Entries in Diane Sawyer (7)


Jaycee Dugard Revels Being Free in New York City

ABC(NEW YORK) -- On her first trip to New York City, Jaycee Dugard attended a star-studded awards ceremony, took in a Broadway play and gazed upon the city's skyscrapers.  But for her, the most memorable part of the trip was going for pizza.

"Just walking down the street.  With everybody.  It was my favorite moment," Dugard told ABC News' Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.

For a woman who had spent most of her life held captive in the backyard of Philip and Nancy Garrido and who had been reclusive since her rescue to make sure her notoriety did not affect her children, it was liberating not to have to hide.

"For eighteen years I had to hide, and to be out in public, to go to a restaurant and not -- because even now I feel like I have to hide," Dugard told Sawyer.  "I want my girls to have a normal life as much as possible. … I feel like on some things I have to do it a little bit differently … not be recognized … for their sake."

She doesn't intend to always live in hiding, but that will have to wait until her two daughters, 17 and 14, are more mature and better able to cope with their mother's story.

"I think in time as they get older they'll know how to deal with it better and that would be the time that we would come out," she said.

Dugard was kidnapped in 1991 when she was 11-years-old and held captive for 18 years by the Garridos.  She was raped and gave birth to two daughters in captivity before being rescued in 2009.

Part of enjoying her freedom is making sure the past does not have hold of her, and Dugard, 31, told Sawyer that the traumatic ordeal is not on her mind every day and that she decided to forgive Phillip and Nancy Garrido in order to move on with her life.

"It's not with me every day.  That is over.  Nancy and Philip are behind bars," she said.  "There is so much out here to do and feel. … I feel like I can make a difference. … I don't want to be remembered for what happened."

Dugard wants to be remembered for the work of her foundation, the JAYC Foundation, which stands for Just Ask Yourself to Care.  The foundation uses animal-assisted therapy, along with other support services to treat families recovering from abduction and the aftermath of traumatic experiences.

Dugard is also trying to make memories, crossing life experiences off a list she made when it seemed freedom was impossible.

Watch Diane Sawyer's exclusive interview with Jaycee Dugard Tuesday, March 13, on World News at 6:30 pm E.T.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Is Obama Rooting for the Patriots or Giants?

ABC News(LAS VEGAS) -- President Obama picked a Super Bowl winner two years ago in an ABC News interview, but the president on Thursday refused to weigh in this year, saying that he’ll get into trouble if he makes predictions.

“I can’t call it.  I can’t call it,” Obama told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.  “When the [Chicago] Bears are not involved, I can’t make predictions because I will get into trouble.  But both are great teams.  Brady obviously one of the best quarterbacks we’ve ever seen.  Eli Manning playing as well as he’s ever played, and it’s going to be a fun Super Bowl.”

When asked if in his daydreams, he is either Manning or Brady, Obama replied: “I can’t throw a spiral as well as either of those two guys, so you know, but I’m a huge fan of both teams.  I’m a little frustrated that my Bears who were pretty hot got hurt. Cutler, our quarterback, got hurt, then Matt Forte, our best running back got hurt. So, we were on a good trend there. Next year.”

Two years ago, Obama told Sawyer he was rooting for the New Orleans Saints “as the underdog.”  They ended up winning.

“You know to say I tell you, I love Drew Brees,” Obama said Thursday, referring to the Saints’ quarterback.  “I love what that team has meant to New Orleans, obviously recovering from Katrina and they are consistently an outstanding team.  I’m sure they’re gonna get another chance.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama to ABC News: Somalia Rescue Made Me Think of Own Daughters

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- In an exclusive interview with ABC News, President Obama on Thursday expressed sympathy with the father of the American hostage rescued by Navy SEALs Tuesday, saying the ordeal made him think of his own daughters.

“I cannot imagine what he went through – given Malia and Sasha – and for him to be able to stay strong and then for our incredible men and women in uniform to do what they do, it makes you proud about this country,” Obama told ABC’s Diane Sawyer.

The president said he had not spoken to Jessica Buchanan, who was held hostage for three months, but said it was important for him that she connected with her father.

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Obama on Thursday revealed new details of the Navy SEAL operation, which was going on as he was making his State of the Union speech.

“On this one, they were moving so fast that I actually had to give the order and the directions and then they were out,” he said. “It was not a situation where I could actually talk to the folks who were directing the operation, and it was still ongoing while were in the middle of the State of the Union speech.”

Watch World News tonight at 6:30 p.m. EST for Diane Sawyer’s interview with President Obama.

Before he made his speech, the president was seen telling Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta “good job” in reference to the Navy Seal operation.

“He does a good job generally, but we were very specifically referring to the operation in Somalia because at that time we knew that she had already been recovered along with the Danish hostage and they weren’t yet back to Djibouti — the American base — but we knew at that point that they were safe and that everybody had successfully achieved the mission,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Speaks Out in First Interview Since Shooting

ABC/Ida Mae Astute

(NEW YORK) -- For years, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords fought for her causes in Congress, fought her way through 10-mile hikes and runs with her friends in Tucson, Ariz., and with her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, fought -- through in vitro fertilization and fertility drugs -- to have a child.

But on Jan. 8, all of that changed.  Following the shooting of 19 people at a meet-and-greet in Tucson, Giffords fought to survive a near-deadly gunshot to the brain, and after that, she had to fight once again for the life she wanted back.

"Difficult," Giffords says in her first interview since the shooting, with ABC News' Diane Sawyer.

Giffords still struggles for the right words to form sentences, a condition called aphasia that is common in brain injury patients.  She has undergone months of intensive speech and physical therapy to try and rebuild the connections in her brain that were severed when a bullet entered just over her left eye, traveling through the left side of her brain.

"It's clear that any lower, it would've killed her, any further midline, it would've killed her," Kelly tells Sawyer.  "If it crossed hemispheres, it would've killed her.  Any further outboard, she'd never be able to speak again.  Any higher, she'd never be able to walk."

Giffords' remarkable journey to recovery and the love story that brought her and Kelly together is the subject of a new book they worked on together, called Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope.

In the beginning of the book, Kelly writes that he and his wife hoped that 2011 would be "the best year of our lives." Kelly would command the last flight of the orbiter Endeavor, Giffords would begin her third term in Congress, and the two would hopefully conceive a child together.

Instead, 2011 was punctuated first with terror and grief: 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner apparently targetted Giffords at a public event, fatally shooting six people and wounding 13 others, including Rep. Giffords. Since then, her daily routine has been hard work, occasional setbacks and personal triumphs.  Together, Giffords and Kelly learned what survival really meant.

"She was sitting in her wheelchair, tears running down her face. She was hyperventilating, absolutely panicked," Kelly told Sawyer.  "I saw how scared she was.  I got scared, too.  I just held her, and said, you know, 'We'll get through this.'"

It is that determination, along with Giffords' own personal strength, that shine through in exclusive home videos taken by Kelly and their family that will be seen for the first time as part of the Diane Sawyer special.

Kelly and Giffords' family decided to document every milestone of her recovery, realizing some day Giffords would want to know what had happened to her.

Gabby and Mark: Courage and Hope, a Diane Sawyer Exclusive, airs Monday, Nov. 14 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gabrielle Giffords, Husband to Appear on ABC TV Special

Tom Williams/Roll Call(NEW YORK) -- Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, former space shuttle commander Mark Kelly, will appear on an ABC Television Network special in November in what will be their first interview together since Giffords was shot and seriously wounded during a meet-and-greet event in Tucson last January.

The special airing on Nov. 14 at 10 p.m. ET will occur one day before the publication of the couple's memoir, Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope.

ABC World News anchor Diana Sawyer hosts the program that will follow Giffords' and Kelly's lives together before and after the shooting that left six people dead and 13 wounded, including the Arizona Democrat who suffered a bullet wound to the brain.

Giffords' recovery has been described as miraculous given the extent of her injury, although she continues to undergo rehabilitation and is likely to for some time.

Her actual participation in the interview with Sawyer will largely depend on the progress of her recovery.

Giffords appeared in Washington last month for the first time since the shooting to vote on the debt ceiling bill that eventually passed Congress.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Reportedly Smiles at Her Husband

Photo Courtesy - DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Rep. Gabrielle Giffords smiles at her husband and has even given him back rubs, her doctors said Monday. The tracheotomy tube in the throat of the badly-wounded Arizona congresswoman prevents her from speaking to her husband, Capt. Mark Kelly, but the doctors said the smiles were important indicators.

The doctors treating Giffords at University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz., said at a press conference they performed surgery Saturday on Giffords' eye socket to remove bone fragments.

"At this time we're hoping to continue typing up loose ends" to get ready for the third stage of Giffords' recovery -- rehabilitation, neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Lemole said.

On Sunday Giffords' condition was upgraded from critical to serious, a day after doctors replaced Giffords' breathing tube with a tracheotomy tube to allow her to breathe better and free her from the ventilator. Kelly said that Giffords is now moving around enough to give him a back rub.

"I keep tellin' her. I'm like, 'Gabby, you're in the ICU. You know, you don't need -- you know, you don't need to be doin' this.' But it's so typical of her that no matter how bad the situation might be for her, you know, she's lookin' out for other people," Kelly told ABC News in an interview set to air Tuesday.

Kelly has been by his wife's side since the shooting on Jan. 8, rushing there from his home in Houston where he currently lives and trains for his role as NASA Astronaut Commander of space shuttle Endeavour's final mission to space this April.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Director of National Intelligence Not Briefed on London Arrests Before Interview

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was caught off-guard Monday by a question on the widely-covered arrest of 12 men in an alleged terror plot in London. Wednesday, Clapper's spokeswoman admits it was because he had not been briefed on the arrests.

In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer, taped Monday afternoon, Clapper was asked about the arrests, which had happened hours before and were featured on all of the network morning news broadcasts. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Chief Counterterrorism Advisor John Brennan, who were also participating in the joint interview, were aware of the arrests.

"First of all, London," Sawyer began. "How serious is it? Any implication that it was coming here? Director Clapper?"

"London?" Clapper said after a pause, before Brennan entered the conversation explaining the arrests.

Later in the interview, Sawyer returned to the subject.

"I was a little surprised you didn't know about London," Sawyer told Clapper.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't," he replied.

On Tuesday, Clapper's office had declined to say whether he knew about the specific disrupted plot, but issued a statement calling Sawyer's question "ambiguous." Wednesday, his office appears to have changed their position.

"Director Clapper had not yet been briefed on the arrests in the United Kingdom at the time of this interview taping," said ODNI spokeswoman Jamie Smith in a statement to ABC's Jake Tapper.

Smith explained that Clapper had been working on other matters during the day, following developments on the Korean Peninsula and issues surrounding the ratification of the START nuclear pact. He was not briefed on the London arrests, she said, because it was not centered in the homeland and required no action on his part.

Still, Smith acknowledged, that Clapper "should have been briefed on the arrests, and steps have been taken to ensure that he is in the future."

In an on-camera briefing at the White House Wednesday, Brennan strongly defended Clapper, calling him a "consummate" DNI.

"Should he have been briefed by his staff on these arrests? Yes," Brennan said before criticizing the media for what he called "breathless" coverage of the British arrests.

"I'm glad that Jim Clapper is not sitting in front of the TV 24 hours a day and monitoring what's coming out in the media," Brennan said. "As of that time, there was nothing that the DNI needed to do or to be engaged in that would have required him to set aside other pressing intelligence matters to be briefed on things that were being put out in the press."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio