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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  December 10, 2019 2:07am-2:36am PST

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the chilling video, police calling it rehearsal for a mass shooting a man armed with an arsenal points guns at pedestrians outside. the tip that led to his arrest. the boeing whistle blower going public tonight. >> bottom line is you're worried about people dying in boeing planes. >> absolutely. >> what he says he warned the company about months before two deadly 737 max crashes. fighting porch pirates, we go along with police as they set traps to catch thieves in the act and how you can protect your holiday packages this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt good evening there are grim fears tonight over the fates of tourists including americans after the volcanic island they were visiting in new zealand exploded and a deadly shower of ash and steam. as a new day breaks on that side of the world, reconnaissance planes are searching for signs
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of life. janis mackey frayer is in new zealand. >> reporter: two explosions, a huge tower of ash and steam shooting up 12,000 feet. >> no, no, no. >> reporter: the eruption captured by anxious tourists as their boat pulled away from the island. >> reporter: michael shade and his family had just finished their tour. >> it was hard to stop crying long enough to take the photo and take the photo and start thinking about it and start crying again. >> reporter: rescuers are struggling to reach the island, now smothered in two feet of searing ash. reconnaissance flights confirm there are no signs of life at least five people are dead, eight are missing. at least two americans are among the injured. matthew ryan and his wife lauren. >> there were two groups on the island those who were able to be evacuated and those who were close to the eruption. >> reporter: just one minute before the eruption, a camera captured this stunning image appearing to sho
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people just tiny specs near the rim of the crater. sky diving instructor tristan web was in the air when the island exploded. >> within about five seconds in the aircraft, you could see the plume of smoke was just island. it was very rapid. >> reporter: white island is privately owned about 30 miles off the northeast coast here it is also new zealand's most active volcano and the alert level was raised video taken friday shows it was already spewing gas. the agency that manages the alert system warned days ago the volcano was restless the island is so unstable rescue teams can't get near it and there is a risk of another eruption. >> incredible to watch thank you. in washington the bitter divide over impeachment was on full display as we near an expected house vote before the end of the year. hallie jackson has details. >> reporter: closing arguments as democrats close in on a vote
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to impeach the president looking to put the public on their side. >> the evidence shows donald j. trump, the president of the united states has put himself before his country. >> recapping weeks of public hearings arguing the president abused his power, betrayed the national interest and tried to corrupt the 2020 election by freezing military aid to ukraine while asking for an investigation into his political rivals. >> we talk about the abcs of presidential abuses. it is extraordinary the president's conduct was a trifecta. >> president trump's effort to convince a foreign country to cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger >> reporter: republicans furious and showing it. >> bang it harder. it still doesn't make the point.
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>> reporter: the president's allies are angry with the process they call rushed and unfair reiterating in their view he did nothing wrong. >> to impeach a president who 63 million people voted for over eight lines in a call transcript is bologna. >> reporter: the gop pointing out the military aid money to ukraine was released without a commitment to investigate the bidens like the president wanted after the aid freeze became a public controversy. >> the inquiry returned no direct evidence that president trump withheld a meeting or security assistance in order to pressure president zelensky. >> nobody understands what the majority is trying to do except interfere and basically make sure that they believe the president can't win next year if he's impeached. >> reporter: president trump today. >> it's a disg t and itule allowed to happen again. >> reporter: the house could vote on impeachment in the next two weeks and against that backdrop, nbc lsianfficial
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mo lester the russia investigation came roaring back today with lingering question whether the fbi was politically motivated to launch the investigation into the 2016 trump campaign. tonight an answer the justice department's inspector general saying while the fbi made mistakes, it had good reason to open that investigation. here is pete williams. >> reporter: in a highly anticipated report, two years in the making, the inspector general found when the fbi secretly opened an investigation into possible russian influence of the trump campaign in july 2016, it fallowed the rules about launching that kind of se no evidence of political bias and said the fbi had a legitimate purpose in looking at whether there was a threat to national security but har c for permission to conduct surveillance on carter paige, a former trump campaign advisor saying there was serious management failures.
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the fbi relied on an unverified dossier assembled by christopher steele, a british spy hired to conduct research on trump and russia the report says the fbi's court application made statements about steele that were inaccurate and incomplete and unsupported over selling his support and glossing over the fact many claims he made were not checking out the inspector general made no conclusions behind the repeated failures but said it got no satisfactory explanation how the mistakes happened. james comey in charge of the fbi said the report is largely a vindication. >> there was no treason, no putting inform pants in the campaign it was nonsense. >> reporter: the president said it backs the claim the fbi was out to get him. >> this was an overthrow of the government, attempted overthrow and a lot of people were in on it and they got caught red-handed.
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>> reporter: william barr said the report makes clear that the fbi launched an intrusive investigation of a u.s. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions, which did not justify the steps the fbi took months ago, barr appointed a u.s. attorney in connecticut to conduct a separate review and in a highly unusual statements today given his investigation isn't done durham echoes the attorney general, saying he does not agree with the inspector general how the fbi opened investigation was opened in the first place. the inspector general says he's ordering a new investigation how the fbi applies for these secret surveillance warrants and the fbi director ordered changes how the process works. lester >> pete williams, thank you. the world anti-doping agency banned russia from several international sporting events including next summer's tokyo
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olympics the agency accused russia of fraud and manipulation for falsifying records but russians that can prove they are clean can compete as neutral athletes in the games. three days after a mass shooting at a naval base in pensacola, the fbi i treating it as an act of terrorism as we learn more about the gunman's past. gabe gutierrez is there. >> reporter: tonight, investigators are delving deeper into the past of 21-year-old saudi national mohammed alshamrani. >> do you have any idea when this gunman might have been radicalized? >> no, that's part of the complexity. >> reporter: "the new york times" reports the gunman filed a formal complaint this year against one of his instructors that left him infuriated in class with tagging him with a derogatory name about his mustache nbc news has not reviewed the complaint. the shooter walked into this building friday with a handgun
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he bought legally with a hunting license. david morgan says there should be tougher scrutiny of foreign nationals that come to the u.s. for training do you believe he should not have been allowed the buy a firearm? >> yes, i believe that. >> reporter: eight people were wounded including ryan blackwell who was shot in his right arm and pelvis. >> took some rounds, saved some people in the process and kind of still trying to piece everything together. >> reporter: three sailors were killed 19-year-old mohammed hathym just graduated boot camp. his family is distraught. >> he put his life on the line trying to not only save himself but save others. >> reporter: joshua caleb watso >> he actually put the angel on our tree. >> reporter: just hours after the shooting, the city of pensacola was hit with a cyber attack but the sheriff has beena suspect just pleaded not guilty to weapons and other charges after a chilling video surfaced
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of a rehearsal for a mass shooting it took place last march in a san diego hotel room stockpiled with weapons and ammo. a judge ordered him held on $1 million bail he was arrested on a tip from someone who knew him now our nbc news exclusive with the boeing 737 max still grounded after two deadly crashes, a whistle blower is going public to nbc cynthia mcfadden saying he warned the company about production problems before the planes went down what did it feel like the last day at boeing, the day you retired? >> felt like i was abandoning the titanic >> reporter: after 30 years in the military, much it of spent in an airport, ed pearson has a strong sense of duty why did you decide to come talk to us to come and testify later this week in front of congress >> well, actually, it wasn't my plan i feel like i didn't really have a choice. >> reporter: bottom line you're worried about people dying in boeing planes
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>> absolutely. >> reporter: in 2008 pearson went to work for boeing at their massive plant in washington where all the company's 737s are built. the 737 was a magnificent airplane great safety record. were you excited to work for the company and be part of the 737 production >> how could you not want to work for boeing? it was an amazing company. >> reporter: in 2013 as the 737 max production ramped up, ed pearson started to see things that alarmed him. >> it was just out and it was ridiculous. >> reporter: the race to build the new planes and compete with europe's airbus pushed the production schedule into over drive. instead of 47 planes a month, 52 were being built so how much over time was going on at this point did it double? >> more than double. you work seven days straight, you're beat, you know and you're tired. >> reporter: he says during this period, many people worked weren't enough engineers or
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electricians and some ended up doing jobs they had never been trained for. a perfect storm for production problems he says he sent this email to the head of the 737 team in june 2018 expressing his concern workers were inadvertently embedding safety hazards into our airplanes. i know how dangerous even a small defect can be to an airplane he urged the boeing manager to shut down the factory for a few weeks to straighten things out and what was his reaction? >> we can't shut down and i sai operations shut down for a lot less. >> reporter: what was his reply to that? >> something i'll never forget he said well, military is not a profit-making organization. >> reporter: what words would you describe that factory at that point >> dangerous unnecessary. taking an unnecessary risk chaotic.
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disarray >> reporter: four months later a lion air 737 max crash killing all 189 people on board. and the irony that when you wrote that first letter, that lion airplane was on the factory floor. >> it was within the production system at the time when i saw that, that was -- i really can't say i mean, i don't know how to describe i cried a lot. >> reporter: did you >> yeah. i'm mad at myself because i felt like maybe i could have done more. >> reporter: over the next several months he reached out to the boeing ceo and general counsel but felt nothing was being done 19 days after sending this letter to the boeing board, a
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second 737 max crashed afterwards the 737 max was grounded boeing has acknowledged mistakes including that their anti-stall system contributed to both crashes. pearson says he doesn't know if what he witnessed contributed to the crashes but it's the uncertainty that disturbs him. >> somewhere in the end of my letter to the board, i said no one wants to wake up one morning and hear of another accident, and that's exactly what happened. >> reporter: what do you say to americans who are planning to fly on a 737 even in the next few weeks? >> my family is in the same boat i would demand that the faa and their role as regulators go in thoroughly investigate that factory. >> so cynthia, what is boeing saying about this. >> reporter: lester, while the 737 max fleet are grounded, there are more than 6800 other 737s flying. boeing is pushing back strongly saying the 737 is one of the safest planes flying and say quote, the suggestion by mr. pearson of a link between his concerns and the recent max
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accidents is completely unfounded. and they say so far no investigators have found quote production conditions in the factory contributed to the accidents. lester >> all right cynthia, thank you. just ahead, fighting porch pilots we're with the police that set traps for those stealing packages what you can do to keep your packages safe. >> also, remembering a hero that helped raise hundreds of millions for a noble cause
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♪ ♪ bang bang into the room ♪ bang bang all over you ♪ wait a minute let me take you there ♪ ♪ wait a minute 'til you
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♪ bang bang there goes your heart ♪ ♪ back, back seat of my car ♪ wait a minute let me take you there ♪ ♪ wait a minute 'til you ♪ b to the a to the n to the g to the uh ♪ ♪ b to the a to the n to the g to the hey ♪ ♪ see anybody could be good to you ♪ ♪ you need a bad girl to blow your mind ♪ ♪ bang bang into the room ♪ bang bang all over you ♪ wait a minute let me take you there ♪ ♪ wait a minute 'til you ♪ bang bang there goes your heart ♪ ♪ back, back seat of my car ♪ wait a minute let me take you there ♪ ♪ wait a minute 'til you ♪
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>> kelly: all right. welcome to "the kelly clarkson show." our spotlight singer was really getting into the song. i cannot wait to meet him. what is your name? >> my name is mike and i'm actually here with my daughter olivia. she thought he requested the song. >> kelly: olivia, i love your dad! are you embarrassed or do you love them even more? >> i requested this song in honor of my dad because for as long as i can remember he's always beenng and in


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