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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  June 23, 2022 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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tense oval office meeting three days before the attack where the former president proposed replacing the acting attorney general wit a lawyer that would pursue his false election claims. one witness said trump said to say the election was corrupt, leave the rest to him and the gop and reveal names of the gop lawmakers that allegedly sought pardons in the aftermath of january 6. the other major story tonight, landmark supreme court ruling expanding gun rights, overturning a more than century-ol new york law restricting concealed carry. the immediate impact as the senate clears the way for a final vote on the first major gun safety bill in decades the unrelenting heat wave threatening tens of millions al roker is here. and the dramatic rescue, the team usa swimmer fainting in a pool during a competition. the incredible underwater images. her coach diving in, saving her life.
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tonight that swimmer sharing her story in an nbc news exclusive. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt good evening an unsent letter described as a murder-suicide pact by a former trump white house lawyer stood at the core of testimony in today's january 6 committee hearing. three former top justice department officials describing former president trump's efforts to enlist help from the department to perpetuate his unsupported claims of election fraud, including pressure on the doj to send an official letter to georgia election officials. that letter falsely stating the justice department had identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election. when doj leaders refused to sign it, the president reportedly telling them just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me today's hearing focusing on the actions of former assistant attorney
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general jeffrey clark who witnesses say stood ready to do mr. trump's bidding. let's get late details from garrett haake >> reporter: the january 6 committee tonight laying out their case that former president trump attempted to force the department of justice to help him overturn the 2020 election, pressuring senior officials to make claims of widespread fraud that did not exist. >> president trump wanted department of justice to say the election was, quote, corrupt and, quote, leave the rest to me and the republican congressman. >> reporter: a quote supported by a witness's handwritten notes. l. trump weighed replacing the acting attorney general jeff rosen with a lower level official, an environmental lawyer named jeff clark, who had drafted a letter to key states falsely claiming the doj had found significant fraud there. >> when he finished discussing what he planned on doing, i said good [bleep]. sorry.
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congratulations, you just committed the first act as attorney general would be committing a felony, violating rule 6c. you're clearly the right candidate for this job. >> i made the point jeff clark is not competent to serve as attorney general, and i said that's right. you're an environmental lawyer how about you go back to your office, we will call you when there's an oil spill? >> i thought jeff's proposal was nuts. this guy at a certain point, best i can tell is the only thing you know about environmental and elections challenges is they both start with "e," and based on your answers, i'm not sure you know even that. >> reporter: doj threatened to resign en masse >> leadership will be gone he will be left in a graveyard. >> reporter: clark repeatedly invoked fifth amendment rights when questioned. federal agents searching clark's virginia home on wednesday, seizing his electronics. committee evidence showing clark was recommended to the
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president by pennsylvania republican scott perry, who was among several members of congress who testimony showed later asked for presidential pardons >> did he contact you directly >> yes, he did >> reporter: perry had previously called claims he asked for a pardon a, quote, soulless lie top doj officials debunking conspiracy theories pushed by the president and his aides, including a youtube video suggesting italian satellites were used to switch trump votes to biden, flagged by chief of staff mark meadows. >> i emailed the acting attorney general, and i said pure insanity, which was my impression of video which was patently absurd. >> reporter: while trump allies dismissed the committee's work as a democratic distraction. >> it's a political committee, and the one thing i do know and the american public knows, gas has gone up $1.86 a gallon since the day nancy pelosi announced that
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committee. >> garrett, the committee referencing today what trump white house counsel pat cippolone called a murder-suicide pact. what more do we know about his cooperation with the committee >> reporter: the committee said they had informal conversations with former white house counsel, but today renewed a call for him to testify on the record for their investigation. it's a missing piece, lester, that the committee very much would like to fill in before the hearings resume in mid-july >> all right garrett haake, thank you. now to the other top story. today's landmark supreme court ruling on gun rights. the court striking down a new york state law saying it went too far restricting who can get a permit to carry a gun in public. but the impact goes far beyond new york. pete williams now on the ruling >> reporter: for the first time in american history, the supreme court ruled when the second amendment says there's a right to keep and bear arms, that means a right to carry a handgun outside the home for self defense the court struck down a new york law that required showing
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a special need beyond a general need to have a permit to carr concealed gun in public by a vote of 6-3, the court said no other constitutional right requires showing some special need to exercise it, and that's not how the second amendment works. writing for the majority, justice clarence thomas said local governments can still ban guns from sensitive places, but he said that doesn't simply mean anywhere the public congregates. justice john roberts and justice kavanaug suggests states can impose licensing requirements, background and mental health checks and firearms training. >> the supreme court today said you can't require someone to prove why they want to conceal carry a gun but leaving open where the state could restrict guns and who could have them. >> reporter: the decision will have an immediate impact on new york and five other states with similar restrictions, but in the ruling's most far-reaching language, it said concern for public safety isn't enough to justify new gun controls justice thomas said gun regulations must be, quote, consistent
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with this nation's historical tradition of firearms regulation >> i think the language makes it difficult to justify gun laws going forward and will lead to courts striking down a wide variety of gun safety laws. >> reporter: in dissent, the court's three liberals liste nine recent mass shootings, including the school in uvalde, texas and at the supermarket in buffalo, new york. justice stephen breyer said courts must consider the serious dangers and consequences of gun violence that leads states to regulate firearms we'll get more decisions tomorrow nine cases remain this term, including whether to overturn roe v. wade. lester >> what does today's ruling tell us about the makeup of the court currently? >> reporter: it says that this court super majority is flexing its muscles, the conservative super majority remember, the court has ducked the question of guns outside the home for 14 years this term the conservatives had the votes to answer it the way they wanted and we are likely to see the same 6-3 voting
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pattern in decisions yet to come. >> pete williams at the supreme court, thank you. the response to today's ruling was swift from new york's governor and the mayor of new york city, vowing new gun laws in response gabe gutierrez has that part of the story. >> reporter: with gun violence surging across the country, tonight some city leaders are blasting the supreme court decision >> we cannot allow new york to become the wild, wild west. that is unacceptable >> reporter: new york city mayor eric adams says local officials are weighing legal options. the nypd recovered more than 3,000 guns so far this year, gun arrests hit a 28-year high >> the decision ignores the shocking crisis of gun violence every day engulfing not only new york but engulfing our entire country. >> reporter: in a state still reeling from last month' buffalo mass shooting that left ten people dead, defiant governor hochul is considering calling a
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special session of the legislature to come up with new regulations. >> we can have restrictions on speech you can't yell fire in a crowded theater, but somehow there's no restrictions allowed on the second amendment. >> reporter: but the president of the organization that brought the lawsuit welcomed the ruling which he says protects the second amendment. >> the time has come for this the judges decided they're going to have to live with it. >> reporter: other states with similar laws to new york's are now scrambling to defend them. >> what works in a rural state like wyoming doesn't necessarily work in the densest state of america like new jersey. >> do you expect more legal challenges to the laws of new jersey as a result of this ruling >> yes i think the supreme court invited open season on challenges to gun laws. >> reporter: as the high court shot down some restrictions, today, the senate cleared a key
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procedural vote on others, advancing a bipartisan bill to combat gun violence. a final vote could come tomorrow. >> gabe joining me circle back to the supreme court decision new york officials very quick t point out it doesn't mean folks can immediately carry guns in public. >> yeah, lester. private businesses can restrict weapons, background checks. we expect that lawmakers will now debate what a sensitive area is where weapons can be banned is that hospitals, subways? also an open question now, lester. >> gabe, thanks very much. in florida, one year after the collapse of the surfside condo tower that killed 98 people, a judge today approved a $1.2 billion settlement for the families of those who died and survivors more than two dozen defendants were sued for negligence, including the building security company and a consulting engineer. tonight, much of the southern half of the country remains in the grip of a dangerous heat wave with more records broken today al roker has it all for us is there relief on the way?
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>> not until early next week. meantime, 28 million of us under heat advisories, watches, heat warnings as well, stretching from texas all the way into florida. we are looking at record low warm temperatures, from dallas, shreveport, atlanta, tallahassee tonight. those temperatures don't drop down that much, so they bounce back up big time tomorrow afternoon with records possible in dallas, birmingham, albany, tampa, new orleans. and then again as we go into the weekend, temperatures hang around, but as you can see by monday temperatures start to come down a bit to still above averages but at least cooler than they've been. lester >> al, thank you very much. as the country awaits the supreme court's ruling on roe v. wade, many women in states with restrictive new abortion laws are looking for other options, even crossing into mexico in growing numbers. here is morgan radford. >> reporter: for many women, this doctor is their last chance. his new mexico practice is one of a few remaining abortion
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clinics along the u.s.-mexico border, a mile west of the texas state line. >> increase by 100, we do about 250 a month now. >> abortions per month? >> per month. >> reporter: that jump since last september when a texas law banned abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy before that, the state allowed them up to 20 weeks. >> not doing an abortion because you're six weeks or five weeks is almost like not doing abortions at all. >> reporter: some of those that can't find help they're looking for across state lines are leaving the country entirely many american women are coming here to mexico to buy abortion pills, the most commonly used doesn't require prescription, costs a tenth of the price. we are about to meet two women that do services in their home. here in mexico just outside monterey, they founded the place where they provide the abortion inducing drug and guide women how to
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take it. they say they've seen a dramatic surge of american clients since the texas law went into effect. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: before you were seeing two to three american women a year now you're seeing five american women a week. >> uh-huh. >> reporter: and sometimes more and where are they coming from? [ speaking foreign language ] so the majority of women you are seeing are coming from texas. and they're not alone. another mexican organization which opened its doors in january says americans now make up 25% of its customers. [ speaking foreign language ] can you give me an example? what do women from texas tell you it is fear, not only of going to jail, but the economic penalties, and you're saying even though there hasn't been a case since the law changed in september in texas, it is enough to inspire so much fear
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a fear that's driving many women even further from home. morgan radford, nbc news, monterey, mexico. in 60 seconds, with cases of monkeypox on the rise, shortages of vaccine now being reported a health officials voice growing concern.
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back now with the growing monkeypox outbreak the world health organization saying today there are more than 3,000 cases and 1 death in 48 countries. new york city today began offering the monkeypox vaccine. as stephanie gosk reports, the clinic was quickly overwhelmed. >> reporter: today in new york city, monkeypox vaccines were given out for the first time, only available for those at high risk, gay or bisexual men who have had multiple partners in the last two weeks. one clinic in manhattan giving out shots was overwhelmed by demand, closing its doors to walk-ins by midday >> i have monkeypox. i was notified by a sexual partner i had
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encountered. >> reporter: actor kim hickernel is suffering from sores and flu-like symptoms. >> what started as three sores became more, and even to this day, i feel like i am finding ones on my body today i found one on my hand. >> reporter: according to the cdc, there are 173 cases in the u.s. across 25 states most cases are mild. >> at this point the general population should not be worried that monkeypox is going to cause another pandemic we're just not there yet. >> reporter: but high risk groups are being asked to remain vigilant >> it appears that intimate partner contact is a key component. you have to have close physical contact. >> reporter: it is not nearly as contagious as covid still the world health organization is considering declaring a global health emergency. a decision could come by end of the week while here in new york, hickernel hopes to help by telling his story. >> i feel it is important to educate one another, look out for each other, keep talking about it. >> reporter: awareness, say medical experts, will be the
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best defense stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york there's more to tell you about, complaints against airlines through the roof and troubling signs of what millions of travelers may face heading to the july 4th holiday.
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the summer travel season is heating up and so is frustration. new data out showing complaints against airlines have surged 300% above pre-pandemic levels. as emilie ikeda
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reports, the frustrations are growing ahead of the july 4th rush. >> reporter: for thousands of americans this week, their summer getaways land them in an airport armageddon >> we've had multiple delays and chaos >> reporter: more than 2,000 flights axed just since yesterday travel app hopper reports more than a quarter of recent flights have been delayed, fueled by industry staffing shortages, soaring demand, and severe weather. >> i was in the airport for over five hours, maybe six. >> reporter: the chaos comes just as airports brace for another flood of travelers july 4th weekend an anticipated 11 million to pass through airports over the holiday despite soaring cost of travel. the price to fly spiking 45% since 2019 >> are we going to see the chaos in the airports continue? >> we are expecting to continue to see significant delays, demand, people booking travel and wanting to travel has well outpaced airlines rebuilding capacity. >> reporter: to
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improve reliability, major airlines continue to trim summer schedules today united announcing it' cutting 12% of daily flights at newark aaa believes airport frustrations will push more to the roads this independence holiday according to one study, many are eyeing las vegas, considered a top destination for july 4th. >> we are going to drive there actually, even with gas prices being so high. >> reporter: millions set to crisscross the country next week over a holiday experts fear will be marred by mishaps. emilie ikeda, nbc news, newark, new jersey a history making moment at th westminster dog show trumpet, a four-year-old bloodhound from illinois, becoming the first of his breed to win best in show at the 146th annual canine competition this year's show drew more than 3,000 dogs and more than 200 different breeds. up next, the american swimmer saved by her coach in a remarkable rescue. our exclusive interview with both
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coming up.
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finally tonight, the harrowing moments in a pool for an american swimmer who passed out but is alive thanks to quick action from her coach. miguel almaguer spoke with them both in an exclusive interview. >> america anita alvarez. >> reporter: it was another stunning performance for
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american artistic swimmer anita alvarez who drew cheers from the crowd and smile from the coach, until a wave of concern washed across the world aquatics championship in budapest, hungary, as alvarez suddenly plunged into darkness. what's the last thing you remember >> i remember feeling like it was a great performance. i started to feel a bit of numbness in my fingers and honestly everything went black and that was kind of it it all happened really fast. >> reporter: alvarez, a two-time olympian was in trouble, slowly, motionlessly, the 25-year-old drifted to the bottom of the pool. >> as soon as she was going down, immediately i know something was wrong. >> reporter: sensing alvarez fainted, coach andrea fuentes did what stunned lifeguards waited to do desperately reaching for alvarez, fuentes used all her strength to wrap the swimmer in her arms and lift her to the surface >> like in slow motion for me maybe it was fast bu for me it was a year >> reporter: underwater roughly two
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minutes, alvarez was rolled onto the pool deck where she started gasping for air. >> when did you know you would be okay? >> i think right away i knew i would be okay, as soon as i was breathing and was awake. >> reporter: likely fainting because of exhaustion, this rescue was incredibly the second time alvarez was saved by fuentes during competition. >> i say this all the time to her and other people just so grateful to have her as a coach. >> reporter: tonight, the bond of a lifetime and the photo more powerful than words. miguel almaguer, nbc news >> what a drama. so glad she's okay that's "nightly news" for this thursday thank you for watching i am lester holt please take care of yourself and each other. good night
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(music throughout)
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next on nbc bay area news, fire season is here in a big way. we are tracking several wildfires across the bay area at this hour. some threatening homes and one forcing evacuations in pleasanton. also --. >> i look forward to a quick recovery. to get them out here swimming and running. four we speak to the friends of the surfer who was attacked by a shark. new warnings about monkeypox after another cases reported. we are joined by one of our experts. have you seen them? these billboards popping up in the east bay. they document some


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