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tv   ABC World News With David Muir  ABC  February 15, 2017 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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tonight, breaking news. president trump fires back after the bombshell headlines. the investigation underway. authorities now pouring through communications, phone calls, between several of president trump's associates and people suspected of being russian intelligence. why were they repeatedly in touch with the russians before the election? also tonight, the president lashes out after firing his national security advisor general michael flynn. tonight, the president does not blame the general. instead, taking aim at the u.s. intelligence community. the controversial cabinet pick who suddenly pulled his name today. after video surfaces of his ex-wife once on oprah talking about domestic violence. the passenger plane and the emergency landing. what did it hit on the runway? and here in california tonight. the new storm hours away. and new concern over america's tallest dam.
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good evening from california tonight where there is new concern this evening over america's tallest dam with a major storm set to hit, but we begin with the swirling storm in washington. tonight, the new reports that members of president trump's campaign team before the election were repeatedly in contact with people believed to be russian intelligence and why wasn't there contact with the president leading up to the election? meeting today with benjamin netanyahu. donald trump did defend the national security adviser he just fired, general michael flynn. blaming the firing not on flynn, but u.s. intelligence and their leaks. jonathan karl leading us off. >> reporter: today president trump welcomed the third foreign leader at the white house in less than a week. israeli prime minister
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benjamin netanyahu. but overshadowing the visit the sudden firing of the man at the center of his national security team, michael flynn. just 24 hours ago, the white house said flynn was ousted for deceiving the vice president about his conversation with the russian ambassador and losing the confidence of the president, but today. >> general flynn, is a wonderful man. i think he has been treated unfairly by the media, as i call it the fake media in many cases. and i think it's really a sad thing he was treated so badly. >> reporter: yet it was the president who fired him, and just yesterday, his press secretary said trump did so decisively. >> the evolving and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation and a series of other questionable instances is what led the president to ask for general flynn's resignation. >> reporter: that so-called "series of questionable instances" included flynn's failure to tell the truth about his conversations with the
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russian ambassador in december on the same day the obama administration slapped new sanctions on russia for meddling the election. but now the president is expressing more outrage about leaks in the newspapers than about flynn's behavior. blasting the intelligence agencies that now report to him, tweeting, "the real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by 'intelligence' like candy. very un-american." >> i think it's very, very unfair what's happened to general flynn the way he was treated and the documents and papers that were illegally i stress that illegally leaked. very very unfair. >> reporter: but during the presidential campaign, then-candidate trump reveled in leaks when they were about somebody else, hillary clinton. even praising a group responsible for some of the biggest leaks of classified u.s. intelligence in all of american history. >> wikileaks, i love wikileaks! it's been amazing what's coming out on wikileaks. this wikileaks it's like a treasure trove!
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>> reporter: today the president refused to answer questions about reports that several people on his campaign team were in contact before the election with suspected russian intelligence officials. at his press conference, he called only on conservative news outlets. no russia questions but we tried. >> mr. president, can you guarantee that nobody on your campaign had any contact with the russians? mr president, any questions on russia? mr. president? >> reporter: so tonight, that question still looms. during the transition, abc's cecilia vega tried to pin him down. >> did you or anyone in your campaign have any contact with russia leading up to or during the campaign? >> reporter: no trump said. not at all. after general flynn was fired, we asked sean spicer -- >> can you still say that nobody in the trump campaign, not even general flynn, had any contact with the russians before the election? >> my understanding is that what general flynn has now expressed is that now during the
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transition period k-- well, we were very clear that during the transition period, he did speak with the ambassador. >> i'm talking about during the campaign. >> i don't have any -- there's nothing that would conclude me that anything different has changed with respect to that time period. >> reporter: the turmoil in the white house combined with the national security council shake-up has some key republicans in congress worried about chaos and dysfunction in the west wing. >> we don't know who is in charge, this flynn situation, the whole environment is one of dysfunction in the trump administration. >> reporter: the concern not just in washington. speaking at a conference, the general in charge the military's special operations command said quote, our government continues to be in unbelievable turmoil. i hope they sort it out soon because her a nation at war." >> and jon joining us from the white house, and not taking questions on those reported rgss between trump's associates before the election and russia. but tonight, the white house did
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announce the president will hold a rally this weekend, a sort of campaign rally, jon? >> reporter: not a sort of campaign rally. an official campaign rally, david. they are saying this will be run by his re-election campaign. it will be down near orlando, florida. a lot of people don't realize this, but he filed paperwork with the elections commission to set up his 2020 re-election campaign. >> campaign rally planned for this weekend. jon karl leading us off. thank you. tonight, u.s. intelligence continues to pour through those communications. who are they locking at? and even if members of the trump team didn't know they were talking to russian intelligence, why were they talking to russia at all? abc's senior justice correspondent, pierre thomas. >> reporter: tonight that intensive investigation under way. authorities scouring communications and meetings between trump associates and people suspected of being russian intelligence.
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>> it is what they are trying to get to the bottom of. >> reporter: among those drawing scrutiny beyond general flynn, trump's former campaign manager, paul manafort who spent time consulting in the ukraine. manafort when asked about communications with russians before the election, told abc news he vigorously denies any wrongdoing, saying he had no known contacts with russian government officials. so far fbi and intelligence officials have found no direct cooperation between trump associates and the russian government aimed at influencing the election. and authorities can not yet say for certain if trump associates knew they were dealing with suspected russian intelligence who often pose as business, political and academic leaders. and even if they didn't know, many asking, why so much contact with the russians before an american election at all? hillary clinton was targeted by the russians, and tonight, secretary clinton's former campaign manager says the trump
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team needs to explain any phone calls at all. >> it is extremely strange to me that a member of any american presidential campaign would be speaking to russian intelligence officials. >> reporter: but even republicans say the matter deserves a much deeper along. >> we're looking for facts, and we're looking for evidence, and we're looking for details, and we're going to go in the direction that those facts and details take us. >> pierre thomas with us live tonight from our washington bureau, and tonight, pierre, we now know that the fbi was, in fact, looking into these reported communications between trump's associates and the russians. at the same time, they were looking into hillary clinton's e-mail, and that turned up nothing. why did they make the clinton investigation public and not the trump investigation? >> reporter: comey said he commented on the clinton investigation because of a hotly presidential campaign, and comey has not given a reason for
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showing the investigation of some of trump's associates. >> thank you. after the firing of the national security adviser, a controversial cabinet pick pulling his name. puzder bowing out after scrutiny involving his ex-wife, on the oprah winfrey show talking about domestic abuse. >> reporter: tonight, the first trump cabinet pick to go down. facing mounting opposition from republicans. andrew puzder announced "after careful consideration and discussions with my family, i am withdrawing my nomination for secretary of labor." the fast food ceo was plagued from the start. under fire for his personal life. this 1990 tape screened for senators on capitol hill. his ex-wife in disguise on oprah, describing what she claimed was their abusive marriage. >> that was the most frightening thing was leaving because once i
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made that break and once i made it public, and remember, my ex-husband was a public figure. everyone knew him and knew what he was doing and once i made that public he vowed revenge, he said i will see you in the gutter. >> reporter: she later recanted her allegations, and puzder has strongly denied them. professionally puzder's been accused of disparaging workers once suggesting he prefers robots to human labor saying, "they're always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation." also taking aim at his own fast food employees. >> my first memo was no more people behind the counter unless they have all of their teeth. >> reporter: today it became increasingly clear many republicans were on the fence. senator tim scott of south carolina tweeting he had "developed serious concerns" about puzder's nomination. that nomination now dead, and tonight democrats are celebrating. >> you fought this pretty hard. >> not just a victory for me, a victory for millions of workers and this is the secretary of labor. labor. not the secretary of corporate
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america. >> mary bruce joins us live from capitol hill tonight, and mary, president trump has a number of unconfirmed cabinet nominees and, the democrats have their sights on another one of them. >> reporter: democrats are raising concerns about mick mulvaney for budget director, but one republican is opposing. that is up tomorrow. >> mary bruce again with us tonight. thank you, mary. all of this playing out as israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu visited trump, and making controversial statements on the peace in the middle east today. considering breaking with long standing u.s. policy on a two-state solution and putting netanyahu on the spot, and calling on him to build new settlements, and joking and jii using the title of president trump's book, "the art of the deal." here's cecilia vega.
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>> reporter: a red carpet white house welcome for benjamin netanyahu's arrival. two leaders, friends. but inside the east room, president trump putting israel's prime minister on the spot over settlements. >> far as settlements, i'd like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit. we'll work something out, but i would like to see a deal be made, i think a deal will be made. it might be bigger than people in this room understand. that's a possibility. we'll see what we do. doesn't sound too optimistic, but -- good negotiator. >> that's the art of the deal. >> reporter: the president bucking a decade's old policy of a two-state solution. >> i'm looking at two-state and one-state, and i like the one that both parties like. i'm very happy with the one that both parties like. i could live with either one. >> reporter: right there in the front row, daughter ivanka and her husband, jared kushner. >> can i reveal, jared, how long
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i have known you? he was never small. he was always big. >> reporter: and now that family friend is the administration's font person to achieve piece in the middle east. >> cecilia vega from the white house briefing room, and we heard the president saying he could live with either a one-state or a two-state solution. any clarification from the white house on that? >> reporter: no clarification tonight, david, and there are a number of unanswered questions about what a starting piece on peace talks might look like under this approach, david. >> thanks as always. there is much more. ahead on "world news tonight" this wednesday from california. the new storm moving in here, and new concern over america's tallest dam. we'll take you there. the evacuated families who return home now being warned again to be on alert. the concern tonight. there is also news this evening about the accused female assass assassin. and the emergency landing here in the u.s. moments after takeoff, the passenger plane.
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next tonight here, the spillway emergency here in california. a new rainstorm just hours away now as workers race to repair critical damage near america's tallest dam. families just returning home, but told to be ready to get out fast. as we also learn, there were warnings about that spillway 12 years ago. abc's kayna whitworth is on the scene tonight. >> reporter: tonight a scramble to protect the nation's tallest dam. new storms and heavy rain just hours away. 1,200 tons of material now being brought every hour to reinforce the oroville dam's emergency spillway. including giant bags of rocks. officials say the lake levels falling 20 feet since sunday. this is how the release of all that water is affecting people some 30 miles downstream. they're covered in several feet of water. >> reporter: abc news learning environmental groups warned state officials about potential erosion issues with that
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emergency spillway more than a decade ago. this as families like jolene wilson's finally returning home. >> i'm just hoping we don't have to leave again. >> reporter: those temporary fixes will be tested late tonight as storms move in. the permanent fixes they have planned could cost as much as $200 million, david? >> kayna whitworth in oroville, california. thank you. when we come back, the accuse accused female assassin. and the mother of four, taking sanctuary inside a church tonight to stay in this country. the passenger plane making an emergency landing. what did it hit on the runway? if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis like me,
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the pilot immediately returning to the airport, landing safely with 38 passengers and crew on board. the plane leaking fuel, and the firefighters hoeing sing it dow. no injuries reported. an undocumented mother of four facing deportation to mexico. takiing sanctuary inside a church. seeking the release of danny ma dina, dreamed to be the first dreamer of officers. he has no critical record. and we move onto other new. new developments in the assassination overseas. the female suspect under arrest for the north korean kim jong n jong-un's half brother. showing the suspect wearing a shirt with the letters, lol. king jong-nam had been living outside of north korea for years, and no official motive
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finally tonight here, made in america. the wildly popular spicy ingredient harvested right here in california. and the refugee who came to america decades ago determined to create the hot sauce he left behind for his new home. >> reporter: we walk into the bareburger burger joint. they already knew that american brand name. one word that comes to mind when you hear sriracha. >> it's hot. >> it's hot. >> reporter: people know about it? >> yeah, definitely. mostly the pork belly sriracha brussels that we have. >> the pork belly sriracha brussels? so you can make even brussles
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sprouts -- >> amazing. >> reporter: they took us back to prove it. the brussels sprouts coming out of the fryer. just add the sriracha. and some spices. and mix it all together. the finished product. and the taste. i can taste the kick. it does make brussels sprouts -- >> fun. >> reporter: a little -- fun? >> a little less scary! >> a little less scary. >> reporter: a little less scary and a lot of kick from peppers. ventura county, california. palm trees line the way. underwood family farms. 21 tons of these red jalapeno peppers are harvested by hundreds of workers every day here during harvest season. >> it's pretty important they are grown in america because this is our living and it keeps a lot of people here working. >> reporter: we followed the peppers just outside l.a. where they are mashed, mixed, bottled, and it's made in the usa. on the boxes made and shipped all over the world. this man came up with the recipe
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proudly holding that bottle. the refugee from vietnam and he started making the hot sauce from back home for his new home here in america, and she says he is keeping it all american made. >> this is my country. i keep it from my country. >> reporter: 100 workers on the line, 18,000 bottles an area. all with three words in mind. >> made in america. >> made in america, and my tongue is still burning. thank you for watching here on a wednesday from california. i'm david muir. i'll see you back from new york tomorrow night. good night.
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this is the "jeopardy!" college championship.
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here are today's contestants -- a senior at northeastern university from ellicott city, maryland... [ cheers and applause ] a junior at stetson university from lighthouse point, florida... [ cheers and applause ] and a junior at caltech from potomac, maryland... and now here is the host of "jeopardy!" -- alex trebek! [ cheers and applause ] thank you, johnny. ladies and gentlemen. the good news is if you keep winning in this tournament, you have a shot at picking up $100,000 in cash. the bad news is, if you lose in the quarter-final matches and don't make it to the semi-finals, you go home with $5,000. if you do make it to the semi-finals and lose, you go home with $10,000. not too bad when you think about it. clarissa, mari, and alex, welcome. good luck. here we go.

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