tv Early Today NBC August 24, 2018 4:00am-4:29am PDT
inquiries for the head of the "national enquirer." why the publisher of the popular tabloid is getting immunity in the michael cohen investigation and what it could mean for president trump. rains and raging winds. hurricane lane slams into hawaii leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. a rite of passage or reckless parenting? how a mother stumbled into a national debate letting her 8-year-old walk their dog alone. and coded canine. sony gives man's best friend a high-tech makeover with an even higher pricetag. "early today" starts. i'm frances rivera. >> and i'm phillip mena. a celebrity tabloid could spell
more trouble for the white house. nbc news has confirmed pecker immunity in the investigation into michael cohen. pecker is the publisher of the "national enquirer" and a long-time friend of president trump. >> investigators want to know what he has to say about claims the paper paid for the rights to an ex-playmate's alleged affair with mr. trump. her story was never published. which kept it a secret ahead of the election. nbc's susan mcguinness joins us live from capitol hill with the very latest. good morning, flip and frances. it seems like several in the inner circle of president trump are stepping out. this is the latest. as you said, david pecker, long-time friend of the president, ceo of this tabloid, publisher, getting immunity, agreeing to cooperate. he's alreadyl stories damagg be election and hour money paid to that model karen mcdougal. one more turning from the president, who seems to value
loyalty. >> this whole thing about flipping, they call it. i know all about flipping. for 30, 40 years i've been watching flippers. everything's wonderful and then they get ten years in jail and they flip ont one is. or as high as you can go. it almost ought to be outlawed. >> reporter: it follows the president's attorney, former attorney michael cohen, once a fierce defender of the president, pleading guilty tuesday to eight criminal counts and also offering to cooperate in new york and also with the special counsel robert mueller. and also one who seemingly remains loyal, paul manafort, the president's former campaign chairman, guilty verdict this week for bank and tax fraud. the president getting high praise from him. much respect, he says, for quote not breaking. phillip and frances evidentlit president has asked his lawyers recently about the advice on pardoning manafort. >> all right. susan, thank you for that. after months of jabs from president trump attorney general jeff sessions is hitting back. his comments coming after the
president publicly trashed the justice department yet again for its handling of the investigation into russian election interference. now many are wondering whether sessions' days are numbered with the administration. nbc's kristen welker has the latest as the gloves come off in this simmering feud. >> reporter: fighting back after president trump escalated his attacks against attorney general jeff sessions. >> i put an attorney general that never took control of the justice department, jeff sessions. never took control of the justice department. >> reporter: sessions lashed out just hours later. "i took control of the department of justice the day i was sworn in." sessions was at the white house for a preplanned meeting. after unleashing his strongest pushback yet, declaring defiantly, "while i am attorney general, the actions of the department of justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations." for months mr. trump has lambasted the entire agency as being overrun by democrats. >> i always put justice now with quotes. it's a very, very sad day.
>> reporter: it's a remarkable inflection point. sessions was the first senator to endorse candidate trump. >> i am pleased to endorse donald trump. >> reporter: but once attorney general, things soured quickly. after sessions recused himself in the russia investigation because he was a key figure on the trump campaign. ever since the president has excoriated him in a barrage of tweets, calling him everything from beleaguered to disgraceful, even missing in action. and again -- >> he took the job and then he said i'm going to recuse myself. i said what kind of a man is this? >> reporter: while sessions has at times subtly pushed back before, his comments were the firmest yet. >> it is long past due that the attorney general stood up for the idea that the job of the justice department is not to go after the president's enemies and to protect him and his friends. >> reporter: many republicans on capitol hill warning the president. >> it would be a very, very,
very bad idea to fire the attorney general because he's not executing his job as a political hack. >> our thanks to kristen welker for that report. now to a picture perfect paradise that is no more. they are hunkering down in hawaii as they brace for a rare encounter with a major hurricane. the outer bands of hurricane lane have already hit parts of hawaii's big island with 20 inches of rain. the slow movement of the storm could prolong the effects of heavy rain triggering flooding and landslides. >> lane, while it's been downgraded, is wide and very moist. and it's going to hang around for a while as it moves because it's moving slowly. and that's why we're taking so much precaution here. >> the forecasters say the hurricane has weakened to a category 3 storm. it still has maximized -- or maximum sustained winds at 120 miles per hour. even if the hurricane doesn't directly strike the hawaiian islands, officials say many
areas could face life-threatening impacts. nbc meteorologist bill karins will have more in just a few minutes. as ohio state's football team prepares to start their season without their head coach critics say urban meyers' punishment for failing to report domestic abuse didn't go far enough. some pundits and fans are criticizing meyer for never directly apologizing to the alleged victim, courtney smith. others saying the school's decision makes it clear that it prioritizes its successful team and coach over anything else. nbc's miguel almaguer has more. >> reporter: suspended without pay for three games, legendary football coach urban meyer sidelined by leaders at ohio state. and i want to apoze buckeye meyer was aware of 2015 domestic violence allegations against former assistant coach zach smith. and failed to report them to the university. >> i fell short in pursuing full gave zach smith the t each
benefit of the doubt. >> reporter: smith's exe, she of the alleged abuse to meyer's wife, shelley. zach smith denies the allegations. the investigation determined meyer made false statements. >> i was never told about anything. >> reporter: when questioned about his knowledge of the 2015 allegations. >> while those denials were plainly not accurate, coach meyer did not in our view deliberately lie. >> reporter: with meyer facing media scrutiny, the report also called his behavior concerning when he discussed how to delete text messages older than a year with a colleague. >> as a woman it kind of sends a message of something like this might happen to you and we might act on it eventually but it might not be the right justice. >> reporter: disciiniversity's coach will be back oenn critic football first. miguel almaguer, nbc news. now to australia's political
turbulence that continues as scott morrison is set to become the next prime minister, the country's sixth in the last 11 years. morrison will replace malcolm turnbull, who has led the nation since 2015. so what's next for australia and for turnbull? nbc's chapman bell joins us now from london to break it all down. chapman, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, frances. we'll have to see what's next for australia as the new prime minister scott morrison's going to have his work cut out for him, union only his own party but his country too before the next general election. in what's being billed as an era of extraordinary political instability and one of the most chaotic in australian political history. what happened? members of the ruling liberal party in australia, which they are despite the name party, conservative party there called a leadership ballot. new leader scott morrison was chosen in a close vote making turnbull the fourth prime minister to be oust bid their own party before last decade. this fact has angered many
australians. the officers of the main ballenger in this did not wsut were key in forcing the vote were vandalized. the outgoing prime minister saying australians will be dumbstruck and so appalled by the conduct in the last week by the government that this disloyalty and deliberate insurgency will not be tolerated essentially. the incoming prime minister using his first speech to put the focus on the issues and trying to heal the wounds really. frances, if nothing else, this is proof that political turmoil is happening in other places too. >> oh, yes. we're watching it there. chapman, thank you. we're alsoth is where we'll heaviest rain over the islands including arriving eventually in oahu in honolulu. but still the flash flood warnings continue in of the big island. right now till 120-mile-per-hour winds the winds are dying off i'm not too concerned with wind damage on the islands. there will be some gusts to 40, 50 miles per hour and there will be some minor damage and power
forecast path today does take it drifting pretty much to the north. not till tonight starting to bend it back there toward the west. notice the closest passage to honolulu and oahu, winds are at 785 miles per hour and all the hurricane force winds are staying offshore. we've already had the hurricane warning drop for the big island now back to a tropical storm. the winds are not going to be high if they meet the criteria. it's a rainfall story and the rainfall forecasts continue to be 10 to 20 with isolate 30d to 40-inch rainfall reports. we've already got a couple arnd 26ou but it's very hot today in areas texas. enjoy the cool beautiful almost fall-like weather while it lasts because heat's coming your way in the east next week. a little more of the weekend forecast coming up. >> all right, bill. thank you. some competition for your furry friends. they better watch out because
could man have a new best friend, this guy? sony's robot dog ibow is coming to america. his new gadget can respond to voice and touch using sensors and cameras so you can pet, it enjoy play time with his toys. the pooch can also learn new tricks by simply adding them from an app. if you want to get this new age pet a whirl it will cost you nearly three grand. >> right. you lost me there. also, it's cute but it's not furry and cuddly. >> not the same thing. >> not at all the same thing. the stiff sentence for the man caught on camera harassing an animal. ♪ squeeze it on top ♪ squeeze it on it's chobani ♪ squeeze it on ♪ squeeze it on top, top ♪ squeeze it on top ♪ squeeze it on it's chobani ♪ squeeze it on top ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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mollie tibbetts finds that her death was a homicide. the report confirms the body found by police earlier this week is that of the 20-year-old. the state medical examiner said tibbetts died from "multiple sharp force injuries" and further exati may pliefrd detail. a funeral mass is scheduled for sunday at bgm high school in tibbetts' home town of brooklyn, iowa. a release from the funeral home says memorial contributions can be made to the university of iowa's stead family children's hospital in lieu of flowers. police arrested and charged 24-year-old cristhian rivera with first-degree murder. rivera's status as an undocumented immigrant quickly became a conservative talking point in the immigration debate. some of tibbetts' family and friends have taken to social media and have spoken to news outlets asking that her death not be politicized. you may remember a video we showed you earlier this month of an oregon man taunting a bison. that bison at yellowstone. well, that time the bis get hi sentenced to
130 days in jail and five years on probation after pleading guilty to misconduct at two national parks. i guess it could have been worse. this bison could have been in a much angrier mood. but i don't know what that guy was thinking. >> well, he's going to have to explain to all his buddies in jail what he's in for. >> karma's coming for him, buddy, for sure. still ahead, new business over the dangers of alcohol. plus parents unleash over a mom's decision to let her 8-year-old daughter walk the dog alone. you're watching "early today." i wish you weren't so worried about moving. at least we don't have to worry iabout homeowners insurance.ds will help me relax a bit. just call geico. geico helps with homeowners insurance? good to know. feeling better? i love you, pookie bear. [parrot 1] i love you, pookie bear. [parrot 2] i love you, pookie bear! [parrots] i love you, pookie bear!!! get to know geico and see how easy homeowners and renters insurance can be.
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these people aren't just rich. they're crazy rich. >> you never should have told me you were the prince william of asia. >> looking ahead to what's in theaters this weekend, box office success story "crazy rich asians" expected to hold the top spot with an estimated ticket sales of $17.5 million. expected to come in second place with $14 milli is new release "the happytime murders" starring melissa mckarthy. w n intended for a younger audience. keep that in mind. a story that has a lot of parents talking. an illinoisafter she found her investigation by child services for letting her child walk their dog around the block alone. and it's raising questions about the safety of our kids versus teaching them independence. nbc's kristen dahlgren hasmore. >> reporter: when corey widen let her 8-year-old daughter take their dog marshmallow for a quick walk --
>> i wanted her to start learning responsibilities. she was gone for about five minutes, and the next thing i know police are at the door. >> reporter: responding to an anonymous complaint about an unattended child. they quickly decided there was nothing wrong. but days later the illinois department of children and family services launched its own investigation. widen took to social media and comments poured >> people saying that it was ridiculous that it had happened. >> reporter: in 2014 a south carolina mom was charged with a felony for letting her then 9-year-old play in a park while she worked at a nearby mcdonald's. it took two years for charges to be dropped. the laws on leaving kids alone vary by state and can be vague. in illinois children under 14 can't be left without supervision for an unreasonable period of time. this summer utah became the first state to pass a so-called free range parenting law, where well-cared for children can go to school, the playground, or stay in the car alone if they're mature enough. >> the magic age for when to leave your children alone is when they're ready. and for each child it's
individual. >> reporter: illinois authorities found widen wasn't neglectful. but say they investigate all calls. now many are calling for more laws in support of parents. >> parents can make decisions about when their children are old enough to be alone. >> reporter: a short walk ending in a widespread conversation. kristen dahlgren, nbc news. >> i don't have any kids. so i'm going to defer to you. >> it is a tough debate, man, because i would never do that new york city. >> never leave them or never call -- >> never let them go walk the dog in new york city. my daughter is 8. but you know, in wyoming, in a suburban area, you know, a cul-de-sac, yeah, sure. >> you watch the news, you see something happen like with mollie tibbettappen in the news. >> good foint. >> not sure. but sometimes other people are like mind your busi my, kid. >> totally can see the debate right there. >> just ahead, bill karins is back with our weekend forecast. plus a surprising discovery. the secret police found under a fast food restaurant.
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watch out for chicago up to green bay, milwaukee included in that. and the heat begins to spread. nashville jumps up to 93 degrees and getting warmer on the east coast. still nice for a summer weekend but d.c.'s going to be up there near 90 and still pretty good in areas of the northeast too, guys. overall, looks like a pretty quiet weekend in the lower 48 but not for our friends in hawaii of course. >> thoughts will be with them, bill. thank you. still ahead, the big enquirer mix-up that's gone viral. plus a russian military parade goes awry. you're watching "early today." when you have a baby gentle means everything to you and to us. so at johnson's, we improved everything. we used 50% fewer ingredients. took out dyes, parabens, phthalates and sulfates. gentle means love. beat the top safety standards in the world the new johnson's®. your digestive system has billions of bacteria
but life can throw them off balance. re-align yourself with align probiotic. and try new align gummies with prebiotics and probiotics to help support digestive health. ayep, and my teeth are yellow.? time for whitestrips. crest glamorous white whitestrips are the only ada-accepted whitening strips proven to be safe and effective. and they whiten 25x better than a leading whitening toothpaste. crest. healthy, beautiful smiles for life. in today's top stories, a new study finds that drinking any amount of alcohol can be hazardous to your health. a team of researchers led by the university of washington says alcohol kills 2.8 million people
every year globally, causing canc cancer, heart disease and road accidents. after examining data from over 1,000 studies they found no evidence that drinking alcohol can improve health as some theories suggest. researchers say government should consider taxes and other measures to discourage drinking. >> not exactly what you want to hear on a friday, right? a former michigan state university gymnastics coach has been charged with lying to investigators in a probe into disgraced olympic doctor larry nassar. michigan's attorney general issued an arrest warrant for kathie klages claiming she lied to a peace officer when she denied any athletes reported nassar's abuses to her before 2016. according to the a.g., witnesses said they reported nassar's sexual abuse to klages dating back more than 20 years. she coached at msu for 27 years before retiring in 2017 and was one of nassar's most ardent supporters. she faces two counts in all, one felony and one misdemeanor. if convicted klages faces up to
four years in prison. federal authorities say they have discovered a sophisticated drug tunnel stretching from a home in mexico all the way to an abandoned kentucky fried chicken restaurant in arizona. that's about 200 yards north of the border. the feds say they arrested the man who owns the abandoned building. he is accused of using it it to traffic drugs. >> people do, though, for original recipe. havoc happened at a military parade in russia as a tank topples over while trying to mount its transport le witnesses reported chaos as a giant tank drove oft back of the truck. and check this out right here. it rolls over. did not line that u right.th t- russia's most versatile tank. it served as a victory. >> for the soviet army in world war ii. >> good thing it didn't roll over on the evened. would have been a problem with the crowd. the nchk nnk is dominating headlines thanks to the latest white house twist but it is putting the local enquirer into the fold as well. federal investigators have dpranted immunity to the popular
tabloid's publisher david pecker in the investigation into michael cohen. he's expected to face questions over the paper's arrangements to buy the rights to an affair with mr. trump before the election. however, david pecker is not the publisher of the "cincinnati enquirer," which wound up taking the heat for the story on twitter because of its handle @enquirer. that newspaper's social media manager had to take action to clear up it up with this tweet. it's a little bunny holding up a sign that says "we are not the national enquirer." >> i saw a interview the other day with a guy whose name is jerry sandusky on twitter. it could always be worse. that guy gets heat all the time every day. a little silver lining on a a l-
this morning. there is smokey skies across the area for today. a health alert we need to know about. i want to say good morning to you. thanks for joining us. >> i'm marcus washington. >> air quality alert >> yes. spare the air alert day. we have hazy skies today. still unhealthy air quality as you get ready to head