tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC October 8, 2019 5:30pm-5:59pm PDT
plenty updates. >> we'll see you then. up next, lester holt with nightly news. >> see you at 6:00. machine breaking news tonight. the major escalation in the impeachment battle the trump administration firing off a letter to nancy pelosi for the first time refusing to cooperate with the inquiry the top diplomat blocked from testifying in what we've now learned the newly revealed phone call the president had after an ambassador questioned the white house strategy and our brand-new poll where do americans stand on impeachment? also tonight, on the brink turkey's military on syria's border, prepared to attack the chaos and confusion after president trump's abrupt decision to pull u.s. troops what's happening on the ground our richard engel in turkey tonight. the urgent manhunt two suspects on the run, wanted for the murder of a witness in the amber guyger trial a third suspect wounded and in
custody. what police say led to the shootout the early warning sign what you need to know ahead of a potential severe flu season. two parents sentenced in the college admissions scandal the lead prosecutor breaking his silence. his warning to actress lori loughlin. >> we will probably ask for a higher sentence for her than we did for felicity huffman and ellen's powerful message. what she is saying tonight about the photo with former president bush that sparked a social media firestorm. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt >> good evening, everyone. the white house late this evening has put democrats on notice that it will not be cooperating with the white house impeachment inquiry.ght cag urs house blocked a key witness from telling what he knows about the administration's dealings with ukraine. but tonight a brand-new nbc news/wall street journal poll finds more than half of
americans think the allegations against the president are serious and should be investigated fully our hallie jackson has details >> reporter: a serious and significant escalation tonight as the white house notifies house democrats in a letter that the president, quote, cannot permit his administration to participate in this partisan inquiry, urging speaker nancy pelosi to abandon the impeachment effort and accusing democrats of trying to reverse the results of the 2016 election already the trump administration is blocking a key witness from a deposition today >> that is an abuse of power for him to act in this way, and that is -- that is one of the reasons that we have an impeachment inquiry. >> reporter: house democrats late tonight issuing a subpoena against that witness european union ambassador gordon he is a tior a the center of questions of what the president may have promised the ukrainian leader if he helped investigate joe bidensage
sondland, "i think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign." sondland, after talking with president trump, according to a source with knowledge of the situation texting back this -- "the president has been crystal clear, no quid pro quos of any kind." adding, "i suggest we stop the back and forth by text." now some democrats want sondland to resign. >> if that's what the ambassador needs to do to testify, he ought to do this >> reporter: republicans defending the president who is tweeting "unfortunately sondland would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where republicans' rights have been taken away." >> what we see in this impeachment is a kangaroo court. >> this entire thing is a political charade. >> reporter: a congrsource withe matter tells nbc news the whistle-blower in a memo says a white house official who listened to president trump's july phone call with ukraine's leader described it as crazy and frightened with frustration spilling over >> everything is a clown show,es
losing credibility >> and tonight our new nbc news/wall street journal poll shows americans are divided mostly along patterson lines about whether president trump should be impeached and removed from office, with 43% supporting that and 49% against it. lester >> all right, hallie jackson at the white house, thanks. let's bring in andrea mitchell now. andrea, what are you hearing about the reaction to this new white house strategy >> lester, according to veteran ambassadors, today's decision blocking department witnesses from testifying had the diplomatic corps petrified they're caught between what they see as their obligation to congress and fear of losing their jobs after decades in the foreign service, these veterans see their careers potentially cut short in a department that has in the past been immune from political interference, regardless of who is president now many are demoralized andrets standing up for u.s. foreign policy and tonight's letter from the white house indicateis
lester >> andrea mitchell, thank you. also tonight, the turkish in assault against u.s. allies, the kurds. it comes amid wide criticism of president trump's plan to withdraw american troops from northern syria richard engel is in turkey and has more >> reporter: tonight turkish forces are massed on the country's southern border. turkish officials say preparations are complete for a cross-border assault against u.s. allies, the kurds of syria. the buildup comes after president trump announced a plan to pull u.s. troops out of the area new video showing some already moving back. u.s. officials tell nbc news for turkish forces should they launch the assault the country, but won't confront republicans who call his decision a betrayal of u.s. allies, the president today tweeting "in no way have we abandoned the kurds. >> we've told turkey, i spoke with president erdogan of
turkey, and i said got to treat them good. you got to take care of isis >> reporter: but the people in the cross-hairs of the impending turkish assault are protesting, desperately appealing for help the kurds have been fighting against isis with u.s. special operations forces and have created an autonomous enclave in syria, which turkey wants to destroy. a kurdish official today tweeting if america leaves, all will be erased turkey's specific goal is to create a buffer zone 20 miles deep, 250 miles long along its border inside syria. president erdogan showed a map of the area at the u.n. last month. and erdogan doesn't want to just occupy the area. he wants to settle it with 2 million non-kurds, arab refugees the kurds say it's ethnic cleansing in the making which they accuse president trump of allowing as everyone here in turkey tonight is now watching to see if or when this country launches
its assault, today president trump confirms he invited turkey's president to the white house. lester >> richard engel in istanbul, thank you. the supreme court is back at work this week and today it heard arguments in one of the most important cases of its new term does existing law protect lgbtq employees on the job here is our justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: with pro-gay rights demonstrators spilling out into the street in front of the court -- [ crowd chanting ] >> reporter: the justices heard the case of gerald bostock, fired from a county job in georgia after joining a gay softball league. >> i lost my livelihood, my source of income i lost my medical insurance. i was still recovering from prostate cancer. >> reporter: he sued but lower courts threw his case out. >> the civil rights act of 1964 -- >> reporter: they ruled that the 1964 civil rights act signed by president johnson, which bans job discrimination on the basis
of race and sex, among other factors, does not cover sexual orientation. bostock's lawyer says firing someone for being gay is discrimination based on sex. >> and you can't think about a person's sexual orientation without thinking about his sex, right? a gay man is only a gay man if he is a man attracted to other men. >> reporter: the court als heard the case of aimee stephens, fired after she told her boss she is transgender. the lawyer for her former employer says the civil rights act doesn't protect her. >> all americans and american businesses in particular have the right to rely on what the law says, not what someone wants it to mean >> reporter: the court seemed to be divided today between conservatives and liberals samuel alito sai congress could not have had sexual orientation in mind when it passed the civil rights law 55 years ago but ruth bader ginsburg said congress wasn't thinking of sexual harassment either and the courts have said it's forbidden by the law today's argument comes four years after the supreme court's historic same-sex marriage ruling written by justice anthony kennedy, who has since retired. he has been replaced by brett
kavanaugh who was mostly silent during today's argument, suggesting his vote could be in play 22 states now have their own laws banning job discrimination based on sexual orientation. if the supreme court agrees, that protection would apply nationwide lester >> all right court tonight, thanks. one week after he suffered a heart attack, senator bernie sanders talked about his health today. the democratic presidential candidate said he should have paid more attention to the warning signs. >> i must confess i was dumb i should have listened to the symptoms so if there is any message that i hope we can get out there is that i want people to pay attention to their symptoms. >> and we're going hear much more from senator sanders in an exclusive sit-down interview with our own harry smith that's tomorrow right here on "nbc nightly news. in dallas, the suspect is in custy for two moreen in the killing of a witness who testified in the murder trial of former dallas police officer amber guyger our morgan chesky is in dallas >> reporter: tonight a multi-state manhunt to find the man police say murdered joshua
brown. >> these suspects are to be considered dangerous because they're armed. >> reporter: authorities issuing capital murder arrest warrants for thaddeous green and michael mitchell in brown's death. brown, a key witness in the murder trial of amber guyger police say friday the suspects drove from alexandria, louisiana to dallas, meeting up with brown to buy drugs >> thaddeous green gets out of the vehicle, has a conversation with joshua brown, which escalates into physical altercations >> reporter: the confrontation ended in gunfire police say brown opened fire first before being fatally shot by green today dallas police stressing there is no evidence tying the shooting to the guyger murder trial, and calling on local leaders to stop suggesting dallas pd was involved >> i assure you that is simply not true >> reporter: brown's family now calling for an independent investigation. >> they don't think that the dallas police department is the right agency to conduct this investigation.
polis sh by brown in that confrontation is recovering tonight inside this hospital under po w charged with capital murder. lester >> morgan chesky in dallas, thank you. as the vaping illness epidemic spreads, new york announced its first vaping related death today. the victim identified as a 17-year-old boy. that's the first reported teen death linked to vaping nbc news has confirmed 24 deaths linked to vaping this year also tonight, two more parents sentenced in the college admissions cheating scandal. and in a rare interview, the lead prosecutor breaking his silence about actress felicity huffman and issuing a new message to lori loughlin here is nbc's miguel almaguer. parents, greg and marcia abbott each sentenced to a month in prison today, the federal prosecutor in the nation's largest college entrance cheating scandal is breaking hi profile defendants >> one of the things we look to is how much money was involved.
>> reporter: in a rare interview, with dozens of cases still open, u.s. attorney andrew lelling tells wcvb in boston felicity huffman who pleaded guilty to fraud and paying $15,000 to rig her daughter's s.a.t. scores without her knowledge may have been the least culpable parent. >> she took responsibility almost immediately she was contrite, did not try to minimize her conduct i think she handled it in a very classy way. >> reporter: with huffman sentenced to warning to lori loughl wnot guie demeanor at times was starkly higher sentence for her than we did for felicity huffman i can't tell you specifically what that would be. the longer the case goes, we would be asking for something substantially longer. >> reporter: tonight, she and
her husband face decades behind bars if convicted. a true life hollywood thriller with its dramatic ending still to come. miguel almaguer, nbc news. tonight we're tracking a major winter storm over a foot of snow could fall in montana, wyoming, and colorado many are in for some whiplash. temperatures expected to plunge as much as 50 degrees in some cities, including denver we're also tracking a coastal storm expected to soak parts of midatlantic and new england tonight. and in the west, strong, dry winds raising wildfire concerns. pg&e warning it may cut power for up to 2 million customer to reduce the risk beginning as early as tonight or midnight tonigh> the is new fallout this evening in the nba's firestorm with china the commissioner now shifting the nba's message after the league blasted a team executive's tweet in support of the hong kong protesters here is nbc's geoff bennett. >> reporter: the nba tonight fighting back after being blasted for caving to china's communist government commissioner adam silver
defending houston rockets gm daryl morey whose now deleted tweet supporting protests in hong kong triggered fury in china. >> we are not apologizing. >> reporter: at first the league openly criticized morey's message, and in a statement to the chinese, called it inappropriate. but after growing backlash, a decidedly different tone. >> i am an american, and there are these values that are deeply rooted in the dna of the nba, and that includes freedom of expression for our employees. >> reporter: china's government tonight, digging in. canceling a brooklyn nets event at a shanghai school and the chinese state broadcaster announcing the country will not air some nba preseason games as nba sponsors in the country drop out. >> american companies are finding that china reacts fairly furiously to what we could consider very minimal critiques. >> the gap apologized for a t-shirt last year showing a map of china without taiwan and other territories the country
claims as its own. and the chinese government forced marriott's website to shut down following a similar incident just last week, an episode of "south park" pulled from china's airwaves for taunting chinese censors. >> can't even speak with the chinese government censoring everything i write >> reporter: walking a fine line between making money and maintaining values while doing business in china. geoff bennett, nbc news, washington gymnast simone biles made history again today as the u.s. won a fifth straight world team title in germany it gave bile the world championships, the most ever for a female gymnast biles is also the favorite to win the individual all-around title on thursday. there is much more ahead tonight, including the urgent warning as flu season approaches new signs about how bad this one might be, and what you should do now to prepare also, ellen degeneres defends her friendship with george w. bush her message to critics and the incredible moments as dogs are reunited with their families after that devastating
addiction. how juul hooked kids and ignir news outl- juul took $12.8 billion from big tobacco. markets e-cigarettes with kid friendly flavors and uses nicotine to addict them. 5 million kids use e-cigarettes. juul is "following big tobacco's playbook." and now, juul is pushing prop c to overturn e-cigarette protections. vote no on juul. no on big tobacco. no on prop c.
we're back now with troubling signs about this year's flu season and reason to believe we could be in for an especially severe outbreak dr. john torres has more for us. >> reporter: doctors today urging all americans to get a flu shot now on the heels of australia's flu season. >> every year we're looking to see what happens in the southern hemisphere so we can predict how to protect people in the northern hemisphere. >> reporter: this year flu season in australia was particularly severe with six times as many cases as last year that's concerning to doctors because two years ago, america had one of its worst flu seasons in decades up to 80,000 people died after a particularly deadly season in australia. but predicting the flu is a
tricky science the virus often mutates throughout the season, like last year, which started off slow but late in the season a sudden spike in an especially severe strain of the virus. >> we don't know if that's a new normal or if it was an anomaly of last year. >> reporter: today the cdc putting out an urgent call for pregnant women to get their flu shots after nearly half skipped the vaccine last year. an alarming statistic g they'rey vulnerable to being hospitalized from the disease >> so, john, even if people get the shot, there is no guarantee it's going to work >> lester, this is known as the goldilocks period for the vaccine. meaning it's the best time to get it lose its effectiveness, and it's not too late the flu season hasn't fully kicked in yet. even if it's not as effective as we'd like it to be, it will still help protect us from the worst parts of the flu, including gets hospitalize and possibly dying from it >> all right, dr. torres, thank you. up next, an unlikely friendship and what ellen degeneres is telling her critics tonight.
kindness here is catie beck >> reporter: seated side by side, enjoying a laugh, former president george w. bush and comedian ellen degeneres, seen sunday during an nfl game in dallas the unlikely duo appearing friendly but the visuals sparking an opinion storm on social media. >> they showed a shot of george and me laughing together, and so people were upset. they thought why is a gay hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative republican president. >> reporter: on twitter, people writing things like "has she forgotten about that whole anti-gay marriage, war in iraq, general incompetence thing?" but others enjoyed seeing the peaceful pair. >> this person says ellen and george bush together makes me have faith in america again. >> reporter: ellen addressing her critics head-on on television monday. >> i'm friends with george bush.
in fact, i'm friends with a lot of people that don't share the same beliefs that i have. >> reporter: she expressed similar sentiment when the president was a guest on her show in 2017. >> see how you learn things and i learn things together we teach each other >> yes, we do. >> we do. >> reporter: now using the weekend's online attacks as another teachable moment. >> when i say be kind to one another, i don't mean only the people that think the same way you do i mean be kind to everyone. >> reporter: catie beck, nbc news up next tonight, the incredible outpouring for that rescued dog called miracle
nicknamed miracle gaining even more strength and reuniting with those who rescued him. >> that's a good boy. >> reporter: miracle was found trapped under an air conditioning unit, crushed more than three weeks ago following hurricane dorian in the bahamas. volunteers used drones with an infrared camera like this. they found more than 150 wayward pets, since moved to florida families who thought they lost everything in the storm today celebrated as they reunited with their pets, sox and brodie >> i wish she could talk to me and tell me what she has been through. >> reporter: tonight still no word on who miracle belongs to,5 meanwhile, the list grows to more than 10,000 offering to adopt a symbol of survival with an incredible will to live kerry sanders, nbc news. >> miracle feeling the love tonight. that is "nightly news" for this tuesday. i'm lester holt.
for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. it seems to me they're like you wanted safety, you got safety. like they're overdoing it. >> right now at 6:00, the largest planned power outage in state history. we are live across the bay area as communities prepare to be in the dark potentially for days. the news at 6:00 starts right now. i'm jess aguirre. >> i'm raj ma sigh. pg&e's response, beginning at midnight tonight, pg&e will shut off power to prevent wild fires. >> we want to show you a map of the impacted counties, 34 in all covering 800,000 customers. let's zoom in on the bay area. every county minus san francisco
will have parts of it without power. again, every county except san francisco. the map also lists how much customers in each county will be impacted. sonoma will be the hardest hit with more than 66,000. >> we have a team of reporters with vital information this evening. let's start with damian true hee low. >> reporter: there's been a steady flow of customers here as people prepare for what might lie ahead. this family isn't taking any chances. jessie wasn't about to g