tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC October 19, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
vegas, wild drama, trump and clinton, the final showdown before the election. donald trump in need of a game-changing moment, unleashing more surprise guests to try to rattle hillary clinton. who is riding high in the polls. bracing for a barrage of attacks. nbc news exclusive as wikilea releases more stolen documents. intelligence sources tell nbc news what the u.s. is doing to block the russians from making off with anything more. but what else do they already have? blown away -- a massive explosion rocks a big american city. firefighters injured as people run for their lives. and clearing the air -- from buying tickets to lost luggage. the new rules designed to ease your flying headaches. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: decision
2016, the presidential debate. this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. reporting tonight, from las vegas. and good evening from the university of nevada, las vegas, where the blue debate set behind me may be about the only thing recognizable from when hillary clinton and donald trump first debated last month. tonight, the tone, the polls and the topics have all dramatically shifted ahead of their third and final showdown here. a slight underdog in a bloomberg poll going into the first debate, this evening bloomberg's latest poll puts clinton nine points ahead. also tonight, the campaigns telegraphing there will be none of the traditional pre-debate pleasantries for families, with trump laying the groundwork to sharpen his attacks. the questions tonight, can he have a game-changing moment? and can she avoid one of her own? let's begin coverage with nbc's katy tur.
>> donald trump is going all in with the politics of distraction, inviting a new bill clinton accuser to the debate. leslie millwee told breitbart that clinton forcibly touched her in 1980 when she was a reporter in arkansas and he was governor. clinton's team not commenting. breitbart was run by trump's campaign's ceo until august. the outlet could not fully substantiate her claims. but trump isn't stopping there, seating benghazi mother pat smith in the front row. aiming to hammer clinton on her record overseas, using smith to force a confrontation. >> i blame hillary clinton personally for the death of my son. >> trump also inviting ambassador chris stevens' one-time fiancee, afghanistan lone survivor marcus latrell. four mothers killed by undocumented immigrants and president obama's estranged kenyan half-brother. trump turning the final debate into a spectacle when gop operatives say what he
really needs is to tone it down. >> he desperately needs to change what swing voters think about him. that requires presidential temperament. a new and improved donald trump. >> in the days since the last debate, trump did not lighten his schedule, squeezing in prep on his plane between events, yesterday joined by generals mike flynn and keith kellogg. nbc has learned that trump still shuns mock debates but rnc chief reince priebus did fill in as unofficial moderator. chris christie, a sui suito psuedo-hillary clinton in some practice. the goal to prep trump on rapid-fire responses while finding ways to knock clinton off her game. on policy, trump's team said they'll highlight what they call her failed 30-year record. just as he did in the second debate. >> she never changed and she never will change. she never will change. >> if all else fails, the gop nominee has a built-in excuse, the media is out to get him. but if he does lose, daughter ivanka
suggested he would concede. >> he'll either win or he won't win. and i believe he'll accept the outcome either way. >> the campaign said they expect clinton to bring up trump's accusers, but as of now won't say how trump will respond. this is donald trump's last chance to pitch himself to millions of americans in one setting. instead of focusing on his own ideas, the campaign has repeatedly resorted to tabloid fodder. lester? >> all right. katy tur tonight, thank you. and bracing for all that and the unpredictable is hillary clinton. looking to maintain her lead with less than three weeks to go, and deny trump a chance to find momentum. nbc news is learning details on clinton's final showdown strategy and we get more on that in a report from nbc's andrea mitchell. >> tonight, hillary clinton entering the debate as the clear front-runner but facing critical challenges, too. three keys for the clinton team -- first, how will she take on donald trump? tonight her first
chance to confront trump since his unfounded claims the election will be rigged. the president teeing up her argument that trump is undermining democracy. >> i would advise mr. trump to stop whining. >> and the first time she'll be confronted with trump's new tactics, like bringing up a benghazi victim's mother, who blames clinton for her son's death and inviting the sean smith's death, and inviting new bill clinton accuser to the debate. >> this could be one of the surprises tonight. >> we're expecting that he'll do anything in these closing days. he has said that he's essentially practicing a scorched earth approach to this campaign. >> the clinton campaign had the debate commission cancel the traditional all right handshake between bill clinton and melania trump who will enter the hall without greeting each other. a second key tonight, playing defense against those wikileaks e-mails. nbc news learning her likely response to hit trump for praising vladimir putin, suspected by the fbi of being behind the hacks. the stolen messages from clinton chairman john podesta sure to
come up tonight. more than 4,000 released just today. including this awkward account from her top strategist, acknowledging her flip-flop on trade. quote -- the reality is hrc is more pro-trade than anti- and trying to turn her into something she is not could reinforce our negative around authenticity. finally clinton will reach out to swing voters. >> she's looking for people who might have been considering voting for trump or who might have been staying home or the classic swing voters of whom there are fewer and fewer as we get closer to the election. >> clinton's top challenge -- not to blow her lead. even her allies acknowledging she's best when her back is against the wall. when i asked one of the top clinton aides what is her one piece of advice to her tonight? he said be presidential. lester? >> andrea mitchell, thank you. >> all this brings us to our political director and moderator of "meet the p,"ss chuck todd. let me ask you about the idea of having provocative guests in the front row.
does that shake either candidate? they're both pros. >> at this point they're pros about it. i do think what happened in st. louis, the first time that the trump campaign did all of these antics, it might have had some impact, at least on campaign team, maybe on hillary clinton herself. i don't think any of this stuff work, and it's over-the-top theatrics, that's par for the course for las vegas. this is important for two reasons. one, obviously donald trump's back is against the wall and this is his last big shot at sort of getting back in the race. but it's more important if you're paul ryan and you're the speaker of the house. a bad night tonight for donald trump, a night similar to the first debate and it is a catastrophe for the republicans down the ballot. paul ryan, more than anybody else, needs trump to have a good night if they want to give themselves a good chance of holding their house majority. this is no longer
about fixing the presidential race and getting that closer, this is about whether the republican party can stop a total loss. >> it's a long view you're looking at? >> yes, absolutely. our primetime coverage of the debate, the final presidential debate starts at 9:00 p.m. eastern. 6:00 p.m. pacific here on nbc. to an nbc news exclusive investigation as wikileaks continues to play a major role in this election. u.s. intelligence sources are taking us inside the effort to stop the flow of documents hacked by russia and published by wikileaks. here's nbc news senior investigative correspondent cynthia mcfadden. >> a high-level u.s. intelligence source tells nbc news that the u.s. is confident it has cut off the flow of election-related material being hacked by the russians. the u.s. claims the kremlin has been behind the theft of a wide range of documents, many of them harmful to the clinton campaign. the highly placed intelligence official tells nbc news new defensive measures taken by the u.s. and its allies are choking off the cyberpaths the russians have been using to steal e-mails from high-profile
democrats and other prominent americans. >> i think it's credible that the u.s. government is doing everything possible to stop the cyberbleeding, to stop the exfiltration of information that the russians are getting access to. that doesn't mean that the russians don't already have a lot of information and it doesn't mean that they won't find ways of either disseminating that information, or getting access to more of it. >> u.s. intelligence officials also tell nbc news they are more confident than ever that the russians have used wikileaks founder julian assange, to help distribute the hacked material. telling nbc the u.s. considers assange a quote willing participant in the russian scheme. assange has been holed up in the ecuadorian embassy in london for more than four years. >> they're frustrated because wikileaks has done a fair amount of damage in releasing classified information. and of course, assange has taken the courageous way out by hiding in the
ecuadorian embassy in london. >> and the u.s. is making it personal. multiple intelligence sources tell us that the u.s. quietly pressured ecuador to shut off julian assange's internet access. isolating him from his organization. the state department in ecuador have publicly denied that there was any pressure. today the reverberations of russia's being felt across the political spectrum. even republican senator marco rubio came out swinging against wikileaks. >> do we want to be a country where foreign leader or foreign intelligence agencies can blackmail our elected officials and say to them that unless you do what we want you to do, we're going to release e-mails from your campaign manager. your wife. your daughter. your son. and we're going to embarrass you. so unless you want to be embarrassed, you better do what we want you to do. >> even though the flow of new material may have been plugged for the moment, there are still thousands of additional documents
already in the pipeline, that we expect to see. lester? >> cynthia mcfadden, thank you. in portland, oregon, a massive explosion has injured at least eight people, including firefighters who rushed in to help evacuations have been made minutes earlier. likely saving lives. nbc's miguel almaguer has our report. >> the massive explosion obliterated at least one building, tearing others to pieces. shattering windows a block away, and rattling nerves across portland. >> gas line just exploded. report of firefighters down. >> just before 9:40 this morning, police and firefighters scrambling to the scene of a gas leak. ordering immediate evacuations, when the blast blew apart a commercial building. >> had those evacuations happened you know minutes later, this could be a much different situation. >> at least eight injured, including five first responders who radioed for help, two with broken legs.
>> mayday, mayday! >> after the initial explosion -- several smaller blasts shook this upscale trendy shopping district. flames shooting into the air. chaos and confusion and a nearby school evacuated >> i heard a lot of screams and like people were running away and like kind of in a scattery fashion in the street. >> the gas company northwest natural, says there was construction in the area when a gas line was ruptured, changing the face of this neighborhood. >> it was like a huge explosion. and you know your thought is, terrorism. or -- a bomb. >> tonight, this busy portland, oregon neighborhood is in pieces. but thankfully, no lives were lost. miguel almaguer, nbc news. turning overseas now to iraq, where a u.s.-backed offensive draws closer to mosul. the battle to free the city from isis could be a long and bloody one.
but the general leading the american effort there now tells nbc news several isis leaders have already fled. nbc's richard engel has more from inside iraq. >> reporter: u.s.-backed kurdish and iraqi troops are tightening the noose around isis in mosul. closing in from three sides. and isis, although still in relatively small numbers, is now fighting back. isis has had plenty of time to prepare for this fight. kurdish troops uncovered this well-equipped tunnel outside mosul. they expect there are many more like it, and that isis has also planted bombs in their path. in its propaganda, too, isis is promising that america will suffer a humiliating defeat here. that's nonsense, according to general gary valesky, he said some isis leaders are hitting the road. >> we're seeing isis leaders leaving mosul. we've seen fighters.
>> reporter: isis moving? >> we've gotten indications of that. so i expect there will be a foreign fighter presence that will stay. >> that's because >> reporter: that's because, unlike locally recruited isis fighters, the foreigners will have a hard time mixing in with the stream of civilians already escaping from the war zone. the big question now is how many isis militants will actually stand and fight in mosul and how they'll do it. beside the tunnels and bobby traps, there are concerns isis could use crude chemical webs. american commanders tell us they're prepared for that, too. lester? >> all right. richard, thank you. still ahead tonight, refunds for delayed bags, one of the major changes the white house wants to make to address some of the most common complaints among airline passengers. also, what a major wireless carrier was doing to customers that landed it a massive multimillion-dollar fine.
we're back now from las vegas. hard to believe but it's already time to start thinking about booking those airline tickets for the holidays. today the obama administration announced a series of proposed new rules designed to offer more protections for airline customers. like getting a refund if your luggage arrives late. but the airlines insist the rules could actually lead to higher ticket prices. here's nbc's tom costello. >> imagine the frustration of elena and john balzer when they arrived in
clad, for what was supposed to be a great adventure, their luggage with their cold weather gear, didn't. >> we had left 80-degree weather and landed in anchorage and it was 45. after a week without their bags, they gave up. >> after five days of not having what you need, it was just enough. >> nationwide, roughly three bags are reported lost, delayed, damaged or pilfered, per 1,000 customers. 175,000 bags in august. paying to check luggage can cost $25 per bag. for a family of four, $200 round trip. airlines already must refund baggage fees if the luggage is lost or damaged, but now new rules would require a refund if the bags are substantially delayed. airlines would be required to disclose the on-time performance record for any flight that flies under its brand, including regional airlines, and online travel sites would have to reveal whether any airline is paying for their flights pop up first in online searches. the airline industry
warns the proposed rules could harm customers by re-reg lating how airlines sell their products. but consumer advocates say it's common sense. >> what's the principle of the thing? you pay for a service, you should get the service you pay for. and if you don't, you should get your money back. amid airline record profits, a push to hold airlines more accountable. tom costello, nbc news, washington. we're back in a moment with a plane that crashed into a neighborhood and the rescue caught on camera.
there is news tonight for customers of t-mobile. the country's number three wireless carrier has been fined $48 million for not telling users clearly enough that so-called unlimited data plans weren't actually unlimited. in fact, the fcc says t-mobile was intentionally slowing down the speeds of customer who is used the most data. of that $48 million settlement, some $35 million will go to customers via discounts and upgrades. tensions between
police and protesters erupted in a scene of shocking violence in the philippines. a police van rammed into the crowd of demonstrators and even ran over some of them. it happened outside the american embassy in manila. the protesters are calling for an end to the u.s. military presence in their country. caught on camera, dramatic rescue when a small plane crashed in a new jersey back yard. two men were trapped upsidedown in the wreckage after the plane somehow missed all the nearby homes and split into two upon impact. first responders pulled them out and their injuries are believed to be non--life-threatening. when we come back, just what kind of lessons are american kids learning from this contentious election? >> announcer: "nbc nightly news" is brought to you by pacific life. helping generations of families achieve long-term financial security for over 145 years.
teaching seventh graders lessons in civics. >> you got to have pros and cons. i want both. >> during a campaign that's anything but civilized. in one word, describe how you feel about this presidential campaign? >> doubtful. >> disappointed. >> nervous. >> why are you nervous? >> because these candidates are the people who are deciding our future. >> the principal at pinellas park middle school says the candidates' behavior contradicts educators' messages about appropriate conduct. >> you see highly paid professionals, highly educated people that are basically bullying each other in front of millions of viewers and yet, the kids come to school and we tell them it's inappropriate behavior. >> donald trump is being disrespectful to women. and i don't like that. >> she lied about like the 33,000 like e-mails. >> they act like little kids. like they argue and everything. >> it's a hard election for students, it's a hard election
for adults. >> as the final weeks of the election unfold -- >> i would say to donald, you need to be a more respectful towards the united states and women. and i would tell it to hillary, that you just need to be honest and tell the truth. >> it's hard to see what would happen to the country if one were elected. so that's what makes i think everybody anxious. and uncomfortable. >> one of them will be elected. >> i know. >> a sigh, that pretty much sums up the nation's feeling as the candidates face each other again tonight. rehema ellis, nbc news, pinellas park, florida. and that's going to do it for us on this wednesday night. i'm lester holt. i'll see you later for our live coverage of tonight's presidential debate. until then, for all of us at nbc news, thanks for watching. and good night. debate. st minutes awayrom tprel
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and we'll have a fulleport 11. ght on nbc bay ar news at here's lester holt. hillary clinton is the most corrupt person ever to run for president. >> i'm really -- i really don't carewhat he says about me, but i will stand up and defend everyone else who he insults. >> the election is being rigged by corrupt media pushing outright lies. >> when they go low, we go high. >> from nbc news, decision 2016, the final presidential debate. live from the universit