tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC March 23, 2017 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
thanks for watching here at 6:00. i'm jim rosenfield. >> i'm jacqueline london. up next nbc nightly news with lester holt. see you back here at 11:00. breaking news tonight. a stunning rebuke for president trump as house republicans hold the health care vote before going down in defeat. a cliff hanger for millions of americans. their health coverage left hang ing in the balance. a suspect arrested. a jewish center scare. how the feds tracked him down. an american killed. his wife left injured in that terror attack in london as isis claims one of its followers is responsible. robocall crackdown. the government taking action to cut down on those annoying calls that always seems to come at the worst time. baby cuddlers inspiring america with some of the most important jobs at the hospital.
"nightly news" begins right now. good evening. we begin with breaking news. late today in a high stakes game of chicken, president trump and house republican leaders blinked at the last minute choosing to delay tonight's scheduled vote on a health care overhaul bill rather than face the humiliation of an all but certain defeat. the call this day dramatic would be an understatement. the president swept into office on his negotiating skills, rebuffed by members of his own party. the house leadership putting off the vote. buying time to find the votes needed for passage. all of this happening on the 7th anniversary of the passage of obamacare. hallie jackson begins our coverage. >> reporter: the republican plan to kill obamacare flat lining. the president and paul ryan scrambling to
save it after a day that started with signs of life. at 11:30 this morning, most pulled out arriving at the white house to hear the president's personal pitch that started with a standing ovation. and a compromise on the table. a deal to cut back essential health benefits which under obamacare made insurers cover things like maternity, mental health care and emergency room visits. some conservatives who want prices to be lower and government to be less involved say removing those benefits give people more choice. >> it doesn't work in the long time. while men don't get pregnant, women don't get prostate cancer. it works when we have large pool of people. >> reporter: if mood turning grim with one white house source describing the meeting to nbc news as tough. the sticking point. coverage for pre-existing conditions and kids under 26 staying on their parents plan. things president trump
promised and won't budge on. by early afternoon lawmakers predicting failure. >> there's not enough votes as of 1:30 today. >> i don't think there can be a vote tonight because they don't have the votes. >> reporter: the white house was insisting the bill has a pos positive prognosis at 2:00 p.m. >> is there an acknowledge there does need to be a plan b? >> no, plan a. >> reporter: that's what the president was counting on. >> the house is voting. >> reporter: but they they weren't voting. when he was holding his photo op with truckers, the alarm sounding on capitol hill. paul ryan postponed the vote to repeal and replace obamacare seven years to the day after it was signed into law. a setback for millions of americans looking for clarity. tonight republicans
will work to resuscitate the bill with the president dispatching his top aids to capitol hill. >> i'm desperately trying to get to yes. i think the president knows that. >> reporter: even gop opponents optimistic they can still save it. tonight the white house says it's confident this bill will pass with a vote possible as early as tomorrow morning but right now our nbc news count shows more than 30 republicans would probably vote no which would doom the bill. all of it as the latest official government estimate shows it would save less money than the original gop plan. lester. thank you. we want to bring in our political director chuck todd. how big of a set back is this and where does it go from here? >> it becomes a huge set back if there's no vote tomorrow as the white house is promising. if there's tno vote through the weekend. here's what we saw
here. the president didn't follow his own rules for deal making in the art of the deal. he is the guy that desperately needs the deal. guess what. house conservatives were willing to call his bluff. they were willing to walk away. the president is desperate for a political deal. the people he's negotiating with have problems with the policy. the president wants a win. the conservatives want to shrink the size of government. they can not get these two positions to somehow come together when you're essentially having two different arguments. one is a political argument and one is a policy argument. the bigger picture here is, as hard as it is to get health care through the house, i have no idea how they're going to get this through the senate and whatever it takes to get it through the house makes it harder to get through the senate. >> lots of drama ahead. thank you. among those still undecided are all four republican congress members from colorado. a state like many others where families are on edge as they
awaaa await the out come on this political battle. we have how it's impai impacting every day americans. >> reporter: at five years old he's had so many medical complications. after 300 visits to the hospital, his mother has stopped counting. >> we go to the hospital all the time even more when he was a baby. >> reporter: she's glued to any news about health care reform, but not today. it's too stressful. >> what do you think of what's happening in washington right now? >> i think it's scary. it scares me that they might cut medicaid because it's in line with maybe a political stance. >> reporter: the republican plan could mean major cuts to state medicaid budgets and fewer services for children. according to a nonpartisan analysis an estimated 600,000 people could lose coverage in colorado alone. >> you're talking about having a whole
lot of uncertainty for over half a million colorado citizens. >> reporter: medicaid has made brain surgery possible, covered medications, physical therapy and even paid for jude's special orthopedic shoes. >> cool. >> reporter: in western colorado, a special needs family watching the debate with a different view. >> we're following it very closely because it's an issue that's affected us. >> reporter: 13-year-old kate has autism. his care covered by medicaid but costs for the rest of the family skyrocketed as insures left the marketplace. >> it tripled our premiums and increased our deductibles quite a bit. >> reporter: last week his mother told president trump they are counting on him. a tale of two families like millions waiting for the vote to determine their future. nbc news, aurora, colorado. there's another major political showdown looming in washington with confirmation hearings for neil gorsuch all
wrapped up, the leader of the democrats and the senate is vowing to filibuster forcing gorsuch to get 60 votes. that could set up a showdown with republicans who could change the rules to make confirmation a simple majority vote. authorities in the u.s. and israel say a man is under arrest for making the majority of bomb threats s ts to jewish community centers. triggering the frightening scenes of evacuation of children at pre-school. he's a dual american-israeli citizen. >> reporter: hiding his face, the man accused of making well over 100 bomb threats appeared in an israeli courtroom. >> we managed to get to the suspect after having concrete intelligence from different security agencies around the world. >> reporter: investigators say the calls began six months ago. first to new zealand
and australia and then the u.s. starting late last year. they finally traced them to the 18-year-old monday and arrested him this morning in his family's apartment. police say he used advanced technology to mask making the calls from his bedroom using a neighbor's wi-fi. other neighbors were stunned. >> i'm surprised. i'm shocked. >> reporter: the bomb threats more than 160 to jewish facilities in 38 states forced repeated evacuations. he forced the ev evacuation of a delta airlines flight two years ago. his lawyer says he has mental problems caused by a brain tumor. >> i think he's a young person with a very serious medical problem that can affect lots of his behavior. >> reporter: he's a
dual citizen and even though he's jewish, some of the targets of his threat say it's still anti-semitism. >> i don't think identity is the issue. the result is still the same. feeling a sense of terror. >> reporter: still unsolved who is behind the desecration of jewish headstones in four american cities. he's being prosecuted in israel but could be brought here to face prosecution in the u.s. where the calls faced the most anxiety. lester. thank you. british authorities say the man behind the terror attack in london had been on their radar while isis is claiming responsibility. the death toll stands at four, which includes an american tourist who was celebrating his anniversary. we have the latest. >> reporter: beneath the flags after half staff, police on their knees in a fingertip search for clues to
why he began his murderous rampage. he had a criminal record. >> he was once investigated by mi5 in relations to concern about violent extremism. >> reporter: until he turned terrorist. police searching his home. isis propaganda calling him their fighter but no evidence. hitting pedestrians. one woman falling into the river. she's seriously injured but american curt from utah was one of four killed. he and his wife, melis melissa, were on the last day of a european tour posting photographs to celebrate 25 years of marriage. she's injured in the hospital. they are offering prayers here at the exact spot where the
american toppled over this bridge and died. the driver then accelerating, slamming into dozens of people on this bridge on his way to parliament. there were many american survivors leaved to be alive. >> a car comes out of nowhere and just hits four to five innocent bystanders on the street. i guess that's what a war zone would look like. >> reporter: tonight london is defiant. paying tribute with life and other resolve. now to the controversy over the claims of u.s. intelligence surveillance on president trump's transition team. the republican chairman of the house intelligence apologizing to his colleagues for not informing them before going public and briefering the white house on those claims. for democrats an apology isn't enough. peter alexander with the fall out.
>> reporter: first the bombshell. >> the president needs to know these reports are out there. >> reporter: now the backtrack. >> it was a judgment call on my part. at the end of the day sometimes you might the right decision. sometimes you make the wrong one. >> reporter: expressing regret about going public and going to the president before informing his team. behind closed doors apologizing but the committee top democrat is questioning whether the russian investigation can survive. >> yesterday underscored why an independent commission is so essential here. >> reporter: a second democrat joining ship claiming there's more than circumstantial evidence about collusion. >> there's probable cause to believe there's members of the trump campaign who cooperated. >> reporter: the white house remains confident and says the investigations credibility remains in tact. >> why does the white house believe it was
appropriate for the chairman to come and give this information to the president regarding an investigation about the president's own associates during the campaign? >> according to his own words, he had an obligation to make sure the president knew what he discovered. that's it. >> reporter: asked at the white house was the source of his new information, nunez is deflecting. >> we have to keep our sources and methods very quiet. >> reporter: the president in a new interview insists the new revelations back up his wiretapping cl claims even though they were debunked. nunes said the surveillance appears to be incidental collection. he stuck with his baseless charge that three million people voted illegally despite producing no evidence to back it up. lester. >> peter alexander, thank you. still ahead, stopping robocalls.
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of money. miguel almaguer has details. >> reporter: it's the call so many get and hate every day. >> the reason of this call is to inform you that irs is falling a lawsuit against you. >> reporter: an estimated 2.4 billion robocalls made each month. >> hello, i have a message concerning important business. >> reporter: she counts up to eight a day. >> there's another robocall. >> reporter: including this one while we were at her home. >> where did you get this number from? >> truly annoyed that somebody is bursting into my day trying to get me to do something that i don't want to do probably trying to take advantage of me. >> reporter: scammers are often on the other end. today the fcc proposing new rules that would allow phone calls to target and block spook numbers, calls that often look legitimate. >> these robocallers prey on vulnerable population, elderly american, immigrants
and others. >> reporter: the cost to americans is in the millions. calls are part of an elaborate criminal scam trying to convince you to hand over social security, bank account and credit card information. ann marie has never handed over money but she's lost plenty of time. >> i feel very helpless. i've done all the things that i can do. >> reporter: now the fcc says they're answering a call from help for so many. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. we're back in a moment with why this is such a special day for four legged best friends. boost it's about moving forward not back. it's looking up not down. it's feeling up thinking up living up. it's being in motion... in body in spirit in the now. boost. it's not just nutrition. it's intelligent nutrition. with 26 vitamins and minerals and 10 grams of protein.
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jackson turned himself in yesterday. prosecutors say he had a plot to kill even more black men in time square. severe storms this evening are threatening people for the texas panhandle up through central nebraska. tomorrow some 20 million are at risk for more strong to severe storms from east texas through western mississippi. those storms threaten to hit with damaging wind, hail and even possible tornadoes. it's pretty safe to say it was the cutest day of the year. that's because it's national puppy day. celebrated each year on march 23rd. millions today sharing adorable photos of their puppies on social media including lucy halt who happened to be the cutest of all. i might be just a little too close. come on. when we come back, cuddlers wanted. the most in demand job at one hospital that's inspiring america. knowing where you stand. it's never been easier.
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america report. >> reporter: of all the positions at this idaho hospital, it's easy to see why one is attracting so many applications. >> what's your title here? >> cuddler. >> volunteer in the cuddle program. >> i'm a cuddle volunteer. >> reporter: that's right. the neonatal intensive care unit is filled with cuddlers. >> this is cuddling. this is heaven. >> reporter: their task was spending quality time holding preemies like the johnson twins that were born ten weeks early. so early that one was born in the parking lot. the parents live an hour away. when they are gone they serve as cuddling surrogates. especially babies so fragile. >> all our cuddlers have extensive training in the
classroom and bedside. >> reporter: volunteers learn how to hold the babies and ways to calm them down. the hospital says consistent cuddling can help with brain development and social skills and helps the volunteers too. >> just being able to go in and hold the baby that might not get, sorry, makes me tear up. >> reporter: 22 years ago her daughter was premature. now she's all grown. >> the fact i get to go in there and love on them makes my heart happy. >> reporter: the cuddlers get as much as they give. a job they can't help but embrace. nbc news, idaho. >> what a great job. that's going to do it for us on a thursday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night.
how close he got as she barricaded herself inside her car. new video, george clooney grilled about the twins. >> how's the mom? >> just back from london, his reaction to the attack outside parliameorge, any comment on th london terror attack? scarlett johansson's public swipe at her ex. as their custody battle blows up, how she just slammed him on british tv. charissa's new interview with james corden and he's breaking news. >> like -- >> who's his top-secret next "car pool karaoke" guest? >> i was like is there nothing you're not amazing at? and if you thought her home makeovers were incredible. showing off her incredible bikini body. plus, why jane fonda and lily tomlin are talking sex toys in their '70s. >> like if you have arthritis,