tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC January 12, 2017 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
tonight, the bombshell. the new investigation, the focus now on the director of the fbi. did james comey violate policy just 11 days before the election reigniting the e-mail investigation? only later to reveal there was nothing this. pierre thomas standing by. also tonight after the president-elect tames aim at the intelligence community calling those up confirmed reports a disgrace. today, a video of the spy in hiding. the showdown. mr. trump's picks for the pentagon and the cia. making it clear where they stand on russia. the family tragedy. the fast-moving fire. the six children that were lost. the major ice storm moving in tonight across several states. and the surprise at the white house that left vice president joe biden in tears.
good evening, and it's great to have you with us here on a thursday night, and we begin tonight with the head of the fbi under the microscope. the justice department inspector general revealing whether the actions before the presidential election broke policy and protocol. you remember him going public reigniting the e-mail investigation involving hillary clinton only to then reveal there was nothing. critics say there is no question it affected the election, and here's abc's senior justice correspondent, pierre thomas tonight. >> reporter: tonight, the fbi director james comey under new, intense scrutiny. a new inspector general investigation asking the critical question, did comey's actions in the clinton e-mail probe violate justice department policies and protocol? something critics have maintained severely hurt clinton's chance at the presidency. just 11 days before the election, clinton and her team huddled on her plane.
learning only upon landing, that james comey had just publicly re-ignited the e-mail investigation. >> secretary clinton. what do you have the say about the fbi investigation? >> i need to open with a very critical breaking news announcement. they have discovered new e-mails. >> reporter: tonight, the department of justice wants to know whether comey's public move was appropriate. announcing just two days before the election there was nothing there. critics argue the damage was done. >> you may have heard about a letter that the fbi director sent out yesterday. [ boos ] it's pretty strange to put something like that out with such little information right before an election. >> reporter: though the actions fair so close to the election. sdplu don't do it close to an election. you don't want anybody to think
that the department is acting to influence an election. >> reporter: also under scrutiny, his decision in july to hold a conference saying charges would not be put against clinton after criticizing her. >> they were extremely careless in their handling of classified information. >> reporter: but then saying. >> no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. >> rarely does a prosecutor go into length like comey did. >> reporter: wrestling with the need for transimportantsy, but the clinton team saying the move was devastating. >> if this election had been held ten days earlier, hillary clinton would be the 45th president of the united states. >> reporter: and just this week, comey was asked if the fbi is investigating whether president-elect trump's team had contact with the russians during the campaign. >> i would never comment on investigations whether we have one or not in an open forum like
this. >> reporter: he was pressed again. >> you didn't say one way or another. >> correct. i don't -- especially in a public forum, we never confirm nor deny a pending investigation. >> the irony of your making that statement here, i cannot avoid. >> reporter: was there a double standard? was protocol ignored? the inspector general signaling tonight they will investigate. >> were you comfortable in the role you played in the election? >> pierre with us live, and the director of the fbi weigh ig in on this late today? >> reporter: david, he said he'll fully cooperate. he has nothing to hide and he wants to be transparent. >> thank you. of course, president-elect donald trump taking aim at u.s. intelligence after that leaked document with unconfirmed allegations that russia has gathered material on mr. trump. he called the leak disgraceful. well, tonight, the former spy at the center of the storm now in hiding, and this evening right here, new video of him.
here's our chief investigative correspondent, brian ross. >> reporter: the former british spy at the center of the unsubstantiated trump allegations, is identified by the bbc tonight as this impeccably dressed, 52-year-old man at the society, christopher steele, who colleagues tell abc news has gone into hiding. today in washington, vice-president joe biden confirmed he and the president were briefed by intelligence officials. >> we feel obliged to tell you, mr. president, because you may hear about it. >> we can't say it's not true. we can't say it is true. >> reporter: the russians and trump have angrily denounced the allegations as completely false, including the unverified claim that trump was secretly recorded when he visited moscow. trump says he knows better than to let that happen. >> you have cameras in the strangest places. cameras that are so small with modern technology, you can't see them, and you won't know. ♪ >> reporter: but spies for the
former kgb are famous for just that kind of blackmail tactic against foreign visitors. u.s. officials say the russians posted this video of an american diplomat with an alleged prostitute, complete with background music, after the diplomat refused to become a double agent. >> the cold war ended, but the russian intelligence operations in hotels in moscow, targeted against americans, has never stopped. >> reporter: not to mention, hacking computers and bugging phones. >> when i talked -- >> reporter: three years ago, the russians intercepted the very undiplomatic phone conversation of a top american diplomat, victoria nuland, and posted it on-line. >> have the un help glue it. and, you know, [ bleep ] the eu. >> reporter: trump said wednesday the russians have nothing on him, and he's prepared to get tough with vladimir putin. if needed. >> do you honestly believe that hillary would be tougher on putin than me? does anybody in this room really believe that? give me a break. >> reporter: but u.s. officials
believe that, saying they think putin ordered the hacking of the democratic party, in part, because he feared clinton would be tougher than trump to deal with. as for that former british spy, authorities tell abc news tonight he is considered a trusted source who has been helpful with past fbi investigations, with both the kremlin and russian organized crime. >> while i have you, i want to show a curious moment on c-span. this is mac seen waters, and then it switches to russia today. that's the russian propaganda network playing. what's going on here? >> it went on for about ten minutes, and they think for the moment, it was a routing issue, and it raises a lot of questions. >> brian ross with us. thank you. it was 24 hours ago here, president-elect trump saying that document would turn up nothing, saying there is nothing there, blaming the intel community for leaking the report. tonight, we learned that just hours later after his criticism, he received a phone call from
the director of national intelligence, james clapper. tonight, abc's jonathan karl on what was said. >> reporter: tensions between donald trump and the intelligence agencies flared again today following the president-elect's unprecedented attack. >> that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake, out. i think it's a disgrace, and i say that -- and i say that. that's something that nazi germany would have done and did do. >> reporter: hours later director of national intelligence james clapper, called trump himself and took the rare step of releasing this public statement. "i expressed my profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press, and we both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security. i do not believe the leaks came from the national intelligence community." >> reporter: still fuming, this
morning, trump tweeted. "james clapper called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated. made up, phony facts. too bad!" but in his statement, clapper didn't quite call the reports false and fictitious, instead saying he had not determined yet whether they were reliable. on capitol hill, mike pompeo, trump's choice to be the director of the cia, was asked directly about whether he would continue to investigate one of those unsubstantiated and unproven allegations, that the trump team was in contact with russia. >> if confirmed, will you commit to exploring those questions, and if you find there is validity to those allegations refer the information that you discovered to the fbi? >> i want to make clear that i share your view these are unsubstantiated allegations. >> i emphasized that. >> i want to make sure -- >> these are very serious allegations. but to your question more directly, i promise i'll pursue the facts wherever they take us. >> reporter: trump is fine with the investigation. >> that's their job. >> jon karl with us live from the white house. this riff between the president and the intelligence community, this appears to be growing wide.
how much concern are you hearing from your sources within the intelligence community tonight? >> reporter: there is concern there has been lasting damage done this this relationship. i expect trump's choice to be director and head of the cia will be confirmed. shortly after he is sworn in as president, he will have his own people at the top of the leadership intelligence community. >> that can make a difference. thank you. last night, president-elect trump was saying russia was behind the hacking and adding it could be someone else. today, his picks for the pentagon and the cia made it very clear on the hill where they stand on russia. abc's mary bruce up on capitol hill again tonight. >> reporter: tonight, two men donald trump nominated to help keep america safe, breaking with the president-elect on russia and vladimir putin. >> if putin likes donald trump, i consider that an asset, not a liability. because we have a horrible relationship with russia. >> reporter: but today, a very different tone from trump's pick
for secretary of defense. >> mad dog mattis! >> reporter: retired general james mattis declaring russia is a threat. >> i'm all for engagement. but we also have to recognize reality and what russia is up to. >> reporter: mattis insisting putin wants to break up nato, and america must defend itself. >> there's a decreasing number of areas where we can engage cooperatively and an increasing number of areas where we're going to have to confront russia. >> reporter: the general's words welcomed by senator john mccain. >> i appreciate him expressing his candid views to the committee. >> do you think the president-elect will take his advice? do you hope he takes his advice? >> i'm supposed to answer that? >> reporter: just one floor up, testifying at his confirmation hearing for cia director, congressman mike pompeo, also drawing a harder line on russia than the president-elect. on the dnc hacking -- trump finally conceding it was russia. >> as far as hacking, i think it was russia.
>> reporter: but then he said -- >> trump you know what, could have been others also. >> reporter: from pompeo today, no hesitation. >> it's pretty clear about what took place here about russia involvement in efforts to hack information and to have an impact on american democracy. >> reporter: some republicans concerned about the conflicting signals coming out of the new administration. >> we live in very dangerous times. the last thing i want to do is send a mixed message to putin. >> reporter: the president-elect has signaled he is not likely to take graham's advice. >> lindsey graham, i have been competing with him for a long time. he is going to crack that 1% barrier one day. i didn't realize lindsey graham still had it. >> and mary braus produce with us. senator graham continuing today raising concerns about russia, and also about the secretary of state nominee, rex tillerson? >> reporter: graham is one of at least three republican senators that say they are undecided on
tillerson. he has described his relationship with putin as very close, and today, graham told us tillerson has to be able to punch russia in the face, david. >> mary bruce live on capitol hill for us again. thank you, mary. one more headline from washington tonight. the republican push to repeal and replace obamacare. covering more than 20 million americans. the senate taking the first major step approving a resolution allowing them to begin the process of repealing with a simple majority vote. they say they will vote on that measure tomorrow. president-elect trump saying they should repeal and replace quickly afterward, saying americans will be very proud of the new plan. next tonight here, we are tracking a major ice storm across the midwest oklahoma, in fact, declaring a state of emergency. in chicago, stuck? place because of the layers of the ice there. let's get right to ginger zee tracking the storm tonight. hey, ginger. >> reporter: hey, david. trees, power lines and roads.
beware of up to an inch of ice about to fall in parts of the plains. we have this set up plenty of moisture from the gulf. it will hit that stationary front up and over and hit the cold air, and along that jet stream and a low pressure system. you will see some ice drop. it's really rain that drops into that freezing layer and you have the warnings from oklahoma to missouri along the stationary front. that starts tonight and goes through sunday morning for most folks. not the entire time, you you can see accumulations and big-time impact in the zones highlighted. >> we'll see you tomorrow morning, ginger. a major auto maker in the headlines after reporting volkswagen will pay more than $4 billion for cheating emissions tests, and fiat doing the same thing. including 2014 and 2016 pickups and suvs with diesel engines.
they are denying intentionally breaking the law. much more ahead, and this school bus. several students on board when the engine ignites. much more on this after the break. also the family tragedy. the inferno inside this home. so many children lost, and fire officials are on the scene. the investigation coming up. and it is hard to pull off a surprise at the white house today, but the vice president had no idea why he was really standing there next to the president. you have to see this when we come back. iabetic nerve pain, these feet kicked off a lot of high school games... built a life for my family... and liked to help others in need. but i couldn't bear my diabetic nerve pain any longer. so i talked to my doctor and he prescribed lyrica. nerve damage from diabetes causes diabetic nerve pain. lyrica is fda-approved to treat this pain. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior.
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next tonight, fire investigators on the scene at a house fire tragedy in baltimore. a mother and her nine children were inside when the home went up in flames. abc's gloria riviera is there. >> reporter: tonight, a city in utter devastation, the intense fire engulfing the baltimore home in mere minutes. >> there's a fire on the first, second and through the roof.
>> reporter: the mother and her nine children caught inside when the fire broke out just after midnight. >> nine children inside, nine children inside! >> reporter: kate malone, and three of her children, getting out. her 8-year-old daughter leading the way. >> she actually rescued her two siblings. she brought the two siblings out with her. >> reporter: but six of the children, the youngest a 9-month-old baby boy didn't make it. their mother watching in agony. >> she made them aware that there were other children inside. >> the mother told your team? >> told our team that there were other children inside. >> reporter: investigators digging through the rubble by hand. the mother of nine, in critical condition. her boss congressman elijah cummings showing support. >> um, it's a very difficult time for our office. >> reporter: tonight investigators trying to determine the cause. david, the father was at work when the fire broke out, he told officials there was a working smoke detector and he had just replaced the batteries. david. >> all right, gloria.
thank you. when we come back here, the fire of a school bus in texas reports students on board. and the sustain coming in from seattle tonight. the drone colliding with the famous space needle. you will see it after the break. tell your doctor about your medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, or adempas® for pulmonary hypertension, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have a sudden decrease or loss of hearing or vision, or an allergic reaction, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis. and i used to ask if you could hear me now with verizon. not anymore. i switched to sprint because their network reliability is now within 1% of verizon. and they save you 50% on most current at&t, t-mobile, and verizon rates. why is this one twice as much? this one right here has 1% more needles. why pay twice as much for only a 1% difference?
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finally tonight, it is hard to pull off a surprise at the white house where ceremonies are meticulously planned, but they did. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president and vice president of the united states. >> reporter: today in the state dining room of the white house, the president was to deliver remarks honoring vice president joe biden. >> the best vice president america has ever had, mr. joe biden. [ cheering and applause ] this also gives the internet one last chance to talk about our bromance. [ laughter ] >> reporter: the president it seemed was simply recounting some of his favorite moments
with the vice president who became his trusted friend. >> and when the pope visited, . joe was even kind enough to let me talk to the holiness as well. [ laughter ] pretty much every time he speaks, he treats us to some wisdom from the nuns who taught him in grade school, but of course, most frequently sighted, katherine and joseph sr., his mom and dad. >> reporter: and the president ended with this -- >> for the final time as president, i'm pleased to award the president's highest civil yan honor, the presidential medal of freedom. >> reporter: the vice president grabbing his handkerchief. >> i will bestow this medal. i'm proud to present the medal with distinction to my brother, joseph biden jr. >> reporter: the president doing the honors. [ applause ]
>> i just hope that the ast risks in history next to my name, during part of his presidency, that i can say i was part of, part of the journey of a remarkable man that did remarkable things for this country, and mr. president, i -- i'm in debt to you. and your friendship. >> he and his wife will be on "this view
this is "jeopardy!" today's contestants are a high school principal from columbia, south carolina... a non-profit manager from chicago, illinois... and our returning champion -- an attorney from new york, new york... whose 1-day cash winnings total... and now here is the host of "jeopardy!" -- alex trebek! [ cheers and applause ] thank you. thanks, johnny. so far, the new year has been a series of ups and downs -- a $20,000 win one day, $4,000 the next day. i'm hoping today, ladies, winds up being a big payday for one of you -- cheryl, sarah, or zoey.