tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC May 4, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
if she could raise an arm skyward, she'd be as tall as the statue of liberty. >> incredible. can't wait to see that. >> lester holt is next with donald trump. tonight, from trump tower, the presumptive nominee. donald trump joins me live after a resounding win. cruz and kasich quit, as trump and clinton gear up for a general election for the ages. towering inferno. frantic evacuations as a massive wildfire explodes out of control, torching entire neighborhoods. even the emergency operation center staff forced to flee. exploding air bags blamed for a string of deaths. the largest recall in history. now even larger. 17 automakers, tens of millions of cars. is your car one of them. and prince bombshell. the music legend one day from getting emergency treatment for a reported addiction to painkillers. a tragic twist. the man who found him and called 911.
"nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. raise your hand if you predicted this a year ago. 323 days ago, donald trump rode down the escalator here at trump tower to announce he was running for president, a candidacy that many across the country, political analysts, members of the media and his opponents didn't think stood a chance. but with cruz and kasich now out, trump is the republican party's presumptive nominee for president. it's a remarkable moment in american political history, as a celebrity billionaire insurgent embarks on an epic general election battle against likely the first woman nominee and wife of a former president. but first, trump has a lot of work to do just to repair the deep fissures in his own party. some saying they will never vote for him.
in a moment, i will sit down with trump in his office for a live conversation. but first, nbc's peter alexander starts us off. >> reporter: tonight lights-out for the candidate who once compared donald trump to the prince of darkness. >> and as i suspend my campaign today, i have renewed faith, deeper faith that the lord will show me the way forward. >> reporter: john kasich abruptly ending his campaign this morning, scrubbing a flight to washington after boarding the plane, telling friends his heart isn't in it. trump, a first-time politician, now the last republican standing, after routing 16 rivals, roughly 150 years of political experience. >> he's not a serious candidate. he's an entertainer. >> donald trump's not going to be the republican nominee. >> they will not nominate donald trump. i'll have to go to canada. >> reporter: his next challenge transforming from a brawler to a coalition builder, bringing the fractured gop together. >> i'm confident i can
unite much of it. but honestly, there are some people i really don't want. >> donald trump has the biggest upside and the biggest downside of any candidate i've ever seen. you don't know which one will dominate. but his track record so far is pretty astonishing. >> reporter: trump igniting a firestorm on social media. many republicans burning their party i.d. cards. conservatives today facing an existential crisis. >> we have to decide now, are we going to move forward and do all we can to help donald trump, or are we going to recognize that without that, we'll have a democrat president? >> reporter: many expressing concerns about trump. >> some of the things he said about women, and about muslims, and about religious freedom, i just can't support. >> reporter: trump's success going forward likely dependent on his ability to dial back the harsh rhetoric. trump, the front-runner for much of this campaign, will need a come-from-behind win to defeat hillary clinton, now boasting a 13-point advantage. his supporters energized by the outsider. >> he reaches people.
and people are comfortable with him. he's been in people's living rooms for 13 years. people know who he is. and they keep coming back to him and they trust him. >> there's an authenticity to what he's doing, and an authenticity to the fact that he can win. >> late today, donald trump acknowledged he considered john kasich as a possible vp, but a source close to kasich said there is no chance that will happen. we've confirmed that both presidents george w. bush, and his george h.w. bush will stay silent and not endorse anyone for president. lester? >> peter alexander, thanks. on the democratic side, it was bernie sanders who emerged as the victor last night in indiana, while vowing to fight clinton until the end. but that victory did not change the delegate math and the reality that clinton is the overwhelming front-runner to take on trump. who will sit down with me live in a moment. as andrea mitchell reports, hillary clinton is already deploying her plan of
attack against him. >> reporter: tonight hillary clinton plotting her strategy against donald trump. her playbook, with trump trying to brand her as crooked hillary -- >> crooked hillary. >> reporter: -- she's portraying him as a risky trump. >> i think he's a loose cannon, and cannons tend to misfire. will the contest between two candidates be scorched earth. she says that's up to him -- he's the one who's run the campaign, insulting people, degrading people with disabilities, talking about keeping muslims out of the country. he's the one who's been running that kind of very negative, aggressive, bullying campaign. >> reporter: now the prospect of trump the nominee is rallying democrats. elizabeth warren tweeting that he, quote, built his campaign on racism, sexism and xenophobia. does clinton agree? >> i think elizabeth warren is very smart. >> reporter: reaching out to republicans and
independents. the campaign late today releasing this video, highlighting his gop critics. >> he's a con artist. >> a phony. >> donald is a bully. >> reporter: but clinton's challenges, an nbc news "wall street journal" poll shows her favorability among independents has dropped 15 points since january. and in her loss in indiana last night, she won only 41% of the white vote. the good news for clinton? despite her negatives, 51% of her supporters in a new poll say they'll vote for her because they're against trump. and president obama, once the primaries are over, will campaign passionately against trump. >> there's not going to be any complacency to make sure donald trump is not president. we will be joined by independents and republican whose feel the same way. >> hanging over clinton's campaign, those e-mails, a constant refrain from trump. and today a federal judge said that clinton may have to testify about her private server in an unrelated case about her closest aide's
employment. lester? andrea, thank you. and i'm joined by donald trump in his office. good to see you. congratulations. thank you very much. thank you, lester. >> i'm sure the phone has been ringing off the hook today. give me some names. who called with congratulations today, a name that might surprise us? >> many people. but really, i think most interesting, people that you wouldn't believe. people who have been on your show saying terrible things, and now they -- >> name names. >> i don't want to do that. i think i have to let them come out and do the endorsements. but one call who said such bad things, that frankly, i said, how can you pivot a back to me? he said, don't worry about it. they're politicians, don't worry about it. we're going to get a lot of endorsements. and i'm not so sure that endorsements matter. although bobby knight mattered a lot in indiana, because i won that so big. >> did you hear from ted cruz today? >> i did not. >> do you expect to? >> i do. we got along very well for a long period of time. at the end it was very competitive, very tough. he did a good job. he was a very competitive guy. >> how about john kasich? >> i have not spoken
to him. i've gotten along with him. we'll see how that goes. but i have not spoken to him. >> you were sitting here watching the top of the broadcast with us. you saw images of republicans burning their republican registration cards. so angry at the idea of you representing the party. what did you think when you saw that? >> it's a little unfair, i think, from a broadcasting standpoint because you didn't show the fact that we have millions more people that voted in the primaries than ever before. i'll be setting a record, an all-time record above ronald reagan, above nixon, above everybody. i just looked at it, it went back a long way, in terms of the republicans coming in and voting for me in the primary. so i have many, many millions of people. i've gotten millions more than anybody else that ran. so we have a lot of new people coming into the party, lester. tremendous, millions and millions of people. i think it's up over 70%. and nobody can believe it. it's one of the hottest stories in politics today. >> you're speaking to the whole country now. you said things that we talked about this, things that outraged people, about a temporary ban on muslim immigration, to
your characterizations of mexican immigrants. those things worked for you. they resonated. they worked. they got you to where you are today. but as you try to appeal to the entire country, do you stand by them? do you stand, for example, behind the idea of a ban against foreign muslims coming here? >> i do. we have to be vigilant. we have to be strong. we have to see what's going on. there's a big problem in the world. you look at the migration in europe. look at germany. it's crime-riddled right now. >> an urgent problem -- is that a first 100 days topic. >> it is an urgent problem in this country. san bernardino, look at what happened in paris, when people walk in, and this is, frankly, a place where they don't have guns and they walked in and killed 130 people, with hundreds of people in the hospital now critically wounded. it's a real problem. we have a president that doesn't want to even mention the name of radical islamic terrorism. unless you're going to mention it, unless you're going to try and do something about it, you're not going to solve the problem. >> you also promised to deport those in the country illegally. >> yes.
and come back. yes, they're going to be deported. we have many illegals in the country. we have to get them out and go through a process, go through a system and ones that have done well and have really achieved, we want to bring them back in. >> your neg tifr -- your negatives are staggering -- >> disapproval 69% women, african-americans, 88%, people under 34, 75% disapprove. how much of that is self-inflicted by some of the rhetoric from the primary campaign, and how do you heal that while still respecting those who got you here? >> the highly respected rasmussen poll just came out and i'm 41-39, up on hillary clinton. it just came out. i haven't even started on hillary clinton yet. so i don't know what you're talking about with the negatives. now, i will say, i think i'll do very well with women. as you know in the last seven states which i won in landslides, i won with women, i won with african-americans, i won with hispanics, i won at every single level. >> do you discard the numbers? >> i don't discard
anything. i just started. i just got it not even 24 hours ago. i didn't know until 24 hours ago whether or not i would win indiana, and i won that in a landslide. record-setting landslide. >> you've said a number of times that you haven't started on hillary clinton. so start on her. give me three words that you would use to define her, that you will use as you press forward. >> well, you know, bad judgment is a couple of words that we could use. and that we use by bernie sanders. bernie sanders said she's not qualified to run for president because she suffers from bad judgment. i think that's true. all you have to do is look at the e-mail scandal. she's under fbi investigation now. and maybe she'll survive because the democrats are protecting her. but that's the only reason she'll survive. >> is there anything off the table? we talk about this epic showdown. is there anything that's off the table in terms of what you'll go after? >> i'll see what they do with me. if they are fair, i'll be fair. we have a high-level campaign, i'd like to see that. >> bill clinton, will he be part of this?
>> if they're fair with me i will be fair with them, otherwise he becomes part of it. >> you would bring it up, though? >> i would bring it up depending on what they bring up. i'd like to see a very high-level policy oriented campaign. if they treat me properly, i'm going to treat them properly. it would be a beautiful thing to see. you don't see it often, but i would like to see it. >> she today used the term loose cannon in describing you. noted that loose cannons misfire. she talked about your blustering and bullying. what's your response to that? >> it's a nasty term that was given to her by one of her pollsters, i guess. the ct is, we need strength in this country. she's not strong. she's not going to be strong at the border, she's not going to be strong with our military, she's not going to be strong with isis. no matter how you look. look what she's done with libya. look at what a disaster it is. even her vote to go into iraq was a disastrous vote. she was one of many. but it was a disastrous vote. i've been against iraq for many, many years. i said it will destabilize the middle east. >> you've been proud of the fact that you've self-funded your campaign to this point. you talk about
donations can have bad influence. there's a super pac being formed now to support you. where do you stand now, as you move into the expensive general election campaign? will you accept donations? >> well, i don't know, first of all, about super pacs. i know people like me and formed a super pac, but i have nothing to do with it. as you know, i'm not allowed to have anything to do with it. we'll see what happens. as far as the campaign, i'm making decisions right now, but will probably work with the republican national committee, raise a lot of money and go out and beat hillary. we'll try to raise over $1 billion which is what's going to be necessary. the democrats maybe will get as high as $2 billion. but we want to raise up to $1 billion, maybe even over that. i'm not even sure that's necessary, because i have a big voice, i go on shows like yours, i explain the truth. and people seem to go along with it. you look at the victories that i've had over 16 people that are senators and governors and high-level people, and one by one, they're gone. and we'll see what happens now.
but i think hillary actually will be easier to beat than many of the senators, governors, et cetera, that we just were victorious with. >> tell me how the audit is going. you have not released your tax returns. you've talked about an irs audit, still going on? >> it's still going on. and they go on for a long time. honestly, it's very unfair. i've been audited every year for 13 or 14 years. every year i get audited. i will absolutely release my returns when the audit ends. >> nothing in those returns you think that might make your supporters raise an eyebrow? >> no, nothing. it's a very standard audit. i have them all the time. i have other friends that are very wealthy, they don't even know what i'm talking about. when i say i'm audited. they say they have never been audited. i get audited every single year. i think it's very unfair. >> donald trump, that's all the time we have. thank you so much for your time. >> thank you very much. >> congratulations. >> thank you. still ahead tonight, more of the day's other news, including the mass exodus from a catastrophic fire. record evacuations. tens of thousands fleeing as a wildfire burns out of control.
nbc news national correspondent miguel almaguer has more from alberta, canada. >> this is insane. >> reporter: panic and chaos on the highway. families fleeing for their lives from ft. mcmurray, canada. firefighters call it hell on earth. no stopping the wall of flames exploding, racing out of control. >> get us out of ft. mcmurray in one piece. >> reporter: with fire surrounding and leaping the roads, it's a harrowing and narrow escape for many. 80,000 people on the run. the largest wildfire evacuation in canada's history. >> they didn't even let us take our things. so we lost everything. >> reporter: this massive inferno is feeding on dry forest. the blaze so intense, it's generating its own weather. at least 1,600 homes and businesses torched. a hospital evacuated. the scene apocalyptic. >> this fire is absolutely
devastating. it's a loss on a scale that's hard for many of us to imagine. >> reporter: 200 firefighters are overwhelmed and losing ground. reinforcements arriving in the air. the military called in. for families that escaped the fire, now another disaster. gas stations are running out of fuel. lines are long, and stores are running out of food. tonight, tens of thousands are on the move, but so are the flames. a disaster unfolding, and the worst may be yet to come. miguel almaguer, nbc news, ft. mcmurray, canada. we're back in a moment with a huge expansion of what is already the largest auto recall ever. one in every four or five cars now affected.
♪ ♪ you live life your way. we can help you retire your way, too. financial guidance while you're mastering life. from chase. so you can. a horrific scene outside houston today when a man described as a disgruntled ex-employee returned to his former workplace and opened fire, killing a supervisor before taking his own life.
a number of other injuries were also reported. police say the man had been fired weeks before, and was looking for retaliation. the largest automotive recall in american history is growing by a stunning amount. highway safety officials announced today they're more than doubling the recall for the takata air bag inflaters. by another 35 million to 40 million, that's on top of the 29 million already recalled, affecting one in every four or five cars on the road. ten deaths in the u.s. have been linked to takata inflaters that can explode on impact. to find out if your vehicle is affected, visit our website. new revelations are coming to light about the final hours in the life of prince as the federal investigation grows. a renowned addiction doctor now claims prince's team reached out to him just hours before the singer died. but by the time help arrived, it was too late. nbc's stephanie gosk has details. >> reporter: the urgent call for help
came the night before prince died. a representative of the pop star reached out to dr. howard kornfeld, a drug addiction specialist in california. >> good morning. >> reporter: according to the doctor's minneapolis attorney. >> he set into motion a plan to deal with what he felt was a life-saving mission. >> reporter: kornfeld made prince an appointment with a local doctor for the next day and sent his son, who is not an m.d., on his overnight flight to meet with the musician and discuss the family's california addiction clinic, recovery without walls. but according to the attorney, when andrew kornfeld was brought here to paisley park on the morning of april 21st, no one could find prince. so they started searching. >> andrew heard the screams and went to the elevator where he saw that prince was unconscious. >> reporter: andrew called 911. for medical paisley park for a male down not treated. when investigators
arrived, andrew handed over a drug used to treat opioid addiction that he had brought with him from california. and tonight the u.s. attorney's office in minneapolis said it is joining the investigation into prince's death. ♪ ♪ until now, many friends and family have said prince did not take drugs. and did not have an addiction. but the question many are now asking, would the music legend still be alive today if help had only arrived sooner. stephanie gosk, nbc news, minneapolis. president obama visited flint, michigan, today, a city in the grips of a toxic water crisis. the president said flint's water is safe, if filtered, and to prove it, he took a sip himself. the president also gave a big hug to the 8-year-old girl whose invitation brought him to flint. it feared that thousands of children were exposed to lead in flint's water. we're back in a moment with some final thoughts.