tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC April 10, 2018 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
tonight, several developing stories as we come on the air. does president trump have the power to fire robert mueller? what the white house said late today. the president now furious over the fbi raid targeting his personal lawyer. tonight, we have new reporting here, the moment fbi agents showed up at the door. facing the heat. the crush of cameras facebook ceo mark zuckerberg. his message tonight to millions of americans who are on facebook, and the griling today on capitol hill. you will hear what he was asked. will there be u.s. military action against syria, and when? what we've learned tonight, with a u.s. destroyer now in the eastern mediterranean, with missile strikes possible from submarines and b-2 bombers. martha raddatz standing by. >> the plane crash on a well-known golf course, just after takeoff, several dead. escaping the flames.
the young girls, dancers, forced to jump for their lives. and the carjacking. the woman accused of stealing a car with two children in the backseat. racing for the mexico border. the girl girl's call to 911 fro backseat. good evening. and it's great to have you with us here on a very busy tuesday night. and we begin with the president, furious over the fbi raid on his personal attorney, and this question tonight -- does the president have the power to fire the special cown semi, robert mueller? the white house late today saying the president certainly believes he does. it comes 24 hours after we learned of the raid on attorney michael cohen's home, his office and his hotel room. tonight, we have new reporting here on what they were looking for, and the president calling the raid "an attack on our country." abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl leading us off. >> reporter: in the wake of the surprise raid on his lawyer's office, president trump is now
openly musing about what once seemed unthinkable. firing special counsel robert mueller. >> why don't i just fire mueller? well, i think it's a disgrace, what's going on, we'll see what happens, but i think it's really a sad situation, when you look at what happened, and many people have said, you should fire him. >> reporter: does the president believe he has the power to fire special counsel robert mueller? >> certainly believes he has the power to do so. >> reporter: but there's real doubt about that. justice department regulations say the special counsel, quote, can be removed from office only by the personal action of the attorney general. since jeff sessions recused himself, the acting attorney general in this case is his deputy, rod rosenstein. so, it's unclear what exactly the president can do. what is clear, the president is furious the fbi raided the home, office and hotel room of his long-time personal attorney, michael cohen. >> and it's a disgrace. it's frankly a real disgrace. it's an attack on our country in
a true sense. it's an attack on what we all stand for. >> reporter: the white house is standing by those words today. in what way is an fbi raid on michael cohen's office an attack on our country? >> i think the president has been clear that he thinks that this has gone too far. >> reporter: that accounts to an attack on our country? >> again, i think the president has been clear what his position is. >> reporter: the president's closest confidants tell us he is now less inclined to be interviews by mueller. something he has repeatedly pledged to do, even under oath. his anger is also aimed at attorney general sessions, who recused himself from the russia investigation. >> he should have certainly let us know if he was going to recuse himself, and we would have used a -- put a different attorney general in. so, he made, what i consider to be a very terrible mistake for the country. but you'll f >> reporter: sessions was at the white house today, but to celebrate the college football champions, not to meet with the president.
>> mr. attorney general, have you spoken with the president today? >> hey, not today. roll tide. >> reporter: republican leaders in congress have a blunt message for the president. do not fire the special counsel. >> he shouldn't be removed from the office. he should be allowed to finish the job. >> i think the president's too smart to fire mr. mueller. if he did, it wouldn't end the investigation. >> let's get to jon karl, live at the white house tonight. and jon, sarah sanders telling you today, the president does believe he has the power to fire the special cown semi. many asking if that's the case, and you followed up with the white house tonight. >> reporter: the white house has not offered a spe sichic legal rationale for that yet, but there is a real debate over whether or not the president has the authority to fire the special cown semi. on one hand, you saw the justice department regulations that say clearly, only the attorney general or acting attorney general can fire him. but there are some legal experts that say those are justice department regulations and therefore apply to the justice department, not to the president
himself. >> all right, jon karl at if white house for us tonight. jon, thank you. we are learning more tonight about that raid on the president's personal attorney, and the moment the fbi showed up at his door. michael cohen himself describing to abc news how it went down. here's abc's keira phillips. >> reporter: tonight, the president's long-time personal attorney, michael cohen, is now at the center of the storm. his office, his hotel room, his home, all raided. abc news has learned it began at 7:30 monday morning. cohen was inside the new york city hole tell room where he's staying when fbi agents suddenly showed up at the door. cohen telling abc news the fbi agents didn't storm in, that they simply knocked on the door. no s.w.a.t. teams, no guns drawn. he described the operation as "respectful" and "courteous." but it was clear the fbi agents were there for a reason. because this was a very rare move, to raid someone's personal
lawyer. and in this case, the president's. seizing electronic devices, phones and financial documents dating back to 2013. tonight, a source who saw the search warrant telling abc news cohen is being investigated for possible bank and wire fraud, after that $130,000 payment to porn star stormy daniels. paying for her silence just 11 days before the election. daniels claims she had an affair with the president in 2006. >> it was entirely consensual. >> oh, yes, yes. >> reporter: something the white house has denied. just five days ago, the president broke his public silence on daniels, saying he didn't know anything about michael cohen's payment to her. >> did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no, no. what else? >> why did michael cohen make it if there was no truth to her allegations? >> you have to ask michael cohen.
michael is my attorney. and you'll have to ask michael. >> reporter: cohen has said he came up with the money using a home equity line of credit. and he claims he didn't inform his own client, the future president. investigators are tracing his steps, how the money was transferred to a shell company and then to an attorney in beverly hills. critics argue cohen might have also broken campaign finance law. that the $130,000 was in essence a campaign contribution aimed at helping trump win. a contribution never disclosed. and tonight, "the new york times" is also reporting the fbi was hunting for something else. documents related to the payment to another woman, former playboy model karen mcdougall, who claims she also had an affair with mr. trump. she was paid by "the national enquirer" for her story that was never printed. what's known as catch and kill.
>> there were real feelings between the two of us, not just myself, not just him. there was a real relationship there. >> reporter: abc news has learned monday's raids took place after special counsel robert mueller uncovered information about potentially criminal conduct, but because it was not about russia, he alerted acting attorney general rod rosenstein. he then alerted the u.s. attorney's office in the southern district of new york, who looked at the same material and decided they needed to act and quickly. tonight, the white house, when pressed, would not say if cohen still works for the president. >> does michael cohen still represent the president? >> i'm not sure. i'd refer you to michael cohen on that. >> and kira phillips is here with us tonight. and you pointed out there how rare this is to raid an attorney's office, let alone the president's. what drove this? >> reporter: the fact that they showed up at his office, at his home and even the hotel room
where he was staying, pretty clear that investigators were concerned that evidence could be destroyed. >> in the meantime, you saw the president tweet today, he tweeted that attorney/client privilege is dead. >> reporter: look, they can only go in and search for what they're looking for. cohen's activity. everything else is protected. however, if they come across evidence that michael cohen and the president of the united states were conspiring on something else, that could be fair game. >> all right, abc's kira phillips with us tonight. kira joining the team and it's great to have you. >> reporter: great to be here. we move on tonight, and across town in washington, it was mark zuckerberg feeling the heat. what he said today to congress, and to the american people. to the millions who are on facebook. you're about to hear zuckerberg grilled by members of the u.s. senate, asked about your personal information, gi gettin into the wrong hands. abc's mary bruce was right there in the room. >> reporter: embattled facebook ceo mark zuckerberg entered a packed hearing room, stepping into the congressional hot seat
for the first time. the 33-year-old, who invited billions to trust him with their personal information on his social network, began with an apology. >> we didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. and it was my mistake, and i'm sorry. >> reporter: but senators weren't satisfied. >> after more than a decade of promises to do better, how is today's apology different? >> so, we have made a lot of mistakes in running the company. >> reporter: zuckerberg was grilled about why cambridge analytica, hired by the 2016 trump campaign, was able to improperly harvest the personal information of 87 million facebook users. >> were these people, the 87 million people, users, concentrated in certain states, are you able to figure out where they're from? >> i do not have that information with me. >> but you -- >> we can follow up with yours off. >> okay, because as we know, the
election was close and it was only thousands of votes in certain states. >> reporter: again and again he was pressed over whether facebook protects its users privacy. >> mr. zuckerberg, would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night. >> um -- ah -- no. >> i think that maybe what this is all about, your right to privacy. >> reporter: on russian interference in the election, he admits they were slow to respond. nearly 146 million users were exposed to ads planted by russian groups. >> this is an arm's race. they're going to keep on getting better at this and we need to invest in getting better at this, too. >> reporter: and this, an acknowledgement. >> have you been interviewed by the special counsel? >> i have not. i know we're working with them. >> reporter: he also signaled he's willing to push for more
robust regulations, like those in europe. >> you as a company welcome regulation? >> i think if it's the right regulation, then yes. >> do you think the europeans have it right? >> i think they get things right. >> have you ever submitted -- that's true. >> mary bruce live from the hill tonight, and testimony still under way, mary. you reported last night that facebook had promised to send millions of users here in the u.s. alerts revealing whether they're own personal information had been obtained by cambridge analytica. is that happening? >> reporter: david, those updates have started to trickle into some people's feeds, but the full rollout still is not complete. tonight, no word on why this de delay. here in this room tonight, zuckerberg cannot regulate himself, that congress has to do more to step in. david? >> miry bruce with that packed room behind her. mary, thank you. next tonight, to possible military action against syria. president trump promising a decision very soon, saying nothing is off the table overnight. the president meeting with senior military leadership at
the white house. the president now canceling a trip to south america, with a u.s. destroyer now in the eastern mediterranean, what could be coming? here's abc's chief global affairs correspondent martha raddatz. >> reporter: tonight, the countdown begins. to possible u.s. military action. it was just a year ago, u.s. tomahawk missiles pounding a syrian airfield three days after images of a chemical attack emerged. and now, with those new images, the president making clear a u.s. military strike could happen any time. >> we're making a decision as to what we do with respect to the horrible attack that was made near damascus. and it will be met, and it will be met forcefully. >> reporter: but this time, the president may not have to go it alone. french president emmanuel macron saying he wants a "strong and joint response" to the suspected
attack, which britain's prime minister theresa may called reprehensible. today at the u.n., ambassador's warm greeting to her russian counterpart turn eed cold after russia veto ed a resolution to conduct an international investigation into the attacks. >> russia chose protecting a monster over the lives of the syrian people. >> reporter: a u.s. destroyer in the eastern mediterranean, with missile strikes possible from submarines and b-2 bombers, as well. >> so, let's bring in martha raddatz with us again tonight. and martha, the president said last night they would make a decision in 24 to 48 hours. this could be coming soon. >> reporter: it could be, david. and he is getting updates from his commanders, but despite the speed of last near's attack, this time, the u.s. is consulting more with its allies and hoping they can join forces to send an even stronger message. david? >> all right, martha raddatz, thank you. now, to a major development in the suspected russian poisoning in the uk.
the poisoned daughter of that former russian spy now leaving the hospital. yulia scrip pal making a surprising recovery. her father, sure gave, is also recovering. "the times of london" tonight that yulia and her husband will be offered new eidentitieidenti and china's president xi promising more open markets and that he would lower tariffs on imported cars. the white house tonight calling the move encouraging. the dow gaining 428 points on the news today. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this tuesday. escaping the flames. young girls, they were dancers, forced to jump for their lives. bystanders rushing in to help. the woman accused in a carjacking with two children inside, racing to the mexican border. the girl calling 911 from the backseat. and the deadly plane crash on a well-known golf course, right after takeoff. a lot more news ahead. pd makes . so to breathe better, i go with anoro. ♪go your own way
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in a dance studio in new jersey. young girls jumping from a ba balco balcony, as the flames closed in. abc's whit johnson is on the scene for us. >> oh, my god. >> reporter: incredible bravery, young children leaping for their lives. trapped on the second floor balcony, an inferno ripping through their new jersey dance studio. bystanders rushing in to help, hoisting ladders to get them down to safety. >> it was pretty scary, but i was one of the last ones to jump off, so, the fire was coming towards me. >> reporter: could you feel the heat? >> yeah, some sparks hit me. >> reporter: 12-year-old nina twomey, seen in this dramatic cell phone video, her legs dangling before letting go and dropping to the ground. and i fell right there. >> reporter: and you just fell to the ground? walking away with just cuts and bruises. the last two girls still trapped inside. business owner, tony nehmi and a police officer, among those climbing to the roof, breaking out windows with a ladder, rescuing the dancers. >> my heart dropped immediately.
i just wanted to get them out. that's all i was thinking about. >> reporter: incredibly, the seven students and two teachers who were inside that burning dance studio surviving with only minor injuries. a car wash and restaurant also damaged in the fire. tonight, the cause is under investigation. david? >> all right, whit johnson. whit, thank you. when we come back here tonight, news this evening about the deadly plane crash onto a well-known golf course. and more on that carjacking suspect. two children in the backseat. one of the children calling 911. we'll be right back. which is breast cancer metastatthat has spreadr, to other parts of her body. she's also taking prescription ibrance with an aromatase inhibitor, which is for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive her2- metastatic breast cancer as the first hormonal based therapy. ibrance plus letrozole was significantly more effective
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brother got kidnapped. >> reporter: she called 911 with her brother, telling authorities a woman had stolen their father's car and was taking them to the mexico border. police stopped the car and arrested the suspect. and the wheel of fortune fail. the contestant about to solve the puzzle, vanna revealing all of the letters. all he needs to do is say it correctly. >> what's up there? >> flamingo dance lessons. >> sorry. >> this is painful. he mispronounced pla mflamenco, saying it flamingo instead. he still won $19,000 and i flub every night. when we come back here, the 7-year-old girl, and one of the world's tallest mountains, right there with her mother. this is america strong. [ doorbell rings ] janice, mom told me you bought a house. okay.
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finally tonight, america strong. the second grader breaking a world record. her mother right there with her. 7-year-old montannah kenney setting out to make history. the second grader from austin, texas, had an idea. to be the youngest girl ever to climb to the top of mt. kilimanjaro, 19,341 feet. and do it to honor her father who she lost when she was just 3. being in the clouds she says reminds her of heaven. after training with her mom, hollie, who had to get special permission for montannah to even attempt the climb, they were finally there. >> i'm going to do the summit of mt. kilimanjaro. >> reporter: pointing to the top. >> right up there. all the way up there. >> reporter: the two climbing with help from a group of guides.
>> what did you think of day one? >> so good. i'm tired, though. >> reporter: facing high altitude, rain, snow. and keeping up with her school work at night in the tent. there were snow angels. and snowball fights along the way. and after six days, the summit. back home in austin tonight. >> hi, david. it's hollie. >> and montannha. >> reporter: home safe and smiling. >> very fun. >> very fun. >> and montannah met her goal. >> reporter: mother and is daughter, tonight, on top of the world. that they are. thanks for watching tonight. i'm david muir. i hope to see you tomorrow night. good night. >> announcer: live, where you live. this is abc 7 news.
so we have made a lot of mistakes in running let company. i think it's pretty much impossible, i believe to start a company in your dorm room and then grow it to be the scale we're at now without making some mistakes. >> so there was a decision made on that basis not to inform the users. >> in retrospect, i think that was a mistake and knowing what we know now we should have handled a lot of things differently. >> a contrite mark zuckerberg on the hot seed on capitol hill. the facebook ceo testified before congress. telling lawmakers he is sorry for the privacy scandal impacting millions of users. good afternoon and thank you for joining i'm say ma daetz. >> dan ashley in for larry beil. today was the first of two days of testimony. >> our reporter is live with the latest. kenneth. >> reporter: ama and dan inside the packed hearing room he got right to it addressing the vulnerabilities of facebook and apologizing for failing to protect millions who use facebook every day.
facebook ceo mark zuckerberg's apology. >> we didn't take broad enough view of our responsibility and that was a big mistake. and it was my mistake. and i'm sorry. i started facebook. i run it. and i'm responsible for what happens here. >> the 33-year-old billionaire in a joint senate hearing telling lawmakerless facebook was used to spread fake news, hate speech and allow foreign interference in elections. >> it's clear now that we didn't do enough to prevent the tools from being ewed for harm as well. >> the tech giant has been under fire for a massive data scandal. 87 million facebook worker o users woke up to a notice on feeds informing them personal information was shared with cambridge analytica, the political consulting firm hired by the 2016 trump campaign. >> if you and other social media companies do not get your act in order, none of us are going to have any privacy anymore. >> outside the capitol, demonstrators put up