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tv   Early Today  NBC  December 18, 2017 3:00am-3:31am PST

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>> the world's busiest airport is finally open for business after a mass iive power outage caused chaos for thousands of travelers. >> not looking good. it's not looking good. it's quite sad to see that, so my people are very upset about it. >> and after two weeks calming winds may finally be able to help firefighters to help contain the wildfire of history. >> and meet the lady with the house of a thousand santas.
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"early today" starts right now. good morning. i'm phillip mena. >> i'm francis rivera. an outage created a travel might mare ahead of the holiday rush. electricity went out around 1:00 p.m. after a fire damaged. >> over the course of 11 hours to the cheers of weary passengers. more than 1,300 flights were cancelled or delayed with more backups expected to ripple into today. >> reporter: a massive power outage at the world's business jest airport. >> we're all finding out what's to do next. >> arriving planes were held at the point of departure. some arriving passengers were stuck on the tar mac while
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others said finding flight information was a struggle. >> we haven't got an e-mail or a text. >> the system is down. this is a mess. >> the power outage came at the start of a busy travel season. u.s. air carriers are expected to fly 15 million passengers between now and january 15th. >> santa claus came around. >> a lighter mood for passengers who can do little but wait. >> now to the massive fire consuming southern california. since it broke out two weeks ago the thomas fire has devoured a record 270,000 acres.
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that armg that's larger than new york city. the blaze has burned more than a thousand structures. steve has the latest. >> reporter: firefighters strike back. direct aassault the monster blaze, consuming so much of southern california. the mass ifz thomas fire has killed two and destroyed more than a thousand homes and businesses. it grew even larger overnight tletsenning some 18,000 homes. >> it's the biggest fire i've ever been on. >> red flag winds finally dying down, giving crews a chance to act. >> firefighters gring oing on t attack. >> more than 8,500 fire personnel has been fiekting the fire since it begampb two weeks ago. this team has been on the front
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lines a few days after the fire broke out working 24 hour shifts. >> i mean, this is pretty -- we've been on big ones but not like this. >> many have been away from their families for weeks. >> those affected by the fires show gratitude. >> a smile and a thanks that's really all we can do right now. >> oprah tweeting god bless every firefighter and their families and katy perry sending a thank you to all the firefighters and their fighters. people paying their respects. in a battle raging into its third week, firefighters now hope they've turned a corner. >> the thomas fire has turned communities along the coastline into ghost towns forcing more than 100,000 people to evacuate.
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18,000 people remain evacuation orders. skothd has the latest from hard hit ventura county. >> we're at the main command post here for the more than 8,000 fire personnel that are still battling these fires and they have a key window of opportunity over the next couple of days when those winds will die down or expected to stay calm for the next couple of days before picking up around midweek. so they will take that opportunity toy try to contain that opportunity. and part of the strategy is to guide the fire into a an area that burned about ten years ago known as the zaca fire. that is led likely to burn. so that will be their strategy as they try to further contain
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this fire over the next couple of days and as you heard, these firefighters working 24 shifts but officials say they are every bit as determined as they were when the fire broke out two weeks ago. >> it's a monster. we all recognize that. but we will kill it. the team behind me, the men and women out in the field, i have no doubt. they will take care of business and we will put this fire out. >> at this rate, state fire officials expect the fire to be fully contained on january 7th, more on a month after it started. this morning there's a new fight breaking out over the mueller investigation, this time over e-mails. they claim they improperly
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claimed more than 1,000 e-mails. the special counsel is pushing back. just as another member of congress comes out calling for a special investigation into the fbi agents carrying out mueller's investigation. the president says he is not firing robert mueller. we go now to nbc's kelly o'donnell. >> reporter: president back from a week at camp david after his frustration surfaced in a new way. >> do you believe your e-mails were impror properly taken? >> it's not looking good. it's quite sad to see that. so my people are very upset about it. >> surfaced in a new way, with a charge made by the president's transition team against special counsel robert hmueller's
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investigation. e-mails now being used in the russia probe. >> i can't imagine there's anything on them frankly. there's no collusion whatsoever, but a lot of lawyers thought that was pretty sad. >> election season, to inaugural, the trump transition worked in this government building, but under the law transition teams are not government agencies. most of their funding is private. a trump transition lawyer claiming career staff, unlawfully produced the transition team's private materials. white house officials say stayed out out of it. >> i'm no in touch with the transition lawyer.
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>> credibility is a target for trump allies who seized on mueller, a senior fbi agent who exchanged anti trump text messages. >> i do not at all believe that mr. mueller has been compromised or his investigation. >> some republicans sound an alarm. >> i think these conflicts of interest jeopardize the integrity of his vinvestigation. >> he has no plans to fire special counsel robert mueller. the kremlin had come out first talking about the call saying that vladimir putin wanted to thank president trump for intelligence provided by the cia that helped russia stop a major
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terror plot. this is a sign of how the two countries can corop raoperate. after pay lynn was arrested and arraigned on charges of felony burglary, assault and felony mischief. all charges were related to an incident of domestic violence on saturday. the two were unable to comment on the incident asking for privacy. he was also arrested last year on domestic violence charges with his girlfriend telling police he struck her with a closed fist sending her to the ground. sa ra pay inr lynn saying her son come back different after his year long deployment in
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iraq. >> the "the last jedi" scores the highest of the film of 2017. $220 million domestically according to score estimates adding to a global maul of 450 million. it is the second best opening every. the disney block buster is just the fourth history to open above 200 million. and some celebrities joined in. she got matching star wars socks for a family and a full jaba the hut costume. >> i think for those fans, nothing in the world platters outside what's on that screen. >> let's go to bill karins.
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>> it's going to a warm start for your work week. highs about 25 degrees above average across the coast to coast. as minneapolis, 39. that very warm. indianapolis is going to be woorm and some of that warmth will make it all to the eastern through alabama, mississippi and also through areas around col m columbus. and did you see the story of what happened in france? they kicked off the holiday season, they call this a
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chilling good time. they donned happensa hats and plunged into the frigid waters. it lasted no longer than ten minutes. >> great to see. thag you. still ahead. chris matthews and pope francis celebrates a big birthday as only a ♪
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style. the pope blew out his birthday candles on a 13 foot long pizza surrounded by kids dressed as young pizza chefs. they encouraged them to eat the pizza saying it would help them grow. it wasn't just pizza on the menu. a three tiered cake was rolled out delivered by children from the papal clinic for poor children. >> here's news involving msnbc host chris mathews. a spokesperson for nbc part of our nbc universal family confirms a female employee was paid a selt almighty in 1999 after she accused mathews of making inappropriate jokes and comments about her in front of oorz. the daily column first reported saying the employee was paid $40,000, an amount msnbc disputes. msnbc said in a statement, quote, in 1999 this matter was thoroughly reviewed and dealt with. at the time mathews received a formal reprimand. mathews did not immediately respond to requests for comment. >> still to come we have new details on the cia thwarted terror plot the u.s. tipped the russians off before it happened.
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russian president vladimir putin is thanking president donald trump for an intelligent tip that helped thwart a possible bomb plot in st. petersburg. the kremlin first released information about a phone call between the two leaders where putin expressed his gratitude. the white house later confirmed saying this serves as an example of the positive things that can happen when our countries work together.
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nbc's lucy kavanagh has more from london. lucy, what more do we know about the plot? >> reporter: frances, good morning. according to the kremlin, this info from the cia helped prevent an islamic state attack on a number of crowded sites including a landmark orthodox christian church. russia's fsb security service said in a statement friday it obtained seven members of cell supporters and seized a significant amount of explosives, weapons and extremist literature. the attack was described as imminent. it was set to be planned for sunday, just two days after the first arrests were made, although it was not clear when the cia actually provided this tip. now, we don't have any details on what information the cia sent to the russians. it wasn't immediately clear where the plot originated or how the cia learned of it. the agencies consider themselves adversaries but they do occasionally cooperate on counterterrorism issues. keep in mind the u.s. intelligence agencies including the cia believed russia tried to sway last year's presidential
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election in favor of mr. trump. the special counsel is investigating whether anyone from his campaign colluded with the russians and sunday's conversation between the two presidents marks the second time they spoke in a week. they spoke by telephone on thursday when they discussed u.s./russian ties and the increasing tensions surrounding north korea. >> interesting. we'll get more information about the plot. lucy, thank you. >> when we come back, snl weighs in on former apprentice contestant omarosa's sudden departure from the white house. we'll be right back. pop a cap"m fresh" in that washer. with unstopables in-wash scent boosters by downy. and if you want, pour a little more. ah, it's so fresh. and it's going to last from wash to... ...wear for up to 12 weeks. right, freshness for weeks! unstopables by downy. for a fresh too feisty to quit. fast like stop staring atcaps help youthe clock fast,st,
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oh, don't know. you heard that noise out on the lawn? >> could it be santa or the rap tour or even worse, it's omarosa. >> hey, let me in. >> quick, someone turn off the lights. >> too late. i see you in there, donald. nobody kicks omarosa out the white house. >> hey, get away from the window right now. >> let's go, let's go. >> she's a tough cookie. i think we're going to have to move. where's my next -- >> i guess we'll have to wait for omarosa's book to find out what exactly -- >> or if we even get to figure that out then. >> all right. just ahead in this season of giving we're going to introduce you to some secret santa super stars. you're watching "early today" on a monday. stay with us. i love you, basement guest bathroom. your privacy makes you my number 1 place to go number 2.
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a woman in colorado is really getting in the holiday spirit. she has over 1,000 santas in her house. it began with a photo of her mom and dad dressed as santa and mrs. klaus in the 1960s. people have given her some to add to the collection. it takes her two weeks to put up all the decorations. >> at that point, leave them out. that's right. it's the season of giving. so many people are spreading cheer and unexpected and extraordinary ways. >> nbc's kate snow takes a look at some of those acts of kindness. >> reporter: at the brief encounter cafe in bellevue washington, that meant a lot this week. after his usual breakfast a regular left behind a note telling the staff when he was 7 he washed dishes and his mom
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cooked at a diner just like it. >> good job there, sir deal. >> reporter: then he signed a $3,000 tip for the staff and wished them all a better christmas. >> very excited. the boys back there are like, no way, no way. >> reporter: another secret santa in mill wood, new jersey. someone paid off $49,000 in lay away items for strangers. kimberly green had put things aside for her nine grandchildren. >> whoever it is, i'm grateful. like they're blessed. they've blessed a lot of people. >> reporter: and a lot of people made one girl's wish come true in ed inberg texas. a teacher posted a little girl's letter to santa asking for a ball, food, and a blanket. the school now flooded with donations. giving coming in all forms this holiday season. in shawnee, kansas, this police officer handing out cash instead of tickets. >> i would like to give you that. >> thank you. >> reporter: elementary students in boon, iowa were busy this week creating paper hugs for a
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classmate's dad, an army national guard staff sergeant about to be deployed overseas. >> you want daddy to come home? >> reporter: and this santa had a secret identity. >> look at mommy real quick. tell her what you want. >> i want daddy to come home. >> i want a dirt bike. >> hi, guys. >> reporter: the naval officer home just in time for christmas. >> that was kate snow reporting. never get tired of seeing those things. >> no, makes you actually want to do something, even, you know, the smallest thing just along the lines of that. let's get a check of our forecast with nbc meteorologist bill karins. good morning, bill. >> a lot of people traveling this week and people getting errands done this week. we're starting off the week, northern half of the country active. it's not cold but we are seeing snow in northern new england and portions of the cascades. the middle of the week we track rain in texas and the south. it will be in the carolinas by the time we get to wednesday. a lot of messy weather out west.
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we take the storm system into the great lakes with a lot of the rain through the gulf coast. >> all right, bill, thank you. thank you for watching. i'm phillip mena. >> i'm frances riva. your newers
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the world's busiest airport will try to get back to normal after a massive power outage during one of the most hectic travel days before the christmas rush. s shifting winds could help california firefighters beat back the two-week-old wildfires. a $250 million opener for "the last jedi." that's not all. >> the people of 2017. a fascinating look back. "early today" starts right now. good to be with you, i'm frances rivera. >> i'm phillip mena. power at the world's busiest airport has been fully restored. a complete power outage created a travel nightmare. the may


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