tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC August 16, 2017 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
>> from all of tonight, president trump dealing with a ceo exodus. several ceos bailing on the president's business councils after his leadership on charlottesville. as the number mounted the president now saying he has disbanded the councils and tonight the president's chief of staff. was the white house blindsided by his most recent comments? also the hurricane along the american coastline turning deadly. the warnings up at this hour. the flight crew sickened. the third time in a week. jetblue crew members falling ill. tonight, the airline on what it blames this time. the explosion on an american highway. the big rig crash erupting into flames. and the major medical headline tonight on cancer. can a blood test now find cancer before the symptoms start? good evening, and it's great to have you with us here on a
wednesday night, and we begin tonight with the backlash against president trump. several of the nation's top ceos from companies you will know, campbell soup, pepsi, walmart, bailing on the president's business councils. it comes amid the president's response to charlottesville and his newest comment saying both sides should share the blame. that there were very fine people on both sides. and tonight, many studying the president's chief of staff, general john kelly's face, appearing to wince as president trump delivered those words. was the white house blindsided on this? abc's mary bruce leading us off. >> reporter: he sold himself as the businessman president, able to harness the power of corporate america, but tonight, some of the nation's top executives are turning their backs on president trump. the tipping point, his comments suggesting the white supremacists in charlottesville should share the blame with the protesters opposing them. >> mr. president, are you putting what you are calling the alt-left and white supremacists on the same moral plane? >> i am 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 horrible. i think there is blame on both sides. you look at both sides -- i think there is blame on both sides. >> reporter: the president going so far as to defend some of those who took part in the white nationalist rally. >> excuse me. they didn't put themselves down as neo-nazis. you had some very bad people in that group. you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. >> reporter: those comments did not sit well with many ceos on the president's business advisory councils. already, some were jumping ship. the first, merck ceo ken frazier, the only african-american on trump's manufacturing council. monday, frazier quit the council, saying "america's leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred." the president fired back, tweeting, "frazier, will have more time to lower ripoff drug prices."
why do you think ceos are leaving your manufacturing council? >> because they aren't taking their job seriously as it pertains to this country. >> reporter: on twitter he added "for every ceo that drops out of the manufacturing council, i have many to take their place." but that didn't stop the stampede of departures. today, the ceo of campbell soup leaving, saying "racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in charlottesville. i believe the president should have been and still needs to be unambiguous on that point." and now a key white house advisory council of powerhouse ceos has voted to disband. powerhouses like pepsi, ge, ibm and walmart. in a letter to employees, jp morgan ceo jamie dimon writing "i strongly disagree with president trump's reaction to the events that took place in charlottesville over the past several days. racism, intolerance and violence are always wrong." the ceos called the white house to inform the president of their
decision and he quickly put out this tweet -- "rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the manufacturing council & strategy & policy forum, i am ending both. thank you all!" the saga is taking a toll on the white house. among some in the president's inner circle a sense of exasperation. the president's new chief of staff, john kelly, spotted at that combative off-the-cuff press conference, staring down at the floor, at times seeming to wince. the political fallout has been swift. republican senator lindsey graham saying the president took "a step backward" adding, "your words are dividing americans, not healing them." and today, a joint statement from presidents bush 41 and 43. they stopped short of naming president trump, but made it clear, "america must always reject racial bigotry, anti-semitism, and hatred in all forms." the chair of the republican national committee now out on damage control. on "gma," david pressing her on a key campaign pledge. >> as you know, during the campaign, then-candidate donald trump repeatedly made a promise that he would be able to unite the nation better than hillary clinton. he said he was the unifier.
i want you to listen to this. >> i think the thing that will surprise people, i'll be a unifier. i think i'll bring people together and that includes blacks and whites and everything. i think people will come together. >> do you think what he said yesterday unified the american people? >> i think condemning white supremacy and kkk and neo-naziism was the first step. >> sharing the blame is what he said yesterday. >> i don't think comparing blame works in this situation. >> reporter: and she had her own message to white supremacists. the republican party doesn't support you and doesn't want your vote. >> she was very clear on that. mary bruce with us live tonight, and mary, as you reported, the president was quick on twitter to frame all of the ceos leaving in his own terms. >> reporter: yeah, david. the president was quick to try and get ahead of this, but the fact of the matter is one of these panels was seeing an avalanche of departures and the other we have learned have decided to disband and informed the white house of the decision
before the president sent that tweet, david. >> mary bruce leading us off again tonight. mary, thank you. now to charlottesville and the very emotional moment today. a mother and father in front of a packed auditorium. you will hear what they said after losing their daughter after that driver plowed into that crowd. abc's eva pilgrim was in the room. >> reporter: in charlottesville tonight, a line of people standing in solidarity with heather heyer, the 32-year-old woman killed in that horrific car attack. >> no father should have to do this. >> reporter: from her father mark, a plea for peace. >> she wanted to put down hate and for my part we just need to stop all this stuff and just forgive each other. >> reporter: but from heather's mother susan, defiance -- >> they tried to kill my child to shut her up. well, guess what? you just magnified her. [ cheers and applause ]
>> reporter: then, a call to action. >> say to yourself, what can i do to make a difference? and that's how you're going to make my child's death worthwhile. i'd rather have my child, but by golly if i have to give her up we're going to make it count. [ applause ] >> reporter: after, words of hope. is there a way to move on from this? >> i think the only thing we can do is reach out to people who think differently than us and realize that we're all humans. [ chanting ] >> reporter: but as charlottesville tries to heal, a new documentary from vice giving us a closer look at the hate-filled protests. [ chanting "jews will not replace us" ] >> reporter: hundreds of white nationalists marching through the university of virginia, torches in hand. vice spoke with one of those white nationalists, christopher cantwell about that
car attack that killed heather heyer. his answer, chilling. >> rivals are a bunch of stupid animals that don't pay attention they couldn't just get out of the way of his car and some people got hurt. the amount of restraint that our people showed out there was astounding. >> reporter: but tonight in charlottesville, heather's mother insists her daughter's death will have meaning and that her legacy is only beginning. >> and eva pilgrim joins us tonight from charlottesville, and eva, some very difficult moments for that community. drawing strength from that mother and father, and tonight, the military, all five service chiefs have come out on their own to condemn racism and these hate groups? >> reporter: that's right, david. those top commanders in a rare move speaking out. army general mark milley tweeting, the army doesn't tolerate racism, extremism or hatred in our ranks. it's against our values and everything we have stood for since 1775, david. >> eva pilgrim with us again tonight. eva, thank you.
one more note on this tonight because there is more reporting on the man who allegedly drove his car into that crowd. authorities now releasing records of 911 calls, his past and his alleged treatment of his own mother. here's abc's senior justice correspondent, pierre thomas. >> reporter: tonight, disturbing new details about james alex fields jr., seen here shouting about white power -- >> white sharia now! >> reporter: moments before police say he rammed his car into that crowd. his mother says she knew he was going to a rally, but was unsure what it was about. >> i didn't know it was white supremacist. i thought it had something to do with trump. trump's not a supremacist. >> reporter: 911 transcripts released to abc news portray fields terrorizing his wheelchair-bound mother from 2010 to 2011 three times. in one call, samantha bloom told police that her 13-year-old son smacked her in the head and put his hands over her mouth.
a fearful bloom had made the call after locking herself in the bathroom. in another call, fields allegedly stood behind her with a 12-inch knife and "scared mom to death not knowing if he was going to do something." >> and pierre thomas with us live tonight as well, and pierre, in baltimore, confederate monuments were removed in the middle of the night last night, and the mayor saying, quote, it was in the best interest of my city? >> reporter: the mayor took emergency action because after seeing what took place in charlottesville, she believed the statues were a security risk. today she said, quote, enough speeches being made. david, she said, get it done. >> pierre thomas with us tonight as well. thank you, pierre. next this evening, the storm threat moving up the atlantic coast. hurricane gert causing rip currents that have turned deadly. there are warnings up at this hour across several states, so let's get to meteorologist rob marciano who is with us live from new jersey tonight. hey, rob. >> reporter: hi, david. hurricane gert over 400 miles off this coastline, but has turned off these waters making the surf danger.
this beach is closed to swimming because of dozens of water rescues from rip currents now. one man losing his life. check out gert. a category 2, and you see the distinct eye there. 100 mile-an-hour winds, and moving rapidly to the northeast. heavy surge through new england through tomorrow night. we have disturbances in the coast. the closest one, likely to head into the caribbean, according to our computer models. the other two could make a closer approach to the u.s. by the end of next week. we're ramping up hurricane season, david. >> it's that time of year. rob marciano with us live tonight. thank you, rob. we move on this evening to the sudden illnesses affecting a major airline for the third time in just a week. crew members aboard a jetblue flight have become sickened. they were taken to the hospital, and this evening what the airline now says caused this newest case. here's abc's david kerley. >> reporter: this jet, the third jetblue aircraft in a week -- >> there are possibly two patients. >> reporter: in which a crew member became sick. >> there's an odor on the plane.
we're unsure what it is. >> reporter: two crew members on this boston to charleston flight taken to the hospital. jetblue says in this case it was nail polish remover that was the odor. but just last thursday, two jetblue aircraft were diverted after a half dozen crew members complained of odors in the cabin. >> they get a noxious odor in the aircraft, and it appears to be a smoky type smell. >> reporter: in one of those incidents, an emergency crew administered oxygen. many both incidents last week, jetblue fold the manufacturers and the faa's guidelines in checking out the aircraft, and both jet liners were returned to service. david? >> david kerley. our thanks to you as well. next tonight, the military tragedy unfolding in hawaii. the images coming in. the search under way for five crew members. their army blackhawk chopper crashing during a night training exercise off of oahu. the coast guard spotting debris in the water 90 minutes after contact was lost. no word yet on why that chopper
went down. in london tonight, the manhunt under way at this hour after a bold heist in daylight. a team of thieves on motorcycles using hammers to smash their way in, and then one waving a sledgehammer on their way out. abc's james longman from london tonight. >> reporter: tonight, london police searching for the mysterious thieves in this daring jewelry heist. this video capturing them pour out of the smoke-filled shop. six figures in black. still wearing their helmets, they jump onto their waiting mopeds, making a speedy getaway. you can see one of the thieves wave a sledge hammer used to smash their way in and inside, the aftermath another hammer discarded. the thieves taking an unknown amount in valuables from the display cases. you can see they have put the glass back on that shop now. this happened right in the middle of central london, we're just around the corner from the famous department store, harrods. and this is not the first heist of its kind. in april, 2015, the biggest heist in uk history, nearly $20 million was stolen from a
safety deposit box by four elderly pensioners. there's no indication of any connection with other robberies. no one was hurt. police haven't yet made any arrests, but are appealing for witnesses, david. >> abc's james longman. james, thank you. back here at home tonight, and the sudden shakeup in the russia investigation. special counsel robert mueller, losing one of his top investigators. peter stroke, after only a few weeks on the job. there's no word why tonight. mueller working with nearly two dozen lawyers, administrators and a federal grand jury now investigating russia's meddling in the u.s. presidential election and any possible collusion. there is much more ahead on "world news tonight" this wednesday. a fiery crash on the american highway. the big rig crashing the explosion that followed. then motorists trying to help free the driver. the incredible scene. part of the highway shut down tonight. the new headline this evening involving robo-calls. are you saddled with them at the dinner table? the company that may have to pay you for disrupting your dinner. up to $900. are you on the list? and then the dramatic
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next tonight here, your money. robo-calls infuriate americans every day. many during the dinner hour, and tonight, a new class action lawsuit and the potential payout of up to $900 per person if you were called. abc's chief business correspondent, rebecca jarvis, tonight. >> reporter: tonight, a potential payout for those who got calls offering free cruises, all because of a proposed class action settlement in a lawsuit alleging resort marketing group broke the law when it robo-called consumers -- offering cruises on carnival and royal caribbean and norwegian. the cruise lines all denied they authorized the robo-calls. anyone getting those calls from 2009 to 2014 may now be eligible for up to $900 for up to three phone lines. people can check on the
settlement website to see if they received a call by punching in their phone numbers -- they have until november 3rd to make a claim. robo-calls to home and cell phones, the number one consumer complaint. >> this is an important message regarding your automotive warranty. >> reporter: under the law, telemarketing robocalls require consent. so the government urging consumers to report unwanted calls and stay on that do not call list. >> this will get a lot of attention tonight. where do you check this list? >> you go to the resort marketing settlement website and you could be entitled to, as we said, $900 for receiving these cruise calls. >> they infuriate so many. rebecca, thank you. when we come back, the medical headline on cancer. can a blood test find it before the symptoms start? the explosion on an american highway. part of it shut down tonight. and will he or won't he? daniel craig's answer tonight on the next bond movie. i have spent years taking over-the-counter products for my belly pain and constipation. i've had it up to here!
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crash in kansas city, missouri. a tractor trailer slamming into an overpass and catching fire on interstate 435 there. a driver and his dog pulled out by other motorists. police say he may have suffered a medical episode. part of the highway is shut down until tomorrow. the new health headline about detecting cancer. a study suggesting researchers may be closing in on a blood test to detect some forms of cancer before symptoms appear. the test scans blood for dna released by cancerous tumors. that study appearing in the journal of science, translational medicine tonight. and craig. daniel craig, he'll be back as bond. the actor confirming to stephen colbert he'll play 007 for a fifth time after suggesting he would rather slit his wrists. he said it was all a joke, and he'll be back for the 25th installment. he is a pretty good bond. when we come back, america strong. the moment a husband gets trapped in the rapids and what they do to save him. you have to see this. [upbeat music]
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>> reporter: daniel hartung's very first whitewater kayak trip nearly killed him. coming down six mile creek near hope, alaska saturday, you can see he has been thrown into the water. >> hey he's pinned! he's caught! >> reporter: fellow kayakers begin a rescue as hartung fights the raging current. >> the more i tried to extract myself, the lower my head went until i was not able to breathe anymore. >> reporter: then hartung goes under. >> i just came to the realization that i was not gonna get out of this by myself and this was probably the end. >> reporter: that's when a stranger, obadiah jenkins, jumps into action. >> i knew at that point there was no way that i could let this man die. if i had a 1% chance of doing something that saved his life, i was going to try it. [ cheers ] >> reporter: rescuers used cpr to revive him. for jenkins who turned 33 that day, there was no better present. >> i said to him, nobody dies on my birthday.
>> heroes exist upon us every day. >> reporter: clayton sandell, abc news, denver. >> he also told us his wife told him the kayak trip was a bad idea. he is home and wants to buy his rescuer a good steak. i hope to see you tomorrow. good night. new at 6:00, the i-team digs into the personal and political background of a man organizing a
right wing rally in san francisco, and the documents that explain what to expect. i'm wayne freedman in santa rosa. this is a shot of an encampment known as homeless hill. for 15 years, the city tried to get people to leave this area. now they have and they have done so willingly. we'll tell you how, coming up. live where you live, this is "abc7 news." >> the park service is working directly with the feds and police to make sure that we have an awesome game plan. >> the organizer of a right wing rally set for san francisco in ten days talks to the "abc7 news" i-team about concerns of violence. city leaders are calling on the federal government to rescind his permit. thank you for joining us. i'm ama daetz. >> and i'm dan ashley. the i-team has obtained ocuments that provide insight into the plans. >> dan noyes is here. >> reporter: in the documents we
obtained, an e-mail chain shows the park service has serious concerns about security at the event and possible violent clashes. i spoke with the man organizing the rally this afternoon. joey gibson started his group patriot prayer after donald trump supporters were attacked last year. >> that shouldn't happen to anybody. so that's something that changed in my life. >> reporter: he started organizing trump rallies, and in recent weeks, especially after the charlottesville violence and the death of heather heyer, he says he's trying to distance himself from extremists on both sides. >> we need to have respect for each other. when you have name call, you have nothing to say. >> reporter: does it concern you some of these extremists, showing up, as well? >> it's a c
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