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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  September 4, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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windy through saturday. so just be careful. >> okay, thanks, jeff. thanks for joining us. "nbc nightly news" is next. we'll see you at 6:00. bye. tonight, our nbc news exclusive. hillary clinton one on one. an apology about her e-mail but not the kind of sorry critics want. plus, how would she handle a challenge by vice president biden? and her candid comments aimed at donald trump. also, trump stumped. flubbing answers about foreign policy. an embarrassing stumble that has republican rivals saying he's not serious and trump lashing out about what he calls gotcha questions. critical mass in the tense standoff that has captivated the world. incredible scenes today as thousands of desperate families walk from one country to the next after being told they're not welcome. and defiant behind bars. with that kentucky clerk in jail, gay couples get the marriage licenses they've been asking for. but tonight she says they're not
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valid. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news with lester holt." reporting tonight from los angeles. good evening. it's good to be back here in the west. we begin tonight with hillary clinton fighting to return the media focus back onto her formidable candidacy for president. today she spoke to nbc news about the subject that has largely stolen the attention. her use of a private e-mail server to conduct official business when she was secretary of state. in a rare national interview she sat down exclusively with our andrea mitchell for a wide-ranging discussion about the e-mail controversy, what she says she is sorry about, and the two names that have become wild cards in this campaign season -- trump and biden. >> you said recently that using your personal e-mail while you were secretary of state was not the best choice and that you take responsibility. are you sorry?
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>> well, i certainly wish that i had made a different choice, and i know why the american people have questions about it. but in retrospect it certainly would have been better. i take responsibility. i should have had two accounts, one for personal and one for work-related. >> but this has created what even your own campaign manager said are some headwinds. a lot of noise out there. are you sorry? do you want to apologize to the american people for the choice you made? >> well, it wasn't the best choice. the people in the government knew that i was using a personal account. but it would have been better if i'd had two separate accounts to begin with. and certainly i'm doing all i can now to try to be as transparent about what i did have on my work-related e-mails. >> there were a lot of advisories. no laws, correct? but a lot of advisories including white house guidance against using personal e-mail. and especially using personal e-mail exclusively.
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the recent e-mails that were released indicated that the help desk at the state department didn't know, they couldn't recognize what your e-mail address was. >> well, the people i was e-mailing to on the dot gov system certainly knew. but -- >> does it concern you that people don't trust your answers on this? i mean, there was a quinnipiac. and i know this poll was everyone, republicans and democrats. but the first words that came to mind when asked about you were liar, untrustworthy, crooked. how does that make you feel? >> well, certainly doesn't make me feel good. but i am very confident that by the time this campaign has run its course people will know that what i've been saying is accurate. they may disagree as i know disagree with the choice that i made. but the facts that i have put forth have remained the same. >> did anyone in your inner circle say this isn't such a good idea, let's not do it? >> i was not thinking a lot when i got in. there was so much work to be done. we had so many
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problems around the world. i didn't really stop and think what kind of e-mail system will there be. >> does it raise judgment questions? >> well, i don't think so. i think the facts are pretty clear that we had a lot of hard work, hard choices to make in those four years and i'm very proud of the work we did. and now the state department has everything that they could have. so at the end of the day i am sorry that this has been confusing to people and has raised a lot of questions, but there are answers to all these questions and i will continue to provide those answers. >> looking at the campaign now, you see huge crowds for bernie sanders and for donald trump. and people talking about joe biden having an opening if he decides to make a difficult choice on an emotional level, which we understand. they talk about how authentic these campaigns are. does it hurt you when people say you're too lawyerly, you parse
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your words, you're not authentic? you're not connecting. >> well, that's just not my experience out campaigning. i feel very, very good about where we are. >> are there real differences, big differences between you and joe biden? on domestic or foreign policy? >> you know, i'm not going to address any political questions around my friend joe biden. he has to make a really difficult decision. you can see him struggling with it. if he gets into this race, there will be plenty of time to get into the debate in the back and forth. but i think everybody should give him the space and respect he deserves to make what is a very difficult choice for him and his family. >> and donald trump among other things that he's done has really personally attacked one of your closest aides, houma abedin. what was your feeling about that? >> well, he's attacked so many people, including my -- my close aide and myself. and many other people. i think it's an
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unfortunate development in american politics that his campaign is all about who he's against, whether it's immigrants or women broadcasters or aides of other candidates. you know, he's great at innuendo and conspiracy theories and really defaming people. that's not what i want to do in my campaign and that's not how i'm going to conduct myself. i also believe the president of the united states does have to be careful about what he or she says. i do know sometimes people say, well, i'm careful about what i say. that's because for more than 20 years i've seen the importance of the president of the united states, the leader not only of our nation but of the world having to send messages that will be received by all kinds of people. loose talk, threats, insults, they have consequences. so i'm going to
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conduct myself as i believe is appropriate for someone seeking the highest office in our country. >> andrea, she talks about the convenience factor, but beyond that does she explain why she did all her business on this single personal account? >> no, she didn't. there's been speculation that it was to avoid reporters' requests, congressional investigators, but she did not really answer that question. it's clear, though, that she's going to be a lot less aggressive about this, less defensive. they know they've got to try to turn the page because this fbi investigation is going to continue and they're going to have to deal with this for a long time. >> andrea mitchell, thank you. the republican front-runner donald trump is in another war of words tonight claiming a conservative talk radio host hit him with gotcha questions on foreign policy. nbc's hallie jackson tells us more about that. >> reporter: donald trump, an expert in dropping names -- >> tom brady is a very good friend of mine. >> i went to the wharton school of finance. i was a really good student. >> kanye west.
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i love him. >> reporter: got tripped up by a few in a talk radio interview when asked about the head of iran's special forces. >> are you familiar with general soleimani? >> yes. i -- go ahead. give me a little -- go ahead. tell me. >> he runs the quds forces. >> yes. okay. right. i think the kurds, by the way, have been horribly mistreated by -- >> no, not the kurds. the quds forces. the i raun iranian revolutionary qods forces. >> trump later calling the questions gotchas. >> i thought he said kurds. the third radio announcer that did a show and gotcha, gotcha, gotcha. every question was do i know this one and that one? it was like he worked hard on that. >> reporter: it's not the first time trump's response to national security questions has raised eyebrows. >> who do you talk to for military advice right now? >> well, i watch the shows. >> reporter: but this time republican rivals are seizing the chance to question whether he's ready to be commander in chief. >> you've got to have
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some sense of what's at risk here. >> reporter: for teflon don none of it seems to stick. >> he has said a number of controversial things over the past few months and his poll numbers are much, much better among republicans. so apparently, when he says something that people in the media and other politicians think is controversial, the voters don't mind. >> reporter: trump, who does business in 11 countries, said he'd be tough on some trading partners but open to certain adversaries. >> i think i'd get along very well with vladimir putin. >> reporter: he promises to delegate to experts if elected and get up to speed fast. >> i will be so good at the military, your head will spin. >> reporter: the radio host involved in all this, hugh hewitt, has asked similar foreign policy questions of other candidates, and he will face trump again as one of the questioners in the next gop debate. lester? >> hallie jackson tonight. thanks. we want to turn to our political director, the moderator of "meet the press," chuck todd. chuck, important interviews for
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both these front-runners as we head into the labor day weekend. what's your takeaway? maybe the question is what did we learn today? >> i think what we learned from hillary clinton is what andrea reinforced there, is the campaign is now having a different tactic on e-mail controversy. they know it's serious. they're now not joking about it anymore. you don't hear her talking about being dismissive of it, trying to talk about it as a partisan issue. she took it very seriously. she stopped short of a good explanation on sort of the initial reasoning why she did it. that isn't fully explained. but it was contrite. it was different. it's an acknowledgment this isn't going anywhere and they need to figure out how to deal with it. donald trump, on the other hand, you know, we'll see. these things haven't taken him down before. and so i hesitate to sit here and say this will take him down next. i think ultimately because of the way he aggressively deals with these issues himself, when he has a bad interview, he goes out and does another interview.
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he doesn't retreat. and maybe that's what his supporters end up liking about him. >> all right, chuck todd, thanks. we'll see you sunday for "meet the press." more on all this plus an exclusive interview with former secretary of state colin powell. the new jobs report is out, showing 173,000 jobs added in august. and the unemployment rate dipping to 5.1%. it's the lowest level since april of 2008. the number of jobs created was lower than some expected, leaving investors uncertain about whether the fed will raise interest rates later this month. the market responded with a steep drop to end another volatile week. but some positive news heading into the busy labor day travel weekend, at least for some of us. gas prices are the lowest for the holiday in 11 years. the average for a gallon is $2.42. here in california, it's much higher, $3.30, the only state with a higher average is alaska where drivers are paying $3.39. now, a new development in the crisis overseas.
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after days of blocking masses of migrants from boarding trains, stranding them inside hungary, the government there is now offering to bus them to the austrian border. but that was only after many had lost patience and set off on a long march. a report tonight from nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel. >> reporter: hungary is letting migrants know they're not welcome here. herding them into camps, attacking them when they try to escape, and yanking them off trains they thought were headed to the border. at the budapest rail station thousands were camped out this morning. no food, no facilities, no dignity. so today people finally had enough. they started to walk out of budapest and planned to go all the way to austria, 100 miles on foot. cars are passing but not one has stopped to offer a lift. taxis have been ordered not to pick them up.
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this is a long and cruel walk. halil aswad intends to push his 4-year-old niece ruliana the whole way and doesn't understand why hungary is treating them like this. "they are playing games with us," he said, "and want to put us in camps." the family survived constant air strikes. then the journey to get this far, crossing the mediterranean in a raft just like the one that flipped, drowning the boy whose image has become a symbol of a world that doesn't seem to care. today that boy was buried in syria, along with his brother and mother. his father left weeping. nearly all of these people made that dangerous crossing, including ahmed, who has a prosthetic leg after a bomb attack in syria. after hours, finally some humanity. hungarian volunteers came to the highway. children handed out water. and late tonight the hungarian government sent buses
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to take people to austria. but there's no trust anymore. it's unclear if people will get on them. richard engel, nbc news, budapest. there's a lot more to tell you about as we continue tonight. the new fight brewing with that kentucky clerk, locked behind bars. gay couples celebrate as they get the marriage licenses she refused to give them. but tonight she says this battle is far from over. also, the scare at the u.s. open. a sudden invasion from the air inside the stadium.
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tonight, several same-sex couples in kentucky are planning weddings after being issued the marriage licenses they had been denied by a county clerk who remains behind bars for refusing to issue them. put but late today the attorneys for kim davis indicated this fight is far from over. as nbc's gabe gutierrez reports. >> reporter: it was a first for rowan county, kentucky. a same-sex couple issued a marriage license. >> right now i just want to go hug my mom and dad. >> reporter: james yates and william smith walked out to a media frenzy surrounded by demonstrators on both sides of the contentious debate over gay marriage. this was their sixth time applying for a license. >> we got it! >> reporter: throughout the day other couples came, their licenses issued by deputy clerks while their boss, kim davis, remains in jail after a federal judge found her in contempt. she says her apostolic christian faith prevents her from authorizing gay
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marriage. >> how long is your wife prepared to stay in jail? >> long as it takes. >> reporter: her husband says this is a fight for religious freedom. >> what do you say to the people who think that kim davis should do her job? >> she has done her job. you know, just because five supreme court judges makes a ruling, it's not a law. >> i'm not doing a marriage license today. >> reporter: davis, an elected official, ignited a national firestorm which defied the u.s. supreme court and two lower courts. she's even become a flash point in the presidential campaign with several republican candidates rushing to her defense. >> she will never violate her conscience and never betray her god. >> reporter: tonight as davis's lawyers appeal the contempt ruling they argued the newly issued licenses are not valid without her approval. the county attorney says they are. a legal and emotional battle, with no end in sight. kim davis will now spend the holiday weekend in this jail in isolation.
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her lawyers say they expect her to remain in custody through at least tuesday. lester? >> all right, gabe, thank you. we're back in a moment with the pulse-pounding video of a man fighting to keep himself from going over a rushing waterfall.
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high drama at the u.s. open in new york and it had nothing to do with the action on the court. in the middle of a match last night a drone buzzed into the stadium, flying over the court before crashing into an empty section of the stands, breaking into pieces. one of the players said it was frightening not knowing what it was. she thought it might be a bomb. it turned out to be harmless, but authorities aren't taking the incident lightly. a high school science teacher has been arrested on charges including reckless endangerment. an adventure nearly turned deadly for a group of hikers in hawaii. their drone camera captured the moment after one climbed to the top of a waterfall. suddenly a flash flood turned the stream into rushing rapids. the hiker highlighted there desperately clinging
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to a rock. but the force was too much, washing him over the falls. he disappears for a bit but comes back after several terrifying moments shaken but more or less okay. and just when you thought you've seen it all at the burning man festival in the nevada desert, that's not smoke. it's high winds whipping up a dust devil as revelers in various states of undress looked on in amazement. wind gusts in the area up to 40 miles an hour. party on. when we come back, the town robbed of running water and the woman on a mission to keep her neighbors from running dry. next at 6: ===take vo===
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breaking news. a gust of wind pushed a kitesurfer - onto the great highway, where he was hit by a car. ===janelle/take vo=== and a warning for labor day revelers along the russian river, after a dog's death. ===next close=== the news is next. just 150 miles from where we are in the thoroughly modern and bustling city of los angeles sits a drought-stricken town where indoor running water is a thing of the past. the water has run out for thousands of farm workers and others who depend on private wells that have run dry. but thanks in part to one tireless volunteer no one is going thirsty. from east porterville, california here's jacob rascon with our "making a difference" report. >> hi. i'm donna johnson, and i live in east porterville. >> reporter: every week it's the same routine. >> i'm going to go get donald to help.
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>> reporter: four cases for the tire shop owner. >> that's enough for your house, too, right? >> what else can you do? there's no water, there's no water. >> reporter: stops at dozens of otherwise forgotten homes. >> got more water for you. >> we'll put two at each house. >> reporter: at 72 donna johnson is retired. >> did you get enough or do you need a -- one more? okay. >> reporter: but can't stop volunteering. >> every day is terrifying to some of these people. when i say some of these people, i'm one of them included. thousands of people in tulare county, many of them migrant farm workers, now live without running water. imagine, no flushing without a bucket, no bath for 2-year-old davide. until the water delivery. dirty laundry sits for days or longer. forget about a real lawn, or dishwasher, or turning on a faucet, period. >> [ speaking spanish ]. >> reporter: "it's worse here than mexico."
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emergency state funds and donations provide for disaster management, community management, truckloads of water and bottled tanks, but for the people of east porterville the real water savior is donna johnson. >> why do you do this? >> to me it's a gift to be able to help these people. it's hard. and i thought i wouldn't do it this long. but i'll continue to do it, till hopefully they have some permanent solutions. >> reporter: with dozens of new wells drying up every week the only real solution here is rain. jacob rascon, nbc news, east porterville, california. >> that will do it for us on a friday night. i'm lester holt in los angeles. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching. good night and have a good and safe weekend. the water and right into traffic
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on the great highway a blown across the water and right onto traffic on the great highway. live in san francisco with how it happened. good evening. thanks for joining us. i'm jessica geary. >> we have more on the breaking news in san francisco. just a few hours ago, the wind at ocean beach was so strong it brought the kite surfer right down on the highway with the drivers zipping by. >> we have team coverage for you. jeff ranieri on the winds. but first, jean elliott is live with more on the accident, jean.
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>> reporter: jessica, police are just wrapping up at this very windy accident scene. police say this is a very unusual accident. it happened op the great highway right by the san francisco zoo. a witness said around 3:15, a kite surfer was out on the ocean riding the waves when something went wrong. the wind took the kite surfer right off the ocean, over the parking lot, over the dunes, and onto the road where he was hit by a car. emergency crews took him to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. i talked with a kite surfer who was getting into the water. he said the wind speed is high, but safe. and he believes the kite surfer got into what's called an uncontrolled spiral. >> he probably wasn't lifted like the whole way. his kite probably went into a spiral and it was just bouncing him up in probably like 20, 30-foot bounds and right into the highway. and then bad timing with the car. >> reporter: alex lowe said most kite surfing gear has an


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