Skip to main content

tv   Today  NBC  December 20, 2017 7:00am-8:58am EST

7:00 am
good morning. breaking overnight. >> the tax cuts and jobs act is passed. >> the senate approves the republican sweeping tax overhaul, to the dismay of democrats. >> what a disgrace. that's what this bill is. >> but an embrassing snag forces another house vote today. >> one member of the staffs screwed up. it's not the end of western civilization. >> this morning, house speaker paul ryan joins us live to talk about his party's big moment. who were the big winners and losers and what it means for you. deadly distraction. investigators looking into the deadly amtrak derailment,
7:01 am
training someone at the time. that explains why no one pulled the emergency brake. a tour bus carrying caribbean tour bus passengers. 20 peop 12 people killed, 20 injured. all that plus strength in numbers. >> rose mcgowan gathers accusers together for a candid conversation about the #metoo movement. an officer dragged half a mile by a suspect, after a traffic stop gone wrong. and jingle bell jackpot. more than 5$500 million up for grab, as lottery fever sweeps the nation, just before christmas, today, december 20th, 2017. >> from nbc news, this is "today," live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza. and good morning, everybody. welcome to "t."
7:02 am
wednesday morning. big all-nighter in washington last night. >> they did pull an all-nighter, didn't they? >> we have the house speaker to talk about what the congress is up to. we'll get to our top story. the most sweeping rewrite of the nation's tax laws in decades, just a final house vote away for landing on the president's desk for signature. we will talk live to house speaker paul ryan in a moment. first, kristen welker with the latest. good morning. >> reporter: good morning to you. the white house and lawmakers on capitol hill are celebrating today, after the senate passed that landmark tax bill overnight. but one final step does remain. the house has to vote again today, after that unexpected setback, that was not only embarrassing but caused a delay. still, the bottom line, this bill is expected to pass and make its way to the president's desk. mr. trump on the cusp of his first major legislative achievement. this morning, president trump and the gop
7:03 am
a huge victory, after an overnight senate vote. >> the tax cuts and jobs act is passed. >> reporter: a 58-41 vote along party lines, giving the green right to republicans' sweeping rewrite of the tax code. >> if we can't sell this to the american people, we ought to go into another line of work. >> reporter: the president calling it the biggest in history. the final vote repeatedly interrupted by protesters. democrats venting their outrage. >> it's not tax reform. it is a heist. >> what a disgrace. that's what this bill is. it's an absolute disgrace. >> reporter: chuck schumer, the top senate democrat, also blasting republicans for talking during his speech. we believe you're messing up america. you can pay attention for a couple of minutes. >> reporter: the senate vote, coming just hours after republicans heralded the passage of the house bill, with speaker paul rya
7:04 am
>> the report is adopted without objection to reconsider is laid upon the table. >> reporter: ryan's gavel falling off the desk as he made the announcement. and the house bill hit a roadblo roadblock, of a senate parliamentarian said that three didn't comply with budget rules. forcing the senate to make minor changes before it could pass. with those provisions eliminated, the house will have to vote on the bill again today, before the legislation heads to president trump's desk. what does the gop mean for you? corporations get the largest tax cut, slashed from 35% to 21%. that rate will be permanent. while most americans will also see lower rates, the cut for individuals will expire in a decade. the bill repeals the obamacare individual mandate and scales back popular deductions like the one for skat
7:05 am
property taxes. democrats argue it benefits the wealthy and hurts the middle class. >> it's a looting of america. the wholesale robbery of the middle class. >> reporter: the new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll shows the bill remains unpopular. 41% of americans calling it a bad idea. republicans insist it will change minds. >> it will increase take-home pay. >> reporter: in a statement, sarah sanders called a historic vote towards tax reform. saying the white house is looking forward to the house's final vote today. lawmakers have one final hurdle before they begin their christm christm christmas breaks. the government runs out of money on friday. and with fights over disaster relief, they could be heading towards a shutdown if they don't find a resolution. >> kristen welker, thank you. we're joined by the house speaker, paul ryan. good morning to you. >> good morn
7:06 am
you banged that gavel and voted on tax reform. you worked on it for a long time. the biggest tax cut here, the rate is going to corporations. their tax rate goes from 35% to 21%. as i understand the argument of your colleagues, you're counting on corporations to take that money and put it back into the economy, hire people and raise wages. it wasn't work if they don't do that. is that correct? >> the studies show us that's what does happen. but first of all, savannah, don't forget that we tax american captiorporations at th highest rate in the world. as a result of that, we're losing jobs. we're losing jobs overseas. and american businesses are becoming foreign companies. they call them inversions. we're seeing a rash of companies relocate overseas. >> this is what you're trying to fix that. the rate goes down, and the idea
7:07 am
jobs. correct? >> we say that the corporations, not only are we going to let you bring your money back from overseas, we're going to tax you with a rate that's on par. but we're going to give an incentive of investing in american jobs. you can write off investments by hiring more people when you purchase blnew plants and equipment. workers benefit, wages go up, more jobs occur. we need to put the american economy in a better competitive position to compete and get faster economic growth. this is a tax cut for families, as well. >> it is. and let me jump into this. the biggest tax cut is for corporations. ceos have said, candidly. i'm looking at a list of ceos who say they don't plan to reinvest. they do stock buybacks to line the pockets of shareholders. let me quote michael bloomberg. he said,
7:08 am
a tax cut to jump-start the economy, a favorite phrase of politicians who have never run a company. it's pure fantasy to think that the tax bill will lead to higher wages and growth. i'll ask you plainly, are you living in a fantasy world? >> i would compare that anecdote to surveys of the businesses, the national business manufacturers that show the majority of businesses will do what we say, reinvest in the workers. reinvest in the factories, pay people more money, higher wages. >> let me pin you down on that. >> workers benefit on this through higher wages. it's not a question of if oop. t it's a question of when. >> i want to drill down on this point. "the wall street journal" recently had a conference of ceos. and gary cohn, the white house adviser, asked are you going to reinvest this money if tax reform passes? let me show you what happened.
7:09 am
through, do you plan to increase investment? your companies' investment, just a show of hands if the tax reform goes through? >> why aren't the other hands up? >> gary cohn saying, why aren't the hands up. corporations are sitting on a ton of cash. why aren't they raising wages and creating jobs now? >> about $3 trillion of that cash is trapped overseas and cannot come back into our economy to be reinvested because of our tax laws. you remove these barriers to investment in our economy. you give businesses an incentive to invest in america, in their factories. and that's what we do. so, look. savannah, the tax rate before this bill passes is 35%. that's the highest in the industrialized world. the rest of our competers tax their companies at 22.5%.
7:10 am
when we tax businesses at higher tax rates than our foreign competitors are taxing theirs, we're losing and they're gaining. what's more important is american businesses are moving overseas. they're not even american companies anymore. this is a trend that has to be reversed. and we know that if we fix these tax laws, we will get reinvestment back in this economy. the anecdotes -- i will tell you every study under the sun shows us, you lower the tax rates, you will see growth in america. >> a lot of people will be counting on that and hoping for that outcome. you have a long time budget hawk. i remember you in 2012, doing campaign events in front of that deficit clock. and it's estimated this tax cut is going to cost $1.46 trillion more to the deficit. i know the theory is, if you have more tax growth, you get more revenues into the coffer and that reduces the deficit. let m
7:11 am
are you saying that the growth you're going to get from the tax cut will equal the amount it would cost on the deficit side so it's a wash? so you're not adding to the deficit at all because of this? >> nobody knows the answer to that question. that's in the future. what we do know is this will increase economic growth. let me say it this way, savan h savannah. people are living paycheck-to-paycheck in this country. another group of this country are one check away from living paycheck-to-paycheck. we haven't had a three-step growth in the economy since 2008. that means stagnant wages, flat living standards. you have to get economic growth so people can get ahead in america. that's what we're doing. the average tax cut for the median family of four will be $2,059. $2,000 if you're living paycheck-to-paycheck, is a tax cut here. we're trying to give relief to americans. doubling thehi
7:12 am
we're making it so simple that almost nine out of ten taxpayers can do their taxes on a refofor like a postcard. we need economic growth. we need people who are living on the margin, living paycheck-to-paycheck. you point this out, in addition to getting the economy growing faster and getting people in higher paying jobs, we have to control our spending. we have more work to do. we have to go after spending control. but you also have to have economic growth. those are the twin things that get the debt down. grow the economy, cut spending. this will grow the economy and we have to get back to cutting spending. >> i'm almost out of time. i want to ask you about sexual harassment this has been a time of reckening in my economy. in your line of work, in congress. you have accepted, asked for the resignation or retirements of colleagues, democrat and republican who have been accused of sexual misconduct. my
7:13 am
president. president trump has been accused, as well. three accusers asked for a congressional investigation. they want you, they want congress to look into whether the accusations against the president are true. would you support such an investigation? >> as you know, the person in charge of that committee, trey gaudy, has given an articulate response. those are criminal matters. i would invite you -- >> we do ethics investigations. >> i would invite you to talk to the white house. let me get at the other issue you're talking about. you know this very clearly because it happened in your industry, in your studio. it's happened here in congress. let's take this moment for as seriously as it is, and not make it a partisan thing. what i'm trying to do this with democrats, we need to make sure this moment is the cultural changing moment it needs to be. and that means, not only do we have to change our laws, not d
7:14 am
disclosure and transparency works. not only do we change the way the laws work going forward, but we need to change the culture. let's not make it a partisan food fight. let's see this issue and give the issue the respect it deserves so we can change the culture so we're not having this story a year from now. and that's why we're taking this seriously. we're going mandatory training. we're going to bring out reforms at the end of this week to show how congress gets ahead of this problem. victims will know where they're going to go. and the laws and transparency are where they ought to be. >> it should not be a partisan issue. the white house position on the president's accusers is they are all liars. is that your position as well? >> i don't know what all of the accusations are. i'm focused on fixing congress. i'm focused on my job, where i work, making this institution safe. i want my daughter to be able to grow up in an economy to go into a work,
7:15 am
sector, where he's not being harassed, where she's being embauered. i'm not focused on other stuff. >> is the government going to stay open? >> yes. the government will stay open. we'll check that box. appreciate it. merry christmas to you. we have more to get to this morning, including the investigation into that deadly amtrak train derailment in washington state. officials have already determined it was speeding at the time. now, they want to know if something or someone was distracting the engineer. gadi schwartz has the latest on all this. gadi, good morning. >> reporter: good morning. ntsb officials say there was one other person in the cab with the engineer when this crash happened. a conductor in training, trying to familiarize themselves with the brand-new line. and now, investigators are looking into the possibility that the distraction may have played a role in this crash that killed three people and injured more than 70. twisted metal and crumpled cars. evidence of the forces that tore
7:16 am
as accident investigators comb through the wreckage, new questions about what could have caused the derailment on the line's first official run. >> everybody is going left and right, up and down. to wake up to looking up at the seat of the opposite row up in the air. i see people's legs on the car beside me and it was horrible. >> reporter: this seahawks fan was taking the train home from the game. >> train is safer. you run into something like this. it hits home. >> it was bone-chilling to see the train, like, eerie, that my husband was on that. i don't know how anyone walked away, actually. >> reporter: nearly 100 people were taken to hospitals. at least three people were killed in the crash. ntsb investigators say they're working to recover additional data from the onboard cameras. they learned from the black boxes from the train's brakes
7:17 am
per hour into a 30-mile-per-hour curve. >> it looked like the emergency brake was activated when the accident occurred. rather than being initiated by the engineer. >> reporter: the safety system known as ptc, designed to prevent such accidents, had not been implemented on the new line. >> ptc is positive train control. it's and overlay system that allows the technology to communicate and enforce things such as speed restrictions. >> reporter: at least some of the crew had been doing practice runs for two weeks before the crash. investigators say the engineer had done the route before. >> under amtrak policy, he wouldn't operate the train unless he was qualified and familiar with this territory. >> reporter: but some communities along the route had long warned about the danger of running high-speed trains through the area. warnings they say, amtrak did not heed. and it's important to note that back in 2008, congress passed a law requiring all trains to have that critical safety functi
7:18 am
that positive train control, by the year 2015. but train companies said they couldn't do it in time. that deadline was extended, to the end of next year. savannah? ho hoda? back to you. 7:18. let's go to al with the weather. >> let's show what we got going on right now. we have severe thunderstorm happening through the southeast. could be some flooding. windy conditions in southern california. good news is, these are not the drier winds. but there's a little more humidity to them. biting windchills in the northern plains. brisk in the northeast. we're watching that storm system coming out of the rockies. we'll look at that, what i
7:19 am
good morning. i'm storm team 4 meteorologist chuck bell. skies are mostly cloudy. the sun is just about ready to come up in the washington area. northwest winds averaging 15 miles per hour. so breezy and a little chillier today than we were yesterday. temperatures will hold steady in the upper 40s to around 50 degrees pretty much all day long today before falling into the 30s by 7:00 this evening. so we'll turn a little colder. tomorrow, sunny and chilly. back to clouds on friday. and rain but mild on saturday. >> and that's your latest weather. guys? >> al, thank you. coming up, the accusers leading the #metoo movement, including rose mcgowan, come together for a candid conversation. and christmas in bethlehem. an eye-opening look at the birthplace of jesus then and now.
7:20 am
7:21 am
hey hgood, how was practice? must have been hot out there today, huh? yeah yeah- why don't you go put that stuff in the laundry room right now? okay. do your athletes bring home big odors? tide sport is super concentrated to beat even the toughest stains and odors. hey buddy! hey oooh- somebody ran laps! yeah. the new tide sport collection- it's got to be tide
7:22 am
just ahead, hackers able to drain the balance on popular gift cards before you even use them. how to protect your money. a new "rossen reports" coming up. and with five days before christmas, very ♪ christmas, very ♪ ♪ this holiday, the best gift you can give, is your time. volunteer at neighbhorhoodofgood.com. state farm.
7:23 am
this i can do, easily. i try hard to get a great shape. benefiber® healthy shape is a clear, taste-free, 100% natural daily fiber... that's clinically proven to help me feel fuller longer. benefiber® healthy shape. this i can do! ♪ ♪ ♪
7:24 am
♪ a dog's big life, is measured in wags. ♪ and when you feed your dog nature's recipe, you fuel the wag with our premium recipes like chicken, sweet potato and pumpkin. nature's recipe. fuel the wag. ♪
7:25 am
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ daddy!! did you get my surprise? ♪ it's the little things that make life rich. ritz. ♪ it's time forweet, the holidays. ♪ab♪. ♪ holla back holla hey... ♪ hurry in to old navy for up to 75% off the entire store. get last minute gifts for just 3, 4, and 5 bucks at old navy.
7:26 am
7:26 is your time now on this wednesday, december 20th, 2017. good morning to you. i'm eun yang. >> i'm aaron gilchrist. in the news, 5,000 students were allowed to graduate last year from prince george's county schools without meeting requirements. now the county school ceo says additional staff training and better technology will prevent these problems from happening again. go to the nbc washington app for the latest on this scandal. >> less than a week before chris plas, 32 people are waking up without a home after this massive apartment fire. flames barrelled through the prince george's county apartment complex in hill crest heights on tuesday morning. there is still no word on what caused it. now let's check your commute with melissa
7:27 am
traffic. what is happening out there? >> 66 is looking a bit better than it was as you are heading into centreville this morning. have about a four mile backup. it was up to eight earlier. that is a bit better. northbound 395 after duke street, crash blocking two right lanes here this morning. and the beltway, top of the beltway a little slow. outer loop passing coalsville and across the woodrow wilson bridge. >> thank you so much. we'll take a break. your forecast is up next.
7:28 am
mostly cloudy skies right now. temperatures in the upper 40s and low 50s. it's not a cold start to the day. there is not many if anything in the way of a warmup coming. cloudy skies and northwest wind keep the temperatures steady in the upper 40s to 50 degrees before dropping into the 30s this evening. now tomorrow we get for sunshine back. it will be chillier. temperatures near freezing tomorrow morg.
7:29 am
to mid 40s. the weekend, saturday will be warm but it will be wet, rain with temperatures near 60. >> another update in 25 minutes.
7:30 am
♪ we're back. 7:30. pan down, would you? yes. it's the lovely rockefeller christmas tree, wednesday morning, 20th of december. t-minus five days. >> five days. let's start with the headlines, starting with the battle over taxes and your money. >> the report is adopted without the objection to reconsider is laid upon the table. >> tax plan approved. >> the tax and jobs act is passed. >> the controversial tax bill is passed in the senate, now headed back to the house after an embarrassing snag. paul ryan weighing in on the big win for the trump administration. >> we need to put the american
7:31 am
position so we can compete and win jobs and get faster economic growth. this is a big tax cut for families, as well. amtrak investigation. >> i see people's legs underneath the car on the side of me. and it was horrible. >> the ntsb looking at whether the engineer was distracted at the time of that deadly derailment in washington. >> it looks like the emergency brake was automatically activated when the accident was occurring, rather than being initiated by the engineer. taking names. nikki haley sends a strong message to the general assembly. the u.s. will remember those who oppose president trump's controversial decision to recognize jerusalem as israel's capital. caught on camera. >> whoa. >> shocking body cam footage shows a police officer being dragged on the side of a car, after responding to an overdose call. the vehicle reaching speeds up to 60 miles per hour. the driver, in police custody this morning, charged with attempted
7:32 am
and a frozen rescue. >> come on. >> a new jersey pup saved after falling in an icy pond, thanks to some rope and quick-thinking officers. today, wednesday, december 20th, 2017. >> he was all right. we move through a candid conversation between some of the women who have accused powerful men against sexual misconduct. stephanie gosk is here again this morning. >> reporter: we've heard their stories for months. now, "new york" magazine got them together for a round table, moderated by one of the most public voices in the movement to stop sexual misduconduct, rose mcgowan. >> my peace with all of the people are complicit. >> reporter: eight women with different stories. but a shared experience. >> it's the first time in
7:33 am
history, women have been believed. >> shouldn't we all be enraged. i don't mean just the women in this room. shouldn't everybody be? >> reporter: "new york" magazine brought together the faces of a movement. >> and it's tough being called a liar. it's very difficult to stand up and say, this is what happened and have, like an administration, saying i'm lying. >> reporter: with harvey weinstein accuser rose mcgowan who says the hollywood mogul raped her, leading the discussion. >> i would challenge the media to stop using the word alleged. >> i will, too. >> reporter: weinstein has repeatedly denied any accusations of sexual assault. mcgowan's account triggered other women to come forward with stories about the movie exec. >> i had self-blame until those women came forward and were published. then, i kind of felt like, wow, things are shifting. i can share this experience. >> i stayed silent for a long time because i didn't feel there was a saf
7:34 am
be able to have voices. >> reporter: two of the women on the panel accuse president trump of sexual assault. >> i found anger when the #metoo movement came up and all of these other men were being brought down. what happened to trump? >> mr. president? >> reporter: trump has denied any wrongdoing and denies having met the women. >> do you really think that change is happening? >> yes. >> reporter: rebecca cori says louis c.k. asked him to watch while he masturbated. >> i'm getting death threats. i'm getting free hate every, single day. >> reporter: louis c.k. issued a statement, responding to multiple allegations. writing in part, these stories are true. the power i had over these women is they admired me. and i wielded that power irresponsibly. >> this is the takeaway. >> reporter: two of the women accuse john hockenberry a long-time host of public radio, of a
7:35 am
so suki kim broke the story. >> the host is sending me inappropriate e-mails for a year. i did file a compleaint. hockenberry was let go in washington. in a statement, he wrote, in part, i should have been more aware of how the power i wielded over others, coupled with inappropriate comments and communications could be const e construed. i have no excuses. >> it's about unfair employment practices. you're one of the top dogs in this particular field. you have power to make or break people's careers. >> reporter: mcgowan's conversation comes amid her intense back and forth with meryl streep. it started when mcgowan called her out on twitter for working with weinstein. streep responding in an online statement, stressing not everyone knew, including herself. after streep's response, these posters started popping up around los angeles, with streep's image, and the phrase sh
7:36 am
it's unclear at this point who is putting the posters up. but it is toxic right now in hollywood. >> it is. >> for sure. >> steph, thanks so much. let's switch gears and check the weather. >> time for us to look at what's happening as far as travel for the holidays. that storm is coming out of the pacific northwest. the snow is starting to time to look at what is going to happen with your travel. we're looking atmosphere difficult travel for the mountain passes and cascades and i-80 and i-90 having problems. the storm will be on the east side of the rockies. denver looking at problems and chicago looking at problems. and then for friday, steady rain from dallas to detroit, gusty winds delaying flights from dallas also into memphis, cincinnati, chicago, detroit which are all hubs and then on saturday, stretching from boston all the way down to atlanta, heavy rain, possible travel delays with that heavy rain and strong winds. we'll continue to track it for u.
7:37 am
the country. here's what's happening in your neck of the woods. >> good morning. we have the clouds around. at least we are going to stay dry today. 50 degrees right now. not as chilly this morning. little breezy though and our highs will be only around 50 degrees. we're not going to be warming up too much. 45 is the high in frederick. 49 in clinton. rain will be staying to our south. again travel delays there. as we go through the end of the week, we stay dry. the weekend we have rain moving in and we're watching rain for christmas day. >> and get that weather anytime you need it. check out our pals at the weather channel on cable. coming up, there's time to shop. but what about to ship? you need to ship those pants. what's it going to cost you to make sure your holiday packages arrive on time? >> good one. a surprising first for one of the holiday season's most icon iic songs. plus, a rossen report for anyone giving a gift card this
7:38 am
mean your balance is zero. first, a journey to the birthplace of jesus, where ( ♪ ) more people shop online for the holidays than ever before. (clapping) and the united states postal service delivers more of those purchases to homes than anyone else in the country. ( ♪ ) because we know, even the smallest things are sometimes the biggest.
7:39 am
my wish was a clubhouse, but we call it "the wish house." people visit national parks from all over the world. food tastes better when you don't have to cook it. he was just supposed to be my dog. i don't know why. (vo) we're proud that, on behalf of our owners, the subaru share the love event will have donated over one hundred fifteen million dollars in just ten years. get 0% financing for 63 months on select models. plus we'll donate $250 to charity. whole blendshair by garnier.ishing care. legendary olive haircare. infused with olive oil & olive leaf extracts. it softens and shines for naturally-beautiful hair. garnier whole blends legendary olive. find every blend at walmart. ♪ when heartburn hits fight back fast with tums chewy bites.
7:40 am
outside. chewy inside. tum tum tum tum tums chewy bites. ♪ i'm singing in the rain, just singing in the rain ♪ ♪ what glorious feeling i'm happy again, ♪ ♪ just singing, singing in the rain. ♪ mmmm. small mccafe, smoothies, frappes and shakes are still just two dollars every day. so when you're on the couch binge-watching episodes nine through eleven,
7:41 am
d head over to mcdonalds now. ♪ ♪ "it's raining men" - the weather girls ♪ it's almost christmas dad. ♪ i just finished months of chemo. but i don't want to talk about months. i want to talk about years. treatments have gotten better, so... i'm hoping for good years ahead. that's thanks to research funded by the american cancer society. the same folks giving me free rides to treatments, insurance advice, and a place to stay during chemo. i need that stuff like you don't know.
7:42 am
from our cazy delicious family to yours. crave those crazy squares welcome back in this morning on our special series "holidays in the holy land" a journey to where it all began. >> keir simmons was in jerusalem on tuesday. now, he's made his way to the birth place of jesus, bethlehem. >> reporter: behind the christmas tree there is the church of the nativity, where they say jesus was born. in a moment, we're going to take you inside because many christians come here, especially after a year like this, of so
7:43 am
division, to find healing. healing in that story of a little boy, born in a stable, who brought hope to the world. ♪ the birth of jesus. a 2,000-year-old miracle in bethlehem, the bible says. and after two millennia, main street hasn't changed that much. this may be where the three wise men arrived in bethlehem. >> yes. actually, this is one of the oldest streets when the three wisemen came to bethlehem. >> reporter: it's now called? >> star street. >> reporter: we travel into the desert. good to see you. i meet bethlehem's amateur astronomers, to find out about the wise men. they came on camels, from the east, following a bright star.
7:44 am
that would have been a best place for them to follow a star. >> of course. >> reporter: they were the astronomers of their day. >> they were experts of astronomy. they were using astrology. >> reporter: that strikes a blow for science. >> translator: if a star just appears we can't conclude it was an earthquake, a birth or a death. that's just mythology. >> reporter: back in bethlehem down. frankincense and myrrh. >> frankincense. >> reporter: wow. look at that. >> so expensive. >> reporter: this is a gift from kings for a few baby. >> reporter: and the third gift? >> i don't have any. >> reporter: you don't have any gold? it's the message of peace that bethlehem's mayor says he hopes to preserve. this is the church of the nativity. you enter through this tiny doorway.
7:45 am
exquisite. it's beautiful. >> the message of peace, went from this place. >> reporter: from such humble beginnings, this incredible church and incredible story. built some 1,700 years later, above what is to be the stable. for the last 2,000 years, this has been a land beset by conflict. bethlehem flanked by a war that israel built to section off the west bank. how tall is it? >> it's 50 feet. i hope it will be the first christmas tree in the world. >> reporter: at its center, just once a year, a symbol with a different message. and this year, this christian palestinian family will again gather around their own little tree. do you like christmas? >> yes. >> reporter: why do you like it? >> you celebrate together. and we have fun. and we play games. >> reporter: the numbers
7:46 am
christians dwindling, as peace in the region remains elusive. >> i feel sad. i see families leave every year by the dozen. >> reporter: but the christmas message is as strong as ever. >> that little child who was born every year. he gives us hope. he gives us hope that a better future will be coming. >> reporter: and next week, we'll continue our series with a look at the search for the truth behind the bible. savannah and hoda, i think of my grandmother. my catholic grandmother, who never missed church and never got to come here. and i hope we've given folks a chance to have a little piece of this so they can carry with them through christmas. >> she would have been so thrilled for you, keir, that you got to see it. thank you so much. what a journey. we're going to head over to dylan dreyer to see what she has coming up in the orange room. >> good morning. and why new technology on facebook is creeping out a
7:47 am
lot 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. eliquis also had significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. eliquis had both... ...and that turned around my thinking. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. if you had a spinal injection while on eliquis call your doctor right away if you have tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness. while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily... and it may take longer than usual for bleeding to stop. seek immediate medical care for sudden signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. eliquis may increase your bleeding risk
7:48 am
tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots. plus had less major bleeding. both made eliquis right for me. ask your doctor if switching to eliquis is right for you.
7:49 am
take guinea pigs. they're not pigs at all, nor are they from guinea. or take this haircut. i may look all business, but look out... . but there's a party going on back here. kinda misleading, isn't it? well, at carmax, you don't have to worry about being misled. the price online is the same price in the store, which is the same for everyone. even guinea pigs. it's only fair mr. biscuits. only fair. ♪ carmax music sting whoo! testis this thing on?! huh? c'mon! your turn! mmmm... where do pencils go on vacation? (loud speaker) pencil-vania! pencilvania! (laughing) frosted just right. crunch in every bite. kellogg's frosted mini-wheats.
7:50 am
feel that tingle of a cold sore only abreva can heal it in as little as two and a half days when used at the first sign. abreva starts to work immediately to block the virus and protect healthy cells. abreva acts on it. so you can too. see ya. -take care. ♪ so probably take it at night. and if you have any questions, the instructions are here in spanish as you requested. gracias. ♪ at walgreens, how we care will change over time, but why we care remains the same treating everyone with the care and attention they deserve. walgreens. trusted since 1901. welcome back, everybody. facebook just brought out something new that may not be sitting well with a lot of people. dylan has all that in the orange room. g
7:51 am
facebook has been using facial recognition for years. now, they're taking that feature a step further by alerting users when there's photos of them out there, even if they aren't tagged in them. the social network knows your face so well, they'll find the photo and present you with the option to ignore it, tag it yourself or even report it. facebook says, our goal in building these future c feature really to manage their identity on facebook. people don't know what to think of this. fred tweets, this is cool and creepy at the same time. ryan posts, it sounds creepy but i like the idea that we will easily detect imposters. we asked on twitter, what do you think of facebook's facial recognition feature? 80% disapprove, 20% approve. there is a setting that allows you to opt out of the feature. at first, i didn't like it. if someone is posting a picture with your name attached
7:52 am
>> hasn't that train left the station when you join facebook and they have your name and picture? straight ahead, a "rossen reports" on how hackers can use your gift gua it's the final days of the ford year end sales event. ♪ i'm on top of the world, hey. ♪ it's your last chance of the year to get our best offer of the year: zero percent financing for seventy-two months, plus an extra one-thousand cash back across a full lineup of ford cars, trucks and suvs. so hurry and save big on america's best-selling brand. it's the final days of the ford year end sales event with zero percent financing for seventy-two months plus an extra one-thousand cash back! see your ford dealer before jan 2nd and save. this i can do, easily. i try hard to get a great shape. benefiber® healthy shape is a clear, taste-free, 100% natural daily fiber... that's clinically proven to help me feel fuller longer. benefiber® healthy shape. this i can do!
7:53 am
♪ "it's raining men" - the weather girls ♪ it's almost christmas dad. ♪ you're so cold, come in! what's wrong? it's dry... your scalp? mine gets dry in the winter too. try head and shoulders' dry scalp care it nourishes the scalp and... ...keeps you up to 100% flake free head and shoulders' dry scalp care daddy!! did you get my surprise? ♪ it's the little things that make life rich. ritz.
7:54 am
how the world treats and defeats childhood cancer... and she ate ice cream, oh but i'm not supposed to tell that part. sorry. visit stjude.org or shop where you see the st. jude logo. ♪ find one of six color changing characters spoons inside specially marked boxes of big g cereals. it appears more training is in order. see star wars: the last jedi now playing.
7:55 am
but when we brought our daughter home, that was it. now i have nicoderm cq. the nicoderm cq patch with unique extended release technology helps prevent your urge to smoke all day. it's the best thing that ever happened to me. every great why needs a great how. a dog's big life, is measured in wags. ♪ and when you feed your dog nature's recipe, you fuel the wag with our premium recipes like chicken, sweet potato and pumpkin. nature's recipe. fuel the wag. ♪
7:56 am
8:56 is the time. we want to check in on your first 4 traffic. how are the roads looking? >> a couple new problems. that i a look at this one in chevy chase area. between connecticut and wisconsin, a pedestrian struck. a report there. northbound 295 after the bottom of the beltway, debris blocking the right side. sounds like a cabinet in the roadway. after new hampshire, crash on the right side. rest of the beltway looking pretty normal. >> thank you, melissa. we'll take a quick break and check your forecast whether n we back.
7:57 am
7:58 am
well it's a perfect nespresso hold on a second.orge. mmm. ♪ [mel torme sings "comin' home baby"] hey there. want a lift? ♪ where are we going? no don't tell me. let me guess. ♪ have a nice ride. ♪ how far would you go for coffee that's a cup above? i brought you nespresso. nespresso. what else?
7:59 am
good wednesday morning. temperatures are near 50 degrees. 46 leesburg. we're not going to warm up too much today. it will be cooler than yesterday. clouds will be with us all day to day. it's already cloudy outside number rain at least. rest of the week looks pretty good and dry until we get to the weekend. low 60s saturday. the rain chances increase even on sunday. >> thank you. another local news update for you in 25 minutes. but for now, back to the "today" show after this short break.
8:00 am
it's 8:00 on "today." coming up, breaking overnight. >> the tax cuts and jobs act is passed. >> the senate approves the gop's sweeping tax overhaul, setting up a major victory for the trump administration. >> it's not a question of if. it's a question of how much they benefited. >> what a disgrace. that's what this bill is. it's an absolute disgrace. >> we're live at the white house. plus, hacked for the holidays. >> i can write software that's designed to go after a website and pull the card pins one at a time. >> how gift cards from one of the biggest retailers could be vu
8:01 am
the balance wiped out. jeff rossen investigates. and third time's the charm. rebel wilson stops by studio 1a to tell us about how she's back and hitting the right notes in the new film, "pitch perfect 3." today, december 20th, 2018. >> we've got a senior class trip here on the plaza. >> from farmville, virginia. >> a happy birthday to aunt sherry. >> where is aunt sherry? >> right here. ♪ what are you celebrating? >> it's christmastime and our first time on the plaza. >> we've got teachers on the loose on the plaza. >> merry christmas in new york city. >> i think you traveled the farthest to see us. >> all the way from south africa. >> who is turning 80?
8:02 am
♪ >> those teachers look like fun. >> i want to hang with them. i was just thinking that. >> welcome back to "today." nice to have you with us on a wednesday morning. smack-dab in the middle of the week. the historic republican tax bill, ready to land on president trump's desk with one snag to clear up in the house first. nbc's chief white house correspondent, hallie jackson, with the latest. >> reporter: good morning to you. and after a very late night here in washington, a very big morning for republicans and for donald trump, who is on the verge of his first legislative victory. overnight, the senate passed the biggest tax overhaul in a generation. that sets up the final step, that house vote today, after a surprise delay yesterday. still, despite criticism from democrats that this bill benefits the wealthy, gop leaders are not waiting to take a victory lap. paul ryan laid out his party's thinking to san
8:03 am
ago. >> you lower the tax rates, make us more competitive, you'll see faster economic growth in america. >> reporter: republicans are making the bet that businesses will reinvest the money they're saving back into the economy. corporations get the largest tax cut, slashed from 35% down to 21%. that's going to be a permanent cut. and while most americans will also see lower rates, the cuts for individuals will eventually expire in about a decade. the bill repeals the obamacare mandate and scales back popular deductions. but it does increase the child tax credit. the bill is expected to be sent to the president's desk midday today. after that, don't forget about the other deadline congress has to deal with. by friday, they have to figure out how to avoid a government shutdown. we will have plenty to ask the president during what we expect to be his year-end press
8:04 am
a bus carrying passengers on an excursion in mexico, flipped over on tuesday, killed 20 people and injured 20 others. u.s. officials are working with local authorities to determine whether american citizens are among the dead. royal caribbean cruises says passengers from two of its ships were on the bus headed to the may mayan bruin ruins. if you're trying to find that perfect gift for christmas, perhaps stocking stuffers, we have a suggestion. how about lottery tickets? 5$500 million is up for grabs. tonight's powerball jackpot is at 269 million bucks. and friday night's megamillions is $247 million. if there's no winners, it will go up and up. it can turn into a merry christmas. santa, no need to stop by. >> we're fine. >> exactly. g
8:05 am
>> this time, we want to share two acts of kindness that went a long way. a woman saw a homeless man who didn't have a coat on a cold day. she drove to a store, got it and delivered it to him. put it on him. she went around front. she zipped it up. and then, the grateful man gave her a big hug. beautiful, thoughtful, generous. her kids were in the car watching. mom doing her thing. we have another one. this one from ft. worth, texas. he saw a police officer eating alone. he went over and all he wanted to do was say hello. take a listen to what the little boy's mom says. >> he wanted to give you a hug. >> okay. thanks. >> after giving the officer the squeeze, the little boy ran back to his mom. isn't it about the little tiny acts of kindness that makes you want to do one. >> doesn't feel tiny for the person who is a
8:06 am
still ahead on this wednesday morning, five days left. what you can do to get the holiday packages to their destinations on time. and yes, what it will cost you. your guide to holiday tipping. who is expecting one to how much to give. first, a look at "megyn kelly today." hi, megyn. >> today, an 8-year-old boy has 13 surgeries and over 300 hospital visits. as it turn out, he may never have been sick at all. his mother is now under arrest and his father joins us in an exclusive, today. >> all right, megyn. thank you. all that plus a timely "rossen reports." >> i'm jeff rossen. gift cards. real popular around the holidays. but now, we've discovered a new security flaw at one of the country's biggest retailers. where hackers would drain your card down to zero before you ever use it. how to pr ♪ once... ...chocolate was the best thing you could ever give her.
8:07 am
and it still is. kay jewelers presents levian chocolate diamond jewelry. a spectacular collection with stunning chocolate diamonds and rare gemstones. at kay, the number one store for the chocolate she'll love forever. ♪ every kiss begins with kay. (cough) it's just a cough. if you could see your cough, you'd see just how far it can spread. robitussin soothes in seconds and delivers fast, powerful cough relief for hours. (giggling) robitussin dm max. because it's never just a cough. even if you don't buy one from us. because maybe you're already buying a car somewhere else. or maybe you want to shop around. or, maybe you don't want to drive a car at all anymore... like, maybe you want to ride a camel into the dessert and take a deep hard look within. just figure some stuff out for awhile. that's cool. whatever your plans for buying a car, carmax is the place to sell your car. okay, let's do this, tina, tchick-tchick.
8:08 am
e go, tchick-tchick. i believe in ya tina. c'mon now. ah, we can just hang out here. ♪ it's time forweet, the holidays. ♪ab♪. ♪ holla back holla hey... ♪ hurry in to old navy for up to 75% off the entire store. get last minute gifts for just 3, 4, and 5 bucks at old navy. ♪
8:09 am
♪ "it's raining men" - the weather girls ♪ it's almost christmas dad. ♪ hi. hi. ♪ ♪ when heartburn hits fight back fast with tums chewy bites. fast relief in every bite. crunchy outside. chewy inside.
8:10 am
m tum tum tum tums chewy bites. the unique formula with nourishing almond oil leaves skin smoother moisturized for 24 hours. enjoy smoother skin and now try new oil infused lotions moisturize with indulging scents welcome back. this morning on our "rossen reports" series, hacking your holiday. an urgent warning for everybody buying gift cards at a popular retailer. >> national investigative correspondent jeff rossen is here to explain. >> reporter: good morning. five days left until christmas. this is when gift cards get popular because if you're a last-minute shopper like i am, they're an easy present. everyone loves them. you can't go wrong. but this morning, we are exposing what a cyber security expert calls a serious flaw with nordstrom gift cards. the expert came to us
8:11 am
and others could hack nordstrom and gain access to the gift cards, draining them down to zero dollars before you can use them. before you go shopping, don't worry, we're about to show you how to protect your money. gift cards are big business right now. according to the national retail federation, americans are expected to spend nearly $28 billion on gift cards this year alone. but what if your card was compromised and the money on it, completely wiped before you ever went shopping? cyber security expert jim stickley has come to us with an urgent alert. telling us, he's cracked the code with nordstrom gift cards. he can hack in and drain all of the money. i have ten nordstrom gift cards here. you're saying you can hack these. >> not only can i hack those. but the cards that are for sale, i can hack those, and drain the funds from them. >> reporter:
8:12 am
>> i can write software that's designed to go after a website and can pull the card p.i.n.s. >> reporter: it's flying through p.i.n. numbers. >> reporter: he's discovered a few problems with nordstrom gift cards, including short eer p.i. numbers, and no protection from bats. we're not showing you how he does it. but within minutes, the money on that card could be jogone. if you were a criminal, what could you do? >> i can start making purchases with nordstrom. or there's sites that will buy the card from you. i can sell the card to third parties and make money off the bat. >> reporter: did you try this at other retailers, as well? >> nordstrom had a flaw in their design that allowed this to work. >> reporter: and he says thieves can take it further. snapping simple photos of gift cards on racks. once activated, draining those cards, too. this is my gift card. we
8:13 am
this is the packaging it came in. you are saying, just like this, you can hack it. >> babsolutely. that's the card number. and there's a three digit p.i.n. >> reporter: this is how it's sold, with this being shown. >> yeah. plain as day. >> reporter: he gets to work on my card. >> that's easy. there it is. >> reporter: telling us, he's drained the funds. but did it really work? i take the gift card to nordstrom, checking to see if he's actually drained it. i want to see how much is on that gift card? >> zero. nothing, nada. >> reporter: thank you very much. happy holidays. i call nordstrom to tell them what we found. hi, this is jeff rossen calling from nbc news. a security expert came to us and said he found what he calls a flaw in the nordstrom system with gift cards. he's able to hack into the system and literally drain all the gift cards down. he wants to show you how he did this so you guys can fix the
8:14 am
to meet with us in personal. so, we connected the retailer with the security expert by phone. he walked them through the problem and how to fix the flaw. nordstrom telling nbc news, our customers are always our top priority. if we learn they were negatively impacted by an issue with our gift card systems, we'd work quickly to take care of them. adding, we have a number of gift card security controls in place. and a team of experts that regularly test, review and enhance those controls. securing gift cards to protect your money this holiday season. and i have some good news to report. since we connected nordstrom with our expert in the piece, they have now fixed the problem. so, some good news there. okay. what can you do to protect yourself and your gift cards no matter what the company? we've seen racks like this grocery stores and pharmacies. you shouldn't buy gift cards from the public
8:15 am
keep the cards behind the counter where they're secure. that way thieves can't walk up, turn it around and copy down the numbers. if you can buy the gift cards online, that's even better. if you have to buy them from the rack, there's something else i want you to look for. make sure, the bar code, fine. you see that p.i.n. number there? if you see the number exposed, move on to another rack. don't buy that card because that is exactly how the hackers can get in. not worth the risk. >> a lot of times you have to scratch it off, right? >> yeah. exactly. >> if it's been prescratched, don't get that one. >> i have the $50 gift card that was drained down for you guys. >> you got it. >> thank you, jeff. good advice. time for what's "trending." look who set his alarm early, mr. lester holt. >> i don't know. >> i have no idea. >> you're going to be around. >> i'm going to be on the plaza. that's what i'm here for. >> would you like to
8:16 am
>> absolutely. >> here's what's trending. national signing day for college football. the voice, by the way. should i say who won? >> people don't know. >> people maybe they don't know. and a good time in four words. there was an article in "the chicago trib" that caught our eyes this morning. should you be best friends with your spouse? best friends. the article pointed out that a life coach said that so long as you make your partner a priority, it's okay to have strong other great friendships. i was just curious with everybody in a long-term relationship. do you consider your spouse, lester holt, to be your best friend? >> and carol is watching right now. >> i think in terms of who do you tell your most intimate secrets to, it's generally your spouse. i think my wife is my best friend. >> would she say the same? >> hang on a second. >> she just texted me. no. she says, re
8:17 am
savannah. >> i'm so slow on texting, she'll get it next wednesday. but i think she would say the same thing. we have conversations that only we would have with each other. >> yeah. dylan? >> i think so. brian and i were friends before we started dating. i love brian. but i like him as a friend to hang out with and to laugh with. that's important. >> i thought -- you had a reaction. you weren't sure? >> i feel like i've had a best friend who i've known for a lot of my life. and i adore joel. but i would consider her to be my best friend. she knows everything from all the that life. >> yeah. >> and i think if you have one person for everything, sometimes you end up not getting what you need when you need it sometimes. >> i think different people provide different things. deborah's my best friend. but i have other good friends, you know, you can really share other things with. >> i agree. >> what about mike? >> yeah. w
8:18 am
but i have other best friends. if i want to complain about mike, i have to talk to other people. >> not that you ever do. >> not that i ever do because he is a dream. >> a dream boat. we did ask our viewers what they thought. and 77% say their spouse is their best friend. >> there you have it. >> it makes sense. "pop start." don't give away "the voice." >> i'm not saying anything about "the voice." let's start with exciting news from two actresses. first comes from mindy kaling. she has welcomed her first child, a baby girl. she gave birth on december 15th and his named her daughter katherine. she opened up about her pregnancy to willie geist on "sunday today." she was really excited to be a mom and hoped to be a fun mom. i'm sure that won't be problem for a comedienne to live up to. and eva
8:19 am
her rep has confirmed that her and her husband are expecting a baby boy. longoria is four months along. this will be the couple's first child together. the couple got married in 20 16. our congratulations to mindy and eva. and mariah carey, her tune has made a huge milestone. when the song was released as part of an album in 1994, it did not meet the requirements to make billboard's hot 100 chart. since then, the rules have changed. despite the song's popularity, it has not been enough to make billboard's hot 100 top ten list. until now. this week, the song is number nine on the hot 100 chart. and upon the news, mariah carey told billboard, i never thought we would talk about this happening. but i'm thankful to everyone who embracing this song as their holiday tradition. this marks carey's 28th hot 100 top ten hit. got all that?
8:20 am
reviews and spoil verse been running rampant since the movie came out since the weekend. no matter how hard you may try, it seems impossible to block or avoid the craze. lin-manuel miranda said, i just got this text. you can see, someone texted lin a tapless photo of kylo renn. the anonymous texter must have realized his mistake. sorry, right number. lin responded back, with myrerr christmas and may be force be with you. we are calling it a "dilly dilly click" today. complete with our own graphic and everything. for weeks, you've been calling medilly. dilly. and that annoying nickname comes from a bud light commercial.
8:21 am
take a look. >> jeremy, you are a true friend of the crown. dilly dilly. >> here's to the friends you can always count on. >> i never knew that's where it came from. >> stop laughing. >> i had no idea. is that where you got that? >> dilly dilly. >> that's where it started. >> i have no idea. >> al moved into this dilly dilly craze online. he tagged me in a post. a house, with dilly dilly proudly displayed on the lawn. his post -- al, stop laughing. his post actually caught the attention of bud light and they tweeted dilly dilly dylan dreyer. now, it's official. i'm going all-in on dilly dilly. >> yes. >> that was awesome. >> i know. i can't fight it anymore. >> and the fourth hour, switching to beer in your honor. >> dilly dilly. >> thank you. lester, thayo
8:22 am
the toy drive, right? >> this was easy. i was nervous. >> we want you to come back. now, we move to al. look for biting wind chill through the plains and snow through the plains as well. windy conditions through southern california. hopefully it doesn't cause any problems with the firefighters fighting all the wildfires. that's what's going on around the country. here's what's happening in your neck of the woods. >> right here at home, it's a cloudy and chilly start. temperatures in the upper 40s to right around 50 degrees. it will stay mostly cloudy, breezy and cool. temperatures hovering in the upper 40s to 50 most of the day to day. a little cooler. the sunshine is back for tomorrow. friday, cloudy. 52. mild on saturday. quite bate of rain. the rain may linger on into sunday as well. eight years ago today we started the big
8:23 am
dilly dilly to that. >> that is your latest weather. savannah? >> dilly dilly. thank you so much. now, to the preholiday rush, with christmas five days away, it's not too late if you have packages to mail. the time is almost up and it will cost you. >> kerry sanders is at a dhl facility in florida with what you need to know. >> reporter: good morning, savannah. overnight shipping for many of us, for other procrastinators is a god send. and here at dhl, along with all the other overnight shippers say, if you don't have your pockage pock a packages in this stream, you better get them there asap. you only have one other choice. and that's santa claus and his eight reindeer. this morning, if your packages are not here or here or here by now -- >> i'm praying it makes it on time. >> reporter: you need more than di
8:24 am
you need to get a move on. >> if we didn't procrastinate so much, probably would be a little better. that's what most of us do, isn't it? >> reporter: certainly, a lot of us, there's still time to get a gift to your granddaughter by christmas eve. but you'll pay a big premium. if you're lucky enough to find a fingerling, one of this year's hottest gifts for $15, friday is the absolute deadline. dead it to the post office by then. ship it priority express and it will cost you $32.30. u.p.s. will send it next day air for $90.81. and fedex will get it there with saturday overnight delivery, for $98.60. but you run a risk. >> you can have uncontrollable delays. case in point, atlanta with their issue at the airport. >> reporter: packaging pros recommend use a new or gently used box. make sure there's no o
8:25 am
labels. and use shipping tape. if you're not one to panic if this is your attitude. >> it might not get there on time. but that's okay. >> reporter: you'll be just fine. >> they'll have a great christmas anyway. >> reporter: here at dhl, many of the packages you see here are heading to international destinations, which is visual proof that there is still time to make the deadline. guys, even to china. savannah? >> good to know. thank you, kerry. just ahead, "pitch perfect 3" star, rebel wilson. >> yes. >> hello, rebel. >> hi, guys. >> first, your
8:26 am
good morning. let's start with a look at the commute with melissa. >> taking a look at the beltway. we had a problem outer loop before bw parkway, that is out of the way. delays still in that area though. eastbound, chevy chase areaen with connecticut and wisconsin, pedestrian struck near pearl street. a warning there. 295 after the beltway, debris on the right side. aaron? >> thank you. we'll have a check on your forecast when we come back. stay with us. z2m7ez z16fz
8:27 am
y2m7ey y16fy
8:28 am
♪ little girl and boy land ♪ while you dwell within it ♪ you are ever happy there daddy, it's christmas! ♪ childhood's joy land never let go of your dreams. the mercedes-benz winter event is back. lease the e300 sedan for $569 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing. kind of what you see is what you get kind of day. we're in the upper 40s to 50 degrees right now. breezy and cloudy and chilly outside. that's the way it's going to stay the rest of the day. may get a few more peeks of sunshine later on in the afternoon. don't plan of much of a warm uptoday. temperatures near freezing tomorrow morning. highs tomorrow only in the low to mid 40s. your weekend, it
8:29 am
but rain likely with a high near 62. cooler and still cloudy on your sunday. >> got it, chuck. thank you. you can get the latest news and weather any time on the washington app.
8:30 am
♪ good morning, everybody. it's wednesday, december 20th, 2017. five days before christmas. beautiful day. people are screaming, mostly hoda. and you say lester? yeah, look at that. lester, collecting gifts for our annual toy drive. >> he'll be out here until "nightly news." >> he's going to stay out here. he's going to have a lemonade stand. hoda, you have good cheer. >> i have an incredible thing that's about to happen. first of all, i would like to know, who was first in line at the "today" show this morning? was it you? your name is? >> sarah crawford. >> i have a
8:31 am
i have three cards, labeled one, two, and three. inside one is a prize. if you pick the right card, everybody in the entire audience is going to win something. >> no pressure. >> if you pick the right one, everyone in the audience is going to win something. i'm going to reveal what the prize is if you pick the right one? >> i pick two because it's my birthday and i'm a twin. >> two. will you open it? is it blank? every single person on this plaza is going to "pitch perfect 3" on fandango. >> wow. >> everybody gets to go. you are awesome. thank you. every, single person. >> good job, sarah. >> wow. >> that's amazing. what was on the other two cards? >> i'll show you. we wanted her -- we wanted her to win really badly. it was on all of them.
8:32 am
>> it was rigged. that's fantastic. >> yes. >> so fun. speaking of "pitch perfect 3" we have one of the popular bellas with us this morning. rebel wilson. >> yes. then, do you struggle with holiday tipping. who gets one? does it have to be fun? we'll walk through the answers. and a former white house chef that goes way back with jenna, shares his tasty recipe for a holiday maple apple tart. we'll get some stories. what's coming up on "megyn kelly today"? >> we continue our series, "women of faith." powerful women embrace their faith. then, we're going holiday cocktails. all-important. "megyn's month of merry." and this is day two of the sudafed
8:33 am
we'll see if i make it to 10:00. >> let's get a check of the weather. >> today we're looking at strong storms in the southeast. a biting wind chill heavy snow through the plains. for tomorrow, red flag warnings go up, i should say a high fire danger because of the winds, above average temperatures through the southeast. we have snow through the central rockies. looking at sunshine along the eastern seaboard into the pacific northwest. that's what's going on around the country. here's what's happening in your neck of the woods. >> good morning. we have good travel weather locally. we have the clouds around. a little breezy. we'll be staying nice and dry. 49 degrees is the temperature right now. not as chilly as other mornings we've had. 50 in lorton. 50 in quantico. 46 degrees frederick.
8:34 am
there is the rain to our south. so maybe travel issues today for the carolinas through tennessee, even atlanta especially. but as we go through the end of the week, we're dry until the weekend and then the rain arrives even on christmas day. >> all right. it's time to go around the horn. and you know, of course, we're coming up on your holiday weekend. we have a lot of weather to talk about. you have to make sure you know what you need to know. check out your nbc station. and of course, our friends at the weather channel on cable. and now, back to you guys. made it around the horn. >> way to go, al roker. all right. we're here with another star from the highly anticipated movie "pitch perfect 3," the one, the only, rebel wilson. she's such a fan favorite, fat amy. heart and soul of the bellas. this time, rebel not only sings but adds action star to her resume. check it out. >> that's the ladder that will take you up. do not focus on what i'm
8:35 am
>> distraction coming up. are you sure about this? >> have i ever let you down? >> dozens of examples spring to mind. you're very unreliable. i don't think we have time to unpack that right now. >> shh. i'll just see you up top. >> nobody is going to die tonight, right? >> yeah. yeah. >> that doesn't help. >> okay. >> are you ready? >> i got my serious face on now. it's time. >> let's do it. >> i love you. you're one of those people when you show up, i just want to crack up laughing. hi, rebel. >> hi, hoda. how is it going? >> awesome. i know you can sing and dance. what i was unaware of, miss action figure. >> was my hidden ninja skills. don't attack me in the streets. i can throw down if i need to. >> and you're no joke. >> no joke. >> you trained, right? >> yeah. i fight ten men at once
8:36 am
perfect 3" you might think that's strange for a singing movie. but fat amy had to turn action hero to give the fans something different and bigger in "pitch perfect 3." >> you trained with circumstaqu sole soleil. you know how to do karate. you aren't kidding around. >> for the fight sequences in this film, i trained for three weeks. yeah. it was really fun with the stunt guys. it's like learning a dance. >> by the way, so many things to love about you. i love this movie premiered in australia. and your entire family came out. >> pretty much just so my family could attend. >> who was there? >> my grandparent came out of hospital for it. my grandma came on her walking frame. >> your grandma. >> yeah, there she is. there they are. and my mum, we call her
8:37 am
mumarazzi. she's worse than the paparazzi. give me a nice smile. rebel, come on. she was banned from the red carpet. >> does she stalk other celebrities? >> no. only the mumarazzi to myself. >> we learn more about fat amy's past. her past is dodgey. that's an understatement. >> yeah. if you think about it, what was this random australian girl doing in the middle of america? why was she there? she was hiding out from her father, who is very dodgey. and then, when the bellas go on a uso european tour, the father tracks her down. >> these movies keep getting better. and there's a camaraderie among this group that you don't see. >> there is. >> you took the whole cast after it was over, on a trip. >> yep. >> on your dime, to mexico. >> santa rebel. >> look at you people.
8:38 am
>> yeah. >> santa rebel. we had been working now together for six years, three movies. and all of us girls were such good friends. we love working together. but also, hanging out, after the movie's done. >> what's your favorite song to sing during this one? >> this one is "cheap thrills" which was awesome. and we're singing it to real military people and their families, yeah. although, my bit in the song is kind of -- it's just the bum, bum, bum, bum. yeah. sometimes you just have a lot of bums. in the songs. >> rebel, we love you. this movie, you know is going to be another hit. we're going to talk with you a little bit more -- you're coming back with me and kathie lee. >> we're coming back with a nunchaku demonstration. >> what? >> did they not tell you about that? >> i'm glad to hear that. "pitch perfect 3" hits theaters on friday. we're going to answer all your questions about holiday tipping.
8:39 am
8:40 am
with twice the crispy caramelized peppered bacon. dunkin' sweet black pepper bacon sandwich is back. experience a breakfast sandwich made for bacon lovers.
8:41 am
in' we're back. 8:41. a tricky topic to navigate during holiday season. who should you tip and how much? >> here with the answers, elliot weiler the digital editor for "consumer reports." good morning. should we tip? is cash the thing you should do? or if you want to give someone a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates, is that sufficient, do you think? >> we say navigate the food choices interestingly and carefully. people have different dietary restrictions. maybe they drink. maybe they don't drink. gift cards are always good. >> right. >> if you are going to go the casual rout cash route, go to the bank and get the crisp bills. this may sound weird, b
8:42 am
bit of water and iron it on low heat. >> to make it look nice? >> does it buy more? >> it all spends the same way. but you want that little extra effort to get that nice, crisp bill. >> that's nice. let's get into the nitty-gritty here. >> sure. >> we have a list. the most common people that get tipped at the holidays. "consumer reports" surveys thousands of people. these are the people who matter the most of them. housekeepers. hairdressers. nannies, trainers, postal workers, handymen, garbage workers. housekeepers got the most. a hairdressers got the second. one service, the tip amount could match one service. garbage collectors were the least likely to tip. but they got a $20 average. we learned that some towns don't allow their garbage collectors to take tips. >> why?
8:43 am
postal workers, as well, can't take casual. but they can take presents, as long as the value doesn't exceed $20. >> often, you have the teachers who take care of your kids throughout the year. you want to give them something nice. what should you give a teach centteacher? >> people brought a gift in when we were kids. it's more complicated. some schools collect a group gift, which "consumer reports" says is a good idea. there can be a tit for tat or a bribe where you might want to give the teacher a little extra to make johnny rise to the top. take some of it out and see if you can do a group gift from the entire class. >> a lot of people are counting every penny at the holidays. and they may not be able to tip. is there a piece of advice you can give? >> think of something from the heart. often times the homemade gifts that aren't food, but a craft project, maybe a coupon, that means a lot. we've all gotten one o
8:44 am
it just matters. it feels like they really cared enough to do something, even if it's not cash. >> elliott, thank you so much. just ahead, how to stress less amid the holiday chaos this season. first this, is "today" on nbc.
8:45 am
8:46 am
we're back. 8:46. "today's hassle-free holiday." we're focusing on handling the stress of the season. it can add up in a hurry. here to help is jennifer hartstein. good morning. we love the holidays. there's stress. >> there is stress. we want it to be perfect. and i think the fact is, that's just unattainable. if we can embrace the unattainable, the imperfection in the perfect, we can be okay. >> and it's your first tip. you have to manage expectations. your own and those around you. >> 100%. it's not -- you're not going to please everybody. you're not going toe
8:47 am
upon. recognize that you have to do what you think is best for you and your family and start there and just go for it. >> the number two tip you have is to keep the peace. this is not a moment to, like, get into your family issues. >> it's really not. all the songs are about peace on earth and godwill towards men. if we can keep that in mind during the holiday time and be practical about it. if uncle joe wants to have a political conversation and you know it's going to start organizeme arguments, you say, no political discussions at the holiday table. and you pull them aside and say, we want to have a good time and feel good. >> another big stress on the holidays is financial. either people are feeling like they need to spend money that they don't really have and they feel anxious about that. or they don't have the money and they're worried about disappointing the kids or a partner or spouse. that to me is the hugest thing that the holidays can really bring up for folks.
8:48 am
especially if you're trying to please your kids and keep up with the joneses. you want to do the best you can. pool resources and get one big thing, get lots of little things. but everyone is doing the best they can. talk about that with each other. we have to be able to say no and be okay with that and tolerate the disappointment. and your kids have to learn that anyway. >> i feel like we're doing the downer stuff. that's why you're here. people get the holiday blues. >> they get the holiday blues. >> i can remember in my own life, the holidays are great, but it made you think -- my life is not where i wish it were at this moment. and that can be hard. >> it's a combination of, my life is not where i want it to be or you spend so much time focusing on the holiday, there's that letdown after and the holiday crash. so, reach out to people. connect with people. do it with other people. so that the letdown isn't so bad. and if you're feeling like you're not really where you want to be, setting what your
8:49 am
year or how you're going to connect with people in a way in a feels meaningful to you. >> you have to remember what it's all about, what this means. >> it's about gratitude, connection, and family. if we go back to the basics, it will make the holiday much less stressful. >> it's about sweets, too. >> about candy and sweets. >> jen, thank you so much. appreciate it. coming up next, speaking of sweets, a tasty holiday dessert from the former white house executive pastry chef with someone he knew pretty well in the white house walls. first, this is "today" on nbc.
8:50 am
8:51 am
z2m7ez z16fz y2m7ey y16fy ♪ welcome back this morning on "today food." a real treat. we're whipping up a delicious holiday dessert for someone who has cooked for presidents and dignitaries. he served as the white house pastry chef during the bush and obama
8:52 am
>> i was there at your tasting. >> we were just talking about that before we got here. all of the people who were at the white house and still there. >> unsung heroes. >> you guys make it a home. when we see them, it's like seeing family members. >> it is. was this one of jenna's favorites? is this a new one? >> her dad liked every dessert. >> my dad has a major sweet tooth. >> we have the ingredients. sugar and the butter and the pie doug. a little maple syrup. >> it's the maple apple tart tartan. >> savannah is just like me in
8:53 am
we're going to make the care mel first. >> sugar and water in there. you see the caramelized color. i'll set that down here. i better set it on this. >> there you go. >> here, we have the caramel. that color. and it's very important to really pack the apples in tightly. they shrink when they cook. if you don't have -- great. please do. >> i'll supervise. >> supervise. >> that's a good role. >> are we doing all right? >> look how beautiful his is. >> you're doing well. no problem. >> thank you, bill. >> even a second layer. >> okay. >> it shrinks down. >> you're using this cast iron pan. >> the cast iron is great. it's old fashioned but it transfers the heat and gives a nice caramel color to the
8:54 am
too? >> that goes in the bottom. >> and the maple syrup. >> we have our tasters over there. >> how is it? >> never had anything like that before. >> we're finished. >> you're not kidding. >> really good. >> then, we have the pie dough that goes on the top. it's puff pastry. >> for people like us, you can buy this at the store. >> buy the pie dough or puff pastry. and tuck it in nice like that. >> look. look what it look like when it comes out of the oven. >> exactly. >> you cooked the apples and put this on top and put it in the oven. >> yeah. don't forget that part. apples nice and colored, and comes out like this. >> yummy. >> it's a little daunting when you have to flip something over. >> you flip it. >> can savannah try it?
8:55 am
anybody to cook, it's her. >> there's nobody watching us, right? >> probably not. >> no pressure, jenna. >> what if i ruin it. >> this is your time. >> you go like this. and flip the whole thing over. >> don't break any glass. >> i'm a lefty. oh. >> you keep going. leave it there for a second. we'll let gravity do its work. i usually bang it, too, but with a glass plate. >> was that not the right moves? >> savannah, amazing. oh, my gosh. >> dilly dilly. >> so pretty. >> isn't that beautiful? >> and we have a little whipped cream garnish. >> a nice, big dollop. >> i can't believe how good that is and how simple it was. i'm shocked. >> when i saw the name of it, the tartan. i that it sounded fanc
8:56 am
>> okay. >> one of the most fun things to do to go down into the kitchen and see these guys at work. i wish i had taken more lessons. >> so does henry. >> true that. >> "the sweet spot," 8:56 is your time right now. right now we want to check on your morning commute. how it is looking, melissa? >> a couple problems here. start with the easy stuff. the beltway is looking good, inner loop and outer loop. west bound 66 though near the beltway, we have a
8:57 am
a little slow as well. 95 in virginia, it's going to get crazy later in the day and tomorrow as folks start heading out of town south bound. >> all right. we'll take a quick break right now. i'm a small business, but i have... big dreams... and big plans. so how do i make the efforts of 8 employees... feel like 50? how can i share new plans virtually? how can i download an e-file? virtual tour
8:58 am
zip-file? really big files? in seconds, not minutes... just like that. like everything... the answer is simple. i'll do what i've always done... dream more, dream faster, and above all... now, i'll dream gig. now more businesses, in more places, can afford to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. now more businesses, in more places, can afford to dream gig. really? really? really? really? really? see zero in a whole new way. get zero down, zero deposit, zero first month's payment, and zero due at signing on
8:59 am
els. now with the people first warranty. good wednesday morning. we're still around 50 degrees in the district. 51 degrees, 50 lorton. not as chillly. clouds will be with us today. the rain stays pretty far to our south. so expect some travel delays through much of the southeast. otherwise, we're dry locally until the weekend. >> thank you. get the latest news and weather any time in the nbc washington app. have a great day.
9:00 am
this morning on "megyn kelly today" -- a medical mystery. a mother guides her son through 13 surgeries. but his father says the child was never sick. what's really going on? then, a hasidic jewish woman settles for more. the ceiling she broke that's rned her a place in the history books. and our month of merry rolls on, with a gift that says, who is a good dog? what can it be? all that and more on "megyn kelly today" right now. [ applause ] >> thank you very much, everybody. thank you so much.

73 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on