tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC September 25, 2019 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
toght, thesintayg foreign leader, "i'd like you to do us a favor." president trump's phone call with the president of ukraine. in that call, urging him to open an investigation connected to his political opponent, joe biden. noting in the conversation the u.s. had done a lot for ukraine. and tonight, the timing. the president and the ukrainian leader were set to meet today, even before the headlines broke. and so they did. what they said. and president trump before the cameras just moments ago, furious speaker pelosi has taken this very rare step. jon karl and mary bruce standing by. also breaking tonight, the whistle-blower's report that started it all. the person within the intelligence community who was so concerned. that report has now arrived in
congress. what it reveals and what we've learned. also tonight, 24 hours after president trump spoke of iran's, quote, blood lust, tonight, the president of iran in front of the world at the u.n. and right after, one-on-one with us. we press him, was iran behind the saudi oil attacks? and is the u.s. and iran now headed toward a major conflict? the other news this wednesday night, tropical storm karen slamming puerto rico. and now, the loop, the turn, could it make its way right into the east coast? rob marciano with the track. the developing headline at this hour. the cdc is now set to issue new and very alarming numbers. deaths and illnesses linked to vaping. and the shakeup tonight at juul. and why the new joker movie is raising concerns about possible mass shootings. and what authorities are now saying. good evening tonight from the u.n. here in new york city,
where president trump and world leaders have gathered all week, but tonight, the focus is on the president and his phone call with the president of eukraine, who right now, is also here in new york. tonight, we now have the transcript of that call, and on it, president trump says, "i'd like you to do us a favor." he goes on later to bring up his political opponent, joe biden. all of it with hundreds of millions of u.s. military aid being held. the white house released that scantr ptri president repeatedly urged the cr ukrainian president to investigate his political rival. the president saying "i'd like to have the attorney general call you." and that rudy jewgiuliani would in touch. today, the two presidents side-by-side in new york. president trump and the ukrainian president, who said he felt no pressure from president trump. speaker nancy pelosi saying the transcript and the justice department acting in a rogue fashion confirmed the need tonight for an impeachment
inquiry. and this evening, president trump before the cameras just moments ago, angrily denouncing pelosi's move, using familiar words, calling it a hoax and a witch hunt. abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl leading us off. >> reporter: president trump and zelensky all smiles today in ne. but tonight, all attention is on their phone call nine weeks ago. according to the white house summary of the call, president trump directly asked the new ukrainian president to coordinate with attorney general bill barr to investigate his 2020 rival, joe biden. early in the call, president trump says, "we do a lot for ukraine. the united states has been very, very good to ukraine." president zelensky responds, "you are absolutely right," thanking president trump and adding, "we are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps," including buying american anti-tank missiles. trump's immediate reply, "i would like you to do us a favor, though." he then asks zelensky to investigate an unsubstantiated
theory about stolen democratic emails, saying, quote, "i would like to have the attorney general call you or your people and i would like you to get to the bottom of it," adding, "it's very important that you do it if that's possible." zelensky says one of his assistants has already been in touch with trump's personal attorney, rudy giuliani. president trump then has a second request and it's about joe biden. "there's a lot of talk about biden's son," he says, "that biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that, would be great." he tells the ukrainian president, "i will tell rudy and attorney general barr to call." joe biden's son, hunter, was paid tens of thousands of dollars a month serving on the world of a ukrainian company while his father was vice president, but there's been no evidence of any wrongdoing. at the time of the phone call, president trump was holding back nearly $400 million in foreign aid for ukraine. today, with the two presidents sitting side-by-side, the ukrainian leader insisted he
never felt pressured. >> i think, and you read it that nobody pushed me. yes. >> in other words, no pressure. >> reporter: as for joe biden, today he responded, saying, quote, "the house must do its job and hold donald trump to account for his abuse of power." and with the house now launching impeachment proceedings, the president lashed out at speaker nancy pelosi. >> she's lost her way, she has been taken over by the radical left. >> reporter: later, in a press conference, the president returned again to the question of impeachment. >> it's a joke. impeachment for that? >> jon karl joins me live, he is also here in new york city tonight. and jon, president trump is still insisting that his phone call with the ukrainian president was perfect, that was the word he used, and that he has nothing to worry about. >> reporter: well, yeah, david, that's the public posture, but even as he spoke words of defiance today, he appeared, to me, to be subdued, a little deflated. he held a press conference, but seemed determined to avoid any questions on this. he seems like a president still
trying to process the very real possibility that he could be impeached. >> jon karl leading us off tonight. jon, thank you. and of course, this all started with a whistle-blower inside the intelligence community who was very alarmed by that phone call. there was intense pressure on the white house to release that whistle-blower complaint. tonight, it has just been sent to congress, it's being held in a secure room on capitol hill. and this evening, at least one leading republican now saying,q really troubling there hi. the intelligence committees filing into a secure room, getting their first look at the whistle-blower complaint that sparked this crisis. >> i found the allegations deeply disturbing. i also found them very credible. >> reporter: the administration had tried to suppress the complaint, but today, facing mounting pressure, they gave in. >> i fully support transparency on the so-called whistle-blower information.
>> reporter: the move caps a day of high drama on capitol hill. democrats outraged, saying trump's call with the ukrainian president was even more damaging than hthey had imagined. >> that is an abuse of power. that is unpatriotic. >> reporter: 24 hours after launching impeachment proceedings, house speaker nancy pelosi doubling down. >> today's release of the notes of the call by the white house confirms this behavior which undermines the integrity of our election, the dignity of any presidency and our national security. >> reporter: republicans largely standing by the president, downplaying the call. senator what do you make of this transcript of the president's actions? >> nothing there. >> reporter: nothing? >> they're looking for a mueller do-over. >> reporter: but there are a few cracks in that republican support. mitt romney calling the president's actions deeply troubling. >> if the president of the united states asks or presses the leader of a foreign country to carry out an investigation of a political nature, that's
troubling, and i feel that. and so -- >> reporter: another republican, senator pat toomey of pennsylvania, called the president's conversation with the ukrainian leader "inappropriate," but not impeachable. and then there was this, from the president's closest ally in congress. >> so, from my point of view, to impeach any president over a phone call like this would be insane. >> reporter: lynn say graham said to impeach a president over a call like this would be insane. >> you know what? if that's his definition of insanity, i'd say, with all due respect to my chairman, he's already reached it. >> and mary, tomorrow, all eyes on the hill again, when the acting director of national intelligence will be testifying and he'll face some tough questions for sure. >> reporter: david, democrats telling us this complaint is deeply disturbing and troubling, and they want to know why the acting director zint stand up for the whistle-blower and why he overruled the inspector general who found that complaint to be an urgent concern. david? >> mary bruce with us again
tonight. and in that call, as we've reported here, the president said, "i would like to have my attorney general call you" in talking to the ukrainian president. but tonight, the department of justice saying attorney general william barr had not spoken to president trump about this and that he has not been in touch with anyone in ukraine. but tonight, so many questions, including the whistle-blower's complaint. we now know it was referred to the justice department's criminal division, but did they investigate? abc's chief justice correspondent pierre thomast the juste nt >> reporter: just as the white house was releasing that transcript of the president's call, the department of justice laying out what the attorney general knew and when he knew it, bluntly saying barr never spoke to the president about ukraine investigating former vice president biden or his son. during that call, president trump repeatedly suggested barr work with rudy giuliani on a biden investigation, saying, "i will ask him to call you along with
the attorney general." today, the justice department noting barr learned of the call
weeks later and was not involved, saying, "the attorney general has not communicated with ukraine nor has he discussed this matter or anything
related to ukraine with rudy giuliani." and tonight, congressional democrats are questioning barr's independence and suggesting a coverup. >> you can see why they have worked so h committee of the whistle-blower complaint. >> reporter: democrats have new questions about whether the attorney general played a role in the justice department's decision to not pursue a criminal investigation of the president. house judiciary jerry nadler says the president, quote, dragged barr into this mess, and now the a.g. must recuse himself. but justice department officials scoffed at the notion today, saying this was done by the book with barr aware but playing no role, david. >> pierre thomas with us tonight, as well. pierre, thank you.
want to bring in dan abrams with us tonight. we have heard this over and over again, from the president and his team over the last 24 hours, that there was no quid pro quo here, that the president never talked about the hundreds of millions of dollars in u.s. military aid when he was talking about investigating joe biden. but you have said, the pressure does not need to be that explicit here. >> that's right, david. as a legal matter, you don't need a quid pro quo. you just need to be able to prove the person knowingly solicited something of value from a foreign national to try to influence the 2020 election. but that kind of case is hard to prove and win, but the technical legal question isn't the most important one tonight. the real question is the political one. sure, it would be a stronger case against the president if there had been a specific statement or demand that linked dollars to help, but in the criminal law and in the impeachment process, a court, or in this case, the congress, can certainly read between the lines. david? >> all right, our legal analyst dan abrams with us tonight, as well. dan, thank you. also this evening, just moments ago, my one-on-one interview with iran's president
rouhani. 24 hours after president trump spoke of iran's, quote, blood lust here at the u.n. tonight, the president of iran in front of the world at the u.n. and right after, the interview with us. we press him here tonight. was iran behind the saudi oil attacks? and is the u.s. and iran headed toward a major conflict? i also asked the president moments ago, is he willing to sit down with president trump? president rouhani, we heard you speak here at the u.n. today, and you said that iran will not negotiate a knonuclear deal as g as iran remains under sanctions. we know that the u.s. has doubled down and just today the trump administration announced new sanctions on the chinese doing business to iran. what is your reaction to president trump? >> translator: well, the americans must think in theast one and a half p years in which
they have put up extreme sanctions against iran, what they have accomplished? what they are doing against iran is to the detriment of america and to the detriment of countries that seek to enter into economic active tips with iran. in addition to the fact that the type of sanctions that were executed by the united states against the people of iran is an economic form of terrorism. particularly because women, children, the ill, those in need of medication, are most severely hit, and i am here to say today that this cannot continue. >> we heard, mr. president, from secretary of state mike pompeo, who pointed to the downing of the u.s. drone, to the attack on saudi oil facilities. the world has watched this escalation. are we closer to a major conflict? >> translator: i do believe that we are approach iing a worse
point. we do believe that the main solution is to dry up the root that causes the tension, the yemeni issue, that has been going onfor five years, that has subjected the yemeni people to the daily bombardment and bloodshed of an aggressor. >> president trump here at the u.n. called iran the world's number one state sponsor of trichl. he pointed to iran's recent attack on saudi arabia oil facilities. was iran behind those attacks? >> translator: for the united states government, it has been embarrassing to have so many radars and so many systems purchased with iraqi, kuwaiti, saudi arabian money, set up these systems all over the region, all kinds of patriot defensive and interception systems and they haven't been able to intercept the incoming projectiles, the missiles, to shoot down those missiles.
so, it is an unfounded allegation. >> but mr. president, you know that even france, britain, germany, who still supported the nuclear deal, they were on your side when it came to the nuclear deal, even though countries now say there is no plausible explanation that iran bears responsibility for this attack. was it a miscalculation? has it backfired? >> translator: i asked all of the european leaders of the three european countries you mentioned and i asked them personally, why do you say that iran has aided in carrying out this attack? they did not have a single legitimate reason to offer. they only said one thing, they said, the programming and coordination needed to carry out these attacks is above and beyond the yemeni capabilities. in response, i said, that may very well be, but how much do you really know of the yemeni capabilities on the ground and then why is it that you cannot
prove, show evidence where this attack originated from? >> you asked them for proof, i ask you, mr. president, for proof that you did not do this. where is that proof? >> translator: we requested for them to furnish us the proof, evidencery proof, but they don't. and i told you, they say we have conducted investigations and reached a conclusion that the needed capabilities are just not in yemeni hands to carry out such attacks. >> as you know, the french president macron has been trying to mediate talks between the u.s. and iran and president trump has said, we don't need a mediator. he said iran wants to do something, they know who to call. will you call president trump? >> reporter: mr. trump would be wiser to go back to the commi m commitments given by the united
states of america in 2015 and live up to that fully. once that happens, if there is a need for telephone contact, we will certainly establish that contact and talk to one another. >> so, mr. president, given the current situation, are you interested in sitting down with president trump? >> translator: what is important for us is for everyone to assist and aid in resolving today's intertwined and complicated regional around world problems. seeing one another, speaking on the phone, does not go to the root cause and resolve the issues. >> so, the answer is no, you're not interested? >> translator: under the current conditions, i do not see it as productive or positive. not for the united states or iran. what is positive for us to sincerely show our efforts, sincerely tell one another that in the benefit of our people and
to the benefit of the world community, we seek to strive. if america takes a positive step towards its own commitments, then, of course, the atmosphere and circumstances will change. >> but we also learned of a flurry of activity here overnight. iranian diplomats and european diplomats trying to set up a last-minute meeting between president rouhani and president trump. obviously, it did not happen, and tonight, we have also learned that the trump administration was not ent interested in lifting any sanctions and the iranians then said they would not meet. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this wednesday. tropical storm karen slamming puerto rico, and now the loop, the turn. could it actually make its wail right into the east coast? rob marciano standing by with the track. the developing headline tonight. the cdc is set to issue new and very alarming numbers, deaths and illnesses linked to vaping. and the shakeup at juul tonight. and there is news this evening about that real estate agent attacked during an open house. what we've now learned. a lot more news ahead.
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next tonight here, tropical storm karen hitting puerto rico and poised to make a loop and possibly turn right toward the u.s. coast. let's get right to rob marciano tonight. hey, rob. >> reporter: hi, david. very active in the atlantic. we have the three named storms. but it's karen we're most concerned with. north of puerto rico now. the national hurricane center has it kind of slowing down and stalling, remaining weak, but any time a storm is in that spot this time of year, it needs to be watched. david? >> rob marciano live on the west sidle of manhattan, just across the way. thank you. when we come back tonight, the alarming new headline tonight about vaping. the number of illnesses soaring. and the new joker movie raising concerns about safety raising concerns about safety tonight. ew car. i wish i could save faster. you're making good choices. you'll get there. ♪ were you going to tell me about this? i know i can't afford to go.
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to the index of other news and the warning tonight about the new joker movie. army officials at ft. sill, oklahoma, are alerting soldiers aen a possible threat of mass shootings at theaters showing the film. texas law enforcement telling them about potential threats made on social media, but no specific plots. new developments tonight in the real estate agent attack in encino, california. police arresting the suspect, shoving the victim to the ground during an open house. authorities say at least two more agents have now come forward accusing him of assaults at open houses. the cdc alert tonight about vaping. health officials say hundreds of illnesses have been reported over just the last week, adding to the more than 530 patients already so far. and the ceo of juul stepping down. the company says it will stop most advertising in the u.s. and
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finally tonight here, we say happy birthday, barbara walters. barbara celebrating her 90th birthday today. she became america's first female anchor woman here on abc in 1976. interviewing countless presidents and world leaders and i cherish that moment, walking her to the set of "the view" as she began her well-deserved retime. happy birthday, barbara. we know you're watching. how fitting we're at the u.n. tonight. you led the way, so many interviews, so many world leaders. good night.
they're doing the right thing, but it's hard on business. >> power shut off overnight for teps of thousands of customers. it's slowly coming back on, but for some, it may not be until tomorrow. good afternoon. thanks for joining us. >> we have team coverage tonight on the hot weather and fire warnings. wayne joins us live from the north bay. >> but we begin with joe. he's on the roof upstairs with a look at the hot temperatures. >> the good news, guys, the red flag warning pyred this morning. the winds are backing off and the mountains and fire threat is lessening this afternoon. however, it is still hotment look . we're at 100 in hayward. 94 in oakland.
92 in the city. 98 in san jose. 102 in pa napa. a dloeser look at the south bay. we still have a heat advisory in effect until 7:00 this b ooempk for the entire bay area again with this hot weather, the risk for heat related illness is high. better news coming our way. it's a warm evening at hand by 8:00. but by tomorrow, we will beginning begin to see cooler air move in and tomorrow, our marine layer is going to return. so we'll take a look at the cooling numbers. give you a preview of the weekend coming up. >> all right, sounds good. we like that relief, drew. thanks. when pg&e followed through with the warning it might turn off power in part of the nort north bay, parts of na ta plunged into darkness and the power remains out at this hour. wayne is here at the fairgrounds and he's been reporting on