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tv   Right This Minute  ABC  May 17, 2017 3:00pm-3:31pm PDT

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is an abc news special report. now reporting, george stephanopoulos. >> good afternoon. we're coming on the air now with major news from the department of justice. the acting attorney general rod rosenstein has decide to appoint a special counsel to investigate any ties with the trump campaign and they call it related matters. this is big news from the department of justice. i want to read you the statement coming now from the acting attorney general rod rosenstein who is serving as the acting attorney general because jeff sessions has recused himself from all matters related to russia. here is what the acting attorney general said. in my capacity as acting attorney general i determined it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and
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appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter. my decision is not that any prosecution is warranted. i have made no such determination. what i have determined is based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command. a special counsel is necessary in order the american people to have full confidence in the outcome. our nation is grounded in the rule of law and our public officials must make sure law is administered fairly. jim mueller from 2001 to 2013, more than ten years. former assistant attorney general for the criminal division as well respected throughout washington. he is a straight shooter from both parties. i want to go straight to our senior justice correspondent pierre thomas. pierre, this is something that the justice department, that even mr. rosenstein had resisted.
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what was the tipping point into this decision? >> we're still sorting this out there. were two key things that happened. last week former fbi director james comey was fired, and there were these questions about rod rosenstein's role in that firing. at first we heard that it was perhaps at his urging. then we heard it was actually at president trump's urging that comey be fired. so his independence had somewhat been tainted by that. then this blockbuster yesterday the fact that director comey is saying there are memos that suggested president trump had tried to influence the investigation into michael flynn, suggesting that should it go away. that blockbuster came out. so here you had the acting attorney general, in this case rod rosenstein, wanting to make a decision that will allow the public to have confidence that one way or the other this would be resolved in a way that is independent from the justice department. >> our senior white house correspondent cecilia vega at the white house right now. cecilia, when did the white house know?
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what do they know right now? >> a pretty extraordinary 30 minutes heads up, george. i've also been in touch with sources on capitol hill who you think would have seen this coming there is complete shock right now in both sides of washington from here at the white house down to capitol hill. this is a white house in complete crisis mode right now. we're talking about a third bombshell three days in a row. right now the scene that have i seen every night so far this week inside this west wing, reporters camped outside of sean spicer's office, waiting for answers to yet another explosive story line. well don't have a response yet from the white house. we do know, as i said, that they know that this has happened, that this special counsel has been pointed. they have been on the record. the president himself said an independent commission is not needed. the white house has said that this would be a waste of resources. this is a white house that cannot stick to their agenda right now because they're too busy trying to put out crisis after crisis after crisis,
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george. >> and the big question right now, is this something the president was convinced but really had no choice, that this had to happen and they're willing now to cooperate with the special counsel? i know you're going to continue to report. while you do that, i want to bring in our chief legal analyst dan abrams right here right now. what is dan mueller going to do? >> he has 60 days to put together a budget and a team. he is going to hire his own team of people. doesn't mean he is going to use the current justice department. he is going to have his own folks who are going to do this investigation. these typically can take less let's say six to even nine months to reach a resolution. but remember, once he reaches a resolution, he hands it over to the attorney general. yes, his investigation is independent. he is supposed to do everything without the input of the attorney general in this case. but once he has finished, he hands that report to the attorney general, and then the attorney general has to decide what to do. in this case, it will be rod rosenstein, the acting attorney general because there has been that recusal of jeff sessions.
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and if there is a decision not to act on the special counsel's recommendation, well, then there is some explaining to do to congress that has to happen. but we're a lot of steps away from there at this point. but this is a stunning development. because you and i talked about this on "good morning america." i didn't think there would be a special prosecutor as of a week ago, a special counsel. >> for the most part, even republicans were holding the line in the house and senate that started to crack today. >> it cracked as a result of yesterday. let's be clear. it was this new report about james comey's notes that i think forced the hand of rod rosenstein where he said i have to figure out a way to avoid a showdown between the fbi and the president of the united states. and the way to do that, at least to minimize it is get a well respected, well regarded special counsel like robert mueller. >> so when this investigation is done, the acting attorney general can accept the recommendation. he can reject the recommendation. you appointed he can also fire.
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>> right. but if he rejects the recommendation, again, that would be a real political crisis. it is expected that when someone like robert mueller issues a report, that the attorney general and in this case the acting attorney general will act on it. >> one of the big questions right now is how this is going to affect the various congressional investigations. we have the senate and house intelligence committees looking at this. we have the government oversight committees actually requesting and inviting james comey, the former fbi director to come up and testify, give them their notes. will he do that now? >> that's the big question. wednesday we're supposed to have this big hearing, which was sort of being billed as this enormous showdown where james comey was going to disclose everything. now we're going to have to see if any of this changes that. congress of course can still continue its own investigation in addition an independent counsel investigation. but i think this does help at least take things down a notch.
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at least people who are looking for cover can say let's let the special counsel deal with this. so we'll have to see what impact it has on wednesday's hearing. >> and we're getting the first reactions from capitol hill right now. jason chaffetz, the chairman of the house oversight committee is welcoming this, reporting from the capitol from our own sources saying this was news to the senate judiciary committee. we'll find out more than as we go on. i want to bring in cokie roberts as well. big news here, cokie roberts. one of the most stunning things here is the timing. just 118 days into the trump presidency. >> it is remarkable timing. and looking back at the nixon situation, where of course president nixon won an overwhelming landslide as the watergate story was unfolding. but then in january when his approval ratings were almost 70%, some of his aides were convicted of conspiracy in the watergate break-in. two of his top aides in april were forced to resign. and then in may, it took until
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may for a special prosecutor to be named. and it was the same day, by the way, that the watergate committee convened. so it all happened at the same time. the congressional hearings, the special prosecutor. and keep in mind that special prosecutor can be issuing indictments all along. and that becomes a story too. we don't have to wait for that report. so, you know, as we both well know, george, special prosecutors, special counsel in this case gets named, it can go anywhere. >> cokie roberts, thanks very much. there you have it. another block bust their evening. robert mueller, the former director of the fbi has been appointed by the act attorney general to be the special counsel looking to russia's interference in the 2016 election. any possible ties with the trump campaign, and related matters. that's the wording of the appointment right there. again, he will have full independence now to look into this matter, something that had been resbisd the white house runs on on capitol hill. we'll have "world news tonight" with david muir, and i'll see
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you tomorrow on "gma." >> this has >> people are going to hear that. >> the next guy gets himself re these guys are like time to get the heck out of here. >> oh, they have to climb down? that's a long journey out there especially if they've been spotted. seems like the security guards tonight were just not paying attention. the guys make their way back, the back wall right there. then they hop themselves over. >> the security guards have no expectation that anybody's going to climb on the roof and jump. >> obviously he doesn't describe to that. otherwise they know this kind of stuff happens. rescuers are on a mission that's -- incredibly dangerous. >> see the heroic operation to save three from the rushing
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water. and this little girl loves music. >> she has a tendency to cry about emotional songs. >> the adorable moment when a "titanic" classic has her all choked up. >> i mean, come on. i noticed it as soon as we moved into the new house. ♪ a lot of people have vertical blinds. well, if a lot of people jumped off a bridge, would you? you hungry? i'm okay right -- i'm... i'm becoming my, uh, mother. it's been hard, but some of the stuff he says is actually pretty helpful. pumpkin, bundling our home and auto insurance is a good deal! like buying in bulk! that's fun, right? progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents, but we can protect your home and auto. progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents, at air wick we know the power of that first whiff of your favorite scent. air wick freshmatic releases timed bursts of fragrance.
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closed captioning provided by -- gold bond dark spot minimizing cream for body. targeted treatment: results begin in 4 weeks. gold bond. five hours of nonstop rain left the streets of this columbian city looking like this. incredibly dangerous. so much so that three people in that white vehicle had to be rescued. literally carried on the back of a rescue worker from the vehicle to the side of the road to
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safety. >> isn't that crazy? it's like five feet but it's extraordinarily dangerous. >> yes, it really is. >> they got ropes stretched across but doesn't look like the rescuer or guy helping out has anything to protect them. if they lose their footing, they're going to be rescued. >> that's why that police officer is getting a lot of attention and even hailed as a hero because he put his own life in danger to try to save these people. along with some good samaritans that were there to help. that woman had been in this part of colombia for medical treatment when she, her son, and another man were caught in this situation. she gets pulled out first. and then the rescuers have to work their way back to the car and every single time it is dangerous, it is scary. and at any given point, they could all be dragged by the water. they are not only able to pull all three people out of the vehicle carefully, but at the end, they were able to also rescue themselves. fortunately everybody made it
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out alive and now this officer is getting a lot of very positive attention for what he sometimes kids cry just to cry. not little katherine here. she's actually emotional about some things. here she is listening to the "titanic" song. as celine dion belts out, so does katherine. >> i mean, come on. >> apparently she has a tendency to cry about emotional songs. here she is listening to "you raise me up." again, when the crescendo comes and the high notes appear -- >> what do you think katherine? is that sad? >> now it is. drawing attention to the sadnes >> she has a lot of deep feelings. >> i can tell. >> now this is the normal baby cry here. >> folks would say put the bourbon on the gums.
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>> for her it's tennessee whiskey. that is chris stapleton's song. when she's crying and they play that, she calms down and goes to sleep. >> the truth is music does translate into emotion for so many of us. for all of us, i think. >> right. that's what's amazing about music, isn't it? be grateful it's not baby got back. >> no. that's a turn up song. >> okay. ship wreck rope swing. >> one, two, three. >> next "right this minute." and still to come, this duo knows their way around the rings. >> we could do this, vera. >> heck no! >> now the tandem team tells us how their love for the swing got started. >> it's very addicting. . plus we'll reveal wednesday's buzzword for your shot to win an ipad mini coming up. bender tonight in an unreasonably narrow fast food drive thru lane.
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but what a powerful life lesson. and don't worry i have everything handled. i already spoke to our allstate agent, and i know that we have accident forgiveness. which is so smart on your guy's part. like fact that they'll just... forgive you... four weeks without the car. okay. yep. good night. with accident forgiveness your rates won't go up just because of an accident. switching to allstate is worth it. it's theat olive gardenver introducing new giant stuffed pastas starting at $12.99.
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allergytry new xyzal®.ou have symptoms like these for relief is as effective at hour 24 as hour one. so be wise all take new xyzal®. this video is not going to make you feel bad about yourself at all. this is crystal and brian on the traveling rings. >> they can do many things on those rings. >> i'm like, if they can do this at the park, what can you do at home? >> all kinds of stuff. >> do you need to even ask? do you need to ask? >> i don't know if they're a romantic couple, but in this case they're coupling, they're swinging on the rings. but watch this. they travel all the way together in tandem from ring to are i think all the way to the end.
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and when they get to the end, they'll turn around and do it in the other direction. >> the part about this, monkey business means something completely different to this couple. >> an impressive video but the story behind it is cooler. to tell us more about it we have crystal and brian via skype "right this minute." welcome to the show, guys. >> hello. >> thanks for having us. >> are you guys just monkeying around in this case or training for something? >> mostly the monkeying around but that's how i got into stunts that way. >> movie or aerial stunts? >> i'm doing some movie stunts. and i just finished a live show marvel universe live. i highly recommend it. i'm excited to see it myself. >> so brian, you share online that before you got into this, you were battling with depression. tell us a little bit about the story behind it. >> it became a way of self-medicating to a degree. like if i'd had an e-mail that came to my inbox and i was like -- instead of angrily
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typing away, i'd be like hold up. i'm going to go swing. i'd get home and feel like nothing else matters because i'm high on adrenaline. i ended up posting a photo of me awhile back and that got a lot of attention. i was bombarded with comments about people going through similar things. they were like i hate going to the gym and lifting weights. it's so boring. and maybe i should try this. traveling rings are awesome. shameless pitch to traveling really changes lives. like i just posted something on social media today about a transformation. the change that's come to this body is incredible. >> what's your relationship with you two? >> we just met like a couple months ago, but, you know -- >> in line at the rings. >> but he's kind of tolerable so i hang around him. >> she asked me, i didn't ask her. >> oh, hey. >> yeah. that's game, girl. you know it.
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showing them how it's done. ♪ it's time to give away another ipad mini. >> to enter you need the buzzword, be at least 21 years old, be a legal resident of the united states or canada. >> then head over to and click on the win ipad button. >> enter the buzzword on facebook, twitter or both and enter on each every day. >> now the buzzword. it's transformer. >> get over to and click the win ipad button and enter the buzzword transformer. t-r-a-n-s-f-o-r-m-e-r. >> good luck spelling that,
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everybody. dude uses a must-have toy for a prank. see what happens when his order comes with a side of surprise. >> you
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eat healthy. >> that's a mouth of happy right there. that's. doing something that millions of people do every day. >> can i just get a boys happy meal. >> he looks old for that. but sometimes immature people like me like the toys inned. that's what this is about. he heads to a local corner
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store. >> i'm buying them out. >> to get his hand on those. the fidget spinners. it has blown up around not just america but the world. he's taking one of these and cuts open the bag that his toy arrived in. places the fidget spinner inside and seals it with the lighter to create the appearance of cool, i got a fidget spinner as a toy. just to troll the mcdonald's workers. >> look at that. wow. >> it looks pretty authentic. >> he heads to another mcdonald's to get a happy meal. suddenly he puts his hand inside just to see the reaction. you have fidget spinners in -- >> what? >> you have fidget spin ners the kids meals now? >> i don't know what you're talking about. >> she's trying her best. she's going we just opened the ties. i've never seen that. the next one captures what's going on across the country. >> you have the fidget spinners?
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>> we do? >> somebody else gets involved. >> yeah, you have them. crazy. >> oh, my gosh. i am taking one of those home. >> i don't get the fascination. they're just ball bearings. that's it. >> it's more for people with adhd for something to do. and people with autism for something for them to focus on. this is a half billion dollar industry. that first girl, she comes back in. >> can i trade you something for that? >> and that's why the teachers get annoyed because the kids are now distracted trying to trade them off. >> these are banned pretty much every school in the u.s. and the uk. they're great. you should try them. >> thank you. that's why you can't have nice things. there you go. >> you can get this at the end of the school that's it, that's all. "e'll see you on the next "right
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tonight -- breaking news as we come on the air. the department of justice, just moments ago, revealing they will appoint a special counsel. former fbi director robert mueller will now serve as special counsel overseeing the fbi investigation into russian meddling in the 2016 election, and any possible collusion with associates of the trump campaign. the department saying it's in the public interest, and it comes as many republicans now join democrats in demanding that james comey testify before the american people about the notes he took during his meetings with the president. also breaking, millions now bracing for severe storms at this hour. after a deadly tornado outbreak already. entire neighborhoods wiped out. new watches across several states tonight. and the disturbing video now emerging. new questions over who was behind these beatings not far fr


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