♪ i want to live life with you nots ♪ ♪ this is "nightline." >> tonight, first sons. the original apprentices. eric and donald jr. talking family and controversy. defending their dad just days before the comey testimony. >> it's the greatest hoax of all-time. we have no dealings in russia. we have nothing to do with russia. >> it reads and smells like a witch hunt. >> now looking to expand their hotel brand into trump country. but eric trump embroiled in a new scandal over his charitable dealings. his response tonight. plus backstage on broadway. we're with the stars of the new musical sensation "dear evan hansen." ♪ is anybody waiting >> nominated for nine tonys. best acting nominee ben flat on
skyrocketing to success. why this story's message is hitting audiences so hard. and clooney babies. george and amal clooney welcoming twins. sticking with traditional baby names. the statement from the clooney family. but first the "nightline 5." >> my daughter is studying to be a dentist and she said, dad, go pro. with crest pro health. >> 4 of 5 dentists confirm these pro health products help maintain a professional clean. go pro with crest pro health. >> it really brought my mouth to the next level. why do people put mill okay cereal? >> that milk in your cereal was messing with yore are you lactate, real milk without the annoying lactose. the milk that
good evening. he's been their father, their boss, and now their commander in chief. so if anyone can shed light on the inner workings of president trump, either rick and donal jeremy hubbard. now at the helm of the trump brand. planning a major expansion of this their hotels into what they see as trump territory. they spoke with abc's tom llamas about their father's latest troubles in washington. >> reporter: arriving in style. a page right out of his father's playbook. >> i'd say this entrance looks familiar. >> good to see you. >> reporter: eric trump taking me for a spin around trump national golf club just outside of d.c. >> it's a different world now. >> what's it like doing all this without your dad? >> reporter: brother don giving me a tour of what's next for the family empire. >> he was such a great sounding board. not having that is definitely something you miss. >> reporter: now as the
president navigates a busy week in washington, the first sons sitting down with abc news, talking family, controversy, and the trump brand without the top trump. >> this week is going to be a very big week for your father. former fbi director james comey's going to testify on capitol hill. are you going to watch? >> sure, absolutely. it's the greatest hoax of all-time. i was there throughout the campaign. we have no dealings in russia, we have no projects in russia, we have nothing to do with russia. >> to me it's without a question, reads and smells like a witch hunt. >> reporter: the day before president trump fired fbi director james comey, don and eric met with fbi agents in new york to discuss what sources told abc news was an attempted cyber attack on the trump organization. >> obviously as a do in america we're susceptible like so many others to potential cyber attacks. so that was the extent of what i can actually talk about. >> did you ever discuss with your father that you had met with the fbi?
>> no we did not. >> was the russia investigation ever discussed? >> no. it was a totally separate topic. >> the next day after that meeting your father fires james comey as head of the fbi. did you discuss that initial meeting with your father? >> no it had nothing to do with the subject. >> did you ever discuss with your father -- >> no -- >> meeting with fbi agents? >> no, i did not. >> have you been asked to testify before congress or turn over any documentation? >> i have hat not. >> do you think your brother-in-law jared kushner made mistakes by talking with russian businessmen with the ambassador of russia after the election? >> i don't think he did. i think that would be probably pretty common for any administration to have conversations, but i don't know the extent of any of those conversations so i can't comment in detail. >> a lot of people have talked about how your father is doing things differently in washington, d.c., doing it his way. some people of what wondered if he's too cozy with the russians. he brought in the foreign minister, the ambassador, into the oval office. not quick to criticize vladimir putin. do you understand why some people may be suspicious about that? >> he made it very clear early
on and even during the campaign, hey, if we can have a good relationship with perhaps the second-largest super power in the world, why not? now maybe we can't. but to not try and just make them the enemy seems very foolish. >> reporter: yesterday a federal contractor was arrested and charged with leaking top secret nsa unless about alleged russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to the news outlet "the intercept." her attorney saying she's a good person with no criminal history who was caught in a political whirlwind. this the latest in a series of leaking scandals that have plagued the white house. trump's sons questioning the loyalty among their father's team. are you satisfied with the team he has around him ligright now? >> i am, the immediate team. but i do think there's plenty in d.c., probably plenty still in the white house, plenty of hold-overs that aren't necessarily working in his best interests. >> you think there's people that
are actively working against him? >> i think without question. >> reporter: a few friendly faces from home, a constant in the west wing. what do you think about jared and ivanka in washington? do you think they're enjoying their time there? >> i think they're doing just what needs to be done like my father. >> do you wish he would have tapped you to go to the white house? >> i think in terms of personality, think ivanka's probably the right person to be there. >> reporter: with president donald trump in the oval, it's the sons who are now in charge of the family business. eric showing me around one of their properties just two weeks ago. you and your brother were involved in the campaign, do you miss that? that was your life for two years. >> i think i'll always fight together with family. do i miss politics? not really. >> reporter: but lessons from the campaign trail helping forge a new business path for the company. budget-friendly hotels built in trump country called "american idea." >> between eric, myself, we've stayed in every one of these hotels in every little market in the country. we saw there was a void missing. >> critics may say, american
idea, are you trying to make money off of politics? it has nothing to do with politics, we're trying to make money off a hotel brand we feel there's an underserved market in. >> reporter: as for their father and his role in the company -- >> they're not going to discuss it with me. >> reporter: eric says they do discuss bottom-line issues about the company with the president, including profit reports. >> we don't talk about activities of the business. we don't talk about what we're doing in the business. we just don't mix the separation -- >> showing profit reports doesn't blur the lines? >> no, you're not allowed to show that. the president of the united states has zero conflicts of interest, zero. >> reporter: despite that, alleged ties to fortunate governments continue to dog the trump family. this week reports a trump property received $270,000 from saudi arabia. the trump organization telling abc news, "we intend to donate the profits of this transaction at the end calendar year." and the brothers clear that the company will not expand overseas
while their father is in the white house. what was the international interest like after the election? >> we canceled more deals than you can possibly imagine. we said, he's won this thing. we can't do this, it's not going to look right. >> tens of millions, billions? >> hundreds of millions if not millions of dollars worth of deal wet canceled. >> reporter: it's at courses tleek where the trumps host charity events. but a day after we sat down with the brothers, "forbes" magazine reports hundreds of thousands of dollars in charity expenses went to the trump family miss despite eric saying many of the costs would be covered by the trumps. eric trump responding to sean hannity tonight. >> every $16.3 million for the greatest hospital in the world, st. jude, and i get attacked for it. >> reporter: a spokesman saying, contrary to recent reports, at no time did the trump organization profit in any way from the foundation or any of its activities. >> eric and donald trump jr. >> reporter: although they're
both private citizens, the brothers can't hide from the spotlight. >> the only people making decisions regarding the trump organization are eric and myself. >> dad? >> no, no. >> what's it like watching yourself on "saturday night live"? >> it's sort of funny. >> something that wasn't funny is what happened with kathy griffin. >> i was pretty disgusted. >> "a sitting president of the united states and his grown children and the first lady are" -- >> personally trying to ruin my life forever. >> everyone watching right now saw what happened. they saw my father's response, they saw the first lady's response about her soon and how it affected him. they saw my response. i don't think we've ever been so measured perhaps on a relative basis. then to run and claim victimhood -- she deserves everything that's coming to her. >> reporter: after his work on the campaign and that rousing rnc speech -- >> we'll have made america great again. >> we've been doing it a long time.
>> reporter: i have to wonder if don is eyeing a run himself. >> i think eventually if it was ever something, it would probably be more governorship or -- i don't want to shut anything out but right now i'm focused on what we're doing here. >> reporter: it's back to business but not before that picture-perfect ending only a trump could expect. >> i may not be old enough to vote but i'm a big fan of president trump. >> thank you. you hear that? hear that? i love this one. >> reporter: for "nightline" i'm tom llamas in new york. >> our thanks to tom. and on thursday, abc news will carry former fbi director james comey's testimony live with a special report beginning at 10:00 a.m. eastern. up next for us, behind the curtain of the hottest ticket in town. we're with the stars of the new broadway smash hit "dear evan hansen." later, there are two new clooneys in the world. what the happy family is saying tonight. unpredictability of a fe may weigh on your mind. thinking about what to avoid, where to go,
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it's ironic that a musical about people struggling to connect is connecting so strongly with audiences. "dear evan hansen" has taken broadway by storm and thrust its 23-year-old lead into superstardom and a tony nomination. here's abc's deborah roberts. ♪ ♪ snoes. >> reporter: it's anthem for anyone who's ever felt alone. ♪ when you're broken on the ground note. >> reporter: you will be found. the powerful message of the musical "dear evan hansen." the heart-wrenching show about teen anxiety, suicide, and the pressures of social media has taken broadway by storm.
♪ when you've fallen in the forest and there's nobody around ♪ ♪ do you ever really crash do you even make a sound ♪ >> reporter: for fans, 23-year-old ben platt, who plays evan, has become a hero. >> oh my gosh, you're so amazing! >> thank you. >> i think the reason the show and the character are so universal is because nobody escapes feeling like an outsider completely. >> reporter: the show's become a phenomenon, nominated for nine tonys, including best actor for platt, who many remember as the misfit turned singing sensation from "pitch perfect." ♪ now everybody knows i've got the magic ♪ ♪ true friends on a perfect day ♪ >> reporter: on stage he gives an emotionally charged transformation into a teen crippled with anxiety that leaves the audience in tears. >> at the end of the day, it's about people trying to figure
out how to connect with each other. in a society right now that is superficially people are connecting all the time in a million ways but that's making it harder to find the ones that are meaningful and that can validate you a human being, define you yols a human being. ♪ when it all feels so big >> reporter: we caught up with platt and costar rachel bay jones, also nominated for a tony, who plays his mom heidi, at the lamb's club blocks from the music box theater, where tickets are nearly impossible to snag. i was sandwiched between a teenage girl who was sobbing in a big guy in a camouflage hat who began sobbing. why has this hit such a nerve with parents, with kids, with people who feel sort of like outsiders? what is it? >> i feel like all of us have experienced feelings of isolation, of remorse, of guilt, of not being able to connect with each other, whether it's our family members or people in our community. and i think all of us need to be seen for who we are.
♪ buddy you and i 4 forever >> reporter: platt says conzaying all that emotion eight times a week leave him and cast members emotionally and physically exhausted. how do you find it? your manner ems, your tics, your singing, crying, you're singing while you're crying. how do you pull that off? >> you know, it's multiple answers. the main one being that eight of us are all a really tight-knit family and we hold each other up. >> reporter: hard to believe the powerful musical consists of only eight actors. >> yes, yes, everyone's pretty spent emotionally and physically. but the show ends on a really redemptive note and fills us back up and gives us hope. me and rachel get to go off stage and hug each other and that's helpful too, a nice button to the evening. ♪ when it all feels so big >> reporter: to lighten that emotional load, backstage a wall of jokes to help leave the sadness on stage.
like this one. how do crazy people go through the forest? they take a psychopath. >> reporter: rachel bay jones gave us a rare look behind the scenes. >> we're over the stage? >> we're tech atly over the stage. this is where all the guys, except ben and our understudies, have their dressing rooms. >> reporter: with where the cast hangs out before each performance. >> i'm such a fan of all of you. >> thank you so much. >> i'm so excited to see it again. >> i'm a fan of the show. >> well, you know. i had to bring it. >> reporter: platt doesn't socialize before the show. saving all his energy for the stage. >> this is where all of the magic preparation happens for ben. >> we won't bother ben. he's got a lot going on. >> i can hear him vocalizing. >> reporter: 30 minutes before showtime and a sold-out crowd. >> i always love this view, looking out at the audience, it's so gorgeous. >> reporter: outside fans are
already lining up. like these teens from utah. >> kind of like a signal of hope that eventually you will be found. and there's someplace for everyone anywhere and you just have to find it. >> reporter: the message of the show is spreading beyond those lucky enough to get tickets. ♪ when you fall in the forest there's nobody around ♪ ♪ you can really crash do you make a sound ♪ >> reporter: these youtube tributes a sample of the vast response the show is getting online. >> the most beautiful thing is the way people are responding. we really feel -- it's everything an artist could ever dream of. >> reporter: just days before the tony awards, platt is riding the wave. even getting his own caricature at broadway's famous sardy's restaurant. >> are you ready for, and the tony goes to? ben platt. >> i'm ready for that.
>> toy toy toy toy toy. no most of all it's just we have loved the piece since we started 3 1/2 years ago. we're trying to hold on to the ride and understand what's going on before it passes us by. so exciting. >> reporter: whatever happens on sunday night -- ♪ you will be found >> reporter: no doubt platt, jones, and the rest of the cast already feel like winners. what's your biggest hope for people as they leave this theet? >> hopefully people not being so hard on themselves and knowing in your darkest moments, when you find yourself in the pit where you can't say that you're happy with the person you see in the mirror, that you know that you're the farthest thing from alone in that. ♪ if you only look around you will be found ♪ >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm deborah roberts in new york. up next, is he the sexiest dad alive? george and amal clooney welcoming twins. their adorable baby names.
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two-time sexiest man alive. but he's no longer the cutest person in his family. >> i don't like eggs. >> why didn't you tell me before i made them? >> reporter: the on-screen dad now a real-life father to his own descendents. mr. and mrs. clooney expanding their family by two, their publicist confirming to abc news this morning amal and george welcomed ella and alexander clooney into their lives. all are healthy, happy, and doing fine. george is sedated and should recover in a few days. in february the oscar winner sat down with french tv to talk about his new unscripted role. fatherhood. >> it's exciting. and we're really happy and really excited. and it's going to be an adventure. >> reporter: make that a double adventure for the man once dubbed the ultimate bachelor. and that guy is on double diaper duty. thanks for watching abc news. and as