tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC November 30, 2017 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
earth's surface. >> we'll gather reports. "nbc nightly news" is next. see you back here at 11:00. tonight, your taxes. senate republicans on the brink of passing their sweeping plan as a new nonpartisan report finds the plan would add a trillion dollars to the deficit. a closer look at the potential hard hit for families with big medical bills. >> i can't see us taking away care for him, so most likely it would be, you know, putting ourselves into debt to be ableo care for him. we're also following breaking news. a rare earthquake shakes the northeast. rattled from new york to philly to baltimore. high drama swirling around secretary of state rex tillerson and whether the white house is hatching a secret plan to push him out. we're learning more tonight about the allegations against matt lauer. as many as six women accusing the fired "today" host of sexual misconduct as lauer issues an apology.
using pot to treat ptsd. a growing number of veterans say it's a life saver. the new push to let v.a. doctors prescribe marijuana. this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. after hand wringing and hesitation by some members, senate republicans appear to have come together and are looking to pass a sweeping rewrite of the tax code tonight. the first in more than three decades, once aligned with the house version, it will affect your take-home pay as it adds new credits, takes away some popular deducti deductions and slashes corporate taxes. republicans racing to present president trump with his first major legislative win. our capitol hill correspondent casey hu -- kasie hunt has the latest on this development. good evening. >> reporter: lester, good evening. tonight frantic rewrite of this tax bill on the senate form, major dram, as this is set to pass as soon as tomorrow and
no one in the public has seen it. with barely any debate, republicans racing to pass a bill that will affect every american family's bottom line. >> it's our opportunity to overhaul our complex tax code and shift our economy into high gear. >> reporter: the tax bill would cut the corporate tax rate to 20%. reduce marginal rates for individuals. expand the child tax credit. and double the standard deduction. but eliminate other popular tax breaks like the deduction for student loans. not a single democrat saying they'll vote for the bill. >> this tax bill is one of the most unfair and disastrous pieces of legislation ever brought forth in the modern history of this country. >> reporter: but republicans under intense pressure to prove they're capable of governing. no chance you don't get this done? >> no, failure is not an option. we need a tax cut. >> good morning. >> reporter: a breakthrough moment, john mccain announcing he'd vote yes. last-minute republican negotiations are focused on how to make
sure the bill won't cost billions more than expected but those talks don't include any democrats. >> we've got fixes if they'll just work with us. >> reporter: in the race to get it done, republicans making major changes in areas that seem unrelated to the tax code including allowing churches to participate in partisan politics and opening up the arctic national wildlife refuge to oil drilling. >> i think this bill has been billed much more about being a middle class tax cut when that's really not what it is. >> reporter: a new nonpartisan analysis out tonight shows that this plan could add up to a trillion dollars to the deficit and a promised tresh yu department analysis is completely missing. even if they do pass this plan, they still have a long way to go. they'll have to reconcile major differences with the house proposal. >> kasie hunt starting us out on capitol hill, thank you. we're continuing our in depth reporting on how the republican tax proposals could affect middle class american families. with a nonpartisan congressional budget office predicting anyone making under
$75,000 will pay more, tonight we'll look at what it means for americans' ability to pay for health care. tom costello with a reality check. >> here we go. >> reporter: another day of physical therapy for 2-year-old jackson. born with spine ba bifida, his parents spend $25,000 a year out of pocket on his care then itemize and deduction much of it from their taxes. >> nice job. i like that. >> reporter: but under the house plan that deduction would go away. >> i can't see us taking away care for him. so most likely it would be putting ourselves into debt to be able to care for him. >> reporter: last year nearly 9 million households claimed medical deductions, including for in-home therapy, costly medications and nursing care, expenses that often total much more than the new standard deductions republicans are posing of $12,000 for individuals, $24,000 for couples. >> for any family caring for a senior in a nursing home or for any family caring for
a disabled child or adult, their taxes are going to be much, much higher. >> reporter: if congress also kills the individual mandate which requires all americans to also have insurance, nonpartisan experts predict everyone's premiums will jump at least 10%, all of that on top of kill a host of deductions that americans take for state and local taxes, mortgage interest, alimony, student loans even school supplies teachers buy. >> bottom line this plan cuts taxes for the rich, cuts taxes for corporations who are already seeing record profits, but the heartland of american, many who voted for president trump, they could get hit hard. >> reporter: seniors could get hit hard, no longer allowed to deduct assisted living would mean a big tax hike. tom costello, nbc news, washington. another big milestone as the dow finished up 331 racing past 24,000 and closing above that mark for the first time at 24272. now to breaking
news on the east coast. an earthquake centered near dover, delaware, rattling the region. there are reports the 4.1 magnitude quake was felt from baltimore to new york. certainly a rare occurrence in this part of the country. our kristen dahlgren is in philadelphia with the latest. >> reporter: just before 5:00 p.m., a rare 4.1 magnitude earthquake hit near dover, delaware. >> the house was shaking. i had no idea what it was. i thought maybe it was a close flying plane. i had no idea. but our house was shaking. >> reporter: it was the strongest ek esest earthquake to strike the east coast when a quake hit d.c. shaking the nation's capital so strongly it cracked the washington monument. >> this is a large earthquake for the east coast. it's one of the largest in the last decade and is felt from new york to washington, d.c. >> reporter: this earthquake caught the region by surprise. now, some people here say they didn't even feel it.
they only learned about it afterwards on social media, but experts say with an earthquake like this, a 4.1 magnitude, the average aftershock is about a 3.1. so people in this area, especially in delaware, can expect more smhaking in the coming days. >> kristen dahlgren in philadelphia, thanks. now to the drama erupting inside the president's cabinet, the white house denying reports that president trump may soon fire secretary of state rex tillerson at a time when diplomatic tensions are growing with one of america's closest allies over something the president did on social media. nbc news chief white house correspondent hallie jackson has details for us. >> reporter: tonight rex tillerson is the secretary of state, but for how long? do you want rex tillerson on the job, mr. president? >> he's here. rex is here. >> reporter: that's not a ringing endorsement for tillerson as speculation swirls around his future in the cabinet. >> chief of staff kelly called our
department this morning and said that the rumors are not true, that those reports are not true. >> reporter: but privately, intensifying talks of how to replace tillerson, according to one administration source, who says the secretary of state burned all his bridges inside the west wing. tillerson and the president locked in a rocky relationship since the summer. remember this joke last month? >> some days i feel like i need to do that. curl up in a ball. >> reporter: multiple senior administration officials say cia director mike pompeo is the favorite to be the next secretary of state with the diplomatic drama coming at an especially sensitive moment. one of our closest allies abroad not happy and not hiding it after the president retweeted inflammatory unverified anti-muslim videos linked to a far right british extremist group. prime minister theresa may today. >> the fact that we work together does not mean that we're afraid to say when we think the united states have got it wrong. >> reporter: that came hours after the president tweeted to may, don't focus on me. we are doing just
fine. members of british parliament furious president trump used his platform to elevate that fringe group, though the white house insists he did not. >> what he's done is elevate the conversation to talk about a real issue and a real threat and that's extreme violence and extreme terrorism. >> reporter: nbc news has learned from an administration source the state department took the unusual step of sending an advisory to the white house about the negative response overseas to those retweets. still, despite the british backlash, there are apparently no plans to skrab the president's state visit to london expected some time next year. lester? >> hallie jackson, thank you. a day after he was fired by nbc news, matt lauer is now facing accusations of sexual misconduct by as many as six women. and as details about his alleged behavior continue to emerge, the former "today" show host has now issued a public apology. nbc's stephanie gosk now with the latest. >> reporter: the first images of matt lauer after being fired from his job at the "today"
show, taken near his home on long island. early this morning the former star anchor released a statement saying in part, to the people i have hurt, i am truly sorry. some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized but there's enough truth in those stories to make me feel embarrassed or ashamed. it comes on the heels of new accusations. at least three women have come forward to nbc. among them one accuser who alleges she was sexually assaulted in lauer's office in 2001 according to a report in "the new york times." she told the paper she passed out during the incident and woke up on the floor of his office. she says lauer had his assistant take her to a nurse. an nbc spokesperson would not comment on the details citing privacy issues. altogether there may be as many as six accusers. questions have been raised about whether nbc news executives knew of the complaints prior to monday. several former nbc news executives we
spoke with today told us they didn't know of any complaints. and the network responded saying unequivocally no current management new about any allegations. the string of allegations together with how swiftly matt lauer lost his anchor share have many wondering if this will change tv newsroom culture especially after high profile anchors at cbs news and fox news have also been fired. >> the curtain's being pulled back. >> the curtain is being pulled back. and the question is whether the figures being toppled whether they turn out to be sacrificial figures or transformative ones. >> reporter: stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. entertainment mogul russell simmons has stepped down from his company after a second woman accused him of sexual misconduct. simmons, who co-founded def jam recordings in the 1980s and went on to create a media empire says his recollections are very different than his accuser's. he denies ever being vinlt but apologized for being, quote,
thoughtless and insensitive in some of his relationships. tonight there are growing calls on capitol hill for embattled congressman john conyers, the dean of the house, to resign. t saying it is time for conyers to go after revelations of several women akoozing him of misconduct. conyers is now hospitalized his political consultant says due to stress. >> reporter: accused of sexual harassment john conyers lost his most important supporter, nancy pelosi. >> congressman conyers should resign. >> reporter: a dramatic about-face by the house minority leader from sunday's "meet the press." >> just because someone is accused and was it one accusation? is it two? >> reporter: this morning marion brown broke her silence on "today." >> i'm here to say that i'm not a liar. >> reporter: the former staffer received a $27,000 settlement from
conyers for what she endured over 11 years. >> he's just violated my body. he has touched me in different ways, and it was very uncomfortable and very unprofessional. >> reporter: tonight all the house democratic leaders say conyers should go. >> i talk with them in person and told him that i thought it was in his best interests to step away from this body. >> reporter: a bipartisan sentiment. >> i think he should resign. i think he should resign immediately. >> reporter: but from the conyers' camp denials and defiance. >> nancy pelosi did not elect the congressman and she sure as hell won't be the one to tell the congressman to leave. >> reporter: on the senate side tonight the ethics committee confirms it's opened an investigation into al franken's conduct as two more women say he was inappropriate with them. army veteran stephanie kemplin tells cnn the comedian groepd her breast before this picture in 2003. franken's spokesperson
reiterates the minnesota senator has never intentionally engaged in this kind of conduct. a nude selfie and reports of messages ended joe barton's run. the republican says he will not seek re-election as the rules for behavior are reset on capitol hill. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. we've got an update on a story we first told you about here last night, that computer glitch at american airlines that gave way too many pilots vacation in the weeks around christmas leaving flights with no one to fly them. the airline now says the number of flights affected is in the hundreds. that's down from the thousands they reported yesterday. still, it's a situation leaving hundreds of flights in jeopardy of being canceled and certainly a lot of concerned holiday travelers. the airline says it's working to avoid cancellations. there's much more ahead tonight. helping our veterans with their battles back home. can pot bring leaf to those suffering from ptsd?
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we're back now with something that could give new hope to our veterans battling ptsd. every day an estimated 20 american veterans commit suicide. that's a staggering number. but now the first clinical trial is under way to determine whether ptsd can be effectively treated with pot. nbc's gabe gutierrez has details. >> reporter: the nightmares had gotten so painful that roberto pickering started drinking himself to death. >> when i got back from iraq, i felt like an eggshell and i was just doing all this self-destructive behavior that i could think of to not feel anything at all. >> reporter: the marine sniper was prescribed 14 different drugs as he battled post traumatic stress until he turned to pot. >> i stopped all the pills cold turkey. and i picked up cannabis because, in my opinion, it was
either -- it was either find relief or suicide. >> reporter: he's one of a growing number of veterans who say medical marijuana is helping treat ptsd symptoms and is a less addictive alternative to opioids. >> i think we're desperately seeking new treatments for ptsd. >> reporter: near phoenix dr. sue sisley is carrying on the first study of its kind. 23 states list ptsd as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. but a recent report funded by the v.a. found there's not enough hard evidence to make firm conclusions about the drug's effectiveness. >> what might feel good in the short term is not necessarily good in the long term. rather than look at anecdote and stories, let's look at the overall picture. >> reporter: ronaldo pickering just wants more research done. >> they're coming back from a war and they're fighting a new war and that's a suicide and opioid epidemic. >> reporter: a battle
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this holiday season, choose help. call 844 reach nj or visit reachnj.gov. tonight hollywood is mourning the death of beloved actor jim nabors, tv's gomer pyle. ♪ from the halls of montezuma ♪ >> he shot to fame when he joined the andy griffith shoe as a lovable auto mechanic. his character so popular he went on to star in his own show, gomer pyle usmc. he proved a popular attraction in las vegas performances and at the indy 500 where he sang "back home again in indiana" for years. he passed away of natural causes, his husband by his side at his home in hawaii. jim nabors was 87 years old. caught on camera, the moment an explosion rocked a cosmetics factory in new york state.
dramatic new images show a worker wiping a tank, then a bright flash as chemicals go up in flames. that employee, one of 125 injured in the incident last week, one person was killed. officials say it was caused by static electricity, ruling it an accident. in a tradition that dates back nearly a century, president trump and first lady lit the national christmas tree near the white house this evening. this year's event co-hosted by our own kathie lee gifford, featured several performers including the beach boys. when we come back, the hero police officer whose big family is getting even bigger just in time for the getting even bigger just in time for the for singing definitely dry mouth has been a problem for me. getting even bigger just in time for the i'm also on a lot of medications that dry my mouth. i just drank tons of water all the time. it was never enough. i wasn't sure i was going to be able to continue singing. i saw my dentist. he suggested biotene. it feels refreshing. my mouth felt more lubricated. i use biotene rinse twice a day and then i use the spray throughout the day.
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tell you the story about a hero police officer and his wife opening their hearts and their home to children in need. now they're spending their first holiday season as one big happy family. rehema ellis with tonight's "inspiring america." >> reporter: officer adam grueler has looked evil in the eye. >> oh, my god. people are getting shot. >> reporter: he was the first officer to respond to the pulse nightclub shooting massacre last year. >> i was working off duty that night. >> as a law enforcement officer's wife, you always know when they leave there's a possibility they may not come home. it's what you face every day. >> reporter: at home that night his wife and six boys in their blended family. they'd been thinking about adopting a girl, but after the massacre, their family grew by three. >> i think three years ago we would have said oh, no, no, no, no. but i think we looked at each other and we thought about it and just felt right. >> reporter: how many big brothers do you have now? >> i cannot count. there's way too many! >> reporter: 8-year-old jonathan
and 6-year-old twins stephanie and rachel make the gruelers a real life brady bunch. >> well, dad got the baseball team he always wanted. i feel like we can give them the home they deserve. >> going through that incident allowed me to just reorganize my priorities to what they're supposed to be, you know, putting our family first. >> reporter: three siblings once separated in different foster homes now together again. >> it's like they've always been here and always been a part of our family. so i think we're the lucky ones. >> reporter: from witnessing so much horror to sharing even more love. rehema ellis, nbc news, orlando, florida. >> it's going to be a great christmas in that household. 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. we leave you with a look at the rockefeller center christmas tree now all lit up. have a good night, everyone.
she was sexually assaulted by the anchor in his office. >> what did nbc know? >> matt lauer sent her a sex toy with a very graphic note. >> matt lauer's first appearance and his first words, but the growing list of allegations only brings more questions. >> current and former anchors of matt lauer's knew.
to i met, jack and romy, i'm thinking about you. >> the impact of matt's family. promising he's been nice, not naughty. what's the one thing little prince george wants from santa? >> i think one request is probably okay. >> lights, camera, "access." matt lauer out in public and issuing an apology. >> and the big question now, who knew what and when? >> welcome to "access hollywood." as more women come forward, accusing matt of sexual misconduct, the fallout has begun. >> so we begin our coverage with matt's first words and first sighting since being fired. casual in jean, a sweater and sunglasses flathd matt was wearing his wedding ring . he was seen for the first time since being fired. on the move outside his home in the hamptons hours of savannah and hoda opened can the tod eed a statement from their former colleague. >> we hours ago received a statement from matt. "there are no