tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC October 8, 2020 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
tonight, several developing stories as we come on the air. the chilling plot. the fbi stopping an alleged terror plot to kidnap an american governor. the governor of michigan. prosecutors now say governor gretchen whitmer was being targeted by violent extremists. federal agents raiding several homes, arresting 13 suspects, including seven alleged members of a right wing militia group. the messages the fbi intercepted. the suspects accused of plotting to kidnap the governor and then what they allegedly planned to do next. and governor whitmer coming before the cameras today. pierre thomas standing by tonight. the next presidential debate is off, after the debate commission telling president trump and joe biden that the next town hall debate would be virtual to protect everyone. joe biden said yes, president trump pulled out, saying that it's not necessary, that he
feels great. biden will now take questions during a town hall here on abc instead. president trump's condition tonight. the interview he gave today, saying there's nothing wrong and that he'd been very sick. also, talking about an event at the white house more than a week ago for gold star families, saying they wanted to get close to him, that he didn't stop them. but tonight, what about those gold star families, has anyone reached out to them, could they have been exposed? jon karl standing by for us. we're also tracking that hurricane now closing in on the u.s. expected to slam into the u.s. tomorrow. ginger zee and rob marciano both live tonight. here in new york city, the alarming covid outbreaks. the new hot spots tonight. hundreds of schools closed. 35 states reporting a rise in hospitalizations. wisconsin, for one, about to open a field hospital. new video released tonight in the breonna taylor case. what it shows. and america strong tonight. the grandfather, the baseballs and the note and what happened after our story.
good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a very busy thursday night. that major hurricane about to hit the u.s. the second presidential debate now called off after president trump objected to it being a virtual town hall to protect everyone. but we're going to begin tonight with that alleged terror plot and the chilling plan. the fbi says it stopped before it could be carried out. a plan to kidnap michigan governor gretchen whitmer. and then what they were planning to do to her. 13 suspects arrested, including seven alleged members of a right wing militia group. the fbi and state authorities conducting a series of raids in michigan. those 13 suspects taken into custody, seven of them alleged members of that right wing militia group. governor whitmer has been the target of protests since last spring over restrictions aimed to stop the spread of covid, amid one of the early outbreaks. michigan, of course, a hot spot
at the time. today, governor whitmer thanking authorities for protecting her and her family, but went on to talk about white supremacists in this country and the president, who she pointed out, was asked to condemn white supremacists on that debate stage, you'll remember the president saying, stand back and stand by. our chief justice correspondent pierre thomas leading us off tonight. >> reporter: the alleged plot, nightmarish. >> earlier today, attorney general dana nessel was joined by officials from the department of justice and the fbi to announce state and federal charges against 13 members of two militia groups who were preparing to kidnap and possibly kill me. >> reporter: the fbi and state police, seen here raiding a home and detaining an individual, took action after the men met this week to exchange tactical gear and to pool their money to allegedly buy explosives. the mission? attack the governor before election day. authorities claim the planning was months in the making, with the men even going to the governor's vacation home twice to conduct surveillance.
two of the suspects allegedly had a plan to create a diversion. >> discussed detonating explosive devices to divert police from the area of the home. >> this is a highly dangerous group. they were well-armed, they were training, they had a plan and they were prepared to carry out their attack. >> reporter: according to the fbi, the men were apparently angry because of governor whitmer's restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic, including those on gyms. tensions have been high in michigan for weeks, with militia members, some of them armed, at one point descending on the state house last spring, intimidating lawmakers. the fbi infiltrated and wiretapped one of the groups, after getting a tip that the men were allegedly plotting against police and planning to attack the state capitol in an attempt to overthrow the government. with an informant listening in, they call whitmer a "tyrant." one of the suspects saying, "snatch and grab the governor. just grab the expletive." they allegedly wanted to take
her to a secret location in wisconsin for a trial, a trial that would end in execution. >> all of us in michigan can disagree about politics, but those disagreements should never, ever amount to violence. >> reporter: an angry governor whitmer today calling out president trump. >> just last week, the president of the united states stood before the american people and refused to condemn white supremacists and hate groups, like these two michigan militia groups. >> are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups -- >> sure. sure, i'm willing to do that. >> do it, say it. >> who? >> proud boys. >> proud boys, stand back and stand by. >> reporter: at one point president trump tweeted there was a need to "liberate michigan." >> so, let's get to pierre thomas tonight in washington. pierre, where does this case stand tonight? >> reporter: david, the investigation is ongoing. and there could be more charges. it's not quite over. >> pierre, you just reported here weeks ago on this broadcast
that fbi director christopher wray had warned of this very kind of threat. >> reporter: yeah, david, there are a variety of groups with grievances, some of them radicalizing online, some of them getting together to share their frustrations. they range from white supremacists to anti-government radicals from the left and the right, some of them even anarchists, kind of a witch's brew. the fbi has the difficult group of trying to figure out when they go from radical speech to something potentially violent. david? >> just an alarming story today unfolding. pierre, thank you. we're going to turn now to fast-moving developments in the race for the white house. the debate commission revealing today their plan to make next week's presidential debate virtual. the commission saying to protect everyone. joe biden saying yes, president trump pulling out, saying virtual isn't necessary, that he feels great. here's mary bruce. >> reporter: tonight, the fate of future debates is up in the air. >> we don't know what the
president's going to do. he changes his mind every second. >> reporter: it started with a surprise announcement that next thursday's presidential debate would be virtual. the commission saying the decision was made "to protect the health and safety of all involved." the biden campaign was open to it, but trump almost immediately shot it down. trump, still battling the virus, says a virtual forum is unnecessary. >> a virtual debate is a -- is a joke. there is no reason. i am in great shape. >> reporter: with no clear solution, last night's vice presidential debate could be the last faceoff of this campaign. >> the american people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country. they were informed that it's lethal in consequence, that it is airborne, that it will affect young people and that it would be contracted because it is airborne. and they knew what was happening and they didn't tell you. >> reporter: mike pence, the head of the coronavirus task force, on defense. >> but i want the american people to know that from the very first day, president donald trump has put the health of america first. >> reporter: on health care,
kamala harris took pence to task for trying to dismantle the affordable care act. the court set to hear a case that could invalidate the law just one week after the election. >> if you have a pre-existing condition, heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, they're coming for you. if you love someone who has a pre-existing condition, they're coming for you. >> thank you, senator harris. >> nonsense. >> if you are under the age of 26 on your parents' coverage, they're coming for you. >> reporter: pence adamant they have a plan to protect people with pre-existing conditions but he couldn't say what that plan is. >> president trump and i have a plan to improve health care and protect pre-existing conditions for every american. >> reporter: and as republicans try to push judge amy coney barrett through the senate confirmation process, pence pressed harris to say if a biden administration would expand the supreme court. >> well, i'd like you to answer the question. >> mr. vice president -- i'm speaking. i'm speaking, okay? abraham lincoln was up for re-election and it was 27 days
before the election and a seat became open on the united states supreme court. abraham lincoln's party was in charge of not only the white house but the senate. but honest abe said it's not the right thing to do. >> reporter: harris never giving a clear answer on packing the court. today, the president took aim. >> this monster that was on stage with mike pence, who destroyed her last night, by the way, but this monster, everything she said is a lie. >> it's despicable. it's despicable. so beneath the office of the presidency. and the american people are sick and tired of it. >> so, let's get to mary bruce, back with us tonight, covering every step of this campaign. all of this fast-moving today. both candidates tonight now making their own plans instead of that debate. the president with a rally and joe biden deciding to do a town hall, but here on abc instead? >> reporter: yeah, david, instead of debating, president trump is going to hold a campaign rally. sources tell us it depends on
his health, but we do know that trump has been itching to get back out of the campaign trail, while joe biden will still be participating in a town hall. but instead of it being at that formal debate, he'll be answering voters questions right here on abc. david? >> all right, we'll be here, too. mary bruce tonight, thank you. now, more on that outbreak linked to the white house. we know now at least 34 people have tested positive, while the president, in an interview today, said there's nothing wrong when it comes to his condition. in a video he posted on twitter, he acknowledged he had been very sick. and what he also said in the interview about a white house meeting with gold star families more than a week ago, that they wanted to get close to him, he didn't stop them. but we asked tonight about those families, has anyone reached out to them, could they have been exposed? here's our chief white house correspondent jonathan karl. >> reporter: exactly one week after he said he tested positive for covid-19, the president today declared himself cured. >> i think i'm better. when -- to a point where i'd love to do a rally tonight. i wanted to do one last night.
but i think i am better. i feel perfect. there's nothing wrong. >> reporter: although in a video released today but recorded yesterday on the south lawn of the white house, he acknowledged he had been very sick. >> i went into the hospital a week ago, i was very sick. and i took this medicine and it was incredible. it was incredible. >> reporter: in reality, we still know very little about the president's true medical condition. he says he is still on the powerful steroid dexamethasone, but his doctor has not taken questions since monday, and the white house is still refusing to say when the president last tested negative. something that is critically important in determining who he may have infected. or even whether he already had the disease during his debate last week with joe biden. >> when was the president's last negative test? >> i can't reveal that at this time. the doctors would like to keep it private. >> reporter: but there is no reason the president can't release that information himself. the president today implied he was infected on september 27th at an event with families of fallen service members at the
white house. >> i met with gold star families. i didn't want to cancel that. they're telling the story of their son who just died, or daughter or husband, and i can't back up, maria, and say, give me room, i want room. give me 12 feet, stay 12 feet away when you're talking. they come within an inch of my face sometimes, they want to hug me and kiss me. and they do. it's obviously dangerous. >> reporter: that event with gold star families was after the rose garden event with amy coney barrett, but before the president traveled to cleveland for the debate with biden and to a rally in minnesota and later to a fund-raiser in new jersey. according to a government memo obtained by abc news, 34 people connected to the white house have tested positive. and we've learned the head of white house security has been hospitalized with covid-19 since the end of september. republican senator mitch mcconnell revealed today that he has not been to the white house in over two months, because he has not been comfortable with the steps taken there to prevent the spread of the virus. >> i haven't actually been to
the white house since august the 6th, because my impression was their approach to how to handle this was different from mine and what i insisted that we do in the senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing. >> the words from mitch mcconnell. let's get to jon karl with us live again tonight. and jon, the president saying there that those gold star families wanted to get close to him, that he didn't stop them. but we were all curious, what about the flip side, has the white house reached out to those gold star families in case they were the ones exposed to the virus? >> reporter: david, we found out that the white house did reach out to the head of the group that brought the gold star families to the white house. that group then in turn cof ted each and falies thaat that event and i am happy to report that none of the gold star families have either tested positive or displayed any symptoms consistent with coronavirus. >> all right, that is really encouraging news. all right, jon, thanks. we're going to turn now to
the hurricane bearing down on the u.s. a record tenth named storm to strike the u.s. just this season alone. delta gaining strength tonight, back to a cat 3 now, 115-mile-an-hour winds. on track to hit nearly the same spot in louisiana where hurricane laura struck. ginger zee and rob marciano both live from louisiana tonight, and ginger, i know you've got the newest track? >> reporter: i do, and where i'm standing here in louisiana could see up to nine feet of inundation. so, storm surge is going to be a big problem. and i want to take you to that track, which goes just east of cameron. so close to laura's track. up to alexandria, we have the hurricane warnings, but the tropical storm warnings go from new orleans back to galveston. wind-wise, it's 24 hours away, so we're talking about landfall tomorrow night. that's when the winds will be at their heftiest. port arthur, near 60 there. gusts near lake charles up to 80. if you don't have a roof, that is not going to hold up well. it's going to stay windy and tropical storm-like all the way into western mississippi. finally, the surge, 7 to 11 feet, the peak. david? >> our incredible weather team making this trip again.
ginger, i know rob is also down there with you, and rob is in lake charles, louisiana, and we know hurricane laura just devastated that city six weeks ago. we can see the damage right there behind you, rob. we're thinking about those families about to face this all over again. >> reporter: i know, david. the last thing this area needs is another major storm. the recovery since hurricane laura has been painfully slow. so many businesses look like this collapsed tuxedo shop. and every street and every neighborhood has rooftops that are covered in blue tarps or roadways that are lined with piles of debris, neither of which can handle or at all safe in hurricane-force winds. the mayor telling me today there are some buildings across the city that are compromised, so, he's asking residents to get out for their safety, as we expect yet another hurricane to hit this town tomorrow. david? >> that flying debris a real concern. all right, rob, ginger and our crews in both locations, stay safe and we really appreciate it. the news continues and in new york city tonight, there are alarming outbreaks of covid-19. new hot spots that have forced officials now to close hundreds of schools. and across the country tonight,
35 states now reporting a rise this hospitalizations. wisconsin, for one, about to open that field hospital. here's abc's stephanie ramos. >> reporter: tonight, strict new coronavirus lockdowns taking effect in hard-hit neighborhoods in new york city, sparking outrage. hundreds of protesters demonstrating in brooklyn, starting fires, even assaulting a journalist. city and state officials taking urgent action to crush flareups in so-called red zones, shutting down nonessential businesses, limiting capacity at houses of worship to a maximum of ten people and closing more than 300 schools. >> did any of us sign up for perpetual lockdown forever? i think not. >> reporter: tonight, hospitalizations on the rise in 35 states. in wisconsin, the state set to open this 530-bed field hospital next week. >> every region in wisconsin has hospitals reporting current and imminent staffing shortages. >> reporter: in new mexico, the virus infecting six members of
one family, including leo lugo. relatives say the beloved special education teacher tragically died sunday. >> it took my brother and it took him only a week to go. >> reporter: as for a covid vaccine, the health and human services secretary today promising 100 million doses for the most vulnerable by the end of the year. and for every american by spring of 2021. vaccine makers emphasizing timing will be determined by science, not politics. david? >> all right, stephanie ramos with us again tonight on this, thank you. when we come back here, new video in the breonna taylor case and what it shows. and the plane off the runway. injuries onboard and on the ground. with rybelsus®. p to what's possible ♪ you are my sunshine, my only sunshine... ♪ rybelsus® works differently than any other diabetes pill to lower blood sugar in all 3 of these ways... increases insulin... decreases sugar...
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i'm ama dates. next at 6:00. outdoor dining while wearing a mask. it's a struggle to stick to the rules and this could be the easy part. finally, the grandfather, finally, the grandfather, the bucket of baseballs and his note. it was last week here, we showed you that note written by a grandfather and taped to a bucket of baseballs. randy long, the grandfather from montgomery, alabama, wrote -- "free, hope someone can use some of these baseballs in the batting cages. i found them cleaning my garage. i pitched them to my son and grandson for countless rounds. my son is now 46 years old and my grandson is 23 years old. i am 72 and what i won't give to pitch a couple of buckets to them. they have both moved away. if you are a father, cherish these times. you won't believe how quickly they will be gone. god bless." he left that bucket at the ballpark. tonight, that grandfather right here. >> hello david. >> randy has been so moved by
the reaction, he and his son jason and his grandson ethan all getting together for batting practice. >> certainly happy the way this has effected a lot of people that we heard from. >> including bryan robinson and his son carter. they were the ones that found the bucket and note. writing, "his heartfelt act of kindness has touched us a lot." his grandson ethan back with us tonight. >> hey, david. the main thing i'd like people to take away from this is to just make those memories with their family. don't take them for granted, because they'll be gone before you know it. >> a grandfather's note when we all needed it. good night.
they do one of the most deven in normal times.s, our frontline health care workers. and when these heroes lack the resources they need, that risky job gets ten times harder. prop fifteen makes corporations pay their fair share. to invest in our communities, in our clinics, in the essential workers who treat everyone- rich, poor, and in-between. whether it's this pandemic or the next health crisis, vote yes on prop fifteen. for all of us. eat, drink and be masked.
meals are not quite as merry as they were before the pandemic and this could be the good time. the challenges of long-term remote working, some organizations don't need office space anymore but co-workers still want chances to get together while a company found a solution. >> we've got to make sure that it's safe, not just for children but for the incredible teachers. >> school by zoom is here to stay in the east bay tonight a look at the factors standing between kids and their classrooms. >> announcer: building a better bay area for a safe and security future, this is abc 7 news. 200 days dealing with the pandemic induced restrictions. while we have managed to regain some of what was taken away, going to school, going to work nd going out to eat still feel a long way from normal. good evening. i'm ama daetz. >> i'm dan ashley. thanks for joining us. in our effort to build a better area, our health is the most important part and it's been under threat this