tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC February 13, 2020 3:30pm-4:01pm PST
captioned by los angeles distribution and broadcasting, inc. tonight, the abc news exclusive. one-on-one with attorney general william barr. our correspondent asking, did president trump intervene? after the justice department publicly revised roger stone's sentencing recommendation, just hours after president trump's tweet. tonight, how the attorney general says this really played out, saying he will not be bullied. and adding the president's tweets are making it, quote, impossible to do my job. the white house responding tonight. pierre thomas with the interview. the global fear widening tonight. the deadliest day yet in the coronavirus emergency. 254 dead in just 24 hours. and hundreds of americans on that cruise ship. tonight, the couple, the american retirees, the husband rushed off the ship and to a
hospital. the discovery after authorities for days asked for the public's help. the 6-year-old girl is found, her bodice covered. and this video, one of the last times she was seen alive on the school bus. the massive train crash tonight. exploding into flames. several cars plunging into the water. crew members thrown into the river. snow, dangerous rain, now much of the country right into the northeast bracing for brutal cold. rob marciano timing it out. the race for 2020. and tonight, president trump and mike bloomberg trading insults. it spiraled today. and it's still going on tonight. bloomberg saying he will spend whatever it takes to defeat the president. the astros cheating scandal. the players back for spring training. some admitting to cheating. and what they said next. and four shots at halftime. the promise of $10,000. he makes the shots. the crowd cheers -- so why isn't he getting the money? good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a
thursday night. and we begin tonight with the abc news exclusive. one-on-one with attorney general william barr, as we ask, did the president intervene in the roger stone case? and why did the justice department publicly change stone's sentencing recommendation after the president's very public criticism? the attorney general saying he made the decision on his own, to overrule his own prosecutors in the stone case, but he acknowledges the change was made public, just hours after the president's tweet. barr saying the president's betweens, quote, make it impossible for me to do my job. tonight, the white house is now responding to the interview, and we begin with our chief justice correspondent, pierre thomas, asking the attorney general here, did he talk with the president before that change in the stone case? >> reporter: did you talk to the president at all about your decision regarding the recommendations? >> never. >> reporter: anybody in the white house call you to try to influence you? >> no, nope. i have not discussed the roger
stone case with the white house. >> reporter: on tuesday, justice department prosecutors recommended a seven to nine-year prison sentence for the president's close friend, roger stone. the president, furious, tweeting, "cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!" and just hours later, the attorney general officially overruling his own prosecutors to recommend a lighter sentence. today, barr insisted he'd made that decision well before the president's tweet, telling me trump put him
in an impossible position. >> i had made a decision that i thought was fair and reasonable in this particular case, and once the tweet occurred, the question is, well, now what do i do? and do you go forward with what you think is the right decision or do you pull back because of the tweet? and that just sort of illustrates how disruptive these tweets can be. >> reporter: so, you're saying you have a problem with the tweets? >> yes. well, i have a problem with some of -- some of the tweets. to have public statements and tweets made about the
department, about our people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending in the department, and about judges before whom we have cases, make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors in the department that we're doing our work with integrity. >> reporter: president trump has publically raged against the prosecutors in the stone case, saying they should apologize. >> they ought to go back to school and learn, because i'll tell you what, with the way they treated people, nobody should be treated like that. >> reporter: barr tells me he's, quote, happy, roger stone was convicted on charges, including obstruction of congress and witness tampering. mr. barr, the president does not like to be told what to do. he may not like what you're saying. are you prepared for those ramifications? >> of course. but the thing i have most responsibility for are the issues that are brought to me
for decision. and i will make those decisions based on what i think is the right thing to do, and i'm not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody. i cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me. >> so, let's
get to pierre thomas, with us live tonight from the justice department. and pierre, bottom line tonight, attorney general bill barr there insisting he was not pressured by the president. he says, in the interview with you, he did not talk to the president before recommending that lighter sentence for roger stone? >> reporter: david, the white house spokesman said tonight the president is not bothered by barr's comments, but says mr. trump has the right to exercise his free speech. the white house says trump has full confidence in barr, but some democrats are skeptical. senator bloomen that tweeting tonight that barr is saying, translation, i'm doing exactly what president trump wants, i just wish he'd stop tweeting about it. david? >> pierre thomas leading us off tonight with his exclusive. pierre, thank you.
we turn next this thursday night to the coronavirus emergency. a staggering rise in the number of reported cases. more than 60,000 cases now globally. 254 people dying in just 24 hours. the deadliest day yet. and that cruise ship off japan. hundreds of americans among the passengers, and tonight, there is word that some may soon be allowed off. and we continue to follow here that story of the american couple, the retirees, the husband, whose fever came back, he's now been rushed off the ship and hospitalized. abc's maggie rulli from japan again tonight. >> reporter: aboard the diamond princess, teams swabbing more passengers today, after 44 more people were infected with the covid-19 virus. >> you're just waiting on the ship of doom. >> reporter: but today, some passengers, thought to be at high risk for the virus, will get a chance to get off the boat and be put into quarantine onshore in japan. john haering and his wife watched his temperature spike day after day. >> i've been sick for about the last three, four days with a fever and headache, nausea.
>> reporter: he's had to leave her behind now to go to the hospital. he's waiting for test results. all his food passed through this tiny door. passengers stuck on the ship like kathy maniscalco are trying to keep their spirits up and stay healthy. >> the last couple of days have been really challenging because i've had kidney stones, and so i've been in a lot of pain and it's been almost unmanageable. >> reporter: overnight, a jump in the chinese case count only fueling uncertainty about the virus's impact. the numbers surging to 60,000 now sickened and over 1,300 killed, after china changed the way it counts infections. back home, in just the last day, two more people from quarantined bases in san diego and san antonio were hospitalized after testing positive for the virus. but for those released this week from quarantine, reunions long overdue. esther tebeka's children haven't seen their mother in six weeks after her trip home to see her parents in wuhan. >> maggie rulli with us again tonight. she's at the port in japan. and maggie, we're expecting that first group of people to be allowed to get off that ship in
the next 24 hours. what have you learned tonight? >> reporter: well, that's the idea, david. and this is supposed to be the first wave. now they're prioritizing people who are over the age of 80 or have a health issue and have tested negative for the virus. but david, what's important is that this is voluntary and if you choose to leave the boat, you will still have to spend the next six days of your quarantine here onshore. david? >> can't imagine the nightmare for these passengers. maggie, thank you. and back here at home, the sad turn in the case of that missing 6-year-old from south carolina. tonight, authorities now revealing they have found the body of faye swetlik and are now treating the case as a homicide. and that during the investigation, they revealed they found the body of a man, as well. here's abc's marcus moore. >> reporter: tonight, the urgent search for a bubbly little girl in this small, tight-knit south carolina town has come to a heartbreaking end. >> it is with extremely heavy hearts that we are announcing that we have found the body that
the coroner has identified as faye marie swetlik. >> reporter: authorities now treating this case as a homicide. and they also say investigators found a male's body in the same cayce neighborhood where little faye disappeared. but it's unclear how their deaths may be connected. >> at this time, we feel there is no danger to the community. >> reporter: the 6-year-old girl vanished on monday afternoon, last seen playing outside her home after returning from school. these are among the last known images of faye, captured on surveillance cameras, getting off of her school bus before she went missing. hundreds of investigators converging on this neighborhood, including the fbi. searching from the air and on the ground. knocking on doors and going to every home in the neighborhood, even picking through landfills and dumpsters in the area. overnight, authorities releasing these images of two vehicles in the area. through tips, they managed to identify and talk to the occupants of this suv, but said they were still searching for the people connected to this
small silver car. tonight, this crime has shaken the community. >> this beautiful little girl on monday was just having her day. she's not hurting anybody in this world. and she's just being a blessing for everybody, and so, it's very upsetting. >> reporter: david, authorities said today there is no danger to the public, but they would not elaborate on that point. they also took no questions during the news conference. and the emotion we saw today gave us a sense of just how personal this is for all of them. david? >> just an awful story. marcus moore in south carolina. rcus, thank you. and we're going to turn next to the fiery train crash and the dramatic rescue that followed in eastern kentucky. the cargo train loaded with ethanol going off the rails. the engine plunging into the water. crew members trapped inside. they were thrown into the river. nearby homes evacuated as emergency crews battled the flames. and here's abc's steve osunsami tonight. >> reporter: witnesses who were recording the rescue on their cell phones about three hours east of lexington, kentucky, were worried the two train
operators wouldn't survive. >> come on guys, don't give up! >> reporter: the two crew members were trapped in the middle of this growing fire after the train hit a rockslide, sending it tumbling into the big sandy river just before daylight. >> they're trapped on the nose of the engine in the river. can't get back on the bank because of the fire that's spreading. >> reporter: help came quickly and saved their lives. >> this is just an absolutely massive blaze. >> reporter: there is still a chemical spill to deal with. the train was carrying rail cars full of ethanol. residents nearby were forced to leave their homes for a time today. authorities let the fire burn itself out. >> that roaring that you can hear right now is actually coming from one of the rail cars that is still on fire. >> reporter: the region has seen heavy rains for days, causing floods and rockslides. federal authorities tonight are sending a team to investigation this crash. the two train operators escaped with minor injuries. david? >> all right, steve, thank you. next, the coldest air of the season moving in across much of the country tonight behind that massive winter storm, after the
blizzard conditions in minnesota, the wind chill there, minus 40. to the south, damaging winds causing significant damage, this is lexington, alabama. all of this cold air also moving right into the northeast. let's get to meteorologist rob marciano to track it all. hi, rob. >> reporter: hi, david. that front moving offshore. the winds are shifting and the temperatures are dropping. fortunately, the few cold snaps we've had this season haven't lasted long. this one will be no different. but it's the coldest air this year. we've seen temperatures drop 70 degrees in 24 hours in parts of the midwest. wind chill advisories up for chicago, minneapolis. and the core of the cold air moves into the northeast by saturday morning, we're talking about temperatures that will feel like 8 degrees below zero in boston, 4 in new york city. likely not getting above the 20s on saturday, but then everybody rebounds on sunday. keep your heavy coat handy. david? >> all right, looking forward to the rebound aon sunday. rob, thank you. now to the race for 2020, and tonight, president trump and
mike bloomberg trading insults. it's still going on tonight. bloomberg saying he will spend whatever it takes to defeat the president. here's abc's terry moran tonight. >> reporter: the battle of the new york billionaires is on. >> you should know that the president attacked me again this morning on twitter. why? because he sees our poll numbers and he's scared. >> reporter: president trump ripping into former new york city mayor mike bloomberg today, tweeting, "mini mike bloomberg is a loser who has money but can't debate and has zero presence." bloomberg then taunting trump, tweeting, "we know many of the same people in new york. behind your back they laugh at you and call you a carnival barking clown." >> i'm not afraid of donald trump and he knows it. and that's why he keeps tweeting about me. >> reporter: later, trump, who has repeatedly tried to stir chaos in the democratic race, going after a real vulnerability for bloomberg -- his stop and frisk policies as mayor. at its peak, more than half a million people a year -- most of them african-americans and
latinos -- were stopped and frisked by police. 88% of the time, police found no reason to arrest them. a judge called it unconstitutional. others called it racist.
so trump, on ger ral doe rivera's radio prom today -- >> bloomberg came in and said, you know what, this thing is so good, i'm going to stop every black person, and if you were a black person in new york, you were stopped two times a day, three times a day. you couldn't go to your house. they were stopping you every day. >> reporter: that's not true, by a long shot. and trump himself has long promoted stop and frisk as a success. >> stop and frisk had a tremendous impact on the safety of new york city. tremendous beyond belief. >> so, let's get to terry moran, with us live at the white house tonight. and former mayor bloomberg declaring he's going to spend whatever it takes to try to defeat president trump? >> reporter: that's right, david. he's already spent $380 million. that's of his own money. we've never seen anything like it. a staggering sum. now president trump has his own
war chest, but the most important numbers for him are those economic numbers. most americans are telling pollsters they feel better off today than they did in 2016 and for an incumbent president, history shows that's wind in the sails. david? >> terry, thank you. tonight, the senate has approved a bipartisan resolution curbing the president's ability to take military action against iran. the measure prompted by the drone strike that killed iranian general qassem soleimani and the retaliation from iran on the u.s. military. eight republicans joined all the democrats in the 55-45 vote. that margin not large enough to override the president's expected veto. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this thursday. the police officer on trial for a deadly shooting. the officer firing 13 shots into the car, killing a young woman. tonight, the verdict is in. the astros cheating scandal. the players back for spring training. some admitting to cheating today. and what they said next. and then, this got our attention today. four shots at halftime, and the promise of $10,000.
well, he makes the shots, you can see the crowd goes wild -- so why isn't he getting the money tonight? a lot more news ahead. a lot more news ahead. i'll be right back. this left t. it's the next one. you always drive this slow? how did you make someone i love? that must be why you're always so late. i do not speed. and that's saving me cash with drivewise. my son, he did say that you were the safe option. and that's the nicest thing you ever said to me. so get allstate. stop bossing. where good drivers save 40% for avoiding mayhem, like me. this is my son's favorite color, you should try it. [mayhem] you always drive like an old lady? [tina] you're an old lady. i learned about myuse grandfather's life. on ancestry and it was a remarkable twentieth-century transformation. he did a lot of living before i knew him. bring your family history to life like never before. get started for free at ancestry.com dealing with our finances really haunted me.ttle cranky. thankfully, i got quickbooks, can see the crowd goes wild --
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next tonight here, the verdict in the case of a deadly police shooting in dallas. a former officer was accused of killing a young woman, firing more than a dozen times into a stolen car when she tried to get away. tonight, he's been found not guilty and here's abc's clayton sandell. >> back up, back up. >> reporter: this is the moment genevieve dawes lost her life. >> don't move! [ gunshots ] >> reporter: and tonight, the now former dallas police officer, who fired these 13 shots, acquitted by a jury. >> we the jury find the defendant not guilty. >> reporter: in 2017, officer christopher hess and fellow cops found the 21-year-old and her boyfriend asleep in a stolen car. she refused their commands. >> show me your hands! >> reporter: driving away, when hess pulled the trigger.
[ gunshots ] >> repter: prosecutors said shooting into a moving car was unreasonable and charged hess with aggravated assault. >> alpha 114, they rammed the squad car twice. >> reporter: defense attorneys say hess feared the officers were in danger. >> we know he made an impossible decision, but he ultimately made the right decision to defend his fellow officers. >> reporter: and after the department found that he vie it willed several policies, hess was fired. he also still faces a federal civil rights lawsuit brought by the family. david? >> all right, clayton, thank you. when we come back here tonight, the astros cheating scandal. the players returning today and some admitting to it. you'll hear them. and that halftime challenge. he made all the shots -- so why isn't he getting the money? gs wr things than rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. when considering another treatment, ask about xeljanz xr, to severe rheumatoid arthritis or active psoriatic arthritis for whom methotrexate did not work well enough.
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we feel bad, we feel remorse. the impact of our fans, the impact in the game, you know, we feel bad. >> the astros manager and gm have been fired. the new and alarming headline on climate tonight. the hottest january on record. noaa reporting january's global temperature was more than 2 degrees above average. the highest in 141 years. and scientists now reporting an iceberg about twice the size of washington, d.c. has broken off a glacier in antarctica. and the controversy over that halftime challenge i mentioned. northern iowa student dalton hinch hitting all four shots in 27 seconds, thinking he won the $10,000. the crowd going wild right here. he thought he had 30 seconds. so did the crowd. the insurance company behind the challenge said it must be done in 24 seconds. he will get $2,000 instead. when we come back here tonight, the astronaut and the dog waiting after 328 days in space. you have to see this.
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for an amazing taste... ...that outlasts your craving. nicorette ice mint. finally tonight, america strong. she made history and she made her dog very happy. she made history, and this was the moment nasa astronaut christina koch returned to earth. thumbs up and some laughter after 328 days in space -- more time in space than any other woman in history. >> you know, within the first two minutes of being back on earth, i saw more people's faces than i had seen in a year. so that was really exciting. >> reporter: but there was one face that said it all.
this is astronaut christina koch returning home, her dog waiting. her little girl, barking, her tail wagging, with kisses for the astronaut, who later said, "not sure who was more excited. glad she remembers me after a year." tonight, astronaut koch also posting this vacation photo with her family at the beach. but she knows it's that moment at the front door her little dog waited 328 days for. >> we could watch that all day. history made and her dog so happy astronaut koch is home. good night.
needles on the street. >> we want to make sure we're getting all of that out of there. a smell, grease or grime. >> the new pilot program to deep clean streets. good afternoon. thank you for joining us. >> lately, san francisco has become known for its dirty streets more than its beauty. even president trump made comment on twitter about this problem. >> some of the biggest problem includes trash, needles and human waste. in some areas it is so bad that people have created social media accounts where they post pictures every day. now the city has a possible solution. >> now live with a look at the new clean-up program. city officials and local businesses are hoping, this will be other big boost for business. >> reporter: yeah, good evening. the department of public work crews are out