tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC March 20, 2017 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
tonight, breaking news. the capitol hill bombshell. the fbi confirming they're investigating the trump campaign. did aides to candidate trump coordinate with the russians? plus director comey shooting down president trump's assertion, saying there is no evidence president obama wiretapped trump tower. tonight, the white house firing back. also breaking at this hour, security crackdown. the airline banning most electronics from carryon luggage. is there a new terror threat affecting u.s. air travel? manhunt. the high school teacher accused of kidnapping his teenage student. authorities say he's armed and dangerous. tonight, the new images police want you to see. officer on trial, opening fire after a police chase. a 6-year-old boy shot in the front seat, his father with his
hands in the air. and mystery solved? tom brady's stolen super bowl jers jersey, the new surveillance video and a break in the case. good evening on this monday night. i'm tom llamas in for david tonight and we begin with that high drama on capitol hill. major revelations about the white house. russian hacking and those claims about wiretapping. fbi director james comey in an extraordinary move, confirming publicly for the first time that the agency is investigating russia's attempt to influence the election and possible links to members of president trump's campaign team. director comey also breaking his silence 16 days after the president's explosive tweets, confirming there is no proof that president obama ordered wiretaps at trump tower. but despite comey's statement,
the president is still standing by his claim. abc's senior justice correspondent, pierre thomas starting us off from washington tonight. >> reporter: tonight, stunning revelations from the fbi director. >> i have been authorized by the department of justice to confirm that the fbi as part of our counterintelligence mission is investigating the russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. >> reporter: james comey finally going public and confirming there is an ongoing investigation now in its seventh month into russia's meddling. including possible collusion by trump's associates. >> that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the trump campaign and the russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and russia's efforts. >> reporter: it took 30 minutes to get to the other elephant in the room. comey refuting trump's accusations that he was wiretapped by
president obama. >> director comey, was the president's statement that obama had his wires tapped in trump tower a true statement? >> i have no information that supports those tweets. and we have looked carefully inside the fbi. the department of justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the department of justice and all its components. the department has no information that supports those tweets. >> president obama could not unilatly order a wiretap of anyone? >> no one could. >> reporter: disputing that tweet, quote, obama had my wires tapped in trump towers. but testimony focused on russian meddling. finding it was in part in animosity to one candidate. >> putin hated secretary clinton so much that the flip side of that coin was he had a clear preference to the person running against the person he hated so much. >> reporter: comey saying they made no attempt to cover their
trail. >> it was almost as if they didn't care they knew what they were doing or they wanted us to see what they were doing. they will be back in 2020. they may be back in 2018. >> reporter: much of the emphasis on disclosures about former security adviser, michael flynn's conversations with the ambassador. one republican all by pointing fingers of the previous administration. >> would director brennan have direct access to his name? >> some circumstances, yes. >> would susan wright have access to his name? >> i think -- yes. in general, and any other national security adviser would. >> reporter: but unlike today's disclosure, the fbi director refusing to say whether those leaks are also under investigation. >> i can't, but i hope people watching know how seriously we take leak of classified information, but i don't want to say we're investigating it, and i'm sorry i have to draw that
line. i think that's the right way to be. >> reporter: comey acknowledging his extraordinary testimony. >> our practice is not to confirm the existence of ongoing investigations. especially those investigations that involve classified matters. >> reporter: but he is the same fbi director who brought disclosures of hillary clinton's e-mail investigation that some democrats feel derailed her campaign. >> and pierre joins us live tonight. pierre, we now know there were two investigations during the election. one involving hillary clinton and her e-mails and one involving trump associations and it's an going. why did it take so long for comey to speak on it? >> reporter: there was so much interest that they had to acknowledge there was an ongoing investigation. >> thanks so much. next to the white house reaction. despite what you heard from the fbi director, president trump's aides are doubling down on that wiretapping claim. the president ignoring questions
during a photo op with the iraqi prime minister, and the white house playing down that russia investigation and distancing themselves tonight from some of the campaign staff. abc's chief white house correspondent, jonathan karl, at the white house tonight. >> reporter: the white house is digging in, refusing to back down from president trump's phone tapping allegations, despite the fbi director's testimony today contradicting the president. he said that there is no information to support the allegations that the president made against president obama. >> at this time. >> reporter: so is the president prepared to withdraw that accusation, apologize to the president? >> no. we started a hearing. it is still ongoing. >> reporter: as for the president, himself, no comment when we tried to ask about it. mr. president, were you wrong about the wiretapping? and just this morning, president trump blamed the dpe democrats, saying they quote,ic massachusetts made up the russia
story. tonight, the white house is also saying there's nothing to the fbi director's revelation that he is investigation possible coordination between the trump campaign and russian interference in the election. >> investigating it and having proof of it are two different things. >> reporter: now the white house is distancing itself from former trump campaign operatives caught up in the fbi review, including former campaign chairman paul manafort who was brought up several times in today's hear. >> manafort -- >> the manager at the time, paul manafort. >> and then, obviously, there has been some discussion of paul manafort, who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time, but beyond that -- >> but he was the chairman of the campaign. >> hey, john, hey, hold on. can you stop interrupting other people? >> but paul manafort didn't play a limited role. >> hey, jonathan, somebody is asking a question. it is not your press briefing. >> reporter: in fact, manafort was on the trump campaign for nearly five months. >> i also want to thank my staff. paul, corey, hope, i mean these people, what we have been doing has been incredible. >> reporter: and he ran the republican convention.
meanwhile, the white house is still supporting the fbi director, at least for now. does the president still have complete confidence in fbi director comey? >> there's no reason to believe he doesn't at this time. >> and tonight, paul manafort denying any contact with russia. jon joining us live, and so much to get to tonight. the director of the fbi, publ publicly contradicting president trump. how does this affect the president going forward with his agenda? >> reporter: well, having the fbi director directly contradicting the president and also investigating the president's campaign will undoubtedly be a source of tension and distraction. a source of tension that will be there as long as jim comey is the director of the fbi. >> late word tonight of another trump working in the west wing? >> reporter: that is right. we have a situation where ivanka trump, according to her attorney, will be having an office in the west wing, government issued communications
devices and a security clearance so she can receive classified information. we are told that the president's daughter won't have a former role or salary, but clearly a bigger role in the west wing. >> alongside her father. thanks so much. to another high stakes hearing on capitol hill. this for that supreme court spot that has been vacant for more than a year. neil gorsuch getting a warm welcome after a remark. he faces tough questioning ahead. abc's terry moran covers the supreme court for us. >> reporter: judge neil gorsuch in the crosshairs today -- [ cameras shuttering ] but cool under fire, even having some fun. [ laughter ] for the most part, though, judge gorsuch just had to sit and smile and listen to the senators' statements, republicans praising him -- >> i know from my own personal experience that you are one of the best judges in the country. >> reporter: and democrats challenging him, demanding to know if he could rule against president trump, if the fbi probe into links between russia and the trump campaign comes before the court.
>> the possibility of the supreme court needing to enforce a subpoena against the president is no longer idle speculation. >> reporter: then it was gorsuch's turn. >> i do. >> reporter: and he got personal, thanking his wife. >> i love you so much. >> reporter: emotionally remembering a beloved uncle, who died last month. >> a hero of mine and a lifelong episcopal priest. >> reporter: and he praised the judges he called his mentors, including the one he would replace, justice scalia. >> now, we didn't agree about everything. the justice fished with the enthusiasm of a new yorker. he thought the harder you slapped the line on the water, somehow the more the fish would love it. >> lots of laughs from that hearing. terry moran joins us from the supreme court, and it was a day to get to know judge gorsuch,
but what are his chances of confirmation? >> reporter: they are spoiling for a fight, furious about what happened to merrick gor land who never got a hearing. democrats think they can show him as too friendly. not good for working men and women, but the effort has been scatter shot, low intensity, and as we saw, gorsuch has a genial and disarming personality. it's hard to portray him as a judicial villain. >> terry, thank you p. overseas tonight, a provocation from north korea. kim jong-un watching the rocket engine calling it a revolutionary breakthrough. in the background, his threats to reduce the united states to a quote, heap of ashes. president trump weighing in. >> he is acting very, very badly. i will tell you he is acting very badly. >> with the president as he discussed those intense tensions, new england patriots owner, robert kraft returning
from mar-a-lago with him there on air force one. > back to breaking news about air line security. there are orders to ban all electronics except cell phones. is a terror threat prompting the move? abc's david kerley on what we're learning tonight. >> reporter: this, a hole blown through a jetliner by a laptop, is the worry for u.s. security officials tonight. the u.s. reportedly ready to ban electronic devices from the cabins of jetliners arriving from certain airports. the news, revealed in a tweet by royal jordanian airlines, apologizing to its customers, saying electronic devices will be strictly prohibited. that, according to the airline, covers laptops, tablets, cameras, dvd players, and electronic games, not phones or medical devices. one source tells "abc news" the ban will apply to nearly a dozen countries and airports in the middle eastern region. >> what's likely happened is that the u.s. government
developed some intelligence that a group or an individual has developed some type of device that they can onto an airplane using a laptop or some other electronic appliance. >> reporter: a little more than a year ago, it was a laptop with explosives that detonated sho shortly after takeoff, blowing a hole in the jetliner, immediately depressurizing the cabin. >> david, do we know what prompted this new procedure? is there some terror threat out there? >> reporter: there has been a threat they were concerned about for years, and there is new intelligence, according to sources that terrorists -- potential terrorists may have perfected the technology of putting explosives in these devices, top. >> david kerley, thanks so much. next we turn to a big story we have been following here, the desperate search for a teacher accused of kidnapping his 15-year-old student. the pair missing for a week, and tonight, the girl's heartbroken family is begging for her return, along with the teacher's wife, who is pleading with him
to turn himself in. abc's eva pilgrim is in tennessee tonight. >> reporter: tonight, police are releasing new images in their search for a missing tennessee teen and the former teacher accused of kidnapping her. >> we have imminent concern for elizabeth thomas' wellbeing right now. >> reporter: 50-year-old suspect, tad cummins, is seen in a store days before the their disappearance, where he appears to be picking up women's hair dye. police say the teacher plotted her abduction at least a week before. surveillance video captured cummins filling up his nissan at a nearby gas station, but the only trace since, a cell phone ping in alabama. >> please come home to us. >> reporter: tonight, the girl's father says his daughter told a sibling the day she left to call police if she wasn't home by 6:00p.m. >> i don't think she is responsible for what happened. she is 15 years old. >> reporter: the father says even after another student claimed he witnessed mr. cummins kissing beth thomas and reported it to school officials, the teacher was still at the school. school officials say cummins denied an inappropriate relationship with his 15-year-old student. he wasn't suspended until after
the father hired an attorney. the teacher's wife making her own desperate plea to her husband. >> tad, this is not you. this is not who you are. we can help you get through this. >> reporter: investigators think the two are staying out of the public eye, but think they are in the u.s. >> eva, thank you. there is much more ahead on "world news tonight" this monday. the officer on trial, opening fire after a police chase. a 6-year-old boy shot in the front seat. his father with his hands in the air. tonight, the video jurors were shown. and news tonight on that deadly house firebomb. two teenagers killed and new developments just in. and the break in the case of tom brady's stolen super bowl jersey. surveillance video of a possible suspect and police following this case all the way south of the border. (vo) this is not a video game.
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back now with an officer on trial for the shooting death of a 6-year-old boy in louisiana. the jury today seeing the bodycam video. here's abc's steve osunsami. >> reporter: louisiana's top cop has called this deadly police shooting of an autistic child the most disturbing thing he's ever seen. >> it disturbed me as a father. >> reporter: and in opening statements today, in the trial against one of the officers accused, prosecutors piled on, telling jurors that deputy marshal derrick stafford, seen here, was facing no real danger when they say he and officer norris greenhouse fired 18 bullets into this suv, after a chase through the streets of marksville, louisiana. several of those bullets struck and killed 6-year-old jeremy mardis, still strapped in the front seat. here's the moment, caught on video, when stafford realizes a child was inside. >> i never saw a kid in the car man. >> yeah. the kid is -- >> i never saw a kid in the car,
bro. i was just keep telling him to stop. >> reporter: the jurors wiped away tears. you see the boy's father who was driving the car, had his hands up when the officers started firing. you see that right here. he was unarmed, was seriously wounded, and prosecutors say he'll testify, explaining that he was running because he was afraid he would lose custody of his son. stafford is pleading not guilty, and his lawyers say the boy's father is the one who's at fault for running b. some? >> steve osunsami, thanks so much. when we come back, a mange update on music legend, glenn campbell and his fight with alzheimer's. is the alleged arsonist now in custody? and there is a new trump on the way. we'll tell you who is expecting coming up. hard as you do. but do they need help making more of their own tears? if you have chronic dry eye caused by reduced tear production due to inflammation, restasis multidose™ can help... with continued use twice a day, every day, one drop at a time. restasis multidose™ helps increase your eyes' natural ability to produce tears, which may be reduced by inflammation due to chronic dry eye.
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home, killing two children. a health update on glenn campbell. his wife revealing he can't play guitar, and he has lost most of his language skills. he was diagnosed back in 2011. a new addition coming to the trump family. president trump's son, announcing he and his wife, laura, are having a baby. breaking the news on twitter, saying they are add a boy to team trump this september. this will be president trump's ninth grandchild. when we come back, tom brady and a big break in the case of to his super bowl jersey. is the surveillance video that you see right here, the clue that cracked the case? when you're close to the people you love, does psoriasis ever get in the way of a touching moment? if you have moderate to severe psoriasis, you can embrace the chance of completely clear skin with taltz.
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finally tonight, mystery solved. the all-out search for tom br y brady's stolen super bowl jersey, worth an estimated $500,000, has ended up in mexico. abc's matt gutman on the case. >> reporter: no sooner had tom brady walked off the field in houston bearing super bowl triumph -- >> brady has his fifth! >> reporter: that this man allegedly walked off with his game jersey. authorities reviewing this video from fox sports shows a bundle on his arm. but running from the long arm of texas justice? not so easy. >> he came to the wrong state, you know what i'm saying? so -- >> reporter: the nfl today saying the alleged thief is a "credentialed member of the international media." a mexican newspaper coming forward, adding that the alleged culprit is their former director.
this photo on the company's website, and they also retrieved brady's other stolen jersey from super bowl xlix. brady's triumph turned sour as he scoured the locker room. >> i absolutely 100% put it in the back. >> reporter: authorities say those priceless jerseys are back in boston where authorities are trying to confirm their authenticity. the suspect is still a free man somewhere here in mexico, tom. >> matt gutman, our thanks to you, and thank you for watching. i'm tom llamas. for david and all of us here, have a great evening. good night.
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this is "jeopardy!" here are today's contestants -- a content developer from jackson, michigan... a naval flight officer from oak harbor, washington... and our returning champion, a psychologist from baltimore, maryland... ...whose 1-day cash winnings total... and now here is the host of "jeopardy!" -- alex trebek! [ cheers and applause ] thank you, johnny. hello, my friends. good to have you with us once again for a half-hour of answers and questions. well, st. patrick's day turned out to be a very special day for rebecca, as you just heard, winning over $30,000. big victory. eli and christiane, nice to have you here today.