tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC January 4, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
>> it's finally here. >> yeah. >> for all of us at nbc 10, i'm jim rosenfield. >> i'm jacqueline london. the news continues now with "nbc nightly news." good night. bliss. bill clinton hits the trail as donald trump puts his money where his mouth is. but his new ad has already erupted in copt very versaill-- cocontrov ande go inside as armed protesters tame control of a federal building unless the feds meet their demands. what they want. taking aim. what we've learned about president obama's executive actions on guns. the white house about to go around congress asso uponents vow to fight and the real life whodonit who has so many viewers hooked, amateur detectives split and tonight outrage calls
for action. "nightly news" begins right now. good evening. call it the sprint to the starting line. after all of the months of rising and falling fortunes, we're now just 28 days from the first nominating contest of the 2016 race for president. and there is new urgency for those still in it. 28 separate campaign events today alone. heading into the stretch toward the february 1st iowa caucus, the latest poll there shows ted cruz ahead of the republican pack. for the democrats, hillary clinton with a nearly 10-point lead over bernie sanders. while in new hampshire, it is donald trump out front for republicans. and sanders with a 2% lead. and with crunchtime here, checkbooks are being opened, strategies refined. and in the case of hillary clinton, the man she calls husband and her not so secret
weapon has been launched on to the campaign trail. we have it all covered. andrea mitchell begins our coverage. good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. this is bill clintons first solo trip in this campaign, trying to pull hillary clinton over the finish line in new hampshire. bill clinton at a popular restaurant in manchester. living up to a famous snl parody. taking nothing for granted this time. >> can hillary win this one? >> win here? sure. but it is going to be hard. >> reporter: back in his element. despite donald trump's attack of the former president's past womenizing, to counter hillary clinton's charge that trump is sexist. >> how could she do that when she has one of the great women abusers of all time sitting at her house. >> reporter: today bill clpt not taking trumps base. as much as he wanted
to. >> how do you feel about the kind of campaign donald trump is running, sir? >> the republicans will have to decide who they will nominate. how i feel is only relevant [ inaudible ]. >> and hillary clinton in iowa refusing to engage trump. >> i've adopted a new years resolution. i'm going to let him live in his alternative reality and i'm not going to respond. >> reporter: hillary calls bill her not so secret weapon. but he misfired, in 2008 for ridiculing barack obama. this time vermont senator bernie sanders is giving hillary clinton a run for her money in new hampshire. ahead there and raising $33 million in the last three months. only $4 million less than clinton's 37 million. as both clintons try to stick this their game plan, ignoring donald trump. andrea mitchell, exeter, new hampshire. i'm katy tur on
the campaign trail with donald trump. where today he continued to swing at hillary clinton by targeting her husband bill. >> her husband was paid a fortune for speeches, paid by people that were doing business with the state department. >> reporter: then on sunday -- >> i'm the only one willing to talk about his problems. >> reporter: and again this morning. >> i don't care about monica lewinsky other than i think hillary was an enabler. >> and now the billionaire is putting his money where his mouth is. spending $2 million in iowa and new hampshire on his first tv ad. it is a 30-second summary of trump's campaign hits. fighting islamic, cutting isis off at the head and stopping illegal immigrants and building a wall. if that doesn't look like the u.s.-mexico border. it was morocco. the campaign explains, no, but this is what our country will look like if we don't build
a wall. by playing to fear, trump is hoping for aboost. in iowa, where poll have him losing to cruz. >> if he come in second. they say it is a defeat. >> reporter: he is camping down on expectations should it slip through his fingers. >> he said he would win. and if he doesn't win, he fails. he becomes the most treaded word in the trump lexicon, which is loser. >> reporter: and once again, trump is not in an early state. instead rallying thousands here in massachusetts. it is january but he is acting as if it is august and the only ones left standing are him and hillary clint clinton. >> katy tur, thank you. and as he continues to dominate the competition, he could face a stinging defeat in iowa. and senator tez cruz is leading in the
polls there. now stepping on the gas hoping to barnstorm the state to victory. and hallie jackson is the only correspondent inside of the cruz campaign blitz. >> reporter: below freezing on the road in iowa. ted cruz plays a hot hand, in the lead, but not a lock. today kicking off trips to 28 counties in six days. on his campaign bus. >> two weeks ago, just about every republican candidate was ak thatting donald trump. today just about every republican candidate is attacking me. >> why? >> that is an indication something has changed in the race. >> reporter: cruz in the cross hairs, facing fire even from donald trump. >> not too many evangelicals come out of cuba. just remember that. >> politicians behave a certain way when they are panicking. and they engage in attacks. they engage in personal attacks. that is human nature. i understand that. i'm not going to get drawn into that. >> so he is panicking. >> i'm going to keep the focus on the issues that matter. >> reporter: but that
is where rivals see weakness, accusing him of shifting his stance on immigration and being too soft on national defense and too calculating. >> are you too political opportunistic. >> washington establishment engaged in freudian occasion where they accuse conservatives of doing what they do every day. it doesn't bother me. >> and blanketing early states too. today democrats and republicans racking up 15 campaign stops in iowa. 12 in new hampshire. in all, more than 100 events this week. far from home and family. >> the hardest thing is it has been hard fon my girls. >> staying in touch with text. >> here is carolyn. i love you and i love you. >> her emoji game is on point. >> reporter: planning to stay on the trail long past iowa but down playing he needs this state to stick around. cruz tells me iowa is not a must-win for him. but if he doesn't, it is tough for political observers to see how
he gets the nomination. it is why cruz is hoping his social conservative stance appeals to evangelicals and his strong fundraising appeals to pragmatists looking for candidates with resources to compete later on. the big question for cruz, four weeks out until the caucuses. has he hit a hot streak too early. >> hallie, thank you. we turn to the scene playing out in oregon. a tense scene. a look inside of the siege where armed anti-government protesters have taken over a federal building. the fbi is stepping in but there is no sign of law enforcement at the scene. nbc's joe fryer has the latest. >> reporter: for the third straight day, the wildlife refuge is under the control of armed anti-government protesters. >> i'll stay here as long as it takes. >> reporter: concerned about safety, schools 30 miles away are closed for the entire week. >> our town is a safe town. and i don't want the kids to feel scared in their own town. >> reporter: for a brief period, the media was aloud inside where things were largely quiet.
government cars are still parked and covered in snow. no employees here. no visitors. the fbi wants a peaceful resolution but won't detail how they plan to respond to the occupation. >> is there anything that would make you say, okay, we could end this and go home now? >> i wouldn't say words would do it. i would say action would. >> reporter: the group wants local control of this federal land. the siege is motivated by the case of two oregon ranchers, ham beyond, who were convicted of lighting fires on federal land near their ranch. late today, the hammonds reported to prison in southern california. >> this is obviously an issue that goes well beyond the fate of two ranchers. this is the rate of 300 million acres mostly in west and controlled by the federal government. >> the on going struggle between the ranchers and the government intensified in 2014. where bundy had an armed standoff with agents trying to
confiscate his cattle after he refused to pay grazing fees. now his son is leading the group and taken over this remote wildlife refuge. tonight the sheriff aimed a message directly at occupiers, saying it is time for them to leave this community. meanwhile the hammond family has made it clear they are not a part of what is happening here at the refuge. lester. >> joe fryer, thank you. president obama is starting off the final year of his presidency by picking a major fight with republicans. about to go around congress and take executive action on guns. our senior white house correspondent chris jansing has just learned details about the president's action. chris, what does the plan do? >> reporter: president obama's biggest frustration has not been getting any new gun laws on the books after the newtown massacre. so this afternoon he made it clear, this is a priority for his final year in office. his attorney general and fbi director among those in the oval office who gave their recommends for
those -- recommendations for the executive action that do not require congressional approval. most important will narrow the gun show loophole, forcing more gun buyers to get background checks. and the fbi will add new employees to process them. now critics say the new measures would not have revented recent mass shootings. his response -- >> it is not going to prevent every mass shooting. it is not going to keep every gun out of the hands of a criminal. it will potentially save lives in this country. >> reporter: beyond executive actions, president obama potentially set up another fight. he wants to hire 200 new atf agents and add $500 million to the budget for mental health care. those will need congress's okay. and late this afternoon, congressional democrats came here to the white house for a strategy session. the president has also lined up gun-related events all week long, including a meeting with newtown families.
lester. >> chris, thanks. a rough start to the new year on wall street. part of a global selloff over concerns about a slowdown in china. and major new tensions in the oil-rich middle east. at one point the dow was down over 450 points before it gained back some ground near the close to finish down 276, about 2%. and in the middle east, things have gone from bad to much worse between the region's two big rival powers. predominantly sunni saudi arabia, and shiite-dominated iran. the saudi execution of a shiite clerk this weekend triggered an uproar in iran, leading saudis to cut diplomatic ties with iran. widening the fault line in an already dangerous neighborhood. bill neely reports. >> reporter: fury in iran today at the rival saudi arabia. america targeted too. as a saudi ally. u.s. flags burned. since the saudi embassy was burned by
protesters, relations have plummeted. iranian diplomats expelled and the saudis condemned, from india, to iraq today, where police protected saudi diplomats. the saudis executed prominent shiite cleric al nimir, despite numerous warnings from the u.s. >> there has been direct concerns raised by u.s. officials to saudi officials. >> reporter: one consequence is a boiling crisis between iran and saudi arabia. deadly already in syria and yemen, where they bako posing sides in war. now worsened in iraq, lebanon and bahrain where the two struggle for dominance. iran's supreme leader warned saudi arabia of devine retribution. but the u.s. plans for peace talks in syria this month that could suffer month. >> the americans hope to really find a way
out of this syrian conflict. forget about it. this is not good news for the united states. >> reporter: the real winner cosby iss could -- could be isis. and they want war to rage. and this has brought more chaos where it is least needed. bill neely, nbc news. still ahead tonight, the fascination and controversy over the phoenix document series making a murderer. how it has sparked a new call for action, for many who think that an innocent man is behind bars. and also songs and sign language. how an unconventional actually, philly was the first capital. oh, honey... no ♪ wait, did you just have that on your phone? it's time to mix it up. do it, dad! yeah, do it! there are thousands of ways into the complex health care system. it was frozen. daddy's hand looks funny. and choosing unitedhealthcare
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we're back now with a sensational murder case featured in a new documentary that has become something of a national obsession. so many people bingeing on the ten-part series making a murderer. many viewers coming away feeling a miscarriage of justice may have taken place in wisconsin. and as stephanie gosk reports, there are now calls for the president himself to get involved. >> reporter: the netflix documentary begins with a miscarriage of justice. steven avery wrongfully imprisoned 18 years for sexual assault and attempted murder was exonerated in 2003 but his story was far from over.
>> it was all of the story. you had compelling and complex characters, high-stakes, incredible conflict. >> reporter: in 2004, after his release, he filed a civil lawsuit for wrongful conviction, seeking $36 million. he would later settle for $440,000. just over a year later, 25-year-old freelance photographer teresa hallback was murder. police charged avery with the crime and accused his nephew of being an accomplice. both were convicted. the documentary suggested the defendant was framed, with evidence planted by the same law enforcement agencies he was suing. and that police coerced a confession. and released in december, the ten-part series gained an in stand following. triggering two petitions asking the president to issue a full pardon. one calls the story an abomination of due process. facing intense public criticism, the former prosecutor is pushing back, claiming the
filmmakers left out critical pieces of physical and forensic evidence. he told nbc news that the complete set of facts is inconsistent with the claim that avery was framed. >> i call it a movie. i don't call it a documentary. because it doesn't share all of the facts. >> reporter: meantime, the reviews keep coming in and they are glowing. including ricky jer v.a. tweeting it deserves a nobel prize. >> you have the wrong guy. >> reporter: netflix has the next big hit. for now, steven avery is watching behind bars, still in prison, serving life without parole. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. when we come back here tonight, the holidays are over and so is the warm weather. the unusually warm weather so many americans were enjoy. tonight extremes all huh. introducing centrum vitamints. a brand new multivitamin you enjoy like a mint.
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u.s. from mexico where he was caught on the run with his mother. and a mexican immigration officials tells us that couch is being held in a sparce room with three or four other people. he got ten years probation for a deadly drunk driving crash after arguing he was too spoiled to know right from wrong. extreme weather across the country this evening after the usually warm holidays. some of the coastest temperatures of the season are blasting the investigate. up to 20 degrees below average in some areas. while on the west coast, six storms influenced by el nino are threatened to be on the march. and the midwest is reeling from flooding that zroiped 150 homes and left 25 people dead. they call today black monday in the nfl for a good reason. a number of teams in search of new leaders after parting company with head coaches. the new york giants coughlin steps in.
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finally tonight, a broadway dream come true. a much-loved musical playing to an audience that most shows ignore. and it is cast with actors so often locked out of the great white way. including one young woman who got the break of a lifetime. rehema ellis has her story. >> reporter: this is the opening scene of the broadway musical spring awakening. but when the audience hears this -- [ singing ] lead actress sandra may frank hears this. sandra is deaf. she shared her role with hearing actor katie. as katie sings, sandra signs. she spoke to us, through an interpreter. >> i see the faces in the audience and the eyes looking at us. they are going, you are the one who is singing. you are the one who is
signing. >> sandra is one of nine deaf actors in the cast. each is paired with a hearing actor. >> what we're trying to create is that people will watch her and hear me. >> i watch this play, and i didn't think of two actresses. i thought of one. >> sandra lost her ability to hear at age 3. but held fast to a dream. >> i wanted to learn how to sing. and my mother was like, oh, okay. but you are deaf. you would have to work hard. but here i am singing, but in a different way. >> she looked up to people like as car winners, who now a co-star. >> i can't be the only one. i want to be able to see more deaf actors get recognized for their work. >> reporter: the show is wowing crowds. >> i could see they are moved by the acting. they are not looking at us like disabled characters on the
stage, they are looking at us to tell the story. >> reporter: an opportunity for actors and audiences alike. rehema ellis, nbc news, new york. >> and that will do it for us on monday ni . glammed up and ready to take down trump. >> opening up about their friendship before the feud and what donald secretly used to send her, now on "extra." >> the queen of fox news
targeting trump in "vanity fair" as his attack ads hit the air. megyn reveals why it almost didn't happen and her tough talk tore kim kardashian. >> then from kim to j.lo how the stars partied on new year's eve. >> bringing in 2016. >> kendall jenner all over one direction's harry styles. miranda lambert confirming her new man and bieber's new hookup. new bachelor shocker. why does one of the girls have a black eye? then damon guest, blanchette. we're kicking off awards awards seasons. plus, live with a.j. from our times square studio. miss universe. >> you were all on the jumbotron.