tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC June 22, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
ten to 20 degrees. >> thanks for joining us. >> bye-bye. the senate republican healthcare plan unveiled and under fire. major cuts to medicaid and tax cuts for the wealthy. what it means for millions of american families. trump's admission. after his veiled threat to comey, the president finally admits there are no tapes, after a 41-day drama. a cosby juror speaks, taking us inside the jury room. why were they unable to reach a verdict? record robocall fine. calls that look like they're from a local phone number claiming you've won a free hotel stay. the feds cracking down on the company behind them. and preventing alzheimer's. how doctors think you might be able to give yourself an edge in the fight. "nightly news" begins right now.
>> from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. we're glad you're with us on this thursday night. the cat is out of the bag tonight on the senate republican plan to overhaul obamacare. jeff jeff and now being seen by most members of the senate for first time, just a week before the likely vote. democrats predictably are unhappy, saying it will put millions at risk who depend on coverage, but it's dissent among a handful of republicans that threaten to doom the passage of the plan as it stands tonight. kasie hunt on how the law might affect you and the battle lines forming tonight. >> reporter: wheelchair-bound protesters. >> save our liberty. >> reporter: 43 arrested and dragged from a senate office building. >> i worked all my life with my
disability, but i'm not rich enough to keep my daughter alive without medicaid. >> reporter: all happening just as the draft of the gop plan to repeal and replace obamacare was finally made public this morning. the draft senate bill would repeal the mandate to buy insurance but keeps protections for people with pre-existing conditions and creates a new fund to support the individual insurance market. it keeps the expansion of medicaid through 2020 but then phases it out. it also ties medicaid funding to inflation, which means a dramatic reduction over time. fewer people will qualify for tax credits to help them buy insurance, but the senate provisions are more generous than the house version. and it defunds planned parenthood. >> these cuts are blood money. people will die. let's be very clear. senate republicans are paying for tax cuts for the wealthy with american lives. >> reporter: the bill, written in secret to try and get 50 of 52 republicans to vote yes. three noes and the bill will fail. within an hour of its release, cause for concern. >> at this point from what i've been able to see so far, it looks
like we're keeping obamacare and not repealing it. >> reporter: republicans want to have a vote next week. >> this is not like fine wine. it doesn't get better over time. >> reporter: by this afternoon four conservative senators publicly oppose the draft. together that's enough to take down this bill? >> the intention is not to take down the bill. the intention is to make the bill better. >> reporter: their version of better at odds with moderates who worry the cuts are still too deep. >> i'll do my best to push back as hard as they're going to push on their side. >> reporter: for a president who said he wanted more heart and promised he wouldn't cut medicaid? >> this bill covers fewer people, charges them more for the coverage they're going to get and gives them a poorer product for that coverage. >> reporter: the white house tonight saying that negotiations are still ongoing and not committing to this bill as written. republicans like senator lindsey graham telling us that president trump is going to have to start pressuring senators if he wants this bill to pass. lester? >> kasie hunt at the capitol tonight, thanks. we can't lose sight of the fact that while lawmakers do
battle over all this in washington, there are real people with very real problems across this country left in suspense over the future of healthcare. many are caught between the uncertainty of how the republican plan will affect them and the dwindling choices and rising premiums under obamacare. nbc's gabe gutierrez has the impact far beyond capitol hill. >> reporter: it was the letter single mom sara halfacre dreaded. >> your current humana health plan will not be offered. >> reporter: her insurance company, humana, dropping the bombshell that it was pulling out of kentucky's obamacare exchange. this wasn't the first time you got a letter like this. >> no. >> reporter: we were with her last year when her previous insurance company did the same. >> i don't know if i'm going to have coverage, which doctors i'll go to, which pharmacy i'll get my medication from. i don't know. >> reporter: in a written statement in february humana said it was leaving the exchanges because of further signs of an unbalanced risk pool. humana is just one of the insurers leaving
the affordable care act pools nationwide or in certain states. right now a third of counties in the u.s. have just one provider left. in kentucky healthcare advocate emily beauregard says people are confused about obamacare status. >> people think that it's gone away because of all the rhetoric that we're hearing. >> let obamacare explode. it is exploding right now. obamacare is dead. it's a disaster. it is dead. >> reporter: that message, say insurance companies, is fueling market turmoil. >> the insurance companies are dealing with quite a bit of uncertainty. the slowness of clear guidance from washington is really what's driving all of this premium increases and people pulling out of the marketplace. >> reporter: experts blame that uncertainty for two-thirds of anticipated premium hikes. what's your message for washington? >> figure it out. it's terrifying. we live in the united states. everybody should have access to affordable and manageable healthcare. >> reporter: gabe gutierrez, nbc news,
louisville, kentucky. after creating weeks of speculation and head scratching, today an admission from president trump. he now confesses he did not make nor does he have recordings of his conversations with former fbi director james comey. this despite the president himself raising the possibility of tapes in the first place. nbc news chief white house correspondent hallie jackson has details. >> reporter: tonight, more than a month after a mystery he made himself, president trump's putting it to rest, revealing he has no tapes of talks with the fbi director he fired. in a carefully phrased tweet, he writes, i did not make and do not have any such recordings. six weeks after implying he might have. quote, james comey better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press. >> why the game? >> i don't know that there was a game. >> reporter: no games and no regrets, his spokesperson says, about the original tweet, which set off a 41-day stretch unlike
any other in a modern presidency. the tweet may 12th, led james comey to give his memos he says to a friend that following monday to share publicly hoping that would trigger a special counsel. it did. may 17th. now, according to a former intelligence official, an investigation into whether the president tried to obstruct justice in his conversations with comey. tapes could have helped prove it or not. >> lordy, i hope there are tapes. >> reporter: the president and his team letting the question dangle for days. >> are there tapes, sir? >> you are going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer. >> the president has nothing further to add on that. nothing further on that. when he's ready to make that ceannomeunnt, we'll let you know. >> in the he said, he said battle between the two and which story has more legitimacy, director comey has memos to back up these conversations. he documented it in almost realtime. >> reporter: now, another question, as the president suggests spying concerns, downplayed by his aides, tweeting about recently reported
electronic surveillance, adding, i have no idea whether there are recordings of his comey conversations. and the russia story overall going nowhere tonight. nbc news has learned from a u.s. official familiar with the conversation that the president's director of national intelligence testified today behind closed doors president trump seemed obsessed with that russia investigation. lester? >> hallie jackson at the white house, thanks. we're learning much more about the man charged in the attack of the flint, michigan, airport. new details about the suspect's past and the trail he left before allegedly stabbing a police officer, an incident the fbi is investigating as an act of terror. nbc's blake mccoy with the latest. >> reporter: police in montreal searching the apartment of amor ftouhy. tonight we're learning more about the 49-year-old suspect, a married truck driver with three kids. ftouhy was born in tunisia and has lived in canada for ten years. he has dual citizenship. authorities say he left his home in montreal last friday,
entered the u.s. legally in upstate new york, then made his way to flint, michigan, where he's accused of slashing an airport police officer, jeff neville, in the neck wednesday morning while yelling in arabic. >> ftouhy attempted to buy a gun and was unsuccessful in that attempt in the united states. >> reporter: he allegedly used a 13-inch survival knife like this, launching the attack before reaching the security checkpoint. the fbi says surveillance video shows ftouhy entering the terminal at 8:52 a.m. he then gets on this escalator and heads to the second floor. after spending some time at this restaurant, authorities say surveillance video shows ftouhy entered this bathroom. authorities say he emerged a minute later. that's when he allegedly attacked the officer right here. his target, officer neville, hospitalized but improving. tonight, flint's airport is back open and authorities believe this attacker was acting alone. the question remains, why did he choose here. blake mccoy, nbc news,
flint, michigan. we turn now to the extreme weather across the south. waterlogged cities from what was tropical storm cindy dropping torrential rain and spawning tornadoes, leaving a path of damage in its wake. nbc's kerry sanders is in the storm zone again for us tonight. >> coming down, coming down, coming down. >> reporter: a tornado touching down near birmingham, alabama, today. those in the path scrambling for cover. >> it got really, really dark and just dropped from the sky and came straight up through here. >> reporter: several buildings leveled. >> several small amount of injuries. >> reporter: remarkably no serious injuries. inside this car as the tornado approached, she ducked and survived. >> all i can do is just cover myself and pray. >> reporter: along the gulf coast high surf and strong winds as tropical storm cindy, now a depression, made landfall. crews now clearing the only road in and out of the west end of dauphin island. residents were encouraged to leave.
those that stayed put were mostly vacationers who had rented homes here on the western end of the island and had nowhere else to go. >> very nerve-racking, very scary to be laying in bed and the house just shaking all around you. >> reporter: flooding and tornado watches across four states, an ongoing threat tonight. kerry sanders, nbc news, dauphin island, alabama. tonight for the first time we're hearing from a juror in the bill cosby sexual assault case speaking out and taking us inside the jury room after that days' long drama that ended with 12 men and women unable to reach a unanimous decision. what went on behind those closed doors? here's nbc's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: today a member of the jury in the bill cosby trial describes what it was like during emotional deliberations that lasted longer than the trial itself. >> and the tears came towards the end, and it was so tense. >> reporter: the juror spoke with nbc station wpxi asking not to be identified.
he says the jury was split up the middle. >> it was hopeless. it was -- from the first time on. >> reporter: deadlocked on whether or not bill cosby sexually assaulted andrea constand in his home in 2004. the case boiled down to credibility. this juror says he believed cosby and questioned constand's intentions. >> very, very honest from his side. you could believe from his -- from his testimony what he did. but not from hers. >> reporter: he doubted expert testimony that said it was totally reasonable for a victim to delay reporting a sexual assault. andrea constand waited a year before going to police. >> that's hard for me to believe that i've been injured and it takes me a year to report it. >> reporter: the juror says a retrial would be a waste of money. >> whatever the man did, he has already paid his price. >> reporter: but this is just one juror, one opinion.
others disagreed. and the d.a. says he will retry the case. the prosecution now has a road map of what went wrong, but time seldom favors the prosecution. as time goes on, it's harder to convince a jury something happened. >> reporter: bill cosby could be back in court on the same charges as early as this fall. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. in ohio today an emotional good-bye for otto warmbier. a sea of mourners turning out to pay respects to the american student who died just days after being released by north korea in a coma. now a community is rallying around his family. nbc's catie beck has more for us. >> reporter: finally home and laid to rest. a last good-bye to otto warmbier. his home town of wyoming, ohio, feeling the loss like small towns do. >> you didn't have to have otto in your home to feel like you've lost a piece of your family. >> reporter: wrapping every post and tree with warmbier's high
school colors. the school where he gave this graduation speech four years ago. >> i wish there was a way to know that you're in the good old days before you've actually left them. >> reporter: today it was the site of his funeral. his family releasing these images from inside. his brother and sister speaking. his tan jacket on display. >> i beg for forgiveness. >> reporter: the one warmbier wore to trial in north korea, imprisoned for 17 months for allegedly stealing a poster and sent home in a coma. warmbier's family declined an autopsy. his cause of death still a mystery. >> the north koreans need to be held to account for that. there will be more on that later. >> reporter: but today friends remembering his adventurous spirit and that smile just before his arrest in north korea. >> he was going to set the world on fire, which is why the loss is so profound. >> reporter: a loss shared deep within a community. >> each ribbon wrapped around a tree is like arms wrapping around the warmbiers. >> reporter: a loss hitting close to home.
catie beck, nbc news, wyoming, ohio. we'll take a short break. when we come back, robocall crackdown. the massive scheme to make illegal calls look like they're from your area code and the alleged mastermind now facing an unprecedented punishment from the government. also the good habits experts say you should be practicing right now in the hopes of preventing alzheimer's.
there's news tonight for anyone who has ever gotten one of those robocalls that come at all hours of the day and night, specifically the kind that look like they're from a local phone number perhaps making you more likely to pick it up. the fcc is proposing a record fine of $120 million. nbc's tom costello has details. >> reporter: at first, the robocall sounds like good news. >> you have been selected to receive 2,600 travel dollars towards your next trip. >> reporter: but the fcc says it's all a scam and one of the
biggest scammers so far is adrian abramovich of miami who allegedly made 96 million robocalls over a three-month period masquerading as legitimate businesses then transferring the calls to mexico where smooth-talking operators convince victims into handing over credit card information. among the customers inundated with calls frequent traveler kim wilson. >> they stated that they were from tripadvisor trying to sell vacations and, you know, cruises, that type of thing. and these calls would come three, four, five, sometimes ten times a day. >> reporter: wilson complained to tripadvisor who then alerted federal authorities. >> we know that individual travelers lost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars apiece that show chose to transact with these companies in mexico. >> reporter: investigators say the calls were spoofed to appear as if they were coming from a local area code. the victims were then told to push one to speak to representatives of
marriott, hilton, expedia and tripadvisor. >> you have qualified for a travel credit. >> reporter: in a statement, the fcc says the call centers were not affiliated with the well-known travel and hospitality companies mentioned in the recorded message. so far nbc news has been unable to reach mr. abramovich for comment, but he's facing a record $120 million fine for what the fcc calls a massive spoofing operation. tom costello, nbc news, new york. we're back in a moment with what you might call a hot fashion trend. why some boys in the uk have suddenly taken to wearing skirts.
nbc's dr. john torres explains. >> reporter: like so many americans, darrell foss is worried the active life he's always enjoyed will be thrown off course by his memory problems diagnosed as mild cognitive impairment. >> so conversations get to be a little difficult because i'm trying to remember a word, and i can't remember the word. >> three, two and -- >> reporter: tonight, new encouragement for him and his wife mary that there are things people can do that may prevent or slow down mental decline. the respected national academies of sciences reviewed the past seven years of research looking for good evidence about what might work and what doesn't. >> there are probably three areas that indicate that there may be something we can do to influence our cognitive aging. >> reporter: here's what you can do. control high blood pressure especially in middle age. exercise. resistance training or aerobics two to three hours a week at least.
and do cognitive training. using special techniques to help you remember phone numbers, names and dates. more targeted than those costly popular computerized brain training programs. >> the national academy committee looked at that information and said not really. that is, there are the brain games out there. they've not been tested adequately. >> reporter: while there's still no sure-fire way to prevent alzheimer's, this report says these three things will help to keep your body fit and your brain challenged. >> you can't quit. you just have to move forward. and this is what we do. >> reporter: a hopeful way to hold on to memories and keep making new ones. dr. john torres, nbc news, rochester, minnesota. it's been a week filled with scorching temperatures, even deadly in much of the u.s., but it's also sweltering across the pond where the uk has been suffering through a heat wave. yesterday london recorded its hottest june day in more than 40 years. some boys there are so fed up with the heat, they're getting
hear from a witness who saw what sparked it. ===raj take vo=== plus, just days after a heat- related death... a south bay neighborhood gets a very- uncomfortable surprise from pg&e ===next close=== the news is ne before we leave you, we want to show you a great moment on the diamond last night in washington. capitol police officer crystal griner, who was injured while defending members of congress from that gunman in virginia, taking the field to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the congressional women's softball game cheered on by a roaring crowd for her heroics. we appreciate you spending part of your evening with us. that is "nightly news"
for this thursday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. on one of the hottest da the year -- a fire breaks out -- . right now, at 6:00 a micro climate weather alert. on one of the hottest days of the year, a fire breaks out in this vallejo neighborhood. the news at 6:00 starts right now, thanks for joining us i am jessica aguirre. >> and i am raj mathai. let's take you outside and show you a live look in multiple cities, san rafael, oakland,
palo alto o and senators. our chief meteorologist jeff ranieri joins us. concord hit 105 degrees. believe it or not, this was not the hottest temperature today, that goes to walnut creek at 108 degrees. alamo 107. pleasanton 105. all due to hot high pressure sitting on top of the bay area. you can see in our weather under ground micro climate current temperature map, we are still at a scorching 104 in brentwood. 98