tv Early Today NBC March 20, 2017 4:00am-4:31am PDT
a monster monday on capitol hill as congress looks into trump russian election connections, wiretapping, and a supreme court nominee faces his first day of grilling. north korea tests a new high-tech thrust rocket engine which some say could propel an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the u.s. midwest wifires threatening lives with more than 1,000 homes evacuated, as melting snow causes massive flooding. a live action "beauty and the beast" set box office records. toddler twins tearing up the internet with late-night hijinks. "early today" starts right now. >> hope you had a great weekend, everybody. good morning. >> great to be with you on a monday morning. today begins a critical week
for the trump administration. the heads of the fbi and nsa will be testifying before the house intelligence committee, investigating president trump's unsubstantiated wiretap claims as well as russia's attempts to interfere in the u.s. presidential election. lawmakers are eager to hear what evidence, if any, federal officials have discovered on these two dramatic issues. minutes ago, president trump tweeted that any collusion between himself and russia is, quote, fake news, because the former director of national intelligence and others said there wasn't any evidence. here's nbc's kelly o'donnell with the details. >> reporter: fbi director james comey will be the star witness as the house intelligence committee examines russia's reach into campaign 2016 and president trump's wiretap allegations. divergent assessments whether anyone in trump's circle was linked to russia's meddling.
chairman devin nunez shoots that down. >> there's no evidence of collusion. >> reporter: but the top democrat, adam schiff, disagrees. >> there is circumstantial evidence of collusion. there is direct evidence i think of deception. >> reporter: no proof found to back up president trump's tweeted charge of surveillance at trump tower. but the president's complaints about illegal leaks may have merit. chairman nunez says he thinks the public disclosure that revealed calls between former national security adviser, michael flynn and the russian ambassador violated the law. >> we know a law has been broken. and we need to get to the bottom of it. >> reporter: high stakes of a different kind as the republican plan to overhaul health care fuels town hall meetings. >> it's a better solution than the aca. >> reporter: criticism of the gop bill threaten to stall a top priority. house speaker paul ryan says thursday's house vote is time to deliver on years of campaign promises. >> when this vote comes up that's when it will be a binary choice, for the status quo or
for repealing and replacing this law. >> thanks to nbc's kelly o'donnell. >> yesterday speaker ryan said republicans are still working on changes to the bill, including increasing support for low-income people in their 50s and 60s. still more action on capitol hill. the senate hearings for judge neil gorsuch's nomination to the supreme court will kick off today. at the hearing gorsuch is expected to give a speech stressing judicial independence. the importance of following precedent despite pressure from the left. minority leader chuck schumer has not called for democrats to block the nomination. still, gorsuch can expect a tough grilling by democrats, especially on why he did not publicly distance himself from president trump's recent attacks on the judiciary. a source has filled in nbc on gorsuch's preparations over the past several weeks. he met with 72 out of 100 senators and has been holding eight to ten-hour prep sessions with white house counsel and former clerks. in fact, all 39 of gorsuch's
former clerks, both republican and democrat, have written to the senate in support of his nomination. to rising tensions between the united states and north korea after pyongyang tested a new high-thrust rocket engine that could power a long-range missile. on his flight back to washington from mar-a-lago the president reacted saying north korea's leader kim jong-un was acting "very, very badly." nbc's matt bradley is watching developments from the south korean capitol in seoul. north korea raising the stakes in its latest test? >> reporter: that thanks, frances. another troubling development that could allow north korean nuclear missiles to reach the united states. a new engine fueling a fresh round of north korean propaganda. an engine test some say could propel an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching u.s. soil. dictator kim jong-un promised to get the new weapon operational in this year's new year's speech.
north korea has put on a provocative display of force, an unprecedented two nuclear tests last year. and it successfully fired four ballistic missiles off its coast just two weeks ago. korea watchers expect a new nuclear test any day. if it happens, north korea's test results will almost certainly be different. the country now facing off against a new american administration. secretary of state rex tillerson warns that a u.s. preemptive strike is a very real possibility. >> let me be very clear. the policy of strategic patience has ended. we're exploring a new range of diplomatic, security, and economic measures. all options are on the table. >> reporter: rising tensions led to an american missile defense system being moved into south korea this month. this weekend, china's government urged tillerson to take a more cautious approach. following the impeachment of south korean president park, elections in may will likely put a liberal president in pow
who may want to pursue dialogue with the north. but the trump administration seems determined to confront them. >> right now four u.s. four-star generals think north korea either has the capability to hit the u.s. with a nuclear icbm or they have to assume, for planning purposes, they have that capability. >> reporter: a frightening new moment, sabers now rattling on both sides of the pacific. in a press conference today, the south korean defense ministry said that the new engine was meaningful progress toward a presumably intercontinental ballistic missile. but the defense ministry cautioned that further analysis is needed to fully evaluate its capabilities. frances? >> matt, thank you. three u.s. soldiers were hurt sunday after an afghan soldier opened fire on them. a military spokesman said the afghan was killed in what he called an attack on the american
it happened at a nato base. the afghan military said the soldier made a mistake and did not fire deliberately. several u.s. troops have been killed in so-called insider attacks in the last few years but better security measures have reduced the number of incidents. baltimore police are offering a $12,000 reward for information about the man caught on tape allegedly setting a fire bomb that killed two people. police say 26-year-old antonio wright threw two molotov cocktails into a residence early saturday morning, sparking a fire that killed two teens and injured six others. police call the suspect a "psychopathic predator and public enemy number one. they believe the incident stemmed from a nonfatal shooting earlier in the week. thousands in colorado evacuated their homes after a raging wildfire swept through boulder county. officials have warned hundreds of additional families to be prepared to evacuate as well depending on the fire's movement. authorities believe it may have been caused by humans having ruled out lightning strikes from
downed power lines. hundreds of firefighters are battling the blaze. with the help of fire retardant dropped from the skies officials said they have the fire 50% contained. further west, washington residents are evacuating for an entirely different reason as flooding submerges homes and roads turn into rivers. also in portland, three men survived uninjured after a hillside collapsed onto their car. with more rain in the forecast, officials are warning the dangerous conditions could continue. >> rain certainly is a sign of spring. since it is the firgs day, a new storm is headed to the west coast. bill, how big will it be? >> we have the snow melt. we saw pictures of the rivers. some in washington state. we have another storm coming in, another one friday into saturday. active weather pattern, not a lot of cold air around. this is primarily a rain event in california. today, more rain, a little bit of shower activity toward los
angeles as with we go through tomorrow. again, it's widespread. it's not a big concentration in a small area. we don't want a lot of flooding out of this. the next storm is bigger. northern california, one to two inches in a fewer in southern california. the warm temperatures are confined to interior sections of arizona and california. let's talk spring. a spring training game in arizona. a fan fell head over heels. we are not talking about love and cupid's arrows. this spectator misses the ball, then, oh! >> take a bow.
>> what is he thinking. >> proud of papa. >> you're all in. >> at least it was a short fall and shortcut. >> it was. >> thank you, bill. just ahead, an nfl favorite wide receiver reveals he has lou garretts disease. >> money to the united states and suggests trump may not understand how nato actually works. ea and tick protection from nexgard. nexgard kills fleas and ticks all month long. and it comes in an easy-to-give tasty chew. and that makes dogs and owners happy. no wonder vets love it too. reported side effects include vomiting, itching, diarrhea, lethargy and lack of appetite. see your vet for more information on flea and tick protection you and your dog will love. nexgard. the vet's #1 choice. i'm lumy bargain detergent shifcouldn't keep up.ter. so, i switched to tide pods. they're super concentrated, so i get a better clean.
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straight ahead. refusing to make eye contact. >> it's when she leans in. shake hands? he's like la, la, la. leading the headlines today on nbcnews.com, germany rejects donald trump's claim it owes back sums of money to nato and the u.s. the president made the claim saturday just hours after that meeting with german chancellor angela merkel in washington sunday. germany's defense minister released a statement saying, there is no debt account at nato. a new gallup daily poll finds president trump's job approval has sunk to a new all-time low, 37% approval versus 58% disapproval, an 8-point drop from when he took office just two months ago. dramatic footage from china. a car driving through a railroad crossing, it was slammed by an oncoming train. watch here. it's happening right at this moment. the car was crushed and then tossed off the tracks. two passengers in the vehicle
died but the driver did survive. authorities say there was only a dim light at the crossing but no barriers or flashing red lights. the railway department is planning better safety features at that crossing. sad news for sports fans today. 60-year-old football legend dwight cart announced he was diagnosed with a.l.s. he's the author of the most iconic play in san francisco 49ers history. clark and joe montana teamed up for "the catch" where clark made this amazing six-yard touchdown reception winning 28-27 against the dallas cowboys in '82. clark says every one of his old 49ers teammates have reached out and offered their support. prince william and wife kate middleton wrapped up a trip to paris this weekend. it was the prince's first official visit since his mother princess diana died there nearly 20 years ago. the royal couple met with survivors of the 2015 attack at the bataclan concert hall, including one who had been shot seven times. will and kate praised their courage, calling them very brave.
the pair met with french president francois hollande. prince william said the friendship between france and the uk will remain strong despite britain's decision to leave the european union. just ahead, you cannot stop watching it. it is the hottest trending video on the internet. twins go wild with midnight antics all caught on camera. donald trump now taking construction bids to build his wall with mexico. find out just how big he wants it. you're watching "early today." i've gotta hit the loo. we can't stay here! why? terrible toilet paper! i'll never get clean! way ahead of you, big daddy. aww charmin ultra strong. it's washcloth-like texture helps clean better. it's four times stronger... ...and you can use less. beautiful view. (wiggles butt) thanks to charmin. and you, honeybear! awwwww we all go. why not enjoy the go with charmin?
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fast forwarding into monday, president trump travels to louisville, kentucky, for a campaign-style rally. he's expected to continue his pitch for the republicans' plan to repeal and replace obamacare. today is a good day. dairy queen celebrating the first day of spring with its annual free cone day. customers at participating locations can stop by and get a free small vanilla soft serve cone, in exchange dairy queen accepting donations to children's miracle network hospital. the "today" crew welcomes dylan dreyer back to the show after the birth of her first baby, kelvin. lots of mama love with hoda and savannah and dylan and all of that. a massive data breach at sachs. what president trump wants between the wall between mexico
and the u.s. landon, what do you have? >> good morning to you. the trump administration started taking bids from companies seeking to build the wall on the u.s./mexico border. they put out specific guidelines on friday. the government is asking for a specifically imposing wall, 30 feet, aesthetically pleasing face on theist side and strong enough to with stand an hour of sledgehammering. president trump asked congress for $4 billion to build the wall, which is expected to cost $21 billion. personal data of thousands of sachs customers has been exposed online. not by a hacker. sachs and lord & taylor stored information including e-mail information on their servers. no payment data was exposed and since has taken down the information. amazon wants to rate what is in your closet. it's called outfit compare. you have photos and stylists
that judge your clothes based on fit and what's on trend. only staffers will see the photos. back to you. >> i like that outfit tool. >> a little bit of everything from amazon. not just amazon now. landon, thank you. still ahead here at the record setting weekend at the box office, plus toddler twins overnight pearpt. it's taking the internet by storm. we'll invite you to the party when "early today" comes back. so i just switched to geico. what took you so long? i know, i saved a ton of money on car insurance. that's what i'm talking about! geico also gives you 24/7 access to licensed agents! booooyah. good game, you really crushed it. no son, geico crushed it. ♪ ♪
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while the parents are away, the cubs or in this case, twin toddlers will play. they were caught escaping their crib for this all-night slumber party. the 2-year-old brothers skipped their bedtime for these late-night chats, gymnastics, piles of pillows. dad posted this video on facebook, it's been viewed more than 11 million times. once the door closes, these kids think they have free reign. little do they know we have these monitors to fill us in. sometimes that's more fun. >> how do you keep them in there? what are you supposed to do? they are not into it. march madness quickly turned to march sadness for one young and passionate fan. saturday's game was a little too much to take for the son of north american's athletic director, watching his team take on gonzaga. john phillips sat courtside, took viewers along for his emotional roller coaster.
now he is an internet sensation. it reminds us all, i don't know if you remember, villanova's crying piccolo girl, 2015, who played through tears when the wildcats were knocked off by north carolina state. you get very emotional when you are watching your team. >> i feel bad. hopefully when he's 15 or 16, he's not going to be haunted by these images or a future girlfriend saying i remember you back then. if you found some time in between ncaa games it was a big weekend at the box office. the new live action "beauty and the beast" won the hearts of millions earning $170 million in the u.s., $350 million worldwide, breaking a number of records including the biggest start ever for a pg-rated film in north america and abroad, also the seventh-best domestic opening all-time, the best-ever march opening weekend. it's nice when you have a little "beauty and the beast." i want you to stay this bright blue forever,
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welcome back. we are solely into spring here. we clicked in an hour and a half ago. here is what we are dealing with. record highs. look at oklahoma city at 92 today, dallas at 91. phoenix cooled off a little bit. southern california 68 in los angeles. showers and the temperatures cooler. tomorrow, better chance of rain, maybe a stray thunderstorm at 64 degrees. looks like the stormy weather is going to start spring in the west where it was all winter long. >> thank you, bill. the artist behind an anti-trump billboard designed to look like swastikas. she commissioned it as an art piece that would be accessible
outside galleries. she said she wanted to speak out against the idea of dictatorship. she said it will remain as long as trump is in office. the future of human health just landed. astronauts deployed spacex dragon shooting it down toward earth. that's where it successfully landed in the pacific ocean off the coast of baja, california. it was equipped with a heat shield that protected the two tons of cargo. how stem cells can help us understand cancer. valuable stuff inside that capsule. >> a report in this mornings "washington post." poison control centers receive calls every day about children exposed to opioids. 188,000 called were placed to poison control senters for peeved yatic and teen exposure from 2000 to 2015.
it increased 86% between 2000 and 2009. children under 5 had the largest exposures. there is a new twist to the ancient sport of curling that involves ice and wheels. this is the first tournament where they use cars in place of stones. four teams of ten people. the russian made cars go toward a target. the result, a slow motion demolition derby here. it was inspired by car crashes on black ice. we have seen curling. >> i'm an avid fan. >> an olympic sport? i don't know about the bumper cars becoming anything more. >> the things you can come up with when you have time on your hands. push this car into that car. >> sounds like fun. >> thanks for joining us. >> thanks for being with us on a
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right now at 4:30, uncovering the truth, a live look at the capitol where in just a few hours fbi director james comey is expected to testify. what we could learn about the investigation into russia, hacking of the presidential election, and president trump's claims of wiretapping. something light to start your monday morning. hope you're coming off a great weekend. good morning. i'm laura garcia-cannon. >> let's get your monday started right. the first day of spring with karen. >> it is. finally spring is here. we'll start to see showers moving into the bay area. here's a look at the wider view and the sto