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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  March 25, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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>> we have rain showing up on storm ranger. we're going to track that at 6:00. lester holt is next with nightly news. >> hope to see you back here at 6:00. bye. we )re follo tonight, the new battle just getting under way over the mueller report. no proof of collusion, but undecided about obstruction of justice. as the president declares victory, democrats blast the attorney general and demand the full report. breaking news, trump antagonist michael avenatti arrested on federal charges. accused of trying to extort millions from nike. how the feds say they caught him. and sources tell nbc news his alleged coconspirator is celebrity attorney mark geragos. a tragic turn after the nd the father of a little girl killed at sandy hook dies in apparent suicide. in florida, two students who survive that shooting apparently taking their own lives. women sounding the alarm and
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the fda considering action about the safety of breast implants. new fears of a potential link to cancer. >> i removed my chest to get rid of cancer. and i reconstructed it and put cancer back in. new developments in a nightmare at sea. a daring rescue mission for 500 passengers trapped on a cruise ship in a violent storm. a flight plan gone awry. a mix-up leaving passengers stunned when their plane landed in the wrong country. a new salvo in the tv wars. apple unveils its long-awaited service to take on netflix. a major baby boom in a maternity ward and that's just among the nurses. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. and welcome to our viewers in the west. president trump is suddenly feeling pretty good tonight about robert mueller after the biggest win of his presidency. mr. trump now saying the special counsel acted honorably. that head-snapping change of heart just one side of the new post-mueller world we're living
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in now. the president touting a four-page summary of the report from his attorney general as proof of total exoneration, though that's not entirely accurate. and there is growing drama as democrats lead the charge to make the report itself public and to hear directly from attorney general barr, while republicans look to turn the tables and investigate the investigation. pete williams leads off our coverage. >> reporter: lester, less than 24 hours after learning of mueller's conclusions, the democrats in congress say they want to hear from mueller and attorney general bill barr. the democrats know what's in the report, now they want to know why. tonight the new drama, will the public see the whole mueller report? the president says, fine with him. >> wouldn't bother me at all. up to the attorney general. wouldn't bother me at all. >> reporter: after mueller's nearly two-year investigation and 2,800 subpoenas, barr notified congress by letter late sunday of the results. mueller did not find that the trump campaign or anyone
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associated with it conspired or coordinated with russia to interfere in the election. no involvement with russian-led hacking into democratic computers. accounts set up by russian intelligence to spread disinformation. barr's letter says that's despite multiple offers from russia-affiliated individuals to assist the trump campaign. but mueller did not draw a conclusion one way or the other about whether president trump obstructed justice. his 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 the president's actions did not amount to criminal conduct. part of their reason, they said, is that mueller found no criminal behavior that the president would have tried to cover up. tonight, justice department officials reveal that mueller told barr and rosenstein three weeks ago that he would punt on the obstruction issue.
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>> until we know what bob mueller knows, until we have a chance to read the full report, and i hope we do, it's very hard to second-guess him on that. these are difficult cases. >> reporter: that left it up to barr to decide whether the facts would support a finding of obstruction of justice. federal rules say the attorney general has ultimate responsibility for the special counsel investigation. >> it's in the country's interest and the public's best interest that the department of justice speak with one voice on that issue. and that one voice should be the attorney general. >> reporter: and barr says there's more of the report to come, but that's probably several weeks away. pete williams, nbc news, washington. >> reporter: i'm hallie jackson at the white house, where, basking in one of his biggest political wins, the president's elated, but irritated. >> what they did, it was a false narrative. it was a terrible thing. we can never let this happen to another president again. >> reporter: joined in the oval office today by his outside attorneys, rudy giuliani and jay sekulow, the president expressed vindication and vindictiveness against those who investigated him. >> there are a lot of people out
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there that have done some very, very evil things, very bad things. i would say treasonous things against our country. i'm saying why haven't they been looked at? >> reporter: on robert mueller himself, a shift. after two years of this -- >> sadly, mr. mueller's conflicted. >> reporter: a different tone today. asked if he thinks mueller acted honorably, the president said yes. >> yes, he did. yes, he did. >> reporter: fallout from the mueller report is far from over. nbc news has learned top democrats are now demanding the attorney general release the special counsel's full report to congress no later than next tuesday, april 2nd. >> we cannot simply rely on what may be a hasty partisan interpretation of the facts. >> reporter: on the republican side, senator lindsey graham calling for another special counsel, to investigate how the fbi and justice department handled the opening of the russia investigation during the 2016 campaign. >> going forward, hopefully in a bipartisan fashion, we'll begin
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to unpack the other side of the story. >> reporter: at least four congressional committees are examining the president's conduct and issues like potential abuses of power. but even as those investigations continue, the president and his allies are still seizing on the end of mueller's work. a senior campaign official tells nbc news they're planning to feature the findings at a rally thursday in michigan, sure to be celebratory, just like at the white house today. as for the potential the president might pardon some of his former aides and associates convicted in the russia investigation, he said today he hasn't given it any thought. lester? >> hallie jackson at the white house tonight, thanks. as the president's supporters were celebrating what they see as his vindication, many could barely contain their glee at what came next, the bombshell arrest of stormy daniels' former lawyer michael avenatti, accused of trying to extort millions from nike. we get more on that from nbc's cynthia mcfadden. >> reporter: president donald trump was already having a very good day when word came this
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afternoon that one of his chief antagonists, lawyer michael avenatti, was arrested on serious coast-to-coast federal charges. in new york, extortion. in l.a., bank and wire fraud. avenatti, best known as the lawyer representing the porn star stormy daniels in her legal actions against the president -- >> the message that i would send to the president of the united states is, you better prepare, because you're in a lot of trouble. >> reporter: now charged with allegedly trying to extort up to $25 million from the international footwear giant nike. at 12:15 this afternoon, avenatti sent out this tweet saying that tomorrow he would disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by nike that we have uncovered. was avenatti who was in deep trouble. arrested in new york city. >> this is nothing more than a straightforward case of extortion. >> reporter: meanwhile,
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prosecutors in los angeles have charged him with embezzling $1.6 million of a client's money to pay off his own debts and expenses. >> lawyers have a sworn duty to obey the law and to protect their clients. our system of justice depends on it. mr. avenatti has breached that duty. >> reporter: last year, mr. avenatti flirted with running for president. >> we're going to see how people in new hampshire respond, and then ultimately i'm going to make a decision. >> reporter: in december he said his family asked him not to. tonight, the hard-charging lawyer may find he's in need of an attorney of his own. rarely a good idea to represent yourself. >> and we're hearing there's another high-profile attorney involved? >> that's exactly right, lester. the west coast lawyer mark geragos is the unnamed co-conspirator referred to in the criminal complaint against michael avenatti, law enforcement sources tell nbc news. geragos has not been charged with a crime. he's well known as attorney for
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michael jackson and recently for jussie smollett. >> all right, cynthia, thank you. heartbreaking stories from parkland, florida, and newtown, connecticut. three apparent suicides involving people personally connected to the mass school shootings in both of those towns. our kate snow is in parkland tonight. >> reporter: sydney aiello lost one of her closest friends during the shooting at marjorie stoneman douglas high last year. she graduated and learned to teach yoga, brightening other people's days, her family says. her mother says sydney also felt survivor's guilt and was diagnosed with ptsd. she never asked for help before taking her own life eight days ago. then this weekend, a current sophomore died by suicide. does it reopen the trauma of what you guys went through? >> i mean, all of a sudden it's like 2018. we're going to have to think about funerals again. grady an emstohl are seniors now.
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sam was grazed by bullets in the shooting and the very next morning was asked about the friend who was shot next to her. >> unfortunately, she didn't make it. >> reporter: what do you think the rest of the country needs to know right now? >> it's still a process. we're still crying at night. we're still scared of loud noises. it's still affecting us. >> reporter: as we were talking today, news that jeremy richman, the father of 6-year-old avielle, killed at sandy hook elementary, died by apparent suicide just this morning. he'd been an activist and was in y fl parkland families about ce to mental health care. >> i'm afraid it's going to open up a floodgate. i really am. people that i knew thought about it right after. >> reporter: experts say unfortunately suicides can follow traumatic events like shootings. the columbine community experienced that, too.
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since losing his daughter elena last year, ryan petty has worked to support survivors. >> what i'm hearing we need more than anything is to deal with the trauma that is still present for many of these students and many of the staff. >> reporter: a new wellness center opened today one month earlier than planned so students would have easy places to find help during their spring break. the school district encouraging parents to ask their kids if they're okay. >> we have to keep hoping that it will get better, even if it takes forever. find something that keeps you strong. find people that keep you strong. >> kate, i realize we don't know the full circumstances of these cases, but these shootings, they fade from the headlines. but for all these families and survivors, i know they continue to live with the horrors. >> reporter: yeah, that's right, lester. tked to so many survivos who tell me that things like today, any time there's another death, another shooting, it reopens the trauma for them. we want to mention that if anyone out there is struggling or concerned about someone, there is a national suicide
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prevention lifeline. it's 1-800-273-8255. there's also a list of simple questions anyone can ask someone to i our facebook page. lester? >> so important to know that help is out there, kate, thank you. those school shootings help renew the debate over gun control, and tomorrow a federal ban takes effect on bump stocks. the devices that make semiautomatic weapons fire faster., the devices that make semiautomatic weapons fire faster. it's the only major gun restriction imposed by the federal government in years. nbc's gabe gutierrez tells us more. >> reporter: 17 months after the las vegas massacre, when a gunman using bump stocks opened fire on a crowded concert, tomorrow anyone possessing the devices in the u.s. could face prosecution for a felony and up to 10 years in prison. >> i'm still in therapy, grappling with ptsd. >> reporter: attorney brian claypool escaped the shooting and represents other survivors. >> the bump stock ban is a step in the right direction to
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prevent future mass violence. >> reporter: bump stocks allow a semiautomatic gun to fire continuously, and in december the justice department ruled that essentially made it a machine gun, which are already banned. some gun owners are now appealing to the supreme court. >> you don't get to make criminals out of people at the wave of a hand of an administrative agency. that's something for congress. >> reporter: owners had 90 days to either turn the bump stocks in or destroy them following this online how-to guide. at adventure outdoors outside atlanta, manager tom witten says bump stocks were a novelty item, but thinks the ban, is a slippery slope. >> honestly, i think it's a little bit of government overreach. rter: federal authorities have estimated there may be as many as 500,000 bump stocks in circulation. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, smyrna, georgia. israel tonight launched a major counterattack on hamas militant targets in the gaza strip after it was hit with a rocket attack earlier today.
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israel said its fighter jets and attack helicopters hit targets throughout the territory, including the offices of the hamas leader. the violence prompted prime minister benjamin netanyahu to cut short his trip to washington. let's turn now to new developments in that nightmare at sea. a rescue mission for hundreds of passengers trapped on a crippled cruise ship caught in a violent storm. here's keir simmons. >> reporter: tonight, norwegian investigators trying to figure out how this nightmare began. rescuers zip lining down after a cruise ship mayday call. helicopters in high winds airlifting 500 passengers to safety. barry anderson's wife, carolyn, from washington state, filmed as he was hauled into a helicopter. >> i was never so thankful. >> big one. big one. >> oh. >> reporter: below deck, furniture, plants, and people were thrown around. here, a woman narrowly avoids a chair only to be hit by a falling ceiling.
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>> water just gushed in. >> down the stairs. >> down the stairs and right across over to us. >> you're thinking "titanic." >> reporter: among the questions tonight, why did the ship sail into a storm in the first place? tonight, viking sky's operator tells us its procedures were implemented to the highest standards and its route chosen by a very experienced captain. it says it's launched its own investigation. lester? >> what an awful ordeal. all right, keir, thank you. there was emotional testimony today from women urging the fda to take new action about the safety of breast implants. it comes amid increasing fears of a potential link to cancer first reported by nbc news. we get details from our kristin dalgren. >> reporter: tonight, survivors of breast implant associated lymphoma say their numbers are growing. >> we have women coming to us all the time with symptoms. they've told their doctors. nobody's listening. >> reporter: today, telling their stories at an fda hearing on breast implant safety, from cancer to complaints about autoimmune illness. >> i was blind-sided. i was deceived. >> reporter: nearly 700 women
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worldwide have been diagnosed with the lymphoma the fda believes is caused by implants with a textured sandpaper-like coating. symptoms include swelling, skin changes, and pain. patients say many doctors don't know about the disease. were any of you told about this -- >> no. >> -- before you got your implants? >> not at all. >> no. >> i removed my chest to get rid of cancer, and i reconstructed it and put cancer back in. >> reporter: 38 other countries have now banned textured implants made by allergan. today, allergan and other u.s. manufacturers telling fda the benefits of the implants far outweigh the risks, adding they continue to study their safety. >> what is important is the prognosis is excellent, especially when identified early and treated appropriately. >> reporter: not enough for women who describe their textured implants as a ticking time bomb. is anything short of a complete ban of these textured implants enough? >> no. >> no. >> no. >> no.
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>> reporter: tonight, still fighting to spread the word about a growing sisterhood they say they never signed up for. kristen dalgren, nbc news, washington. stay with us, we have a lot more to tell you about including how one commercial flight wound up landing in the wrong country today. the tv wars heat up with the big announcement by apple today. the big baby boom in one hospital's labor and delivery unit.
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all right, we're back now with that flight plan gone awry. a british airways flight headed for germany mistakenly ended up in scotland. how in the world did that happen? with more, here's tom costello. alk about taking a wrong turn. the morning flight from london to dusseldorf didn't just land in the wrong city, it landed in the wrong country. >> i remember looking out the window thinking, this is unusual. but i was tired. and i didn't think anything of it. >> reporter: ba-3271, supposed to fly from london straight over the english channel and on to
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germany. instead the plane took off to the north, flew over most of england, before crossing into scotland and landing in edinburgh. the problem, a ground staffer typed the wrong airport code into the flight plan and no one noticed. the pilots assumed they were supposed to go to edinburgh. on the ground passengers were surprised. after a few hours they were on their way to dusseldorf with british airways apologizing for the wrong turn. tom costello, nbc news, washington. >> hope their luggage made it. when we come back, apple's big announcement and how it may change the way you watch tv.
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back now with a new salvo in the tv wars. apple unveiling its long-awaited service to rival netflix. our gadi schwartz has details. >> apple! >> reporter: it's a billion-dollar bet set to bring hollywood to over 1 billion devices. >> because they're in a billion pockets, y'all.
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>> reporter: today, apple sharing the stage with some of the biggest names in entertainment. >> this is where we build our new home. >> reporter: apple tv plus promising original ad-free programming that will go head to head against netflix, amazon, and hulu. streaming apps, live programming, movies you can watch on any device or tv. apple promising a major disruption when it comes to how people use their credit cards with no late fees, allowing you to track your spending like you track your steps. >> the customer is and always will be at the center of everything that we do. >> reporter: apple looking to stake a claim nearly every way you look at your screen. gadi schwartz, nbc news, cupertino, california. when we come back in just a moment, we'll go to a place where the expression baby boom is taking on a whole new meaning. we )re following breaki
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of a shooting at a state office building in san francisco. what we know about the gunman and victim ... and the other clues sfpd is working with.. storm ranger showing rain is moving through our area. how much more we can expect this week. next.
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finally tonight, when they have their babies this spring and summer, nine women in maine won't have to go very far. our kevin tibbles has more on quite the baby boom. >> reporter: count 'em. nine nurses. >> having babies! >> having babies. >> reporter: all expecting this spring. and they all work, where else, in the labor and delivery unit at the maine medical center. where clearly they like to lead by example. >> throughout the shift we've named the people like so-and-so, so and so, then we got to two hands, like whoa. >> start a trend. >> reporter: when they snapped this "preggers pose," social media had a baby boom of its own. must be something in the water, some said. congratulations, chimed others. >> i think it's wonderful. we were all friend before this, now we're all friends going through something together and we can all support each other. >> reporter: meanwhile the storks' fly-by is expected to begin in april and continue through summer. soon they'll be fielding their own baseball team. >> between all of these babies
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and some of us have other children, i think we could probably field a football team. >> reporter: kevin tibbles, nbc news. >> the nurses all vow they'll be there for each other's delivery and the hospital says it's got a backup plan. let's hope. that's "nightly news." i'm lester holt. jumping into the streamingnd service. but can it compete with netflix and hulu? right now at 6:00, jumping into the streaming service. can it compete with netflix and hulu? scott budman gives us the scoop on apple's big venture. rain is moving through the bay area right now. i'll show you how much we need to go through before the sun returns. a man shot in the head inside of a state office building. we're following this breaking news in san francisco. the news at 6:00 starts fou. i'm raj mathai. i'm jessica aguirre. we're tracking the story on air and online. someone shot a man in the back
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of the head before 4:00 this afternoon. it happened inside a building that houses the department of corrections at 13th and van ness near 101. >> we know this. the shooter got away. but there are plenty of witness ws. let's bring in sam brock in san francisco with the newest details. sam? >> reporter: raj, jessica, we just spoke with a young man, 20 years old, who was stunned. he said this was his first day at the san francisco conservation corps. this was the first day for the victim here. according to this participant in the program, someone walked into the building today, took out a gun and shot the victim in the back of the head. nothing said before that. this man, as i said, barely was able to put words together. it was just so stunning. what you're looking at right now, the situation in the parking lot which houses a whole different of number of agencies and

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