tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC April 12, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
♪ tonight, face-off with putin, a chilly showdown over assad's chemical attack, u.s. strikes in syria and russia's interference in our election. secretary tillerson's blunt message in moscow as president trump makes surprising reversals. beating on tape, a police officer seen pummeling a man he stopped for jaywalking. passers by confronting the cop. the scene captured on camera. cutting fat, dramatic results revealed after a basic city revealed facts and another big change coming to food nationwide. and oprah's passion project. a woman that has saved countless lives without knowing it. "nightly news" begins right now.
good evening to our viewers in the west. president trump who has been unwilling to publicly criticize russia today made a dramatic turn about declaring relations between the two countries to be at an all-time low. his comments coming hours after secretary of state rex tillerson shared the same assessment following a high stakes meeting with russian president vladimir putin. the friction is over what russia may or may not have known about the recent deadly chemical weapons assault on civilians by its close ally syria and the u.s. wished to drive syrian president assad from power. chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell has the latest from moscow. >> reporter: president trump tonight in a role reversal, once talking up the possibility of warmer relations with moscow,
now the cold reality. >> we may be at an all-time low in terms of relationship with russia. >> reporter: secretary of state rex tillerson taking that message directly to vladimir putin during a two-hour meeting tonight. >> the world's two foremost nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationship. >> reporter: tillerson the highest ranking official to visit moscow became a cloud over the campaign and the presidency. this visit turning into a tense showdown. much of it over syria and that deadly chemical attack. tillerson saying for the first time the u.s. might consider war crimes charges against syrian president assad, one way to force assad from office. >> it is possible the threshold necessary to charge him may be achieved. >> reporter: the war of words over syria starting early this morning. putin rejecting white house intelligence that assad launched the chemical attack and russia was covering it up. putin asking, where is
the proof that the syrian army used chemical weapons? there is none. while president trump using his sharpest words yet about assad. >> that's a butcher. that's a butcher. >> reporter: and leaving open the possibility that russia, with soldiers on that syrian air base, may have known a chemical attack was about to be launched. >> i would like to think they didn't know but certainly they could have. they were there. so we'll find out. >> reporter: overshadowing the u.s./putin relationship, the election year hacking. tillerson brought it up with putin. >> we're mindful of the seriousness of that particular interference in our elections, and i'm sure that russia is mindful of it, as well. >> reporter: a charge the russian foreign minister shot down. >> translator: i can only say once again, that just as indicates with the so-called russian hackers and the chemical incidents in syria, we would
very much like to get some concrete evidence, not just words. >> reporter: and after hours of often testy talks, no progress on tillerson's chief goal, getting russia to back away from assad. >> the idea that russia is now going to see the light about mr. assad and remove him, is fanciful. >> reporter: the secretary of state was even lectured by the russian foreign minister about washington's conflicting messages on syria and even why he hasn't filled so many state department staff jobs. a sign that the u.s./russia relationship has a long way to go. lester? >> andrea mitchell in moscow, thank you. we want to bring in our chief foreign correspondent richard engel who is following developments from overseas. richard, we heard tough talk both sides, obvious disagreement, what do you make of it? >> well, there are some very real tensions, but is this the all-time lowest relations between moscow and the united states have been?
of course not. there is posturing going on here. let's not forget the trump administration is facing multiple investigations into potential collusion with the kremlin. so that is part of the backdrop and very much suits president trump and his close advisers to try to talk rush to russia and create distance between them and the kremlin. also, on the other side, putin has his own domestic evidence. if there is one person that may have a bigger ego than trump, it is vladimir putin. putin has presented himself as someone who can never lose. and he has definitely put his eggs in the basket of bashar al assad fp so even if assad has become a liability to moscow and it's increasingly clear assad has become a liability, he can't back away because president trump is telling him to back away from assad. >> richard engel with some perspective. richard, thanks. in addition to the reversal on russia, president trump has made an abrupt about face in a number of other foreign policy fronts that includes his often expressed
doubts about nato and his vow to take economic action against china. we get more from nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker. >> reporter: tonight president trump making a number of stunning reversals as he faces multiple foreign policy crisis after repeatedly calling nato obsolete on the campaign trail. >> nato in my opinion is obsolete. maybe nato will dissolve. and that's okay. >> reporter: now, mr. trump changing his tone while standing next to nato secretary general in the east room. >> i said it was obsolete. it's no longer obsolete. >> reporter: the move aimed at getting nato allies to ramp up their support in foreign fights and also pressing those countries to pay their fair share to support nato's mission but another striking reversal tonight after vowing to label china a currency manipulator as a candidate. >> they are grand masters of currency manipulation. >> reporter: tonight telling "the wall street journal" they're not currency manipulators, explaining taking that
step could influence his talks with china on north korea. the president wants china's help to press north korea to back off its recent nuclear provocations and saying the shifting policies reflect a one-time candidate adjusting to serving in the nation's highest office. >> it's a learning process the president is going through. there are things one says on the campaign trail and face the realities of the office. >> reporter: still, mr. trump is ramping up his war of words with north korea, making it clear the united states is prepared to go it alone if china doesn't get on board. a sentiment he conveyed with an unexpected call with china's president last night. >> i said the way you're going to make a good trade deal is to help us with north korea, otherwise we'll go at it alone. that will be all right, too. going at it alone means going it with lots of other nations. >> reporter: this as he faces foreign policy tests on multiple fronts. >> right now the world is a mess. by the time i'm finished, it's going to be a lot better place to live in because right now it's nasty. >> reporter: tonight
the white house is paying close attention to north korea. saturday marks the 105th anniversary of the birth of the country's founder. the isolated nation used those types of anniversaries in the past to test its military might. lester? >> kristen welker, at the white house, thank you. more fallout and damage control from united airlines which now says it will reimburse every passenger on board that flight sunday when security officers dragged a passenger from his seat to make room for crew members. late today, we learned two more of those officers have been placed on administrative leave until further notice and tonight, there are indications the passenger is preparing a lawsuit against the airline and airport. nbc's tom costello has the latest details. >> oh, my god. >> reporter: this afternoon dr. david dao, the man beaten and dragged from the united air flight filed an emergency court petition to preserve all video, voice recordings, crew and passenger manifest
as the united ceo went on tv to formally apologize. >> he was a paying passenger sitting on a paying seat on our aircraft and no one should be treated that way. >> reporter: oscar munoz says employees weren't given the training to use common sense. >> this teacher took his group of students off the plane after the incident. >> it was violent and disturbing. i was really particularly saddened by what happened. it was also somewhat embarrassing. >> reporter: like most airlines, united's 46-page passenger contract spells out why passengers can be bumped. in addition to being oversold or overbooked, passengers can be removed for failing to compile, failing to dress properly, even women who are nine months pregnant. in hawaii united passenger jeff fern says he was told to get out of the first class seat he paid for to make room for a higher priority passenger. >> at that point, it was either comply or we'll call someone
from security and physically evict you. >> reporter: united says it happened after switching to a smaller aircraft and it's sorry for the entire experience. most airlines overbook to ensure flights are full. industry experts say united should have offered sunday's customers more valuable travel vouchers and gift cards rather than call security. meanwhile, with so few airlines, passengers have few alternatives if they are bumped. united airlines says when it involuntarily bumps somebody, it does so based on their airfare, frequent flier status and when they checked in. but now, united airlines has lost hundreds of millions of dollars in stock market valuation. lester? >> thank you. tonight police in sacramento launched an investigation into one of their own officers after cell phone and dash cam video shows an officer roughing up a pedestrian stopped for jaywalking. officials are calling the images disturbing and nbc's miguel almaguer has the story. >> right here -- >> reporter: the
confrontation turns violent in seconds. a sacramento police officer slamming then beating a pedestrian stopped for jaywalking. >> hey, why you beating him like that? >> reporter: with the man pummeled by a flurry of punches, sacramento pd calls this punishing beatdown disturbing and unacceptable. >> no, that was wrong. >> mounting a criminal investigation against one of their own. >> i thought i was going to be like the next trayvon martin. >> reporter: he says he was walking home from work when it happened. >> i felt like they were going to draw a gun out and shoot me in my back or try to break my arms off or something. >> reporter: releasing three dash cam videos, sacramento police promise transparency. >> stop right now. stop right now before i take you to the ground. >> reporter: ignoring the officer's commands, the standoff escalated when cane took off his jacket. and then said this. >> you can take your gun away and fight me like a real man. >> it's a disturbing incident based on the
video, you know, we don't condone this behavior with any of our officers. we're much better than that and hold ourselves to a very high standard. >> reporter: naomi shot the video and posted it to social media. >> the video tells itself. he did not resist nothing. >> reporter: in a climate where police are often recorded and conduct scrutinized, tonight this officer is off the street and the man accused of jaywalking faces no criminal charges. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. still ahead tonight, banning trans fats, new evidence experts say it really does have health benefits ahead of restrictions that will affect every american. >> also, our one on one with oprah winfrey, the new passion project bringing her back to tv about a woman that changed modern medicine forever.
encouraging because trans fat restrictions will take effect nationwide next year. nbc's ann thompson has our keeping you healthy report. >> reporter: the temptation of trans fats, enhancing fried foods, chips, cookies and cakes to the delight of consumers and bane of doctors. empty calories increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes and curbing trans fats improves health. a new study finds, three years after new york counties banned trans fats, people hospitalized for heart attacks and strokes dropped by more than 6%. >> there is no recommended daily allowance for a safe trans fat consumption. study haves shown just a couple grams of intake can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke. >> reporter: how do trans fats do that? by raising your bad cholesterol levels and lowering the good leading to plaque buildup in your arteries that can lead to heart attacks and
stroke. cardiovascular disease is responsible for one-third of the deaths in the u.s. and cost the nation almost $1 billion a day in lost productivity and health care expenses. when new york city banned trans fats in restaurant the ten years ago, critics cried nanny state. next year the fda will ban it in processed foods nationwide. do all these items have trans fats? >> and that's the problem, you never know. >> reporter: dr. john torrez says you must read labels, looking for trans fats also called partially hydrogenated oils. >> they can label it zero trans fats, but they can have up to half a gram of trans fats per serving. a bag of chips will have five to ten servings in there in just one serving. and as you know, nobody eats one serving of potato chips.
now to our conversation with oprah winfrey, talking about her return to tv with a starring role in a new passion project coming to hbo. the true story of one of the most important women in modern medicine. oprah opens up to nbc's kristen dahlgren. >> all i got to say about that is hallelujah. finally someone want to talk about my mama. >> reporter: she plays the daughter of henrietta lacks. the woman that transformed medicine and had no idea. to this day many never heard her name. >> i started asking people, do you know, have you ever heard of henrietta lacks? no one had. >> reporter: something win friday is determined to change. >> the significance of what her cells meant is significant. and now the world will know that.
>> reporter: she died at cervical cancer at johns hopkins. her unique cancer cells were the first to grow in a lab. she never gave doctors permission to use her cells and her family was never told. >> we didn't know nothing about nothing. >> reporter: like nothing they had seen before, those cells shortened to hela instead of her full name were used to test the polio vaccine and drugs used to fight cancer, just to name a few. her daughter debra and author rebecca finally uncovered the truth but debra died just before the book was published. >> i refuse to cry with you, kristen but i could when i think about debra, how eager she was to know about her mother and have this story told. >> reporter: henrietta's cells were reproduced in labs around the world and millions of dollars changed hands. >> becca showed me the paper where's he wanted to use her name but the lawyer --
>> hopkins made all that money off our mother. >> hopkins hadn't made a dime. >> reporter: johns hopkins says it did not profit, the family got nothing but for the next generation, there is new mission now. >> you can't be proud of what was done. so when you think about that okay, something bad happen but so much good has come from it. >> reporter: david lacks sits on a board at the national institute of health helping to decide just what henrietta's gene sequence is used for. >> we ought to think of the lacks family as some of the greatest philanthropists in medicine of all time. >> reporter: they speak around the country urging doctors to never forget the patient behind the petri dish. >> she was a woman. she was black with limited education, limited finances and look what she has done for the world. >> reporter: rebecca set up a foundation for the lacks' and others that contributed to science without their consent. >> if anyone had taken
a few minutes to listen to her and answer her questions, it would have changed the whole story for her, for her family. >> reporter: a family now taking back its history. >> i think what we're trying to say is that her life really mattered. >> reporter: a legacy just like henrietta's cells living on. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, los angeles. >> an important story to be told. when we come back, the new discount walmart is offering to online shoppers, though, there is one catch. we'll tell you more in a moment. next at 6: enough is enough.
===garvin/vo=== the new tactics officers in berkeley are taking to identify these men ... and end their nearly 6-week run from the law. ===jess/live cam 160=== plus ... light rain right now. but heavier rain taking aim. how much will fall by midnight. ===next close=== the world's largest retailer walmart is offering a new discount to online shoppers. just be prepared to leave the convenience
of your home to get it. walmart is going to cut prices on thousands of items ordered online if customers agree to pick them up at the closest store. it's walmart's latest shot at an ongoing retail war with amazon. and finally tonight, we wanted to acknowledge the passing of dorothy mengering. you may know her better simply as dave's mom. she became an unlikely celebrity in her 70s baking pies and covering the olympics as a special correspondent on her son's late night show. the audience loved her and so did we. our thoughts are with dave and the whole letterman family. dorothy mengering was 95 years old. that will do it for us on a wednesday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. bracing for more rain.
a look at our satellite radar -- where you can see a new storm inching closer to the bay area. ==garvin/2-shot== the news at 6 starts now. thanks for joining us. i'm garvin thomas -- in for raj mathai. the news at 6:00 starts right now. thanks for joining us. we are just hours away from jet another round of rain. we want to take you outside and give you a live look. we saw a mix of sun, clouds and even rain throughout the day. let's bring in jeff. we are talking about rain by midnight. >> yes. we think we'll get this rainfall in here by midnight and possibly
heavier pockets just before that as this cold front moves in. looks like it is enough of what could pro duduce heavier pocket here. this is well to the north of us. i don't really see things moving into the north bay until about 9:00 tonight near middle town. eventually this pushes down to san francisco by 10:00 p.m. we'll have a full track of this coming up in about 15 minutes. as this rainfall moves in we also want to let you know winds will be gusting possibly up to 31 miles per hour in san jose, 34 in san francisco. next update about 6:15 tonight. >> thank you, jeff. download it now and you can watch live doppler radar and get alerts before it hits your neighborhood. so much of it