the deadly prank in michigan. five takers now charged with murder. allegedly dropping rocks from an overpass, killing a father on his way home. authorities say the teens then went to mcdonald's. here's abc's adrienne bankert. >> reporter: five teens led into court in shackles, facing the possibility of life in prison accused of a cruel and deadly stunt. deputies say the group of 15-year-olds and withone 17-yead threw more than a dozen rocks at cars from this michigan overpass. one of them striking kenneth white on his way home from work. >> something came through the windshield, he's now unconscious. >> reporter: a six-pound rock hits white in the head and chest, killing him. authorities say other cars were damaged, and that afterwards, the teens went to eat at mcdonald's. white leaves behind four children, including a 5-year-old son. >> he keeps asking about his
daddy. and i tell him, he's not coming back. >> reporter: one of the teen's lawyers saying the penalties could vary. >> although the charges are the same, the kids are all different. the actions that the kids may have become involved in are all different. >> reporter: family members -- heartbroken. >> even if they spend 30 years in prison, they get to wake up every single day. my son don't get none of that no more. that was taken away from him for something stupid. >> reporter: all have pled not guilty, david. they're being held without bond and due back in court november 2nd. david? >> adrienne, thank you. when we come back, news coming in at this hour, the police standoff with a fugitive officer. and the armed bank robber tackled. you'll see it right here. i thought. mike and jen doyle? yeah. time for medicare, huh i have no idea how we're going to get through this. follow me. choosing a plan can be super-complicated. but it doesn't have to be. unitedhealthcare can guide you through the confusion, with helpful people, tools and plans.
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to the index and breaking news in the standoff with a fugitive police officer in cleveland tonight. former officer tommy griffin had been on the run after allegedly kidnapping and assaulting his girlfriend. u.s. marshals surrounding this home today. griffin's body was found inside late today. they say he took his own life.
the bank robbery foiled near pittsburgh. police say john rile rushed into a gun holding a gun. a customer tackling him to the ground, wrest vling the gun away. the is the was arrested. robert guillaume has died. he was the first african-american to sing the title role in "phantom of the opera." he was 89. and mega changes continue coming to megamillions. it will cost more to play beginning saturday. have even longer odds. but they say, bigger prizes. lottery officials raising the price to $2 per ticket. the starting jackpot will be worth $40 million. the odds of winning jumping to 1 in 303 million. good luck. when we come back here tonight, the young basketball star caught sneaking into the gym over and over again, and what the police did when they discovered it.
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america strong. the teen caught sneaking into a gym countless times, and the officer who answered the call. 15-year-old vincent gonzalez from chicago who loves to play basketball. everyone knows his moves. you can see him right there driving to the basket, playing for the local youth league. he often gets up at 5:00 in the morning to practice before heading to school. for so many months, vincent could be found shooting hoops with his friends. the trouble is, his family's membership to that private gym expired. and he could not afraid to renew it. he was determined to keep playing basketball. >> it was kind of like a magic show. he would just randomly appear. all of our entrances and exits are blocked and sure enough, he would just show up on the
basketball court. >> reporter: he was given several warnings and was told it's not okay to trespass. enter officer mario vilente. >> you kind of size up people pretty quickly. >> reporter: he knew that i have sent just wanted to play ball. he offered $150 towards vincent's gym membership himself. and inspired by that officer, the gym then waved hundreds in fees. that membership was extended for two years. >> for the officer to respond the way he did and turn what could have been a negative situation into an unbelievably positive situation, i thought that was really fantastic. >> reporter: and that player tonight, grateful to that officer. >> i think that was real nice. i said thank you. that meant a lot. >> america strong. i'm david muir. i hope to see you right back here tomorrow. until then, good night.
there were some big crowds out enjoying the heat. berkeley's people got up close, enjoying the water. a live look from our cameras, so hot around the bay area, we did hit several records. good afternoon. thanks for joining us. >> you're thinking about playing hookie. >> and let's get to our bronzing meteorologist. up on the roof. enjoying himself with his jacket off. >> the 80s and 90s. well above normal for this time of year. you see the time and temp in the corner of the screen. several records broke. let's look at the high. santa rosa, livermore, 92 and 90 respectively. 90 to a record high at oakland. 91 in san jose. and yes, you think you go to the coast to beat the heat.
half moon bay. a high so far of people in degrees. so little relief across the region. and misery loves company. look to our south. los angeles right now, 103, palm springs, 101. excessive heat warnings because of the temperatures. a refreshing look from pier 15. a nice day to be on the bay waters. and future trackers show you the heat is just going to slowly ease over the next 24 hours. we're still well into the 70s, if not the 80s. by midnight, it will be a mild to warm night across the region. that fog won't make a comeback tonight or even tomorrow morning. it will be another close start. so no relief from the heat tomorrow and the all important forecast for halloween coming up in a few minutes. get some sun screen there. first in july,