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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  August 23, 2018 7:00pm-7:31pm EDT

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you deserve a better place to sit on your day off. l havertys liks good . dev developing news tonight, one of el president trump's long-time confidents granted impunity with the hush money payments. the revelation hours ter the president blasted michael cohen for turning on him. >> it's lled flipping and it almost ought to be illegal. also tonight, jeff sessions fires back at the boss. in an extraordinary public war of words, the president slamming ions again over not controlling the russia investigation. >> what kind of a man is this? >> but this time sessions hits back. a state of emergency as a major hurricane slams hawaii. residents and resorts hunker down bracing for a disaster. an imposture
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ught at the airport i trying to geto the country. the brand-new security technique that scanned his face and found he wasn't who he claimed to be. and authorities called on a mom that let her 8-year-old walk the dog alone. >> she was gone for police were at the door. >> that sparking a debate. parents divided. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester lt. > good evening, everyone. the hard limits of ya lolty testing president trump on two fronts tonig cluding a surprise government immunity deal involving a friend of his. as if that wasent gh, the president got serious pushback from his attorney general jeff sessions today after the presidt publicly bashed him for not having his back in the russia investigation. but it w that immunity bombshell involving someone close to the president and with knowledge of those hush money payoffs that may be rattling the white house tonight. that's where we start jackson. s hallie >> reporter: tonight,
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the publisher of "the national enquirer" making headlines. david pecker granted immunity, the president's former fixer according to a source familiar with the matter. pecker is a long-time friend of the president who heed tch and kill negative stories about him including, according to cohen, having his company pay rights to her account of an alleged affa with donald trump. pecker shares what he knows about the yments and who may have been involved in making them according to sources. payoffs michael cohen admits bro the law. >> those two counts aren't even a crime. they weren't campaign finance. >> reporter: they were. cohen paid $13000 to a porn star to keep her quiet admitting in court it was for influencing the election so that's a campaign contribution but more than the legal limit, $2700. the president says he paid cohen back but that's irrelevant under the law. >> that didn't come pa out of the cn. that came from me.
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>> reportedid he implicate himself in a derime? >> he up based on what we know wit witho witn witt heith witr withe withc witho withr d illegal corporate contributions that ot reported to the fec as they should have been. >> reporter: and then there is paul manafort. ave great respect for what he's done in terms of what he's gone through. >> reporter: winning praise from the president for not cooperating with prosecutors. >> it's called flipping and it almost ought to be illegal. >> reporter: the feds often make their case with sr witnesses who turn on their bosses, think sammy the bull key to bringing down john gotti. or johnean whose testimony sink nixon. the president's lawyer tells "the washington post" donald trump asked about the possibility of pardoning manafort several weeks ago but his legal am quote told him he should wait until all the investigations are over. given manafort has another trial next month, could the president's refusal to le out a pardon amount to witness tampering? >> that is at least
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evidence of witness tampering. it may not be the crime of witness tampering. buying a ski mask is not a crime but if i use it in a cre, it's evidence of the crime. >> reporter: slamming a gop culture of corruption but not talking impeachment yet. not that the president is wored. i don't know how you can impeach somebody that did a great job. i'll tell you what, if i got imached, i think the market would crash. i think everyone would be very poor. >> reporter: for david pecker and "the national enquirer," the association the press siting people familiarith the arrangement is reporting on the existence of a safe used to keep documents related to hush money payments and damaging stories it killed as shart of the cozy relati with donald trump, lester? w> hallie jackson, at tte house, thanks. if that wasn't enough for today, the president trashing his in the controlling the russia investigation. an attack that took a personal turn. hours later, jeff
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sessionsently no longer content to endure public lashings fired back. we g it all from nbc's kristen welker. >> reporter: tonight fighting back after president trump escalated his attacks agait attorney general jeff sessions this morning. >> i put an attorney general that ner ok control of the justice department, jeff sessions. never took control of the justice departme >> reporter: sessions lashed out hours later, i took control of the department of justice the day i was sworn in. t sessions wase white house for a preplanned meeting today after unleashing the strongshback yet. while i'm attorney general, the actions of the department of justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.mo fonths, mr. trump has said it's been over run by democrats. >> with justice, it's a very, very sad day. >> reporter: it's a re rkable inflection point, session was the first senator to endorse candidate trump.
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>> i'm pleased to endorse donald trump. >> reporter: but once attorney general, things soured after sessions recused himself in the russia investigation because he was a key figure on the trump gn. ever since, the president has excoriated him in a bar barrige of tweets calling him rigetwf ts calling him everything from beleaguered to disgraceful and even missing ion and again today. >> he took the job and then he said i'm going to recuse myself. i said whakind of a man is this? >> reporter: while sessions has at times soot pushed back before. >> the attney neral stood up for the idea the job of the justice department is not to go after the presidt's enemies and to protect him and his friends. >> reporter: many republicans on capitol hill warning the president tonight. >> it would be a very, ve, very bad idea to fire the attorney general because he's not executing his job as a political hack.
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>> reporter: even so, some of the senate's leading republican who once stood firmly behind sessions are signaling a willingness to unonsider a successor but nol after the midterms, lester? >> all right. kristen welker, thanks. > t's turn to the major hurricane slamming hawaii. tonight millions from residential neighborhoodto all those resorts in paradise are hunkering down. reports of up to 20 a inches of raeady and a flood disaster. nbc's steve patterson is there. >> reporter: tonight, a race against tim residents across hawaii bracing for the very worst. with rain already reeking havoc on the roads. >> hawaii is going to be impacted by hurricane lane. the question is how bad? >> reporter: the forecast, tropil rce winds, torrential rain expected to slam thetate. officials fear disaster. they are telling residents to keep two teeeks worth of food and at home. this is a rare event. lane, one of sev hurricanes that come within 300 miles of the state since 1992 wh
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a hurricane devastated hawaii. >> reporter: today in honolulu some refusing to give up on paradise. >> it will rain hard and be a lot of wind to but i'm not worried at ts point. >> reporter: it's too late for refunds. we've been planning . for a year now so make the best of it. >> reporter: a tropical paradise in peril as this storm steve patterson. >> let's get to al roker. this doesn't have to be a direct hit to be >> absolutely. we can't rule that out yet. let's look and see where lane is. the bitake away, it's a category four storm.away, it's a category four storm. 130 mile per hour winds mong northwest at seven. the track of the system, here is the second take away. right now we expected this to be down to maybe a two or category one by friday morning. it's still staying very strong. it continues on but again, the other take away is we are not takeaway ist
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that certain or confident about that track. it could come further in and the other f dangerous partis torrential rain, 10 to 20 inches of rain, 30 inches possible, we're seeing flash flooding, mudslides and more is going to be happening again, lester, through the next 24 hours. >> those rain totals amazing. >> crazy. >> thank you very much. now to the spending scandal rocking the political world. duncan hunter, one of president trump's earliest supporters arraigned in court today. hunter and his wife needing not guilty to hlcharges they lavisy spent campaign money sn themselves. our gawartz has the story. >> reporter: congressman duncan hunter arriving at court this morningee ng a crowd of cameras and protesters. inside, the republican congressman from california and former marine pleading not guilty to campaign finance violations. in a blistering indictment, huer and his wife margaret violated campaign laws when they blew through
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a quarter of a million dollars of campaign money for personal use. including nearly $3000 for family vacations to italy, hawaii and vegas. more than $12,000 for fast food, alcohol and groceries. a trip to sea world, their kiivate school and payments to a family dentist allegedly classified as a charitable contribution. his wife allegedly spending $152 on makeup at nordstrom telling the campaign, it was giftasket items for the boys and girls club of san diego and hawaiian shorts god balls for the wounded warriors. after an event this week hunter said this. >> i did nothing wrong and they should bring the trial now. >> reporte the congressman says all this was politically motivated but experts take issue with the way money was spent. >> it seems it was a personal piggy bank for himself that he was dipping into those funds as if it was his personalhecking account to fund a lifestyle that was well above his means. >> reporter: for n, hunter removed from his committee appointments in
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congress but sti ceiving a salary of $174,000. todain court, asking for a lower bond because his family was living paycheck to paycheck. gadi schwartz, nbc news. let's tell you about the i'm imstuimpostu imposture impostuimposture caught at the airport. the first impostor detected using facial recognition technology being rolled out across the country. >> reporter: it g appened during the mornrival crush. a 26-year-old man arriving from brazil tripped up by new facial recognition ras, which alerted officers that the traveler with a french passport did not match his passport photo. officers soon found ue i.d. card in his shoe. he was from the congo, not france. the first facial recognition catch. >> he was trying to enter illegally.
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we appreheed him and processed and returned him back to brazil. >> back to brazil. >> reporter: congress ordered an upgrade to better track who is entering the country and who is leaving. >> take your photo right here. >> reporter: now facial recognition cameraare in more than a dozen airports matching faces with photos on file in passports, visas and other sources. >> you can much more accurately identify who an individual is. you can ch more rapidly speed them through processes and much more likely be able to target the e individuals wh ntunlawfully prese in the united states. >> reporter: when we were there last year, officers arresd this man in a white hoodie on an active arrest warrant. customs say the meras have a 99% accuracy rating. the tsa is hoping one day facial recognition technology will replace passenger boarding passes. several airlines are testing the technology hoping to speed along the check in process as bio metric screening helps to
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homeland.he tom costello, washington. when the ohio state football team hits the field for their season opener a little oa week from now, they will do it without the star head coach. urban meyer has been suspended for three games after the school concluded he turned a blind eye to domestic abuse allegations.ai t a former assistant coach but critics s meyersagainst a form assistant coach but critics say meyers punishment doesn't go far ough. here is nbc's miguel almaguer. >> reporter: suspended without pay for three games, legendary football coach urban meyer sidelined by leaders at ohio state. >> i want topogize to buckeye nation. >> reporter: in a 23-page repo investigators determined meyer was aware of 2015 domestic against zech smith and failed to report them to the university. >> i fell short in pursuing full informatbecause at
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each junk tour i gave him the benefit of the court. >> reporter: courtney sent alleged abuse photos to shelley. the investigation determined meyer made false statements. >> i was never told about anything. >> reporter: when questioned about his knowledge of the 2015 allegations. >> those denials were plainly not accurate. coach meyer did not in our view deliberately lie. fa> reporter: with meyeng media scrutiny, the report called his behavior concerning how to delete text messages r than a year with a colleague. >> as a woman, it sends a message like something might happen to you and we might act on it eventually but it might not be the right justic>> eporter: disciplined by ohio state, the university's famed coach will be back on the field later this season. a punishment critics say puts football first. miguel almaguer, nbc news. there is a lot more to tell you about tonight. a mother's outrage.
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she says child services investigated her for letting her 8-year-old walk the dog arnd the block alone. we're going to get into the controversy that has alo of parents divided and talking. the video that made headlines and the man that got a lesson from the law today on what happens when you mess with wildlife. well sure, at fiitt, but jj can help youthat. jj, will you break it down for this gentleman? hey, ian. you know, atameritradu through your options trades step by step until you're comfortable. i could be up for that. that's taking options trading from wall st. to main st. hey guys, wanna play some pool? eh, i'm not really a pool guy. what's the hesitation? it's just complicated. step-by-step options trading support from td ameritrade you wouldn't accept from any one else. why accept it from an allergy pill? flonase relieves sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose, plus nasal congestion, which most pills don't. it's more complete allergy relief. flonase.
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let's turn to that story that has a lot of parents talking and it becomes personal for a lot of us because it's about the way we raise kids. a mom is outraged after she let her child walk the dog alone around the block and found herself under investigation by . child services it raises questions about the safety of our kids versus teaching them
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independence. hl nbc's kristen en tells us more. >> reporter: when corey widen let her 8-year-old daughter talk their dog masll for a quick walk. >> i wanted her to learn responsibilities. she was gone for about five minutes and the next thing i know, the police were at the door. >> reporter: responding to a complaint an unattended child, they decided nothing was wrong but days later the illinois departmentf family and children services launched their investigation. she took to social media and comments poured in. >> people saying it was ridiculous that it had had happened. >> reporter: in 2014 a south carolina mom was charged with a felony for letting her 9-year-old play at ark hile she worked at a nearby mcdonald's. it took years for charges to be dropped. the laws on leaving kids alone vary by state and can be vaine. llinois children under 14 can't be left without supervision for an unreasonable period of time. this summer the was a free range parenting law passed where well-cared for children can go to school, play on the playground or stay in the car alone if mature enough. >> theic age to leave a child alone is when they arready and for each child it's individual. ter: illinois authorities found widen was not
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neglectfulay they investigate all calls and many are calling for more laws in support of parents. >> parts can make decisions about when their children are old enough to be alone. >> reporter: a short calk ending in a wide spreadversation. kristen dahlgren, nbc news. and we're going to let you talk about that as we go to break. coming up, surprising discovery, found under a fast ice food restaurant. and from a refugee camp to the cover of magazines. a fashion model on a mission to help children in crisis. fidelity is redefining value for investors. and zero m aimums to opeccount. tywe have fide mutual funds with zero minimum investment. and now, only fidelity offers two zero expense ratio index funds directly to investors. because when you inv t directly to investors. with fidel al ♪ so maybe i'll win, saved by zero ♪
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an important update now to a story night after the last democratic national committee raised fears of election hacking, it now says a recent tempt to breach the voter database was a false alarm. one party official reveals it was a test by t michigan democratic party that was unauthorized. tonight federal authorities discovered a sophisticated drug tunnel stretching from a home in mexico all
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aren't used to seeing someone who looks like them on a magazine cover. she's made history broken barriers but never forgot where she came from. her amazing story and her new mission in tonight's spotlight. for 20-year-old halima aden, the journey to become a fashi model is almost hard to believe. >> i never thought you could do it with a hijab. you know s 's making a difference as a model to grace major magazine covers and in ational runways wearing a hijab. >> it's wild. >> she was discovered in 2016 at t miss minnesota usa pageant but her story begins 8,000 miles away in a kenyan refugee camp. >> it means nowhere but for me, it was home. >> she was born there. d her mother for
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flee somalia during the civil war. her family was granted refugee status in the u.s. when she was 7. >> i'm so happy to be back. >> aden returned to kenya this summer for the first time documented by "teen vogue" for a cover story. >> how long have you lived here? >> eight years. >> wow. it was really heartbreaking the fact the camp has grown and that there is so much left to do. >> recently named an ambassador, aden now a u.s. citizen has found a new purpose. >> i always knew i needed to be part of the organization that did so much for me as a little girl. it's important. it's important i'm doing this. >> radiating beaut from the inside out, she's living her ea and giving children hope that they can do the same. halima is also a busy college student back home to ota at st. cloud university
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where she's the first somali student senator. a terrific young lady. that's "nightly news" for this thursday. i'm lester holt, for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night.
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lights, camera, access. >> i meanompletely removing my identity and calling me the wrong name >> was missmerica bullied by sh new leader. you be the judge. it is bad enough, you know?
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