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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  January 12, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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weather by tuesday and another storm wednesday and thursday. >> thank you for joining us. "nightly news" is next. >> have a good night, folks. see you back here at 6:00. investigating the fbi. a bombshell announcement. the justice department watchdog launches a highly unusual inquiry before the election. unprecedented call with the nation's top spy told the president-elect after explosive unverified allegations went public family tragedy. six children perish as fire consumes their home. three other children escape. a mother suffering an unimaginable loss. cheaper alternative after the epi-pen outrage. tonight there's a brand new option. bro-mance surprise. it brought many to tears.
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inspiring america. it's been named the best new restaurant in the country. wait until you see what's cooking. "nightly news" begins right now. good evening. hoping for a measure of vindication. the hillary clinton campaign is welcoming the surprise news out of washington that the justice department's inspector general will take a deep look into how the fbi handled its investigation of clinton's e-mail server in the height of the campaign. the probe to include the public disclosures made by fbi director comey himself and letter to congress meant to shake up the raise just days before the election. here is pete williams with details. >> reporter: the justice department's independent watchdog says he'll look at public disclosures by fbi director james
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comey and others about the e-mail investigation. word of the review was welcomed by clinton supporters who say they believe the fbi affected the investigation. >> when a law enforcement agency breaches protocol in an unusual and unprecedented way for the confidence of that agency, everybody should get to the bottom of what happened. >> reporter: inspector david horowitz said he will review the statements in july which he blasted the way clinton and her aides used e-mails. >> they were extremely careless in their handling of sensitive, classified information. >> reporter: it will look at the letter congress sent to congress october 28th revealing new e-mails hat to be reviewed. nothing significant was found. it's easily the pointed doj review of an fbi's conduct. >> these are the type of questions that the inspector general looks at but it's not an everyday matter for it to be the director of the fbi. >> reporter: comey brushed aside questions. he said everyone will benefit from
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thoughtful evaluation and transparency. horowitz said he launched the review after hearing from the public and members of congress in both parties. >> there were some strange things that neither side of the political aisle liked and they need to answer for those. >> reporter: some say the review should have been launched much earlier right after the news conference in july. >> if he opened an investigation then it would have prevented comey from sending the letter in october that might have been decisive in the presidential election. >> reporter: it will not affect the election. it will not look at why nobody was prosecuted but it will result in recommendations to the next attorney general that could range from policy changes to discipline. for now it leaves something of a cloud over the fbi director preparing to establish gnaw relationship with the president. now to that unprecedented phone call made late yesterday providing
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insight into how bad things are between president-elect trump and the intelligence agency. the nation's top spy chief, james clapper, calling mr. trump and offering a public olive branch. we have more from nbc news senior investigating correspondent. >> reporter: the call came after mr. trump suggested yesterday the intelligence agencies might have leaked a damaging document about him. >> which would be a tremendous blot on their record if they did that. a tremendous blot. >> reporter: mr. clapper said he didn't think they had leaked it. i expressed my profound dismay at the leaks. we agreed they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security. further as we reported yesterday, mr. clapper said the intelligence community did not consider the 35-page document smearing mr. trump reliable. a summary of which was included with the top secret report on russia's influence on the election. in an appendix titled disinformation. the former commander
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nado says mr. trump's relationship with the intel leadership is broken and he needs his own team in place for the good of the country. >> otherwise we'll have complete dysfunctionalty in our national security. >> reporter: two members of what mr. trump hopes will be his new team were on the hill as part of the confirmation process. mike pompao. >> the cia has become a political organization. do you believe that? >> i have not seen that. >> reporter: general james mattis for secretary of defense. >> i have very modest expectations about areas of cooperation with mr. putin. >> reporter: in an interview today with vice president biden, andrea mitchell asked about mr. trump's deteriorating relationship with the intel community. >> it's understandable mr. trump doesn't understand the intelligence community. the hope is he has people around him that understands it's the
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crown jewel of everything we do whether it's in terms of all our foreign policy decisions, all our intelligence decisions. >> i think a number of adversaries, al qaeda, isis, north koreans, russians will try to test us right out of the gates. they want to know whether this president's rhetoric will actually match actions by our country. he will need the intelligence community to defend us. >> reporter: multiple high level intelligent sources tell us that in addition to what we have already reported, there is this. after mr. trump's briefing on friday, the head of the fbi, james comey, told mr. trump about the existence of unverified allegations against him and also told him that a summary of those claims was included in the addendum to the top secret report. lester? >> thank you. major drama on capitol hill as senate republicans took the first step to repeal obamacare by passing a budget resolution overnight as many americans slept. it goes to the house where it could pass as
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early as tomorrow. the full senate also passed an exception that will exempt retired general james mattis from a law requiring ex-military to be out of the house for seven years. the house votes tomorrow. russia is pointing a finger at the kremlin for cyber attacks. inside russia's presidential offices our bill neely sat down with vladmir putin's spokesman who rejects those hacking conclusions. >> reporter: tonight there is no doubt how donald trump is viewed in the kremlin. >> does president putin like what he sees so far? >> i have no doubt that, yes. >> reporter: putin spokesman tells us trump is wrong, that putin hacked the u.s. >> i think it was russia. >> donald trump said i think it was russia. was it? >> no, it wasn't.
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>> president putin didn't order any hacking? >> definitely not. >> did he know about any hacking? >> president-elect trump is wrong when he says russia did it? >> definitely wrong. >> reporter: he denies any suggestion that russia sought to compromise the president-elect. >> he wasn't bugged? >> no. >> wasn't followed? >> no. >> have your intelligence agencies got anything on donald trump? i have not seen a file. >> reporter: as to when donald trump and putin will hold talks, prescov says the sooner the better. lester? >> bill, thank you. tonight a family and a city is dealing with a tragedy that is hard to comprehend. six children, all of them siblings, perished when their home caught fire in the middle of the night. three more siblings were able to escape, in addition to their mother, suffering an unimaginable loss tonight. nbc's kerry sanders is
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in baltimore. >> reporter: the fire broke out shortly after midnight. flames racing through malone's family three-story wood framed house. inside mother katy and her nine children. ranging in age from 11 years old and six months old. >> nine children inside. >> reporter: as the house burned, neighbors ran to the scene. >> i heard the kids crying. my daughter heard them. they said help. couldn't save them. couldn't save them. >> reporter: an 8-year-old daughter was able to rescue two younger brothers, all stumbling out of the house with their mother. >> we have three churn relocated there in the backyard. there in the backyard. they're safe. >> reporter: six kids were still trapped inside. tonight all of their bodies have been recovered. >> it's very heartbreaking for us all. >> reporter: she's worked for maryland congressman elijah cummings for more than a decade. today he found it hard to find words. >> it's a very
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difficult time for our office. >> reporter: investigators still don't know what caused the blaze. the children's father who was working the night shift at a restaurant told officials there was a smoke detector in the house. >> tonight the 8-year-old who rescued her two siblings has been released from the hospital. her mother and the two family members she saved are still there in critical condition. >> so much heartache in baltimore tonight. after five long and punishing years northern california is officially out of the drought held by a deluge of rain and several feet of snow. with that good news comes fears of more extreme weather to come, as the region remains under threat. nbc miguel almaguer reports from yosemite valley. >> reporter: for california, brutal cold is causing problems, but this is a sight of beauty. yosemite in a blanket of snow. ribbons of white
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cascading down waterfalls and winding rivers on the way to lakes and reservoirs. enough this month to end northern california's five-year drought. >> i've worked here for over 20 years now. this is the way winters used to be. >> reporter: this is a dramatic turnaround. yosemite's half dome january 11, 2012 and now. last year 87% of california was in severe drought. today nearly half the state is out of the red. once depleted reservoirs brimming over 100% of normal. dams now releasing excess water. southern california is getting much needed rain today too. the deluge is triggering mudslides, crumbling parts of a home in the hollywood hills. in portland, oregon a state of emergency. plows arriving from seattle to help clear the roads. in washington state, this roof collapsed under the weight of heavy snow. in wine country, some are cleaning up and wading through water and mud not seen in a
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decade. it was closed but the road to yosemite is open today. >> it's incredible. >> reporter: once inside revealing an incredible glimpse of both mother nature's wrath and all of her splendid beauty. all of these storms mean california snow pack is now at 158% of normal for this time of year. the big picture here, while it's beautiful and majestic to look at, the snow is major windfall hoping to pull california out of a crippling drought. lester? >> thanks. one more note on the weather. forecasters are warning of a massive and dangerous ice storm that will stretch 1,000 miles from texas to ohio and with ice and freezing rain coating trees and covering power lines, it could knock out power to millions. it's expected to start tomorrow. we'll be following that closely. there were few dry eyes in the white house today, including
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the vice president as president obama surprised the v.p. with the nation's highest civilian honor, the medal of freedom. awarded with distinction, a medal that's so rare, this is the first time mr. obama has ever done it. nbc andrea mitchell has details. >> reporter: joe biden thought he was coming to the state dining room for a farewell toast with the obamas until he saw the whole biden clan, family and friends. >> the best vice president america's ever had, mr. joe biden. this also gives the internet one last chance to talk about our bro-mance. >> reporter: celebrating a life of public service spanning nearly a half century. obama and biden sometimes sounding like a white house buddy movie. >> and when the pope visited, joe was kind enough to let me talk to the holiness as well. >> reporter: teasing his vice president for his occasional profanity like when they signed obamacare. >> this is a being [ bleep ] deal. >> reporter: it is as joe said, a big deal.
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>> reporter: but the big surprise tonight for the man the president calls his brother -- >> for the final time as president, i'm pleased to award our nation's highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom. >> i can say i was part of, part of the journey of a remarkable man who did remarkable things in this country. >> reporter: earlier biden telling me -- barack obama called you a brother. what has -- what have he and michelle meant to you and jill? >> this has become a family. i think michelle is the finest first lady in history. i mean in history. >> reporter: tonight it was joe biden's moment. >> i had to quote an irish poet, think where men's glory most begins and end and say my glory was i had
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such friends. >> as long as there's breath in me i'll be there for you. i want to thank you you all so very, very much. all of you. >> reporter: andrea mitchell, nbc news, washington. still ahead, the price you pay after so much public outrage over the soaring cost of a lifesaving device that many children desperately need. a new competitor offers parents relief.
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there's a major development to report on the outrage of the soaring price of epi-pens which so many
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people with life-threatening allergies depend on. you may recall the price hit $600 last summer. the nation's largest pharmacy chain, cvs will offer a generic competing product at a much cheaper price. here's nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: just one day after president-elect trump took aim at the drug industry -- >> they're getting away with murder. >> reporter: pharmacy giant cvs announced its taking on the epi-pen, selling a generic, charging just $110 for a two-pack. >> when you're talking saving 5, $600 a year and sometimes more into the thousands, it's a game changer and we're excited about it. >> reporter: epi-pens can save the life of anyone having a severe allergic reaction, very often children. but its maker, mylan
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pharmaceuticals, sparked a public relations backlash by raising prices 100 to $600 over ten years. just this week cigna insurance said it will no longer pay for the $600 pens. this one delivers the same dose in an auto-injector that's nearly identical to the ep i-pen and easier to use. >> they will pay $109.99 less the $100 coupon. so the net to them is only $9.99. >> reporter: in colorado nicole smith isn't convinced. an epi-pen already safed her son's life when he went into shock. >> i'm not comfortable with the adrena-click being easy. i've been trained on it. it was difficult for me. >> reporter: for millions of americans who struggle to pay the price, tonight a generic competitor is driving prices lower. tom costello, nbc
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news, washington. we're back in a moment with a big reversal on something that's caused friction between the u.s. and cuba for decades.
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with just over a week left in office, president obama has done away with a controversial immigration policy. he reversed the 20-year-old wet foot, dry foot provision that allowed any cuban who fled to u.s. soil and become a permanent resident after a year. new troubles this evening for major automaker. the epa accusing fiat chrysler for disclosing software that would have more pollution. the ceo denies any wrongdoing and rejects comparisons to volkswagen which was caught using defective devices to beat emissions tests and was fined $4.3 billion yesterday. after 56 years in san diego, the chargers are moving to los angeles. it comes after san diego voters rejected
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a billion dollars in increased hotel taxes to pay for a new stadium. today's announcement prompted anger from fans who gathered in protest at team headquarters. the chargers will join the rams in l.a. marking the first time that city has had two nfl teams since 1994. we'll take a break and come back inside the restaurant deemed the best in america with a touch of inspiration behind it.
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finally, the remarkable story behind one of the hottest restaurants in america earning rave reviews not just for its fine cuisine but its special cause. gabe gutierrez has our inspiring america report. >> reporter: in atlanta's old war there's a spot where reservations are hard to come by and so are any complaints. >> everybody has been phenomenal. >> reporter: for jen and kara, running the staple house is a labor of love. >> it's been a long journey. one worth fighting for. >> reporter: jen and her husband ryan had started that fight years ago. well before he was diagnosed with stage four gallbladder cancer. >> at that exact same
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time, our dreams came crashing down. >> reporter: team heidi raised money so the couple could focus on his treatment, but at 36 he lost his battle. >> the last thing i said to my brother was i love you and i hugged him and told him i'd see him again. >> reporter: team heidi transformed into the giving kitchen. a nonprofit giving money to atlanta restaurant workers facing unexpected hardships. >> when you look at this restaurant, do you see him? >> absolutely. >> reporter: now all after tax profits at staple house go to the charity. it's given more than a million dollars to 600 people like isabella jones fighting thyroid cancer. >> you feel isolated and alone. it helps to hear people say, we got you. >> reporter: it was named the best new restaurant of 2016. >> i think he'd be blown away. we each have a choice to make. you can hide or stand up and move forward. >> reporter: a kitchen
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that serves much more than what's on the menu. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, atlanta. >> that will do it for us tonight on a thursday. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank that's what bay area scientists says about a new declaration that the drought is over even though our reservoirs look like this. filled to the brim. the news starts right now. i'm terry mcsweeney in for raj mathai. >> and i'm jessica aguirre. we have team coverage covering problem spots from this week's storms. but first what a difference a week can make. we want to show you these drought maps. they're side by side there.
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last week's map is on the left. the one on the right is the one released today. you can see all of northern california is out of a drought, but the rest of the state is in much better shape. nbc bay area's elyce kirchner has more. they say we shouldn't be so sure about that. >> reporter: with all the waters overflowing it's easy to think we're out of the woods. take a look at the water coming out of the banks. a federal agency declared parts of the drought in california may be over but we found it may be more complicated. for days clair has watched her newly installed drought resistant lawn get soaked. >> i'm watching the ground get more and more saturated. >> reporter: with all the recent dumping of rain and snow in the sierra


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