tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC January 27, 2016 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
who will be happy tonight. trump standoff. an intense drama building as the front-runner goes to war with fox news, refusing to show up in a final debate before iowa, slammed by his rivals. what's behind trump's drastic move. one-on-one with bernie sanders. his oval office visit with president obama. deadly shootout. federal agents in a dramatic confrontation with anti-government protesters. the group's leader arrested. the siege still not over. and walmart controversy. the world's largest retailer about to shutter over about 150 stores, leaving neighborhoods across 15 states fresh out of luck, or food. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. reporting tonight, from washington.
in a presidential election year that has taken some pretty odd directions, add this one to the list. now five days before the iowa caucus votes, republican front-runner donald trump has abruptly dropped out of tomorrow night's debate in an apparent huff. a decision apparently not rooted in any shrewd political strategy, but purportedly in a spat between trump and fox news which is carrying the debate. for any other candidate, it would be a highly risky move. but as katy tur reports, with this candidate, no one is placing bets. >> reporter: when it comes to donald trump, the only rule is there are no rules. five days before the caucus and the billionaire is skipping iowa today for south carolina. and skipping the fox news debate tomorrow. >> i was not treated well by fox. they came out with this ridiculous statement. it was like it was drawn up by a child. it was a taunt. i said, how much of this do you take. >> reporter: they say
it sent out a press release about megyn kelly. the candidate still angry at kelly about what he said about women. >> unlike the very stupid and highly incompetent people that run our country, mr. trump knows when to walk away from a bad deal. >> reporter: he said the no-show is better than the risk of a poor performance. in response, trump's opponents are piling on. ted cruz not so subtly tweeting trump is a coward. the drama making national headlines. but not here in iowa. where locals want to get it over with. >> i don't think he's credible. i wouldn't vote for him if he was the only one running. >> more drama. more pet you lent behavior. >> reporter: beecher was still deciding between jeb bush and donald trump, said he's heard enough. wouldn't you want to see another debate to really -- >> i don't need it. i don't need it at this point. >> if trump's running
some voters in iowa may say, this is immature. but i think that risk is relatively small. particularly for the people already supporting trump who will not see this as a petulant move. >> reporter: the better trump will do caucus night, there's still little sign the campaign has followed through. on its get out the vote effort. late tonight, trump announced a counter event at drake university. now all of the attention is back on the front-runner. lester, as you know, challenged. increasingly sensitive on this. lashing out at reporters and now refusing to face a tough moderator. >> with democrats, hillary clinton and bernie sanders days away from their showdown in iowa. sanders was here in washington, d.c., specifically the white house, where he met with president obama. a meeting planned weeks ago. i caught up with senator sanders right after his oval office chat and he told me their conversation covered domestic and
and, yes, politics. >> it was a private conversation, so i'm not going to get into it. i think if there's anybody in the world who understands what campaigning in iowa, in new hampshire is about, and putting together just an extraordinary grass roots movement that took him to victory, that is barack obama. >> a few days ago the president speaking to politico seemed to be speaking in glowing terms about secretary clinton, her leadership, her depth of experience. >> she can start here day one. more experienced than any non-vice president has ever been. who aspires to this office. >> some people say he was tipping his thumb on the scale in her do you sense that? >> no. it? >> no, i wasn't. i read the interview, and i thought he was very even-handed. some people who spun it that way.
>> winning. >> number one. >> yeah. i mean, i think that we have worked really hard. we started off in iowa later than secretary clinton did. in the last number of months, we have put together an incredible volunteer effort. we have 15,000 volunteers. let me be very clear about this. caucus night in iowa, you will be able to tell very early who wins and who loses. if there is a large voter turnout, we're going to win. >> if you come in second place, what does that mean for the rest of your campaign? >> it means that we came in second place in iowa. we're off and running to new hampshire to win there. >> would it be crushing? would it get you off your game? >> in terms of delegate election, you get 52% or 48%. it will mean very few delegates. psychologically, obviously, it's important. >> the word on the street you've got a
you're buying on television. are you going to be going directly at hillary clinton? are you going to turn negative? >> no. no. we differentiate ourselves from secretary clinton every day. >> let's talk about the significance of your campaign. president obama, the first african-american president, and hillary clinton could become the first female president. not a lot of talk about you being the oldest and first jewish president. is that something you think about? >> sure i do. thank god i am in good health. and as a former long-distance runner, a pretty good miler when i was in high school, did a little running in college, my endurance is strong. in terms of my religion, i'm very proud of my jewish background. and it has had a significant influence on me. one more note from our interview. the new hampshire union leader is hosting a debate next week that will air on msnbc. hillary clinton said she's in, and we asked bernie sanders if he's
he said he wasn't ready to commit because he wants to expand on that plan. i want to bring in our political director, the moderator of "meet the press," chuck todd. chuck, let's go back to donald trump for a moment. is there a hidden strategy perhaps in him refusing to debate? and could it backfire? >> there's always a chance it could backfire. iowans could be offended by the idea. here's where it could be a shrewd move. debates haven't been donald trump's best moments. the most recent is probably his best debate. but that's grading on a curve. debates only matter to the voters if somebody has a disastrous performance. here's why it could be a shrewd move. trump not being there, there's no way he could make a mistake and say the wrong thing. but his chief rival in iowa, ted cruz, after five minutes of bashing donald trump for being there, what do you think the rest of the candidates are
continue to go after donald trump or go after ted cruz? this could end up being a very shrewd move by the front runner. >> todd, thank you very much. the armed anti-government protesters are still occupying a federal refuge. they seized the refuge over three weeks ago demanding the release of ranchers convicted of setting fires on federal land. as joe frye reports, those at the refuge are being strongly urged to leave. >> reporter: authorities are tightening their grip around the wildlife refuge tonight blocking roads and setting up checkpoints. inside the refuge, some anti-government militants remain, not giving up on their armed occupation. >> peaceful resolution is what we expect. >> reporter: many of the leaders are now occupying a jail cell. while driving along a rural highway yesterday, some were stopped by the fbi and state police.
official tells nbc news one vehicle drove off and hit a snow bank, then one emerged brandishing a firearm and was shot and killed. >> disappointing yesterday. it was supposed to bring peaceful resolution to this. ended badly. >> reporter: three weeks ago he said he go to jail. >> i have no intention of spending any of my box. >> reporter: his daughter said he would never put someone's life in jeopardy. >> he's a great man. and just because what he said doesn't mean that his fight won't go on. he's now a martyr. >> reporter: during the highway confrontation, another militant, ryan bundy, was shot in the arm but survived. seven suspects, including the bundy brothers, appeared in federal court facing felony charges. another occupier was arrested in arizona. he had just returned
3 1/2 weeks have passed since the armed group took control of the wildlife refuge. now the fbi said those remaining need to pack up and go and won't be arrested. >> if the people on the refuge want to leave, they're free to do so. >> reporter: a late development tonight. bundy is asking the remaining occupiers to stand down and go home. it's unclear how many militants remain at the refuge, but we know after the events that happened yesterday, some did pack up and leave earlier today. lester? >> all right. joe, thanks. in south florida today, wild scenes as a tornado rolled through near ft. lauderdale with winds there 100 miles an hour, flipping cars on a college campus, damaging roofs, and leaving hundreds of homes without power. at least one person was injured. there's a new warning tonight from doctors. american doctors at that the ziko virus is a pandemic. top public health
u.s. must do more to prepare for zika. tom costello has the new details. >> reporter: in the streets of rio, celebration before carnivale, expected to draw more than 1 million tourists. but the conditions here are perfect for mosquitoes, hot and muggy with lots of standing water. nbc news was with sanitation crews dispatched to wipe out zika-carrying mosquitoes, already linked to cases of babies born with deformed heads and brains. it's one of the areas where pregnant women or women who could become pregnant should avoid. two top american researchers accused the world health organization of failing to act fast enough. >> now we have a pandemic. it started to involve multiple continents, and certainly many countries, more than
we need global leadership for this evolving rapidly accelerating health problem. >> reporter: while travelers infected with zika abroad have already returned to the u.s., there is growing concern that zika mosquitoes could soon spread to the southern united states, and then spread to warmer weather. tourists expected this summer, a quarter of a million soldiers are now on mosquito control missions. carlina is seven months pregnant. >> i can have a baby with it. >> reporter: president obama is pushing american researchers to develop a vaccine quickly. but that could be years away. the good news? people who aren't pregnant and contract zika should develop only mild symptoms, if any at all, and then have immunity for life. a grade school principal from indiana is being hailed as a hero for saving her
horrific bus crash. sadly, as blake mccoy tells us, she gave her life to protect those children. >> reporter: parents and kids in mourning over the death of their beloved principal. she was killed in a freak accident tuesday when a school bus unexpectedly lurched forward jumping the curve. in her final moments, witnesses say jordan pushed children out of the way. >> we started going forward and we hit a tree. and i was just really scared because i didn't know what was going to happen. >> reporter: two 10-year-olds were injured in the accident but are expected to be okay. >> boys and girls, this is national kindness week. >> reporter: jordan had been principal for 22 years. someone who always put kids first, whether it was making pancakes, or handing out birthday cards to each student. >> when you heard that in her final moments, she was pushing kids out of the way to save them from that bus --
susan. that's our susan. she's a hero. she was a hero every day. >> reporter: what caused the bus to suddenly jolt forward is under investigation. the school district says the driver showed no signs of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. tests are being done. and we're told that this bus had just passed regular inspection last friday. >> there were no violations found that contributed to the crash. >> reporter: classes resume tomorrow. while the building will be open, its heart and soul will be missing. blake mccoy, nbc news, indianapolis, indiana. we've got more to tell you about here tonight. still ahead, shock waves across america as the world's largest retailer prepares to close many of its stores. we take you to one community that's losing much more than big discounts. also, why super bowl-bound quarterback peyton manning is
investigation. by tomorrow, walmart will have shut down almost all of the 150 stores it has targeted foreclosure around the nation. all of its express locations are closing, many of which are in small towns. gabe gutierrez takes us to one of the many communities who will struggle to find fresh food after walmart leaves. >> reporter: in tiny oriental, north carolina, population 900. everything changed when the giant came into town. >> it was fast. immediately.
>> it kills me. >> reporter: for 44 years, rene smith's family ran a grocery store here. then a walmart express came along. 17 months later she closed her doors. >> it was malicious of them to leave this town in the shape it's in. >> reporter: now walmart's closing more than 150 stores in the u.s. turning oriental into a food desert. without a single grocery store. >> anybody here that wants to buy an onion now has to drive about a 40-mile round trip. >> reporter: this location in california is set to close tomorrow. around the country, many communities are worried about what this will mean for their economy. walmart claims to open 300 new locations around the world. closing stores is never an easy decision, he said. but it is necessary to keep the company strong for the future. >> they really weren't in the right locations. the product mix just
>> rebecca anderson was laid off when they opened near the mom and pop store. >> they were all about us. when walmart came, it was no more. >> reporter: the night she and so many others are wondering, what will fill the void now that the giant is leaving town. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, california. when ke come back here tonight, many complained that plows weren't out in force after the blizzard of 2016.
parking police were. a potential cloud hanging over the super bowl. the nfl says it is conducting a comprehensive review of allegations in a report by al jazeera that broncos quarterback peyton manning had human growth hormones shipped to his home. the league says it will not have results before the big game. manning has denied using performance-enhancing substances. here in washington, d.c.,
hit with a huge tab after the blizzard of 2016 shut the city down. the district which struggled mightily to clear the streets of snow turned out to be pretty efficient when it came to handing out more than $1 million in parking tickets. more than 65,000 in fines since the storm hit on friday. more than 600 cars were towed. this evening the snow emergency here has finally expired. you think $1 million is cool? how about $5.8 billion. that's how much facebook gained in revenue in the last three months of 2015. rapid growth as the social networking giant seeks to challenge google as the most powerful internet behemoth. when we come back, what michigan's governor said about flint's water crisis
aired last night. just a day after we reported that none of the lead pipes poisoning the water in flint, michigan, are being removed, rick snider said there are no plans to replace all of them. instead, they're relying on water treatments to build up a protective coating inside the pipes. in the meantime, the community continues to suffer. we asked our kevin tibbles to visit flint and talk to the
impact on their lives about our series "we the people." >> reporter: mcintosh used to be straight up middle class. but no more. for many that dream has died in flint. the loss of industry, the loss of jobs, and now their water is tainted with lead. along mcintosh drive, anger. >> my normal life has totally changed. no more life like it used to be. that's gone. >> reporter: she's lived here nearly 20 years. she wants to move but says now the house will never sell. >> they failed to tell the truth. i can't get past that. how could you give somebody poise on? >> reporter: strong questions for her government, which many in flint feel have abandoned them. across the street, the hodges. father shane has three kids under the age of 6. the effect of lead on a child's
>> the fear of unknowing. >> reporter: in this home they await the results of lead testing. >> at night i pray, i pray on my knees that everything will be taken care of. >> reporter: neighbor rodney has lost faith. >> somebody's got to be accountable. that's the way i look at it. >> reporter: in a city of almost 100,000 where more than 40% live below the poverty line, they are stunned by the indifference. >> we do not count. >> they've lied to us, and they've left us behind. whatever happens to us doesn't matter. >> reporter: left behind, on mcintosh drive, and facing an uncertain future again. kevin tibbles, nbc news, flint. a program note. tonight my colleague rachel maddow will hold a town hall on this. for all of us at nbc news, thanks for