tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC August 15, 2017 5:30pm-5:59pm PDT
>> we appreciate your time. see you in half an hour tonight, breaking news as we come on the air. president trump doubling down, defending his response to charlottesville, waiting 48 hours before condemning racism, the kkk and white supremacists and tonight now saying there i e ambl >> i think there's blame on both sides. you look at -- you look at both sides, i think there's blame on both sides. and i have no doubt about it. >> the president standing firm saying both sides should take responsibility. also tonight, the growing storm threat. hutre thk ancoicrrming in and e will affect the coastline. the horrific discovery today. e th a father finding his entire family overcome by carbon monoxide. several rushed to the hospital, including first responders. the young mother struck by a tree in new york city central park.ect her
three children. and the former state trooper seen here shooting an unarmed black man during a traffic stop. what he told his victim in court today. niesd daan, night, andit w ge b tonight with president trump in the lobby of trump tower, spending 15 minutes late today defending his response to charlottesville. the president facing outrage after taking 48 hours to condemn racism and to call out groups by name. much of that from leaders of his own party. tonight president trump said he needed all of the facts before delivering his response, and he went on to say there was blame on both sides, that there were fine people on both sides in his words, adding the initial protesters did have a permit. abc's mary bruce was there for it all. she leads us off tonight. >> reporter: president trump today defiant and doubling down. defending his decision to wait 48 hours after the hate-fueled
violence in charlottesville, to call out the white supremacists by name. >> why did you wait so long? >> i didn't wait long. i didn't wait long. i didn't wait long. i wanted to make sure unlike most politicians, that what i said was correct. not make a quick statement. the statement i made on saturday, the first statement was a fine statement. but you don't make statements that direct unless you know the fact. it takes a little while to get the facts. you still don't know the facts and it's a very, very important process to me, and it's a very important statement. as i said -- remember this -- saturday. we condemn in the strongest possible terms, this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. it has no place in america, and then i went on from there. >> reporter: with the backlash growing, the president did not address the fact that the first lady, his daughter, ivanka trump, and the vice president all condemned the racism before he did.
>> so making the statement when i made it was excellent. in fact, the young woman who i hear is a fantastic young woman, her mother wrote me, and said, through, i guess twitter, social media. the nicest things and i very much appreciated that. >> reporter: but the fallout has been swift. at least five members of the president's manufacturing council, several top ceos, all leaving. for them, the cost of doing business with the trump administration now seeming to outweigh the benefits. the ceo of walmart said you missed a critical opportunity to help bring the country together. did you? >> not at all. i think the country -- look. you take a look. i have created over 1 million jobs since i'm president. the country is booming. the stock market is setting records. >> reporter: the president insisting he was right to wait to respond until he had the full story. >> there was no way of making a correct statement that early. i had to see the facts. unlike a lot of reporters.
unlike a lot of reporters. i didn't know david duke was there. i wanted to see the facts. and the facts as they started coming out, were very well stated. in fact, everybody said his statement was beautiful. if he would have made it sooner, that would have been good. i couldn't have made it sooner because i didn't know all of the facts. frankly, people still don't know all of the facts. >> reporter: three days after white supremacists marched in the streets, the president is now back to square one. again, blaming all sides. the president now labeling the counterprotesters the alt-left and saying they deserve blame too. >> what about the alt-left that came charging at the -- as you say, the alt-right? do they have any semblance of guilt? let me ask you this. what about the fact they came charging -- that they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs. do they have any problem?
i think they do. as far as i'm concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day. wait a minute. i'm not finished. i'm not finished, fake news. that was a horrible day. i will tell you something. i watched those very closely. much more closely than you people watched it, and you have -- you had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent, and nobody wants to say that. >> reporter: and what about that initial group that took to the streets on friday night? the president defended some of them too. >> i condemned neo-nazis. i have condemned many different groups, but not all of those people were neo-nazis, believe me. not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch. those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of the statue, robert e. lee. >> reporter: so i asked the president, is he putting the
counterprotesters in the same category as the white supremacists? are you putting what you call the alt-left and white supremacists on the same moral plane? >> i'm not putting anybody on a moral plane. what i'm saying is this. you had a group on one side, and you had a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and it was horrible, and it was a horrible thing to watch, but there is another side. there was a group on this side. you can call them the left. you have just called them the left that came violently attacking the other group. so you can say what you want, but that's the way it is. i think there's blame on both sides. you look at -- you look at both sides. i think there's blame on both sides and i have no doubt about it, and you don't have any doubt about it either. and -- and -- and if you reported it accurately, you would say that. >> reporter: the president standing firm by his response and his leadership. >> the protests -- >> excuse me. and you have some very bad people in that group, but you
also had people that were very fine people. on both sides. >> and mary bruce with us from outside trump tower tonight, and mary, the president made it clear he believes there is blame on both sides here. the reaction is pouring in tonight. the republican speaker of the house saying there can be no moral ambiguity. >> reporter: the speaker of the house is usually one of the president's top defenders, but he just tweeted, we must be clear. white supremacy is repulsive. this bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. there can be no moral ambiguity, and on the other side of the aisle, democrat chris murphy tweeting, just stopped on a roadside to read potus' remarks. i nearly threw up. an american president offering defense of white supremacists, my god. david. >> mary bruce leading us off in new york city tonight. mary, thank you. meanwhile, did the white house know this was coming today? the chief of staff, john kelly,
was off to the side during the news conference in trump tower, photographed by "the new york times." i want to bring in abc's senior white house correspondent, cecilia vega. what are you learning from your white house sources tonight? were they ready today? >> reporter: not at all. the people i'm talking to, among them, there's a complete sense of surprise inside this white house. surprise even frankly that the president even took questions today. that wasn't supposed to happen. you saw that picture of john kelly there, the new chief of staff, inside trump tower sort of just looking down at the ground as the president was speaking. but i have to tell you that for some that are surprised by what happened there today, david, we're also hearing from one other aide that said, let trump be trump. >> he was also asked about steve bannon and his future. the president saying he never spoke to bannon about how to respond to charlottesville and about his future? here's what the president said. >> i like mr. bannon. he is a friend of mine, but he came on very late. you know that. i went through 17 senators, gos,orrn ind a primaries. mr. bannon came on very much later than that, and i like him. he is a good man.
he is not a racist. i can tell you that. he is a good person. he actually gets a very unfair press in that regard, but we'll see what happens with mr. bannon, but he is a good person, and i think the press treats him frankly very unfairly. >> cecilia, the president making no promises about steve bannon's future. >> reporter: he was asked the question about whether he has confidence in his controversial chief strategist, and you could hear the president. he didn't actually answer the question. the president we know has grown frustrated with steve bannon. steve bannon has openly battled with other aides here in the west wing, but one source tells me it's the president's decision whether or not steve bannon stays or goes at this point. >> cecilia vega with us live tonight as well. thank you, cecilia. the president offering a defense for some of the people who descended on charlottesville, adding they did have a permit. and the former leader of the kkk, david duke, liking what he heard. abc's eva pilgrim in charlottesville.
president offering at least some support to the protesters who >> you have a lot of people who were there to innocently protest, and i don't know if you know, but they had a permit. the other group didn't have a permit. so i only tell you this. there are two sides to a story. i thought what took place was a horrible moment for our country. a horrible moment. >> reporter: the former head of the kkk, david duke, over the weekend, tweeting a warning to the president. i would recommend you take a good look in the mirror and who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists. t,ghniew n a grateful to the president for his words today. thank you president trump for your honesty and courage to tell the truth about charlottesville and condemn the leftist terrorists. here in charlottesville, one white nationalist saying the president has helped them. >> he has opened up a door. his movement has opened up a door, but it's up to us to take
the initiative. >> reporter: and tonight, the fight over confederate statues is now a flashpoint. in durham,orth carolina overnight, crowds tearing down a this statue honoring confederate soldiers. >> let me be clear, no one is getting away with what happened. we are pursuing felony charges. >> reporter: there are 700 monuments like this throughout the u.s. pressure is building for many cities to move them or take them down. that fight, energizing white nationalists who want to stop them. coming weeks. tonight, the southern poverty law center reports that in the last three years, more than 125 new hate groups have formed. >> they are just kind of now coming more to light and coming out from the cracks because of the new electionhe j tofns uewe again tonight from charlottesville, and eva, there are more rallies planned around the country? >> reporter: that's right, david.
cities and schools taking a hard look, balancing public safety and the right to free speech. texas a&m already canceling a planned white nationalist rally that was supposed to happen in september, david. >> eva pilgrim with us again tonight. thank you, eva. in the meantime, we have a major development tonight in the showdown with north korea. the war of words with kim jong-un. president trump promising fire and fury if the north koreans made any more threats against the u.s., and north korea vowing to strike near guam by the end of august. and today, this new message from kim saying, we'll watch stupid american behavior a bit longer and warning against extremely dangerous, reckless actions on the korean peninsula. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff talking with our martha raddatz, saying the u.s. remains at the ready. >> we have the capability to defend them against the limited attack that north korea is capable of delivering today. >> let's bring in martha raddatz from seoul, and that language from north korea would make it
appear they have backe no but t knows they are still a major threat. >> reporter: yes, david. it does appear kim jong-un blinked and backed away in what could have resulted in a major military conflict, but this does not in any way end the threat from this volatile dictar. we know intelligence believes he is trying to perfect a nuclear weapon that could reach the u.s., and as the general told me, military options must remain on the table, david. >> reporting in from seoul again tonight, thank you, martha. back at home to the invisible danger. this time in new jersey, nearly a dozen people hospitalized by dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. a father coming home to discover his entire family unconscious. police and neighbors overcome after rushing inside to help, and here's abc's mara schiavocampo. >> reporter: tonight, 11 people recovering after being trapped inside this new jersey home, poisoned by a carbon monoxide leak. officials saying they were discovered moments before it was too late. >> five people unconscious.
possible carbon monoxide poisoning. >> reporter: officials telling abc news a father came last night home to find his wife, two young children and two adult step-children in distress. he rushed in to pull them out. two good samaritans joining the rescue. three police officers quickly following suit. but the toxic gas so strong it made the rescuers sick too. >> the levels were higher than any norm -- i would say normal carbon monoxide incident that you woul>> reporter: firefighte .e breathing through gas masks, detecting c-o levels 45 times what it usually takes to set off a carbon monoxide detector. david, it's unclear whether or not there were working carbon monoxide detecters inside the home. david? >> mara, thank you. next tonight here, the big scare in new york city's central park. a 39-year-old was carrying a baby in a baby carrier, and pushing two more children in a p of them. good samaritans and first responders rushing to help them.
the mother suffering the mt os serious injury, but it is not life threatening. the children are okay. we are following the storm threat in the atlantic tonight. hurricane gert strong enough to cause rough surf and rip currents from north carolina to southern new england tonight. we're tracking that. in the meantime, severe storms in the heartland. heavy rain and flash flooding in russellville, arkansas. the pictures coming in, and tropical systems on the map, the concern, you're watching along the coastline. >> correct. even though this won't affect land, northeast movement at 12 miles per hour, between 2 to 7-foot waves come along with this, and rip currents. that's what can be deadly. a real look at some of the other tropical waves we're watching. three more right there in the barrel we'll be watching in the next five days, david. >> i have been with you on the morning and congratulations on the night. a baby on the way. >> thank you. we move to south carolina tonight, and to a police shooting making national headlines. a former state trooper sncteened
today for opening firen an unarmed driver as he reached for his license during a traffic stop. the trooper face to face with the man he wounded in court today, saying, quote, i screwed up. here's steve osunsami. >> rep t sr:te yorou fher licen please? get out of the car. get out of the car. >> reporter: seen in this video gunning down a black driver before he even has a chance to show him his license is apologizing tonight. >> get on the ground. get on the ground. >> just got my license, you said get my license. >> reporter: a south carolina judge sentenced 34-year-old sean groubert to 12 years in prison for the shooting, but he's expected to serve three with good behavior. today, he faced the man he could have killed. >>id nothing wrong. d y i screwed up. that's plain aple. i have made the biggest mistake imof my life.ndr:roubert says h wanted to say he's sorry in person for the last three years, but the courts required him to keep away from his victim,
david. >> steve, thank you. there is much more ahead on "world news tonight" this tuesday. the home explosion rocking an american neighborhood. the blast heard miles away. several homes damaged. a couple critically injured. what authorities are now saying. and more on that accident on a movie set. the new 911 calls coming in after that motorcycle stunt turned deadly. and new details tonight about another movie stunt gone wrong involving tom cruise. we'll be right back.
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>> reporter: a statement on her facebook page reading, she was fearless and relentless in pursuit of her dream. joi will be remembereder groundbreaking career as h the f first african-american road racer. the accident happening just a day after tom cruise slammed into a building, attempting his own stunt fo for "mission: impossible 6." no update on cruise's condition, and just a month ago on the set of "the walking dead," a stunt man fell two stories and died, no doubt in this latest case, an investigation is under way. david. >> gio benitez, thank you. when we come back, the massive home explosion racking a neighborhood. two criminally injured. pictures coming in. we'll be right back. you couldh at the all-new carfax.com that might help. show me the carfax? now the car you want and the history you need are easy to find. show me used minivans with no reported accidents. boom. love it. [struggles]
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making a remarkable comeback after battling his toughest opponent, cancer. >> and that is see you later strike three. >> reporter: then a standing ovation. >> standing ovation for chad bettis. >> reporter: handshakes from his coach.and bear hugs from teamma. and win not just for chad bettis. his team family and an inspiration to others fighting cancer. >> keep going and surround yourself with people that are positive it's never really done someone next to you. >> as the sign said, bettis is back. i'm david muir. i hope to see you right back here tomorrow. until then, have a good evening. good night. new at 6:00 tonight, the in the new white nationalist
leaders, their california connection,nd a t outrage, concern, grief about what happened in charlottesville. >> sharing her plans, hopes, and fears about how to keep her >>and thesa. fefirst-ever oakla police commission has just been announced. so who's on it? new at 6:00, we dig into the member's backgrounds and find out who knows what it's hike to be in handcuffs. >> live, where you live, this is "abc7 news." >> to say that we are outraged is an understatement. >> after violence in virginia and race driven clashes across the country, san francisco officials are now worried about keeping the public safe here. good evening and thanks for joining us. i'm ama daetz. >> and i'm dan ashley. a right wing rally has been permitted in the city without the city's knowledge. >>