tv NBC Nightly News NBC July 15, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
joining us. >> hope to see you back here at 6:00. bye. tonight, candid on rape. a question about bill cosby makes the president break from his hard sell on the iran deal to speak like we've never heard him before. trump's worth. the candidate claims $10 billion in his election filings. but some aren't buying it, even as polls put trump at the top of the republican race. fighting cholesterol. new research seeks to end the debate over statins, recommending them for millions more americans. are you one of them? and paws and reflect. the man fulfilling a bucket list not for himself but for his best friend. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: from nbc world headquarters in new york this is nbc nightly news with lester holt.
good evening. an hour-long press conference with president obama today over an issue no less weighty than iran and the nuclear bomb was suddenly overshadowed by a single question about another serious topic and an answer no one expected the president would publicly utter. the question was related to the rape accusations that surround bill cosby. it was not the issue top of mind as the president went before reporters to pitch the historic nuclear deal with iran, but it's what a lot of people are talking about tonight. we of course are covering it all. but we want to start with nbc news national correspondent peter alexander and that question. >> i'll say this. >> reporter: it was a stunningly powerful statement, especially for a president who's made it his policy not to comment about ongoing legal matters. >> if you give a woman or a man for that matter without his or her knowledge a drug, and then have sex with
that person without consent, that's rape. >> reporter: the president, himself a lawyer, publicly defining rape more than a week after a federal judge unsealed a 2005 deposition in which bill cosby testified that he gave a woman drugs before sex. >> i think this country, any civilized country, should have no cornelius for rape. >> reporter: the president's blunt answer was to a reporter's question about whether cosby should be stripped of the presidential medal of freedom awarded to him in 2002 by president george w. bush. more than 30 women have accused cosby of sexual assault including beverly johnson, who today tweeted "president obama states on tv that drugging and having sex with a woman after is called rape." barbara voman says cosby raped her multiple times when she was a 17-year-old aspiring actress three decades ago. >> vindication and validation of my -- of the truth behind my story. i'm elated. >> reporter: president obama said there was no precedent for revoking the
77-year-old's medal of freedom. long before there was president obama there was bill cosby, helping break the color barrier on network tv. >> the two of you at any time -- >> reporter: while in office president obama hasn't shied away from the topic of sexual assault, offering this psa during the grammys. >> it's not okay. and it has to stop. >> reporter: and late today bill cosby's representatives told nbc news they have no comment about the president's remarks about drugs and rape. cosby has never been charged with a crime, and both he and his representatives have repeatedly denied past allegations. lester? >> peter alexander at the white house. and those comments from the president as we mentioned came in the middle of his hard sell on that nuclear deal with iran. and he had some tough words for those vowing to force a showdown over the deal in congress. our senior white house correspondent chris jansing has more on that for us. >> reporter: even by washington standards the political fight over the iran nuclear deal is intense and the white house is on offense. >> so this deal is not
contingent upon iran changing its behavior. it's not contingent upon iran suddenly operating like a liberal democracy. it solves one particular problem, which is making sure they don't have a bomb. >> reporter: point by point today president obama answered critics who say the agreement makes the world less safe. >> without a deal we risk even more war in the middle east. >> reporter: virtually every republican member of congress and presidential candidate is opposed to the agreement. >> the president's announcement yesterday is just another in a series of his lies. >> reporter: republicans are threatening legislation to scuttle the deal. obama would veto it. but to sustain that veto he'll need democratic support. so he sent vice president biden to capitol hill to find it. >> i'm here to answer questions and explain what the deal is. >> reporter: biden's very popular here, but not everyone here was convinced. >> i've been skeptical from the beginning of this. i'm still skeptical. >> reporter: many of
the skeptics are democrats. at least 14 of them just in the senate. the key player, new york's chuck schumer. he's close to hillary clinton, who was on the hill yesterday supporting the deal. but he's torn between progressive constituents who like the diplomatic approach and many jewish voters who believe it makes israel less safe. >> i am going to just study this agreement before i -- and talk to people before i do anything else. >> reporter: someone doing a lot of the talking, israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu, who spoke to lester earlier today. >> will you be lobbying congress to reject this deal? >> look, i'm making that point to anyone who will listen. i'm making it to you now. it shouldn't be part of the mission of the united states. it doesn't happen very often in history, but when arabs and israelis agree it's worth paying attention. >> reporter: facing such impassioned opposition, the president sent a message to opponents. >> if we don't choose wisely i believe future generation wills judge us harshly for letting this moment slip away. >> reporter: at one point during the press conference the president pulled out his notes to answer questions that hadn't
even been asked. he's so intent on making his case. and as he was speaking, some senate democrats were here at the white house getting their questions answered by senior staff members. remembers, meantime, have 60 days after they get classified parts of the deal to try to stop it. lester? >> all right, chris, thank you. to the race for president now and a moment of truth for donald trump. he filed forms today as required by law of anybody running for president that are supposed to reveal how much he's worth. but it was difficult, his campaign claims, because those forms weren't designed for someone of his "massive wealth." and a summary the campaign released left many questions unanswered. nbc's katy tur has details. >> reporter: unlike most presidential hopefuls donald trump doesn't shy away from his wealth. he flaunts it. >> the total is $8,737,540,000. >> reporter: that was in june. one month later trump says it's actually in excess of $10 billion, capital letters his. >> i think what he's trying to say is if
you vote for me you're voting for someone who is the american dream. >> reporter: many analysts thought trump would never do it, filing his personal financial disclosure with the federal election commission. the f.e.c. has 30 days to release it to the public. but the campaign offered some of its highlights, and there weren't many. income last year, 362 million. stock gains, more than 27 million. salary from 14 seasons of "the apprentice" on nbc, 213.6 million. but the campaign released very few specifics on trump's assets. >> what stood out to me was the 10 billion in all caps but not really being able to see the information to support it. >> reporter: next to nothing on his real estate holdings, his branding deals or his debt. what's more, numbers on paper may be smaller than they appear. >> with trump we think there's a bit more art to science than he's let on. and we tend to think that he's worth closer
to 4 billion than the 10 billion he asserts. >> reporter: regardless, trump is flying high. a "usa today"/suffolk university poll shows him leading the gop field at 17%. >> i think trump is really resonating because he's very plain-spoken and he's saying what he means and he means what he says. >> reporter: still, that same poll showing when it comes to hillary clinton trump would lose by a wide margin. katy tur, nbc news, new york. we've got our eye on some wicked weather this evening. communities on high alert as a nasty storm system brings torrential rain and widespread flooding to the northeast. while in the south three are confirmed dead and at least five people are still missing in the aftermath of the major flooding in kentucky. we get more on this from nbc's john yang. >> reporter: officials and family members desperately press the search for the missing in rural eastern kentucky after torrential rains triggered devastating flash flooding.
>> pray for those that are missing. >> reporter: among them scott johnson, 34, swept away as he carried his 74-year-old grandmother, willa may pennington, on his back. her body was found among debris. that same storm system moved east with high winds and driving rain. new jersey shore vacationers made the best of it. since yesterday morning from the plains to the east coast at least 373 reports of wind damage, 37 reports of hail damage, and five tornadoes, including an ef1 twister in cookville, tennessee. >> big pieces of metal and big pieces of wood, trees, and stuff you can see back over there just swirling in there. >> reporter: outside atlanta a spectacular light show as lightning struck a utility pole. in northeastern ohio 12 dogs had to be rescued from the flooded copawcabana kennel along with four workers. neither humans nor their charges were issued. john yang, nbc news. want to show you a
piece of video now giving us a look at the exact moment that the notorious drug lord known as el chapo made his escape from a mexican prison. it's surveillance footage. it shows him ducking behind a shower wall and vanishing, apparently slipping through a hole under the shower into that mile-long tunnel below and on his way to freedom. he remains this evening the subject of a massive international manhunt. an extraordinary moment in germany when the sins of world war ii finally caught one a man known as the accountant of auschwitz. he was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison in what is likely one of the last nazi trials we will ever witness. joe fryer tells us what happened in the courtroom. >> reporter: it took seven decades, but today oskar groening, a former nazi guard at auschwitz, slowly walked into a german court to learn his fate, guilty of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 jews. >> importance of this verdict is that it clearly says that auschwitz was a place that was just a murder machine.
>> reporter: at age 94 groening was sentenced to four years in jail, six months more than prosecutors had recommended. for holocaust survivor leon schwarzbaum it's a measure of justice but one that's hard to celebrate. >> my life has been destroyed. >> reporter: groening became known as the accountant of auschwitz because his job was to count money confiscated from jews. while he says he did not kill anyone himself, he admitted in court he felt morally guilty. >> german court wants to punish a 94-year-old. why didn't they do it 30, 40 years ago? >> reporter: auschwitz survivor eva korr actually hoped groan would go get community service speak out about his regrets. as a young girl she and her family were sent to the concentration camp in 1944 and she never saw her parents again. now she lives in indiana and recently traveled to germany for the trial, where she spoke to groening face to face. >> are you feeling okay? >> reporter: before he reached out to embrace
her. >> i understood that he wanted to show me that he cared, and that was his way of doing it. and how could i be angry with someone who cares? >> reporter: with a chance to appeal for now, groening remains a free man. joe fryer, nbc news, london. in colorado a jury now holds the fate of james holmes in its hands. deliberations began today in the movie theater massacre trial. holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity for the mass shooting that killed 12 people and injured 70 others. the three-year anniversary of that horrific attack is next week. today was bigger than black friday for amazon, or so it claims. the online retailer offered big savings as part of its much buzzed about prime day promotion. it sparked a war with walmart and with some customers who say the deals aren't all they're cracked up to be. our miguel almaguer got the story at an amazon fulfillment center in san bernardino, california. >> reporter: they're calling it christmas
in july. a one-day blockbuster sale. 32-inch tv for $75. a laptop for $200. it's aimed at getting you to join amazon prime, a $99 subscription to the largest e-commerce company in the u.s., giving you free two-day shipping. >> prime day was conceived as an opportunity for us to provide more deals than black friday on the eve of our 20th birthday. >> reporter: but there's been disappointment. "prime day looks like a cheap garage sale." "better deals at ross." still, with tens of millions of prime customers, amazon is changing the game. nicole marsh, a busy mother of two, is a prime target. >> anything that i can get at a big box store i buy off amazon. and purely out of convenience. >> reporter: with amazon's sales expected to top $100 billion this year, other retailers have noticed. today a battle between the giants. walmart making similar price cuts, touting no subscription fees. >> amazon has a big
focus on bringing that two-day shipping in prime down to same-day shipping. and that will have a huge impact on brick and mortar retail. >> reporter: with big retailers going to war online tonight, here at amazon facilities they are really cranking it out. they're shipping everything from toasters to televisions. and while amazon doesn't want to talk specifics, they don't want to give numbers, they will say today their numbers were better than they were on black friday of 2014. so while it may not have been christmas in july for you, it certainly seems to have been christmas in july for amazon. lester? >> miguel almaguer for us tonight. thank you. still ahead tonight, if you're not on statins, maybe you should be. there are some new studies out that seem to back up that advice that millions of americans should be taking these potentially life-saving drugs. we'll tell you where you should fit in. caitlyn jenner accepting a sports award for courage tonight but some critics are asking were more deserving athletes overlooked?
we're back with medical news that could impact millions of americans. there's new research out about the cholesterol-fighting drugs known as statins, and it adds weight to the controversial advice that a lot more of us should be taking them. nbc's anne thompson has our report. >> yellowing of skin or eyes. >> reporter: the ads are everywhere. >> i'm down with crestor. >> reporter: now two new studies support recent controversial
guidelines that almost half of all americans between 40 and 75 years old should be prescribed statins. >> i think these studies are very reassuring and they will lay to rest for a lot of individuals, a lot of scientists and physicians the concern about overtreatment. >> reporter: under the old guidelines statins were recommended based on the level of bad cholesterol. the updated guidelines are more personalized, adding age, gender, race, weight, blood pressure, good cholesterol levels, and smoking history, and say even those at moderate risk should be put on statins. the two studies published this week in the "journal of the american medical association" suggest that increasing the number of people on statins could prevent up to 63,000 heart attacks, strokes, and deaths in a ten-year period and is cost effective. >> is taking a pill the only way to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke? >> absolutely not. the most effective way to prevent heart attack and stroke is lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle. >> reporter: dr. mosca
says that means stop smoking, maintain a healthy weight, exercise and eat a largely plant-based diet to get your cardiovascular system in shape. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. we are back in a moment. have you seen these yet? the incredible images nasa released today showing what we've been missing 3 billion miles from home. we'll take a closer look in a moment.
♪ the 2015 cadillac srx. lease this from around $339 per month, or purchase with 0% apr financing. until now pluto was nothing but a blur at the end of our solar system, but striking new photos released today from the "new horizons" probe are getting us up close and personal in a way we've never seen before. these are the very first high resolution images showing a mountain range on pluto's surface, and nasa also unveiled the clearest image edit of pluto's moon charon. it's been nearly 40 years since caitlyn jenner secured a place in olympic history by winning gold in the decathlon, but when espn decided to give her an award tonight it was not for accomplishments in track and field.
it's for coming out to the world as transgender. and the choice is not without controversy. nbc's hallie jackson has more on that. >> reporter: when caitlyn jenner accepts the arthur ashe courage award at tonight's espys it will be her most high-profile appearance since this "vanity fair" cover went viral. >> there has been a bit of controversy about the selection of caitlyn jenner. i think everyone's kind of waiting to see what she will say. >> reporter: online some argue athletes like swimmer amy van dyken or college basketball player lauren hill deserves the award more. still some of the athletes walking the red carpet here tonight argue jenner's journey coming out as transgender shows the kind of courage that goes beyond the world of sports. >> she's defining who she is. and so maybe she will inspire a younger person to be their true self, you know, sooner. >> reporter: a younger generation may only know jenner from the kardashian reality shows and her own series on our sister network e!. but for years as bruce
jenner has a national sports icon, an olympic gold medalist on the cover of wheaties boxes. espys producer maura mandt sells "sports illustrated" "bruce jenner could have easily gone off into the sunset as this american hero and never dealt with this publicly. doing so took enormous courage." a highly anticipated award for a woman making headlines worldwide. hallie jackson, nbc news, los angeles. when we come back, the story of how a man and his dog have become viral stars for the moving journey they're on together.
===take vo=== facing a midnight deadline -- the city of san jose and its police department are about to make a major announcement. ===take vo janelle=== plus, 2 bay bridge fires in 3 days. now caltrans reveals what sparked both of them. ===next close=== the news is next. ==janelle//live== right now at 6. finally tonight, two travelers who show just how far we'll go for our best friends. a man and his dog have racked up more than 100,000 fans online with pictures of themselves crisscrossing the country. and while the end of the road is near, these two are proof that life is all about the journey. here's harry smith. >> reporter: letting go of a loved one is never easy, and what you're look at is a scrapbook of good-byes. neil rodriguez and his 15-year-old dog poh have been on the road. >> we found out he was sick, and we had a choice. either we wait at home for the inevitable or we try to give him one last big adventure.
>> reporter: the vet told neil poh's time was limited. so they've been everywhere. san francisco, las vegas, new orleans, d.c. poh was moping at home, and the world was waiting outside. >> what's better than having him walk around on a beach, take a nap with the sun on his snout, you know, the wind breezing through his ears. nothing better. >> reporter: rodriguez says it's the least he can do. >> he is definitely my family. he's my child. so to be able to take care of him now when he needs me the most i think is -- it's been great. >> reporter: rodriguez insists this isn't sad. he wants to remind people of the love you can find when you adopt a dog as he did from a shelter. today they stopped at one in florida. >> it's really rare that i ever think about poh passing. all we think about is, you know, the fun. >> reporter: and from the look on his face, poh agrees. harry smith, nbc news, new york. >> friends to the end.
that's going to do it for us on this wednesday. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. jose, and its police and fire right now at 6:00 a possible breakthrough in a battle between the city of san jose and its police and fire unions. you're looking live at city hall where they have struck a deal on long-standing issues including retirement and disability rules. good evening i'm janelle wang. >> and i'm raj mathai. it's a city divided but tonight there is some unity. san jose has a tentative deal with its police and firefighters. the biggest sticking point, the fights over those controversial pensions. both sides had until midnight to
reach a compromise on several key issues including disability and retirement rules. in the center of the debate was measure b, which voters passed back in 2012 to scale back pensions for city workers. police and fire unions took the city to court over it. if they hadn't struck a deal tonight they would have ended back in court. it's to note there is some work to do. police pay issues were not part of this negotiation. both sides are expected to give us more details about this deal within the next 90 minutes to two hours. we'll continue to follow the developments and bring you more as we get them into our newsroom. new information just into our newsroom about two fires on the bay bridge. we now know what caused flames to shoot out from under the deck. this is what drivers saw today, smoke coming up from the eastern span of the bay bridge. the same spot also caught fire on monday night. we want to show you a live picture of the bridge right now. you can see some traffic, but all lanes back open. nbc bay