tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC February 5, 2020 2:07am-2:38am PST
cars stranded on the road. 28 million under alerts. al roker is tracking it all. a key accuser back on the stand in the harvey weinstein trial. her message to the jury, telling them he is my rapist. the shocking twist. the reality tv surgeon and his girlfriend accused of drugging and sexually assaulting women, but now the charges suddenly dropped. >> there is not a single piece of evidence. >> why the former d.a. now is under fire. and the harmful chemical that could be in your makeup. new demands for the fda to take action. >> this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. >> good evening. after being trapped in a bewildering state of suspended animation since last night, we have finally gotten the first results from last night's iowa caucus, almost 24 hours after the caucus doors closed. iowa democratic officials late today struggling to explain what went wrong with an app used to report
the results. a virtual numbers blackout that left candidates and voters frustrated, confused, and even skeptical, and providing an inglorious start to the 2020 election season. peter alexander has late-breaking details from des moines. peter, what can you tell us? >> reporter: lester, good evening to you. let's get right to the numbers from the iowa democratic party. 62% of precincts reporting from all 99 counties, and here they are. you can see that pete buttigieg is presently leading the state delegate count with 27%. bernie sanders with 25%. elizabeth warren in third at 18%, and joe biden presently trailing in fourth place. tonight iowa indecision. after nearly a day of chaos and confusion, our first snapshot of the caucus results, but only part of them, showing strong support for pete buttigieg and bernie sanders. buttigieg speaking out late tonight. >> and no matter what happens next, this much is undeniable.
that fact represents an astonishing victory for this campaign. >> reporter: the head of iowa's democratic party tonight calling the system breakdown unacceptable. >> as chair of the party, i apologize deeply for this. >> reporter: the decision to put out incomplete numbers infuriating contenders like elizabeth warren. >> i think they ought to get it together and release all of the data. that's what we need. >> reporter: and sanders, pressed by nbc news whether democratic voters will lose confidence in the process. >> this is not a good thing. your question is a fair question. this is not a good night for democracy. >> reporter: all of it coming after a caucus night that for democrats produced anger and embarrassment. >> i've never seen anything like it. >> reporter: neither have i. >> reporter: caucusgoers and candidates frustrated by the stunning failure to release the final results after problems with a new app precinct captains were supposed to use. many tried to phone in their figures. >> i couldn't get through. i tried a number of times. >> we were on hold for
about 30 minutes. >> this is elevator music. >> we have 1600 caucus sites. >> reporter: the state's democratic party first pointing to inconsistencies in the reported data insisting this is not a hack or an intrusion. then today blaming a coding issue with that app that was intended to speed up the reporting of results. late last night, even with no numbers released, some 2020 contenders claiming victory before heading on to new hampshire. >> by the time it's all said and done, iowa, you have shocked the nation. >> reporter: meanwhile, president trump delighting in the democrats' disarray, tweeting "the democrat caucus is an unmitigated disaster. nothing works, just like they ran the country." and tonight growing questions whether iowa's status as host of the nation's first presidential contest will survive. what does this mean for the future of the iowa caucuses? >> nothing good. the iowa caucuses have to defend themselves every four years, and frankly, it's kind of difficult to defend even when things go well.
>> reporter: the delay here not just chaotic, but consequential, robbing the winner of important momentum and allowing those who did poorly here to avoid negative headlines, raising the stakes for the new hampshire primary, lester, one week from today. >> all right, peter, thanks very much. we want to spend a moment or two now talking about that app. there are some in iowa who saw the chaos coming in the democratic caucuses, including warning signs about that app. here is senior legal and investigate correspondent cynthia mcfadden. >> reporter: long before iowa voters gathered at nearly 1700 caucuses, precinct captains and caucus organizers in the iowa city area knew there were problems with their new app that was supposed to tabulate results like a fancy calculator. this email chain provided to nbc news shows their mounting concern. 9:09 a.m., nobody having trouble with the app should feel dumb one organizer wrote.
9:13, i gave up on the app. a few minutes later at 9:29, another joke. just don't submit your results. by 4:30 p.m., nbc news had talked to 12 precinct chairs who said they either couldn't download the app or log in. by around 10:00, some precinct chairs had abandoned the app all together and resorted to a hotline to call in results. but there were problems. >> being on hold with the democratic party trying to report the results looked like being on hold with customer service at your cable company. >> i have no idea what's going on. >> reporter: trouble was clearly brewing. caused it appears not by the russians, but by the iowa democratic party itself, which blamed a coding issue for problems processing results and emphasizing they were not hacked. security experts tell us they're alarmed that the party has refused to reveal who made the app. even worse, that the party told precinct chairs to download it to their unsecured personal phones.
this morning, chad wolf, acting secretary of the department of homeland security had this to say. >> our cyber security and security infrastructure security agency has offered to test that out from a hacking perspective. they declined. >> i have no knowledge of the department of homeland security making that offer to us. >> reporter: so who did make the app? a company called shadow, the receipt showing $60,000 they were paid. the company run by a former hillary clinton staffer. nevada democrats saying today they paid the same amount to the same company, but won't be using them or the app and are evaluating next steps. this afternoon, shadow issuing an apology. "we sincerely regret the delay in the reporting of the results of last night's iowa caucuses." let the finger-pointing begin. meanwhile, the experts we talked to say thank goodness for paper. last night all the caucusgoers wrote down their choices, and it's that paper party
officials say that is being counted today. lester? >> all right, cynthia, thanks very much. i'm here with chuck todd now. putting this vote mess to the side, it looks like a good night for buttigieg. it looks like a good night for sanders. what about joe biden, however? >> this was a tough night for joe biden, especially because he actually made a strategic change in the last two weeks and went all in iowa. his superpac went in. he outspent everybody on television towards the end of this race. he was seeing an opportunity. they thought pete was the one that was leaking support, and that they would be able to scoop up his support, and it worked just the other way. look, we knew iowa's job was to tell us what. who was the leading progressive? who was the leading sort of centrist moderate. if you take the results the way it is, and obviously it's a mess, bernie won the progressive and pete buttigieg won the moderate one. now the two i think do become the cofavorites in iowa. boy, new hampshire is suddenly a fascinating
ball game. and i don't know if joe biden is relevant in this campaign. he's got to figure out how to make himself relevant if he is, because right now he is not. >> a lot to chew on there, chuck. thank you. amid the chaos of iowa and a likely win in his senate trial tomorrow, president trump is set to deliver his state of the union address tonight to a joint session of congress. hallie jackson joins us now. hallie, this is uncharted territory for the president. >> it is, lester. it's his fourth formal address here, but never one like this. he'll be facing the house democrats who impeached him and the senators likely to acquit him tomorrow. sources familiar with the planning of the speech tell us the president is not likely to talk much or focus much on emt and impeachment and instead lay out what one senior administration official calls a discussion about the great american comeback, hitting on the economy, on immigration, on national security. nbc news has also learned that venezuelan opposition leader juan guaido will be a surprise guest at tonight's state of the union. the president himself
is downplaying expectations, promising what he calls extraordinarily low-key comments rather than a victory lap ahead of tomorrow's final vote on those impeachment proceedings. all eyes now on red state democrats to see if some of them may break ranks and vote to acquit president trump. lester? >> hallie jackson, thank you. our special coverage of the state of the union begins at 9:00 eastern on nbc. we're tracking a major winter storm on the move across the country. heavy snow making for a travel nightmare. some cars stranded on the roads in the rockies. al roker is here. al, where is it headed? >> lester, we have 28 million people under winter weather advisories stretching from the pacific northwest down to texas into the midwest. severe weather advisories for 11 million people. tomorrow that expands out to 28 million people from florida all the way to the carolinas. we're looking at anywhere from a half an inch to a quarter of an inch of ice causing problems. snow that will stretch from texas into new england, anywhere from 3 to 9 inches of snow, and rainfall of 1 to 3 inches. airport delays tomorrow from new orleans to st. louis and down to atlanta. lester, we are talking
a travel nightmare for the next 48 hours. >> all right. thanks for the warning, al. sad news tonight that a second high school student has died after a pickup truck plowed into a group of cross-country runners in moore, oklahoma near oklahoma city. three other students remain hospitalized. police say the pickup truck was driven by a man whose son was killed in a car crash just the day before. he is under arrest and police say they suspect alcohol may have been a factor. a key witness against harvey weinstein took the stand again today and told the jury that the hollywood mogul was her rapist. stephanie gosk has the latest. >> reporter: jessica mann hurried out of court after day three of grueling testimony. hours on the stand clutching an orange stress ball. the defense picked up right where it left off on monday on the 34-year-old who says weinstein raped her, broke down in tears and proceedings ended early. weinstein's attorney once again questioning the nature of mann's relationship with the hollywood producer
after she says he assaulted her, including a visit in 2016 to the peninsula hotel in l.a. where mann told the court weinstein raped her three years prior. four hours after meeting weinstein in his room, she wrote to him, i feel so fabulous and beautiful. thank you for everything. weinstein pleaded not guilty to all five charges he faces and denies ever having nonconsensual sex. the defense team argues mann turned to weinstein for help and advice repeatedly throughout a relationship that lasted years, including asking him for assistance with her father's car registration and looking for invites to awards ceremonies. mann testified she asked weinstein to help her get a membership at an exclusive social club. you want the gentlemen and ladies of the jury to know that the man you asked to sponsor you was your rapist? mann pushing back, i do want the jury to know he is my rapist. one of the prosecution's first
witnesses, a forensic psychiatrist testified that victims often continue relationships with their attackers because they cannot really believe this happened to them. they want some explanation about how they can live with this. telling the court behavior alone is no indication of whether or not a crime took place. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. >> we'll be right back in 60 seconds with a stunning reversal in a case involving a celebrity doctor accused of drugging and raping women. and major news about one of this country's biggest retailers. this is my body of p. proof i can fight moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. proof i can fight psoriatic arthritis... ...with humira. proof of less joint pain... ...and clearer skin in psa. humira targets and blocks a source of inflammation that contributes to joint pain and irreversible damage. humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver,
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>> reporter: the former d.a. had accused robicheaux, the reality star surgeon and riley of using their good looks to meet women in ritzy newport beach restaurants and bars and then drugging and sexually assaulting them. >> we believe that there might be many unidentified victims out there. >> reporter: the d.a. slamming tony rackauckus, who declined comment today for originally claiming his office had thousands of videos of evidence that could have claimed more than a thousand victims. >> there is not a single piece of evidence or video or photo that shows an unconscious or incapacitated woman being sexually assaulted. not one. >> reporter: after pleading not guilty to all charges, the couple faced decades behind bars. the d.a. said in a deposition rackauckas knew pursuing the case
for a reelection campaign. >> the mere filing of this case has destroyed irreparably two lives. >> but tonight one of the seven accusers insists she was victimized. >> my client absolutely feels that she was sexually assaulted. >> reporter: tonight charges dropped as questions remain while the former d.a. faces serious allegations of his own. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. there is breaking news tonight on the coronavirus front. a new flight evacuating americans from the outbreak zone in china is now headed for the u.s. as concerns rise about the global impact of this virus. nbc's tom costello with that. >> reporter: at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, long lines to get into a hospital in wuhan, china. the number of confirmed cases now approaching 24,000, nearly 500 fatalities. tonight the first american confirmed to have coronavirus in china is being treated in wuhan, while in the united states, still 11 confirmed cases. in riverside,
california, an infant has been hospitalized with a fever out of an abundance of caution. among the 195 americans evacuated from china last week, under quarantine for 14 days. also tonight another planeful of stranded americans is headed to a u.s. base. >> what's different about coronavirus is we don't know a lot about it yet, and we don't have a vaccine. and so our methods to prevent it are more limited. >> reporter: with much of the world's second largest economy on lockdown, growing concern about the global impact, major u.s. retailers closing thousands of stores across china. airline service suspended, car companies and manufacturers shutting down factories or losing critical chinese suppliers. the company behind tonka truck, tinker toys and lincoln logs fears it could soon be affected. 90% of its products come from china. >> everybody used to say if america sneezed, the world catches a cold. really, we're going to find out whether china sneezes, if the world catches a cold as well.
>> reporter: the white house expects minimal economic impact, a fraction off the gdp. but the longer the outbreak lasts, the greater the impact. lester? >> all right. tom costello tonight, thanks. actress shannen doherty is speaking out about her devastating diagnosis. doherty says she has been secretly battling stage 4 breast cancer for the past year. the star was first diagnosed in 2015, but announced two years later she was in remission. the news comes less than a year after the death of "90210" co-star luke perry from a stroke. there is news tonight from one of the biggest retail names in malls all across the country. here is nbc's jo ling kent with that. >> reporter: tonight macy's is dramatically downsizing and rethinking what the future looks like. the legacy department store announcing it will close 125 locations over the next three years, eliminate 2,000 corporate jobs, or 9% of its workforce, and shut down its cincinnati headquarters, moving all operations to new york.
macy's ceo acknowledging the cuts are deep and impact every area of the business, but they are necessary and a better fit to compete in today's retail environment. the new plan is to build smaller stores call them market by macy's, put them away from traditional malls and sell not only apparel but also food and drink. the tectonic shift away from brick and mortar locations as retailers close more than 9300 stores last year. >> shoppers don't need big stores, and they want convenience and they want value. and by the way, they can shop anytime, anywhere, so you have to give them a reason to go to the store. of course today's store closure news doesn't mean macy's is going out of business. the smaller store strategy follows what nordstrom, target and best buy have been doing for years. lester? >> all right, thank you. up next, is your makeup safe? the fda hears arguments for the first time in 50 years on that question. because our way works great for us!
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for the first time in 50 years, the fda heard demands to test cosmetics and talcum powder for asbestos after the carcinogen was found in some products. catie beck has more. >> reporter: there's no concealing the newest trend in the cosmetic industry, clean beauty. demand for natural products without the chemicals. now a concern for industry regulators. >> we believe that testing methods for asbestos in these products are of the utmost importance. >> reporter: the fda for the first time in 50 years considering
testing for asbestos in cosmetics and talc powders. this after trace amounts of the known carcinogen showed up in the fda testing of johnson & johnson's baby powder, which the company disputes. trace asbestos also found in makeup no longer sold by the chain store claire's after issuing two recal recalls. >> the beauty industry has been built on secrets. >> reporter: a clean cosmetics line is also an advocate for regulation and transparency. >> the beauty industry is basically a self-governing industry that allows companies to make claims on products that they can say they're natural or fake or pure when they may or may not be that way. >> reporter: experts say mineral particles found in talc products are small enough to be inhaled, and even trace amounts of asbestos could be dangerous. in a statement, johnson & johnson supports the fda review and says a range of independent laboratories have found their talc safe and asbestos-free. "we look forward to a thorough review of the most effective and reliable ways to test
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we're back now from washington where president trump will deliver his state of the union address tonight. i hope you'll join us for our special coverage beginning at 9:00 p.m. eastern. that's "nightly news." i'm lester holt. thank you for watching and good night. [cheers and applause] ♪ i could stay awake ♪ just to hear you breathin' ♪ watch you smile while you are
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