tv Early Today NBC March 25, 2019 4:00am-4:29am PDT
the attorney general's report on the mueller investigation does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him. but the white house has been exuberant about the results. >> it was a complete and total exoneration. it's a shame that our country had to go through this. a massive pileup, how the multi-car chain reaction happened. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu arrived in the u.s. just days before elections back home. as president trump faces controversy over herewith golan heights pronouncement. spring hail blankets texas. we'll tell you what your week is
looking like. for the first time in a decade, all one, two, and three seeds advance to the sweet 16. get ready for a new week. "early today" starts right now. >> good morning, i'm marlie hall. >> i'm frances rivera. after nearly two years we finally have answers from the russia probe. for 22 months special counsel robert mueller's investigation captured the attention of the country, a source of intrigue that spurred breathless debates on tv and around our dinner tables. the scope of the investigation was unparalleled with 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, and 500 witnesses interviewed. now after poring over mueller's final report, attorney general william barr has delivered his principal conclusions. the special counsel found the trump campaign did not help the russians meddle in the election. as for whether mr. trump obstructed justice, the report did not conclude the president committed a crime, but it also does not exonerate him.
>> reporter: the summary says robert mueller looked at the now-familiar actions by the ctio of justice. that would include the firing of the fbi director, james comey. president trump told lester that he fired comey because of the russia meddling investigation. >> when i decided to just do it i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. >> reporter: other public actions include comey's claim that the president asked the fbi to go easy on michael flynn. and there was the president's constant criticism of mueller himself. but barr's letter says mueller did not draw a conclusion one way or the other about whether any of that amounted to obstruction. mueller's report quote does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him. barr says he and the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein, concluded that conduct did not reach the threshold of a crime. part of their reason, they said, is they found no other crime the president would have been trying
to cover up. as for mueller's central assignment the letter says the special counsel did not find that the trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with the russians to interfere in the election. no involvement, mueller concluded, with the russian-led hacking into democratic computers or the phony social media accounts set up by russian intelligence to spread disinformation. that's despite, the report says, multiple offers from russia-affiliated individuals to assist the trump campaign. the letter also discloses new details about the sheer scope of mueller's investigation, issuing an astonishing 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, and interviewing 500 separate witnesses. barr says he intends to release more information about the mueller report but will need mueller's help in determining what cannot be disclosed because of federal laws governing grand jury secrecy. barr's letter says he'll also need to withhold any information in the mueller report that might affect investigations currently
under way. he doesn't say which ones. so there's no way to know now how much longer we'll have to wait before more information is revealed. frances? >> all right, pete williams thank you. president trump and his team are treating the mueller report as a major victory. sources tell nbc news the mood on air force one was jubilant during their flight back from florida. and on twitter the president claimed total exoneration. let's go to tracie potts live in d.c. >> reporter: good morning. we saw the president doing this big victory lap over the weekend. when he arrived back at the white house from florida and earlier when the president did say he's been exonerated. >> it was a complete and total exoneration. it's a shame that our country had to go through this. to be honest, it's a shame that your president has had to go
through this for before i even got elected it began. and it began illegally. and hopefully somebody's going to look at the other side. this was an illegal takedown that failed. >> reporter: now as you just heard pete report, it was not a total exoneration. mueller left the question up in the air of obstruction of justice, didn't make a decision. there was evidence on both sides, so the justice department decided not to pursue it. but here's how the president's legal team explains why there was no prosecution on obstruction when the evidence wasn't clear. >> we think it's a complete exoneration of the president. certainly it's quite clear no collusion of any kind. as to the obstruction, the key there is that attorney general and the deputy attorney general made the conclusion that you don't have obstruction when there's no underlying crime. >> reporter: we can get more
reaction and we expect to get more reaction on this today. certainly it's the biggest story happening in washington, really around the country right now. democrats, though, are still pushing for that full report and the evidence, because their investigations are continuing. marlie? >> it's not over yet, thank you. while that investigation is over, the fight is just getting started in congress. as republicans cheer the results, top democrats say, not so fast, calling on attorney general barr to release all the findings from the report. >> we cannot simply rely on what may be a hasty, partisan interpretation of the facts. >> this should end the debate once and for all, and america should come first. >> we turn to nbc's kasie hunt for more. >> reporter: republicans in congress triumphant. no collusion and no obstruction, senator lindsey graham writing on twitter. the cloud hanging over president trump has been republican leadey this case is closed. saying in a statement, quote, but democratic leaders
questioning the integrity of attorney general william barr after mueller didn't reach a conclusion about whether the president obstructed president should not be prosecuted for obstruction. chuck schumer and nancy pelosi writing in a statement, quote, given mr. barr's public record of bias against the special counsel's inquiry, he is not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report. >> the mueller report must be made public for a full accounting of what happened. and the attorney general of the united states must be required to come and testify before congress. >> reporter: house judiciary committee chairman jerry nadler already announcing he plans to call barr to testify before congress. just because the mueller investigation has concluded doesn't mean the investigations stop on capitol hill. the senate intelligence committee is wrapping up its investigation into russian interference in the election.
committee will continue looking into the president's connections to russia. and the house judiciary committee is already investigating potential obstruction of justice, political corruption, and abuses of power. democrats friday sending letters to nine government agencies demanding they preserve any documents related to the probe. >> we know there are lots of investigations going on, and by other agencies, the southern district of new york, the eastern district of virginia, et cetera. there may be indictments from them. so the story's not over. >> all right, thanks to kasie hunt for that report. we're also starting to see reaction to the mueller report out of russia. let's go to nbc's geoff cutmore live in moscow. >> reporter: good morning, marlie. as far as the official government line is concerned, they're saying we have not seen the report. so it is a cautious reaction here. sources telling us, though, from the kremlin, that there is no new news as far as the mueller report is concerned, that those
stories around interference from russia are an old narrative as far as the kremlin is concerned. what we have seen, though, is some russian lawmakers getting on the front foot and saying, now that the mueller report has been presented and has found no grounds for collusion, maybe there's an opportunity for a reset in relations between washington and moscow. other lawmakers pointing out that they feel that the whole report was an exercise in demonizing russia. so as you can imagine, there are some here who are welcoming the fact that there was no finding of collusion, although it has to be said, there was still indictments of 25 russian nationals over the course of the 22-month investigation. back to you. >> all right, geoff, thank you. a nightmare at sea is finally over for hundreds of cruise passengers. cruise ship passengers who were
stranded in rough waters off the coast of norway. after making it back to land, many of the rescued vacationers are now receiving treatment. for more we go to nbc's keir simmons. >> reporter: dramatic scenes as an 83-year-old american man is lifted to safety. ryan flynn filming his bad lifted to a rescue chopper high above. >> what a way to see norway. >> reporter: it was a dream vacation turned nightmare. >> one of the big hatches blew right out. about eight feet of water rushed in, flattened people, flattened all of us. it felt like the "titanic." >> reporter: the viking sky was off the coast saturday when it lost engine power. a massive storm system caused violent seas and high winds, battling the cruise liner and pushing it towards treacherous rocks. aboard over 900 mostly american and british passengers. >> my wife was sitting in front of me, all of a sudden she was gone. and i thought this was it.
>> reporter: helicopter crews launched a daring rescue mission, plucking nearly 500 passengers from the ship one by one. the cruise liner made it to port under its own power with the help of a few tugboats. the remaining passengers finally back in harbor. what was it like when you got to land? >> bawling. crying. >> reporter: some are already on their way home, traveling by air this time, not sea. overnight, the 27 passengers from this cruise ship hospitalized, 13 were still in the hospital, one in critical condition. they've suffered cuts, fractures, and understandably, frances, trauma. frances? >> i cannot even imagine. keir simmons, thank you. severe spring storms produced dangerous hail in north texas piling up across neighborhoods around dallas. these terrifying moments were captured on video by witnesses who report seeing some hail the size of golf balls. officials say there was only
minor damage to vehicles and some property. >> the last place you really want those flooding storms, the midwest. are they going to get it even more here? >> not in the beginning of the week. a little bit over the weekend, then more at the end of this week. we could see more hail like that today in areas of alabama. that's one of the concerns. the river flood map. we're still watching areas of the mississippi river, still in major flood stage in many areas north of st. louis, up towards davenport. the big sioux river, the areas around dell rapids, the town is sandbagged. it looks like they may have crested over the louisiana couple of hours. that's a little short of what was predicted. that's one of the stories we'll be watching ase wstorms, especi of alabama. this evening that line of showers and storms heads toward atlanta.
the beginning of the week quiet, the end of the week a little more active. >> thanks, bill. justin timberlake is lending a helping hand to the midwest flood victims. >> we are all here tonight making a donation. >> over the weekend, timberlake's "man of the woods" tour stopped at omaha. j.t. announced a portion of all ticket sales from the show would be donated to assist flood relief in the metro omaha area that sustained catastrophic flooding over recent weeks. an nfl legend announces his retirement. and from the fender to the dinner table? the states getting ready to put road kill on the menu. the time e around down dirt, dust and hair? so now, i use heavy duty swiffer sweeper and dusters. for hard-to-reach places, duster makes it easy to clean. it captures dust in one swipe. ha! gotcha! and sweeper heavy duty cloths lock away
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a historic building is reduced to dust. onlookers in germany had a blast watching the controlled demolition of a 20-story highrise on sunday. the 1970s apartment building known locally as the white giant was destroyed using over 600 pounds of explosives to make roomor now to two massive pileups in california. one of them involving more than two dozen vehicles. the other turning deadly. nbc's gadi schwartz has the story. hvy fog and smoke, remnants of a 30-car pileup. a line of wreckage stretching through a busy mountain pass on california's interstate 5. >> it was so foggy, i couldn't
see nothing. suddenly i saw cars braking.orrn visibility dropped to 400 feet. teresa diaz and her family trying to slow down when they were hit from behind. >> just yelling and screaming because all the cars started piling up. >> reporter: a chain reaction sending cars smashing into each other. one bursting into flames, a truck plowing into a trailer, killing a horse inside. two others rescued after being cut out by emergency crews. along highway 5, triage. one child airlifted, 15 others taken to the hospital. the interstate gridlocked for miles. >> we're very fortunate, very fortunate. we all came out with no scratches. hours clairmont, california, another massive pileup, killing one person and sending two to the hospital in criticalonreminder wrong move can set off a high-speed sequence of destruction. gadi schwartz, nbc news, los angeles. just ahead, the new thriller just ahead, the new thriller that's shattering bt sacrificin?
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the heavily favored virginia cavaliers the number one this year cranked up their stifling defense to take down number nine oklahoma 63-51. >> columbus, 10th seeded iowa down by as much as 25 nearly pulled off a major miracle against number two tennessee. the hawkeyes led by jason bohannon managed a massive comeback to tie the game at 71, sending it into overtime. the vols managed to regain momentum in ot to finish 83-77. for the first time in a decade, will reach the sweet 16. have you done it, drunk shopping? the staggering amount americans spend while doing it. ing home, but some air fresheners use heavy, overwhelming scents. introducing febreze one;rs with no heavy perfumes that you can feel good about using in your home to deliver a light, natural-smelling freshness. febreze one neutralizes stale, stuffy odors and releases a subtle hint of fragrance
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much more. for the second time in a week, a student from marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland, florida, has died by apparent suicide. nbc's kathy park has more. >> reporter: rest in peace, 17 plus two. that tweet from parkland shooting survivor david hogg as police confirmed another marjory stoneman douglas student died by an apparent suicide. the second tragedy in one week. medical examiners ruled that recent graduate sydney aiello also died by suicide last sunday. her mother said aiello was diagnosed with ptsd aer gunman shotndhe parkland high s >> we know that this t >> reporter: these recent deaths that's already elevated. putting t the continuing need for mental health services for a community still shaken from massive trauma. >> many of the same emotions are
back at the forefront again this week. >> reporter: ryan petty lost his daughter elena in the bloodshed last year. but through his pain he created a foundation in her honor. >> what we're dealing with is a new normal here. and we have to recognize that. we have to acknowledge it. >> reporter: more than a year after the mass shooting, experts say engagement is essential. >> when people are suffering, they won't necessarily have the will to come to you. and the west thing you could do is ask them how they're doing. >> reporter: knowing that pain can continue even as time park, nbc news. >> and an important reminder, if you or someone you know is struggling with this issue, help is available. you can call the national suicide prevention lifeline at 800-273-8255. today's news by the numbers, no one won saturday night's powerball jackpot worth $639 million. wednesday's jackpot skyrocketed
to $750 million, more than $465 million if you take a lump sum cash payout. jordan peele's psychological thriller "us" debuted this weekend with a stunning $70.3 million domestically. it unseated "a quiet place" for a biggest weekend for a horror movie ever, and the second-best opening behind "captain marvel." shopping under the influence is a $48 billion industry. that's according to tech magazine "hustle." they say of 138 million americans who drink, 79% of them are online shopping with the average person spending $444 a year. most of it on amazon. and that tops the list at 85%. thanks for joining us ona mondas
"a brewing!" here )s a live look at nbc bay area storm ranger, picking up rain in the north bay. monday morning, a storm is brewing. a live look at nbc bay area storm ranger this morning. rain already picking up in the far north bay. that's where everything is set to start this morning before eventually moving south.
good morning to you. thanks so much for joining us. i'm laura garcia. >> and i'm whereby. kari hall has the weather for us. >> i love how we put "the monday storm." >> and the music. >> we are going to see some rain moving in, mostly for the north bay. the rest of us will see the system slowly sagging south a in the afternoon. it's aff