tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC February 28, 2018 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
tonight, breaking news. the resignation at the white house. less than 24 hours after answering questions on capitol hill, hope hicks now resigns. president trump's longest serving aide stepping down. abc news learning hicks told house investigators just yesterday she had occasionally told white lies on the president's behalf. the white house says the timing today is coincidental. also tonight, the president's call to take action on guns. oftentimes siding with the democrats at the table. tonight, supporting universal background checks. and what about raising the age limit on buying guns? a new scare at a school tonight. students running for their lives. this time, a teacher, armed with a gun, barricading himself inside a classroom, firing his weapon. we are tracking a nor'easter off the coast tonight, moving in on several major cities, from
d.c. up through new york and boston. the man posing as a driver, authorities say attacking several women who got into his car. and is amazon taking photos of your front door? tonight, the reason why. good evening. and it's great to have you with us here on a wednesday night. and we begin with that major resignation at the white house. hope hicks, the president's longest-serving aide, with the president even before his campaign. just 24 hours ago, on capitol hill, answering those questions, a source telling abc news she told house investigators she had occasionally told white lies for the president. she is now stepping down. tonight, the white house says the timing of this resignation is coincidental. and tonight, the growing list of departures, right there on your screen. a little more than a year into this administration, starting with michael flynn. the firings, the resignations. one more key name added to that list tonight, hope hicks. abc's senior white house correspondent cecilia vega leading us off. >> reporter: less than 24 hours
after hope hicks emerged from nearly nine hours of testifying on capitol hill -- >> any collusion? >> reporter: tonight, the president's closest aide and long-time confidante unexpectedly resigning from her role as communications director. sending shockwaves through the west wing. the official line from the white house, "hicks has been thinking about leaving the job for some time and wants to spend more time with her family." but the news comes with hicks under fire for that testimony, telling congressional investigators under oath that she occasionally told white lies on behalf of the president of the united states. >> thank you, donald trump. >> reporter: at 29 years old, she became one of the most powerful players in the trump white house. >> now hope hicks is a tremendously talented person. she started off with us right from day one. >> reporter: by the president's side through the campaign. >> hope hicks. where's hope? hope, come here, hope. come here, hope. get up here, hope. hope hicks, the legendary hope hicks.
she's very shy. she's actually a very shy person, but she's a great person. she's done an amazing job. >> reporter: before that, in trump tower, as an assistant to the billionaire businessman. a former model, she joined the family working on ivanka trump's fashion line. now, she helps run the white house. her handwriting right there on the president's note, reminding him to tell those grieving families from parkland, "i hear you." within minutes of news of her departure, the president releasing a statement, saying, "she is as smart and thoughtful as they come. a truly great person. i will miss having her by my side, but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, i totally understood." chief of staff john kelly calling hicks "strategic, poised and wise beyond her years. to say that she will be missed is an understatement." but her tenure in washington not without scandal. hicks was involved in crafting a misleading statement about that now infamous trump tower meeting between don jr. and the russians. more recently, she was at the center of the firestorm over the
departure of former staff secretary rob porter, ousted amid domestic violence allegations. porter and hope were dating. and she helped craft the administration's defense of him when the news broke. but tonight, the white house says none of that is linked to her departure. the timing just coincidence. >> so, let's get to cecilia vega, live at the white house tonight. and cecilia, hope hicks releasing a statement of her own tonight? >> reporter: david, she is. she says there are no words to adequately express her gratitude to president trump. not that long ago, right here in the west wing, she tearfully thanked west wing staffers. she is a very beloved member of this administration. her office was right outside president trump's oval office. we can't emphasize enough how much of a trusted adviser she was to him. her actual departure date could still be weeks off, david, but this has been a very key role and a tough one for this white house to fill. hope hicks is now the fourth communications director to come and go. >> cecilia vega leading us off tonight. cecilia, thank you. meantime, as you know, the other firestorm tonight,
republicans reacting at this hour to what they saw from the president today at the white house. he was sitting with republicans and democrats on guns and school safety, saying he supports what many of the democrats support. universal background checks, among other things, pushed by the students and family, in parkland, florida. but tonight, many in his own party are now livid. abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl. >> reporter: before the television cameras at the white house, the most pro-nra president in history gathered together a group including some of congress's most forceful advocates of gun control. >> i see some folks that don't say nice things about me, that's okay. because if you turn that into this energy, i'll love you. i don't care. >> reporter: and sitting in that room, the president repeatedly took positions that put himself at odds with the nra and republican leaders in congress. he embraced connecticut democrat chris murphy's call for background checks on all gun
purchases. an idea republicans have voted down again and again. >> we can't get it done. there's nothing else like that, where it works, people want it and we can't do it. >> but you have a different president now. >> well, listen, i mean -- >> you went through a lot of presidents and you didn't get it done. you have a different president. and i think maybe you have a different attitude, too. i think people want to get it done. >> mr. president, it's going to have to be you that brings the republicans to the table on this, because right now, the gun lobby would stop it in its tracks. >> i like that responsibility, chris. i really do. i think it's time. it's time that a president stepped up. >> reporter: trump even seemed to opposed his own vice president on how to take guns from someone identified as a possible threat. >> allow due process, so no one's rights are trampled, but the ability to go to court, obtain an order and then collect not only the firearms, but any weapons in the possession of that individual -- >> or take the firearms first and then go to court. because that's another system, because a lot of times, by the time you go to court, it takes so long to go to court, to get
the due process procedures -- i like taking the guns early. take the guns first, go through due process second. >> reporter: and the president brought up an idea the nra says it firmly opposes -- raising the age to buy assault weapons like the ar-15 used in the parkland shooting to 21 years old. >> i would give very serious thought to it. it doesn't make sense that i have to wait until i'm 21 to get a handgun, but i can get this weapon at 18. i don't know. >> reporter: the president told the bipartisan group, he wants more than action. he wants bold action. a comprehensive bill on guns and school safety. he told one republican leader to put aside a controversial pro-gun measure and to concentrate on something democrats will support. >> you'll never get this passed. if you add concealed carry to this, you'll never get it passed. >> reporter: the president called the nra patriots, on his side. >> i'm telling you, i think they're there. i think they're there. some of you people are petrified of the nra. you can't be petrified. they want to do what's right. and they're going to do what's
right. i really believe that. i think it was a very good lunch. >> reporter: toward the end of the meeting, the president predicted success. >> we could all get together, we could put in one great piece of legislation, chuck, i think that you're going to have an amazing result in the vote. people want to see something happen. but they want to see something good happen. >> reporter: one last question from senator dianne feinstein on banning assault weapons. >> what do we do about weapons of war easily accessible on our streets? >> what you're going to have to do is discuss it with anybody and any solutions -- no, it's a very complex solution, you do. you have -- you have weapons on the street, that's what we're talking about, with black market. >> oh, no. you go into a store and you can buy an ar-15. >> you can. >> you can buy a tech-9. i mean, you can buy all these weapons. >> well, this is what you're going to have to discuss. >> jon karl live with us from the white house tonight. and jon, we heard the president there tell senator chris murphy, in your report, you have a new president now, to get something done. inviting the pressure, in
essence, and you're getting republican reaction tonight? >> reporter: republicans in that room didn't challenge the president on any of this, but to give you an idea of what the president is up against, look at this statement from senator ben sasse, republican of nebraska. right after the meeting, he said, "strong leaders don't automatically agree with the last thing that was said to them. we're not ditching any constitutional protections simply because the last person the president talked to today doesn't like them." to say this will be a tough sell with republicans, david, is an understatement. >> all right, you'll be watching, jon. thank you. meanwhile, that emotional return to school today for the students in parkland. their first stop once at school? returning to wherever they were during that fourth period when the gunfire broke out, to reunite with the friends they were with when it all happened. meantime, we're also learning about the stunning amount of ammunition that gunman left behind at the school. abc's victor oquendo at the scene tonight. >> reporter: the walk to school unlike any other before it.
students returning, carrying flowers, greeting officers, some with signs of encouragement. >> my school will never be the same, though. it will never be the same. >> reporter: it's changed forever. >> yeah, definitely. >> reporter: the students' first stop, their fourth period class. the same period they were in when the shooting began. the idea, to allow them to spend time with those students they were with when the shots broke out. >> when i got into the classroom, it was kind of, like, everyone stared at each other and got a little silent. and then, we all kind of, like, reunited. >> reporter: the freshman building where the attack occurred, closed. it will never be used again. a reminder that the school is far from whole. >> today was a weird, strange, emotional day. >> reporter: how so? >> in my spanish class especially, because one of our students didn't show up today, because he was one of the 17. so, that was very upsetting. >> reporter: tonight, a law enforcement source tells abc news nikolas cruz left behind nearly 180 unused rounds. and one of the magazines recovered had a swastika on it. an official briefed on the investigation says cruz tried to shoot out a window on the third floor, but the hurricane-proof glass didn't shatter.
fleeing students could have been targets. >> the hurricane-proof glass. and victor joins us now from parkland tonight, where students wait to hear if the florida state legislature will take any new action. seven days left in that legislative session. we'll track that. but a major announcement from the ceo of dick's sporting goods today on "good morning america," that the company will no longer sell assault-style rifles. take a listen. >> we're staunch supporters of the second amendment. i'm a gun owner myself. but we've just decided that based on what's happened, and with these guns, we don't want to be apart of this story. and we've eliminated these guns permanently. >> victor, this follows action from a long list of companies? >> reporter: david, we just got word moments ago that walmart has raised the age restriction to purchase firearms to 21 years old. and this comes after more than a dozen companies have publicly cut ties with the nra, ranging from low the operators to insurance providers. david? >> victor oquendo with us again tonight. and to a new school scare we're following tonight. this time, a teacher with a gun barricading himself inside his
classroom and then firing a shot. students running in fear. and here's abc's steve osunsami on that front. >> reporter: this was the panic this morning during third period at dalton high school north of atlanta, after police say this popular social studies teacher had a breakdown and locked himself in an empty classroom with a handgun. >> he was telling people to go away. >> reporter: the principal, who was outside the door, says that 53-year-old randall davidson wasn't making sense, and fired a bullet through a window. they immediately evacuated the school. >> everybody started screaming and some teachers said, "get out, get out." and we all just started running out. and, i left everything -- my bookbag. we didn't finish eating. >> reporter: the school's armed security officer was offcampus. the only person with a gun was the teacher, seen here, who for years has called games for the football team. >> when i got to dalton, my knowledge of dalton football was almost zero. >> reporter: within minutes, everyone in the area with a badge was on campus. police say the teacher agreed to surrender. police tonight are announcing
charges, including aggravated assault and carrying a weapon onto school grounds. the teacher has not yet entered a plea. students say what happened in florida made them especially frightened. david? >> we can all understand that. steve, thank you. and to the russia investigation tonight, the president's former campaign manager, paul manafort, pleading not guilty to new criminal charges brought by special counsel robert mueller. manafort was arraigned today on five additional counts, including tax evasion and bank fraud. the trial now set for september 17th. and the president tonight taking aim at his attorney general, jeff sessions. this is not new, but what is new is that the a.g. is now firing back. here's abc's chief justice correspondent pierre thomas. >> reporter: the president has made his frustration with his attorney general well-known for months. >> i am disappointed in the attorney general. he should not have recused himself. if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job. and i would have picked somebody else.
a lot of people are disappointed in the justice department, including me. >> reporter: tonight, for the first time, attorney general jeff sessions is firing back. it comes after this tweet today from the president, slamming sessions. the president believes sessions has not done enough to investigate allegations the fbi abused surveillance powers in the russia investigation. the president tweeting, "why is a.g. jeff sessions asking the inspector general to investigate potentially massive fisa abuse? will take forever. has no prosecutorial power. isn't the i.g. an obama guy? why not use justice department lawyers? disgraceful." after months of responding diplomatically to the president's attacks -- >> well, it's kind of hurtful, but the president of the united states is a strong leader. >> reporter: -- today, sessions stood up to the president. writing in a statement, quote, "we have initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against this department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary.
as long as i am attorney general, i will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor." >> and pierre thomas with us tonight, live from washington. and pierre, some critics tonight, even some republicans, say the president's trying to influence or pressure the justice department with his words and tweets like the one today? >> reporter: that's right, david. president trump in that tweet told sessions to use justice department attorneys, telling him how to do his job. but tonight, sources say the message from sessions was blunt. let me do the job as i see fit, or fire me. david? >> pierre thomas with us again tonight. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this wednesday. the man posing as a driver. authorities say then attacking several women who got into his car. also, we are tracking a nor'easter, right off the east coast tonight. several major cities from d.c. up through new york and boston all preparing. the intense police shootout. officers firing dozens of shots. the images coming in. and this question tonight, is amazon taking photos of your front door? tonight, the reason why, when we come back. ♪ if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis,
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next tonight, a powerful nor'easter preparing to strike the east coast, and a storm threat from texas, all the way to maine tonight. in pangburn, arkansas, failing dike along the little red river causing a mudslide there and flooding homes. we're tracking that. meantime, on the nor'easter front, airlines already offering waivers. let's get right to rob marciano, tracking it all for us. hey, rob. >> reporter: hey, david. a lot going on with this thing. let's get right to it. kind of a two-pronged system for now that will phase into one. the southern energy ejecting out of texas, getting into the flood zone with some severe weather. flooding rains extend across the ohio valley tomorrow. a little bit of snow from chicago to detroit to cleveland. and then tomorrow night into friday, it all becomes one big coastal low. wind will be ripping, rain driving down. travel extremely dangerous, i-95 back through the airports, d.c., even back through atlanta. wet snow coming down. 30 to 60-mile-an-hour winds, maybe some power outages, and coastal flooding that will rival the record-breaking blizzard we had back in january. >> wow. a very messy friday. all right, rob, thanks. when we come back tonight, amazon taking photos of your front door? tonight, the reason why. and more on that police
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and i love grooming the next generation. ask your doctor about lyrica. to the index of other news tonight. the explosive police shootout in san francisco. a murder suspect allegedly firing two shots at police from inside an rv. seven officers unleashing about 65 rounds. no one hit. the suspect surrendered two hours later. the alleged serial rapist arrested in los angeles. nicholas morales is charged with attacking at least seven women in 15 months. authorities say he posed as a rideshare driver. police urging customers who use those rideshare apps to check the license plate before you get in. some amazon drivers are now taking pictures of your front porch and sending them to you, to show where they placed the package. the company is hoping to crack down on package theft. and the late reverend billy graham now lying in honor at the capitol. a military guard carrying his casket into the rotunda. the president and first lady there to pay tribute. graham counseled presidents and
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saying, like, oh, she's a victim, or she's a hero. it was just about showing her as a human. >> the haters always say, tonya, tell the truth. everyone has their own truth. >> reporter: our amy robach asking tonya harding about the portrayal. >> what's it like watching margot robbie? >> i felt so sorry for her that she had to actually play me, you know? to try to go through what i went through? >> reporter: allison janney playing harding's mother. >> i didn't stay home making apple brown betties. no, i made you a champion. knowing you'd hate me for it. that's the sacrifice a mother makes. >> oh, my god. yes. she was fabulous. >> you're a monster. >> spilled milk, baby. i almost wanted to cry, because i felt so bad that she had
experienced that kind of mother. >> reporter: janney already winning the golden globe. >> this very distinctive, unique mother of a character. tonya harding is here tonight, and i just -- i just -- i'd like to thank tonya for sharing her story about class in america, tell a story about the disenfranchised, tell a story about a woman who was not embraced for her individuality. >> reporter: both actors are now up for an oscar. the answer on sunday. but the full truth behind the tonya harding story? >> clearly none of us know exactly what happened, but i think we just have to open our minds and understand that there's always more to the story than we think we know. >> the oscars at 8:00 p.m. eastern sunday night, right here. i'm david muir. i'll see you tomorrow. good night only on abc7, new details about the quest to catch a
freeway shooter targeting tech buses. the unique tactic they are rolling out. >> we have a criminal justice system. >> the latest show down between libby schaaf and federal immigration authorities. >> next storm, coming up. >> announcer: live, where you live. this is abc7 news. >> well, if it is not raining where you live right now, it will soon. live doppler 7 shows us where tonight's storm is at the moment. i am kristen sze. >> and i am dan ashley. let's get a live look outside at current conditions. on the left, that is highway 101 through san rafael. >> in the middle along i-80,
still dry there. on the right, interstate 101. no rain yet. >> the storm arrived hours ago. you are looking live at rain drops of our camera. >> drone view 7 captured ominous clouds. >> here is spencer christian with the forecast. >> expanding rather quickly and it will hit other parts of the bay area over the next few hours. as you can see we have a large area of green there. look at what is happening to our north. in fact all the way up to the coast into british columbia. this storm ranks one on the storm impact scale. and we will see increasing wind as well. forecast animation taking us into the early evening hours this is how we look at 7:00 p.m., by 11:00
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