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tv   ABC7 News 1100AM  ABC  May 12, 2017 11:00am-11:31am PDT

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president still -- the other day we were -- someone asked does the president have confidence in andrew mccabe after the testimony on capitol hill the other day, is that still the case, he is the acting director at this -- >> i have not asked him about the >> i have not asked him about his -- generally, i don't go through the list of government employees and ask him so i've not asked him specifically about that. >> yesterday sarah told us that the president expects that the fbi investigation will be wrapped up with integrity. that's what the white house wants. today the president tweeted and called it a witch hunt. how does tweeting and calling it a witch hunt help wrap that investigation up with integrity. >> the president -- you know, no one wants this done -- he wants to know very clearly -- there's two pieces of this, right, which is what was russia's involvement? the president is obviously very concerned about any entity's attempts to influence the united states election.
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that's the second, the false narrative we continue to fight every day that has been debunked by intelligence individuals, members of congress who have been briefed. that's where he's growingly concerned as well as a number of american people who are growingly concern that there is a perpetuating false narrative out there. that's i think the nut of this. >> secondly, i talked to a former fbi official today who said the president's tweet the implicit threat to former fbi director james comey indicates the president, in his words, is simply out of control. i'd like to get you to respond to that. is he? >> that's frankly offensive. >> thank you, sean. two questions about the fbi director's selection process. you said the names are coming from the justice department right now. is the president consulting with democratic congressional leaders as well or republican congressional leaders on this or is he just getting names out of d.o.j.? >> that's a good question.
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i know that he was -- obviously is going to take input from them. i don't know what specific conversations he's had so i'd be glad to check on who he's spoken to or maybe speaking to. anita? >> i'm sorry, i forgot you, too. i got confused at dave. >> now i know that you said you're not disqualifying anyone on this. you also know there has been considerable mention in the last 24 hours of former house intelligence committee chairman mike rogers as the new fbi director. does the president have a meeting planned this weekend with congressman rogers? >> i -- i am not aware of anything of that nature on his schedule, but we'll obviously -- as you know, we'll put out if there's a meeting, we'll put it out for you. right now there's nothing that i'm aware of on the schedule but generally we put out the next day's schedule later in the evening and we'll do that as well. kristen? >> i'm sorry -- >> thank you. >> i had a couple questions about the president's remarks to
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nbc about general flynn. he said that it wasn't an emergency, he didn't think it was an emergency and that's why the firing dismissal didn't happen right away. i had a couple of questions about that. why didn't he think it was an emergency? was it because of the messenger? was it because information came from sally yates who you call an opponent, i think a political opponent of the president? or is it because don mcgann downplayed that. >> i can't tell you what he meant by that. i can tell you, look at the time line that happened. we went over this the other day. this has been asked and answered multiple times. the former attorney general said i want to give you a heads up. don mcgann asked for the documents that she referred to. it took five or six days to review them and he was asked to resign shortly thereafter but i think that that's -- there is a difference.
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there wasn't a review process. that was the review process. in this case as the president noted yesterday during his interview, he had been thinking about this for a long time. the justice department had done a review but, again, i don't -- not really sure -- >> so then since you -- >> no, you just asked me -- >> justice though. is that what you're talking about? >> you're asking why -- why wasn't it an emergency. it's not a question if it was an emergency. he took the time to do due process. someone comes to you with a -- an allegation, i think everyone deserves due process to make sure that that allegation. someone coming in and giving you a heads up. we did exactly what was necessary and the president made the right decision and he continues to stand by it. >> so two follow-ups. i'm still unclear, you've mentioned this several times, why did it take so long for the white house to get those documents? >> i don't think. >> with the white house asking you couldn't get the documents? >> making it sound -- with all due respect, that's not how it works. they're the ones who possess the documents. they had them in their
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possession. i believe they asked for them and it took a while. >> but she's fired in between? >> no. part of it -- some of these things don't happen as easily in terms of where they're stored. i don't know the answer but i think in the course of the action if you look at the daze intervening days that's a question you should ask the department of justice. >> i have a follow-up. >> sure. >> when you compare general flynn and director comey, the memo came one day and he was fired that day. that was the review process and general flynn was 18 days. that's a huge difference. why was one so fast when one was 18 days? >> i think to -- to -- first of all, they both had a review. they both came and the president looked at the information and the reviews and made a decision. ultimately as i mentioned, that's his job. he's the decider. he felt as though he had the information necessary in poet cases to act and he did. vivian? >> sean, in the -- in the tweet about director comey the
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president says that he better be careful before he goes leaking to the press. yesterday on nbc news the president called him a showboat and grandstander. does the white house acknowledge that he has a first amendment right if he so chooses instead of just leaking? it may not be leaking it may be his first amendment rights? >> everyone in this country has a first amendment right. the difference, you've heard the president echo this multiple times, sharing information that is not meant to be or not authorized to be in the public domain is concerning and i think the president's been very clear over and over again of his concern with respect to information that gets put in the public domain that's not meant to be. i don't -- i don't think that those are -- everyone in this country has every right to speak their mind and express themselves in accordance with the constitution. >> follow-up just in terms of the fbi being in disarray also the president's comments. is he concerned that if he continues like this it could jeopardize morale of the fbi
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instead of actually kind of correcting a problem that he observ obviously observes there? >> i think one of the reasons he wants to go through the process of finding an individual that can lead the fbi and the men and women who serve there so bravely and ably is to make sure that morale and the focus is as it's supposed to be and you have a leader that can do that. and, you know, as you've mentioned, the crown jewel of law enforcement and i think the reason that he wants to go through this process and choose a leader that can be restore leadership, ensure that morale stays where it needs to be and that there's a focus. that's why he's conducting the process that he has. and so jessica? >> sean, i'd like to give my question to kristen and take the question back. >> she -- you called on her first so i just wanted to give her the question that you promised her before and then i'll pick up from there. >> thank you. >> policy exchange back there
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with the questions. >> i want to ask you president trump seemed to rely on james clapper this morning when he tweeted he and everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt says there is no collusion. james clapper himself today told andrea mitchell, i don't know if there was collusion or not. i don't know if there's evidence of collusion or not nor should i on march 5th on "meet the press" when he was asked a similar question he says not to my knowledge. can you describe the discrepancy and explain it? >> no. i'm -- i actually think that that's a great question that you should ask director clapper. >> between director clapper's comments and president trump, why is he leaning on clapper when he said i have no knowledge of whether those -- >> i think on several occasions director clapper has said he has no knowledge of any collusion. that's it. >> he hasn't been briefed. he wouldn't know because he hasn't been briefed. >> he was dni up until january 20th. >> he was very clear today that he said nor should i have in
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this particular context. he made the case that he is not briefed on an fbi investigation, that that's not his purview. >> fair enough. he's the director of national intelligence. on multiple occasions prior to today he made it very clear he was unaware of any collusion. >> his one point was there was no final conclusion. >> i understand that. so the question i would then ask, kristen, why did he say what he said before? it seems -- his testimony and comments on multi-at this point multiple occasions say i have no evidence there was any collusion, right? to suddenly today shift his story, i believe the question should be asked to him. you were the director of national intelligence. you said multiple times, including in testimony in front of congress under oath that there was no collusion. i believe that that that's a question for him. >> final conclusion made about the investigation, right? there's an ongoing investigation. he's not making that argument.
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>> i understand. my point is all we're able to do at this point is the people who are aware of the former director of national intelligence, the head of the nation's agencies -- intelligence agencies made multiple statements as others, senator gratsly and others, talking about the involvement making it very clear that there was none. we took them at their word then and we continue to believe -- >> his argument is he wasn't on the investigation. >> then, that, again, i think -- but the question, kristen, before you move on is then why did he make the statements that he did when he did? to turn around now months later and say even though i made those comments on multiple occasions, i wasn't briefed -- >> but he didn't say -- >> i appreciate. >> it's not surprising or abnormal that i would not have known about the investigation. >> it sounds like the story has changed. >> or the context of the investigation. >> ultimately -- >> let me ask you about -- >> do you mind if i -- i think in this case it is interesting how the story has changed. he made those comments several
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times over several courses of action and to say the director of national intelligence who stated unequivocally what his position was on multiple occasions and now is suddenly saying i wasn't sure of it, the burden seems to be on him not us. >> he wasn't saying he wasn't sure. he was saying he wasn't privy. >> a clapper spokesman. >> no, but i just am interested in the guediscrepancy. >> no, on the part of the president drawing a final conclusion about the investigation. in terms of the accuracy tweet. should we take that tweet to mean that you don't have the full picture when you stand at that podium? >> as i said, we come up here every day not just to the podium but, you know, we are here first thing in the morning until late at night every day answering your questions on a variety of subjects and throughout issues that are happening in the government. we -- as -- as most of you can attest workday and night to make sure that we get you the most up to date, accurate information at all times. with respect to the president, as i mentioned, he's an activist
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president. he keeps an unbelievably busy and robust schedule. we give you the information we have at the time and we seek to get an update. i believe you and others will attest to when we don't have an answer we try really hard to update you after the fact or to get you the facts that we didn't have at the time but we work really hard every day to do that. i think the president's point that i pointed out earlier is that there are times when we're asked a question, we do our best to give you the answer and every word is picked apart to try to figure out how to make an issue out of it as opposed to allowing us to, you know, talk to the president, get his current thinking and updates if we hadn't had an opportunity to do that at this time? >> jennifer. >> sean, can i actually pick up there? >> i'm sorry, jessica. with the js. >> i wanted to ask you about the one belt one road summit that starts on sunday in china. >> yes. >> you announced yesterday or secretary ross did that you're going to send a delegation to
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that summit. >> yes. >> can you come to how you came to that conclusion? what's ostensibly a major trade initiative. >> it's a major trade initiative. there's a lot of ports and infrastructure that they're looking to do through those discussions that secretary ross and secretary mnuchin and others had at mar-a-lago and part of this is that that is something they've done. we're going to continue to work with them. obviously trade is a major issue for us and what they're looking to do is great importance to our economic and national security and they've asked us to send people to that and we have them attend things that we're doing as well. i think that's -- as the president has shown in terms of the relationship that he's built with president xi and the rest of the team, built with their delegation, those relationships are clearly paying dividends both on the national security front and on the economic front. jennifer. >> do they know the u.s. is going to participate?
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>> we'll have a readout. at this point that's all we have on one belt one road. >> two questions. the first one on loyalty and the second one on a visit headquarters. when you were hired was there any request or hint that you pledge personal loyalty to him? >> no, i pledged my loyalty to the constitution and the american people as has everyone who serves in this government and the administration and we stand by that. >> is it true the president was warned that he might not be well received at the fbi headquarters if he were to visit. >> i don't -- not that i'm aware of. thank you, guys. have a great weekend. we'll see you on monday. >> did you ask the president if he had installed -- >> sean spicer wrapping up what was at times a very contentious press briefing and the big headline emerging out of that, sean spicer speaking for the white house will neither confirm nor deny that there are any recording devices in the oval office or around the president himself. this, of course, an enormous
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issue after president trump this morning tweeted out about fired fbi director james comey. james comey better hope there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press. this being seen by many as a threat to mr. comey not to talk about the conversations or dispute in any way. president trump's characterization of that meeting over dinner the two men had. pierre thomas, what do you make of this? sean spicer asked directly several times in this press briefing if, in fact, president trump recorded that conversation, that meeting. he side stepped it completely. >> you're right. he was asked repeatedly to answer the question whether there are recording devices at the white house taping conversations. he would not answer. asked repeatedly, he would not answer. we're left to wonder. we just don't have the answer. in fairness to the white house we should also point out in terms of this conversation about whether trump asked comey for loyalty, the white house is
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saying that did not happen. a question of taping a huge issue developed and we got no zblfgs you were in the briefing room watching sean spicer carry these questions not only about whether president trump was taping the conversations with people around them without their knowledge but also on whether or not sean spicer has all the facts when he's up there briefing the american people. >> all from these extraordinary tweets this morning from the president where he acknowledged that it's impossible for his surrogates, as he said, this would be the press secretary for the united states, for the white house, this is the press secretary, not simply a surrogate for the president but a spokesperson for the executive branch and the president suggested this morning that he may not be accurate because the president does so much. sean said that he simply tries to be accurate, but i think the answers or the non-answers on the question about whether or not the president is routinely
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recording his conversations in the white house were quite significant. sean did not rule out, did not deny that the president has been recording his conversations. in other words, that the president has installed listening devices in the white house. he did not confirm it but he did not deny it, and when the president tweeted this morning that james comey better hope that his conversation with the president was not recorded, it raises a very basic question, elizabeth. if the president didn't record that conversation, who else would have? this was a dinner at the white house. >> right. >> a dinner at the white house. so the president suggested this morning that that conversation may have been recorded. it's hard to imagine who else could have been recording a conversation at the white house if it wasn't the president himself. >> right. john, all of this so important because this comes in the wake, the firing of james comey comes in the wake of the fbi's own
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investigation into ties between russia and the trump campaign and once again we hear sean spicer say at the podium that this is nonsense, that this has all been debunked citing james clapper and saying that james clapper, the former director of national intelligence is now changing his story, not that in fact nobody has cleared the trump administration because the investigation is still ongoing. >> in fact, if you talk to those leading the investigation on capitol hill, the senate intelligence committee, they will tell you that the investigation is really just getting underway. this is an investigation in its early stages, not in its end stages. it certainly hasn't concluded. it was extraordinary in the president's interview last night that he said that when he fired james comey he was thinking to himself that this russia investigation is nonsense. so he acknowledged -- he didn't say that was the reason he fired comey, but he acknowledged in the moment of making that decision he was, in fact, thinking about that russia
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investigation. >> the russia investigation into his own campaign. john carl, pierre thomas, thank you so much for staying with us for that incredibly contentious and headline-making press briefing that concluded just a few moments ago. once again, sean spicer speaking on behalf of president trump refusing to confirm or deny that there are recording devices in the white house recording meetings the president is having with people around him. we will have a full wrapup on this and all the day's news tonight at 6:30 with david muir or whatever time zone in your local market. in the meantime, we begin with breaking news, a deadly crash involved a car and shuttle bus. tesla employees, on interstate 580, and a sheriff's deputy was
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live breaking news. we begin with breaking news here, a live look right now at the coroner's office where an alameada sheriff's body arrived there with officers saluting the fallen officer. >> that is all after the accident this morning in tracy between a car driven by the offduty officer and a shuttle bus contracted by tesla to carry its employees. thank you for joining us. we are later than usual due to the abc news special report seen here on abc 7. >> we want to get straight to ab abc 7 news reporter laura anthony live in livermore at the scene of the fatal crash, laura? >> reporter: i'm here in tracey
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where the crash happened, 580 eastbound, south of grant line, a road you can see down from where i am standing. cars backed up, but the left of the picture, the volkswagen carrying the sheriff's deputy is still out there. there are crime scene investigators out here still nearly five hours now after this accident. this is what it looked like from sky7 earlier this morning. in the hours after this accident happened, as we've been reporting, just after 7:00 a.m., this white volkswagen driven by the sheriff's deputy was traveling eastbound, we're told, in the number two lane, the second lane from the inside when apparently it stopped. we're not sure why, and shortly after this charter bus carrying tesla employees hit it from the rear, and unfortunately, that
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sheriff's deputy, offduty deputy, was killed. this is another look from sky7. that is a procession carrying the body of the deputy from this scene, the navy blue coroner's van surrounded by motorcycle officers and several other police vehicles, driving that body from this location, near tracey, westbound into oakland to the coroner's office in oakland. we can come back out here live for just a second. we can show you the traffic here. it's backed up for miles. it's been backed up for miles all morning long. at this point, we have no certain time from the chp as to when the lanes will reopen. as you can imagine, this is quite an investigation. now, there were some 55 passengers on that tesla bus. they were traveling from the freemont facility to stockton, we're told, there was one minor
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injury on the bus, but no one seriously hurt. again, a very difficult time for the sheriffs. this is the second deputy killed in just under three months. live near tracey, abc 7 news. >> thank you, a difficult time. the chp in dublin say they'll hold a news conference at 12:00 to talk about the accident. >> as we look at the accident live from sky 7, boy, it's a huge backup. let's go ahead and check in with our traffic reporter. >> yes. this was video from sky7 from a short time ago. you saw that accident scene, and then you can see just the miles of backup, and really, no different now as we just heard from laura. we have the three left lanes down for investigation, and nothing changed from when sky7 was overhead a short time ago. they are working on removing the vehicles that were involved in this, of course, the fatality investigation takes hours to do
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measurements, do the cleanup process, and everything needs to be buttoned up and taken care of before clearing lanes. flips to the traffic maps to show you what the backup looks like. it's not pretty here. traveling eastbound direction, usually you are safe this time of day. this is still a cig alert. the crash happened at 7:00 this morning on eastbound 580 at grant line road. zooming out a bit here, using the distance measuring tool. this is a solid eight miles. that's just gridlock. couple alternates i have checked out. head to the north road, taking the long way around, actually looks decent. altamont pass road is congested as folks used that. i would not use that. south of 580, spat patterson pass road is a good alternate from the livermore area. it's a tough area when 580 is not great, there's no good alternates, but that's the best bet for you. back to you guys. >> thank you.
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tesla relaeased a statement saying, quote, all tesla employees on the bus are safe and accounted for, however, we are deeply saddened by the reports that there was a fatality as a result of the accident. we'll lend any support we can to the authorities investigating the incident. abc 7 news comets to bring the latest on the breaking story. get the latest by downloading the abc 7 news app. other news now, developing in east bay, two more suspicious car fires in the middle of the night. that brings the total to 7 this week. we want to give you the timeline of how the fires unfolded. the first happened monday in martinez with a car torched in the driveway of a home. wednesday, the same scenario. that time, the fire set in front of the a house where a family was sleeping inside, and two more yesterday in brentwood. this time, flames even spreading to the home damaging a garage in the contents of the side, and then this morning, another two,
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one in walnut creek and lafayette, and it looks to be the work of a serial arsonist. we are live in walnut creek with more. matt? >> reporter: jessica, these fires are particularly dangerous because they happen in the middle of the night when people are sleeping. thankfully, no one was hurt in the latest fires that happened overnight. as ewe cyou can see, the damage still done. the flames noer car on fire in the east bay. this one called in just after 2:00 this morning on juanita drive and walnut creek. >> the house so light like daytime because of the emergency vehicles. that woke me up. >> reporter: hearing about the strings of fires last night to wake up to see his new car was destroyed. >> we got lucky because it could have spread to the homes. it could have spread to my house. it would have been terrible. >> reporter: just 11 minutes
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after david's car e erupted in flames, another vehicle, toyota highlander, parked on the street was set on fire. this follows yesterday's fires in brentwood and others in walnut creek, martinez, and more this week. seven vehicle fires this week, and investigators go back to the beginning of the year to see if other fires are linked to the same person or people. >> your best protection is to be vigilant, pay attention to what's going on. if you see something that doesn't look right, look into it. >> whoever it is is a menace. it's very scary. somebody's going to get hurt. >> reporter: we talked to a neighbor who said he has surveillance video of the incident that took place last night, but the fire marshall told him not to share or comment about it. they are looking for tips you have information? give them a call. abc 7 news. matt, thank you. new developments, emergency
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meeting just wrapped up with a critical vote on the fate of a district attorney. this, after a grand jury accused the county's top lawmen of corruption and misconduct. abc 7 news reporter, amy hollyfield has the latest, amy? >> reporter: kristin, some of the own employees say they do not have confidence in him, and this has been very damaging to mor morale in the office. this is a look at the group meeting this morning. this is the board of deputy district attorneys in the county. this board voted unanimously to take a vote among its members of no confidence in their boss, accused and admitted to spending campaign money on himself. a grand jury said yesterday he should be removed from office. if deputy da's vote in favor of no confidence, it's symbolic, not triggering legal action, but the board thinks is would be a powerful statement. >> it's a way for our
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association to stand up and say this is not acceptable. this situation is not acceptable. we do not agree with mr. peterson's actions, and they do not represent the values that we have as criminal prosecutors in the county. >> reporter: peterson told abc 7 news yesterday he has no comment about the grand jury's decision and did not return calls today. he has apologized for spending the money on himself and has reimbursed the funds, but the deputy da does not think it's enough. his name is on every paper that leaves the office, and they called that demoralizing. there's just under 90 district attorneys here, and they expect all to vote on this in the next ten days. amy hollyfield, abc 7 news. >> thank you. new details on the fires of fbi director jameis comey. tweets this morning raised more questions about the investigation into russian involvement in the election.


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