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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  March 20, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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next month. >> we don't care about april the giraffe, we care about the falcons. >> i could watch that all day. >> people will. thank you for joining us. lester holt is next with nightly news. tonight, president trump unleashes a stunning new attack on the late senator john mccain seven months after mccain's death. >> i gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as president i had to approve. i don't care about this, i didn't get thank you, that's okay. >> tonight a republican senator calling the new attacks deplorable, saying he plans to deliver the president a verbal whipping. breaking news, sources tell nbc news the fbi has joined the investigation into how the faa certified the plane involved in those twin air disasters. the founder and former owner of the massage parlor where patriots owner robert kraft is accused of soliciting prostitutes is speaking out to nbc news. what she says about her business and powerful connections. the mom of popular youtube
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stars arrested accused of abusing them to get them to perform, even pepper spraying them when they didn't follow directions. our inside look at the future of 911. your uber can track your cell phone's gps, so why can't first responders? the new technology to you when seconds can mean life or death. tiny hidden cameras found watching over thousands of unsuspecting guests in their hotel rooms with people paying to watch them live. could you spot where they're hidden? the father/son reunion surprise bringing so many people to tears. good evening. welcome to our viewers inight o driving president trump's sudden and unseemly preoccupation with the late senator john mccain. in a series of remarks on
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twitter and most recently before the cameras, the president of the united states has expressed disdain for a man widely regarded as an american war hero and who died seven months ago. among his complaints, that he wasn't thanked for approving mccain's funeral arrangements. our kristen welker has details. >> reporter: for the fourth day this week, president trump again taking aim at the late senator john mccain. >> i endorsed him at his request. and i gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as president, i had to approve. i don't care about this, i the press keeps what do you think of mccain, what do you not my kind ofuy but some people like him and i think that's great. >> reporter: the stunning new ia five-minute rant today, including about that unverified
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steele dossier on mr. trump and russia. >> john mccain got it, he got it. and what did he do? didn't call me. he turned it over to the fbi, hoping to put me in jeopardy. and that's not the nicest thing to do. >> reporter: today the president's attacks sparking another rebuke from meghan mccain. >> he would think it was hilarious that our president was so jealous of him. >> reporter: but now joined by a growing chorus of criticism from republicans, senator johnny isakson slamming the president's comments as deplorable. and this from senator mccain's close friend lindsey graham. >> i think the president's comments about senator mccain hurt him more than they hurt the legacy of senator mccain. i'm gog >> in his mind, john mccain is the person that somehow triggered the mueller investigation. and that is where he goes with this. and that is the core of all of >> repes hr: feud with the husband of his senior adviser, kellyanne conway. question about it.'t kw him. i think he's doing a tremendous
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disservice to a wonderful wife. >> reporter: george conway has been blasting the president for months. including again today, accusing him of having narcissistic personality disorder. and today kellyanne conway defended the president telling "politico," you think he shouldn't respond when somebody, a nonmedical professional, accuses him of having a medical disorder? kellyanne conway didn't respond to our requests for comment. lester? >> kristen, thank you. meantime tonight as anticipation goes into overdrive about the release of the mueller report, the president now says the public should see it. hallie jackson joining us now from the north lawn. hallie, what's he saying? >> reporter: the president is really going a step further than he has before, now saying he thinks all americans should be be able to take a look at robert mueller's report and he's again taking a bitter tone toward the special counsel and his process. >> let it come out. let people see it. that's up to the attorney general. we have a very good attorney general, he's a very highly respected man, and we'll see what happens. i got 63 million votes and now somebody just writes a report? i think it's ridiculous but i want to see the report.
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>> reporter: keep in mind attorney general bill barr is only required to release a notification and brief outline to congress. it's up to him how much more he'd release publicly. lester? >> all right, hallie, thank you. tonight the fbi has joined a growing investigation into how the now-grounded boeing 737 max was certified to fly. this, as new details emerge from the terrifying final moments aboard that lion air flight, the one that crashed last fall in indonesia, raising the first concerns about that plane's safety. here's tom costello. >> reporter: tonight, nbc news has confirmed the fbi has joined the investigation looking at how boeing 737 max was certified for flight. the worldwide max fleet remains grounded following two fatal crashes in five months. and now more information about the final moments on the indonesianli in the air for just 12 minutes, the lion air pilots tried desperately to pull up the nose of their 737 max 8 but the anti-stall system called mcas pushed the nose down more than
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20 times. three people who heard the plane's black box recordings tell reuters the crew didn't understand the problem and even looked through a handbook for answers. the crew discussed air speed and altitude but not the plane's trim, meant to keep the plane level, the real problem. in the final seconds of the fatal dive, the captain remained quiet. the first officer asked god for a miracle. nbc news has not reviewed the recordings or the transcripts. >> it would have been a very -- frightening for the pilots for sure that really didn't know -- they would be asking each other, what is it doing now? >> reporter: veteran 737 captai flipping two switches should have disabled mcas and corrected the trim. >> disabling the mcas by doing the trim cutout switches. >> reporter: investigators believe a single sensor fed bad data suggesting the plane could stall. the same issue threatened the same plane a day earlier on another flight. bloomberg reports an off-duty pilot in the cockpit told the
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crew how to disable the system. that very plane crashed the next day. >> i think the key for investigators, both in lion air and ethiopia, is to look at the depth and breadth of training and determine what event started the response by these pilots. >> reporter: investigators say the indonesian crash is very similar to the ethiopian crash last week. >> tom joins us now. tom, late today the faa issued a new directive about that max plane. what did it say? >> reporter: yeah, it relates to that ongoing order for boeing to upgrade the software and also upgrade crew training, pilot boeing is doing all of that. but, lester, talked to a lot of experts and everybody i talked to says this plane and the investigation is going to go on for a while. the plane will remain grounded, they think, for months. >> tom costello tonight, thank you with the update. overseas this evening as u.s.-backed forces close in on isis holdouts in syria, we're learning new details about a deadly bombing that killed several americans at a syrian restaurant.
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nbc's matt bradley is there. >> reporter: tonight, after days of intense firefights, u.s.-backed forces in syria have taken back control of the last scrap of land held by isis. battle-weary soldiers leading the front lines. president trump declaring victory is imminent. >> everything red is isis. when i took it over, it was a mess. now on the bottom that's the exact same. there is no red. in fact, there's actually a tiny spot, which will be gone by new developments regarding this suicide blast at a restaurant here in january that killed four americans. army chief warrant officer jonathan farmer, navy communications specialist shannon kent, defense contractor scott wuertz, and translator kadir taher. the u.s. previously announced five isis suspects were detained and today this from the president -- >> u.s. forces in the last month
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have killed the terrorists responsible for the attack in syria that killed four americans. >> reporter: president trump also saying 400 u.s. troops will remain here in syria indefinitely. lester? >> matt bradley in syria tonight, thanks. back home, the founder of a florida spa where patriots owner robert kraft is accused of soliciting prostitutes is speaking out. cindy yang, who made headlines after the scandal broke and because of a selfie she posted with the president, is facing calls for an fbi investigation. tonight she's defending herself against allegations of selling access to the president and spying for china. here's cynthia mcfadden. >> this is the first time you've agreed to do an interview. >> yes. >> why did you decide to sit down? >> i don't do anything wrong. >> reporter: cindy yang came to the u.s. 20 years o. she became a u.s. citizen, created a string of day spas, and loves president trump. >> you're a really devoted donald trump supporter.
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>> yes. >> reporter: today in florida she told us the last few weeks have been a nightmare. ever since robert kraft was charged with soliciting sex at the orchids of asia day spa. and "the miami herald" reported cindy yang was the original owner of the spa. a series of high-profile articles since have raised questions about whether she was engaged in illegal businesses, whether she was selling access to president trump, and whether she's been working for the chinese government as a spy. it even led congressional democrats to request counterintelligence and criminal investigations of yang by the fbi. ms. yang also reportedly created a business named gyus investments that may be selling access to the president and members of his family to clients from china. if true, these allegations raise serious counterintelligence concerns. but yang, who sold the spa seven years ago, says none of it is true. she's given money to the republicans, like millions of
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others. and has only two pictures of herself with donald trump, who she does not know. she says it all comes down to prejudice. >> nobody else has happen, only me. i think it because i'm chinese. i'm the chinese republican. that's the issue. >> is that what you believe? >> yes. >> reporter: but dismissing the concerns that were raised may not be that simple. >> if we study how the chinese intelligence services work, they are constantly looking for windows of opportunity to get next to their targets. get access to their political targets, their targets of wealth, power, and influence. >> reporter: frank figliuzzi is the former head of counterintelligence for the fbi. >> i'm convinced after years of counterintelligence experience that she would have been very much on their radar screen. >> reporter: you're aware that in the u.s., there's a
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tremendous amount of concern about chinese espionage against the united states taking place right here? >> but i'm american citizen. i'm not a chinese citizen. >> reporter: her answers to specific questions won't satisfy everyone, but yang says she hopes today's interview will help avert any pending fbi investigation. cynthia mcfadden, nbc news, boca raton, florida. tonight, there are new developments in two dangerous situations we've been following here. flood warnings are in effect for 15 states as that deadly historic disaster continues to unfold in the midwest and plains. d ouide houston, crews finally put out that massive chemical fire that burned for three days. the epa says it's found no hazardous levels in air and water samples so far. a disturbing case in arizona to tell you about. a mother who runs a popular youtube channel is accused of abusing her seven adopted children, forcing them to appear in videos watched by millions.
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nbc's joe fryer has details. >> reporter: they're the stars of a youtube channel called fantastic adventures. seven adopted children performing in videos that have collected more than 250 million views. but off-camera, police in maricopa, arizona, say the kids were abused by their mother, michelle hackney. investigators say the kids were pepper sprayed, forced to take ice baths, and locked in a closet for days without food, water, or access to a bathroom. punished, the kids say, if they did not recall their lines. zeb and tawny schnor run their own youtube channel and say they briefly collaborated with some of the hackney kids but saw nothing suspicious. >> that's what hurts me the most, is that i didn't see it. >> reporter: hackney now faces multiple abuse charges, but police say she denies abusing the kids. her two adult biological sons, who also star in the videos, are charged with failing to report abuse. youtube initially demonetized
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hackney's account, which meant she can no longer make money on it, but the videos remained. late today youtube terminated the account and the videos were no longer available. for now, all seven kids are in protective custody while their adopted mother is behind bars. joe fryer, nbc news. this evening, we're getting an inside look at the future of 911 emergency response. the new game-changing technology allowing dispatchers to not only pinpoint your location, but also give first responders eyes on the scene even before they arrive. to explain, here's nbc's kristen dahlgren. >> reporter: when a call came into 911 after a boat crash in south carolina last month -- >> we're in a boat crash on archer street. >> whereabouts on archer street? >> the only bridge on archer street. >> archer street? >> reporter: dispatchers sent first responders to the wrong bridge, more than a mile away from the crash. losing 28 minutes of valuable time that mallory beech's family says might have saved the 19-year-old. it's not the first time first responders have been left blind, unable to locate cell phone
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callers. but there's technology that could change that. it's called 911 eye and can locate you when you call 911 on a cell phone. it's been used in europe for years, and now it's coming to the u.s. i'm in manchester township, new jersey, the first in the nation to use the system. for this demonstration, all they know is i'll be calling with a simulated emergency. but they don't know where i am. i call their dispatch center. i don't know where i am. >> what i'm going to do is send a link to your cell phone. it's going to come through your text message. >> reporter: as soon as i click the link, dispatch can see my exact location. >> i can see you're in the woodline behind boker field. >> reporter: they can also see what i see, accessing my phone's camera so the dispatcher can assess the scene in real time. >> get a bird in the air for a trauma victim. >> reporter: they send a medevac helicopter. there you see the chopper. it took them just minutes to
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pinpoint my exact location. using the gps on my phone. is this technology a game changer? >> it is absolutely a game changer. this is the most precise way to share information with law enforcement in realtime. >> reporter: and at a cost of less than $10,000 per year to police departments, this may be just what the future of 911 looks like. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, manchester township, new jersey. we've got a lot more ahead tonight. hidden spy cameras discovered in dozens of hotels, livestreaming guests' private moments. how to protect yourself on your next stay. the price you pay. why are gas prices shooting up and how long will it last? the surprise reunion moving so many to tears. stay with us.
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next tonight, a shocking invasion of privacy. a massive network of hidden cameras discovered in dozens of hotels live streaming unsuspecting guests. nbc's gadi schwartz explains how to protect yourself. >> reporter: it was a spy camera website with thousands of subscribers paying to watch unsuspecting motel guests
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recorded live, according to south korean police. they say so far four people have been arrested after tiny cameras were found hidden in hair dryer mounts in sockets in 42 motel rooms, recording an estimated 1,600 victims. a growing problem in south korea prompting protests. advances in technology have led to cheaper and more powerful cameras that people can hide in almost anything, almost anywhere. this right here is a cell phone cameras found in bathrooms, changing rooms, in gyms, across the u.s., cases of hidden airbnbs, hotels. sportscaster erin andrews secretly recorded through a peephole at a marriott in nashville. in albany, new york, hotel shower, a different woman says she was recorded by an employee who tried to blackmail her. >> just absolute horror. i started screaming and crying and all i could think is my life is absolutely over if this gets out, my life is ruined. >> reporter: experts say protect yourself by carefully checking your room. you can also buy an rf detector like this. this will detect to see if a camera is wirelessly transmitting.
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this costs about $50 but you can pick them up online for about 10 bucks. lester? >> gadi schwartz, thank you for that. coming up, why you're suddenly paying more at the gas pump.
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back now with the price you pay at the pump. gas prices going up on this first night of spring. nbc's gabe gutierrez reports on wh b >> reporter: tonight, spring has sprung. an unwelcome surprise at the pump. gas prices are surging again. >> i started going to the gym only three days a week instead of five days a week so that i can save gas. >> reporter: the average price of regular unleaded is up to $2.58 a gallon, up 35 cents in the past six weeks.iomore a day compared to the start of the year. the states with the biggest
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price spikes are in the midwest. michigan, ohio, illinois. part of the reason? turmoil in venezuela, and also the switch from winter to summer gas which evaporates less in the heat. >> a lot of it is seasonal suspects, refineries that are doing maintenance ahead of the summer driving season and the switch to more expensive, cleaner-burning summer gasoline. >> reporter: analysts expect higher prices at the pump to continue into april, and maybe even last until memorial day. lester? >> all right, gabe, thanks. up next, the tearful homecoming you have to see. pump
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sideshows. why neighbors are skeptical of contra costa county )s new tactc to stop dangerous drivers. and the odd sight on bart today. how one passenger gave a new meaning to the phrase )shaving time off your commute. that )s next. in tonight's "those who serve," the surprise reunion video that touched a lot of hearts and so many others around the country. here's peter alexander. >> reporter: 9-year-old lucas
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sesterino thought he was sparring with his instructor when someone else stepped onto the mat. >> keep the gloves up, shib. keep your hands up. >> reporter: that voice, that nickname, only his dad would know. >> come on, shib. >> reporter: stopping shib in his tracks. >> come on, that all you got? >> daddy? >> reporter: that hug after ten months apart while his father, staff sergeant rob sesterino of the tennessee national guard, was deployed in syria. >> you are such a big boy. i am so proud of you. >> reporter: sesterino says it's service members' families who deserve the applause because their sacrifice is even greater. >> i missed him so much. >> reporter: luka, like thousands of children away from
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their parents, working hard to make them proud in their own way, serving our country too. >> you want to play hooky tomorrow? >> reporter: peter alexander, nbc news. >> what a terrific momvalley. the reason "the milk pail" is right now at 6:00, saying goodbye to a beloved market in the heart of silicon valley. the reason the milk pail is closing. also stopping those porch pirates. the new plan to hand down a harsher punishment to package thieves. but first -- they won't let us come to our house. they threaten us. >> contra costa county's new tactic to curbside shows. neighbors are questioning if it will be enough. t 6:00 starts right now. good evening, thanks for joining us. i'm janelle wang. >> i'm raj mathai. now a potential new way to stop sideshows. people in contra costa county are worried about the spinouts,
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the speeding, and guns that often come with these sideshows. nbc bay area's jodi hernandez has the details. >> reporter: raj, folks here in contra costa county say they've been dealing with violent sideshows for far too long. now the county says they have a solution. these raised speed bumps may look low tech but the county says they hope they'll stop the side-showers in their tracks. this is just a taste of what folks in contra costa county have been living with for months. side show drivers doing dangerous maneuvers. we found this video on instagram. >> they're standing right where it's happening. >> it happens multiple times a week. sometime t

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