tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC March 13, 2018 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
tonight, several developing stories as we come on the air. the major shakeup. president trump firing his secretary of state in a tweet. rex tillerson is out tonight. what we've now learned, and then, the phone call from air force one hours after the tweet. also tonight, the major storm. the third nor'easter in less than two weeks hitting at this hour. the blizzard, treacherous driving, tractor trailers overturning. the deadly bus crash down a steep embankment. children on their way back to school after a trip to disney world. we do have breaking developments tonight in the case of that possible serial bomber. three bombs, two dead. and what authorities have just revealed a authority time ago. and the family horror onboard an united flight from houston to new york. the family says the flight attendant insisted that they place their dog in the overhead.
the pet did not survive the flight. and what the airline is now saying tonight. good evening. and it's great to have you with us here on a very busy tuesday night. that massive storm hitting at this hour, but first tonight, the storm swirling inside president trump's cabinet. president trump firing secretary of state rex tillerson, and doing so in a tweet. the president firing tillerson, then calling them several hours later from air force one. the president naming cia director mike pompeo as the new secretary of state. and look at the wall tonight. at the top there, tillerson fired. he wasn't the only one fired today. the undersecretary of state steve goldstein, who tweeted that tillerson did not know that the firing was coming, he was fired, too. in addition to the van caseys that exist at the top of the state department. so, we begin tonight with abc's white house correspondent jonathan karl. >> reporter: president trump is in california today, reviewing prototypes of the border wall he
hopes to build. a trip overshadowed by what he did early this morning, firing his secretary of state, on twitter, no less. "mike pompeo, director of the cia, will become our new secretary of state," the president declared. "thank you to rex tillerson for his service!" as he left the white house, the president explained he just didn't see eye-to-eye with his secretary of state. >> rex and i have been talking about this for a long time. we got along actually quite well but we disagreed on things. >> reporter: as for his new choice for top diplomat? >> tremendous energy, tremendous intellect. we're always on the same wave length. >> reporter: tillerson's day began flying back from africa, landing in washington at 4:00 a.m. at 8:44, seeing the tweet that the president had fired him. and minutes after that, his spokesman putting out a statement saying tillerson had wanted to stay on the job, adding, "the secretary did not speak to the president and is
unaware of the reason for the firing, but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve." shortly after that, tillerson's spokesman was fired, too, and a dejected tiller sob sa ertiller, eventually, come from the president, hours after he was fired. >> i received a call today from the president of the united states a little after noontime from air force one. >> reporter: the timing of the firing was a shock, but it's no secret the president has clashed with his secretary of state for months. on the iran nuclear deal, on the paris climate agreement and, most dramatically, on north korea. tillerson was blindsided by the president's hasty decision to agree to meet with kim jong-un, telling reporters hours earlier -- >> we're a long ways from negotiations. >> reporter: and in october, trump publicly mocked tillerson for suggesting talks with north korea, saying tillerson was, quote, "wasting his time trying to negotiate with little rocket man." and last summer, tillerson reportedly called the president a moron, and then refused to
deny making the comment. >> i'm not going to deal with petty stuff like that. >> reporter: that prompted trump to call tillerson weak. >> sometimes i'd like him to be a little bit tougher, but other than that, we have a very good relationship. >> reporter: and the president even suggested, quote, "i guess we'll have to compare iq tests. and i can tell you who is going to win." adding to all the drama, the president today hinted there may be more firings to come. >> i'm really at a point where we're getting very close to having the cabinet and other things that i want. >> so, let's get to jon karl with us live tonight from the white house. and jon, as you know, tillerson today did not mention president trump by name other than mentioning that phone call from air force one. but he did urge state department officials to move forward with, quote, honesty and integrity, were the words he chose today. there's another shakeup to get to tonight, after the departures of hope hicks, rob porter, a third aide, you've learned, escorted out of the white house? >> reporter: this was one of the very few originals left, david.
john mcentee, the president's personal assistant, or body man, seen at his side virtually every day on all of those trips, late yesterday, he was escorted off the white house grounds, not even allowed to pack up his desk or to go and retrieve his jacket. we're told it was problems with his security clearance. but david, just minutes after news of his firing broke, we learned that he's been hired to work at the trump re-election campaign. >> all right, jon karl with us live tonight. jon, thank you. with those vacancies at the west wing and the state don't tonight, we do have one question tonight. we go to martha raddatz. martha, you covered the state department for years. let's look at that list of vacancies we showed at the top here. the two new firings and then all the vacancies that exist. have you seen the >> reporter: it's a ghosttown.
there is no confirmed assistant for east asia, no ambassador for south korea and no special representative from north korea policy. he left just before the meeting was announced, so, all of the key people at state responsible for the region are in acting or interim positions. but maybe mike pompeo can change all of that. >> speaking of mike pompeo, the choice to succeed him to run the cia will be gina haspel, the first woman to run the spy agency. >> reporter: gina haspel was in charge of one of the cia black sites where they did so-called enhanced interrogation, including waterboarding of al qaeda operatives abu sa bayda. she is no doubt going to be asked about that during con for make hearings. david? >> martha raddatz, thank you. also at this hour, the massive storm hitting right now. the third nor'easter to slam into the east coast in less than two weeks. blizzard conditions across new england at this hour, several big rig accidents blocking
highways, including i-290 in slewsberry, massachusetts. two feet of know in new england. winds gusting more than 80 miles per hour. blizzard conditions. and abc's adrienne bankert is in marshfield tonight. >> reporter: tonight, wicked weather. the third nor'easter in less than two weeks arrives in boston, as a full blown blizzard. >> if you're out there traveling on the streets of boston today, be very careful. >> look at the pile of the snow that these snow plows are pushing already. and it takes up lane and a half. >> reporter: in marshfield, the storm surge nearly wall slows the few drivers daring to risk venturing out in these coastal towns. live power lines dance in the wind. gusts above 80 miles an hour in some places. power lines arc in orleans, starting fires in sandwich. >> reporter: we are on the south side of sandwich. this giant pine tree has actually fallen over and it was
caught by the power lines. >> reporter: outages hit nearly a quarter of a million customers across the commonwealth. troopers urge residents to stay off the roads. >> not much traffic out here. if you are home, stay there. if you have to go out, take it slow. >> reporter: tractor trailers jackknife on multiple interstates. on the mass pike, the speed limit reduced to just 20 miles per hour. >> that is a truck that has flipped onto its side, right on the pike. obviously, a scary situation out here and a testament to just how slippery the roads are. >> reporter: air travel not any easier. boston's airport, a ghost town. about 75% of flights canceled. crews use fire to keep commuter rail switches from freezing. and flow trains to keep the tracks clear. >> let's get to adrienne, live tonight in a windy and wet marshfield, massachusetts. we're really thinking about the people of new england tonight, because we know officials have told you, it could be once again several days before the power comes back.
>> reporter: yes, david. they're calling this a multi-day restoration. residents are weary, so are crews. they've been working nonstop through these three nor'easters. now, residents in coastal towns like marshfield, they are watching the tide here and it is still snowing. we could see another half a foot of snow overnight. david? >> wow, those waves churning water behind you. get back inside, adrienne. thank you. let's get to rob marciano. a bit of dafrnt scene, as people head home here, rob. >> reporter: certainly is, new york relatively unscathed, but eastern new england, as you saw, still getting pounded with that blizzard right now. the radar still thick with snow, the winds are howling, in some cases, gusting over 80 miles an hour. we'll get 6 to 12 inches, as adrienne said, tonight. behind that, cold blustery snow showers all day long for much of the northeast. that cold air goes all the way down into the deep south once again. freeze watches and warnings with temps down near freezing. teens for wind chills. and this active pattern continues. dare i say, the potential for
another nor'easter, the beginning of next week. david? >> all right, we'll be tracking that, as well, unfortunately. rob, thank you. we're going to turn next tonight to the deadly bus crash in alabama. a high school band traveling back home from disney world to houston. police say the driver of the charter bus was killed when the bus veered off interstate 10 there, plunging down a 50-foot ravine. there are multiple injuries tonight, and here's abc's steve osunsam osunsami. >> i'm going to need some help. we got a full charter bus, multiple, multiple injuries. >> reporter: police and fire who raced to the scene are still trying to figure out tonight why the driver of this tour bus lost control. add screaming children to this image of tossed pillows and stuffed animals, and this is what they saw. >> we need some blankets and some gloves. anything warm. we're getting hypothermia setting in. >> reporter: the bus was on the way home to texas, carrying the channelview high school band, seen here. they had just finished a trip to disney world, when police say their driver ran over a median and fell 50 feet down a ravine
on i-10 near the alabama/florida state line. the driver, seen here, was killed. 37 people, most of them students, had to be rushed to the closest hospitals. some had to be physically cut out of the bus. >> didn't know exactly how many, many two or three that had to be cut out. >> reporter: our station in houston was there when one of the students called home. >> some students were stuck under seats, some were on top of other students. >> reporter: federal investigators have a team looking into this tonight. the tour bus operator says that their driver, who died here, was a long-time employee and that they're cooperating with authorities. david? >> steve osunsami again tonight. we have new developments here in the urgent search for a possible serial bomber in austin, texas. as we reported last night, three package bombs exploding, two people killed. those packages left on doorsteps. and what we learned late today. abc's alex perez in austin. >> reporter: investigators in austin tonight desperately chased a suspected serial
bomber. >> we are going to follow up on every lead. >> reporter: anxiety gripping the city after three packages exploded, killing two. >> everybody's on guard, everybody's real suspicious if there's any packages. >> reporter: emergency officials flooded with more than 265 calls of suspicious packages. >> package near the ground, or on the ground near the mailboxes. >> please advise her not to mess with it. >> reporter: this is the home where the first bombing occurred back on march 2nd. authorities tell abc news the explosive devices were constructed with nuts, bolts and nails, generating shrapnel. and were triggered to explode when picked up. >> the fact that they have not only been able to build these bombings, but then travel with them and deploy them to the target locations without them exploding shows they do have a certain level of sophistication. >> reporter: and tonight, the youngest victim identified. 17-year-old draylon mason, a dedicated student with a passion for music.
the reward for any information leading to an arrest in this case, now up to $65,000. david? >> alex perez tonight. alex, thank you. overseas at this hour, to england, and 24 hours after british prime minister theresa may demanded that russia answer for the nerve agent attack on a former russian spy and his daughter, a new mystery unfolding tonight. another person dead. authorities say russian exile nick lay glush cover found dead in his home. counterterrorism officers have taken charge of the investigation as a precaution tonight. back home now, and to tonight's pivotal special election in pennsylvania. the high stakes battle for congressional seat in a swing state and in a district won by president trump by double digits. the president campaigning for the republican, former vice president joe biden for the democrat. and what this could all mean for november. abc's chief national correspondent tom llamas is there tonight. >> reporter: tonight, a house race in this southwest pennsylvania district could set the tone for the midterms. polls show the race between
republican rick saccone and democrat connor lamb neck and neck, even though republicans have held this seat for 15 years. >> i hate to put this pressure on you, rick, they're all watching. because i won this district, like, by 22 points. it's a lot. >> go out and make sure he wins! >> reporter: on lamb's side, former vice president joe biden. i asked lamb today about his sudden rise. do you think this is because people really like you or do you think they're really upset with the president? >> hopefully, it's because they like me and they believe what i've told them, which is that i'll work really hard for every single one of them no matter what party they are. >> reporter: in the last hours of this campaign, saccone delivering this baseless claim about democrats. >> they have a hatred for our president. i tell you, many of them have a hatred for our country. and i tell you some more, my wife and i saw it again today, they have a hatred for god. >> reporter: i asked him about this after he voted today. do you believe democrats hate this country and hate god? he wouldn't answer. >> no answer to you, tom.
but you did catch up with both candidates today in this high stakes election? >> reporter: that's right, saccone answered my question about president trump. he said he's doing a great job and they love him in western pennsylvania. as for lamb, for his part, he told me he's not afraid of the word compromise. he will work with republicans if it helps the people in his district. david? >> tom llamas, thank you. and to florida tonight, and news this evening about high school shooting suspect nikolas cruz. prosecutorials filing formal notice to seek the death penalty for the shooting rampage, killing 17 people at stoneman douglas high school. cruz is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow. his attorney says cruz is still willing to plead glt to avoid the death penalty. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this tuesday. the bail bond agent opening fire, shooting a man she was trying to take into custody. her son was right there in the room. and what a court has now ruled. also, the family horror on board a united flight. what happened after a flight attendant told them to put the family dog in the overhead. that pet did not survive. how the airline is responding
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saying this, quote, "never should have occurred. pets should never be placed in the overhead bin. we assume full responsibility." 18 animals died while being transported by united airlines last year. it carried 138,000. its rate of animals dying, hurt or lost, more than twice that of any of is competitors. exprts say if you want to travel with a pet, know the rules and talk to the airline before you arrive at the airport. david? >> david kerley, thank you. when we come back here tonight, it's not just the nor'easter hitting tonight. a solar storm set to hit. what you'll see. and that mother, she was a bail bond agent. she opened fire, shooting a man she was trying to take into custody. her son standing right next to her. what he then says to his mother, ent. moment. stopping for more pills right now. only aleve has the strength to stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. tylenol can't do that.
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finally tonight, what happened five years ago today. it was five years ago today, pope francis chosen as the next pope. we remember that night, a limo waiting, but he instead chose the van, rigid with the cardinals who had just named him pope. returning to the hotel he'd be staying at to pay the bill himself. tonight, in a new documentary, pope francis addressing questions of inequality, war and peace. there are the more personal moments, visiting the sick, visiting the forgotten. celebrating mass. and speaking directly to the camera, he urges everyone to learn to listen. the people's pope showing his humor when it comes to families, he says there are those disagreements.
>> reporter: laughter when ta talking about the in-laws. it was that humor and kindness that we remember during our trip to the vatican. we told him we were honored and we remember asking him this before his historic trip to the u.s. do you have a message for america before your visit, a parting message? he told me, "i'm filled with hope to meet you all. i ask you, please pray for me." and in this new documentary, turning the corner in our nation's capital. in his trademark compact car. pope
>> president trump pulling no punches on his visit to california. >> you have sanctuary cities where you have criminals living in the sanctuary cities and the mayor of oakland goes out and notifies when i.c.e. is going out to pick them up. >> with that, we say good afternoon. now the president is in california to get a firsthand look at prototypes for his border wall. this is the first visit to california since he took office more than a year ago. >> the president just arrived in los angeles a short time ago this evening. he will attend a re-election fund-raiser, after he talked about boosting defense spending at a rally with u.s. marines at
the air base in san diego. >> and our most powerful weapon, our most beautiful weapon, our most brilliant weapon. you. in 2019, we want to give you your largest pay raise in over a decade. >> part of president trump's visit to california has pocus f on his border wall with mexico. >> reporter: president trump's visit to california met by supporters and protesters. >> are they paying for that wall? >> no! >> reporter: this is the president's first visit to the state after taking office and comes just one week after the justice department announced its plans to sue california over federal immigration enforcement efforts. the president