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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  February 27, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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one home on fire. we don't know if anyone was found. a plane crash in riverside. it was bound for san jose. we'll have a full report. ght, nbc news exclusive. new information contradicts the white house account of that military raid gone wrong in yemen. as the father of a slain s.e.a.l. raises his own questions. a new wave of bomb threats and vandalism across the country targeting jewish community centers, schools, and another cemetery. kids evacuated. parents in fear. pressure intensifying for an independent investigation into russian meddling. and former president bush weighs in exclusively to nbc news. inside the oscar shocker. what went wrong in that jaw-dropping hollywood ending? healthy heart attack. as a star tv trainer is stricken, tonight a new warning. to the moon. private citizens going on an out of this world adventure. got your spacesuit ready? "nightly news" begins right now.
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>> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening to our viewers in the west. we begin with an nbc news exclusive. a new and much different account of last month's u.s. military mission in yemen emerging that challenges the trump administration's claim that it was a success. multiple officials tell us the raid has not produced the valuable intelligence that has been cited by the white house. this and other new details emerging as the grieving father of senior chief petty officer ryan owens is sharing his own questions about that mission. details now from senior investigative correspondent cynthia mcfadden. >> reporter: tonight, the father of the highly decorated navy s.e.a.l. killed in the secret raid in yemen is revealing why he declined to meet the president at dover air force base as his son's body arrived there. bill owens telling
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"the miami herald" he has questions for the president about his youngest son ryan's death. why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn't even barely a week into his administration? for two years prior, everything was missiles and drones. now all of a sudden we had to make this grand display? plans for the raid had begun during the obama administration. but just five days in, the trump white house decided to launch. >> a new administration, i think naturally is going to be springloaded to the move-out and demonstrate something. we've seen that in the political realm. it's not surprising we saw it in the military realm here. >> reporter: the white house has repeatedly called the yemen mission a success in gathering important intelligence. >> we gathered an unbelievable amount of intelligence. >> reporter: today addressing bill owens' comments. >> i can tell him that on behalf of the president, his son died a hero. and the information
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that he was able to help obtain through that raid, as i've said, was going to save american lives. >> reporter: tonight multiple officials tell nbc news that is simply untrue. the raid has yielded no intelligence of value, at least not yet. in addition to the death of ryan owens, six other u.s. service members were wounded. and at least 25 civilians were also killed, including nine children under the age of 13. a pentagon official told nbc news today they do not dispute these numbers. meanwhile, the pentagon already has at least three investigations into the raid under way. >> i think we need to understand why this mission, why now, what happened, and what the actual output was. >> a defense department official pushed back this afternoon claiming that there was "a significant amount of intelligence collected." all of this happening as the administration is looking at its counterterrorism policies. the pentagon
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submitting its isis strategy review today. lester? >> cynthia mcfadden in new york tonight, thank you. nbc news confirmed there has been another wave of bomb threats at jewish community centers and schools across the country today in 11 states, triggering evacuations of children. also another despicable act of vandalism at a cemetery. nbc's anne thompson has details. >> reporter: more anxiety-filled moments at america's jewish community centers and day schools evacuating today. >> it was scary for everybody. i'm not going to lie. it's a horrible situation what's going on these days. >> reporter: the latest wave of bomb threats targeted 21 places in the eastern half of the country. but they were just threats. in philadelphia, this is why the fbi opened a hate crimes investigation. more than 100 headstones toppled at mt. caramel jewish cemetery. here mark weissman, alone and with strangers, tried to summon super-human strength to right the
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memorial of his grandparents, arthur and frida stern. >> it had to be hatred. not specifically for them, but because of what religion they were. >> reporter: aaron malin discovered the destruction yesterday. >> i hope it doesn't have anything to do with the political environment in the country. but it's hard to say. >> reporter: rabbi adam zeft says in the jewish tradition, caring for the dead is the ultimate test of love and loyalty. >> i'm hearing today about the bomb threat against the elementary school that my children went to. that context makes it extremely hard. >> reporter: as happened in st. louis last week, when jewish graves there were desecrated, an offer of help from the muslim community. >> i'm worried more that it's being seen as it's okay to do. so whoever did it, we hope that you're watching, we hope that you're caught. >> reporter: so the dead and the living can again be at peace. anne thompson, nbc news, philadelphia.
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in washington tonight, pressure is intensifying for an independent investigation on russia, including a call from a leading republican. there's also new resistance to those calls by the white house. now former president george w. bush, who has rarely spoken out on politics since leaving office, is weighing in exclusively with nbc news. our white house correspondent kristen welker has details. >> reporter: tonight, mounting scrutiny over russia after top republican congressman darrell issa breaking ranks with the president, calling for a special prosecutor to look into potential ties between trump campaign aides and russian officials. >> you're going to need to use the special prosecutor's statute and office. >> reporter: the president declining to directly weigh in today. >> do you support a special prosecutor on russia? >> reporter: as the press was hustled out, whispering he hasn't spoken to russia in years. >> i haven't called russia in ten years. >> reporter: that contradicts mr. trump's own public statements. this 2014 speech one
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of many in which he's touted his ties to russian president vladimir putin. >> as an example i own the miss universe, i was in moscow recently. i spoke indirectly and directly with president putin, who could not have been nicer. >> reporter: even former president george w. bush insisted more information is needed in an exclusive interview with matt lauer on "today." >> i think we all need answers. whether or not a special prosecutor's the right way to go, you're talking to the wrong guy. i am sure, though, that that question needs to be answered. >> reporter: today the white house tried to knock down the controversy. >> i guess my question would be, a special prosecutor for what? we have for six months heard story after story come out from unnamed sources say the same thing over and over again. and nothing's come of it. >> reporter: tonight the fight is heating up on capitol hill. >> we still have not seen any evidence of
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anyone from the trump campaign or any other campaign, for that matter, that's communicated with the russian government. >> reporter: foreign policy experts weighing in. >> i think the president himself would do well to get all the facts out. nobody's talking about rerunning the election. but we do need to know what happened during the elections. >> reporter: tonight darrell issa called an independent investigation critical for transparency. all looming as the president prepares to give his first joint address to congress tomorrow night. lester? >> kristen welker, thank you. the white house revealed that president trump plans to hike defense spending by 10%, or $54 billion. as part of his first budget proposal. and it would put other federal agencies in line to absorb some potentially deep cuts. we get details on this from nbc's hallie jackson. ♪ money money money >> reporter: the president who's talked plenty about his money -- >> i'm really rich. >> reporter: -- now spending the taxpayers' in a new budget blueprint that's as much a political document as a financial one. >> we have to start winning wars again. >> reporter: that means a lot more money
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on the military, a lot less almost everywhere else. president trump wants to add $54 billion to beef up the pentagon, intelligence agencies, and homeland security. and slash the same amount to agencies like the epa and the state department. >> we are taking his words and turning them into policies and dollars. >> reporter: his new budget director emphasizes it's just an outline, but the cuts could mean less money for, say, arts programs or helping people in need overseas. >> i don't even know if the president really understands the ramifications of the cuts that are being proposed. >> reporter: right now the government spends the majority of its budget on entitlements, like medicare and social security. programs the president's promised to protect. even though party leaders like paul ryan have pushed to overhaul them to save money. >> the president has made clear he doesn't want to touch these entitlements. are you comfortable with a budget that doesn't do that? >> repealing and replacing obamacare is fundamental entitlement reform. >> you cannot have a serious, credible, fiscally responsible
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budget that does not address the challenges in our entitlement programs. >> reporter: a framework for now as the president puts our cash behind his campaign promises. hallie jackson, nbc news, the white house. our primetime coverage of the president's address to congress begins at 9:00 eastern, 6:00 pacific, tomorrow night here on nbc. in kansas, a man under investigation for a possible hate crime made his first court appearance, accused of shooting two indian immigrants, one of them fatally, along with a third man who tried to step in. we get details from nbc's blake mccoy. >> reporter: making his first court appearance via cctv, accused shooter adam purinton was assigned a public defender in a shooting the fbi's investigating as a possible hate crime. it was 7:00 p.m. last wednesday night when police say he opened fire on two indian men at a bar in olathe, kansas. witnesses say purinton yelled "get out of my country" before being kicked out, and returning with a gun. >> i've got two down. >> reporter:
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kuchibhotia was killed. madasani was shot but survived. >> we didn't have time to react. we heard bullets go. >> reporter: a third man was shot trying to intervene. police arrested purinton 70 miles away afr -- after he confided to a bartender who called 911. >> he said he shot and killed two iranian people. >> reporter: what sparked the shooting remains unclear. purinton's family tells our affiliate the navy veteran suffered from ptsd. >> i've never in a million years thought he would hurt somebody else. >> reporter: madasani says the shooting has not shaken his desire to remain in the u.s. >> that's not what this community stands for. i believe in the greater good. >> reporter: tonight kuchibhotla's widow flew with his body to india for burial. >> i believe that love needs to respect, not hate. >> reporter: love on full display in this community rocked by
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senseless violence. blake mccoy, nbc news, olathe, kansas. auto parts maker takata pleaded guilty to fraud today in federal court as part of a $1 billion settlement for covering up an air bag defect linked to at least 16 deaths. now a lawsuit filed alleging five automakers -- honda, toyota, nissan, ford, bmw -- knew takata's air bags were dangerous for years but continued to use them. honda calls the suit false and misleading. nissan and toyota have declined comment. calls to the others were not immediately returned. the oscar shocker seen around the world. one of the most jaw-dropping moments in the history of live event television. best picture at the academy awards, somehow they had the wrong envelope and they read the wrong winner. how in the world did it happen? nbc's joe friar has new information. >> reporter: as far as hollywood endings go -- >> "la la land." >> reporter: -- this
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was quite the twist. "la la land" announced as best picture, at first. >> there's a mistake. "moonlight," you guys won best picture. >> reporter: modern-day "dewey defeats truman" moment stunning the star-studded audience along with everyone on stage. >> this is not a joke. "moonlight" has won best picture. "moonlight." >> reporter: so what happened? look closely, you can see the envelope given to presenters warren beatty and faye dunaway says actress in a leading role. >> i opened the envelope and it said "emma stone, la la land." >> reporter: an executive with price waterhouse coopers, an accounting firm that oversees voting, told "usa today," we made a human error. our partner on the left side of the stage, brian cullenen, handed the wrong envelope to warren beatty." throughout the night he carried a suitcase with one set of envelopes, his colleague martha ruiz carried a duplicate set. they stood on opposite ends of the stage during the show and could be seen onstage during the chaos. in an interview before the oscars, they said they memorized the
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results in case the wrong winner is announced. >> if something were to occur, we would go directly to the stage manager and let them know there's a problem. >> they would make a correction, probably right then on stage, and do it live. >> reporter: and that is what happened. >> you cannot script this stuff. >> those guys were extremely gracious in handing over and calling us up to the stage. so much love to them. >> reporter: a finale no one could have predicted. joe friar, nbc news, los angeles. still ahead here tonight, heart attack shocker. a major health scare for a tv fitness guru. how his close call is raising awareness about a sometimes overlooked risk factor. also, do you have the right stuff for a newly announced mission to the moon? how you could take the trip of a lifetime.
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back now with surprising health news about a well-known tv personality. bob harper, the fitness pro on nbc's "the biggest loser," is recovering from a near-fatal heart attack he suffered while working out. he's alive, thanks to the quick actions of a doctor. but it does raise the question how can someone who's the picture of health suffer a heart attack? here's a warning we should all hear from nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: he is one of america's best-known fitness gurus. >> who is going to be my comeback canyon player? >> reporter: "biggest loser" star trainer bob harper was working out in a new york gym two weeks ago when he suddenly collapsed.
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a doctor nearby performed cpr and used a defibrillator to save his life. harper tells tmz he woke up two days later in the hospital and remained there another six days. nbc's john torres is an e.r. doctor. >> this was a very close call. if he didn't get the help he needed immediately at the gym, then get to the hospital right after that, he might not be with us today. >> reporter: harper is just 51 years old. a fitness and diet fanatic, he suggested his heart attack could be due to genetics since his mother died from a heart attack. but harper is the picture of health. good diet, lots of exercise. >> genetics can be very powerful. even if you do all the right things, if you have the bad genes, you can have a heart attack. >> reporter: the stats a sobering reminder for anyone middle aged. in two-thirds of men who suffer heart attacks the first symptom is the heart attack itself, or sudden death. doctors say it's a wakeup call for all of us. know your family heart history, and watch for symptoms. fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath,
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chest or arm pain. everyone should learn cpr, and businesses should have automatic defibrillators on hand. tom costello, nbc news, washington. we are back in a moment with some terrifying moments on the road caught on camera.
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back now with that surprise announcement from elon musk and spacex. launching a mission beyond the moon. they're taking some paying customers for the ride. the question is, would you want to go? here's nbc's kerry sanders. >> reporter: spacex, a private rocket company, going where no man or woman has gone before. into deep space. with two paying passengers next year. spacex owner billionaire elon musk announcing he's already taken two substantial deposits for a week-long mission to the moon and back. spacex's dragon capsule will circle the moon like the apollo 11 crew 47 years ago. but these passengers, who will be trained
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and called astronauts, will not land as neil armstrong did. >> that's one small step for man, one big leap for mankind. >> reporter: tonight the names of the two astronaut passengers, their genders, and how much they're paying, remains a secret. but a hint from elon musk, they're not from hollywood. kerry sanders, nbc news, kennedy space center. in california, horrifying rollover accident caught on camera. surveillance video appears to show a car run a stop sign and t-bone an suv, sending the vehicle flying. good samaritans leapt in to help those in the suv who reportedly suffered nonlife-threatening injuries. the other driver reportedly had a toddler in the car. both are said to be okay. when we come back here, breaking bread and barriers around the dinner table. "inspiring america" is next. next at 6: breaking news .
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a plane bound r san josecrashesn southern california.right now -. ===jess/vo=== pl . a clashver the coyotcreek . who says it waman-made anpreven next. s/next close=== raj/live breakinge: finally tonight, as many of you gather at the dinner table, a story about the international language of food and how it's helping those who have left everything behind for new lives, new homes, and new friends in america. nbc's katie beck has our "inspiring america" report. >> nice to meet you.
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>> reporter: sharing a meal is a universal exchange. a speechless conversation. >> the easiest way to kind of connect through people is through food. >> reporter: this is a supper club of strangers. 40 people with a common cause, to help someone in need. a refugee named najwa. six months ago, fled the syrian city of homs, escaping war-torn streets, finding refuge in los angeles, safe and free. refugee families come with almost nothing. >> the baby didn't have a crib. >> reporter: mary whitehall answered a call to help. when she saw the family living without basic essentials, she posted a list on facebook. mary's list. bedding, clothes, toys, crossed off. >> the size of the response was really, really amazing and overwhelming. >> reporter: "when mary helped us, she became a sister to me," says najwa.
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then more families, more lists. 60 families helped so far. you're a stay at home-mom. and now? now you're what? >> i am a volunteer gone wild. >> reporter: local restaurant owner katie killdow wanted to help mary's families take the next step. she'd read about refugee supper clubs helping new arrivals earn money. >> everybody loves the food? >> yes, amazing. >> so good. >> reporter: a syrian meal prepared and served by refugees. the event sold out in just two hours. >> this is a neighbor movement. it's a movement of friends who believe in families and they believe in embracing and welcoming people. >> reporter: and for this meal, the most shared experience was the taste of kindness. >> tell your friends. >> reporter: katie beck, nbc news, los angeles. >> and that's going to do it for us on a monday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night.
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jose crashes into homes in we're following some breaking news. you're looking at live pictures from our nbc helicopter in southern california. a small plane headed for san jose crashes into homes in riverside. we have new details about the people on board and the people inside of those homes. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening. thanks for being with us. i'm raj mathai. >> and i'm jessica aguirre. we've been tracking this breaking story since our 5:00 newscast. this is happening in riverside, california. a small plane crash half a mile northeast of the municipal airport. janelle wang has the latest breaking details for us.
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i understand you're getting some new information about potential fatalities? >> we've learned there's one confirmed fatality. several others are missing. the plane took off around 4:40 from riverside municipal airport. it was heading to san jose. it crashed a half a mile away from the airport in a neighborhood. it slammed into this home. now on fire. what we've learned is that two people for inside that home at the time and the fire department tells us they were pulled out alive. they were breathing when they were pulled out. four people on board the plane, their status unknown but we have one confirm fatality. four people on board the plane to san jose. neighborhoods, residents, they'll all been evacuated from the area. this is video from about half an hour ago when you could see it better in daylight. the home has burned to the ground. what we know about the plane is a ces


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