tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC November 20, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
tonight, the most pivotal witness yet in the impeachment hearings. ambassador gordon sondland testifying today there was a quid pro quo, saying multiple times, quote, everyone was in the loop. it was no secret, he said, that the secretary of state, mike pompeo, and vice president mike pence, among others, that they all knew what the president wanted in exchange for a white house visit. and ultimately why nearly $400 million in u.s. aid was being held from ukraine. tonight, republicans firing back, asking sondland if president trump ever personally told him that's why the money was being withheld. also, the other news tonight. the bombshell headline from buckingham palace. prince andrew stepping back from his official public duties after what many called a disastrous interview about jeffrey epstein. federal agents arresting two former police officers in this country, linked to a deadly
botched raid. a couple killed, several officers wounded. the new storm tonight across several states, from california to michigan. and when it hits the northeast. rob marciano timing it out. the unfolding scandal rocking syracuse university. the fbi now involved tonight. a professor reporting a new incident just today amid a series of threatening racist and anti-semitic messages. the wild police chase at the airport. a young passenger jumping from a plane onto the tarmac, then onto the roof of a terminal, jumping, trying to escape. and the new promise to american workers tonight from apple's ceo. the we are one-on-one with tim cook. the new billion dollar project here in the u.s. and the promise of thousands of new jobs. good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a wednesday night. and we begin tonight with the most pivotal witness yet in the impeachment investigation, who today said there was a quid pro quo, and that many in the trump administration knew about it.
republicans tonight firing back. the ambassador to the eu, gordon sondland, a trump megadonor, hand-picked by the president, today testifying on live television there was that quid pro quo, pressure on ukraine to open investigations into the president's political opponents in order to get an official white house visit. sondland saying he believed that's why the $400 million in u.s. military aid was being withheld, too. sondland also saying that he was not part of a rogue operation that, quote, everyone was in the loop, including secretary of state pompeo, and saying he talked to vice president pence, as well. and providing an email he sent to the secretary of state signaling that ukraine was ready to act on the issues important to president trump. republicans striking back tonight, asking, did the president ever directly tell sondland why he was withholding the u.s. aid? sondland answering, "no." abc's mary bruce leads us off tonight from the hill. >> reporter: today on capitol hill, a true washington blockbuster. >> do you swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole
truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god? >> reporter: gordon sondland, president trump's hand-picked point person in ukraine, defying the president, telling the nation there was a quid pro quo, on order from the president's personal lawyer, rudy giuliani, acting at the direction of the president. >> we did not want to work with mr. giuliani. we followed the president's orders. >> reporter: sondland said the ukrainian president would only get a coveted meeting at the white house if he agreed to announce an investigation into the president's political rivals. >> i know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question. was there a quid pro quo? as i testified previously, with regard to the requested white house call and the white house meeting, the answer is yes. >> reporter: and it wasn't just the white house visit at stake. the president was withholding nearly $400 million in military aid.
>> it became your clear understanding that the military assistance was also being withheld pending zelensky announcing these investigations. correct? >> that was my presumption. my personal presumption based on the facts at the time. nothing was moving. >> reporter: but sondland acknowledges the president never told him directly. >> i don't recall president trump ever talking to me about any security assistance, ever. >> is this kind of a two plus two equals four conclusion that you reached? >> pretty much. >> it's the only logical conclusion to you that given all of these factors, that the aid was also apart of this quid pro quo? >> yep. >> reporter: republicans pounced. >> so, no one told you. not just the president, giuliani didn't tell you, mulvaney didn't tell you, nobody, pompeo didn't tell you. nobody else on this planet told you that donald trump was tying aid to these investigations, is that correct? >> i think i already testified --
>> no, answer the question. no one on this planet told you that president trump was tying aid to investigations, yes or no? >> yes. >> so, you really have no testimony today that ties president trump to a scheme to withhold aid from ukraine in exchange for these investigations? >> other than my own presumptions. >> which is nothing. >> reporter: chairman schiff pushing back. >> my colleagues seem to think unless the president says the magic words that, i hereby bribe the ukrainians, that there's no evidence of bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. >> reporter: but ambassador sondland also insisted he wasn't acting alone. he said everyone was in the loop, and he named names. declaring that everyone from secretary of state mike pompeo to vice president mike pence knew about the campaign to pressure ukraine. >> the suggestion that we were engaged in some irregular or rogue diplomacy is absolutely false. everyone was in the loop.
it was no secret. >> reporter: sondland says the state department refused to let him look over his old emails, but he did bring one, an exchange with pompeo, where sondland said ukraine was ready to "move forward publicly and with confidence on those issues of importance to trump," adding, "hopefully, that will break the logjam." >> and when you're talking here about breaking the logjam, you're talking about the logjam over the security assistance, correct? >> i was talking logjam generically, because nothing was moving. >> that included the security assistance, did it not? >> correct. >> reporter: sondland says he talked to the vice president, too. >> where you said that we really need to get these investigations from ukraine in order to release the aid, in the pre-meeting? >> that's right. >> and vice president pence just nodded? >> he heard what i said. >> reporter: sondland testified that the most important thing to trump was that ukrainian president zelensky publicly
announce the investigations. >> he had to announce the investigations. he didn't actually have to do them, as i understood it. >> reporter: sondland was in frequent contact with the president. he confirmed the testimony of another diplomat, david holmes, who says he overheard a phone call between sondland and trump in a restaurant in kiev. >> you confirmed to president trump that you were in ukraine at the time and that president zelensky, quote, "loves your ass", unquote. do you recall saying that? >> sounds like something i would say. that's how president trump and i communicate. a lot of four-letter words. in this case, three letters. >> holmes then said that he heard president trump ask, quote, "is he," meaning zelensky, "going to do the investigation?" to which you replied, "he's going to do it." do you recall that? >> i probably said something to that effect, putting it in trump-speak, by saying, he loves your ass, he'll do whatever you
want. >> reporter: but republicans pointed to a different phone call, one sondland described in a text message to the top american diplomat in ukraine. >> you testified that in your september 9th call with president trump, the president said, quote, "no quid pro quo. i want nothing. i want nothing. i want president zelensky to do the right thing. do what he ran on," end quote. is that correct? >> that's correct. >> reporter: but that call came after the white house learned of the whistle-blower's complaint and just as congress was launch ing its investigation. >> very busy day. let's get right to mary bruce, live on the hill tonight. mary with us all day long. and mary, many were wondering, as this was playing out today, would the president react in real-time as he did during last week's hearings, to what he was hearing from ambassador sondland today. sondland actually saying that he spoke with president trump about 20 times or so on the phone. he was able to call the president up, so, what did the president say about sondland today? >> reporter: well, david, even though sondland donated $1 million to the president's
inauguration, trump today insisted that he does not know sondland well and that he hasn't spoken to him much, and trump even noted that sondland previously supported another candidate. now, sondland was asked about the president trying to distance himself. his response, david? "easy come, easy go." >> all right, mary bruce leading us off. mary, as you know, there was also something else the president zeroed in on. ambassador sondland's testimony today about a phone call he had with president trump in september. sondland asking the president, "what do you want from ukraine?" the president's answer? "i want nothing. i want no quid pro quo. i want zelensky to do the right thing," he said. the president coming before the cameras to say today that that phone call clears him, that, quote, "it's all over." but tonight, democrats point out the day he said, "i want no quid pro quo," the president very likely already knew of the whistle-blower's complaint and that the congressional investigations were about to break wide open. here's jon karl. >> reporter: privately, white house officials acknowledged today's testimony was damaging to the president's case and described the president himself
as tense as he watched. but when the president came before the cameras today, he declared victory. >> i just noticed one thing, and i would say, that means, it's all over. >> reporter: the president seized on one small sliver of ambassador gordon sondland's testimony regarding a september phone call in which he says he asked president trump what he wanted from ukraine. >> i just said, "what do you want from ukraine?" and he said, "i want nothing. i want no quid pro quo. i just want zelensky to do the right thing." >> reporter: reading from his own handwritten notes, the president delivered a reenactment of sondland's testimony. >> so he's going, "what do you want? what do you want? i hear all these theories, what do you want?", right? and now, here's my response that he gave, just gave. ready? you have the cameras rolling? "i want nothing." that's what i want from ukraine. that's what i said. "i want nothing." i said it twice.
>> reporter: but that september phone call between president trump and sondland came after the white house learned about the whistle-blower complaint. >> the timing is really interesting here. let's get to our chief white house correspondent jonathan karl, live at the white house, as this was all playing out today. jon, republicans also seizing on that call, the president telling sondland, "i want no quid pro quo," but as you just reported there, that call with sondland came just as the white house knew of the whistle-blower's report and as congress had just started asking questions. >> reporter: the timing is really important here. as we said, it's after the white house is officially told about the whistle-blower complaint. but david, it's also several days after "the washington post" first reported that the president was trying to pressure ukraine to investigate joe biden. so, the bottom line is, when the president made that denial to ambassador sondland, the white house was fully aware that his actions were under scrutiny. >> and jon, we were talking about this on the air today, ambassador sondland also said that many were in the loop, among them, secretary pompeo on this and vice president pence.
any response from either of them tonight? >> reporter: we have denials from both of them. the vice president said today that he has no recollection of ambassador sondland ever talking to him about any of this. and the spokesperson for secretary of state pompeo said that any suggestion that military aid was tied to political investigation, quote, "is flat-out false." that any suggestion that sondland told him about that is flat-out false. >> jon karl and mary, thanks to you both, and our entire team today. and we hope you'll stay with abc news. live coverage of the impeachment hearings continues tomorrow morning. that begins at 9:00 a.m. eastern once again. in the meantime, we move on tonight to the other major news this wednesday. new fallout at this hour for prince andrew in britain, after his very controversial interview about his friendship with jeffrey epstein. the prince announcing he is now stepping away from his royal duties for the foreseeable future. here's abc's eva pilgrim tonight on the fallout. >> reporter: tonight, in what some are calling an unavoidable move, prince andrew taking a break from his royal duties after scrutiny over the
interview about his relationship with jeffrey epstein. >> but you were staying at the house -- >> yes. >> -- of a convicted sex offender. >> it was a convenient place to stay. >> reporter: the prince claiming he last visited epstein to cut off contact with him, but stayed at his home for several days. that interview sparking intense backlash. multiple sponsors ending their relationship with the royal. the prince acknowledging in a statement that association has become a, quote, "major disruption to my family's work," writing, "therefore, i have asked her majesty if i may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future and she has given her permission. i continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with jeffrey epstein." in that interview, prince andrew categorically denying any sexual contact with an underage accuser. >> i am not one to, as it were, hug. and public displays of affection are not something that i do. >> reporter: but several british outlets publishing pictures like
these of the prince seeming to contradict his comments that he was not a partier. the 59-year-old maintains that despite multiple visits to several of epstein's homes, he never saw any indication of unlawful conduct involving underage girls. and david, a member of the royal family stepping aside from their official role due to controversy is unprecedented in the modern era. since prince andrew is no longer working for the palace, he will no longer receive public funds. he does, however, still have access to the queen's private funds, if she so chooses, david. >> but as you said, an unprecedented move. all right, eva, thank you. to other news, and two former houston police officers under arrest tonight for an alleged drug raid that left two people dead and five officers injured. former officers gerald goines and steven bryant now facing federal charges, including falsifying records. search warrants claimed the occupants of a home were selling heroin. the two people who lived there were killed in the raid. there was no heroin found. and the fbi joining the investigation tonight at syracuse university into a
disturbing surge in hate crimes. a new incident reported today. a professor saying she was sent anonymous anti-semitic email. four students have been arrested for one incident, a verbal assault on a black woman, last month. next tonight, we are one-on-one with apple's tim cook. the company breaking ground on a $1 billion facility in austin, texas, and promising thousands of american jobs. abc's chief business correspondent rebecca jarvis one-on-one with tim cook. >> reporter: tonight, apple's big bet in austin. investing $1 billion, creating 15,000 new jobs. and what is it about austin? >> the talent. invariably, it's always about people. >> reporter: apple's ceo joined today by president trump in the austin factory where the company's most powerful computer, the mac pro, is made. >> we're really proud to make the mac pro here. >> reporter: but on the horizon, without a trade deal with china,
the threat of new tariffs, as early as december. you could be paying an additional 10% for those phones coming here from china. would that mean you raise the price of an iphone for consumers? >> i don't even want to speculate, because i'm hoping that that doesn't happen. >> reporter: but after 16 months of negotiations, a deal with china still uncertain. so, we asked the president about it. will there be a trade deal in place before the end of the year? >> so, i can tell you this, china would much rather make a trade deal than i would. >> reporter: then why haven't they? >> because i haven't wanted to do it yet. >> reporter: why is china is also one of apple's most important markets, with the world watching the pro-democracy protests in hopg congress. at what point does apple re-evaluate its presence in china? >> i don't envision apple pulling out of markets. i mean, that doesn't seem to serve anybody, particularly the users that are there, that are counting on us. >> reporter: is there a line in
the sand in your mind where you will not go, as a company, if china pressures you? >> you know, china really hasn't pressured us. and so, i don't envision that. >> reporter: david, tim cook also told me today he believes the u.s. economy is the strongest economy in the world, but in order for that to continue, the trade situation with china must stabilize and today, the president said he's looking into exemptions for apple if there are additional tariffs on china. david? >> all right, rebecca, thank you. but in the meantime, that promise of american jobs right here at home. thank you, rebecca. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this wednesday. the new storm across several states. from california to michigan. and when it hits the northeast. rob marciano standing by to time this out. also ahead tonight, the wild police chase at the airport. the young passenger jumping from a plane onto the tarmac, trying to escape. we also have news tonight about the death of a university student following a fraternity party. police now say he was dead for several hours before they even called 911. and the stunning images
tonight. the driver behind the wheel, his car suddenly sparking there and then exploding into flames. and then the race to get him out. we'll have much more on this. a lot more news ahead here. stay tuned. a lot more news ahead here. stay tuned. no,... ...a cougher. welcome to flu season, karen. is a regular flu shot strong enough... ...to help prevent flu in someone your age? there are standard-dose flu shots. and then there's the superior flu protection... ...of fluzone high-dose. it's the only 65 plus flu shot... ...with 4 times the standard dose. and it's free with medicare part b. fluzone high-dose is not for those who've had a severe allergic reaction... ...to any vaccine component, including... ...eggs, egg products,... or after a previous dose of flu vaccine. tell your healthcare professional if you've ever experienced severe muscle weakness... ...after receiving a flu shot. if you notice ...other problems or symptoms following vaccination,... ...contact your healthcare professional immediately. side effects include pain, swelling... ...and redness where the shot was given. other side effects may occur.
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burglary change jumped onto the tarmac to escape. he climbed the terminal roof, jumping again, breaking both legs. he is in custody tonight. news about the death of a student at washington state university. the coroner there says freshman sam martinez died after a frat party four hours before 911 was called. investigators say alcohol may be to blame in his death. and the driver rescued tonight. their car exploding into flames in stafford, connecticut. just before crossing the railroad tracks. a good samaritan saving the driver from the car. when we come back tonight, the turkey that has the attention of an entire town. aleve is proven stronger and longer on pain than tylenol. when pain happens, aleve it. all day strong.
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thanksgiving a little more than a week away, and in waukesha county, wisconsin, tonight, they've been watching one star turkey for weeks. >> okay, seriously, this turkey has been stalking the mail truck. >> the turkey running from home to home, trying to keep up with the mailman. >> oh, gosh, this is so funny. >> jeff byrne just trying to deliver the mail. neighbors tracking the turkey. >> and there he goes. >> off again. >> for the last month, he's acquainted himself quite well with the truck and now has started to follow me. >> friendly, for the most part. >> he did startle me one time last week when i was coming back to the truck, he kind of jumped up and flapped his wings, feathers. >> for now, jeff keeps delivering the mail, with help from his turkey, who is clearly hoping for a pardon from the post office. >> i can't say he's annoying. it's thanksgiving. >> this is so great. >> pretty good case for a pardon. i'm david muir. i hope to see you right back here tomorrow. he was a good samaritan
whose selfless act had deadly consequences. after the deadly shooting on bart, we dig into the issues on the transit system. how many people in this room don't have power? how many do? >> other pg&e power outage hits the north bay. we have the latest information about when the lights are coming back on. we're live in fremont at a grand opening event that is proof that this city is helping to build a better bay area. a good samaritan stands up for another passenger on bart and ends up attacked, stabbed to death on board a train. it's the latest incident that has passengers questioning their safety. the head of bart has one answer. >> bart is a safe transit agency. bart is a very safe system. i think bart is a safe system.
bart is a very safe system. one more time i would say bart is a very safe system. >> he says bart is safe. you heard it. thank you for joining us. we're going to do a deep dive into bart because obviously having a safe an reliable transit system is part of a better bay area. >> yesterday afternoon police say the victim was trying to stop a man from stealing another man's shoes. >> and was killed with his own knife he had pulled out in self defense. the victim was identified as a 49-year-old man. a neighbor said he's not surprised he gave his life trying to help someone else. >> that is his nature to always help people. i'm really sad to hear that this has happened to him and he's always willing to help anyone in the need of help. >> the suspect a 39-year-old man from san francisco. abc 7 news has learned he had walked away from a hospital just hours before the attack. he is