tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC September 16, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
tonight, birther bombshell. donald trump finally admits president obama was born in the u.s. but ignites more controversy, falsely claiming hillary clinton started the birther rumors he spread for years. clinton firing back, accusing trump of pushing a racist conspiracy and getting backup from the first lady. emergency gas hike, prices spiking at the pump for millions of americans, after a massive pipeline spill triggers multiple states of emergency. brought back to life. caught on camera, first responders saving a man at the brink of death from heroin overdose. the feds launching a new mission to battle a growing epidemic. and destroying your data. why all that personal information you thought you deleted from your old phone or computer can come back to haunt you. "nightly news" begins right now.
from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. today donald trump publicly acknowledged what most americans have accepted at the truth for years. that president barack obama was born in the united states. trump was an outspoken voice of the birther movement which challenged obama's legitimacy as president. today without apology trump admitted the president is a natural born american, and in the same breath, managed to wrongly accuse hillary clinton of first launching the discredited movement. tonight clinton is leading the growing outrage among democrats. we have two reports tonight, let's start with nbc's hallie jackson. hallie, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. among the many conspiracy theories donald trump has talked about, few topics as central to his early political identity. even after his campaign tried to speak for him this last couple
weeks, we heard nothing definitive from the candidate himself behind me, on the campaign trail in miami, until today. donald trump today finally submitting to the truth. >> president barack obama was born in the united states, period. >> reporter: a seven-second statement after 28 minutes of build-up, trying to reverse a position trump's held for five years, championing a conspiracy theory. >> why doesn't he show his birth certificate? >> i'm starting to wonder myself whether he was born in this country. >> i have people who have been studying it and cannot believe what they're finding. >> he gave a birth certificate, whether or not that was a real certificate, because a lot of people question it. i certainly question it. >> reporter: today in his reversal, he didn't admit he was wrong, didn't say he was sorry, and didn't tell the truth when he said this. >> hillary clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the
birther controversy. i finished it. >> reporter: neither clinton nor her campaign made barack obama's citizenship an issue. and as he sarcastically said in the oval office today, neither did the president himself. >> i was pretty confident about where i was born. i think most people were as well. >> reporter: the president brushing off trump like he did after releasing his long-form birth certificate in 2011. >> we can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter. like, did we fake the moon landing? [ laughter ] >> reporter: it's not just what the gop nominee said today, but how and where he said it. the opening of his new d.c. hotel, a photo op with cameras allowed, but not questions from journalists. who watched the stage collapse after trump walked off. >> finally agreeing to admit that president obama was born in the united states, that's meant to gain him support with white college educated voters in the
key battleground states. >> reporter: trump trying to undo years of perpetuating a lie with a single sentence, a single question remaining. will it work? hallie jackson, nbc news, miami. >> reporter: i'm kristen welker in washington where tonight democrats are attacking donald trump from all sides. >> donald trump is a disgusting fraud. >> reporter: charging trump can't distance himself from the birther conspiracy theory which he helped lead. >> he's not qualified to be commander in chief. he's a hater in chief. >> reporter: the outrage palpable in washington, where members of the congressional black caucus unleashed unbridled anger. >> we will not be treated as second-class citizens. >> we will not elect a cheap bigot. >> reporter: it's a fight the clinton campaign welcomes, as hillary clinton tries to rebound from her rockiest stretch yet, a chance to fire up the base. a recent nbc/survey monkey online poll showing more than 8 in 10 democrats believe the president was born here.
clinton even speaking out before trump's announcement at an event for african american women. >> barack obama was born in america, plain and simple, and donald trump owes him and the american people an apology. >> reporter: later her campaign calling trump's statement a disgrace. >> his campaign was founded on this outrageous lie. there is no erasing it in history. >> reporter: all of it happening on a day when michelle obama was out for the first time campaigning solo for clinton. the first lady getting personal. >> there were those who questioned and continue to question for the past eight years, up to this very day, whether my husband was even born in this country. barack has answered those questions with the example he set by going high when they go low. >> reporter: tonight yet another poll showing the race between clinton and trump is deadlocked
and the critical first debate just ten days away. >> the return of the birther issue shows a challenge for hillary clinton. she needs to highlight aspects of donald trump's background that inspire democrats to turn out to vote. but she also needs to continue to sell herself. >> and tonight clinton aides tell nbc news there are few issues that rally their core supporters like the birther controversy. a possible topic when the president and clinton speak tomorrow night at the congressional black caucus dinner. lester? >> kristen welker, thank you. turning now to chuck todd, nbc news political director and moderator of "meet the press." chuck, i need you to help us understand what's happening here. this is the same week in which trump releases the results of a medical exam on dr. oz. today he comes on stage, drops this, and walks off. what's happening? >> i think what's happening, in the race itself, this is the first week where i've truly stared at this race and realized, i don't know who's going to win. it felt before it was in hillary clinton's favor. that's gone. we have true uncertainty in this
race, and i think donald trump is suddenly feeling his oats a little bit. the question will be, how does he handle this moment where for the first time people are going to judge him more as a potential president. i think for the last few months, perhaps for the last year, no one's believed he could get as close as he's gotten. now that he's here, the conversation could change among a lot of people in front of their kitchen tables and things like that. all it does, it raises the stakes for the first debate even more. because now you have a clinton campaign who so desperately can't wait for that debate. they need desperately to reset this race. as it's going right now, it's not going well for her. >> chuck todd, thank you. much more on the race for president this sunday on "meet the press." among chuck's guests, democratic vice presidential candidate tim kaine. the stage is now set for the first presidential debate and only donald trump and hillary clinton will be on it. the commission on presidential debates ruled today that gary johnson and jill stein don't
have enough support in the polls to be included at the first debate which will be held on september 26th. turning now to a developing story, the governors of five southern states have declared states of emergency this evening. out of an abundance of caution following a massive fuel spill. it has forced a shutdown of a crucial gasoline pipeline and is not only driving up prices at the pump for millions of americans, it's sparking fears of fuel shortages. nbc's ann thompson now with the latest. >> reporter: this is the ripple effect. a knoxville, tennessee, gas station on empty. because of a pipeline leak in shelby county, alabama. the colonial pipeline's line one stretches from houston to new york harbor. servicing 13 states, delivering 40% of the gasoline used on the east coast. but six southern states could be hard hit by shortages and most certainly price spikes. >> you'll feel it in your wallet quickly. >> reporter: says gas buddy.com patrick dehaan. what kind of increases are
consumers looking at? >> across the six states, an average of 5 to 20 cents a gallon, and it could be even worse. >> reporter: overnight, he says, atlanta's price jumped seven cents a gallon. >> i'm going to fill up and try to conserve, most definitely. >> reporter: the epa says the spill is contained to a retention pond and it's doing everything to keep the gas out of a nearby river. >> i hope it doesn't get any worse. like, especially leaking into the groundwater. >> reporter: the government says the spill poses no danger to people in this rural area, but for those depending on the pipeline's fuel, colonial says it will be next week before repairs are finished and gasoline is flowing freely again. until then, consumers are bracing for impact at the pump. ann thompson, nbc news, chicago. turning now to the gripping images of first responders in action that are taking us into the dark trenches of a deadly and growing epidemic in this country. it comes just as the federal
government is launching a new initiative to curve the opioid crisis that claims tens of thousands of american lives every year. we get more from nbc's pete williams. >> reporter: when a cleveland, ohio, woman saw this man slumped behind the wheel of a parked car, she feared the worst. >> i thought i was staring in the face of death. it was scary. i was just thinking, like, what can i do? >> reporter: she posted these pictures after police responded, suspected a heroin overdose, and gave life-saving medication. a scene disturbingly similar to what ohio police recently posted. a couple passed out in a car from a suspected overdose with a 4-year-old in the back seat. the drug enforcement administration estimates 28,000 people die each year from heroin overdoses. heroin overdose deaths are now three times what they were in 2010. one reason, street suppliers are mixing in the drug fentanyl because it's cheaper.
but it's 50 times stronger, making it even more dangerous. and the dea is cracking down. now the justice department is launching a new push against doctors who over-prescribe painkillers. >> if you get addicted to a prescription pill, it gets real expensive to replace that on the street. heroin is a plentiful and cheap and deadly substitute. >> reporter: the nation's police feel overwhelmed. in janesville, wisconsin, officer chad woodman tells addicts, reform or face prison or death. >> getting people off the street and out of their environment and placed into a safe environment is rare. it's incredibly difficult. >> reporter: 34 states now have laws giving legal immunity to people who call 911 to report overdoses and to the victims themselves, hoping to save more lives like this one on a cleveland street. pete williams, nbc news, washington. a suspected serial killer in ohio is being held this evening on a million dollars bond. shawn grate made his first court appearance today via video.
he's facing two murder charges and one count of kidnapping. as we reported last night, grate was arrested after a woman he allegedly abducted called 911, leading police to rescue her at an abandoned home. they discovered two bodies at that scene and a third elsewhere. after surviving a vicious attack here in new york, a brave police detective is now out of the hospital. detective brian o'donnell emerged to cheers a day after he tackled a man wielding a meat cleaver. the suspect was running from police, who say that they caught him trying to remove a boot from his car. he was left with a gash from his temple to his jaw. turning overseas where the pentagon says an air strike earlier this month near raqqah killed the isis information minister. the man behind the group's often gruesome propaganda videos. a fragile ceasefire remains in effect in syria between rebels and regime forces, but as our bill neely explains from inside syria, crucial aid still is not
reaching desperate civilians. >> reporter: rare moments of joy for children under siege. free to play. in rebel-held eastern aleppo, they celebrate while they can. they were afraid of air strikes, he says. now they can relax a little. but they're still waiting for the food the ceasefire deal promised. it's stuck on 40 trucks. the u.n. blaming syria's government. it says it pulled back its forces to let the food through, but the rebels didn't. it's a blame game. the u.s. and russia joining in. their ceasefire deal is shredding. there was fighting today beyond aleppo. and there's no ceasefire here in damascus. just behind me, there's been heavy shelling today. the syrian army firing repeatedly after they say they were attacked by rebels. in aleppo, rescuers, the "white helmets," featured in a new
documentary and nominated for the nobel peace prize, wait anxiously tonight. >> we need everything, we need bread, we need rice, we need fuel, we need medicine. >> reporter: it is still dangerous here. even u.s. special forces came under fire today, apparently friendly fire, say defense officials. the troops coming to raise their american flag to identify themselves. nobody was injured. lester? >> bill neely, thank you. still ahead this evening, think twice before selling or recycling your old cell phone or computer. why they can be a gold mine for thieves looking to rip you off, even after you've erased your personal data. also, that's not a crater on the moon, it's a phenomenon here on earth and it's sparking pretty big safety concerns.
we're back now with a warning that's especially timely after recent hacks of high profile americans like colin powell. it's about selling or recycling your old cell phones and computers. you may think you've erased all your personal data from them, but as tom costello explains, it's very easy for the next owner to recover it all. >> reporter: the last time you upgraded to a new computer, did you first take a drill to the old computer's memory? because if you thought just deleting all those bank and tax forms, credit cards, passwords, photos and e-mails was enough, think again. >> delete doesn't mean gone. so if you just delete files from your device, put it into the trash, remove it from the trash,
it's still there. >> reporter: to prove it, the recovery experts at kroll ontrack had me delete from my computers personal photos, mock financial information and passwords. then send a computer and hard drive off to their lab in minneapolis. but recovering all that data was as easy as downloading free software from the internet. >> in all honesty, it was really easy. yep, didn't take very long at all. it was a matter of hours and we had access to all your data. >> we created this bank statement. it's not real. but the point is, i thought i deleted it. >> and it was there for the taking. we have your bank statement, your bank account numbers, how much money you have. >> reporter: it's a big problem. kroll ontrack recently bought a hundred phones and pcs online. nearly half still contained personal information. if the person who buys or inherits your used computer or phone has basic free software, your data becomes his. the advice, buy a program that truly deletes all your data and provides you with a certificate of proof.
the other option is to get physical. taking a hammer or drill to the platters and memory chips inside your computer. >> there's data stored on both sides of the platters. >> the whole thing must be destroyed? >> yes. >> reporter: a little destruction can bring peace of mind. tom costello, nbc news, minneapolis. we're back in a moment with why some lining up for the new iphone 7 might be awfully disappointed tonight.
a massive sinkhole discovered in florida is raising serious safety concerns. it's about 45 feet across with depths unknown. officials say it allowed over 200 million gallons of radioactive water from a fertilizer plant to aquaphor. the company maintains surrounding areas are not at risk. the wait is over for apple customers. the new iphone 7 hit stores
today with the traditional lines wrapping around the block. but if you didn't preorder, you may be out of luck. the company says the jet black model of the iphone 7 plus sold out. the new version has controversial changes including getting rid of the controversial headphone jack. the u.n. got star power today from world renowned human rights attorney amal clooney. she was on hand to support one of her clients, nadia murad, who survived isis captivity. she was named a goodwill ambassador for the u.n. today and also nominated for the nobel peace prize today. amal sits down with her and clooney, as she opens up about her biggest case ever -- taking isis to court. that's monday on "nightly news." when we come back, a real, live super hero on a quest to bring smiles to children's faces. on 101.
===janelle/take vo=== what the c-h-p just told us about this piece of metathamay have killed a man. ===raj/vo=== plus...a devastating loss for a pet owner. the warning animal control is sending out tonight. ===raj/next close=== next. >> "making a difference" is brought to you by the makers of non-drowsy claritin. join claritin blue sky living today. finally tonight, being a super hero doesn't always mean leaping tall buildings in a single bound. there are plenty of real life super heroes around us every day.
tonight kevin tibbles introduces us to one who is making a difference for some very brave kids. >> i'm batman. >> reporter: battling the evil forces of illness. >> what's he wearing today? batman? >> reporter: is the super hero nurse at chicago's children's hospital. where's the phone booth that you get changed in? >> ask superman. >> reporter: for 12 years tobin matthew has swooped down with one purpose -- to fight the fear. >> that no matter what they're going through, that we're going to go through this together and i will do my best. i will try. >> reporter: this super nurse has played all sorts of good guys over the years. >> spiderman is around the corner. >> reporter: even hanging upside down as spiderman. anything to put a smile on a sick kid's face. >> they feel he's there to help them, that he's there to make things not so scary. >> and he is? >> and he definitely does. >> reporter: on his rounds, batman encounters a teeny weeny spidey. >> isn't he the cutest?
>> positivity helps you for sure get healthier, helps you want to do things, getting out of bed. >> reporter: positive persuasion, more powerful than a locomotive. >> we need nurses who are definitely focused on the whole patient, not just the ailment. tobin is definitely focused on the whole kid. >> reporter: for 11-year-old cancer patient shane callahan, anyone with a stethoscope is a caped crusader. >> all doctors and nurses in the world are super heroes in my eyes, because they help me live. >> reporter: leaping off the comic book page to be a force for good. >> there you go! >> reporter: or just a friend. >> doing good, though? >> reporter: kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago. that will do it for us on a friday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and goodnight.
cease-fire killed a driver on the peninsula this afternoon. right now at 6:00, the chp believes this piece of road debris killed a driver this afternoon. the new information we're learning about this accident on 101. the news at 6:00 starts right now. thank you for joining us on this friday evening. >> and i'm raj mathai. a freak accident on one of the most congested freeways in the bay area. the chp just now showing us what might have caused this deadly accident. michelle roberts is at the scene near 101 and university in palo
alto. what was that object? >> reporter: it was some kind of brass bolt. they believe this is the bolt that caused a deadly crash that happened at about 1:00. we know an 82-year-old mountain view man was driving north near university avenue when the bolt flew up, and hit him in the neck. >> the driver collided with the center divide and eventually brought the vehicles to a stop. >> according to triple-a debris, caused more than 200 crashes between 2011 and 2014. and in san mateo county, cal tran has picked up more than 2,000 cubic yards of debris, from litt