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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  July 13, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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lester holt joins us next with nightly news. tonight, high drama as the donald trump veep stakes goes right down to the wire. major contenders and trump family meetings also a bombshell, and why they're suing a former campaign staffer for $10 million. >> day of mourning in dallas, the first funerals for the fallen officers. a sea of blue begins painful good-byes. nbc news exclusive, a rare one on one interview with syrian president bashir al assad in damascus. we confront the man we call a murderous dictator. hunt for a serial killer in parks and driveways. tonight, a city in fear, streets and playgrounds empty. robocall alerts, scam phone calls soaring and technology that tricks your caller id and people
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are getting bilked out of thousands. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. donald trump who once turned fielding job candidates into a hit tv show is borrowing some of that flair as he builds suspense tonight for his vice-presidential pick expected to be announced friday after publicly auditions them on the road, he ramped up the chatter with meetings with some of the apparent finalists. trump's vp choice becomes even more critical as our new poll of background states shows the gap between trump and hillary clinton narrowing. nbc's hallie jackson has details. >> reporter: with air force trump grounded for repairs, a longer layover in indiana, letting donald trump secretly summon his vp short list to "the hoosier" state.
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posing for pictures after a private meeting with governor mike pence including his kitchen cabinet, children ivanka and don junior. >> the conversations we had between two families is something karen and i will cherish whatever the outcome. >> reporter: he is narrowing his options. >> i'm looking at 10 people. >> we have five really good candidates. >> reporter: over the last 48 hours, going from five finalists to four. >> we have it down to five people. >> reporter: now. >> three, potentially four, in my own mind i probably am thinking about two. >> reporter: newt gingrich avoiding prying eyes all together. new jersey's chris christie speaking by phone with him yesterday, trump teasing his audience with pence last night. >> i don't know whether he's going to be your governor or vice president, who the hell knows? >> reporter: donald trump will. aides caution the decision is ultimately his alone. sources close to trump confirm he hasn't settled on someone yet but will appear with his vp pick friday. >> he needs to choose someone who will reassure
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conservatives, someone who is going to be ready for office on day one. >> reporter: trump's unusually public process fitting for the former reality show star who knows suspense sells. his vp search, part of the show. >> it's a little bit like "the apprentice," you find out sooner or later who the last one standing is. >> reporter: in the midst of this vp search a strange and potentially distracting twist. we learned trump filed a $10 million arbitration claim against a former campaign aide accusing him of trying to spread suggestive rumors about senior campaign staffers. lester? >> hallie jackson, we're just five days to the republican national convention at which donald trump and his vp pick will be nominated. we learned there are late changes being made to the security plan in cleveland in response to the ambush attack in dallas. jacob rascon is there. >> reporter: the city
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of cleveland now forced to make last minute security changes. >> dallas was a wake-up call for a lot of people. it causes all of law enforcement, causes all of this country to step back, take a look at what we're doing and how we're doing it. >> reporter: tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected downtown during the convention where it is legal to openly carry a firearm. the police chief was asked today if he'd prefer protesters not bring their guns. >> of course. of course. but it's the law in this state. as police chief, i'm bound to uphold the law in this state. >> reporter: two rings of security will surround the convention center, first a secure zone inside and directly around it controlled by the secret service where no guns are allowed. then the wider event zone where protesters will be and guns are allowed but other items like air rifles and knives and paint guns and others are prohibited. >> i started bikers for trump. >> reporter: bikers
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for trump potentially planning a victory rally now ready for the worst. >> we are in a position if need be to stand with and help protect police -- >> reporter: with your own guns? >> i myself won't be carrying a gun. i can't speak for the rest of the guys. i know many bikers carry a concealed permit. >> reporter: some 5,000 officers will be on hand to keep the peace. part of the secret service secure zone includes these eight foot tall steel fences which were just put up. and the city of cleveland says hundreds of officers on bikes will help separate potential hostile groups as the first protests are scheduled later this weekend. lester. >> jacob rascon in cleveland. thanks. hillary clinton was on the trail today not letting up on
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donald trump as our new poll in some very important background -- battleground states shows this race is tightening at a critical juncture right before the vp picks are announced and the conventions begin. nbc kasie hunt has more. >> reporter: hillary clinton facing troubling times in critical background states. >> we need a president who can help pull us together. >> reporter: our new nbc news "wall street journal" maris poll show clinton and donald trump tied in ohio. in iowa, a virtual dead heat. one bright spot, pennsylvania, where she leads by nine. clinton today trying to rebound with a somber plea for unity in the wake of killings in texas, louisiana and minnesota, taking some responsibility for the divisive tone of the race. >> i cannot stand here and claim that my words and actions haven't sometimes fueled the partisanship. i have to do better, too. >> reporter: she quickly turned to a blistering attack
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against trump. >> donald trump is so dangerous. >> reporter: clinton today calling him a threat to democracy. >> imagine if he had not just twitter and cable news to go after his critics and opponents, but also the irs. or for that matter, our entire military. >> reporter: trying to make sure her supporters stay mobilized in a tightening race. >> polls that show states like ohio close will scare a lot of clinton supporters but it also will keep them from being complacent. that's one thing her campaign really needs right now. >> reporter: tonight, the clinton campaign is watching to see who trump will pick as his vice president as she narrows down her list, agricultural secretary tom vilsack is in that mix and so is virginia senator tim kaine who is getting a tryout tomorrow on the campaign trail. >> the guessing game continues. thank you. the anguish was
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palpable in dallas today where three of the five officers killed in last week's ambush were laid to rest. thousands came to pay their last respects, their families surrounded by blue as fellow officers honored the fallen. gabe gutierrez has more on an emotional day in dallas. ♪ >> reporter: today, deep in the heart of texas, dallas was devastated. >> one thing i would always say to my dad when he walk out the door was, good-bye, daddy, i love you, be safe. and tonight we say our final good-bye, daddy, we love you. be safe. ♪ amazing grace >> reporter: her father, brent thompson, had re-married just three weeks ago, his wife, emily a fellow rapid transit officer, a newlywed and now a widow. >> to the coward that tried to break me and my brothers and sisters, you know your hate made us stronger. >> reporter: senior corporal lorne ahrens was a gentle giant, once a semi-pro football player. >> he felt invincible. when you were with him you also felt invincible. >> reporter: sergeant michael smith was a cop's cop known for his upbeat attitude.
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>> my heart is broken and i'm full of rage. he was taken so senselessly. my brother's murder will not be in vain. >> while dallas is in mourning, other officers are on edge. baton rouge authorities made several arrests after they say several guns were stolen possibly to kill cops just days after the shooting death of alton sterling. his 15-year-old son who broke down at a news conference in the days following his father's death now pleading for calm. >> yes, you can protest, but i want everyone to protest the right way. protest in peace. >> reporter: tonight, dallas is struggling to find a different kind of peace. late today at the white house, president obama met with law enforcement officials and civil rights activists trying to bridge that gap of mistrust. here in texas, the two funerals for the remaining two fallen officers are now set for later this week. lester. >> all right, gabe. thank you. in arizona tonight, police are working to catch a serial killer before
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he strikes again. in the phoenix area, seven people have been gunned down while simply sitting in their cars or walking into a home. detectives have few leads and no motive and many are living in fear. nbc news national correspondent miguel almaguer is in phoenix tonight with more. >> reporter: when the sun sets in maryville, arizona, fear grips the community. police say a night time serial killer who has now murdered at least seven people is now on the prowl. this sketch, the first solid lead police have. >> we haven't determined any link between victims and victims and possible suspect. >> reporter: striking after dark, the killer is indiscriminate targeting men, women and even a 12-year-old child, each victim gunned down inside their car or a driveway. deangelo white lost her mother, crystal. >> every day it just -- it doesn't feel real. i have to remind myself, tell myself that my mom is no
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longer here and that i don't have a mother anymore. >> reporter: horatio pena was gunned down in front of his home, his sister, nancy. >> it's just a senseless act. there's no rhyme or reason to it. some guy or guys or girls, who ever have a gun and like, hey, let's go shoot these people. >> reporter: the majority of the murders have all taken place within a few miles of each other. with the crimes unsolved for five months now, neighborhoods like this one are a ghost town. with streets and playgrounds empty, this community is on edge. >> innocent people are being killed. we never know who's next. that's pretty sad. >> reporter: a serial killer stalking these streets and many fear he will soon strike again. miguel almaguer, nbc news, maryvale, arizona. a big moment in london. a new prime minister taking charge, theresa may, the second woman to serve as prime minister, margaret thatcher being the first.
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may took the reins after meeting with the queen following david cameron's resignation. that was all expected. what came as a big surprise to many today was the appointment of former london mayor and major brexit backer, boris johnson as foreign secretary. an nbc news exclusive, rare access one-on-one with embattled president bashir al assad. as u.s. led air strikes on isis continue in his country, assad is also locked in a civil war that cost at least 250,000 lives, his government accused in some cases targeting civilians. our bill neely sat down with president assad today. we want you to know it was filmed by the presidential press office but there have been no editorial changes to the content. tonight, assad speaks out about how history
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will judge him and on donald trump. >> mr. trump has no experience in foreign policy. does that worry you? >> who had this experience before? obama or george bush or clinton before? none of them had any experience. this is the problem with the united states. you have to look for a statesman who has real experience in politics for years, not because to have position in congress for a few years or minister of foreign affairs for example. that doesn't mean you have the experience. >> reporter: so a man with no experience in foreign policy, in the white house, is not necessarily dangerous, in your view? >> if anyone who doesn't have experience in any position, a white house or in the presidential palace in syria or any other country, of course it is dangerous for the country generally. >> how do you think
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history will remember you? >> i hope that the history would see me as the man who protected his country from the terrorism and from the intervention and saved its sovereignty an integrity of its land. >> reporter: because you know what the first draft of history is saying, you're brutal dictator, you're a man with blood on your hands, more blood on your hands than even your father. >> i would draw that example if you have a doctor who cut the head because of gang green to save the patient, you don't say he's a brutal doctor. he's doing his job to save the rest of the body. when you protect your country from the terrorists and you keep terrorists and you defeat terrorists, you are not ruthless. >> more of that interview on "nightly news" tomorrow. still ahead tonight, the next generation of telephone scams. thieves are upping their game with robocalls to try and trick you out of your hard-earned money and what you can do to protect yourself. tens of millions at risk with scary weather tonight, a scary sight dropping down from the sky.
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we're back now with a warning about a growing kind of telephone scam you may be familiar with. robocalls. they're annoying and disruptive and increasingly they're a way for con artists to steal your money. olivia talks with one woman fleeced out of thousands and explains what to do if you are targeted, too. >> hello. >> reporter: when jean johnson got a call from a policeman saying her grandson was locked up, she panicked. >> i wanted to make sure nothing happened to my grandson.
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>> reporter: she sent the $9,000 he was asking for only later realizing it was all a lie. >> hello, i have a message concerning important personal business. >> reporter: fraud calls like this have doubled in the past three years, primarily targeting the elderly. the average consumer now receiving 10 such calls per week. >> every time there is a line we are analyzing it. >> reporter: based in atlanta, specializing in fraud prevention and specializing in scams. >> is it access to technology? or is the scammer getting more savvy? >> it's both. they're using the technology to target their victims in a short amount of time. >> reporter: they say most fraudsters generate a spoofing technology that generates a false caller id. in seconds they dial my phone manipulates the id to make a familiar number appear. >> lester. how hard was that to do? >> i've always said a properly motivated 13-year-old can do it in 13 minutes. >> reporter: the most common scams, calls pretending to be from google or irs or telling you you won a cruise.
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to protect yourself, don't just trust your caller id. download truecaller or privacy star that identify phone calls. if someone asks for money, hang up. above all, never reveal personal info. >> it will say -- >> reporter: after contacting the police, the family recovered most of the funds and jean is keeping a close eye on her grandchildren. olivia sterns, nbc news, atlanta. we're back in a moment with a newlywed that is a viral hit because her honeymoon photos are missing one important thing.
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some 45 million people are on alert in the midwest tonight as severe storms continue to pound the region. heavy rain and windgusts up to 60 miles an hour knocking down trees and power lines. take a look at this jaw dropping site in florida where they spawned this
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waterspout in the coast off the panhandle. after decades of being hounded by the paparazzi and rumors, a big star is saying enough is enough. on the "huffington post," jennifer aniston said she's fed up with the tabloids de humanizing females focused solely on one's physical appearance. she goes on to say the constant speculation of whether she is pregnant or gained weight quote reflects the warped way we calculate a woman's worth. a newlywed has become a viral sensation when she took her honeymoon photos without her honey. they had a bought and paid for trip to greece and when her husband was denied a visa, he insisted she went alone and she held out her arm where she wished her husband would be. when we come back, the family of one of the fallen dallas police officers opens up. what his daughter will always hold close to her heart. nbbayreaespds.threanng fia set.
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finally tonight, our emotional interview with a family of one of the police officers laid to rest today in dallas. transit officer brent thompson was both a newlywed and father to seven children. tonight, his loved ones are opening up to
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our joe fryer about what they'll always remember about their fallen hero. >> reporter: for as long as his brothers can remember, brent thompson wanted to work in law enforcement. >> he has a huge heart and that's what he wanted to do. he wanted to help everybody. >> he was mischievous and never smiled, always smirked but his smirk was hilarious. >> reporter: after serving in the marines he did become an officer, first working in his hometown, corsicana, texas. >> he's a fixture in corsicana and always will be. >> reporter: a glimpse at just how much he's still loved here. >> brent thompson answered that call. >> reporter: then he was honored yesterday not by just one but two presidents. >> it was very powerful and very moving. the five empty seats got me. that was a very fitting tribute to them. >> reporter: thompson quietly re-married just three weeks ago. i can't imagine knowing there was a wedding and only weeks later now there is going to be a funeral. >> it was very sad she only got to spend that much time with move it
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brother. brother. >> reporter: just 43 years old, thompson was a family man including 21-year-old sandy. >> i am proud to say i am brent thompson's daughter. >> reporter: once she asked her dad why did he pursue such a dangerous job. >> he said i hoped there would be an officer if you were in trouble i would hope they would help you and i should be able to do that for someone else's kid. >> reporter: by all accounts thursday that's exactly what he did. >> there's no doubt actions he took specifically saved lives. >> reporter: do you walk away these past few days with any sort of message you want to share? >> just love everybody. >> reporter: joe fryer, nbc news corsicana, texas. >> that will do it for us on a wednesday night. i'm lester holt, for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night.
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it could have been me. it could have been any of us. we're very thankful. >> right now at 6:00, reliving the horror. a quiet bay area community reacts to the manhunt for armed robbers. thanks for joining us. i'm laura garcia cannon in for jessica aguirre. i'm raj mathai. s.w.a.t. teams comb thu the neighborhoods. after a brazen shooting yesterday in and robbery of an armed guard. we have new information about the crime and the heroes who jumped in to help.
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nbc bay area's jodi hernandez is in windsor this evening where it all began. jodi. >> reporter: raj, this is where it initially took place. the chase bank has been closed all day as workers repair the damage. one window remains boarded up because of all of the bullet holes. folks who witnessed what happened yesterday say it is something they will never forget. >> i hear a big loud scream and it was the security guard. he was like stop. >> she's still shaken up after shots went off yesterday afternoon outside the windsor verizon store where she works. she saw an armored car guard from the chase bank laying shot on the sidewalk. >> i saw one in his arm, his leg and somewhere over here. there was a lot of blood. >> reporter: investigators say 24-year-old sergei gus toe of antelope and

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