tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC June 7, 2017 3:30pm-4:01pm PDT
tonight, breaking news. the james comey bombshell. on the eve of his testimony before congress and the american people. we learn what he plans to say. what comey revealed to the president about whether the president was under investigation. comey saying the president demanding loyalty. what did the president allegedly say about the investigation into michael flynn zblfshlts also tonight -- the showdown on capitol hill, in addition to james comey, did the president go to the heads of the intelligence community? what did he ask them about the russian investigation. tonight, their answers and then the outrage from senators on both sides. we have breaking news from london. the new images just in tonight, the moment attackers are taken down. the tornado touching down in this country. several reports of funnel clouds tonight. and she was a high school teen at the time.
now on trial. accused of sending a text to her boyfriend to take his own life. he did. the boy's mother on the stand and today what the judge did. good evening and it's great to have you us with here on a wednesday night. we begin with fired fbi director james comey, he'll testify before congress and the country tomorrow morning. but tonight here, we know how he plans to start. he'll acknowledge that he did tell the president that he was not under investigation personally on multiple occasions. comey also claims that the president u during a one-on-one dinner in the green room of the white house, demanded loyalty from comey. saying, quote, i need loyalty, i expect loyalty. and it came to the investigation into retired general michael flynn, comey will say the president urged him to let this go. abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl leading us off. >> reporter: it's dramatic and almost cinematic. "i first met president-elect trump on janary 6th,"
james comey writes, "in a conference room at trump tower." comey was there with other intelligence leaders to brief trump on russian interference in the election. and when that meeting wrapped, comey says, "i remained alone with the president-elect to brief him on some personally sensitive aspects of the information," even though it was salacious and unverified." then, comey for the first time, told trump he was not personally the focus of a counterintelligence investigation. as soon as he left, comey writes down what happened. "i began to type it on a laptop in an fbi vehicle outside trump tower the moment i walked out of the meeting. creating written records immediately after one-on-one conversations with mr. trump was my practice from that point forward. this had not been my practice in the past." >> he's become more famous than me. >> five days later, trump invites the fbi director to
dinner at the white house. "it turned out to be just the two of us," comey says. "the president began by asking me whether i wanted to stay on as fbi director," comey says, "which i found strange." "a few moments later, the president said, 'i need loyalty, i expect loyalty.' i didn't move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. we simply looked at each other in silence. towards the end of the dinner, comey says president returned to the question of loyalty. he then said, "i need loyalty." i replied, "you will always get honesty from me." he paused and then said, "that's what i want, honest loyalty." i paused, and then said, "you will get that from me." the next meeting, february 14th, in the oval office along with vice president pence, attorney general sessions, jared kushner and others. trump asks everybody to leave, except comey, who describes what happened next.
the president began by saying, "i want to talk about mike flynn." flynn had resigned the previous day. the president began by saying "flynn hadn't done anything wrong in speaking with the russians, but he had to let him go because he had misled the vice president." comey say the president told him -- "he is a good guy and has been through a lot." "he repeated that flynn hadn't done anything wrong on his calls with the russians," he then said, "i hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting flynn go. he is a good guy. i hope you can let this go." i replied only that "he is a good guy." comey continues, saying, "i did not understand the president to be talking about the broader investigation into russia or possible links to his campaign. i could be wrong. regardless, it was very concerning, given the fbi's role as an independent investigative agency." the president has denied asking asking comey to drop the flynn 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: after that one-on-one oval office meeting, comey says he approached attorney general sessions. "i took the opportunity to implore the attorney general to prevent any future direct communication between the president and me." but just over a month later, a phone call. "the president called me at the fbi." comey says. "he described the russia investigation as 'a cloud' that was impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country. he said he had nothing to do with russia, had not been involved with hookers in russia. he asked what we could do to 'lift the cloud.'" i responded that we were investigating the matter as quickly as we could. comey says trump then asked him to publicly say he was not under investigation. he repeatedly told me, "we need
to get that fact out." finally, on april 11th, one last conversation -- trump calling again asking to have his name publicly cleared and, comey says, cryptically added this: "i have been very loyal to you, very loyal, we had that thing you know." i did not reply or ask him what he meant by "that thing." that was the last time i spoke with president trump. >> and so jon karl live with us from the white house. jon if the president told the president on multiple occasions he wasn't under investigation, why didn't comey go public that president trump isn't personally under investigation. >> comey said there were several reasons for not going public. primarily, because if it changed and if the fbi investigation began to turn to focus on president trump, comey said it would have been a duty to correct the record. by the way, david, we now have a statement from the president's
personal attorney, noting that comey said, on three separate occasions that he was not under investigation. he says, the president feels completely and totally vindicated. david. >> vindicated the word from the president's personal attorney tonight. jon karl, our thanks to you. abc's chief legal analyst with us, dan abrams. comey did tell the president he's not under investigation personally. he also writes in the memo that president demanded loyalty, expects loyalty. on the michael flynn investigation, he said, can you let this go? is that appropriate between the president and the fbi director. >> totally inappropriate. here's why the fbi takes its d independence very seriously. and on this notion that he wasn't personally being investigated, keep in mind, a, there might be the potential things could change and things
have already changed in the fact that he was fired and what donald trump has said since then. it doesn't make it illegal for making the comments he did to comey. the question of the big picture here. >> dan, thank you. in the meantime, on capitol hill, james comey will testify first thing in the morning. already tonight, senators responding to what they've seen in his opening remarks. some outrage. we asked what will they ask, mary bruce on the hill tonight. >> reporter: the republican chair of the senate intelligence committee tonight relieved to have comey's testimony out in the open. >> i'm glad to have it early and posted. and i'm sorry i took away from all of you guys the ability to find a source to leak it to you. >> the hearing isn't until tomorrow, but already the reaction to comey's account of his conversations with the president swift and from democrats fierce. >> if it's accurate, it's devastating. >> reporter: devastating? >> i think so. >> reporter: the top democrat leading the house investigation says comey's testimony raises
key questions. >> the president demanded his loyalty, didn't get it. the president asked him to drop the flynn case, and he didn't do it, is this why jim comey was fired? >> reporter: but the number two republican in the senate sees it through a different lens. is it appropriate for the president to be demanding loyalty of his fbi director? >> i think every president wants loyalty from his appointees. but i think mr. comey appropriately pointed out that an fbi director is different from a traditional political appointee, and they seem to have agreed to something called honest loyalty or loyal honesty. >> he talks about that phrase there, mary, i want to go back to james comey and what he plans to say tomorrow morning. he said possible understand the phrase honest loyalty differe differently. in fact honest loyalty helped to end an awkward conversation. it's possible the two didn't see eye to eye on this.
>> comey said agreeing to this term honest loyalty is what ended that awkward conversation and why he decided not to push things further. there's more questions about that here tomorrow, because so much of this comes down to interpretation. >> next tonight, it wasn't just james comey the president approached when it came to the michael flynn and russia investigations. did he then pursue heads of the intelligence community. today, those intelligence chiefs were on capitol hill. they were asked, did the president ask them to intervene? senators on both sides of the aisle were not pleased with what they heard. here's abc's pierre thomas tonight. >> reporter: the standoff went on for two and a half hours. senators from both sides pressing the nation's top intelligence officials about whether president trump asked them to intervene in the investigation into michael flynn or the russia investigations in any way. >> let me ask you specifically,
did the president, from reports that are out there, ask you in any way, shape or form to back off or downplay the russian investigation? >> i'm not going to discuss the specifics of conversations with the president of the united states. >> are you prepared to say that you have never been asked by the president or the white house to influence an ongoing investigation? >> i'm not prepared to answer your question today. >> reporter: at issue critical conversations with the president. after president trump reportedly asked the fired fbi director about the investigation into the michael flynn, saying i hope you can let this go. did the president then turn to the director of national intelligence dan coats, to sway him as well, as "the washington post" reported overnight. >> i have never been pressured and i have never felt pressure to intervene or interfere in any way with shaping intelligence in a political way or in relationship to an ongoing investigation. >> reporter: lawmakers then
pressing further. asking not whether they felt pressured, but simply, did the president ask them to intervene? >> we have press reports of not once, but twice, that the president of the united states asked you to either downplay the russia investigation or to directly intervene with director comey. can you set the record straight about what happened or didn't happen? >> confidential conversations between the president and myself. i do not feel it's appropriate for me to in a public session. >> reporter: also, did the president try to get coats and nsa director mike rogers to publicly deny there was any evidence of trump campaign officials colluding with russians? >> i have never been directed to do anything i believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate. >> reporter: over and over, they would not reveal what, if anything, the president had said to them. and many senators grew frustrated, saying there was no reason not to answer the questions.
>> i think your unwillingness to answer a basic question speaks volume. >> why are you not answering our questions -- >> because i feel it's inappropriate, senator. >> what you feel isn't relevant, admiral. >> i stand by the comments i've made. i'm not interested in repeating myself, sir, and i don't mean that in a contentious way. >> well, i do mean it in a contentious way! >> reporter: the atmosphere reaching a boiling point. >> you swore that oath to tell us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and today you are refusing to do so. what is the legal basis for your refusal to testify to this committee? >> i'm not sure i have a legal basis. >> reporter: and in the end, the grilling seemingly taking a toll even on the nsa director, a seasoned navy man. >> boy, some days i sure i wish i was an ensign on the bridge of that destroyer again. >> pierre, all this comes today amid the president's surprise twitter announcement with the new head of the fbi.
who is chris wray. >> chris wray is a former season justice department. of late, he's been in private practice, recently representing chris christie on the bridgegate controversy. the announcement came today on twitter, catching some in the white house and many on capitol hill by surprise. david. >> all right, pierre thomas with us from the fbi. pierre, thank you. tomorrow james comey's testimony live, special report starting at 10:00 a.m. right here. of course, i'll see you for "world news tonight" tomorrow night from washington. in the meantime tonight, to the other major headline at this hour, the twin terror attacks in iran. isis now taking responsibility. we have new and dramatic video coming in tonight. here's abc's martha raddatz. >> reporter: never before has isis managed to carry out a major attack inside iran, but today the terrorist group struck
swiftly and simultaneously. at the shrine to the late ayatollah khomeini, an assailant wearing a suicide vest blew himself up, with the sounds of gunfire then echoing through tehran's streets. and a short distance away, iran's parliament, in session at the time, targeted. armed men, some disguising themselves with the traditional dress of muslim women, set off on a deadly rampage. as government workers fled in panic, security guards helping the innocent escape, including a child. inside, chilling scenes released in real time, released by isis itself. at least 12 dead, and over 40 wounded, but by the end of the siege, all of the attackers lay dead as well. president trump did offer prayers for the innocent victims today but he did not let the
iranian officials off the hook saying we underscore states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote. >> martha, thank you tonight, we also have stunning images coming in of the final moments of the london bridge terror attack and the new surveillance video. take a look. the knife-wielding suspects, police then drive up with the squad car, they scuffle with the attackers and then shooting them. there's still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this wednesday -- the flood watches in the south. several reports of funnel clouds coming in tonight. just incredible. also, the trial making national headlines tonight. she was a high school teenager at the time, now accused of texting her boyfriend, encouraging him to that i can his own life, he did kill himself and what the judge did today. and then the case of road rage on an american highway. what is going on? we'll be right back. last year, he said he was going to dig a hole to china.
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making national headlines. at issue is the power of text messages between two high school teenagers at the time. the young woman is now charged with manslaughter after her then-boyfriend killed himself. prosecutors say because of what was written in those texts. here's abc's mara schiavocampo. >> reporter: tonight, prosecutors portraying michelle carter as starved for attention, with few friends.>> she used conrad as a pawn in a sick game of life and death for attention. >> reporter: carter stands accused of involuntary manslaughter for allegedly encouraging 18 year old conrad roy to kill himself. prosecutors say michelle carter sent roy thousands of text messages like, if you want it as bad as you say you do it's time to do it today, and when roy texted her saying i'm freaking out again, i'm overthinking. carter responded, i thought you wanted to do this? the time is right and you're ready, you just need to do it. the defense arguing roy had searched the internet repeatedly for ways to commit suicide.
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>> and we are live in cleveland tonight as the warriors try to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the nba finals with the first game on the cavs' home court tonight. >> i think we understand what's coming at us. >> it's going to be lebron james, a whole lot of lebron james. we look live at oracle arena which has been kind to the dubs. going to have a huge watch party in the arena tonight. so, the place is going to be packed with the warriors now halfway to capturing their second nba title in three years. and good evening. i'm dan ashley. >> and i'm alma daetz. >> and i'm larry beil. we're getting you set for game three of the nba finals. counting down, and you can see the clock in the corner of your screen which is counting now to abc's pregame show, nba count down which comes your way at 5:30. first let's bring in abc's own mike shumann. >> hey, guys, the nba finals in cleveland, of course. warriors have lost both game
3s here in the last two years. i'll step aside and let you see the zoo, the nba finals. last year they got blasted in game three. the tone of the series changed. it will be rocking and the hopes of happening again. steve kerr remembers the dubds were up 2-0 coming into cleveland last year and how the series finished. so, he is well aware game three always goes a long way towards determining who ultimately wins the series. >> always difficult no matter what happens the first two games. the change of venue changes, the dynamics changes the emotion. we've been here the last two years and gotten hammered twice in game three. so, we know what we're up against. >> makes you have a little more us against them mentality. you're not in your home building, but nothing really changed that much. the same routine. just come out and try to play as hard as you can. >> it's a different feel around here. if you had gone out among cleveland people here and