tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC July 25, 2017 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
that's our news. see you back here at 11:00. tonight, mccain's message. moments on the senate floor, a rousing ovation, a critical vote in the health care fight and an ailing senator delivering powerful words. on r. on thin ice, president trump blasts his own attorney general again, steaming over jeff sessions' recusal from the russia investigation. willessions quit? will he be fired and how does this standoff end? poisonous police cars? dozens of officers say they were sickened. some passing out behind the wheel. the feds investigating amid questions about safety. hard hits. stunning findings in over 700 deceased players. how the nfl is responding. inspiring america by overcoming life's
obstacles, soaring to new heights. "nightly news" begins right now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. and thanks for being here tonight. we start with the emotional and remarkable moment on the floor of the u.s. senate late today where republicans eked out the votes to advance the debate over a new health care bill. it was right at the climax of that dramatic and deeply partisan moment that senator john mccain, fresh off of surgery that led to his cancer diagnosis, brought republicans and democrats to their feet in a thundering ovation. the widely respected senior statesman returning to washington to cast his critical vote, and then deliver a stunning rebuke on the state of politics in america. and what's been lost in the process. it's where we start tonight with nbc's peter alexander. >> reporter: in the senate's typically
quiet chamber, a hero's welcome for john mccain. the political maverick enjoying a bipartisan embrace. >> i stand here today looking a little worse for wear, i'm sure -- >> reporter: 11 days after brain surgery, the scar still fresh above his eye, the 80-year-old senator delivering a powerful wakeup call to a dysfunctional congress. >> stop listening to the bombastic loud mouths on the radio, television and internet. to hell with them. we're getting nothing done, my friends. we're getting nothing done. >> reporter: his return not just poetic, but dramatic, completing a cross-country trip just in time to give republicans a critical yes vote to begin debate on overhauling obamacare. while pushing colleagues to compromise. >> i will not vote for this bill as it is today. it's a shell of a bill right now. we all know that. >> reporter: mccain a staple on the senate floor for a generation, urging lawmakers to stand up
to president trump. >> whether or not we are of the same party, we are not the president's subordinates. we are his equal. >> reporter: at the white house, a show of deference. the president mocked mccain during the campaign saying he wasn't a war hero, delaying his remarks until the senator was done. >> i want to thank senator john mccain, very brave man. he made a tough trip to get here and vote. >> reporter: still, mccain's move met by resistance. protesters attacking his vote for taking health care away from millions of americans, just as he benefits from first-class care. the former p.o.w. who made a reputation fighting, back today, for another battle. >> i have every intention of returning here and giving many of you cause to regret all the nice things you said about me. >> reporter: tonight senator mccain says he plans to stay put in washington the rest of this week and take part in debate and votes in health care
and other key issues before returning back home to arizona to recuperate. >> peter alexander on capitol hill tonight, thank you, peter. as we mentioned, senator mccain's vote was crucial in advancing the latest republican plan to do away with obamacare. but in many ways, this battle is only just begun. let's get to capitol hill hill again. our correspondent there, kasie hunt. kasie, where does this go from here? >> reporter: lester, the white house is taking a victory lap on this tonight. republican leaders acknowledge that they can't spike the football. that this is just the beginning. it's still a mystery exactly what is going to happen to americans' health insurance. there's a few options and there's going to be a lot of posturing this week on the senate floor. they plan to take a vote on that repeal-only bill that would repeal without replacing obamacare. but they know that that can't pass. they also plan to vote on that massive repeal and replace package, but they also know that they likely don't have the support for that either. so what happens? they're going to have to cobble together something narrower, a
deal to simply repeal obamacare mandates, and potentially eliminate attacks on medical devices. but it's not clear that they can even make that deal. lester? >> kasie hunt at the capital, thanks. president trump worked up his own drama in washington today off the fate of his attorney general. the president stepping to the podium and publicly belittling jeff sessions and saying time will tell as to whether he will fire him. nbc's kristen welker has details on what's looking like jeff sessions' death by a thousand cuts. >> reporter: president trump in the rose garden today, once again attacking his own attorney general for recusing himself from the russia investigation. >> i am disappointed in the attorney general. he should not have recused himself. >> reporter: sessions made the decision because he served on the trump campaign and has gotten bipartisan praise for the move. still today, the president called on sessions to focus his
attention elsewhere. >> i want the attorney general to be much tougher on the leaks from intelligence agencies, which are leaking like rarely have they ever leaked before, at a very important level. >> reporter: but mr. trump stopped short of firing him. >> we will see what happens. time will tell. time will tell. >> reporter: in recent days, the president has been scathing, calling sessions beleaguered and weak. but the attorney general is showing no signs he's going to step down. sessions was the first senator to endorse candidate trump, and tonight those close to sessions say he's felt hurt by the president's comments. but stress many conservatives are rallying behind him. >> i hope the attorney general doesn't resign. i hope he's not fired. >> reporter: some legal experts say the president may be looking to replace sessions with an a.g. who's willing to end the russia investigation. >> if president trump has nothing to worry about this russian investigation, and he's truly innocent of any kind of conspiracy
with the russians, he should welcome this investigation. >> reporter: but the cloud of russia is only widening. today former campaign chair paul manafort met with senate intelligence staffers and jared kushner met on capitol hill for a second day of questions on his contacts with russians. the inner circle turmoil comes as the president spoke at the boy scouts jamboree monday night. >> who the hell wants to speak about politics when i'm in front of the boy scouts, right? >> reporter: it quickly became a campaign style rally, with mr. trump seemingly taking yet another not so subtle swipe at his attorney general. >> we could use some more loyalty, i will tell you that. >> it is us precedented for a president to call out over and over again a sitting member of his own candidate for simply following the rule of law. the president has the authority of remove a candidate member, but proving tonight he's not going anywhere, the attorney general announced a new policy telling cities they
must cooperate with federal agents seeking to deport people held in local jails. lester? >> kristen welker at the white house, thank you. the house today overwhelmingly passing a bipartisan bill to slap new sanctions on russia in retaliation for its meddling in the 2016 election. along with other sanctions on iran and north korea. the bill would also limit president trump's power to ease any sanctions on moscow. it now moves to the senate. it's unclear if the president would sign it. but the bill did pass the house with a veto-proof majority. as that plays out at home, overseas warning shots from u.s. to iran after an iranian vessel made a provocative move on the high seas. it was a tense encounter in international waters. we get the latest on all of it tonight from our pentagon correspondent hans nichols. >> reporter: for the iranian ship, an unmistakable warning. the revolutionary guard vessel coming
within 150 yards of the uss thunder bolt. navy footage from a mile away documenting the close call. >> we are operating in a northern arabian gulf. >> reporter: the thunderbolt, one of four american ships, a missile cruiser, conducting routine patrols in international waters, according to military officials. the iranian craft inbound at a high rate of speed, innoerg attempts to establish radio contact. the u.s. crew sending short blasts on the ship's whistle. followed by the unambiguous sound of a 50-caliber machine gun. the iranian vessel slowed, and then stopped. iran's naval forces no stranger to the u.s. navy. last january the revolutionary guard captured two u.s. command boats that strayed into iranian waters, holding ten sailors captive for 15 hours. military officials are telling nbc news that the iranian crew uncovered its guns but did not man them.
tense moments in dangerous waters. lester? >> hans nichols at the pentagon, thanks. there is startling new research out tonight about football and head trauma. the largest study of its kind reporting 99% of the brains of former nfl players tested were damaged. doctors say it means brain damage is more common than previously thought, and should be treated in its earliest stages. nbc's raheema ellis has more on one former player who's coping with what he says are signs of the disease. >> reporter: brian price was a hard-hitting nfl defensive tackle who became a mild-mannered husband and father. a stark contrast to the disoriented man police encountered in april. >> do you want to have a seat in my car so you're not sitting in the wet road? >> reporter: outside ann arbor, employees called 911 saying a man inside was agitated, turning over display cases. police approached him in the parking lot, trying to calm him down, when out of nowhere he went charging.
full speed into the store's heavy plate glass doors. price tells nbc affiliate wdiv he doesn't remember any of it. and his family blames the outburst on cte, a degenerative brain disease which has been linked to repeated head trauma. >> at the same time, i know i'm not the only one going through this. >> reporter: in a new study examining 111 brains of deceased nfl players, 110 had cte, which can only be confirmed in an autopsy. symptoms include emotional instability, depression, and memory loss. >> i think this is an enormous problem for football players. we really need to focus on how to detect this in living individuals, so that we can recognize the disease in its earliest stages when we have a very good chance of arresting or curing it. >> reporter: in a statement today, the nfl said it's pledged $200 million for research into advancing progress in the prevention and
treatment of head injuries. it's a daily battle for the prices who have a second child on the way. and hope progress comes soon. rehema ellis, nbc news, new york. it was a day of mourning in scottsdale, arizona, where over 1,000 people turned out to say good-bye to ten members of an extended family swept away in flash floods, while celebrating a birthday earlier this month. among those killed, three generations of a mexican immigrant family, a grandmother, aunts and uncles, children and grandchildren. sad news from sea world. the last killer whale born in captivity under the theme park's orca breeding program has died. sea world announced the end of that program last year, after years of public pressure, and protests from animal rights advocates. we get details from nbc's kerry sanders. >> reporter: ki ara the killer whale, her first moments of life captured on camera. now at only three months old she's dead. veteran trainer julie
sigman was with her when she succumbed to pneumonia. you felt the last movement? >> she stopped breathing. after a period of time. and then we were -- yes, we knew fairly quickly. >> at that point, you're helpless? >> yeah. >> reporter: kiara's birth marked the end of an era, the last to be born in captivity at sea world, after they shut down the controversial breeding program in the face of protests. >> this time has ended. people want these animals to live natural lives. >> reporter: animal rights activists have long opposed the wild capture which is now outlawed and sea world's orca shows, but backlash against sea world exploded in 2013 after the documentary "blackfish" questioned the ethics of keeping killer whales in activity. >> i believe "blackfish" was a part of the reason why the pendulum started to swing. not in our direction. >> reporter: as children signed a
sympathy card inside the park today, protesters gathered outside the park. trainers attended to the mother, one of 22 remaining orcas at sea world. eventually there will be none. >> i believe that she's going to be okay. >> reporter: kerry sanders, nbc news, san antonio. still ahead tonight, police officers being poisoned. why several believe a danger lurking inside their own patrol vehicles is making them sick. also, the old saying money can't buy happiness, is it really true? what scientists now really true? what scientists now afi sure had a lot on my mind. my 30-year marriage... ...my 3-month old business... plus...what if this happened again? i was given warfarin in the hospital, but wondered, was this the best treatment for me? so i made a point to talk to my doctor. he told me about eliquis. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots and reduces the risk of them happening again. not only does eliquis treat dvt and pe blood clots.
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we're back now with new questions being raised about the safety of the vehicles police use to patrol our streets. federal regulators are investigating claims that some of those vehicles are actually making officers ill, after dozens complained of carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms. we get more from nbc's gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: this dash cam video reveals the moments austin police sergeant zachary lahood realizes something's wrong in his patrol vehicle. he asked another officer to check out the suv, a modified version of a ford explorer that makes up 61% of apd's patrol fleet. lahood is now on medical leave and suing ford, claiming he was left with long-term neurological problems after being poisoned by carbon monoxide. >> i never thought my
car would take me down. >> how dire is the situation right now? >> the situation's very dire. >> reporter: the head of austin's police union said dozens of officers have complained of similar symptoms since march. >> we have officers still as of last week getting nauseous, going to the hospital and having to have their blood tested. >> reporter: in a separate case in california, dash cam video from 2015 shows a police officer who passed out behind the wheel, crashing into a tree. that civil case is still pending. ford said they've investigated and have not found any carbon monoxide issue resulting from the design of the police interceptor police vehicles. federal regulators are now looking into whether the issues in austin are related to a potential safety defect. the austin pd has now pulled more than 60 of its suvs and installed carbon monoxide detectors in the rest. >> we clearly are here to protect and serve, but right now is that
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barbara sinatra has died. the legendary singer's fourth wife were together from 1976 until his passing in 1998. a former model, showgirl and socialite, she went on to become a prominent children's advocate and philanthropist who helped raise millions of dollars for charity to help young victims of abuse. barbara sinatra died of natural causes at her home in california surrounded by family and friends. she was 90 years old. there's a new way to show girl power at
the girl scouts. 23 of them actually. the largest batch of new badges in a decade focused on science, technology, engineering and math. some of the new badges were requested by the scouts themselves. they say money can't buy happiness, but science seems to disagree. a new study led by a harvard business school professor saying buying money on things that save you time like paying for a housekeeper or springing for a taxi really can make you happier. those who did so felt less stressed about time and experienced more life satisfaction. rising to the challenge, the rock climbers who are proving the sky is the limit and inspiring america. i make it easy to save $600 on car insurance, so being cool comes naturally. hmm. i can't decide if this place is swag or bling. it's pretzels.
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flatirons in boulder, colorado, these three see a challenge on the horizon. these climbers with disabilities only see opportunity, at the base of this towering sandstone. >> i'm surrounded by people who really choose to excel and push boundaries. so that's forced me to really push myself. >> reporter: maureen was born with one hand. james, an army veteran, lost a foot in an accident. daniel, a cyclist injured in a crash has no movement in his right arm. >> it's really hard to make excuses or look around and come up with reasons for why not, when you can go around with a lot of different people who say, we'll figure it out. >> reporter: to ascend a wall riddled with pitfalls, the team works together. they see ability in their disability. >> there's more opportunities that i couldn't go one way, it's just that i can
go another way. >> reporter: they found their confidence and each other through paradox, a nonprofit that last year alone helped nearly 500 adaptive climbers reach new heights. a community focused on getting the disabled outdoors, learning what can be gained from a loss. >> we see a transformation in everything, whether it be physical, their mental state, it's incredible. >> reporter: on the mountain, this group showed us there is no summit too high to reach, giving those with disabilities a new view on life. miguel almaguer, nbc news, boulder, colorado. we appreciate you spending part of your evening with us. that is "nightly news" for this tuesday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching, and good night.
halle berry out with a mystery man. is she dating again after her divorce? now on "extra." halle on the rebound? new photos of her l.a. dinner date. we reveal who hels. plus with weeks after the rupor charlize is dating halle's ex. >> everybody wants to know who your hot date is. >> why she's giving charissa
hair envy. >> single white fael hair. >> breaking new details on the mansion bengton bought just before taking his life. >> what she said that made the president snap is on fwitder. >> mel b's divorce diet. how much she's down since the split. >> and one headline after another comic-con. in the extra pique, the 53-year-old woman bottoms up. h plus garth brooks on the secret to his marriage to tricia yearwood. >> whoever has the most trophies. >> now,