tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC April 24, 2018 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
>> they're so active in the community. that's going to do it for us. thanks for joining us. >> nightly news is next with lester holt. >> we'll be back at 6:00, bye. tonight. stunning allegations about president trump's embattled veterans secretary pick just emerging hours after the president makes a jarring admission about the man he himself nominated. >> now, i know there's an experience problem because lack of experience. also the french connection at the white house. glitz and glamour and a full-on charm offensive as macron scrambles to save the iran deal. a husband's anguish. after that tragic explosion aboard a southwest airlines flight. >> she called to say i'm going to the airport and we said love you safe travels. after a bruising retrial, the fate of bill cosby about to go to the jury. david copperfield takes the stand after a magic trick mishap forced to reveal the secrets behind one of his most famous acts.
and beyond the doorstep. amazon now offering deliveries to your car even when you're not in it. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening and welcome stew our vito our views in the west. there are serious allegations surfacing tonight against the president's pick to lead the veterans affairs department which provides care and services for some 9 million veterans. those allegations threatening to derail the nomination of dr. ronny jackson. president trump expressing his support today even as he seemed to be nudging jackson to withdraw. jackson is currently the president's personal white house physician who you may recall gave that upbeat televised news conference about president trump's health back in january. tonight disturbing stories of workplace behavior have put his confirmation hearing on hold. our kristen welker has late details. >> reporter: tonight stunning
accusations against president trump's personal physician and nominee for secretary of veterans affairs. dr. ronny jackson facing allegations of over prescribing medications, drinking on the job, and creating a hostile work environment which the ranking democrat on the veterans affairs committee talked about late tonight. >> in the previous administration, we were told the stories where he was repeatedly drunk while on duty where his main job was to take care of the most powerful man in the world. that's not acceptable. >> reporter: in a surprising move, president trump appearing to give jackson cover to drop out. >> i said to dr. jackson, what do you need it for. i don't want to put a man through who's not a political person. it's too ugly and too disgusting. >> reporter: even acknowledging jackson has no major
management experience. >> now, i know there's an experience problem because lack of experience. >> reporter: jackson's confirmation hearing tomorrow postponed indefinitely as he was on capitol hill in damage control. an administration source tells nbc news jackson feels the allegations against him are false and has expressed interest in airing it all out at a hearing rather than stepping aside. pressed today by nbc's garrett haake. >> are you saying those are categorically untrue? >> i'm saying i'm looking forward to the hearing so we can sit down and i can explain everything to everyone and answer the questions. >> reporter: according to a 2012 assessment by the navy's inspector general, jackson clashed with another physician and exhibited poor leadership which the survey largely attributed to the working relationship with his colleague. the report even suggesting the white house consider replacing jackson and his coworker. but jackson stayed on as president obama's personal physician. still tonight, lawmakers are questioning the trump administration's vetting process. >> probably makes sense for the president to spend a little bit more time doing research on his own nominees before he sends them to congress. >> those are serious allegations. >> reporter: jackson
met with the president in the oval office tonight. a conversation described as positive. in a statement late tonight, a senior white house official says dr. jackson's record as a white house physician is impeccable. there is no indication jackson has any plans to withdraw his nomination tonight, lester. >> kristen welker at the white house, thank you. as that drama plays out this evening, the trumps host the macrons at the first state dinner of the trump presidency. a day of glamour. the presidents and first ladies together before a charm offensive behind closed doors. macron trying desperately to save the iran nuclear deal. hallie jackson has details. >> reporter: the hand shakes, the hugs, the back slaps, the bromance. >> in fact, i'll get that little piece of dandruff off. we have to make him perfect. he is perfect. >> reporter: both presidents joined by their wives, the first lady in a french hat a nod to her guests. but for the two world leaders behind those public displays, private disputes on foreign policy. iran, syria, and north korea in
the spotlight. on iran, president macron is lobbying the u.s. to stay in the iran nuclear deal. president from -- president trump is not budging. even as iran threatens to withdraw if the u.s. does. >> they restart it, they're going have big problems. bigger than they've had before. >> reporter: instead it's now emmanuel macron moving more towards trump's position. suggesting he's open to new negotiations. >> translator: we therefore wish from now on to work on a new deal with iran. >> reporter: the french president seemed to have more sway on syria. despite donald trump insisting troops will come home soon, he's adding -- >> we want to leave a strong and lasting footprint. >> reporter: on north korea, both leaders agree kim jong-un needs to stop trying to develop nuclear weapons. >> it means they get rid of their nukes. >> reporter: but it was president trump raising eyebrows with this.
>> kim jong-un was -- he really has been very open and, i think, very honorable. >> reporter: just three months ago, a much tougher tone. >> no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally. >> reporter: both presidents have plenty on their plates when it comes to policy, but it's a different menu on display tonight with donald trump and the first lady hosting the first state dinner of the trump administration. in a break from past precedent, no congressional democrats have been invited for what the white house describes as a more intimate evening. lester? >> hallie jackson, thank you. in houston tonight, former president george h.w. bush remains hospitalized in intensive care fighting a blood infection. the 93-year-old bush's condition is unchanged since aides said he was responding positively to treatment. tonight for the first time the husband of the passenger killed in the mid-air engine explosion in a southwest airlines plane is speaking to the media. this comes amid a new report by bloomberg that the engine's manufacturer was preparing to recommend inspections that would have including the engine that failed. nbc's joe fryer has more on the family's loss.
>> reporter: a week after jennifer riordan's tragic death, her family is choosing to focus on her life. >> she's going to be with us forever and everything we do as a family is going to be based on jennifer riordan. >> reporter: her husband michael says she was constantly sending text messages to friends spending love and kindness. how often did she say the words i love you? >> our last call was just that. she called to say she was going to the airport. and we said love you safe travels. >> she always pushed me to be better and stronger and brighter. >> reporter: her impact could be felt over the weekend at a memorial service attended by nearly 2,000 friends and family. >> she's an amazing mom. >> reporter: including her two kids, 10-year-old josh and 12-year-old avery. >> their looks to me, their hugs to me are what my rock is. without that, i don't know what i would do. >> reporter: while jennifer was a busy vice president at wells fargo, family remained a priority. the riordans were profiled three years ago by nbc affiliate kob
for a story on work/life balance. >> we've never left our kids anywhere. >> that's what we're proud of. >> reporter: just 43 years old, jennifer was on a business trip last week when the engine exploded during her flight. she was partially sucked out the window broken by the glass. for now michael does not want to talk about the accident or investigation. >> i have not been angry yet. i'm sure it's coming. i'm keeping my love for her in my heart. i'm staying strong for my children. i'm soaking in their looks to me. >> reporter: joe fryer, nbc news, albuquerque. meantime, the man suspected of plowing a van into pedestrians in toronto has now been charged with ten counts of first degree murder. alek minassian also faces 13 counts of attempted murder for the worst mass killing in canada in nearly three decades. and we're learning more about what may have motivated the suspect. moments before the attack, authorities say he posted a message hostile toward women on social media and police say most of monday's victims were women. tonight the fate of bill
cosby is once again close to being in a jury's hands after a bruising retrial in which six accusers took the stand. all of them alleging cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them. nbc's stephanie gosk is at the courthouse in pennsylvania. >> reporter: bill cosby arrived this morning with wife camille at his side. her first time in court since the retrial began. prosecutors say the once-beloved comedian drugged former temple university employee andrea constand and sexually assaulted her in his pennsylvania home in 2004. in closing arguments today, cosby's defense attorney called constand a pathological liar and a con artist. >> this was a consensual relationship. >> reporter: the charges are the same as the first trial. three counts of aggravated indecent assault. courthouse is the same. even the judge is the same. but this time, five women including former model janice dickinson testified cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them in decades' old incidents. this was no mistake, the
prosecution said today. he had done this so many times before. none of the criminal charges cosby faces stem from their allegations. all of which he denies. today the defense called these women a cast of accusers just out for money and attention. nearly a year ago cosby's first trial ended with a deadlocked jury. since then, the me too movement has spread across the country. >> it really is changing the way that we talk about sexual assault, the way we think about sexual assault. >> reporter: today in closing the defense team responded telling the jury, mob rule is not due process. what matters in a trial are the facts. stephanie gosk, nbc news, norristown, pennsylvania. we have a new salvo in the shopping wars tonight. from amazon going from home delivery now offering delivery to your car even when you're not in the car. popping the trunk and placing the package without a key. here's jo ling kent with how they're doing it. >> reporter: amazon already delivers to your doorstep,
inside your front door, and is testing drones. now it's bringing packages directly into your vehicle. if you're willing to trust it. the free service called amazon key in-car delivery is aimed at more than 100 million prime members in 37 cities. with an app, customers can buy a product on amazon then authorize their car to be unlocked remotely when the delivery person is nearby without a key or security code. >> all my packages are here. >> reporter: amazon says it will notify you after the package is in the trunk and the vehicle is locked back up. the service will work for buick, chevrolet, cadillac, and gmc vehicles with onstar from 2015 or later and volvos with oncall. but amazon in-car delivery is yet another innovation that requires turning over valuable personal information like your location, even access to your car to total strangers. with no way to track or monitor what happens. >> people really need to start thinking about where their boundaries are where data is concerned. what are you comfortable with? what are you going to allow? what are you not going to allow? >> reporter: and amazon is
testing robots for inside your home. that move freely from room to room. the company is not commenting as its technology gets up close and personal. jo ling kent, new york. now to our eye-opening mental health struggles confronting our children. last night we brought you the story of two parents fighting for change after their son tragically took his own life. tonight we have a deeper look how they personally brought mental health education into classrooms in the hopes of sparing other families the pain they felt. cynthia mcfadden has more in our series "1 in 5 kids at risk." >> reporter: when their son jordan killed himself, they decided to do something many parents in their shoes do not do. talk about it. >> i could not bring jordy back, but i wanted to do whatever i could do to prevent it from happening to anybody else.
>> reporter: they created a foundation in his name to help educate teens about mental health. at the invitation of one of his teachers, they went to jordy's high school and spoke candidly about their son's mental illness and his suicide. the kids were riveted. >> the students themselves were so grateful to have them come and talk. they would stay after class to ask questions. >> reporter: now eight years after jordy's death, they've told his story to about 75,000 high school kids across the state of washington. these are some of the thousands of thank you letters. like this one. i have attempted suicide twice. i have bipolar disorder. after hearing this presentation, i may still struggle, but i now have hope. but the binions realize they couldn't personally reach everyone. they found a pioneering high school course being used in canada for mental health literacy.
they've now gotten it added to the curriculum of 99 washington state school districts. >> compare and contrast being sad with depressed. >> you don't know what people are going through. don't judge them. we're all trying to find a way through this hard thing called life. we're all trying our best. so it's okay to ask for help. >> reporter: research shows the program works. 84% of the kids who took the course improved their mental health knowledge. erica warren is taking the class now. >> i think it's extremely important to have these lessons in school. >> i've heard that over and over again. >> over and over. >> reporter: you know you're doing something that matters. >> yes. >> that means the world to us. i think for both of us. it's been a healing process. i mean, i don't know where i would be if i didn't have the jordan binion project in a lot of ways. i think it saved both of us.
to find the shooter. still ahead tonight, magic secret revealed. david copperfield on the stand today. why he's being forced to tell how one of his tricks is performed. also some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment have flocked to his cause. now the rap superstar thrown behind bars is going free.
back now with a big secret revealed as a famed magician takes the stand in a case involving a magic trick mishap. david copperfield forced to explain how he pulls off one of his most famous illusions. nbc's steve patterson now with the details. >> reporter: on the stand, david copperfield forced to break a cardinal rule of magic. revealing the secret behind the illusion. >> i'm trying to dance around secrecy stuff.
>> reporter: the magician is being sued by 58-year-old gavin cox, a british tourist chosen from the audience to participate in an illusion called 13. during the illusion, participants are placed in a cage above the stage and covered by a curtain. then they exit and are guided through a series of passage ways to the outside of the building, then led back inside reappearing in the back of the theater. >> is it important to you for them to do it as quickly as possible or not? >> no. safety would always come first. >> reporter: cox says while being hurried outside, he slipped on construction dust suffering a brain injury resulting in $1.3 million in medical bills. cox's attorney is alleging at least two other participants were also injured and will be called to the stand this week. >> has anyone ever fallen during the runaround? >> not to my knowledge except for mr. cox. >> reporter: attorneys for copperfield say over 100,000 audience members have performed the trick without injury. the performer who's made millions believe him on stage now has to convince 12 jurors in a courtroom. steve patterson, nbc news. coming up, highway heroes.
there is breaking news tonight from philadelphia and a case we've been closely following after our exclusive interview with rapper meek mill jailed on probation violations. a sentence of two to four years. he's become a cause celebre for advocates of criminal justice reform. late today the pennsylvania supreme court ordering mill released on bail while he appeals. in a statement mill thanks the da's office and writes, i understand many people of color across the country don't have that luxury and i plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues. truckers are being hailed as heroes for teaming up to save a life. 13 semis lined up under a detroit overpass to prevent a distraught man from jumping off. the image captured by a fox photographer. the man was taken to a hospital for evaluation. up next, a wounded warrior now serving in a new uniform. "those who serve" is next.
shooters. but a bay area fire chief says his department isn )t prepared o coordinate w/ police... and a bay area road project hits a snag... the mystery beneath the street that )s causing a long delay... finally, our look tonight at "those who serve." it can be framed by the unofficial marine corps slogan. adapt and overcome. it's exactly what one young marine did when an ied left him severely wounded on the battlefield and nearly robbed him of his dream to serve in uniform. since he was a kid growing up in milwaukee, christopher lawrence wanted to be in uniform. >> every little boy wants to be a cop or firefighter or a soldier. >> reporter: at 17, he joined the marines. >> you're going to war in the marine corps, you're going to
see combat. that's just what happens. >> reporter: in 2007 as lawrence walked a patrol in iraq, a roadside bomb exploded. >> next thing i know, i wake up in bethesda, maryland. i had no idea what happened to me. no idea. >> his injuries were extensive. his right leg amputated. he couldn't go back on duty as a marine, but he was determined to find a way to serve once more. >> i love being in uniform. i love to help people. >> reporter: lawrence lost a leg, but not his positive attitude. despite rejections from four police departments, he got into the academy where he was spotted by chief roxanna kennedy. >> he's an extremely motivational individual. i think he has a heart for service. that's what's different about him. that he truly does care. >> reporter: the chula vista police department recruited lawrence not for desk duty, but to work on the streets. >> chula vista police. >> reporter: walking a beat
built on his desire to serve and the strength to never give up. >> one of my friends asked me if you had a dream job, what would it be? i'm doing it. you know, i get to help people, i get to teach people. i get to wear a cool uniform and drive a cool car. what else is there? >> and he wears that uniform well. we appreciate you an nbc bay ar: the san jose fire department admitting it )s not ready for an active shooter ... the news at six starts right now: t san jose fire department admits it's not ready for an active shooter. the news at 6:00 starts now. good evening. thanks for joining us. >> an admission from the fire chief in the bay area's biggest city. is it a political power play or does this prompt legitimate concern when it comes to public safety? the chief says his crews are not prepared to help when an active shooter is on the loose. they train their firefighters to go into a school or mall with
police to save lives. this san jose the top brass is still working on a department policy that won't be ready for months. >> reporter: when it comes to an active shooter situation here in the city, the firefighters say they are not as prepared as they want to be if that shooter is still on the loose. firefighters go in with police wearing bullet proof vests and protective helmets to treat victims and pull them to safety. this is training from two years ago. the assumption is the shooter has not been caught.