tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC January 18, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
that's your friday storm already entering the picture. >> lester holt joins us next with nightly news. onight, former president george h.w. bush now in intensive care with pneumonia, needing help to breathe. and barbara bush has been hospitalized as well. we're at the hospital with the latest on their conditions. confirmation clash. fireworks as democrats confront donald trump's critical picks. dramatic showdowns over obamacare and education. across america, our road trip takes us to north carolina where the future of health care and the military are among the deep divisions. major issues facing president-elect trump. and breaking her silence. today, the teenager kidnapped hours after she was born found alive 18 years later. how she feels about the woman who raised her as her
mother. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt reporting tonight from fayetteville, north carolina. good evening from one of america's most famous military towns near ft. bragg, home to the brave men and women of the 82nd airborne, among others. behind me, the special operations, an elite airborne. two days before a new commander in chief takes office, our journey across america brings us to this critical battleground state, which donald trump won. in a moment, my emotional conversation with people here about their hopes and fears. but first, well wishes are pouring in for a former president and his wife. the 41st president, george herbert walker bush in intensive care in a texas hospital. his wife, former first lady barbara bush, also
admitted as a precaution. we get late details from nbc's gabe gutierrez in houston. >> reporter: tonight, former president former president george h.w. bush is stable in the icu following acute breathing problems stemming from pneumonia. doctors sedated him to clear his airway. former first lady barbara bush suffering from fatigue and coughing also hospitalized as a precaution. >> they are as fine a couple as we know and so we want to send our prayers and our love to them. >> reporter: a family spokesman says the oldest living president was first admitted to houston methodist hospital on saturday for shortness of breath. >> given the advanced age of the former president and mrs. bush, that's a very serious matter. >> reporter: eight days ago he sent a letter to president-elect trump wishing him well. but saying he will not attend friday's inauguration. "my doctor says if i sit outside in january, it likely will put me six feet under," bush wrote, "but we will be with you and the country in spirit." >> it's not my understanding that all of the family has rushed to houston and
that is what everyone who knows them will be watching for. >> reporter: the teenaged sweethearts just celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary. >> i've been the luckiest woman in the world, truthfully. >> reporter: after a form of parkinson's left him unable to walk, bush's public appearances have become increasingly rare, his most recent january 7th at a houston texans playoff game. he went skydiving for his 90th birthday. but this latest hospital stay is his fourth in the last five years. this morning, his granddaughter "today" show correspondent jenna bush hager sends her best wishes. >> i adore him. how lucky for our whole family that we have people that think about us. >> reporter: a bush family spokesman says 41 was making very good progress this will this morning when he took a turn and doctors had to deal with that blockage in
his lungs. now well wishes are pouring in from around the world, including tweets by bill clinton and donald trump who thanked him for that letter. lester? >> all right, gabe gutierrez for us tonight, thank you. in washington this evening, preparations have reached a fever pitch outside the capitol just a day and a half left before donald trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the united states. and inside the capitol, fireworks as democrats confronted two of the president-elect's key picks over the future of health care and education in america. a pair of dramatic showdowns before the same committee. we have it all with tom costello. tom, good evening. >> reporter: lester, good evening to you. tom price is the congressman who is is mr. trump's nominee to become secretary of health and human services. controversial with democrats because he's been working to repeal obamacare and he's been buying and selling stocks in medical companies that they claim he's also tried to help or could have tried to help through legislation. on capitol hill today, fireworks over obamacare and the hhs nominee's refusal to promise he won't touch medicaid
or medicare. >> you might want to print out president-elect trump's statement, "i am not going to cut medicare or medicaid." and post that above your desk in your new office. >> reporter: senate democrats taking aim at republican congressman tom price, a surgeon by training who's made it clear he wants to dismantle obamacare. >> i am very frightened about what you are going to do and so are millions of americans. >> reporter: price offered few specifics but insisted he wants more access to affordable health insurance with more choices. >> nobody's interested in pulling a rug out from anybody. >> reporter: but congressman price is also under fire for trading more than $300,000 in medical stocks while he pushed legislation that could benefit those companies. in addition, last august, buying stock in an australian company making a drug to treat ms on the recommendation of another congressman who is a
big shareholder in the company. >> i directed the broker to purchase the stock but i did it through the broker. >> you directed the broker to purchase particularly that stock? >> that's correct. everything we've done has been above board, transparent, ethical and legal. >> reporter: if confirmed, price promises to divest of all health care-related stocks. meanwhile, asking them to keep meanwhile, small groups of obama followers went knocking on doors asking them to keep the law. >> hi, how are you? >> reporter: logan came from nashville. >> my concern is that being a cancer survivor with a pre-existing condition, i will be denied affordable health care. >> reporter: tonight, the country is waiting to see what the trump plan might be. tom costello, nbc news, capitol hill. >> reporter: i'm hallie jackson on capitol hill where the typically tame hearing for education secretary turned fiery last night for betsy devos. >> if your family has not made hundreds of millions of dollars of contributions, the republican party do you think you'd be sitting here today? >> i do think that there would be that possibility. >> reporter: more concerning to
some democrats are devos' qualifications or they argue, lack thereof, pointing to this response to a basic question on the best way to evaluate student test scores. >> i'm talking about the debate between proficiency and growth, what your thoughts are on that. >> well, i was just asking to clarify, then -- >> well, this is a subject that has been debated in the education community for years. >> reporter: devos' biggest stumble, on guns in schools. >> you can't say definitively today that guns shouldn't be in schools? >> reporter: i will refer back to senator enzi and the school that he was talking about in wyoming. i think probably there i would imagine that there's probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies. >> potential grizzlies going viral overnight. if confirmed, devos would likely shape education policy through school choice, including voucher programs, something donald trump supports. the new administration pledging to put $20 billion towards school choice,
eventually hoping to provide it for every low-income child. >> he picked betsy devos because he thinks she can help make that happen. now we're going to have to see if they can get something like that through congress. >> reporter: hallie jackson, nbc news, washington. meantime, at the white house, president obama stepped before cameras to answer questions for the final time before he leaves office pushing back on criticism of one of his final major moves as president. and leaving disappointed democrats with a parting message. nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker was there. >> reporter: at his final press conference, president obama defending one of his last decisions, commuting the sentence of soldier chelsea manning, who leaked tens and thousands of documents to wikileaks. critics arguing it sends a signal of weakness. >> chelsea manning has served a tough prison sentence. i feel very comfortable that justice has been served. >> reporter: and while
the president declined to comment on another controversy, more than 50 democratic lawmakers who say they'll boycott donald trump's inauguration -- >> all i know, i'm going to be there. so is michelle. >> reporter: mr. obama did reveal what would bring him off the sidelines and back into the political fray, challenges to what he calls the nation's core values. >> if i saw systematic discrimination being ratified in some fashion and for me, at least, i'd put in that category efforts to round up kids who have grown up here and for all practical purposes are american kids and send them someplace else. >> reporter: and in a not so subtle shot at president-elect trump's frequent criticism of the press, mr. obama touted the necessity of a strong press corps. >> you're not supposed to be syncophants. you're supposed to ask me tough questions. our democracy needs you. >> reporter: reflective in his final moments, the president acknowledging even his daughters were
initially disappointed in the election results but have moved on. >> they don't mope. >> reporter: now the man who won the white house on the promise of hope and change leaves it asking disillusioned democrats to hold on to that optimism. >> and sometimes i get mad and frustrated like everybody else does, but at my core, i think we're going to be okay. >> reporter: the next time we expect to hear from president obama, he will no longer be president. he'll give one final farewell on friday after the inauguration. moments later, the obamas will take off for vacation to palm springs. lester? >> kristen welker at the white house tonight, thank you. nasa and noaa scientists today declared 2016 the hottest year on record. it's the third record-breaking year in a row continuing a long-term trend of rising temperatures. the news comes the same day that president-elect trump's pick to head the epa scott pruitt appeared before the senate. pruitt says that he doesn't believe that climate change is a hoax breaking from some of
trump's past statements and acknowledges that human activity has an impact. now to our journey across america, which has taken us this week from california to michigan and tonight to north carolina to a city where many will call donald trump not just president but their commander in chief. nearby is ft. bragg, home to 50,000 active duty troops and some of this nation's most elite fighting forces. the military is part of fayetteville's dna. around here the saying goes, when the president dials 911, the phone rings at ft. bragg. the people of fayetteville have watched their family and neighbors answer that call countless times, which is why the person making that call, the commander in chief, matters so much. >> i'm excited. i feel very hopeful about his plans for the military. >> reporter: mallory mayor's husband will soon be deployed to a combat zone. >> my hope is that donald trump will build the military back up and make it what it should be because right now we don't have adequate troop numbers to combat the threats.
>> reporter: but clinton supporter, cynthia rivera kelly, a veteran herself, worries about trump's inexperience with the military and worries he will keep his promises to america's veterans. her husband has been serving for 23 years and her 14-year-old son wants to enlist, too. cynthia, how do you feel about him in charge of the military and some of the things he said about what he wants to do? >> i'm fearful, you know, when he says things like he's not going to listen to people that are on the ground. >> what would your advice be? >> take care of the veterans. i met my husband before he entered the military. and what you do is you give the military this optimistic, gung-ho willing to lay his life on the line soldier. and then at the end, what i'm going to get back is a broken,
angry person. this life is hard. you have to want it. you don't do 20 years for pay. you believe in something that is bigger than yourself. and, you know, you just want to know that you're going to be taken care of at the end of it. >> it's not just the military on the minds of people here. >> you've got a pre-existing condition. >> i do. >> you struggle with epilepsy? >> yes. >> 31-year-old stacy graybill has two children. her husband is a general manager at a local restaurant in town. they are insured under the affordable care act. >> what does it mean for you when you hear the conversation about repealing obamacare? >> i've had a positive experience with it, being able to afford doctor visits and mris and my prescriptions that i need daily just to live. throwing it all out the window and starting over from scratch, i just don't think that that's the answer. >> bill mcmillan has concerns about the overall rising cost of health care. he runs a nonprofit
that donates its proceeds to local charities and can no longer afford to provide insurance for his employees. >> i had to eliminate the group policy. i lost my health insurance. now i've got still over half my staff that doesn't have health insurance. >> should government take on that responsibility, providing health care? >> no. that's not -- that's not what the government's intended to do. >> the differences are sharp but the patriotism in fayetteville frames an undying faith in a democracy that transcends partisan politics. >> i'm hopeful. you know, a lot of people that supported hillary, they say, #notmypresident. he will be my president and i want him to succeed, because if he fails, we fail. >> our journey takes us to washington, d.c., tomorrow as we begin our coverage of the inauguration of donald trump as the 45th president of the united states and we hope you will join us for live coverage
on friday. still ahead, speaking out, 18 years ago she was kidnapped at birth. now she's opening up about her life with the alleged abductor she believed was her mother and the biological parents she met only days ago. also, flash floods, driving a major city to a halt. a city bus overcome by high waters with more rain on the way.
breaking her silence for the first time today about being at the center of a kidnapping case that captivated the nation. as we've been telling you, she was abducted just hours after she was born and found alive 18 years later. the woman who raised her as her own now under arrest. nbc's miguel almaguer has the interview. >> it was like the regular stereotype mother/daughter relationship. it was perfect to me. >> reporter: the last time alexis manigo saw the woman who raised her, 51-year-old gloria williams was behind bars. >> it hurt me more that she was in cuffs so that moment right there is just so surreal for me. >> reporter: transferred from south carolina to florida and in court today, williams faces kidnapping charges. >> i understand that one mistake but everything that came out of it was not bad. >> reporter: alexis manigo was born kamiyah mobley. 18 years ago police say she was kidnapped by williams hours after she was born.
>> do you think your mom kidnapped you? >> it's not about what i think. >> reporter: is she capable of doing something like that? >> i don't want to talk about that. >> reporter: now alexis is getting to know her biological parents. >> they felt like family, just kind of distant, like we haven't seen each other in a while, like that. >> reporter: new police records now reveal alexis told a friend a year and a half ago she had been kidnapped as a baby. >> she doesn't want to do or say anything that could potentially affect the criminal case. >> reporter: tonight, alexis is torn. a teenager curious to know the family she was stolen from and desperate to keep the mother she has always known. >> i love her still. >> reporter: do you blame her? >> huh-uh. no, sir, i don't. >> reporter: miguel almaguer, nbc news, columbia, south carolina. we're back in a moment with late word
tonight, the fbi is investigating a round of bomb threats at dozens of jewish community centers across the country. the second rash of scares in as many weeks. several jccs were evacuated as a precaution. all of the calls were found to be hoaxes. in houston today, powerful storms triggered widespread flash floods. as much as six inches fell in areas forcing authorities to shut down schools and even some freeways. a city bus got stuck in the high waters. the driver later rescued. fire officials there say they've gotten dozens of water rescue calls and more rain is in the forecast. meet the newest members of the baseball hall of fame. three new inductees including jeff bagwell, tim raines, the speedster best known for his time with the expos getting in his last year of eligibility and ivan "pudge" rodriguez who had a distinguished
finally, today he made history eight years ago becoming this country's first african-american commander in chief. and while president obama was busy changing the white house, as our harry smith explains, the white house was also changing him. >> reporter: we've grown accustomed to this face, and my, how it's changed. since a speech in 2004 -- >> there is not a liberal america and conservative america. there is the united states of america. >> reporter: -- barack obama has occupied the focus of many a camera. we, though, view him through the lens of our own expectations, our dreams, our biases. imagine how any of us would have faired under the circumstances. you are president of the united states, commander in chief, leader of the free world but also comforter in chief, scold and cheerleader, father, husband, wearer of weird shirts and turkey pardoner. >> you are hereby pardoned.
>> reporter: we've seen him pensive and watched him preach. we have even heard him sing. ♪ i'm so in love with you ♪ >> reporter: but the job does something to you. there is a weight, there's a responsibility that can't be measured. look at our presidents. their faces are like an odometer of human experience. over the years, you see them rack up the miles. the job is never a breeze. there is always conflict, a world's worth of cares and concerns and no matter who they are, over time it shows. there may be victories and triumphs but no one leaves without detractors and disappointments. so to survive, you grow a thick skin, and as thick as it may be, we can still see right through it. harry smith, nbc news, new york.
that's going to do it for us on a wednesday night. i'm lester holt reporting from fayetteville, north carolina. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. the eye of the storm is strong winds, rain and poible floodin right now at 6:00, the eye of the storm is here, strong winds, rain and possible flooding. and this is just the first of three storms. we'll see our coastline slammed by powerful waves. we'll track the storm's appro h approach. >> we are in the thick of it now, and don't expect the rain to let up for hours. want to take you outside, give you a live look at san francisco and san jose, we've seen rain on the camera lenses all day.
it's going to continue into the evening. this is live doppler radar right now. we have a team of reporters in place, we begin with rob mayeda. what can we expect this evening? >> right now is really the peak of storm number one in terms of wind and rain. you can see moderate rain across the coastline. you can see this next round of heavier rain moving into san francisco, san mateo, and eventually across the south bay. strong gusty winds up to 50 miles per hour. oakland up to 40 mile per hour gusts. winds sustained at 40 miles per hour. winds approaching 50. localized flooding a possibility. wind gusts already verified close to 50 miles anr.