tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC October 29, 2017 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
tonight, charges filed. sources say a federal grand jury approved criminal charges as part of robert mueller's investigation into russian election interference just hours from now, an indictment could be revealed. power struggle. puerto rico's utility moves to cancel a controversial $300 million contract with a montana company that could set back recovery work by months. a major storm, some 45 million americans under flash flood warnings tonight. high winds and power outages are expected. thunder struck. a midair collision for oklahoma city's pro basketball team shocked to find major damage to the team plane after it landed in chicago. and banding together. the inspiring friendship between a senior who gave up her spot on the marching band to help a
talented freshman. this is nbc nightly news with kate snow. good evening for the first time since the special counsel investigation into russian election interference began more than five months ago, sources tell nbc news a federal grand jury has approved criminal charges. some time tomorrow morning the public will likely learn just who is being charged and with what. today, president trump on twitter bemoaned all the russia talk and what he called, quote, phony trump russia collusion which doesn't exist. we start off with kelly o'donnell at the white house. >> reporter: on a dreary gray sunday, president trump stayed inside the white house, but active like a cloud burst on twitter. venting broadly about the russia investigation, blaming democrats for a quote, witchhunt for evil politics. while washington, a town that thrives on being in the know, waits in the dark for special
counsel robert mueller's first indictment, expected tomorrow. >> we haven't been informed of who it is and it wouldn't have been appropriate for bob muler to tell us. >> reporter: reports that an indictment is coming makes secrecy a factor itself. investigators and by law grand juries work behind closed doors. >> got to be very careful about this stuff. grand jury secrecy is very important to the effectiveness of a grand jury investigation. >> reporter: the big unknowns, who has mueller targeted and for what kind of alleged crime? >> it's going to be really important whether or not this indictment involves 15-year-old business transactions or 15-day-old conversations with russia. >> reporter: among those under scrutiny, foreign lobbying work done by paul manafort, whose virginia condo was raided in july. and former national security advisor michael flynn who had not fully disclosed his business ties to russia. manafort and flynn deny any wrong doing.
and others who've received less public taeattention could be in jeopardy. >> it could be possible they're charging a number of people and they want to see who's the first one through the door. >> reporter: white house lawyer said the president's tweets today are not a reaction to anything involving the special counsel, with whom the white house continues to cooperate. the president also claimed on twitter that all the so-called russia talk is an intentional distraction from his agenda. no coincidence he says just as republicans plan to push for tax cuts. the white house has not commented directly on any anticipated indictment from the mueller investigation. kate. >> kelly o'donnell at the white house starting us off, thank you. breaking news tonight in puerto rico where the power authority there is moving to cancel it's $300 million contract with a special energy company from montana, after growing controversy. officials say that development could set back power restoration efforts for months. gabe gutierrez has the latest from san juan.
>> reporter: the controversial $300 million contract will soon be cancelled, says the head of puerto rico's power authority just hours after the governor said he wanted to pull the plug. >> it's interfering with everything. and doesn't go towards the best interest of the people of puerto rico. >> reporter: andy, the ceo of whitefish energy told nbc news he had nothing to hide. >> there's people looking for something that does not exist. >> reporter: he first contacted the puerto rico electric power authority after hurricane every ma in early september. >> i found them on linkedin. >> you used linkedin to get a $300 million contract. >> linkedin's going love this, but yeah. >> reporter: he strongly denies that u.s. interior secretary also from whitefish, montana, or anyone else in the trump administration had anything to do with the contract. fema said it had significant concerns and never reviewed the document despite wording that suggested otherwise.
>> simply not something we would do. >> reporter: really? this is just wrong. >> yes. >> reporter: he says that language wasn't supposed to be there and had been deleted from an amended version of the contract. >> i haven't compared them side by side, but certainly an oversight. >> reporter: an oversight on a $300 million contract though? $9 billion in debt signed off on the deal, but it's ceo ricardo ramos admits including the portion about fema was a mistake. >> everybody's doing ten things at the same time. i don't want to give apologies, but those things happen. >> reporter: do you think this contract was rushed. >> how can you take time with a contract that has to do with millions of people being out of power? >> reporter: now puerto rican officials say scrapping the contract could delay power restoration by 10 to 12 weeks. in a written statement late today, whitefish energy says it was disappointed in the decision
and it would only delay what the people of puerto rico want and deserve. to have their power restored quickly. 39 days after hurricane maria, about 70% of this island is still in the dark. kate. >> you can see it behind you, gabe, thank you. tonight millions of americans are bracing for a powerful storm as it churns up the east coast, damaging winds, flooding rains, and power outages are expected. and it comes on the anniversary of a superstorm a lot of people wish they could forget. morgan radford joins us live from long island, new york, with the latest, morgan. >> reporter: we're under a high wind warning along parts of the eastern sea board. you can see this rain and wind picking up here as it batters the coastline here on long island and the worst is expected tonight. this as residents are already bracing for a scene of possible devastation. one that for many is all too familiar. first responders readying for battle. >> this is what we train for. >> reporter: as a powerful storm churns up the east coast. >> this storm is going to be a
significant event. and we recommend people stay off the water. >> reporter: residents bracing for flash floods and high winds. >> i think they're just going to hunker down and see what happens. >> reporter: in the path, the same area devastated by superstorm sandy five years ago. >> effects of sandy, they're still recovering. >> reporter: tonight 45 million people are currently under flash flood watch with winds expected to reach up to 70 miles per hour. sending waves cresting up to 25 feet high. which is why firefighters here on long island are preparing their high water rescue vehicles. this is your storm fighter. >> this is what we call our storm fighter. it's capable of going through like six foot of water. >> reporter: it's a rescue vehicle? >> yes. >> reporter: the trucks they plan to plow through flooded streets. whipping up waves in connecticut. and rain pounding the jersey shore and new york. next is massachusetts. >> well, for tomorrow morning as we look at rush hour on monday, the main effects are really
going to be wind. >> reporter: the concern, a perfect storm. a convergence of weather events creating dangerous conditions. like in the 1991 storm inspiring a film about the deaths of six fishermen. >> right on. >> reporter: but some tonight aren't letting the rain dampen their plans. >> weather don't keep us away. we're here to stay. we're going to win tonight, big. real big. >> reporter: or their mood. morgan radford, nbc news, long island, new york. >> and meteorologist dylan drivier joins me. >> things are going to continue to get worse tonight. the winds will ramp up as well. now the reminisce of fipp leap are helping to pump in added moisture to this system so that's why we're noticing tropical-like downpours that could produce three to five inches of rain. that heavy rain is affecting the entire northeast right now and will continue to move up into new england. so this whole storm will continue to intensify through the night. that's why we're going to see some of our strongest winds overnight and we're also looking
at the potential of flash flooding because the rain is coming down very heavily in a short period of time, and then it's lasting for a long duration event. so we are going to see the possibility of perhaps three to five inches of rain, but the winds tonight could gust up near 65 miles per hour especially eastern long island, eastern parts of new england, out on cape cod as well. and that could down some trees and power lines, especially since we do still have the leaves on the trees right now. now this frontal system will continue to move out and tomorrow morning, we are looking at very cold temperatures, in fact, we have freeze warnings and frost advisories extending down into florida. kate. >> kylen drivier, thanks so much. open enrollment for obamacare starts this week with major changes that could affect millions of people, but many are confused about when, how, and if they still get coverage. and that confusion could impact the future of obamacare. ron allen met with americans on both sides of the debate facing real health care challenges.
>> reporter: in rural georgia, an urgent grass roots effort. >> open enrollment starts november 1st and this year ends early on december 15th. >> reporter: she works to get peep signed up for obamacare is on the air, warning the enrollment period has been cut in half this year to just 45 days. one of several trump administration moves that advocates of obamacare call sabotage. >> obamacare's a wreck. it's a mess. it's destroying lives. >> reporter: the president's own words having an impact in this red state. >> some people think obamacare doesn't even exist. >> yeah, some people, they just don't know. >> reporter: so what do you do? >> reiterate that this is still the law of the land. make the best of it right now. >> reporter: across the country, federal funds supporting enrollment were slashed by about 40% and 85% cut in georgia. the administration claims the outreach programs waste money, don't produce enough sign-ups, advocates of the affordable care act disagree. it's all very confusing and worrying to georgians like these
two. a married couple in their 50s. >> it should be simple, but -- >> it's not. >> reporter: they work as housekeepers, have health insurance for the first time. and are desperate to keep it. she has high blood pressure, he's a diabetic. so this is life and death. >> yeah, i mean, we're getting older and as you get older, you know, you just need that, you need health care. >> reporter: business owner allen rice has to offer health care to employees under obamacare. he says the rising costs could drive him out of business. are you threatened? >> am i threatened? yeah. i'm threatened. >> reporter: he's disappointed repeal and replace hasn't happened. >> i voted for trump, i support him, but at the end of the day, you know, we've got to have results. which i think is what he wants. >> reporter: for now, it's obamacare. and the coming weeks could determine how much longer it's healthy enough to survive. ron allen, nbc news, georgia. in spain, the political crisis in catalonia is growing.
hundreds of thousands of pro-unity demonstrators took to the streets of barcelona. that after the declaration of independence on friday, the spanish prime minister in madrid dissolved the government and called for new elections. the crisis threatens one of europe's largest economies. in seattle today at the seahawks, texans games, most of the players for the houston texans kneeled during the national anthem. they were protesting comments made by the team's owner after ann espn report revealed that bob north carolina nair told fellow owners, we can't have the inmates running the business. mcnair apologized and insisted his remarks were not about the players at all. when it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace, it's not just a problem in hollywood and washington. as more women are speaking out about their personal experiences, we're finding it's a pervasive issue impacting every industry. stephanie rule now with a look at this widespread problem and what companies can do to prevent
it. >> i've been asked if i have a boyfriend. i've been ask what time do i finish work. >> reporter: for this waitress, it's part of the job. on an average saturday night, that's the biggest money making night of the week, how many times do you think you get harassed. >> on an average, about two to three. >> reporter: working in a customer service industry means you're at higher risk for sexual harassment. >> i'm not bothering with that. >> reporter: another high risk area, a workplace where a so-called superstar is at the helm. recent allegations from hollywood and media to the halls of power in washington. >> when you're a star they let you do it. you can do anything. >> reporter: the attitude expressed by president trump to billy bush in that famous 2005 access hollywood incident, raised the issue of public figures abusing their power. one in four women say they'd experienced sexual harassment at work. in all industries, and occupations. that number jumps to 60% if you include sexists or crude
language. >> it's very pervasive. it's blue collar, it's white collar, it's differing income levels. it is literally every day, everywhere. >> reporter: and researchers say harassment is underreported. >> upwards of 75% of women do not report it. >> he told me of his own sexual prowess. >> reporter: in 1991 people thought this was the water shed moment for change. when anita hill spoke out against clarence thomas. charges he denied. >> i did not make these statements or do these things. >> reporter: still, sexual harassment has remained a constant problem. kate, i mean, when you think about this, it affects all sorts of industries, all sorts of businesses, and companies out there big and small, can do something about it. they can put in place sexual
harassment training policies. their employees should note, this is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. and managers should know, here's what people need to do to come forward. if you're a victim, you should know in your company who you can go to, and you should know that your privacy is protected. and at the top of the company, even if it's a small business, the leaders have to get involved. and you have to train your employees. you and have i always worked at big companies, we know what sexual harassment training is. but imagine if you worked in hospitality or restaurant, a restaurant should know, they need to train their employees for exactly what they could face, all their employees, even if you're a bystander. >> good that we're all stlg conversation. stephanie, thanks so much. >> we need to. still ahead tonight, the unlikely political candidate who's turning tragedy into a chance to serve. also an object from interstellar space visits our solar system. has scientists over the moon. paying less for my medicare? i'm open to that.
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politics are polarized and margins slim -- >> i can still count on your vote -- >> reporter: many voters have seen him in their homes before. everybody recognizes you because you were on television. >> for the most part. >> reporter: the 30-year-old former local news anchor admits it helps him, the democrat will need more than that to become state delegate. to win, he must unseat three-term republican yost. >> that's no sure thing. >> reporter: something driven by personal tragedy. >> allison parker fatally shot in morning. >> reporter: in 2015, his girlfriend, a reporter at the same station was shot and killed along with her cameraman on live television. >> we need to have better education -- >> reporter: the loss led him in a new direction. >> this is not about me or allison, this is about me trying to serve the people that gave me so much when i needed it. >> reporter: part of his platform, more gun regulation. though as a gun owner himself, he defends the second amendment. interest in the election is
intense, combined the candidates have raised more than a million dollars. >> i've worked really hard over the last six years, you know, i meet with practically anybody that walks through my door. >> reporter: hurst has the backing of her parents. >> in supporting chris and his campaign, it does give us strength. it strengthens her legacy too. >> reporter: for chris hearse, it's a second chance to make a difference. >> i had a career where i kept powerful people accountable. i still believe that i can do that even as someone who will be one of the powerful. >> reporter: a chance he says was worth taking, win or loss. katie beck, nbc news, flakesburg, virginia. when we come back, a [bell rings] every year we take a girl's trip. remember nashville? kimchi bbq. amazing honky tonk? i can't believe you got us tickets. i did. i didn't pay for anything. you never do. send me what i owe.
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members of the nba's oklahoma city thunder were in for a shock when their charter flight landed yesterday. check out these instagram photos posted by some of the players. that's the nose of the plane. delta airlines officials say the dent was likely caused by a bird strike. a team official said the flight was a little rough, but nothing out of the ordinary and no one was hurt. here's another surprise in the sky for the first time ever, a space rock from another solar system has been spotted in our neck of the woods. this phenomenon is so new, astronomers don't even have a word for it yet since asteroid technically means a space rock that or bits our sun. they're trying to gather data as they can. the quarter rock is currently speeding away at more than 98,000 miles an hour. when we come back, banding together to make a dream come true.
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sight. but it couldn't touch her spirit. and the feisty high school freshman decided, eyesight or not, she was going to march. she just needed someone to be her eyes. when her first partner dropped out, senior rachel stefen stepped in for what was supposed to be just a few days. when did you know that you had this special relationship? >> probably after the first day. >> reporter: there was no turning back. rachel gave up her own spot on the field so she could march with autumn. >> she's so much fun to be around. if i'm having a bad day, i come to band and she changes it right around because she's so funny. >> reporter: for autumn's parents, seeing that smile means everything. >> we never thought we would be here. to see her out there doing that. it was the most amazing, amazing night for us. >> reporter: tonight's game bitter sweet because as a senior, it's rachel's last. >> she tells me i can't graduate. >> i'm not leaving her. >> reporter: whoever takes her
place will have big shoes to fill. >> i love rachel. her and i are so good together. >> reporter: a chance pairing what that changed both their lives. >> i think i'm definitely going to remember this for the rest of my life. >> reporter: teaching us all what it's like to have a true friend at your side. nbc news, langsburg, michigan. >> what a great pair. that is nbc nightly news for this sunday night. lester holt will be in tomorrow. i'm kate snow. for all of us here at nbc news, have a great night.