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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  November 28, 2018 5:30pm-5:59pm PST

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>> that's going to do it for us at 5:00. lester holt is next at rockefeller center for the lighting of the christmas tree. >> yay! we'll be back at 6:00. we'll see you then. breaking news tonight, nbc news has learned what president trump told mueller inside the president's answers about the infamous trump tower meeting with his son and the russians. also, what he told mueller about wikileaks. also breaking, stunning new claims from stormy daniels about her embattled attorney michael avenatti. what she says he did. growing outrage as a growing nfl team signs a player days after he was arrested for alleged domestic violence. high school hazing officials say is so horrific the teens are being charged as adults. a massive explosion obliterating a home. the blast so powerful, it was felt across several towns. a mom expecting twins due to give birth in days and her emotional plea for a life-saving donor.
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>> do this for my mommy. i love her. >> a record-breaking response and the incredible news heju 6' gentle giant taking the world by storm. and a star is born. 3 million crystals, 900 pounds as they light the 30 rock tree tonight. we've got the scoop on the spectacular new addition. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening, everyone. we're beginning to learn some of president trump's written answers to questions poised to him by robert mueller. the president telling the special counsel he didn't know about plans by wikileaks to release stolen democratic e-mails or about that infamous trump tower meeting with russians offering dirt on hillary clinton. tonight the president is saying that a pardon for paul manafort, his former campaign chair, is not off the table. nbc's pete williams has details. >> reporter: sources familiar with the president's written answers to robert mueller's questions say he wrote that
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former campaign adviser roger stone did not tell him in advance that wikileaks planned to release e-mails about the clinton campaign and did not know before hand about his son don junior's he answered the sources say to the best of his recollection. in the meantime, rudy giuliani says a lawyer for paul manafort was in touch with him after he pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with mueller's team. such an arrangement with lawyers with otherny legal experts consider it a sign manafort wanted to stay on the president's good side hoping for a pardon. >> manafort who is a career criminal was playing all the angles. he was both trying to get a pardon and he had agreed to cooperate with the prosecutors hoping in return for some leniency. the problem is he got caught again playing all the angles. >> reporter: asked about a
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pardon for manafort, the president told "the new york post" about a pardon, it was never discussed but i wouldn't take it off the table. for mueller, president trump suggested to the "washington post" he has no plans to fire the special counsel saying he's still there, he wouldn't have to be but he's still there so i have no intention of doing anything. the president tweeted this internet meme asking when do the trials of treason begin showing enemies behind bars with mueller and rod rosenstein. things are moving quickly for manafort now that the deal with mueller collapsed. the judge called a hearing for friday to set a sentencing date which will likely be early next year. lester? >> pete williams, thank you. to the late word this evening from stormy daniels, the adult film star making stunning allegations about her embattled lawyer michael avenatti regarding a lawsuit against president trump. we get the breaking details from nbc's kristen welker. >> reporter: tonight, in a dramatic twist, stormy daniels says her attorney michael avenatti sued president trump
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for defaming her against her wishes and alleges avenatti withheld information from her and launched a new crowd funding campaign without her permission. daniels saying in a statement tonight, i haven't decided yet what to do about legal representation moving forward and avenatti say he's stormy's biggest champion. he said i personally sacrificed an enormous amount of money, time and energy in assisting her because i believe in her. avenatti says daniels agreed to pay him $100 under their original agreement and all other money raised would go towards his legal fees. >> my attorney and i are committed to make sure everyone finds out the truth. >> reporter: in a separate suit daniels is suing the president and his former personal attorney michael cohen over a hush money payment, claiming mike cone paid her to keep quiet about a sexual
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encounter with mr. trump in 2006 which the president denies. kristen welker, nbc news, washington. tonight officials in argentina where the saudi crown prince arrived are moving towards investigating him for crimes against humanity over the murder of a "washington post" columnist. while the trump administration faced criticism today it's ignoring a cia assessment about the writer's death. here is andrea mitchell. >> reporter: the powerful saudi crown prince who the cia believes likely ordered the murder of jamal khashoggi arriving in argentina for a summit where he will brush shoulders with president trump tomorrow. critics say administration is covering up his role in khashoggi's death and the cia director not showing up to brie many. >> how can i make a decision as a united states or nto the crow complicit in a murder if i don't have access to the intelligence i read about in the paper? >> reporter: the secretary of
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state, a former cia director saying the cia has no proof. >> there is no direct reporting connecting the crown prince to the order to murder jamal khashoggi. >> reporter: spy agencies rarely have a smoking gun like an eyewitness. >> it demonstrates that this administration does not want the intelligence to come out. >> reporter: bipartisan criticism is growing. tonight the senate over road white house opposition to consider ending u.s. support for the saudi war in yemen. lester? >> andrea mitchell, thank you. cindy hyde-smith is back in washington after a runoff with democrat mike espy in mississippi. that race was rocked by controversy but in the end hyde-smith prevailed by seven points. investigators in new jersey are searching for the cause of an explosion that destroyed a home and was so powerful it was felt miles away. here is nbc's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: it was tough to tell there was ever a house there at all after an explosion late tuesday night. thankfully, nobody was home at the time. the jolt shook people three
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towns over, flying debris damaged the local high school and landed as far as two miles away. >> this big, loud crash. >> i first thought it was an earthquake. >> reporter: so far the gas company says there is no reason to believe natural gas is to blame, which is what officials suspect caused this explosion in minnesota last week damaging the entire block. gas was also to blame for dozens of explosions and fires in massachusetts in september. for now, officials in new jersey are investigating. the cause tonight remains a mystery. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. we're going to take a turn to the growing controversy swirling over an nfl player dumped by one team after a domestic violence arrest and quickly picked up by another team, the move sparking plenty of negative reaction. nbc's miguel almaguer has details. >>eared on the field investigating allegations of violence against nfl linebacker ruben foster. >> your ex-boyfriend did what? >> took my phone and broke it and slapped me in my face.
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>> reporter: over the weekend, foster's ex-girlfriend who recanted an earlier claim of domestic violence, accused the former 49 of attacking her. foster, who couldn't be reached for comment, was released by the team, but was picked up by waivers by the washington redskins. >> i think the move by washington is at best tone deaf and at worst an insult to every female fan that roots for the team. >> reporter: facing a fan of criticism on social media, beat a woman, get a job in the nfl, have to go through numerous steps including the full investigation and discipline by the biggest issue for the league right now is holding the line against domestic violence. >> reporter: after tmz sports released video of ray rice knocking out his fiancee in 2014, the nfl toughened its
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stance on domestic violence. but tonight some say the redskins fumbled with a player they should have passed on. miguel almaguer, nbc news. to that ge the teens are being charged as adults. a community rocked by what authorities say happened in a football team's locker room. let me warn you here, the details in this story are disturbing. we get more from nbc's catie beck. >> reporter: the locker room lights were turned off and terrifying torture began. new court filings describe allegations of a brutal sexual assault involving teenagers. tonight, parents reacting. >> just makes me sick. it really does. >> you feel like this is unacceptable regardless of the age. >> reporter: an attack the four 15-year-old j.v. football players are charged as adults facing life in prison. their victims, four fellow teammates. >> these boys were victims of criminal acts.
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they were not victims of hazing. they were victims of first-degree rapes and attempted rapes. >> reporter: prosecutors say the victims were punched and stomped before the assault began. some details of the attack so brutal they can't be aired. one victim says when he told his attacker to stop, they replied it was tradition. >> will we look at and examining the potential that this happened in prior years? the answer is absolutely yes. >> reporter: the alleged attack at a school where the football team won three state championships since 2005 and a school community in turmoil. catie beck, nbc news. authorities raided the archdiocese of galveston, houston today. searching for evidence in a case involving a priest charged with sexually abusing children. he's the president of the u.s. conference of catholic bishops and leading aordamary plea deal
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out in 2007 to a billionaire accused of sexually abusing dozens of underaged girls. jeffrey epstein could have spent decades behind bars, but as cynthia mcfadden reports, the deal arranged in part by a trump cabinet member, meant epstein with powerful friends like bill clinton and donald trump was in jail for just months. >> reporter: the highly unusual plea agreement allowed billionaire hedge fund manager jeffrey epstein to spend a mere 13 months in county jail. when the federal government may have had enough evidence to put him in prison for life. this according to police and prosecution documents obtained by nbc news. and tonight, there is a new focus on the prosecutor who helped arrange that deal a decade ago. now, the secretary of labor. those documents chronicle what police say are a series of sexual crimes committed against 40 young women, some just 14.
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lured to epstein's palm beach mansion where they were paid to provide nude massages and sometimes sex. this video was from the palm beach police's search of his seaside home including his bathroom where young victims said many of the crimes occurred. mike fisten is a former miami-dade police sergeant who now works for lawyers of the victims. >> the fbi had enough evidence to put jeffrey away for life. why it didn't happen, the indictment the fbi put together was quashed by the u.s. attorney's office in miami who was at the time headed by acosta. >> reporter: alexander acosta is president trump's secretary of labor and has been mentioned as a possible pick for attorney general. the "miami herald" today reporting on acosta's involvement. >> jeffrey epstein had incarceration like no other sex offender in the state of florida. he was allowed to leave for 12 to 16 hours a day. >> reporter: why was epstein given such a deal?
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he declined to comment today, but alex acosta's spokesperson told us acosta's decision has been supported through three administrations and pointed to his confirmation hearing when he was asked about the deal. >> professionals within a prosecutor's office decide that a plea that guarantees that someone goes to jail, that guarantees that someone register generally and that guarantees other outcomes is a good thing. >> reporter: but a letter from the palm beach chief of police questioned the highly unusual actions by prosecutors. a deal none of his victims were given notice of. cynthia mcfadden, nbc news. next tonight, an nbc news exclusive, an inside look at the u.s. navy's urgent medical mission helping thousands fleeing violence and a collapsing economy in venezuela. nbc's kerry sanders is onboard the medical ship where americans are treating those in desperate need.
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>> reporter: it is a non-stop flow of humanity. every day 5,000 venezuela people flee in search of a better life. but now here in the caribbean sea, the united states navy arrived, not a warship, rather, the hospital ship "comfort" armed with surgeons, scalpels and sympathy. caring for people like this family. since birth their 7-year-old son needed a hernia operation. [speaking foreign language]. >> reporter: he's saying he couldn't find the help in venezuela for who had this condition. he has a twin brother. they did the same operation on him. this 11-week mission is the first u.s. humanitarian effort helping venezuelan refugees. doctors seeing 16,500 patients in the first few weeks treating everything from burns to cataracts. >> i feel for them because i can hear in their voices they didn't
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want to leave. they didn't want their homeland to be devastated and they're just looking for any help that they can get. >> reporter: almost two decades into the venezuela crisis, american doctors providing care at sea. kerry sanders, aboard the u.s. navy ship "comfort." also tonight, the pregnant mom's plea for the life-saving gift and the incredible news she just received. you'll hear it first here. the viral sensation that has folks everywhere saying holy cow. and harry smith goes behind the scenes of tonight's big event. >> there is a brand-new star in adorn the top of the rockefeller center christmas tree. that story coming up.
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next for us, the huge outpouring for a mom due to deliver twins next week. tonight after her desperate plea went viral, she received very good news. here is nbc's joe fryer. >> reporter: suzy is a mother of
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three expecting twins but never expected the news she got a few months ago. she has an aggreivorm of leukemia. >> i was devastated. emotionally devastated. >> reporter: to save her life, she needs a bone marrow transplant even though 30 million people are on the worldwide registry, there wasn't a single 100% match for her. it's harder for her to find a donor because she's mixed heritage, latina and caucasian. so she made -- >> please help my mommy. >> reporter: -- with help from her daughter, more than 50,000 people signed up for be the match registry, a record-breaking weekend. this afternoon she received a different kind of news. a perfect maha it really is. ter:ore testing i just joy and happiness. needed, she is due to give birth next week and hopes a bone marrow transplant can happen right after.
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>> it's so exciting. it's the best christmas gift. it's, you know, it's everything. >> reporter: joe fryer, nbc news. >> we were so thrilled to hear her good news. coming up, the moment making so many, including the pope, smile today.
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so someone stole the show from pope francis at the vatican. a 6-year-old ran on stage tugging at a guardsman who somehow kept a straight face. mom caught up and spoke to the smiling pope who said the boy is mute and can't speak but found a way to communicate. they share a common bond, both are from argentina. to the gentle giant taking the world by storm. have you seen this guy? a steer too big that people just can't believe what they are seeing. here is kristen dahlgren. >> reporter: tonight the internet is having a cow, over a steer in australia, so big social media can't stop sharing.
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his name is knickers and he's no bull. he's 6'4", just shy of michael jordan, but at over 3,000 pounds don't expect him to dunk, let alone jump over the moon. he's pictured with a smaller breed but still about a foot and a half taller than he should be. why not in a country that prides itself on big things? like a giant roadside shrimp or pineapple. his owner says he has no plans to milk this new found fame. the steer escaped the slaughter house, he simply didn't fit. maybe that's the lesson, we don't always have to have a beef with someone who is different. kristen dahlgren, nbc news. >> she took all the good puns. we'll take a break, up next the glittering masterpiece atop the world's most famous christmas tree. tracking a stronf
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shore. where 2 inches of rain is possible... and is facebook failing the african american community? the problem a former employee says was so alarming he had to quit his job.
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that )s next. welcome back. we have moved outside, tonight the annual lighting of the rockefeller center christmas tree here in new york. this year, there is a new star of the show. we get more from nbc's harry smithits and led lights that illuminate 3 million crystals. >>t weighs 900 pounds. its diameter is more than 10 feet in size. it's a huge object. >> reporter: daniel is the star's creator. he's the energetic architect of dozens of buildings around the globe including the new world trade center. the star for this tree, not the easiest commission. so when it comes to something like this, though, so many millions and millions of people over time will see this star.
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what is your aim? what is your purpose? >> it's a symbol of peace. it's a symbol that speaks to everybody. it's the beauty of the world. >> reporter: he's the child of polish immigrants that survived the holocaust. he came to america with little more than his talent and ambition. stars speak to him. a magnets for our minds and thoughts. >> reporter: our imagination, our ms this star a star of wonder. harry smith, nbc news, new york. >> always an amazing sight. that's nbc "nightly news" for this wednesday. i'm lester holt, for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. obviously a very exciting day for the oakland a's. >> right now 6:00, they think they've hit a home run.
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the reason, this a's new ballpark proposal is different from the others. plus -- >> there wasn't a lot of accountability on facebook's part. >> a former facebook employee accusing the company of failing its black users and employees. but first, we are in a microclimate weather alert. this is a live look at our radar. a lot of green there on your screen as we track another strong storm moving in. the news at 6:00 starts right now. from high surf to strong winds and rain, we've seen plenty already this week and crews are now getting ready for an even busier and possibly treacherous next 24 hours. thanks for joining us. i'm raj mathai. >> and i'm jessica aguirre. let's get right to our team of reporters covering all angles on the storm. we begin, though, with chief meteorologist jeff ranieri tracking the timing. jeff. >> this does look like it would be the strongest storm out of the series of them that we will have seeb so far this week, and really what we're waiting on for that heaviest rainfall is the cold front. once this moves over the bay area it's going to provide the
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uplift needed, for some heavy downpours. but you can see again it's just offshore. let's zoom in. we'll get a closer look at redar offshore. but we'o ranger. it's down closer to the ground level. so it's able to give us? more thas approaching half some very heavy downpours moving off to the north. moon bay. this would move into montura by 6:15. pacifica by 6:39 a

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