tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC May 19, 2017 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
tonight, we have breaking news as we come on the air. reports of a man, a foreign national, trying to break into a cockpit on a flight that left from los angeles. reports he had a suspicious item. also breaking, as president trump departs, investigations looking at a staffer inside the white house. also, what we've learned about the president's conversation with the russians after firing james comey. also, a car plowing into a crowd in tes
and severe storms hitting as we come on, from texas up to you' illinois, and the whole system moving east tonight. good evening. great to have you with us on a friday night. we begin with the emergency playing out onboard an american airlines flight. reports of a man trying to break into the cockpit. authorities say he was holding a laptop computer. f-22s alongside. the man was stopped, subdued, taken off the plane in handcuffs. david kerley in washington, what have you learned? >> reporter: as you mentioned, american airlines flight was met by law enforcement when it landed in honolulu, and had been escorted by two
and the man is in detention at this hour. we're told that the man, said to be a foreign national, tried to reach the cockpit. he was standing near a restroom with a laptop in his hand. he was told to sit down. that's when he made a move, trying to open the cockpit door. we're told that law enforcement officials are analyzing what they're calling a suspicious item, not confirming it was the laptop. but the threat of explosives hidden in laptops has led to a ban on computers larger than a cell phone on flights co. it's a growing concern by security and intelligence
officials. >> david, thank you. matt gutman is outside honolulu. passengers onboard that flight, witnessing this disturbing scene. >> reporter: that's right. 181 passengers, 6 crew members, seeing him subdued, taken down, and hauled off in handcuffs. we know all the passengers are off the plane, they're safe. there was about a 30-minute delay here in honolulu, but airport officials are trying to make it up. and the two f-22s, escorting the plane back to honolulu. coming from air bases like the one right behind me. >> no word on a motive, but the reason this alerted authorities, because the man was waiting near the bathroom with the laptop. amid concern
flights around the world. matt, thank you. we're also following breaking governments involving president trump tonight. breaking news on what he told the russians inside his office, the day after he fired james comey at the fbi. tonight, the "new york times" reporting the president said i just fired the head of the fbi. he was a nut job. the "times" reporting the president said i faced great pressure because of russia, that's taken off. jonath jonathan karl on how the white house is responding tonight. >> reporter: as president trump boarded air force one for his first overseas trip, another shoe in the russia story was about to drop. the "new york times" is reporting the president boasted about his decision to the russian officials in the oval office. i just fired the head of the
according to the "times." he was crazy. a real nut job. and photos were captured by a photographer by the russian government, allowed in the room. trump has acknowledged russia was on his mind when he fired the fbi director. >> i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. >> reporter: the day after, the president told the officials, i faced great pressure because of russia. that's taken off. adding, i'm not under investigation. in the same meeting, trump also shared sensitive intelligence with the russians. all of this sets the stage for an upcoming
the president claims comey assured him he was not under investigation, but comey has told associates that's not true. and also that trump asked him to drop the investigation into michael flynn. >> did you urge comey to close or back down the investigation into michael flynn? >> no. no. next question. >> reporter: sources close to comey say the former fbi director kept meticulous notes, including about a dinner where he say the president asked him to pledge his loyalty. comey was summoned to meet with the president, but tried to blend in with the curtains. >> it was like, almost like a
chameleon, camouflage against the wall. >> reporter: but the president spotted him. >> he's become more famous than me. >> comey was disgusted by the episode. he thought it was an intentional attempt to compromise him in public. >> jon, with us live. the white house tonight, and this was significant today, is not disputing this conversation between president trump and the russians in the oval office. >> reporter: they are not denying it. they're not confirming it either. but sean spicer has responded with a lengthy statement that condemns comey, criticizing him for hurting relations with russia. spicer says, the president has always emphasized the importance of making deals with russia. by grandstanding, comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with russia. >> jon, our thanks to you.
house also dealing with another bombshell tonight. abc news has learned that in the fbi investigation into possible collusion with the russians before the election, investigators are now interested in someone currently working inside the white house. we knew they were interested in michael flynn, who resigned 24 days in. but now, the investigation continues. pierre thomas tonight. >> reporter: tonight, sources tell abc news that investigators looking into whether there was collusion between the trump campaign and the russians in the 2016 election are now interested in at least one staffer inside the white house. it's unclear what the exact focus is and officials declined to name the person. but the "washington post" is reporting it is someone close to the president. investigators have already been looking into retired general michael flynn, who lasted just 24 days as national security adviser. but now they say they are
looking at someone still in the west wing. the russia investigation has accelerated since general flynn was forced to resign in february after allegedly lying to white house officials about his conversations with the russian ambassador. after his forced resignation, president trump openly supported flynn. >> michael flynn, general flynn, is a wonderful man. >> reporter: this week, the justice department turning the fbi investigation over to a special counsel. yesterday at the white house, when asked by david muir if he supports the idea of a special counsel, the president said, "i believe it hurts our country terribly." trump insisting this is the "single greatest witch hunt of a politician in american history." >> the entire thing has been a witch hunt and there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but i can only speak for myself, and the russians, zero. >> reporter: the special counsel, former fbi director robert mueller is already at work for what is expected to be a sweeping probe. and a leading republican on the hill suggesting the president is
that he should honor the decision and cooperate. this, after being briefed by the man who decided to bring in the special counsel deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. >> the takeaway i have is that everything he said was that you need to treat this investigation as if it may be a criminal investigation. >> pierre, your sources telling you that james comey is still preparing to testify? do we know when that will happen? >> reporter: he wants to testify, but with the appointment of a special counsel, it's unclear if he will testify next week. >> pierre, thank you. at this hour, the president is in the air on his way to saudi arabia. nine days, five countries. will his words during the campaign play a role? and how will he explain the headlines at home to
leaders he's meeting with? here's cecilia vega. >> reporter: when president trump arrives in the morning, this will greet him. streets lined with american flags, giant billboards showing his face with the saudi king. we just landed, most of the white house press corps flying ahead of the president. the president hoping to send a message to the muslim world by making this his first stop. but the chaos at home is casting a shadow. and his comments from the political trail hurting, too. >> i think islam hates us. there's a tremendous hatred. >> reporter: nine days, five countries. from saudi arabia, the birthplace of islam, to israel, then the
the pope and the president meeting for the first time, following their public clash over the border wall last year. >> i am a christian. i'm proud of it. for a religious leader to question a person's faith is disgraceful. >> and cecilia, the white house sees this first foreign trip as a chance to reset. but the president told me yesterday, he's aware the world leaders are watching. >> reporter: yes, and in fact, jared kushner has been working on this trip since day one. i'm told the highlight will be a speech where the president talks about extremism. but the chaos is following him right here to
>> thank you. and we have new reporting about the driver who barreled into new york's times square. the driver mowing people down, then crashing his car into a barrier. the only thing that stopped him. nearly two dozen injured, and one tourist is dead. prosecutors saying it was a deliberate act. here's linsey davis. >> reporter: new disturbing video tonight of the mayhem in times square. everyone you are about to see survived this horrific attack. the suspect in his car turning directly into helpless pedestrians. then continues. barreling down one of the busiest sidewalks in the world. block after block. appearing to aim directly at the crowds. >> he waited for those cars to pass and he accelerated, striking down these pedestrians. that goes to a state of mind and his motivation. >> reporter: police claim that driver, 26-year-old ri
he wanted to kill them all and that police should have shot him. that's when kenya bradix, right behind rojas there in the hat, helped stop him. holding rojas' head while an officer handcuffed him. >> you went over there and you tackled him. you stopped him. >> i stopped him. that is correct. >> did he say anything to you? >> he was just screaming but there were no words. >> reporter: rojas, handcuffed and in court today. charged with 20 counts of attempted murder. and one count of murder. 18-year-old alyssa ellsman visiting from michigan losing her life. creating 60 seconds of terror. hitting nearly two dozen people and not stopping until it slams in these steel security barriers. crowds all around. tonight the nypd crediting those ballards with saving lives. >> times square, of course, one of the most watched, busiest
and now, authorities re-evaluating security there? >> reporter: yes, the city plans to re-evaluate security. and just in the last 24 hours, they've put up these concrete barricades. and they're being extra vigilant. >> thank you. there's still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this friday. the deadly fire at an american shopping center. a firefighter killed, two more injured. also, the suspect barricaded inside a church after attempting to light a car on fire. what we've just learned on that front. and breaking news involving the weather. storms hitting, from texas to illinois. that system now moving east. rob marciano standing by live with the storm track for us tonight.
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next tonight, the severe weather alert this friday evening. 25 million americans in the path tonight. new tornado watches. more than 70 reported across ten states this week. this funnel cloud in texas, students sheltering in the hallway. this threat tonight moves eastward as well. so, rob marciano is tracking it all. he's in ft. worth, texas, tonight. >> reporter: we've seen high water content. flash flood threat, also tornadoes. look at the radar. dallas to ft. worth, to ft. smith. this is a slow-moving system pushing east. tomorrow, through austin, memphis, st. louis. the heat, humidity, winds are building here. which means the
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>> mandisa's new friend couldn't wait. >> and she is jamming. >> it turns out, leah had a special gift for her favorite singer. >> the two of them singing together. ♪ wish i could be part of that world ♪ >> mandisa giving a concert at leah's church, raising thousands to support the bone marrow registry called be the match. leah's singing already generating hundreds of new donors. and tonight, the people at be the match, grateful to that little fighter using her voice. ♪ you're an overcomer >> so we choose leah. be the watch. i hope to see you on monday. good night. 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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