tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC November 29, 2017 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
tonight, as we come on the air, the stunning allegations growing. matt lauer, fired from nbc. accused of inappropriate sexual behavior. late today, multiple women with new allegations. and lauer's emotional cohost left to deliver the news after learning just before going on the air this morning. tonight, the new arrest. the suspected serial killer, a basketball player who graduated from st. john's. president trump igniting a firestorm, tweeting out extremist videos, one proven false. tonight, the white house saying whether the video is real or not, it doesn't matter. your money, your taxes tonight. president trump's new tax plan. who wins, who loses? and does he have the votes? the stunning moment in court. the convicted war criminal suddenly drinking poison in court, shouting out a message. news on the missing toddler tonight, vanishing from her bed. and your health. the flu shot this year.
just how effective is it? the discouraging headline just out. good evening. and it's great to have you with us here on a wednesday night. and for millions of americans, it was a stunning headline to wake up to. matt lauer, the long-time host of "the today show" has been fired. his cohost, savannah guthrie, her voice trembling. she learned just before the show. lauer is accused of inappropriate sexual behavior and late today, new allegations now surfacing. offcamera, guthrie and hoda kotb seen hugging. the close-knit team clearly shaken. and tonight, as these new allegations now surface, nbc news out with a new statement. did they know anything before the complaint this week? abc's linsey davis, leading us off. >> reporter: savannah guthrie's voice trembling at the "the today show." >> good morning. breaking news overnight. matt lauer has been terminated from nbc news. >> reporter: and then, her first moment on camera without matt lauer by her side. >> and good morning, everybody.
welcome to "today." and hoda is here with me this morning, because this is a sad morning here at "today" and at nbc news. just moments ago, nbc news chairman andy lack sent the following note to our organization. >> reporter: in the e-mail, lack writes, "dear colleagues, on monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by matt lauer. it represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company's standards. as a result, we've decided to terminate his employment. while it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he's been at nbc news, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident." >> we just learned this moments ago, just this morning. as i'm sure you can imagine, we are devastated. and we are still processing all of this. and i will tell you right now, we do not know more than what i just shared with you. i'm sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come. and we promise we will share that with you.
and hoda, i mean -- you know, for the moment, all we can say is that we are heartbroken. i'm heartbroken for matt. he is my dear, dear friend and my partner. and he is beloved by many, many people here. and i'm heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story and any other women who have their own stories to tell. and we are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these past few weeks. how do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly? >> reporter: savannah guthrie and her colleague hoda kotb photographed when the cameras weren't rolling. >> we were both woken up with the news kind of pre-dawn and we're trying to process it and trying to make sense of it. >> reporter: late today, "variety" came out with a report following a two-month investigation into lauer's behavior, including interviews with three women who identified themselves as victims of sexual harassment by lauer. according to "variety", lauer allegedly once gave a colleague a sex toy as a present and
included an explicit note. another female employee reportedly claims he summoned her to his office and then dropped his pants. according to several accounts in the report, lauer was allegedly known for making lewd comments verbally and over text messages, and they say he had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up. several women told "variety" their complaints to management about lauer fell on deaf ears. as for the accuser who went to nbc news monday with her attorney -- >> and good morning, welcome to "today" and to sochi, russia. >> reporter: -- nbc news says the alleged inappropriate sexual behavior started at the 2014 olympics in sochi and continued for months after the games. the accuser's attorney saying in a statement, "my client and i met with representatives from nbc's human resources and legal departments at 6:00 p.m. on monday for an interview that lasted several hours. our impression at this point is that nbc acted quickly, as all
companies should, when confronted with credible allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace. i am in awe of the courage my client showed to be the first to raise a complaint and to do so without making any demands other than that the company do the right thing." as the news broke, president trump was quit to tweet. "wow, matt lauer was just fired from nbc for inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace. but when will the top executives at nbc and comcast be fired for putting out so much fake news." it was the president himself who, as a candidate, received accusations from more than a dozen women and said in a 2005 "access hollywood" video -- >> you know i'm automatically attracted to beautiful -- i just start kissing them. it's like a magnet. just kiss. i don't even wait. and when you're a star, they let you do it. you can do anything. >> whatever you want. >> grab them by the [ bleep ]. >> reporter: to bill o'reilly, who was fired following accusations of sexual harassment, it was lauer who pressed o'reilly on the bravery of the women. >> think about those five women and what they did. they came forward and filed complaints against the biggest
star at the network they worked at. think of how intimidating that must have been, how nerve-racking that must have been. doesn't that tell you how strongly they felt about the way they were treated by you? >> well, it's not just me. those lawsuits involved many other people, not just me. >> reporter: and prior to his termination, matt lauer was actually scheduled to be part of tonight's christmas tree lighting ceremony here in rockefeller center. "the new york times" is now reporting that nbc news received two new complaints today about matt lauer, including from a former employee who says that in 2001, lauer summoned her to his office to have sex with her. david? >> and linsey, tonight nbc news out with a new statement? >> reporter: yes, they just released a statement not too long ago, david, saying, "we can say unequivocally that prior to monday night, current nbc news management was never made aware of any complaints about matt lauer's conduct." david? >> linsey davis leading us off
tonight. linsey, thank you. we turn next here to the arrest in tampa. a suspected serial killer in custody tonight. a basketball player who edge grated from st. john's. a tip from a coworker at mcdonald's alerting police, and tonight, we now know how it all played out. we've also learned he bought the gun just days before that murder spree began. abc's victor oquendo from tampa. >> reporter: tonight, police in florida say they have the man who terrorized a tampa neighborhood for weeks. >> i assure you, this is the man who did this. >> reporter: their break coming yesterday, when a former mcdonald's worker, howell donaldson iii, came into the restaurant. >> he told my boss to hold the gun, to hold his bookbag for him. but he said, don't go in the bookbag. and so, she went in the bookbag and she found the gun. and after finding the gun, she just called police. >> reporter: police saying that tip cracked the case. >> i cannot thank them enough for standing up and doing the right thing. >> reporter: within minutes, donaldson was brought in for questioning. police saying they've matched his gun and cell phone data to the crimes. >> the gun is what we needed.
>> reporter: but tonight, police don't know why donaldson, who graduated in january from new york's st. john's university, where he was a walk-on basketball player, would allegedly kill four people at random over five weeks. all walking alone in the dark of night within blocks of each other. investigators say donaldson is the same man spotted on multiple cameras near the scene where the first victim, benjamin mitchell, was gunned down. his gun bought legally days before. this community has lived for weeks in fear of a serial killer. >> thank god we got this guy. we got this guy. >> reporter: donaldson now facing four counts of first degree murder. >> if he is found to be guilty, he should die. it's that simple. >> and victor oquendo with us live tonight. what has the suspect told police, if anything? >> reporter: well, david, the chief of police says that donaldson has been cooperative. he's acknowledged that the gun is his, but he's not admitted to the murders. right now, a motive is still a mystery. he's set to appear in court first thing tomorrow morning. david? >> victor oquendo, our thanks to you again tonight.
next, this evening, to president trump, igniting a firestorm, even as he tries to gain support for his tax plan. a vote is coming very soon. traveling to st. louis today. but overshadowing his push, a series of tweets today, inflammatory videos, one proven false, and the white house saying whether the videos are real or not, it doesn't matter. abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl. >> reporter: the president today avoided questions about the extremist videos he retweeted, videos that have provoked an international backlash. >> mr. president, why have you been retweeting anti-muslim videos? >> reporter: the three videos were originally posted by a tiny, anti-islam ultra nationalist party called britain first. a group known for hate-filled incitement. they purport to show muslims engaged in violent acts. in a blunt statement, the office of british prime minister theresa may, perhaps america's closest ally, condemned the president for his tweets, saying the group, britain first, "seeks to divide communities through
their use of hateful narratives, which peddle lies and stoke tensions. it is wrong for the president to have done this." but white house press secretary sarah sanders defended the tweets. >> it's important to talk about national security and national security threats. >> reporter: the white house insists this is about strong borders. one of the videos claims to show a muslim migrant in the netherlands beating a dutch boy. but tonight, the embassy of the netherlands says that's not true. they say the attacker was actually dutch, tweeting, "facts do matter." still, the white house says it doesn't matter if videos the president tweets are accurate. >> look, again, whether it's a real video, the threat is real and that is what the president is talking about. >> reporter: tonight, kkk leader david duke tweeted, "thank god for trump. that's why we love him." this all overshadows the big push for tax cuts today. the president in missouri insisting the republican plan will actually hurt the rich.
>> this is going to cost me a fortune, this thing, believe me. >> reporter: in fact, most independent analysts project the wealthy will benefit most. while most americans will actually see their taxes rise in ten years. >> all right, jon karl with us in new york tonight. great to have you. i know senate republicans want to vote on this, and they might vote as soon as tomorrow, but here's the bottom line tonight. does the president have the votes he needs? >> reporter: well, the margin is really tight. but it looks like he does have the votes to pass it in the senate. david, it's not over there, though, because the house passed a significantly different tax cut. those differences have to be worked out. but if it does pass in the senate, he will be closer than ever to his first big legislative win. >> jon karl, great to see you in person. next tonight, to capitol hill. and to alleged sexual misconduct in congress. pressure is growing at this hour for congressman john conyers to step down, after more women have now come forward with allegations about him. tonight, others defending the congressman, including his wife. the democratic leader, nancy pelosi, who took heat, is now changing her tone. abc's mary bruce, back on the hill.
>> reporter: congressman john conyers spotted boarding a plane to go back home. while on capitol hill today, his wound paraown party is pressuring him to leave for good. >> i think he should step down. >> reporter: no doubt? >> there's no question in my mind that he should. >> reporter: multiple women have now accused conyers of misconduct or harassment. one of them, his former deputy chief of staff. >> it was at a town hall meeting. he bent down to give me a message in my left ear and he put his hand up my dress. >> reporter: another accuser says conyers would walk around the office in his underwear. but one former top aide defends him. >> most of us have walked in on him accidentally without knocking and have seen him in his underwear. big deal. that's where his closet is. he changes his clothes there. >> reporter: conyers denies the accusations, but admits to
secretly paying one former staffer a $27,000 settlement. tonight, in detroit, the congressman's wife distraught. >> and you all just want to kill this man, who has dedicated 53 years of his life to community service. >> reporter: and the congressman defiant. his lawyer says he will not resign. >> so, let's go live to mary bruce, she's up on the hill tonight. and mary, house democratic leader nancy pelosi was criticized for her response on sunday to the conyers allegations, calling him, quote, an icon in our country. but tonight, her message has changed somewhat. >> reporter: david, democratic aides tell us, leader pelosi is trying to force the congressman out. a short while ago, she tweeted, "no matter your contribution to our country, you do not get a pass to harass or discriminate." david? >> mary bruce on the hill tonight. ma mary, thank you. next tonight here, north korea's provocative new missile launch just before we came on the air here last night. they are now calling it a new type of rocket, nuclear ready, they say, and able to reach anywhere in the mainland united
states. new still images just released tonight show the nighttime launch and leader kim jong-un and military officials there cheering. it is the latest in a series of intercontinental ballistic missile tests. the launch just days after president trump put north korea back on the state sponsor of terrorism list. the president tonight saying he is planning new sanctions and that, quote, we will take care of it. we have new images tonight of a 17-year-old from florida who police say ran off with her soccer coach. this image tonight reportedly of the two of them in south carolina. there are other reports they were seen in north carolina, too. and abc's steve osunsami is there tonight. >> reporter: authorities searching for this florida teenager who ran off with a high school soccer coach are releasing tonight these surveillance images of the two on the run. seen here sunday standing in line at a gas station in south carolina, and later that day, inside a pawnshop in north carolina. the parents of 17-year-old caitlyn frisina are begging her to come back home. >> we miss you, pumpkin, and we love you, and we want to hear from you.
>> reporter: frisina is a minor under florida law, who left her cell phone behind and climbed out of her bedroom window saturday to be with rian rodriguez. he's a 27-year-old grown man who her parents say has no business being with their daughter. the 17-year-old played soccer. her father coached the girls team, rodriguez coached the boys. >> he's a family friend, we've known him for several years through soccer and the school and everything. >> reporter: earlier this year, a tennessee teacher disappeared with a 15-year-old student, leading police on a cross-country search. south of atlanta, police say this 14-year-old went missing on the same day at frisina, running away with a young man. police tonight believe frisina and the soccer coach may be headed to canada. david? >> steve, thank you. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this wednesday. this year's flu shot. and the new headline tonight. how effective is it? the discouraging news coming up. there's also news tonight on the missing toddler, vanishing from her bed. the stunning moment in court. the convicted criminal suddenly drinking poison right there and then shouting a message to the
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only aleve has the strength to stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. tylenol can't do that. aleve. all day strong. all day long. next tonight here, to that moment in court making global headlines tonight. a convicted war criminal suddenly drinking poison and then shouting a message to the judge. here's abc's ian pannell. >> reporter: standing silent, this hague judge telling sloboban praljak his 20-year sentence for war crimes during the bosnian war would be upheld. >> mr. praljak, you may be seated. >> reporter: his response -- shocking. >> stop, please. >> reporter: the 72-year-old lifting a small brown bottle to his lips, swallowing poison for all the world to see before saying calmly to the courtroom, "i have taken poison."
>> we suspend. please, the curtains. >> reporter: attempts to save praljak failed. he was convicted for his role in a campaign to drive muslims out of bosnia and create an ethnically pure croat state during the bosnian war in the '90s. 100,000 died and more than 2 million displaced during the three-year war. so, another remarkable day in a court that's already seen its fair share of dramas, as war criminals are sentenced for their part in that conflict. as you would expect, questions now being asked about how he was able to smuggle poison into court. abc news learning tonight that security procedures are being tightened up. david? >> all right, ian, thank you. when we come back tonight, the news coming in about the flu shot this year, and its effectiveness. also, that major airline facing a possible pilot shortage christmas week because of a glitch. and there is news coming in tonight on the missing toddler, as well, who police say vanished from her bed. we'll be right back. [radio alarm] ♪ ♪
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the girl woke up at midnight and he told her to go back to bed. they say she was missing the next morning. police say a possible sighting at a walmart turned out to be false. a dive team finding nothing in a nearby pond. the fbi receiving at least 140 tips so far. tonight, american airlines says it is facing a possible pilot shortage over the holidays. the airline blaming a computer glitch for allowing too many pilots to take vacation during the busy christmas week. the pilots union warning up to 15,000 flights are in danger of being canceled. the airline now says it is offering to pay pilots overtime for reporting to work. stay tuned on this one. and the new flu warning tonight. officials at the national institutes of health predicting a potentially harsh flu season in the u.s. health experts concerned this season's vaccine may only be 10% effective. doctors insisting it is still better to get your flu shot than not, but boy, that is not reassuring. the article published in the new england journal of medicine. when we come back, we hope this makes you smile. take a look at this.
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finally finally tonight here, our made in america christmas is back. and we start with the christmas tree, of course, and for one family, just getting it home almost spoiled christmas. this family pulled over in sudbury, massachusetts. they were a little overzealous with their christmas tree this year. it sure was big. but police were concerned they couldn't see where they were going. pulled over for, quote, impeded operation. but the officer helped them find a better way to secure the tree. off with just a warning. christmas wasn't ruined. all over new york city tonight, the trees are back out. and we remember what they told us. hi, merry christmas. we asked even about the trees. are they made in america? >> north carolina, pennsylvania. >> reporter: how much does one of these go for? >> how much you want to give me? >> reporter: how much you want to sell it to me for? >> reporter: every year, we try. and across this country, christmas tree farmers checking in with us. not only selling trees -- >> hi, david, i'm jonathan. >> and i'm stein. >> reporter: -- co-owners of the john stein tree company in
mckinleyville, california, deep in the heart of redwood country. it turns out, they send you the kit to grow the tree yourself. >> you can grow your own living christmas tree with this awesome christmas tree grow kit. >> reporter: two new hires since we first met them last year. six different types of christmas trees, $8.99 apiece. won't be ready for christmas, though, but they say, two to three years, they're tall enough to put up. all with three words in mind. >> made in america! by the john stein company! >> i love it. grow your own tree. and the dog clearly excited, too, for christmas. tweet me your made in america christmas ideas. i'm david muir. good night. night. oakland is taking some homeless from tents to tuff
sheds, but what's the next step? and controversy over christmas trees. who's behind these san jose decorations that people say don't fit with the holiday spirit. a couple that lost their home in the north bay fires came here to berkeley and lost something else, their cat. i'm john than bloom with the search for this fluffy feline and how you can help. this is something we are trying, it's better than nothing. >> it's better than nothing, it's something. these will hopefully replace those ever-growing tent cities. >> good evening. oakland mayor libby schaaf says this is just one part of a larger solution in the city's ongoing effort to deal with a growing number of homeless people living on the streets. >> a tuff shed camp is in place. >> laura anthony is live now
from city hall. laura? >> reporter: hi, dan. this is meant to be a temporary solution. by recent estimates, about 400 people live in encampments here in oakland. by next week, the hope is that 40 of them will have four walls and a roof over their heads. they are tuff sheds, 20 of them, 10 by 12 feet each, meant to put at least a dent in oakland's exploding homeless problem. one exhibited by sprawling tent cities like this one just a few yards away. >> we have a long-term plan, a midterm plan and this is the right now plan. >> this is immediate relief. >> reporter: joe devries is in charge of the homeless outlook plan. >> we were looking at what would be positive both for the unsheltered and for the surrounding community to reduce the problems of the garbage, the blocked roadways, the rats that come with the garbage that