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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  November 7, 2018 5:30pm-5:59pm PST

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many of us won't feel that. you have to go to the big hills to find that >> and possible pg&e power cuts. we'll have more on that at 6:00. >> have a great evening. we'll see you soon. bye. breaking news tonight. jeff sessions fired as attorney general, forced out by president trump. rod rosenstein no longer in charge of mueller. and democrats already sounding alarms about the new acting attorney general who has been openly critical of the russia investigation. we have late details and what it all means, and what's next. also the president lashing out and defiant even as democrats seize the house. >> i thought it was a very close to complete victory. >> tonight, the new faces headed to congress. a record number of women in power. an emergency safety alert about hundreds of boeing airplanes. what pilots are b ery. an with 911 before
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his for help falling unconscious outside the emergency room. >> why can't the operator call the hospital er? >> i know, that would have maybe saved her. >> to the, his call for change to save others. the fbi urgently searching for a 13-year-old girl kidnapped outside her home. the authorities asking the public for help. >> i cannot stress this enough. every second counts. and girl scouts versus boy scouts. a major feud takes an ugly new turn. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening, everybody. attorney general jeff sessions fired by shorteiving warm sendoff from colleagues as he left the justice department for likely the last time. but there were no warm goodbyes from the president, who made sessions one of his favorite verbal punching bags after he
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recused himself from the russia investigation. his exit now strips oversight of that case from sessions' deputy rod rosenstein, and for now into the hands of someone who has openly criticized the special counsel's work. we get late details starting with our justice correspondent pete williams. pete, we can't say we didn't see this coming, but there are some surprises here. >> reporter: first, there's the timing. jeff sessions assumed this would probably happen eventually but not this quickly, a day after the midterms. secondly, it does now mean the guy in charge of the russia investigation is somebody who until the past has been at least skeptical if not critical of it. [ applause ] it's the end of a slow motion fall for jeff sessions, leaving office tonight. ho was the first u.s. senator to endorse and campaign for donald trump. >> this is a campaign, this is a movement. >> reporter: as attorney general, sessions was a loyal trump soldier. >> and we wholeheartedly join in
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the priorities of president trump. >> reporter: but in a letter today addressed to the president, sessions says "at your request i am submitting my resignation." sessions' ouster was inevitable. he was the target of blistering criticism of president trump. >> therefore i have recused myself. >> reporter: over his decision to recuse himself over the russia election meddling investigation because he campaigned for trump. the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein took on the job of supervising the russia investigation and has been consistently supportive of special counsel robert mueller. president trump today appointed an acting attorney general, matt district attorney in iowa in the bush administration, and until today sessions' chief of staff. whitaker will now oversee the russia investigation, taking it over from rosenstein. when he was a conservative commentator for cnn, he was wary of giving the special counsel too much power and said the russia investigation could be throttle see a scenario where jeff
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sessions is replaced in a recess appointment and mueller's budget is reduced so low that his investigation is ground to a halt. >> reporter: and he saw nothing wrong with the president's son meeting with a russian lawyer who offered dirt on hillary clinton during the campaign. >> i've run for public office twice. you certainly want to have any legal advantage you can. >> reporter: robert mueller retains his full authority as special counsel. but he'll have to clear all major decisions with matt whitaker. >> functionally it means matt whitaker will oversee bob mueller's investigation. if mueller needs to do something or seek additional authority or get permission to charge, mueller has to go through whitaker. >> reporter: whitaker has authority to fire mueller but only for cause such as misconduct. no word tonight on previously scheduled pete williams, nbc news, washington. white house meeting. hallie jackson, and tonight after that high profile firing, democrats are firing back. >> any attorney general, whether this one or another one,
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should not be able to interfere with the mueller investigation in any way. >> reporter: the top democrat on the house judiciary committee tweeting, "americans must have answers immediately about sessions' departure," adding, "we will be holding people accountable." democrats can do that, now that they're getting control of the house. but in the senate, president trump still holds the cards. since his republican majority gives him the votes to confirm a new pick. >> i'm disappointed in the attorney general for many reasons. >> reporter: it's no secret the president has n hpy with sessions, venting about him over and over, stemming from what the president perceives as his original sin, recusal from the russia investigation. initially republicans put up a fight. >> if jeff sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay. >> reporter: but that's changed in the last year with the reluctant acceptance that the relationship is beyond repair. now speculation swirling over who the new attorney general will be. be attorney general,
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if asked would you serve? >> no, no, no. >> reporter: sessions' departure not a surprise but still sending shock waves through washington. hallie jackson, nbc news. president trump gave no hint sessions was on his way out when he spoke with reporters earlier in the day, at an explosive post-midterm news conference that saw him lashing out a favorite target. our peter alexander was in the room. >> reporter: hours after republicans lost control of the house and expanded their majority in the sena, a defiant president trump framed the voters' verdict as a tremendous success for himself. >> i thought it was a very close to complete victory. >> reporter: the president mocking eight defeated members of his own party who refused to embrace him. >> carlos curbelo, mike coffman, too bad, mike. mia love gave me no love, and she lost. too bad. sorry about that, mia. >> reporter: taking a swipe at outgoing arizona senator jeff flake too.
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>> i retired him. i'm very proud of it. i did the country a great service. >> reporter: in a combative 87-minute news conference, the president appeared willing to reset his relationship with democrats, first praising nancy pelosi. >> it really could be a beautiful bipartisan type of situation. we have a lot of things in common on infrastructure. we want to do something on health care. they want to do something on health care. there are a lot of great things we could do together. >> reporter: but later threatening to retaliate if democrats use their subpoena power to launch investigations into ll iis is a war-like posture. i could see it being extremely good politically because i think better at that game than they are, actually. >> reporter: president trump brushing off 11th hour promises, including a vow to end birth right citizenship and rebuffing questions about his responsibility for the difficult environment. when pressed by nbc's
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kristen welker about his role as moral leader -- >> i think i'm a great moral leader and i love our country. >> reporter: the president at times angry, sparring with journalist, including a black reporter, asking whether he's emboldened white nationalists. >> i don't know why you say that, such a racist question. >> reporter: and clashing with a tv correspondent, who pressed him as he tried to move on. >> you're a terrible person, you shouldn't be working at cnn. >> you said democrats with an unleash a wave of violent crime that endangers crime everywhere. why are you pitting americans against one another, sir? >> what, are you trying to be him? >> reporter: no, i'm just trying to be him. >> because they're weak on crime. >> reporter: the question is why are you pitting americans against one another, sir? >> i'm not. >> reporter: the president's biggest takeaway from the midterms, in his own words, that people like him, despite exit polls that showed 54% of voters disproved of his performance as president, lester.
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>> peter, thank you. the president will now have to work in the framework of a divided government with democrats riding high after winning the house and republicans expanding their senate majority in the midterms elections, which also saw political newcomers charting history. we have it covered starting with nbc's kristen welker. >> reporter: it wasn't the blue wave democrats were hoping for. but still a big victory. as of tonight, picking up 28 seats in the house of representatives, taking back control for the first time in democrats getting subpoena power, the ability to investigate the president. leader nancy pelosi was asked will that stop any bipartisanship. >> this doesn't mean we go looking for a fight, but it means that if we see a need to go forward, we will. >> reporter: but in the senate, the president bucking history. his party expanding its majority, gaining seats, beating democrats in red states like indiana, north dakota, and missouri, after the president targeted many of those races. >> in a sense i am on the ticket. you've got to go out to vote.
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>> i want to thank the president. he was extremely helpful to us. >> reporter: but tonight, some key races are up in the air. in arizona, martha mcsally versus kyrsten sinema, still too close to call. and in florida, democrat bill nelson calling for a recount, now trailing republican rick scott. democrats windning in seven governors' races but losing key 2020 states like ohio and florida. and in that contentious governor's race in georgia, democrat stacey abrams is behind but not conceding. >> there are voices that are waiting to be heard. >> reporter: election not drama still playing out across the country. kristen welker, nbc news, washington. >> reporter: this is kasie hunt on capitol hill where history is about to be made. the newest congress featuring more than0 women, at muslim women. in minnesota, we don't only welcome immigrants.
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we send them to washington. >> reporter: also winning, new york democrat alexandria ocasio-cortez. at 29, the youngest woman ever elected to congress. then there's deb haaland and sharice davids. >> oh, wow, what a night. >> reporter: the first native american woman. mike' cheryl is one of more than a dozen americans who won. >> doing what is right and just is never a partisan issue. >> reporter: other veterans include greg pence, brother of the prident,l blazed in colorado, where democrat jared polis is the first openly gay man elected to congress. also the state's newest senator, mitt romney. >> i will be only one of a hundred united states senators. but i believe that one person, doing the right thing at the right time, can have a lasting impact.
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>> reporter: kasie hunt, nbc news, the capitol. tonight the faa has issued an emergency order requiring airlines that fly a popular new boeing plane to follow an urgent safety alert after last week's fatal plane crash in indonesia that killed 189 people. nbc's tom costello has late details. >> reporter: it's a bestseller for boeing, the 737 max is the latest, most sophisticated model yet. now an urgent safety directive affecting 45 planes in the u.s. investigators say the pilots of the doomed flight struggled to keep the plane in the air, pulling the nose up as the plane's computers pushed it into a fatal dive. >> the computer introduced a nose down command and the pilots fought it. they're tryin altitude. the compu continues, and the computer at this point has a more powerful flight control and eventually the pilots lose the battle. >> reporter: investigators believe one of the plane's sensors, like this
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e,ending bad data suggesting the plane was flying too slowly. the computers pushed the nose forward to pick up speed and avoid a stall. investigators say that same sensor was replaced just the day before after airspeed indicators malfunctioned on previous flights. >> we're providing our technical support to the indonesian investigating authorities. >> reporter: now an faa emergency order reminding pilots what to do in similar emergencies. simply switch off the electric stabilizer trim system. investigators including boeing are going to have to determine whether or not this crew was properly trained. and of course boeing is going to have to focus on whether or not they have a software technical issue. tonight american, southwest, and united airlines all say they're complying with the faa's emergency order. none reporting any mroems with the problems with their 737s. two years ago we told you about a husband thanking a medical staff who cared for his wife in her final days. turns out there was
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much more to the story. tonight he speaks out to our kate snow with an urgent call to action to prevent another tragedy and a warning, some of what you're about to hear >> reporter: 34-year-old laura levis lived to hike, travel, work out. >> laura is my best friend. she was this person who wanted to -- had so much life in her. >> reporter: laura and her husband pete demarco were apart the night she had a deadly asthma attack. after laura's death, he was told she called 911 that night but they couldn't find her. >> the story i was told was not the whole story. >> reporter: surveillance video obtained by "the boston globe" shows laura was right outside the summerville hospital emergency room. >> what happened to her? >> our entire emergency response system failed her. there were ten coin flips that morning and laura lost every single one of them. >> reporter: for the past ten months sured reports and records. 4:21 a.m., laura arrived with no sign
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marking the emergency room entrance, she walked to a lighted entrance but found it locked. >> finding that door locked, i'm sure she began to panic. >> that makes asthma worse. >> yes, it does. >> reporter: she called 911. >> emergency? >> i'm dying. >> her call went to a region state police dispatch center 18 miles away.ing. >> reporter: the regional operator passed the call to local police, but not crucial details like exactly where she can't the operator just call the hospital er and say there's someone outside your door? >> i know, that would have maybe saved her. >> reporter: eventually an er nurse stepped outside to look for laura for 12 seconds but never saw her on a bench 70 meters away. a firefighter eventually found laura and gave her cpr. she died a week later. cambridge health alliance which owns the hospital says it did not meet their
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high standards for transparency and accountability. we have already begun to make the necessary changes. we are deeply sorry. >> if we can save somebody else's life, i can't think of anything she would want more. >> reporter: a grieving husband hoping for change. kate snow, nbc boston. >> what a heartbreaking tragedy. tonight, the coldest blast of the season so far. unseasonably cold temperatures this week, some highs 25 degrees below average for this time of year. bundle up. winter, as they say, also ahead, the urgent search for a teen abducted outside her home. also girl scouts versus boy scouts. why the two are now at war. bk now
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with an urgent search in north carolina. the fbi desperately ytrying to find a kidnapped right outside her home. here's nbc's gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: the last
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thing hania aguilar's family says she heard from her were her screams. hania went out to start the family suv monday morning before school. >> the men came in, they took her away. she screamed, we couldn't hear her. she told us she were over there. we didn't know what happened. >> reporter: a witness tells police a man dressed in black and wearing alo 13-year-old into the vehicle and drove away. >> male just came and stole the truck, left car also. >> he had a black hoodie with like a thing on top. >> reporter: tonight an amber alert is in effect and authorities are frantically searching for the suv, spotted on newly-released surveillance video. >> every second counts when a child is missing. >> reporter: the fbi now offering a $15,000 reward. >> please do not be hani >> reporter: as the
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pleads for her safe return. gabe gutierrez, nbc news. after the break, why the girl scouts told the boy scouts, see you in court.
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we're back now to tell you about a new turn in a fight pitting two admired organizations against each other. the girl scouts versus the boy scouts. boy scouts of america is planning to change the name of its program for kids ages 11 to 17. and that has led to a lawsuit. here is kristen dahlgren. >> reporter: the feud between the boy and girl scouts is getting ugly. in a trademark lawsuit, the girl scouts say that by planning to drop "boy" from its name and allowing girls to boy excuse are causing confusion, marginalizing the girl scouts and misleading some into thinking the groups have merged. in 2019, boy scouts will start allowing girls. cub scouts are already including girls, like 8-year-old lily frith in ohio. >> i don't think we should have groups labeled for boys and girls. i think they should just be open to
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everybody so that everybody can have that unique experience that fits them best. >> reporter: in response to the lawsuit, boy scouts of america said we applaud every organization that builds character and leadership in children including the girl scouts of the usa, and believe there is an opportunity for both organizations to serve youth in our communities. as the case now goes to court, don't expect the two groups to sing kumbaya by a campfire anytime soon. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, new york. coming up next, how americans made last night a record breaker. >> announcer: "nbc nightly news" is brought to you by pacific life. protecting generations of families for 150 years. that's the power of pacific. bans a cnn reporter.
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saying he put his hands on a young woman -- trying to grab the microphone in this video. just in, the white house bans a krn reporter -- cnn reporter. did you donate money to north bay fire victims. we'll show you where that money went. next at six. the numbers are inspiring. at least 20 million more americans voted in yesterday's midterm
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elections compared to 2014. no matter whether your candidates won or lost, the massive turnout is something we can all celebrate. here is harry smith. >> the words we are pretty sure you did not hear yesterday were "low voter turnout." no, americans went to the polls in astounding numbers tuesday. people proudly displayed their voting stickers and posted online. voting, that gift from the founders, that audacious experiment inre government, was trending. when stickers ran out, people created their own. they were not going to be seen in public without a sign of their participation. people used to say if you don't vote, you don't have a right to complain. this year, it felt more like, i voted, by golly, and i'm having my say. harry smith, nbc news, new york. >> some things are worth standing in line for. a red flag alert brings new worries tonight.
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we )re tracking the neighborhoos where pg&e right now at six, a red flag alert brings new worries tonight. we're tracking the neighborhoods where pg&e says it could be turning off the power. and i'll show you how high those winds will gust. but first, the political power shift from san francisco to the white house. nancy pelosi is poised to take on a big role when it comes to president trump. we'll show you what happened today. the news at six starts right now. good evening, and thanks for being with us. i'm raj mathai. >> and i'm jessica aguirre. many democrats have dubbed california the state resistance, and with the democrats now in control of the house, there's a lot of attention on the confrontational relationship between the presiden speaker of the house, nancy pelosi. robert handa joins us live with a look at how the president and house leader addressed that issue in duelling news
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conferences. pelosi is firm but took a tempered tone. >> reporter: that's right and you know there was a feeling of relief at the santa clara county democratic party headquarters, especially when democrats regain the control of the house but acknowledge checks and balances lead to conflicts. even though nancy pelosi led the democrats celebration, she was cautious about gloating. >> we have a responsibility to honor our oversight responsibilities and the path we will go down. >> reporter: the president adopted a mostly

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