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tv   Nightline  ABC  December 12, 2017 12:37am-1:06am EST

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this is "nightline." >> tonight, all eyes on alabama. >> this election is for the people of alabama. >> as the senate candidates face off in one of the most heated special elections in history. some republicans switching sides in the face of roy moore's sexual misconduct allegations. >> i hold my party to higher standards than roy moore. >> others just don't believe it. >> everyone is innocent until proven guilty. >> the political battle for the heart of dixie. plus, terror in new york. the chilling attack in one of the largest commuter hubs in manhattan during rush hour. an alleged isis sympathizer inspired by online propaganda partially detonating a home-made bomb but failing to cause major
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damage. what we now know about the suspect and the brave first responders who raced to the scene. but first, the nightline 5. number one in just 60 seconds. stepping into the unknown. it can be difficult to find the way. but with the compassion and security
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of the crucial alabama senate election with deep red state voters having to choose between a man accused of sexual misconduct and a democrat who is less popular. president trump has thrown his support behind gop candidate roy moore but some fear theirs is a party divided. the battle for the heart and soul of the republican party hanging on an empty senate seat in alabama. >> get out and vote for roy moore. >> republican roy moore facing off with democrat doug jones. both parties fighting for voting, sending in big time reinforcements. steve bannon rallying the faithful. >> they're trying to shut up president trump and roy moore. they're trying to shut you up. >> former president obama making a last-minute robo call plea for jones and president trump doubling down on moore. >> hi, this is president donald trump and i need alabama to go
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vote for roy moore. >> the stakes have never been higher, effective control of the senate hangs in the balance after jeff sessions vacated his seat to become attorney general. >> if roy moore loses, which is a big if, the democrats obviously get another seat in a very, very closely divided senate. >> a victory for jones depends on suburbs like this one outside birmingham. it's become an unlikely battleground with an even more unlikely band of supporters for the democrat. >> we consider ourselves republicans for doug jones. >> this group of lifelong christian conservative republicans -- >> how are you? i'm kim. >> hello there. >> what's your name? >> that's will. >> what's up, will? >> -- should not be the poster person for the gop. >> i know i cannot support roy moore. >> today they're knocking on doors trying to convince fellow republicans to consider voting against their party's candidate. >> it's because i'm a christian and it's actually because i'm
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republican and those morals are so deep that i'm voting against roy moore. does that change anything for you? >> no. we may not like about him, but where i see this country going. i think he's a better fit. even if some of it may be true and it comes out, he could be replaced by somebody else who may better serve as well. >> but still at issue, the republican candidate stands accused of sexual misconduct by nine women, many of whom say they were underage at the time. >> mr. moore reached over and began groping me. him putting his hands on my breasts. >> he just grabbed me from behind on my buttocks. and he just squeezed it really hard. i remember thinking i was so ashamed. i felt humiliated. >> moore has denied these allegations and for some voters that's enough. suzie has been volunteering with door knockers for the moore campaign. >> but these are allegations. and in america i believe it still holds true that everyone
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is innocent until proven guilty. >> kevin cavanaugh came all the way from arizona to show his support for the republican candidate. >> i'm going to give roy moore the benefit of the doubt. he has been solid for his entire political career, and nothing has popped up, there's nothing recent. so i have a hard time believing these allegations. >> but those allegations have left other staunch republicans deeply troubled. >> i think those women are the most courageous women on the planet. and i'm so proud of them. i do believe them. >> kim is a trump supporter and says she's never voted for a democrat ever. but this time, she says, is different. >> for me to not vote for roy moore for the republican party is huge. i'm a survivor of rape. and it's not easy for women to talk about that. >> joining her, steve cranish, a lifelong conservative who said
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he started a facebook page to support the democrat because he finds roy moore offensive. >> he's offended the lgbt community, women, everybody. >> tracy james comes from a long line of distinguished republican leaders in alabama. >> my late father was a highly respected republican judge. my cousin was a gop governor of this state. >> but now she's featured in a campaign ad for the democratic candidate. >> i certainly have had people say that i'm disloyal, that i'm a traitor. i would argue that i am being loyal to the party, that i'm being loyal at its most courageous by saying i hold my party to higher standards than roy moore. >> it's blow back this group says they're willing to endure because they feel the whole world is watching and alabama's reputation is on the line. >> if the republican party adopts the image of people like roy moore, then the swing voters are going to shift. i think we're going to lose -- the republicans are going to lose the senate, the house and
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ultimately the presidency. >> all this playing out in a bid to overcome its dark history. in 1963 when then-governor george wallace defied orders to desegregate the schools. >> segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever. >> roy moore's rhetoric hearkens back to that age. >> i had to make the decision, are we going back or not? there's no decision. we can't go back. >> which is why he came up with this slogan. >> you didn't have to want to vote for doug jones to take the sign. it was a vote for republicans and democrats to say, hey, no more. we haven't going to have this any more here. >> the senate is hanging in the balance is calling for support on capitol hill. but even the highest ranking republican in the senate has questioned whether moore deserves a place in their party. >> he's obviously not fit to be
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in the united states senate. >> and the senior republican senator from alabama telling cnn his home state can do better. >> i didn't vote for roy moore. i wouldn't vote for roy moore. i think the republican party can do better. >> wow! >> a democrat hasn't won in alabama senate seat in years. >> they're not in the practice of voting for democrats. and roy moore and his campaign have effectively said this is about party not about person and to the degree that people think it's more important to elect a republican than it is to worry about the accusations against him, he's doing well. >> i feel great. i feel great. this has been an exciting race. >> since a quarter of alabama's population is african-american, the jones campaign is trying to get out the black vote, all with the help of prominent
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african-american leaders. >> that's an incredible statement. this is your chance to get out there, to vote, to let your voice be heard. >> doug jones highlighting his civil rights credentials. his prosecution of two members of the kkk who were responsible for the 1963 birmingham church bombing that killed four black girls. his opponent, moore, is a gun-toting -- >> i believe in the second amendment. >> -- horse-riding conservativc. he made headlines when he installed this giant statue of the ten commandments in the rotunda of the alabama state supreme courthouse. >> it's my duty. >> it was a decision federal courts found unconstitutional and ordered moore to take it down. >> we've allowed the acknowledgment of god to be taken from us because three lawyers walked in this building and are offended at looking at god's word. >> in 2011 moore appeared on a
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talk show where one suggested voiding the amendments after the tenth. >> you know people don't understand how some of these amendments have completely tried to wreck the form of government that our forefathers intended. >> but such a suggestion would mean getting rid of the amendment that abolished slavery and the one that granted women the right to vote among others. moore was later re-elected in the state supreme court where he defied the federal courts again, this time on the issue of same-sex marriage. he views homosexuality as sinful. >> it is immoral, defined by the law as detestable. >> moore now faces what may be the last straw for some voters. >> you won't vote tuesday. >> and i've always voted. i don't miselections, but i'm not voting. >> all this playing out on the backdrop of a national reckoning on sexual harassment. >> i had somebody say to me i'm not with to vote for the party
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of franken and conyers. my response was you must have a great write-in candidate, because if you believe their accusers, you must believe moore's accusers. and his response was, oh, no, but franken admitted it and moore has denied it. >> now, it's up to alabama voters to decide who will best represent them as well as perhaps the future of the republican party. up next, the attempted terror attack at rush hour in new york city. how the suspect constructed a bomb from internet instructions. hey, are you taking the tissue test? yep, and my teeth are yellow. i mean i knew they weren't perfect, but, ugh. oh well, all hope is lost! oh thanks! clearly my whitening toothpaste is not cutting it. time for whitestrips. crest glamorous white whitestrips are the only ada-accepted whitening strips proven to be safe and effective. they work below the enamel surface to whiten 25x better than a leading whitening toothpaste. hey, nice smile! thanks! i crushed the tissue test!
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a second terror attack in new york city in less than two months. this time authorities say an isis supporter attempted an apparent suicide bombing. tonight we're learning new details about the suspect, how he constructed the device and what he told police after his capture. here's abc's gio benitez. >> i smell smoke, i got out of there. >> the subway they're evacuating at this time. >> reporter: this morning terror again rocked the streets of new york city. >> this was an attempted terrorist attack. >> reporter: officials say this was the moment the alleged attacker partially detonated a pipe bomb strapped to his party targeting the port authority bus terminal and filling the complex with smoke. five left injured. >> the investigation at the scene indicates this male was wearing an improvised low-tech explosive device attached to his
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body. he intentionally detonated that device. >> reporter: the suspect akayed ullah, from bangladesh, who came to this country on a family visa. authorities say ullah boarded the subway. he arrives at the 42nd street station. surveillance video captures him walking through the passage way during the bustling commute. just a few seconds later, an explosion. >> police are all behind them saying everybody out of the building, everybody out of the building. >> to me it sounded like a gunshot, like a shotgun or something. once i saw that smoke, i just headed to the closet exit. >> reporter: christina was on her way to work. what's in your mind with all this going on? this is where you work? >> i believe in god and that's all that matters. if you all don't believe in no
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god, you believe in god today. >> reporter: four port authority police officers were on duty. >> they made the decision to get on top of him and restrain him. one of the officers actually removed the device off of his person before he could further detonate it. >> reporter: the bomb was built from a pipe about 12 inches in length rigged with a nine volt battery and a wire that came from a christmas light. >> we know that they have been used as detonators in many instances. many, in fact, have used those either to detonate the bomb or used them in another location. >> reporter: people quickly evacuated. nypd locking down the scene checking for other possible devices. >> you have to assume that he was going to a much more crowded area to make a statement. you also have to assume he was going to kill himself if he was going to be a suicide bomber.
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what happened is the bomb did not fully detonate. and that's why he's still alive. >> in brooklyn, the nypd and the fbi searching three different homes in the area thought to be connected to the suspect. his family inside, neighbors stunned. >> you don't know who your neighbors are. you have to be careful. >> he doesn't talk much to anybody. he kept to himself. >> suffering injuries to his arms and torso, ullah was taken to the hospital. according to sources he made the bomb in his brooklyn apartment. ullah told them he used instructions found online. >> this was a somewhat unsophisticated explosive device. it doesn't appear that it functioned correctly or was designed correctly. if it would have operated correctly, we wouldn't be dealing with just a few injuries, we'd be dealing with many fatalities and many injuries. authorities say ullah was inspired by isis propaganda
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which mentions times square as a possible target. >> right now there's the concern for possible copycats. but what is concerning tonight is that this young man is not on anyone's radar. >> reporter: just a few weeks ago isis released this image of a picture of santa standing next to a box of dynamite. isis uses videos like these to encourage people to commit atrocities around the world. >> go to these soft targets, use a car, a knife, an explosive device and kill as many people as you can. a soft target is a location that is generally open to the public, a mass transit station. by its very nature it has to boep. >> this attack comes six weeks after sapov drove a truck down a bike path. the attacker was charged with 22
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counts including 8 counts of murder and one count of providing support for isis. he pled not guilty and could face the debt penalty. and late last year more than two dozen were injured in the city's chelsea neighborhood after a pressure cooker packed with shrapnel detonated. today an increased police presence across the city. >> the reality is that we are a target by many who would like to make a statement against democracy, against freedom. we are the statue of liberty in our harbor. and that makes us an international target. >> as the authorities remain on high alert, governor cuomo encouraging workers to continue with their everyday lives. >> we're not going to allow them to disrupt us. that's exactly what they want. that's exactly what they're not going to get. >> for "nightline "i'm gio benitez in new york.
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and now to women ruling a galaxy far, far away. excitement is high for "star wars" the last jedi. nick watt got an early sneak peek. >> kill it. >> "star wars" is back, but not quite as we know it. >> i'm not the protagonist anymore. rey is the protagonist. >> we first met her in "the force awakens." >> what's nice is now she's asking these questions. >> laura dern a purple-haired resistance leader is formidable. >> you're creating character and improvising. it all seems the same until someone taps you on the shoulder and it's chewbacca and they hug you. >> gwendolyn christy back. >> i don't think she is like anyone else


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