tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC August 1, 2017 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
tonight, high drama over what really happened aboard air force one. a stunning report that the president in flight personally dictated his son's misleading statement about that meeting with the russian lawyer. did the misdirection go all the way to the top. hot car tragedies, two infants die on the same day left in vehicles amid scorching temperatures. >> she was my precious cargo. and i never thought it would happen to her. >> safety groups pushing carmakers to sound the alarm. microchipping employees, a device implanted under your skin that opens the door, works a vending machine, and more. we'll take you to a company where it's happening. and baby bump. a little boy's airplane greeting we just can't get enough of.
>> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. we're glad you're here tonight. it's looking tonight like president trump had a bigger hand than first acknowledged in crafting son donald junior's initial misleading statement about his meeting last year with the russian attorney. as you may recall, follow-up statements from the younger trump revealed the meeting was really about gathering campaign dirt on hillary clinton. but the "washington post" is reporting it was the president himself who dictated his son's first response, which incorrectly claimed the meeting was about something much more innocent. that's raising a host of questions this evening. our hallie jackson has details. >> reporter: tonight new questions of credibility and contradictions with the white house defending the president for his response to that campaign meeting between do t
lawyer. the fallout focuses on what happened july 8th, on air force one, not long after the president left the g20 summit in germany. in the forward cabin according to the "washington post," president trump with longtime aid hope hicks who acted as a go-between with his son, as the president personally dictated a statement that trump junior said he had a meeting with the russian lawyer, primarily discussed the program of the adoption of russian children. turns out that was misleading, showing the meeting was promising dirt on hillary clinton from a foreign adversary. three weeks ago, the president's lawyer sounded definitive. >> the president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement. >> reporter: today the white house said he actually was involved. >> he certainly didn't dictate, but he, like i said, he weighed in, offered suggestion like any father would do. >> reporter: the president's personal lawyer calls the post report inaccurate and not pertinent.
but the conflicting comments are raising questions about why the president got involved at all, what the special counsel will make of this, and whether the president's push to control the message is hurting him with his party. >> if that's true, then that was a bad decision by the president, which will make us ask more questions. when you fet caught in a lie about one thing, it makes it hard to just say let the other stuff go. >> reporter: signs of a trust deficit with the white house unconcerned. >> is this what is hurting the president's legislative agenda, this credibility issue? >> i think what's hurting the legislative agenda is congress' inability to get things passed. >> reporter: congress has passed a critical bill sanctioning russia along with north korea and iran. but the president still hasn't signed it. the white house says he will after a review, but no word yet on the time line. lester? >> hallie jackson at the white house. thanks, hallie. fallout from president trump's recent message to police urging them to not be, quote, too nice when transporting suspects. he's contradicted by
directly contradicted by one of the nation's top law enforcement officials who told his agents to reject that presidential message which the white house dismisses as a joke. nbc's peter alexander has details. >> reporter: from the acting head of the drug enforcement agency, a stunning rebuke of the president's recent remarks, appearing to encourage the roughing up of suspects by police. >> when you see these thugs thrown into the back of the paddy wagon, you see them thrown in rough, i say please don't be too nice. >> reporter: chuck rosenberg in his memo obtained by nbc news telling us nearly 9,000 agents and staff worldwide to disregard the president's comments that condone police misconduct. instead, reminding agents they must always act honorably, by maintaining the very highest standards. why weigh in? because we have an obligation to speak out when something is wrong, rosenberg writes. the white house unapologetic, dismissing the criticism. >> it wasn't a directive, it was a joke. there's a ry
>> reporter: but it's not a laughing matter in communities like baltimore where 25-year-old freddie gray died from his injuries in 2015 after a rough ride in the back of a police van. in atlanta today, attorney general jeff sessions promised to prosecute officers who use excessive force. >> all it takes is for one bad officer to destroy the reputations of so many who work every day to build good relationships in these communities. >> reporter: the president's off-the-cuff comments police chiefs warn detract from their legitimacy and trust in their communities. >> we're not thugs. we are professionals. >> reporter: committed to upholding the law, while they enforce it. peter alexander, nbc news, the white house. this evening, the senate has voted overwhelmingly to confirm christopher wray as the new director of the fbi. the vote was 92-5. wray, a former justice department official under george w. bush, takes over the bureau following president trump's abrupt firing of james comey, who was leading the investigation into
campaign and russia during the 2016 election. as the crisis with north korea escalates, today the secretary of state made a dramatic move. offering the first direct talks with kim jong-un's regime and spoke about resetting relations with russia. all in his very first state department briefing since taking office. and our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell was there. >> reporter: six months into the job, secretary of state rex tillerson stepped into the briefing room for the first time, addressing crises from russia to north korea, with a new message for kim jong-un. >> we are not your enemy. we're not your threat. but you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us. and we have to respond. >> reporter: that response both carrots and sticks. the u.s. planning to test fire a long-range missile from california tonight. but tillerson today offering pyongyang direct talks. >> we would like to set and have a dialogue with them.
than half of the u.s. embassy staff in russia. >> the situation is bad, but believe me, it can get worse. it just did. >> reporter: complicating everything, trump tweets most recently blasting china for north korea. >> how complicated is it for you to do your job with sometimes the president, the commander in chief, contradicting u.s. foreign policy on twitter? >> in light of the fact that the president communicates the way he does, like anything else, part of the environment in which we work, we'll adapt to it. >> reporter: underlying all this, rumors tillerson might quit over disagreements with the president. >> he calls me late at night, on the weekends, when something comes into his head and he wants to talk. if we're not having those differences, i'm not sure i'm serving him. i would tell you the relationship between the president and myself is good. >> rejecting white house leaks blaming him for widespread state department vacancies, tillerson
speaks to say, help, help us fix this. that said, tomorrow he'll be meeting with congressional republican leaders who blame him and the proposed budget cuts for a large part of the problem here. >> andrea mitchell at the state department, thank you. tonight a pair of tragedies and soaring temperatures are prompting a renewed warning for moms and dads and a renewed push to force carmakers to install alarms in back seats, alerting parents when children are left behind. it comes as temperatures reached dangerous triple-digit highs across much of the west. our national correspondent miguel almaguer has a look at how this alarm system would work. >> reporter: tonight as temperatures soared towards record highs, this stern warning from police. we will immediately smash your windows if a child or pet is left unattended in a hot car. near phoenix, two baby boys died in cars as temperatures soared over 100 degrees. 11 children nationwide
being left inside hot cars. >> it was my baby. she was my precious cargo. and i never thought it would happen to her. >> reporter: for beth brown, the pain from ten years ago is still fresh today. her husband accidently left their daughter, amber lee, in the family car. >> it doesn't matter your socioeconomic status, it doesn't matter your race, it doesn't matter your age, this is happening to everyone. >> reporter: brown and more than two dozen safety groups are now pushing new legislation in congress that would require carmakers to build an alarm system, when a child is left in the back seat. >> all we're asking is a little reminder for the most important thing you could ever put in your vehicle. >> reporter: some carmakers like gm already offer warning systems. in this 2017 model, the driver gets a dashboard alert to check the rear seat, sensing someone may have been back there.
with 29 children killed in hot cars this year alone, for some parents, new legislation comes too late. but for so many others, it could save a life. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. >> as we begin to enter back to school time, two grieving parents in new jersey with a wakeup call about cyber bullying. their 12-year-old daughter committed suicide in june after they say she was relentlessly harassed by classmates. now they're ready to sue their school district saying their pleas for the school to intervene and stop it were ignored. they spoke with our stephanie gosk. >> reporter: malorie grossman's parents say -- >> chronic headaches, stomachaches. >> reporter: in june the 12-year-old straight-a student who loved gymnastics suicide committed
grossman announced they will sue the school district for not doing enough to stop it. >> this small device can be a lethal weapon in the hands of the wrong child. >> how was a cell phone used as a weapon against malorie? >> it humiliated her. it intimidated her. it made her feel alone. >> text messages escalated to the point where they actually said, why don't you kill yourself. >> reporter: the grossmans say they turned to teachers, counselors and the principal. >> what was their response? >> we're investigating it. >> reporter: the school board issued a statement in june saying in part, we wish to send our deepest sympathies, adding, it is cooperating with an ongoing criminal investigation and cannot respond to inaccurate rumors and accusations. malorie's case just another example of something the whole country still struggles with. more than 50% of young people report being cyber bullied. 25% repeatedly. girls more than boys. and it's mostly happening on instagram and snapchat.
solely on school officials for help. >> you bring as much information as possible to the authorities, and you say, there's a pattern of behavior going on where my child cannot focus and they are scared. >> reporter: the grossmans want accountability. >> we live in this beautiful, pretty little glass home. and someone took a baseball bat to it. >> reporter: hoping their family tragedy might help prevent another. stephanie gosk, nbc news, roseland, new jersey. we turn now to a global hot spot that is spiraling deeper out of control as a strongman grabs nearly unlimited power in venezuela, and violence rages in the streets. demonstrators are desperately trying to push back. the u.s. slapping sanctions on president nicolas maduro and keeping a close watch on an oil-rich nation in chaos. we get more now from nbc's kerry sanders. >> reporter: tonight venezuela is a country in crisis.
unrest. early this morning, state security swarmed the former mayor of of caracas' home. shouts of dictator by his wife. also grabbed under cover of darkness, opposition leader lopez, who was released from jail almost a month ago. the venezuelan supreme court saying both men violated their house arrests by criticizing the government on social media. lopez recorded this video, telling his wife, make it public if re-arrested. he says, i'm in prison for my ideas, because i want a better venezuela. >> the re-arrest of opposition leaders last night is very alarming. >> reporter: sunday's controversial vote in venezuela seen as a move towards the consolidation of power, in just one man. president maduro. the u.s. already targeting maduro with financial sanctions, now threatening to limit some oil imports
president maduro, like his predecessor hugo chavez, blaming problems like poverty and crime in part on u.s. aggression. tonight venezuela, a country with the largest oil reserves in the world, in economic and political chaos. kerry sanders, nbc news. back in this country, another new high today on wall street. the dow closing at 21,963 at one point coming within ten points of 22,000. one of the key drivers on the dow is apple, which reported strong sales and earnings, sending the company stocks soaring to a new record after hours. there's a lot more to tell you about here tonight. it's like something out of a science fiction movie. why one company is offering employees microchip implants. could your workplace be next and how do you feel about it? looking to lose weight? you may want to change your sleeping habits. we'll explain. stay with us.
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we're back with a story that's likely to create some conversation around your dinner table. we've certainly had it in this studio. would you let your company microchip you? at first it sounds like something you'd normally reserve for your dog, but it's new technology now being used in humans, and one company is getting national attention for implanting devices under the skin of employees, allowing them to leave their i.d. badges behind. nbc's ron motte has our story from river falls, wisconsin. >> reporter: todd
hand in shaping the future. the ceo of vindy machine maker three square market literally opening doors with automation that's turning some workers into high-tech machines of sorts. >> this is a lot more than just some novelty to you? >> it is. it's reality. with all of the interest we've seen in it, i can tell this is definitely the future. >> reporter: by injecting a rice-sized microchip into a willing employee's hand, all kinds of data can be programmed into them, from driver's licenses and medical i.d. cards to logging onto computers. >> you have to hold it up to something such as this. >> reporter: even purchasing snacks in the company break room. more than 50 employees have volunteered. how much did that hurt? >> it didn't really hurt a lot. >> reporter: a third holding off for now. >> it's kind of freaking me out a little bit. >> reporter: among the concerns, i.d. theft, health and whether the chips can be tracked by gps. >> most people don't really understand how this technology works. what data is collected, how it's stored, or who might be
illegally. >> reporter: three square said their employees cannot be tracked by satellite. melissa timmons was skeptical but is now chipped. >> right now it's only buy a candy bar and get in our building, but there's a lot more that will be coming with it. >> reporter: chips off the new block. >> i'll choose to pay with my hand here. >> reporter: cool technology, once again, hand in hand. ron motte, nbc news, river falls, wisconsin. >> would you go for it? talk among yourselves. we'll take a break, and when we come back, a moment with something special, making a surprise comeback in the digital age.
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as the old saying goes, you snooze you lose. but a new study suggests that might not be such a bad thing. researchers say people who sleep an average of six hours a night have a waist size over an inch larger
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and cholesterol level. police in maryland say they're flooded with calls for donations after the photo of an officer buying diapers went viral. he wasn't buying them for his own family but rather for a young mother who was cited for allegedly shoplifting diapers because she didn't have enough money. police aren't releasing her name but are referring those who want to send donations to a nonprofit that helps low-income families. in this digital world of video games and mobile games, it might surprise you to hear that good old-fashioned board games are making a bit of a comeback. particularly strategy games like monopoly or risk which are seeing a 21% jump in sales. so the next time the kids are restless, maybe you've already got the solution stacked somewhere in the hall closet. when we come back, caught on camera, why this tiny traveler is going viral. you don't want to miss this one. ...my 3-month old business... plus...what if this happened again? i was given warfarin in the hospital,
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>> reporter: his mom took cell phone video of them going to their seats on a southwest flight from kansas city, missouri, heading home to raleigh after visiting grandma. guy reached out to fist bump every passenger. >> say hi to everyone. >> hi. >> reporter: the warm response prompted mom to write instagram and facebook posts that have since gone viral. she said guy learned how to fist bump about six months ago and hasn't stopped. >> i think it's his way of connecting with people. he's not a big hugger, he's not a big kisser, but a solid fist bump, he's more than confident to give that up. >> reporter: it's a sharp contrast to the other disturbing airline videos, you know the ones that have gone viral and made all of us wonder, what in the world is going on. but now there's this. there is something special about a kid's fist bump. when the bruins' championship hopes were on thin ice, the image of a young
bumping the team became an online sensation. >> reach up high. all right. >> reporter: now a little boy lifting the spirits of a plane full of weary travelers, and all of the rest of us going along for the ride. rehema ellis, nbc news, new york. >> no way you could have a bad flight after that. 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 have a good night.
i think i might be the first best mother. >> as the brides honor for halle on a night of girl power galore, this is "access hollywood" and which talented lady earned the high praise for this very appreciative man. >> she's awesome, awesome, awesome. >> yeah. >> i want to say one more thing. >> men tell all fallout. the