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tv   ABC World News  ABC  March 5, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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welcome to "world news tonight." breaking news. president trump accusing obama of spying on him. tonight, the fbi director calling that false. the president insisting his phones were tapped at trump tower. but when pressed, team trump not so sure. >> if this happened, martha. >> if, if, if, if. >> obama aides deny the claim. brian ross standing by with new details. fire and ice. firefighters battling high winds and freezing cold. this dangerous weather killing a mother and her four children, the hazards at home and on the road. fighting back. the chilling video of the alleged midnight assault. a masked serial sex offender stalking, then attacking, a female hotel worker. what she did that led to his capture.
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charity scam? the child fighting for his life, and the strangers accused of using his photo to raise money for themselves. and, true colors. the little boy, the high-tech glasses, and the incredible moment when his whole world changes. good evening. thanks for joining us on this sunday. i'm tom llamas. we begin with that breaking news. a serious setback to president trump tonight, after he called on congress to investigate his claim that president obama spied on him. tonight, the fbi director is asking the justice department to speak out. rejecting the claim as false. president trump, boarding air force one on his way back to the white house after a weekend after mar-a-lago. his friendship with president obama, forged just after the election, now turning into a bitter personal fight. aides to the former president
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strongly denying there was any wiretapping, and it appears the fbi director is backing him up. here's brian ross. >> reporter: the actual source of the president's stunning claim the fbi bugged trump tower on the orders of president obama remains a mystery tonight. but late today, word that james comey has weighed in. a senior justice department official told abc news that comey is asking the justice department to publicly reject the president's statements as false. the only white house official to speak publicly today, sarah huckabee sanders, appeared on the abc program "this week" and tried to change the subject and call for an investigation when martha raddatz pressed her for an answer about the source. >> let's look into this. if this happened, if this is accurate, this is the biggest overreach and the biggest scandal. >> the president of the united states is accusing the former president of wiretapping him. >> i think that this is, again, something that if this happened, martha.
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>> if, if, if. >> i agree. >> why is the president saying it did happen? >> look, i think he's going off of information that he's seen that has led him to believe that this is a very real potential. >> reporter: but the president's series of twitter messages were not about the potential. rather that the wiretaps actually did happen. he wrote, "terrible! just found out that obama had my wires tapped in trump tower just before the victory. nothing found. this is mccarthyism." as president, mr. trump has unlimited access to the country's greatest secrets. but tonight it seems increasingly clear that he instead relied heavily on questions raised in a fox news report friday night. >> are you concerned that the obama administration may have been surveilling members of the trump campaign? >> reporter: and on the conservative breitbart website which friday highlighted a conspiracy-loving radio talk show host. >> how many of trump's people were eavesdropped on? >> look, i think the bigger
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thing is, you guys are always telling us to take the media seriously. well, we are today. >> reporter: the media speculation was all focused on possible russian connections to trump. and whether alleged collusion with putin's spies during the campaign, in fact, did lead to an fbi wiretap. today, the former dni, the director of national intelligence, james clapper, said trump was never a target of a wiretap. >> for the part of the national security apparatus that i oversaw as dni, there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign. >> and brian joins us live. this is a highly unusual thing from the fbi director. going toe-to-toe with the president. what are you hearing is behind this? >> the fbi director is extremely unhappy. not only is he saying the trump tweets are false, but they make it appear the fbi acted
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illegally. and he's demanding the justice department defend the integrity of the bureau and his agents. but so far, nothing yet. next tonight, the reaction to president trump's claims of wiretapping, members of congress are weighing in. and tomorrow, the senate is also expecting to hear more from jeff sessions about his meetings with the russian ambassador. the investigation of the trump campaign's alleged ties to russia are still churning in the background. david wright is in palm beach tonight. >> reporter: tonight, with the president back in washington, the white house is bracing for a fight. members of the president's own party are openly skeptical about that unsubstantiated claim that president obama tapped the phones in trump tower. >> i've never heard that allegation made before by anybody. >> it would probably be helpful if he gave more information but it also might be helpful if he didn't comment further and allowed us to do our work. >> reporter: democrats are downright critical. >> i think this is just a distraction.
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to distract from this very, very serious interference by a foreign power. >> reporter: some of them now calling for an investigation of trump's tax returns to determine if there's any sign of a russia connection there. >> but if it's true, it's obviously extremely serious. >> reporter: it was senator al franken's question that tripped up attorney general jeff sessions at his confirmation hearings. >> i didn't have -- did not have communications with the russians, and i'm unable to comment on it. >> reporter: sessions now admits that was not accurate. >> in retrospect, i should have slowed down and said i did meet one russian official a couple times. >> reporter: tomorrow, the attorney general owes the judiciary committee a full explanation of why he failed to tell them the truth. >> if he lied knowingly, then he committed perjury. >> reporter: at the start of this weekend, the president erupted in anger at his top aides in the oval office,
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according to sources, demanding they step up their game. this weekend, hundreds of trump supporters held rallies around the country. many of them willing to give the president the benefit of the doubt, even on the wiretapping claim. >> i think there's validity in mr. trump's comments. >> my initial reaction was if he just said it off the top of his head to lash out, i said, "oh, no. now the left is going to have a field day with this." >> trump supporters out in force. david joins us live. we saw the heated oval office moment in your story. any additional fallout from the exchange in the white house? >> reporter: the white house is cautioning not to read too much to who's in and who's out. based on which aides ended up coming down here to palm beach. they say, the bottom line, the president was expressing his frustration about messaging, and the senior staff heard that message loud and clear. >> david, thank you. next to the extreme weather. millions of people feeling this weekend's bitter chill.
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for some, it's the coldest temperatures all year. staying warm is challenge. especially to firefighters. eva pilgrim on the battle to save lives. >> we have a two story commercial. trying to locate the fire. >> reporter: this seven-alarm fire in queens, new york. two firefighters injured, dozens turned out in the bitter cold overnight. and in union city, new jersey, this block covered in ice after a deadly blaze. embers igniting this historic church, its steeple collapsing. >> the flames were just out of control because of the wind. >> reporter: in massachusetts, this ice a reminder of another frigid firefight. >> a second alarm for the town of warwick. >> reporter: firefighters facing negative 5-degree wind chills as a mother and four children died inside. >> we couldn't get near the house, it was too hot. >> reporter: fire authorities investigating tonight if the fire started because of a wood stove. and in massachusetts, gusts
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toppling this pine, crushing this car, killing the couple inside. >> it was just demolished. >> reporter: and the cold temperatures blamed for this mess at new york's la guardia airport. a frozen pipe bursting, passengers rerouted around the water pouring from the ceiling. back here in queens, at the time of the fire, feels like temperatures were in single digits. and firefighters facing 25 mile an hour winds. tom? >> thank you. let's get right to rob marciano. it's freezing out there tonight. >> reporter: it is another cold night for sure. but things will warm up. in response to a powerful storm hitting the west coast right now. look at all the alerts. snow in the lower elevations. winds gusting in vegas. could gust over 50 miles an hour over denver. and with the critical fire, danger across the plains. and late in the day, thunderstorms developing from minneapolis through arkansas.
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where it could be severe, damaging winds, maybe a tornado or two. 60 in chicago, 70 in st. louis, 80 in oklahoma city. march often brings wild swings of temperatures, we're certainly seeing that so far. tom? >> rob, thank you. now to what many are calling a disturbing trend. acts of violence investigated as possible hate crimes across america. the latest incident, a man attacked in washington state. police say he was told to get out of our country before he was shot. here's marci gonzalez. >> reporter: tonight, a manhunt under way in washington state. >> suspect has a black mask on his face. >> reporter: for a person police say shot a man in the victim's driveway. >> this is a gunshot wound to the arm. >> reporter: in a possible hate crime. >> some comments were made to the effect of, "get out of our country. go back to where you're from," and then our victim was shot. >> reporter: the victim is sikh, a religion originating in india whose male followers wear turbans.
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>> it was very disheartening that somebody was actually a victim of a hate crime. >> reporter: the case, bearing a chilling similarity to the february shooting at this bar in kansas that left an indian man injured, and another dead. witnesses say they heard that accused gunman say "get out of my country" before opening fire. this latest attack coming after another week of bias threats across the u.s. jewish community centers and hebrew day schools forced to evacuate because of bomb threats, headstones overturned in acts of vandalism at jewish cemeteries. jewish institutions on alert after more than 100 threats were made nationwide since the start of the year. other communities targeted as well. one rights group documenting nearly 1,400 "hateful harassment and intimidation incidents" since early november of last year. the fbi now joining the investigations and we're told the victim expects to make a full recovery. tom? >> thank you. and late breaking news from
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overseas. south korea reporting that north korea has firing something into the water near its coast. now to the battle against isis. more u.s. troops may soon be on the way. an assault on raqqah is in the works. tonight, the "washington post" reports that the pentagon is now calling for more american ground troops, helicopters, and weapon supplies. meantime, the battle against isis and iraq is centered in mosul. wrenching images coming in from there tonight. iraqi citizens, many of them women and children, fleeing for their lives. tonight, we're learning much more about what people are going through there. here's jennifer eccleston. >> reporter: they're pummeling isis positions in western mosul. u.s.-backed iraqi troops stepping up the fight to retake
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the terror group's last stronghold in iraq. but isis is pushing back. they've controlled this city for nearly three years. their resistance, fierce. car bombs. street to street fighting forcing a mass exodus. tens of thousands of residents fleeing. their escape so hurried and treacherous, many left without shoes. now facing dire conditions. >> people are trapped by sniper fire, mortars, air strikes from above. people are starving to death. if we don't reach them, they won't be able to reach us. >> reporter: aid groups believe more than 45,000 people have fled since this fight began two weeks ago, with up to 700,000 still trapped inside. retaking the entire city could take months, and would be a huge victory for iraqi troops, and the international campaign to defeat isis. tom? >> jennifer, thank you. next to the terrifying moments for a woman along,
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working the night desk in a hotel alone. footage revealing a masked intruder. gloria riviera with the video, and we want to let you know, some of the images are graphic. >> reporter: a terrifying assault authorities say was caught on camera minute by minute. investigators saying newly released surveillance video shows a masked man entering a home 2 suites hotel in omaha, nebraska, this week, in the dead of night. the alleged victim, a female employee on duty at the front desk, is seen walking down a hallway. her alleged attacker, peering from around a corner. then following her down the same hallway. in the next moment, you see the two struggle. the attacker throwing the woman on a table, the two then moving off-camera. police say what we cannot see, the woman fighting back, and pulling off his mask. he runs off but his face is exposed, and caught on camera. the woman returns to the front desk. when shockingly, police say, the
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attacker returns. another struggle, then he leaves for good. days later, authorities arrest zachary person on charges of sex assault. the registered sex offender, wanted for multiple sex assaults in three different states. police say they were only able to identify person because that brave hotel worker was able to rip off his mask. tom? >> gloria, thank you. still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this sunday. up next, how to protect your images online. one family's story of how some alleged scammers tried to profit off of that family's sick child. plus, drivers avoiding this fire right off the highway. we'll take you into this brush fire. and, what happened to this atlanta landmark? take a look. we'll be right back to explain. before i had the shooting, burning of diabetic nerve pain
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we're back now with a warning for everybody who posts pictures online. this story starts with a little boy battling cancer. now police are accusing strangers of using his case to raise money for themselves. here's adrienne bankert. >> reporter: you can't tell from gianni incandela's bubbly personality -- >> this is my biggest friend, anthony. >> reporter: but this little boy is in the fight of his life. battling brain cancer, his parents using the online site gofundme to raise money for his expensive treatments. the family says that captivating picture was then stolen off the site by others and used to scam people. >> he looked at me with a big smile and goes, "well, ma, that's not nice." >> reporter: brittney schmidt and vincent fina, accused of going door to door, using that photo to raise money. until in a wild twist they showed up to gianni's grandmother's workplace. >> i told her, i know what you've been doing.
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>> reporter: gianni's grandmother snapping this picture of the couple last week then alerting police. the duo arrested friday, and charged with fraud. experts say anytime you post a photo online there's a risk. one thing you can do to see if your photos are being used, go to google images, upload your photo, and select search. the site will pull up any web pages containing that photo. as for gianni, his family is hopeful. >> right? >> reporter: police tell us, the couple taped the photo to a jar, and went around asking people for donations. the couple is expected in court later this week. >> adrienne, thank you. coming up next, new details about the tragic warehouse fire that killed three dozen people. stay with us.
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you may remember these images. dozens of young artists killed. several complaints that conditions inside were unsafe. now the medical examiner ruling smoke inhalation, not burns, the cause of death for all 36 victims. and this startling sight for drivers west of miami. brush fires like this one at the highway's edge, breaking out across the state of florida. smoke and haze for miles. even closing sections of i-95. plus, some history obliterated in atlanta. the 51-year-old georgia archives building, known as the white ice cube. officials demolishing it there. the building was said to be sinking and the $40 million price tag to fix it, too expensive. up next right here, the unforgettable moment for this fourth-grader. his new lens on life. it's a story you won't want to miss. we'll have it, when we come we'll have it, when we come back. tell your doctor abouur medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain,
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finally tonight, seeing things differently. the moment when a black and white world transformed for a little boy. here's john donvan. >> reporter: being colorblind, and that's how cayson irlbeck of iowa was born, it's something you adapt to, and cayson did. he's a ballplayer. he gets a kick out of spending time with his family. but he also wondered what he was missing. and so, when he heard about some special lenses that alter the light passing through them to make certain colors pop, he wanted to try them. knowing they didn't work for everyone with his condition. >> we were concerned that he might be a little upset if they didn't work. >> reporter: they worked for cayson, and it rocked him. >> can you see the differences? i can hear him start to kind of choke up, almost instantly realizing what he was seeing was real. >> reporter: rocked him in such
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a good way. >> everything was so bright, it just popped out at me so well. >> reporter: that he's almost dancing in this moment. >> when you put these glasses on it's like your life goes into high definition. >> reporter: as for more practical benefits, well, there's getting dressed. >> it's easier on me, i don't have to pick out his outfits. >> reporter: and there's what he sees now in his cereal bowl. >> it's colorful, yellow, green, a lot of stuff it looks like i want to eat, instead of just brown. >> reporter: and then there's the thing he didn't exactly want to get out of bed for the other day, until his dad made him. >> and i was like, why are you waking me up? >> reporter: because during that dark dawn, that was a sunrise, which you do have to see, when the world looks new. john donvan, abc news. >> we thank the irlbeck family for sharing that story. thank you for watching. i'm tom llamas. have a great evening. good night. i'm tom llamas. have a great evening. good night.
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unusual weather in the bay area. more storms continuing through the night. a beautiful shot there. abc 7 news at 6:00 starts now. the bay area covered in snow and hail as we expect more strong weather tonight. first, dozens of people are homeless after a fire rips through a bay area motel with some people losing most of their possessions. good evening and thanks for joining us. the fire started about 9:30 this morning. it quickly spread. firefighters had to help people escape the travel inn. everyone got out safely.
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40 people are displaced. some tenants said their units had no working smoke detectors. cornell bernard has the details. >> it was just fire coming through the walls. >> reporter: robert jones says he narrowly escaped the fire which raged out of control through 16 rooms of the travel inn about 9:30 a.m. jones is confined to a wheelchair. >> no wheelchair accessible. they had to pull me down the stairs. >> my son said the building is on fire. we grabbed what we could and ran out the door. >> reporter: they grabbed third dog then warned other neighbors to get out. >> it was black smoke everywhere. i started banging on everybody's door. >> engulfed so fast. within five minutes, the building was -- it was too late to do anything. >> reporter: the only thing he could save was his backpack which got burned. everyone escaped the smoke and


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