tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC May 18, 2017 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
tonight, breaking news here in washington and in new york city. the horror in new york city's times square. the deadly accident. a car barreling into pedestrians. >> we've got a car running people over 42 and 7. >> at least one person killed. nearly two dozen hurt. the driver in custody. what we've now learned about him. here in washington, the special counsel already at work, now running the fbi investigation into russian meddling. tonight, the president says this is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in american history, and what the president told me today at the white house. the severe storms hitting as we come on the air. deadly tornadoes already. reports of new twisters touching down. and severe thunderstorms right into the northeast. roger ailes has died. the former fox news ceo forced to resign amid allegations of sexual harassment. we now learn how he died.
and the king and his secret. what's he's been doing all these years. good evening, from washington tonight. where we met with the president today. what he says about that special counsel now brought into investigate russia. but we're also following the horrific pictures out of new york city today, a deadly crash plowing into pedestrians. right in the middle of times square. the driver right there on the left, trying to get away. witnesses in panic. nearly two dozen hit or injured. many lying on the street. this is video of the car in the air. moments ago we learned the one person killed was an 18-year-old from michigan abc's fwee owe benitez is in times square tonight. >> reporter: tonight,
a car plowing into a packed times square. watch again -- the car airborne, careening into the thick crowd of people. and in this gruesome surveillance video, you again see that maroon honda accord from moments before barreling into pedestrians, mowing them down. authorities say this is the man who brought times square, one of the most heavily watched, guarded, and surveilled places in the world, to a total and horrific halt. hands out at his sides. the expression on his face snarling. jumping in the air, the car he turned into a weapon. and the carnage behind him. police telling abc news the man, 26-year-old richard rojas, a u.s. citizen and former navy vet from the bronx, told them he had, quote, smoked something before plowing into a packed times square. rojas also told police he thought the world was coming to an end. in the immediate aftermath, pedestrians help police apprehend rojas and force him to the ground. squirming and struggling in this cell phone video, police escort
while all around, unimaginable carnage. >> step back, step back. >> firefighters dousing that car, trying to put out the flames. >> we did get a very quick response from police officers on the scene, from fire units, people were treated and transported as quickly as possible. >> reporter: first responders scrambling to help the nearly two dozen injured. ambulances taking them to nearby hospitals. 18-year-old alyssa ellsman visiting from michigan was hit. she did not survive. right there, you can see the destroyed bumper. times square, one of the busiest spots in the country now completely shut down. in all directions, this usually jam-packed area evacuated, leaving only police. pandemonium in the streets. pedestrians in shock. annie donahey had just crossed the street when the car came down sidewalk. >> her purse was like a foot away from her, and she was dead. >> reporter: and that was the woman you were walking right nexto?
>> and then i just started to cross the street. and 30 seconds later she was dead. >> reporter: tonight, rojas in custody. initial drug tests have come back negative for alcohol and positive for drugs. >> gio joins us now live from times square. gio, there has been a stepped-up police presence in new york. that was the first fear today. but tonight they're convinced this was something else. >> reporter: that's right, david, right now, they don't believe that this was terrorism. but they do believe he had drugs in his system but he has also been accused of some violent past. right now, they're still investigating, david. >> gio, thank you. we're in washington tonight, because some of the network anchors were invited to the white house today to meet with president trump on the eve of his first foreign trip. i asked the president how he'll answer overseas when asked does he support this new special counsel overseeing the russian
investigation. the president telling me that he believes it hurts the country. he didn't stopped there. when asked did he pressure comey to stop the investigation into michael flynn. here's abc's john karl. >> reporter: tonight, asked for the first time about the appointment of a special counsel to investigate russian meddling in the campaign, president trump insisted the whole investigation is a witch hunt. >> mr. president, i would like to get your reaction to deputy attorney general rod rosenstein's decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate the russia -- russian interference in the campaign. was this the right move or is this part of a witch hunt? >> well, i respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt, and there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but i can always speak for myself, and the russians, zero. i think it divides the country. i think we have a very divided country because of t
so i can tell you that we want to bring this great country of ours together, jon. >> reporter: behind closed doors, in a meeting with network anchors, the president went even further. david muir asked him about his upcoming foreign trip, saying that world leaders would undoubtedly ask him if he supports the idea of a special counsel. the president's response -- "i believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country. it also happens to be a pure excuse for the democrats, having lost an election that they should have easily won, and i think it's a very, very negative thing. and hopefully, this can go quickly." in his news conference, the president was also asked whether he tried to protect his fired national security advisor michael flynn from an fbi investigation. >> did you at any time urge former fbi director james comey in any way, shape, or form to close or back down the investigation into michael flynn? and also -- >> no.
no. next question. >> reporter: that answer now setting up a showdown with comey, who reportedly took detailed notes of his conversations with the president. >> jon karl live with us from the white house. this does set up a showdown of sort between the president and james comey, only two people in that room and one memo reportedly written by james comey, sailing the president did pressure him to drop the flynn investigation. but the president made it clear today if in that room that simply did not happen. >> it was a category call denial. in the memo comey said, i hope you can see your way of letting this go, flynn go. >> jon karl live with us from the white house. as jon reported right here on this broadcast, the white house was given just 30 minutes' notes before the justice department revealed a special counsel. the deputy attorney general who
in fact needed, rod rosenstein was on capitol hill today, making his case as to why. the president as you heard calling this the biggest witch hunt in american history. but a key republican, tonight, with advice on the president on how he should be handling this. abc's mary bruce on the hill. >> reporter: tonight, the man who appointed the special counsel to lead the russia investigation smiling for cameras as he arrived on capitol hill. >> mr. rosenstein, the president says this is a witch hunt. is that what this is? >> reporter: behind closed doors, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein briefing all 100 senators on why he decided a special counsel was necessary. >> he said to make sure the integrity of the department of justice was protected, to make certain the american people felt this was going to be handled firmly and justly. >> senator, trump just said a special counsel hurts our country terribly. >> he's entitled to his opinion. i would suggest to the president that one has been appointed. honor that decision, cooperate
>> reporter: today it was hard to find a single republican who backs the president's assessment. >> no, i think this is a serious investigation. >> is this a witch hunt? >> i don't think i'll characterize what it is. >> reporter: rosenstein was initially invited to the hill to discuss the firing of former fbi director james comey. the white house at first claimed the president acted on rosenstein's recommendation, which he outlined in a memo. but trump later admitted that recommendation or not, he was going to fire the director. >> i was going to fire comey. my decision. >> reporter: in his press conference today, the president vented about comey's recent testimony before congress. >> it makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election. >> that was a poor, poor performance. so poor, in fact, that i believe -- and you would have to ask him because i don't like to speak for other people -- but i believe that's why the deputy attorney general went out and wrote his very, very strong letter.
>> mary bruce with us from capitol hill tonight. we just saw there, again, the president referring to that memo from the department attorney general rod rosenstein. but he made it clear on capitol hill to those senators that he was not the driving force behind the decision to fire comey? >> rosenstein has been eager to set the record straight. senators tonight tells us that rosenstein told them that he was going to fire comey even before he wrote that memo. while we're at the white house today, the president did reveal to us something else, he said he's very close to naming his pick to run the fbi. abc's senior justice correspondent pierre thomas at the fbi tonight. >> reporter: tonight, the president saying he is close to naming a new director of the fbi, acknowledging former senator joe lieberman is a leading contender. >> we're very close to an fbi director. >> when are you going to name one? >> soon. >> is mr. lieberman -- is senator lieberman one of your top picks, sir? >> he is.
>> reporter: and tonight, sources tell abc news the new special counsel is already at work on the investigation. robert muller was the longest serving fbi director since j. edgar hoover. in his new role he'll have broad powers -- the power to seek subpoenas, to convene a grand jury, and add as many fbi agents as needed as he digs for evidence of any crimes, ranging from collusion with the russians to obstruction of justice. mueller has worked under republican and democratic presidents, and he's worked closely with james comey for years -- his successor at the fbi. >> i want to commend the president for the choice of jim comey as the next director of the fbi. >> pierre thomas with us live at the fbi tonight. pierre, this fbi investigation has been under way now for about ten months, long before election day. this new special counsel, does he start all over or does he pour through the evidence that they already gathered there at the fbi. >> i'm told that mueller will assess the investigation and the ed so far and determine how best to proceed. it's totally his
david. >> pierre thomas with us tonight, our thanks to you again. we're following other news tonight and to the dangerous storms in the heartland. stretching up to the northeast tonight. 25 million americans in the path this evening. tornado watches in several states. this twister already touching down in western oklahoma tonight. an anxious night ahead. rob marciano is in the storm zone tonight. >> reporter: storms fire up in the heartland. look at the storm, it's titanic. this is a serious situation. >> reporter: a rare high-risk forecast this morning and now a severe weather outbreak under way. >> look at the dirt that storm, that tornado is kicking up right now. >> reporter: strong, damaging long-track tornadoes and monster hail spobl. already a tornado doing damage in oklahoma. the leading sedge now over top of us. public schools in
let out early, ahead of the storms. it's the latest in a deadly multiday outbreak. over three dozen reported tornadoes since tuesday. the most powerful this ef-3 twister near wichita. david, behind me is that same cell we have been tracking and you see the rotational of that wall cloud, just spectacular but very, very dangerous. look at the watches that are up. for the next several hours. as you watch the storms in motion, they'll progress off to the east and become linear. some wind damage possible and some hail. through dallas tomorrow morning. then another batch of severe weather, day two, slightly east of here tomorrow. getting windy. david. >> rob, our thanks to you. in the meantime, we learned today
he amid among mounting allegatio allegations. abc's chief national correspondent tom llamas tonight. >> reporter: tonight, new details in the sudden death of media titan roger ailes. this police report from may 10th states ailes fell and hit his head in his palm beach mansion. then while in the hospital ailes slipped into a coma and died from internal bleeding. the news of ailes' death even taking even his former employees by surprise. >> 20 minutes before the top of the hour, the drudge report has a story right now, and this is a fox news alert that roger ailes, one of the founders of the fox news channel, has died. >> reporter: the architect of fox news, he was as bombastic as he was controversial. >> we came up with you report, you did. fair and balanced.
ailes' was the headline, forced to resign after accusations of sexual misconduct and racial discrimination at the network. he was a powerful force, shaping american politics. his former colleagues paying tribute on air. >> he was a presence. he'll be missed on this channel. >> reporter: his wife said he died this morning surrounded by family. she called him a patriot. he was 77. david. >> tom llamas outside fox news channel headquarters. there's still much more ahead -- the officer accused of using a stun gun seven times during an arrest. then an unapproved choke hold. there's also an alert for parents tonight. the x-ray that has a mother warning families about a wildly popular toy on the market. tonight, the king's secret revealed. what he's been doing all these years and how no one
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next tonight protests against the jury verdict in a deadly police shooting trial in oklahoma. officer betty shelby, the manslaughter charges and overnight the verdict. after shooting an unarmed man, abc's clayton sandell in tulsa. >> no justice, no peace! >> reporter: tonight, the jury's acquittal of a tulsa police officer is proving almost as controversial as the shooting itself. >> shots fired! >> reporter: officer betty shelby told "60 minutes" she opened fire on 40-year old terence crutcher, fearing he was reaching for weapon. >> i never want to kill anyone. >> reporter: but crutcher was unarmed, and the killing of a black man by a white officer made tulsa the latest flashpoint in the nationwide debate over police use of force. >> terence didn't have a gun. terence had his hands up, and she still got away with murder.
denies racism, but tulsa's mayor tonight her attorney tells us she wants her job back. >> she thinks she can help people understand and educate in what happened, why it happened and try to help heal. >> reporter: but shelby's future as a cop is now up to tulsa city officials. they say a decision is coming soon. david. >> clayton, thank you. when we come back -- the new medical headline involving women and a form of cancer. we're back in a moment. i will never wash my hair again. i will never never wash my hair again now, i fuel it new pantene. the first shampoo with active pro-v nutrient blends that puts in what others just strip out. fueling 100% stronger hair. don't just wash your hair fuel it because strong is beautiful.
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the amtrak engineer tonight now blamed for a deadly train crash behind bars in philadelphia. brian postian turning himself in today, charged in the death of eight people in a high-speed crash in 2016. a judge ordering a private criminal complaint. his attorney said his client is a scapegoat there's news tonight with women living with breast cancer. women with met static cancer are living longer. now 155,000 living with the disease. researchers saying better treatments are helping to extend these women's lives. we have more on our website. an alert for parents tonight, a mother in houston posting an x-ray of her 10-year-old daughter after she swallowed a piece of the popular fidget spinner toy and almost choked on one of its parts. the little girl undergoing
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officially, his majesty willem-alexander, by the grace of god, king of the netherlands, prince of orange-nassau, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. one of those etceteras, presumably, for the job he's done quietly, twice a month for 21 years -- co-pilot for klm's cityhopper service. like his distant cousins over in england, the king started flying during his time in the military. now, klm gives him a welcome break from his royal duties. and he says there's another plus. the passengers don't even recognize him. when he's not wearing that other uniform. david wright, abc news, new york. >> thank you for watching here on a thursday night. time to fly back to new york. hope to see you right back her on the front lines of health care, there are always new challenges and opportunities. at unitedhealth group, we're built to help with both. providing employers with data and insights
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