tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC August 4, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
"nightly news." >> bye tonight, guilty verdicts for the so-called pharma bro who sparked a national furor by raising the price of a life-saving aids drug 5,000%. now convicted of defrauding investors, facing potentially decades in prison. trump defiant. >> are there any russians here tonight? any russians? >> the president in fight mode as nbc news learns there are multiple grand juries working the russia investigation. caught on camera, a heart stopping crash. an out of control pickup truck slams into a bus stop full of people. how everyone made it out alive. towering inferno, a skyscraper in flames in dubai, another building covered in the same kind of siding as that awful london disaster. and oh, baby.
the little girl who beat the odds. now so many fans can't get enough of theona. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is nbc nightly news with lester holt. good evening to our viewers in the west. thank you for being with us on this friday. the verdict is in for the brash young former ceo who became the poster image of everything americans don't like about big pharma. you may remember the name martin shkreli when his pharmaceutical company raised the price of an aids drug from around $13 a pill to $750 a pill overnight in 2015. that wasn't a crime. but defrauding investors is as shkreli learned today in a brooklyn federal courtroom. our anne thompson has the story.
>> reporter: a bad day for the one-time bad boy of the pharmaceutical industry. martin shkreli gained infamy raising the price of an aides drug 5,000% two years ago. >> are you going to change the price? >> no. >> reporter: becoming the ceo americans loved to hate. >> i intend to use the advice of my counsel, not yours. >> reporter: but that's not why he was convicted in federal court today. the 34-year-old found guilty on three of eight counts related to securities fraud. from when shkreli ran a couple of hedge funds. >> no questions from cnbc. i'm sorry. >> reporter: he was characteristically defiant and unapologetic after the verdict. >> this was a witch-hunt of epic proportions and maybe they found one or two broom sti broomsticks, but at the end of the day, we've been acquitted of the most important charges of this case. >> the prosecution team, who shkreli cast
as junior varsity, took the high road. >> justice has been served. >> defense attorney benjamin brackman acknowledged his personal behavior and image made his job and the jury easy more difficult. >> and if you're asking me did that factor into the decision whether or not to bring this lawsuit, i think it did. >> reporter: the four week trial was unusual. he never put on a defense, in part because none of the victims lost money. they actually made money, even though shkreli lied about the fund's performance and assets. >> any investors made three to five times their money without any aid of any settle support agreements. >> reporter: his lawyer thinks that will help at sentencing. however, shkreli's youtube performance after the verdict may not. >> big rolls. big rolls. that's my rap name now. no, that's my prison name, big rolls. >> reporter: he faces up to 20 years and is expected to appeal. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. this evening president trump is at his new jersey golf club kicking off a 17-day working vacation. hours after his administration vowed a major crack down on leakers, one of the president's biggest complaints, along with
the russia investigation. as the president is making clear, he's defiant. our white house correspondent kristen welker has it all covered. >> reporter: the trump administration escalating its war on leakers with the doj saying they're pursuing three times as many leak investigations as the last administration. >> i have this warning for would-be leakers. don't do it. >> reporter: attorney general jeff sessions, who endured withering criticism from the president for recusing himself in the russia investigation, now doing the one thing the president is demanding, cracking down, creating a new unit inside the fbi to find leakers. and even ordering a review of the department's policy on subpoenaing records from reporters. >> anyone who engages in these criminal acts is betraying the intelligence community and the american people. >> reporter: the announcement against leakers has been long planned, but comes a day after the "washington post" published transcripts of the president's
phone calls with two foreign leaders. mr. trump is also aiming to shift focus away from the russia probe, which is now entering a new phase. >> we didn't win because of russia. we won because of you. >> reporter: nbc news has confirmed special counsel robert mueller has multiple grand juries working on the investigation, including in washington, d.c. and virginia. the president's legal team insisting they haven't been made aware of the grand jury, and say he's not under investigation. is there any concern that has changed, that the president could be under investigation? >> we have not been told that that. he's not been informed that. his lawyer ty cobb has very specifically said that we learned of the grand jury investigation, everyone did yesterday, and he's not been asked to produce any information at this time. >> reporter: former watergate prosecutor. nick ackerman. >> he is clearly within the purview of this grand jury's investigation, whether it's for obstruction of justice or whether it's for actually violating laws in connection with the trump campaign colluding with the
russians. >> reporter: the president in fight mode last night. >> the russia story is a total fabrication. >> reporter: even reviving one of his most popular lines from the campaign. >> what the prosecutors should be looking at are hillary clinton's 33,000 deleted e-mails. >> reporter: mr. trump's tirade came in front of a fired up west virginia crowd, where he won almost 70% of the vote. >> are there any russians here tonight? any russians? >> reporter: the president's legal team is trying to turn down the temperature, saying he's not considering firing special counsel robert mueller. for his part, mr. trump will spend the next two weeks at his resort here in new jersey on a working vacation while the white house undergoes renovations. lester? >> kristen welker, thank you. we want to turn to the shocking surveillance video of a violent crash in michigan. it shows a pickup truck plowing through a bus stop filled with
people. miraculously everyone survived. the man behind the wheel appeared in court charged with driving while intoxicated. nbc's blake mccoy has more for us tonight. >> reporter: surveillance video shows the harrowing moments careens off a road and into a bus stop full of people. clarence wilson left the stop just seconds earlier. >> and he jumped the curb and wiped out the whole bus stop. and that was like the most devastating thing i had seen. >> reporter: another look shows six people inside the warren, michigan, bus stop, trying to stay out of the rain. four of them were pinned under the pickup truck in the aftermath. >> we've got four trapped under a vehicle. multiple victims and multiple ambulances. i need a supervisor. >> reporter: firefighter kevin helped pry them free. >> i've seen some horrific accidents and things like that, but nothing of this magnitude. >> reporter: police arrested the driver, gary daleo, 55 years
old, charged with reckless driving and driving while impaired. saying little during his first court appearance today. surveillance video shows him get out of his truck unharmed, appearing stunned. he does not help the victims. instead, walking away into a restaurant. >> he just walked in, used the rest room and then just walked right out. that was it. >> everybody is just asking keep an open mind because he's just a normal guy with no criminal record that just had an unfortunate accident. >> reporter: six people are now recovering from a litany of broken bones. tonight five remain hospitalized, but are expected to survive. blake mccoy, nbc news. now to a summer of extremes. wild weather from coast to coast, fire and rain, flash floods and relentless heat making life miserable for a whole lot of people as we head into the weekend. nbc's joe fryer has all the details. >> reporter: with little notice the streets of california became arteries for swiftly moving rivers of muddy water.
30 minutes of relentless rain thursday triggered flash floods, nasty enough to stop a train in its tracks and stop several cars. at least three drivers had to be rescued by helicopter. >> i think now i'll take heed of the flash flood warnings a little better. that's no joke. >> reporter: they're also cleaning up in arizona after getting walloped by monsoon storms. there was a landspout tornado hovering overhead. while in chicago rain and lightning brought the lollapalooza festival to a halt last night. the singer, lorde, apologized to the crowd. >> the weather is too crazy for us to play right now. >> reporter: today, 19 million are at risk of severe weather. with new york drenched by sheets of rain that turned stairs into waterfalls. last night in maryland, powerful winds topped trees. one landed on a car killing a 14-year-old girl. meanwhile, the northwest is baking for a fourth straight day, forcing athletes to exercise caution. >> it's like cooking a
brisket in your smoker. >> i'm tom costello. choking on smoke from the hundreds of fires burning across western canada. >> reporter: it's so hot out west for the first time ever the oakland zoo called on firefighters to hose down the elephants. extreme measures. there is encouraging news tonight on the american economy. employers added 209,000 jobs last month, topping the expectations, and the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3%, which matches a 1646 year low set in may. it marks the 82nd straight month of job growth. despite a relatively strong economy, president trump's national approval rating is at a low point. a gallop tracking poll out this week shows that just 36% of americans approval of the job he's doing, while 58% disagree. however, the president gets considerably more
support in some states. like wyoming, who voted for him. with all the turbulence in the trump presidency, tom brokaw spoke with voters in wyoming. in our series, "across america." >> reporter: how in north central wyoming is a picturesque main street is real. church is a fixed part of life. so is the county fair, with prize winning turkeys and kids showing off their goats. a deeply red community and the very republican state. this area went 70% for donald trump. now, six months into his presidency, what are they thinking here? president trump's style and background are a long way from powell. >> we don't appreciate all the tweeting. >> reporter: dave bonner is a town father, publisher of the newspaper, former state legislature,
lifelong republican. >> get off that doggone phone and end those public bullying presidential tweets. he's so all over the map that there are people now that don't trust him. >> reporter: but the president has lots of support here, and the national news media do not. >> i don't think we've really gotten a true picture of what he's accomplished. all we've heard is just the bad press. >> we haven't really heard both sides as to what he's doing. >> his mouth is -- runs off, but if he can get past that, he seems to be, for me, getting things done. >> it is a little bit of a conflicting message -- >> reporter: in washington and on cable news, the trump presidency and capitol chaos is 24/7. a legendary wyoming politician, senator al simpson, is embarrassed by it all. >> this is a nut house and it's -- the sad thing is, people don't like to win any more. they want to rub the other guy's nose in it. >> reporter: but in
powell, president trump remains a popular figure. the voters here made their choice, and they're sticking with them. >> tom brokaw reporting from wyoming. a solemn day in dover air force base in delaware as two fallen soldiers came home. columbus, jackson springs, north carolina. vice president mike pence was among those in attendance. soldiers were killed this week in southern afghanistan when their convoy was attacked. there's more to come tonight. towering inferno. how everyone was able to survive this high-rise fire when so many were lost in that fire in london just two months ago. also, it will be the biggest sky show in years. how some americans are cashing in already during the solar eclipse.
we're back now with that high rise apartment fire that could have been a huge tragedy but wasn't. it happened as people slept earlier this morning in dubai, but everyone was able to make it out alive unlike another high rise fire in london in june. so what made the difference in dubai? here's nbc's kelly cobiella. >> reporter: tonight, questions about what turned this skyscraper into a towering inferno, lighting up the night sky overdue -- dubai. the fire alarms went off just before 1:00 a.m. >> it was just complete chaos. >> reporter: heidi was sleeping in her 34th
floor apartment. it was in the waterfront district. it has nearly 700 apartments, spanning 86 stories. 40 stories were engulfed in flames. officials say more than 1,000 residents got out alive in less than a half an hour. >> the power was going in and out. when i got to around the 25th floor you could start smelling the smoke. >> reporter: the same building caught fire in 2015 and investigators blamed the siding for accelerating those flames, sparking restrictions on new construction. the london fire safety expert says the material is cheap and widely used, though banned from high-rises in the u.s. the grenfelt had that siding when it caught fire in june. residents were trapped. >> it still gets me now. these people should never have died. >> reporter: but in dubai, sprinklers helped control the
flames. officials say the staircase residents used to evacuate was pressurized, protecting against smoke, gas and toxic fumes. the doors to the stairwell could also resist direct flames for three hours. >> it was just absolutely crazy. >> reporter: giving heidi and her neighbors a path to safety. kelly cobiella, nbc news. there is more to tell you about when we come back in a moment. a boy who was bullied gets a powerful escort on his first day back at school.
the opportunity for everyone to explore a digital world. connecting with the things that matter most. and because nothing keeps us more connected than the internet, we've created access from at&t. california households with at least one resident who receives snap or ssi benefits may qualify for home internet at a discounted rate of $10 a month. no commitment, deposit, or installation fee. visit att.com/accessnow to learn more. tonight a scramble is underway for the best viewing spots for the event of a lifetime. a sol lar eclipse, turning day to night. it's a rare opportunity to catch one of nature's greatest phenomenons and a lot of folks are making big plans, even paying big money, to be in the best spot to see it. our national correspondent miguel almaguer has details.
>> reporter: on the horizon in central oregon there will be madness in madras. christina carpenter is getting the farm ready for a festival. on august 21st, the solar eclipse will drop darkness over her fields. 400 spectators paying a premium, some $1,500 a couple to camp on her 80 acres. >> it's definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity that was handed to this tiny little community. we'll be severing people farm to feast style right in the fields where we're growing food. i'm really excited. >> reporter: this town of 6,000 bracing for 100,000 visitors. liquor sales are booming. legal pot sales could hit an all-time high. >> we've been planning for all these years to be ready for the big great american ellipse. >> reporter: john brewster has been planning for decades. even building his home in the path of the eclipse.
>> all this work for two minutes. i'm like yes, of course. >> reporter: as the moon passes in fronted of the sun, a ribbon of darkness, 70 miles wide, known as the path of totality will move from oregon to south carolina, taking just under two hours. each town going dark for roughly two minutes. at grand teton national park, rescue teams are preparing for the largest crowds ever. and across the country, kids big and small are launching science experiments. >> reporter: for those that don't fall in the path of complete darkness, tens of millions will still experience a partial eclipse. you won't need a fancy telescope. just a pair of protective glasses like these, if you can find them. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. a lot of excitement building for that. believe it or not, for many kids, school is back in session. what a cool way to
arrive for one young man in texas. showing up with an escort of more than 50 motorcyclists there to accompany him after his mom heard he was being bullied by some other kids. but big hearted bikers just wanted to help him take a stand. pretty good group of friends to have in your corner. when we come back, a remarkable story of survival. the baby pictures you don't want to miss.
how about we end the week with a story we can all feel good about? her name is fiona. since she was born prematurely at the cincinnati zoo, millions have been following the progress of the baby hippo. we sent kevin tibbles to find out why why so many have become so attached. >> the giddy oohs and ahhs aren't for beyonce or bieber, but for a demure little 400 pound hippopotamus by the name of fiona. >> she's a little miracle baby. >> reporter: she's the only known hippo to survive after being born six weeks premature. she weighed a mere 29 pounds. as the staff at the cincinnati zoo worked round the clock, coaxing the newborn back from the brink. >> she has nine bottles total. she's getting about four gallons a day. >> reporter: every step documented as she slowly grew from playing in her own
wading pool to nap time. this little girl is so popular she's been viewed more than a hundred million times on the zoo's facebook page. the fiona fan club waits with noses pressed against the glass. why the little hippo? >> she's adorable. she stole our hearts. >> she's really nice and she's really small like me. >> reporter: local businesses have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for her upkeep by selling everything from cookies to fiona beer. and of course, t-shirts. >> if there's somebody that needs help, we all try to rally around for it, even when it's a hippo. >> reporter: at pool side, she paddle is about with mom and dad who don't seem to mind the attention too much. a book is now in the works celebrating this little hippo's unique story of survival. >> everybody was rooting for fiona. they just wanted to be a part of her story and show their love and support for her in
the zoo. >> reporter: baby fiona is ready for her close up. kevin tibbles, nbc news, cincinnati. all right. something to smile about. we appreciate you spending part of your evening with us. that is nightly news for this friday night. i'm lester holt. for a everyone is talking about how bad it is and it seems to be getting worse and worse. >> tonight at 6:00 new trouble at a busy intersection in peninsula. thanks for joining us, i am janelle wang sitting in for judging. >> nbc chopper overhead. this is a busy intersection.
the ongoing concern from the locals, this area is a disaster waiting to happen. michelle roberts joins us from burlingame. >> reporter: the chuck driver says he had no where to go. broke one of the safety lights and crews have been out here all day monitoring the scene and trying to make the repair. >> a big explosion. >> reporter: art ramos and his coworker were in the cab of this delivery truck when the cal train slammed into it. it happened at the burlingame broadway crossing just before 9:00 a.m. he says he was crossing the track about 100 feet from the rail line when the dr