tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC July 25, 2017 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
tonight, mccain's message. stirring moments on the senate floor, a rousing ovation, a critical vote in the health care fight, and an ailing senator delivering powerful words. on thin ice, president trump blasts his own attorney general again, steaming over jeff sessions' recusal from the russia investigion. will sessions 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 100 deceased nfl players, all but one showed evidence of degenerative brain disease. how the nfl is responding. inspiring america
obstacles, soaring to new heights. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: 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 chr,
john mccain. on this day, 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 who during the campaigned infamously mocked mccain 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 as an effort to take 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 through the rest of this week to take part in the
health care and other key issues before returning back home to arizona to recuperate. lester? >> 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 has just begun. 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
[000:04:59;00] 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 koirnted to work up his own drama in washington today over 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 tonight on what's looking like jeff sessions' death by a thousand cuts at the hands of a president scorned. >> 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 else 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 commit tier tee 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 unprecedented for a president to call out over and over again a sitting member of his own cabinet for simply following the rule of law. the president has the authority to remove a cabinet member at any time for any reason. but tonight proving he's not going anywhere, the attorney general announced a new policy telling
ti 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 passed 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 here at home, overseas today, 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 the uss thunderbolt. 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, ignoring 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. 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: an auto parts store 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
treatmen 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: kiara the killer whale, her first moments of life
at sea world can turn on camera. now at oth sigman was with her when she succumbed to pneumonia. you heard the last heartbeat? 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 the company shut down its 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 the park today, protesters gathered outside the park. trainers attended to kiara's mother, now 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, are 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 have to say about it, when we come back. ot on my min. 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.
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take the zantac it challenge. 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 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 utility vehicles. we know police modify these vehicles which could contribute to exhaust related issues. but federal regulators are 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 safety and well-being of our officers. >> reporter: tonight the city's considering whether to replace hundreds of other vehicles. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, austin, texas. there's a lot more ahead tonight. we're back in a moment with a big exciting change announced today by the girl scouts. announced today by the girl scouts. i love you, couch. you give us comfort. and we give you bare feet... ...backsweat and gordo's everything. i love you, but sometimes you stink. ♪ new febreze fabric refresher with odorclear technology... ...cleans away odors like never before. because the things you love the most can stink. and plug in febreze to keep your whole room fresh for up... ...to 45 days. breathe happy with new febreze. what bad back?gels work so fast you'll ask
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to show girl power at 23 of them actually. the largest batch of new badges in a decade focused on science, technology, engineering and math, part of a new push to capture girls' interest and offer early motivation in those areas. 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 finds that spending money on things that save you time, like hiring a housekeeper or springing for a taxi really can make you happier. researchers found 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. on car insurance, so being cool comes naturally. hmm. i can't decide if this place is swag or bling.
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sun rises above the flatirons in boulder, colorado, daniel, james and maureen 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 choose to 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. 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
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