tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC January 31, 2018 3:30pm-4:00pm PST
tonight, the deadly train crash. more than 100 members of congress onboard. just hours after the president's state of the union, republicans on the train, including the speaker of the house, slamming into a truck. one killed, several injured. images from the scene. also breaking tonight, the fbi urging the white house tonight not to release a secret memo reportedly critical of the agency. the fbi citing grave concerns. and this moment, audio of the president late last night, what he said about releasing that memo. the deadly flu, and tonight, the new concern here over the supply of that rapid test used to diagnose patients. and tonight, word of a young mother of four from new hampshire, one of the newest victims. the arrest, a student at virginia tech. authorities said he had an assault rifle and was trying to get thousands of rounds of ammunition. what else he was looking for.
the drowning danger. tonight, americans on vacation, nine drownings in less than two weeks in the same area. and the deadly crash. the former nba player and a former "american idol" contestant who did not survive. good evening. and it's great to have you with us here on a very busy wednesday night. and we begin with that deadly train collision, onboard, more than 100 republican members of congress. that amtrak train was taking those lawmakers to a retreat, colliding with a garbage truck in virginia. it happened this morning, not long after the state of the union last night. the driver of the truck was killed. several lawmakers jumping in to help many of the injures on the scene. and several people tonight, including congressman jason lewis, were taken to the hospital. house speaker paul ryan among those onboard. and abc's linzie janis leads us off from the scene tonight. >> reporter: a train packed with dozens of lawmakers, their staffers and families on their way to a retreat today, slamming
into a truck in rural virginia, leaving one person did. >> all of a sudden had a big jolt, i didn't know what we hit. it knocked several people down. >> and then, the next thing i realized is that we were slowing down significantly and coming to a stop, and that's when we all knew we hit something. >> reporter: their train was heading from washington to west virginia when the accident occurred at 11:15 this morning. >> mass casualty incident, level one. train versus truck. >> reporter: the impact, 0 deliberating the truck, sending debris flying, smashing in the front of the train. north carolina representative mark walker capturing the carnage through the train window. lawmakers with medical experience springing into action, rushing to get to the three men who were in the truck. >> we took rotating turns on cpr on the one gentleman. >> we tried shocking him and just never, never could get him back, i'm afraid. >> reporter: senators jeff flake and bill cassidy helping carry this wounded passenger away on a strecther. five people, including minnesota
congressman jason lewis, who suffered a concussion, were sent to the hospital for evaluation. one in critical condition tonight. you can see investigators sifting through the wreckage of that garbage truck, and if you look in the distance, about a quarter mile in front of where the collision happened, you can see where the train finally came to a stop. those investigators now looking into why that garbage truck was on the tracks. the ntsb sending a go team to the site. >> and linzie janis with us live tonight from the scene of that crash. and linzie, those lawmakers did make it to the retreat. we learned a short time ago, the congressman who suffered a concussion has joined them? >> reporter: that reese right, david. that retreatment has now begun. congressman lewis was discharged from the hospital and has now joined his fellow lawmakers at the retreat. of course, most of these injured, including the person who died, the man who died, were in that truck. just a devastating scene here behind me. investigators still here now. david? >> all right, linzie janis leading us off tonight. now, to the other breaking headline from washington at this hour. the brewing showdown between the
president and his new fbi director, his hand-picked director, now urging the president not to release a secret them romemo reportedly c of the fbi. the president was overheard leaving the state of the union last night, telling a lawmaker he "100%" plans to release the memo. the fbi tonight saying it has grave concerns about the accuracy of the memo, and here's abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl. >> reporter: it's a showdown between the president and the man he chose to lead the fbi. at issue? the controversial classified memo accusing the justice department of political bias. as he left his state of the union address last night, the president was caught on camera telling a republican congressman that he'd allow the memo to be made public. >> let's release the memo. >> oh yeah, don't worry, 100%. >> reporter: this morning, chief of staff john kelly told fox news it will happen soon. >> did you see it? >> i did. >> what do you think? >> it will be released here
pretty quick, i think and the whole world can see it. >> reporter: hours later, the fbi issued an extraordinary statement directly challenging the president and his chief of staff, saying the fbi had been given only a limited chance to review the memo, and, quote, "we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy." the memo was written by republicans on the house intelligence committee, chaired by california republican devin nunes, a close ally of president trump. sources briefed on the memo tell abc news, it accuses the justice department of acting inappropriately when it obtained a surveillance warrant for a former trump campaign adviser suspected of being a russian agent. >> there may have been malfeasance by people at the fbi. >> reporter: but democrats on the intelligence committee say the republican memo is misleading, because it cherry-picks the facts. deputy attorney general rosenstein and fbi director christopher wray met with chief
of staff kelly at the white house earlier this week to urge that the memo not be released. it's highly unusual for the fbi to publicly contradict the white house, but wray made it clear in his confirmation hearing that he is willing to stand up to the president. >> you have to be willing to quit or be fired at a moment's notice in order to stand up for what you think is right. >> so, let's get to jon karl, live at the white house tonight. and jon, we know that president trump fired former fbi director james comey. he hand-picked the new director, wl christopher wray. now, this battle between the president and his new director. all this playing out in public. how is this good for the president to be at odds with an fbi director all over again? >> reporter: it's not good, david. and people close to the president take wray at his word when it comes to what you heard him same at his confirmation hearing about being willing to resign. now, there is no indication that wray would resign in this case, but the possibility of losing 2000 fbi directors in the course of one year, that would be
troubling for the morale at the fbi, it would be politically de devastating and it would be unprecedented. >> jon, thank you. one more developing headline right now involving the president. the man who robert mueller reports to, deputy a.g. ra.g. r. rosenstein. abc's chief justice correspondent pierre thomas from washington. >> reporter: the president has been accused of demanding loyalty before. has he done it again? this time, with the man in charge of special counsel robert mueller. mueller reports to deputy attorney general rod rosentein, because jeff session recused himself from the russia investigation. and now, a source telling abc news, during a meeting just weeks ago, the president asked rosenstein if he was on his team. and allegedly also wanted to know about the direction of the russia probe. questions that seem to surprise rosenstein. wiithin days of that meeting, rosenstein defended the special
counsel in front of the american people. >> have you seen good cause to fire special counsel mueller? >> no. >> reporter: critics say president trump's question to rosenstein, "are you on my team?", is part of a pattern. former fbi director james comey claims the president told him, "i need loyalty. i expect loyalty." >> he asked specifically of loyalty in the context of asking me to stay. >> reporter: and just last week, the president allegedly asked former fbi acting director andrew mccabe who he voted for. >> did you ask mccabe who he voted for? did you ask him that? >> i don't think so. no, i don't think i did. >> you did not? >> i don't know what's the big deal with that. >> pierre thomas with us tonight, and obviously, pierre, we know mccabe stepping aside as deputy fbi director just this week. >> reporter: david, mccabe's departure was another sign of the mounting tension between the white house and the justice department. people inside the fbi and justice department are waiting to see how the president responds to these new
bombshells. the question tonight -- how long can this tension continue? david? >> pierre thomas with us, as well tonight. next, this evening, new concerns over the deadly flu epidemic. doctors in the northeast say the rapid flu tests that help diagnose know quickly are now in short supply, as well. and in new hampshire tonight, a mother of four dying of flu complications. she had decided against taking ant anti-viral medication. here's abc's linsey davis, on this again tonight. >> reporter: hospitals and clinics across the country now trying to stave off what officials are calling the worst one of the worst flu seasons in nearly a decade with the best defense possible -- free flu shots. in new york -- would you categorize this as a severe flu season? >> yes, it is severe now. it certainly is severe now. >> reporter: nearly 8,000 confirmed cases of the flu last week in new york state. close to 2,000 patients hospitalized. this doctor tells us those rapid tests used to quickly diagnose the flu are in short supply in
the new york area. >> most urgent care centers don't have them and the major suppliers can't provide them right now. >> i'm just feeling exhausted. you know, i still got achy pains right now. >> reporter: ronald townsend was just diagnosed with the flu today. >> yeah, i took the flu shot this year and i caught the flu. >> reporter: one of the latest victims, 35-year-old amanda king, a mother of four from new hampshire. >> she was just getting rest and fluids and doing everything she thought was right. >> reporter: her family says she didn't take anti-viral medication because she worried about the side effects. two days later, she got sicker. she died on the way to the hospital. >> this has been such a horrific flu season. we know doctors recommend the ant anti-viral drugs, to lessen the symptoms of the flu. and linsey, i wanted to get back to that patient who had a flu shot, still got the flu. doctors have told us that even if you have the shot and still get it, that the vaccine often helps knock down the severity of
the flu once you do get it? >> reporter: that's correct, david. doctors say even when you get the flu shot, if it doesn't prevent the flu, it can lessen the see theirty of the flu and keep up out of the hospital. david? >> all right, linsey davis with us tonight. next tonight, authorities arresting a freshman at virginia tech for trying to buy 5,000 rounds of ammunition. that school was, of course, the scene of a mass shooting in 2007, when 32 people were killed. here's abc's steve osunsami with what we're now learning. >> reporter: this is the 19-year-old freshman at virginia tech who's in jail tonight. yune-song zow is from china, and because he's not a u.s. citizen, it's against the law in virginia for him to own the assault rifle police say he was training with at this shooting range last friday. >> it is really scary, but in the end, that's why we have the police. >> reporter: detectives say they've been watching him for weeks and were called when he removed an ar-15 from his student gun locker.
police say that him using that rifle with a large clip is what breaks the law. >> thank god the police were able to find him and everything. but as a personal reaction, it was kind of overwhelming just thinking back to what happened several years ago and just that actually could be another reality. >> reporter: campus police report that zow not only had a rifle, but say he was also trying buy 5,000 rounds of ammo, was looking into bulletproof vests, and had bought himself an old police vehicle that still has the markings and a police push bumper. his attorney tonight says, "there was never any threat to the community." and in statements, both the university and campus police say the same. students are much more concerned. >> students deserve to know these kinds of things on campus because we're the ones that live there. >> reporter: zow has a bond hearing tomorrow. he has not yet entered a plea. david? >> steve, thank you. the statele of the union address now behind him, president trump now faces a second looming deadline to avoid another government shutdown and along with it, the battle over immigration reform. democrats with what has been described as a mostly silent protest during the state of the
union last night. minority leader nancy pelosi there. the white house today saying that pelosi should smile more often. but she wasn't when she heard the president say, quote, americans are dreamers, too, a direct reference to the battle over the so-called dreamers. here's abc's senior white house correspondent cecilia vega tonight. >> reporter: not known for bridging the divide, tonight, president trump's push for bipartisan unity falling flat with democrats. >> i call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people. >> reporter: on one side of the aisle, applause. on the other, minority leader nancy pelosi saying it all without actually uttering a single word. the white house press secretary today had some advice. >> i think she should smile a lot more often. i think the country would be better for it. >> reporter: democrats were hardly smiling when president trump turned to immigration. the deadline to save the
dreamers fast approaching. president trump's offer? in exchange for his border wall and tough new restrictions on legal immigration, a path to citizenship for nearly 2 million of those undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children. but that olive branch to dreamers followed by this -- >> americans are dreamers, too. >> reporter: his misleading claim about legal family migration then met with boos. >> under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives. under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children. >> reporter: citizens and green card holders can petition to bring their relatives, but entry is not automatic or unlimited. >> cecilia vega with that fact check for us tonight. and cecilia, the president is calling on republicans and democrats to come together, to set politics aside, were his words last night, to predict the
dreamers. but today, democrats not sounding happy with what they heard last night. >> reporter: you saw nancy pelosi there, stone-faced. listen to what she said today about what the president does. quote, he brings tears to the eyes to the statue of liberty. the white house may have been hoping, david, that speech would unite congress, but those reviews from the democrats are in -- they are not onboard. >> all right, cecilia vega with us tonight. thank you, cecilia. one more headline from d.c. tonight. the justice department today filing to drop corruption charges against new jersey senator bob menendez. his trial ended in a hung jury in november. there's still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this wednesday. the deadly crash. the former nba player and a former "american idol" contestant who did not survive. the drowning danger. and tonight, americans on vacation. nine drownings in less than two weeks, all in the same area. and that moment, the preside president-elect and the new first lady at the white house, and for the first time tonight, former first lady michelle obama on the moment and the gift and
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prevagen. the name to remember. next tonight here, an alarming headline from hawaii. nine drowning deaths in less than two weeks now, all near the same area. and here's abc's kayna whitworth. >> reporter: tonight, a dramatic spike in drowning deaths off several maui beaches that officials are calling unprecedented. >> male party pulled from the water. cpr in progress. >> reporter: nine dead in less than two weeks. and according to authorities, five of those tour imss snorkeling in the picturesque waters. >> energy cpr still in progress. >> reporter: 50-year-old bryan beyer from the bay area was snorkeling by himself in water that was just knee deep, 15 feet from shore, when bystanders noticed him face down in the water. >> go out with a buddy. stay close together. watch each other. if somebody wants to dive down under water, somebody should stay on the surface. >> reporter: experts say swim r swimmers should know their
limits, take frequent breaks and get out of the water when you feel uncomfortable. experts also recommend getting fitted for your snorkel and mask been your vacation. oftentimes, rented equipment doesn't fit properly. david? >> kayna, thank you. when we come bam here, that deadly crash involving a former nba player and a former "american idol" contestant. we're back in a moment. my 30-year marriage... ...my 3-month old business... plus...what if this happened again? i was given warfarin in the hospital, but wondered, was this the best treatment for me? so i made a point to talk to my doctor. he told me about eliquis. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots and reduces the risk of them happening again. not only does eliquis treat dvt and pe blood clots. eliquis also had significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. eliquis had both... ...and that turned around my thinking. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve
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>> a frame? >> it with us a frame. well, there's all this protocol. i mean, this is like a state visit, so, they tell you, you're going to do this, they're going to stand here, never before do you get this gift. i'm sort of like, what -- what am i supposed to do with this gift, and -- >> what do you do with the gift? former first lady saying former president obama put the gift inside before the pictures were taken. when we come back tonight, so many of you responding when that basketball player not even looking at the basket did this. you are not going to believe what he's done now. we'll be 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 connect with medical teams in near real time...
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finally tonight here, america strong. as if one half court heave wasn't enough. we first introduced to james meiergerd from west point, nebraska, last week. he has down syndrome. and for as long as he and his family can remember, he has loved playing basketball. his high school basketball team, the cadets, love him. >> hi, david! >> reporter: james team sending us that message. >> he brings the team together. he's awesome to watch. he really is the heart and soul of this basketball team. >> reporter: so, it came as no surprise on that gameday during halftime when james wanted to show the home crowd his new shot -- he'd be practicing it for weeks -- his back to the basket and from half court -- the crowd roars, the community on its feet. and we weren't the only ones blown away by it. the harlem globetrotters, too. >> somebody here became super famous and he's always been famous. come on, buddy. >> reporter: the team paying james and his school a visit
this week. >> he's the best example, you know, of no matter what, you can do whatever you want to do if you put your heart and you put your devotion into it. >> reporter: teaching james one of their own signature tricks. and then, a challenge. >> so, maybe me and you are going to try to make this shot again. what do you think? >> let's do it. >> you're going to do it? >> reporter: james was game. you want to do it that way? >> yeah. >> yeah, that's your shot? >> reporter: the whole school watching again. unbelievable! james does it again. can you believe it? right there with the globetrotters. james, you're a rock star. thanks for watching, i'm david muir. i hope to see you right back here tomorrow. good night.
it looks like shelter in place. you didn't know whether an atom bomb went off or it's a smell from the local compost facility. they don't give you any information. >> richmond's mayor sounds an alarm of his own one day after a metal scrap yard fire forced everyone to shelter in place. >> officials in richmond clearly are not happy today. this map shows a broad area where residents were ordered to shelter in place because of the fire that broke out in the yard at south fourth street exactly 23 hours ago. >> laura anthony has more. >> reporter: this is what it looked like just after 5:00 p.m. tuesday as thick black smoke sailed into the sky over simms middle management. some nearby residents say they did not receive any official
notification, at least not right away. >> people did not know what was going on, when you see a big black cloud like that, it's a fantastic thing to see. >> i literally couldn't breathe. >> mayor butts said he couldn't breathe even before he received the warning on his cell phone. >> this warning system has been around now for about 25 years and it's never worked. >> reporter: here's what it looks like from drone view 7. but mayor tom butt says he did not get official word from the county for nearly an hour after black smoke was billowing in the skies above. >> fire captain rico says it's his job to alert the fire department after an