tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC August 3, 2022 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
midterms and the high stakes primaries how did trump-backed candidates perform across the country also tonight, speaker nancy pelo's defiant message to china after her controversial visit to taiwan the angry response, china launching its most aggressive live fire drills in 25 years. the horrific car crash in indiana killing four people including a u.s. congresswoman and two staffers new developments in the justice department's january 6th investigation. pat cipollone, former trump white house counsel, subpoenaed. alex jones at his defamation trial admitting the sandy hook massacre was 100% real, after previously suggesting it was a hoax and the stunning moment on the stand when jones was told his legal team accidentally sent his text messages to the other side's lawyers the alert tonight on surging credit card debt what experts say you should do about it right now.
and remembering one of the most famous voices in baseball >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt good evening, everyone abortion rights advocates are savoring a significant and rare post-roe v. wade victory tonight. not in a statehouse but at the ballot box in kansas where voters upended assumptions, defeating by a wide margin a constitutional amendment that would have opened the door to a ban on abortions in kansas. the mechanics of the victory mustering an unexpectedly large voter turnout in the mostly red state, quickly becoming a case study for democrats and republicans as they weigh the potential impact of abortion as an animating issue in the november midterm elections. elsewhere last night, important wins for trump-backed candidates in several state primary elections. we have two reports beginning with kristen welker on the kansas vote >> reporter: lester, good evening
this was the first time abortion was on the ballot since roe v. wade was overturned six weeks ago. the top takeaway, the issue is energizing for democrats and even some republicans but it's still not clear what it all means for november [ cheering ] >> reporter: tonight, shock waves across the country after kansas voters turned out in unexpected numbers to uphold abortion rights in a red state turnout was staggering, approaching levels typically seen during a presidential election 59% of kansans voted to uphold the state's constitutional right to an abortion, currently legal up to 22 weeks >> i'm so overjoyed. >> reporter: dasha burns was with an abortion rights advocate when the results came in. >> excitement, joy >> we will not let the government overreach into our personal rights we just won't. we said no >> reporter: tonight, abortion rights opponents vowing to fight on >> this is something that's a long term effort, of course.
we're in this because we believe very strongly in protecting both women and babies. >> reporter: democrats are now hoping kansas is a bellwether for november at the white house, president biden looking to capitalize, signing an executive order that aims to protect women traveling out of state for abortions. >> voters in kansas sent a powerful signal that this fall, the american people will vote to preserve and protect the right and refuse to let it be ripped away by politicians. >> reporter: but analysts caution kansas was an election were much of the focus was on the single issue of abortion and democrats are still bracing for the possibility of losses with inflation at a 40-year high and president biden's approval ratings low could what we saw in kansas foreshadow a game changer in november >> the abortion issue is a motivating one for voters that democrats need to turn out the vote but the economy is looming out there as a very, very big issue for voters and that's
where republicans have an advantage >> reporter: abortion likely a top focus in at least six key states where candidates are sharply divided over the issue and where the policy is unsettled kristen welker, nbc news, the white house. >> reporter: i'm vaughn hillyard in phoenix, defining primary night wins for donald trump aligned candidates >> i am tough, my friends, and i am just getting going. >> reporter: despite weeks of hearings by the january 6th committee laying out serious allegations against trump, republican voters on tuesday stuck by his loyalists. >> do what you have to do to get 'em in, you'll see a big difference >> reporter: including blake masters for the u.s. senate in arizona. >> we can and will beat mark kelly in november >> reporter: and other hard line election deniers in the state kari lake is leading for governor in a race that's too close to call >> the maga movement rose up and voted as if their lives depended on it >> reporter: trump also helped oust rusty bowers, who testified abou the pressure he faced
to overturn arizona's 2020 election. the arizona house speakers los to a trump-endorsed challenger in missouri, senate candidat eric schmitt had the win. in michigan, congressman peter meijer, one of ten house republicans who voted to impeach trump last year lost his race against a trump ally >> we're sick of the politics, sick of everything being a question of fear or anger. >> reporter: the gop's next major primary is the wisconsin governor's race next week, and then wyoming, where liz cheney is trying to fend off a trump-backed challenger and defend her investigation into january 6th. lester >> all right, vaughn hillyard, thank you. a military show of force by china tonight in response to house speaker nancy pelosi's historic visit to taiwan, the self-governed island that china claims as part of its territory. andrea mitchell has the latest
>> reporter: just as house speaker nancy pelosi was waving farewell to taiwan, china responding by firing warning shots its first live fire exercises off taiwan since 1996 taiwan says even encroaching into what it considers its territorial waters china at times sending fighter jets across the critical dividing line between taiwan and the mainland according to taiwan and a senior u.s. official, an aggressive action raising u.s. fears either side could miscalculate >> we come in friendship >> reporter: pelosi meeting with human rights leaders and taiwan's democratically elected president, tsai ing-wen. the speaker saying the world is in a struggle between autocracy and democracy. >> our delegation came here to send an unequivocal message. america stands with taiwan >> reporter: china, which considers the island its territory, is punishing taiwan for hosting the speaker by blocking some imports, but not critical semiconductor chips.
taiwan is the world's biggest chip manufacturer g-7 foreign ministers today calling out china's threatening actions and pelosi questioning why past trips by male congress member did not create an outcry from china. >> i think they've made a big fuss because i'm speaker, i guess, i don't know if that was a reason or an excuse, because they didn't say anything when the men came >> reporter: a senior u.s. official tells nbc news the u.s. does not think china plans to invade now. but the worry is if china's military gets too close to taiwan and taiwan overreacts, this could spiral out of control, lester >> andrea mitchell, thank you. a federal grand jury has subpoenaed former white house counsel pat cipollone in its investigation of the january 6th insurrection, according to a source familiar with the matter cipollone is reportedly the highest ranking trump white house official to have been subpoenaed by a grand jury he has already
testified before the january 6th committee. flags at the capitol and white house are at half-staff tonight after the death of indiana republican congresswoman jackie walorski she was killed in a car crash north of indianapolis police say another vehicle crossed the center line and hit the car walorski was traveling in head-on two members of her staff were also killed walorski had served in congress since 2013. for years he claimed the massacre at sandy hook elementary school was a hoax but today in austin, texas, conspiracy theorist alex jones admitted it was real, at the first of several trials in which sandy hook families are seeking damages. and now the jury has the case here is anne thompson. >> reporter: alex jones' stunning admission came during a contentious cross-examination. >> 100% real >> reporter: finally conceding the sandy hook school shooting did happen, after years of insisting on his "info wars" show the massacre was a hoax
>> how could you believe any of it? >> it's 100% real and the media still ran with lies that i was saying it wasn't real. >> reporter: the parents of jesse lewis, one of 20 first graders who died in the massacre, are seeking $150 million in damages >> to restore the honor and legacy of my son that was tarnished by mr. jones >> reporter: jones blasted jesse's father on his show yesterday. >> he is being manipulated by some very bad people. i'll just say, because i've got to be honest, he's slow. >> reporter: but in court he fairs faced jesse' mother >> jesse was real. i am a real mom. >> reporter: testifying their 6-year-old son and their pain were real the conspiracy theorist has been a difficult witness. >> this is not your show >> reporter: admonished yesterday by the judge for lying on the stand >> you're already under oath to tell the truth.
you've already violated that oath twice today. >> reporter: and today he was caught in another lie by the plaintiffs' attorney >> your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cellphone with every text message you sent for the past two years. >> reporter: including text messages about sandy hook jones failed to share as ordered by the court >> and that is how i know you lied to me when you said you didn't have text messages about sandy hook did you know that? >> reporter: the jury will determine what if anything jones must pay. anne thompson, nbc news in eastern kentucky, a desperate search for survivors goes on tonight after the catastrophic flooding that killed at least 37 people jesse kirsch is there for us tonight >> reporter: in isam kentucky tonight, this grocery store has nothing to sell. >> it's just devastation. total devastation. >> reporter: deadly floods gutted gwen christian's supermarket.
we can tell about where the water came up because look at this shelf, it looks like nothing ever happened everything else, mud >> what you have to understand is our customers were our family the people who worked in the store was our family we know each other we know each other's pain >> reporter: neighbor natasha york lost everything >> i have no belongings i have no home i have nothing >> reporter: one week after this horrific natural disaster began, residents still lining up for basic supplies neighbors helping each other pick up the muddy, shattered pieces >> all we can do now is start to rebuild and get back what we lost >> reporter: but many lost something you can't replace. among the 37 killed, gabriel hensley. his wife says the 30-year-old wa heading home from the overnight shift when the floods swept away the father of five other families are still looking for closure.
>> he's my everything. >> reporter: tracy richie hasn't heard from her dad since the floods reduced his house to concrete blocks now she's waiting to see if her dna matches a victim >> i would give anything to give my dad a hug, you know? if they can find him, that would be wonderful. but i don't think that's going to happen >> reporter: grief, compassion, but also perseverance rising from the brutal force of nature. jesse kirsch, nbc news, isam, kentucky >> the loss there overwhelming let's turn now to the battle for ukraine. since the war began, russia has been accused of abducting thousands of ukraine's children morgan chesky now on the urgent effort to get them back. >> reporter: tonight, ukraine says it's holding its ground in the east, thanks to u.s.-made guided missiles known as himars this major general telling us the weapon's impact vital at slowing russia's advance. you've seen the front lines. how would you describe the fighting there
right now? he tells me if the russian military is able to advance, it's only a few hundred meters a day and in washington, new sanctions targeting russian elites including the reported girlfriend of russian president putin, a 39-year-old woman, the former olympic gold medallist. meanwhile ukraine launching a new mission to rescue the war's youngest victims. 5,000 children missing somewhere in russian-occupied territories. >> translator: those children wer deported and taken forcefully from the territory of ukraine >> reporter: they tell us 11-year-old sasha was one of them. separated from his family at a mariupol hospital months later, reunited with his grandmother who told us his mother is still missing what do you tell sasha when he asks where his mother is? >> translator: he is in pain to hear it with god's will, maybe this war will end someday and she will come back to her children
>> reporter: there is some hopeful news tonight, the russian navy ending its blockade of ukraine's grain, allowing the first ship to pass through. the u.s. calling it a significant step but says as long as russia continues to fight, the world's most vulnerable will suffer lester >> morgan chesky in ukraine, thank you in 60 seconds, why big city mayors far from the southern border are pleading for federal help tonight with the record number of migrants
the record number of migrants crossing the southern border is now stretching resources in cities thousands of miles away now the mayors of new york and washington, dc are pleading for some help. here is gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: far from the u.s. southern border, the mayor of washington, dc, a democrat, has asked the national guard to help handle more than 4,000 migrants recently bused to the nation's capital >> i've asked for the deployment of the guard as long as we
need the guard to deal with the humanitarian crisis >> reporter: the request comes after texas' republican governor, in what democrats call a political stunt, started sending migrants to dc but republicans blame the biden administration after a record number of illegal border crossings in may also according to internal documents reviewed by nbc news, 73 migrants including 13 children were recently found living in stash houses operated by human smugglers in northwest dc >> every single community in america is now a border city this is a national crisis >> reporter: new york's mayor is also asking the federal government for help. his office says about 4,000 asylum seekers have entered the city's homeless shelter system since late may >> if there was ever an all hands on deck moment, this is it >> reporter: have you ever seen numbers like this >> not really, not really >> reporter: catholic charities in new york city is busier than ever. >> right now this is an emergency
>> reporter: this couple say they're from venezuela why did you come "a better life for my daughter," she says. they were among those bused to the northeast from texas after a grueling journey through central america. "my daughter said she trusted us but it was hard, she says, because at one point we almost ran out of food." migrant arrests at the border did drop 14% in june after hitting all-time highs the month before lester >> all right, gabe, thank you. up next for us tonight, credit card debt is skyrocketing what you can do to get it under control
a big day on wall street all three major indexes making significant gains after two days of losses americans still feeling the impact of inflation, certainly, with the biggest jump in credit card debt in two decades. but there is some good news to report at the pump here is tom costello >> reporter: in colorado, this woman and her husband are on a mission, to keep spending down and pay off the last of the $15,000 in credit card debt they ran up after getting married. >> we want to be able to buy a house we don't have a house yet. we're in our 30s that's hard, because we made the choice to use the credit card, thinking we would be able to pay it off easily >> reporter: as inflation soars new data shows many americans are charging it credit card debt has jumped 13% in one year
the biggest increase in 20 years. americans opened 233 million new accounts, the most since 2008. while balances still remain below pre-pandemic levels, interest rates now averaging 17.4%, could soon soar to record highs as the fed continues hiking rates to fight inflation if you're carrying heavy credit card debt, financial experts recommend cutting it down as fast as possible >> that rate is probably 3, 4, 5x what you're paying for your mortgage or car loan definitely you want to pay down your credit card debt. >> reporter: transfer balances to cards offering zero percent introductory rates perhap turn to nonprofit financial counselors for help meanwhile, the white house today noting some inflation relief with gas prices now averaging $4.16 a gallon, down 85 cents from the record highs set in june. experts say gas could fall below $4 a gallon soon, though opec's pledge today to pump even more oil is expected to have a minimal impact
up next is san francisco getting any safer? we'll be joined by brook jenkins who made some big for decades, he was the voice of the l.a. dodgers, many calling vin scully, who died last night at 94, the voice of summer he wasn't a player, but his play by play made him a giant here is miguel almaguer >> it's time for
dodger baseball! >> reporter: with those easy words in his unmistakable voice, vin scully cemented a legacy as legendary as those of the players he called. >> slow curveball, see ya later >> reporter: armed with a mastery of th game and the grace of a folksy friend, scully brought the field to life during his 67-year career >> there's 29,000 people in the ballpark and a million butterflies. >> reporter: as the dodgers' play by play man, he marked american history >> there's a high drive in the deep left center field >> reporter: when hank aaron smashed babe ruth's home run record >> a black man is getting a standing ovation in the deep south. >> reporter: more than a decade later >> look who's coming up >> reporter: when an injured kirk gibson gave the underdog dodgers a walk-off world series win, scully perfectly captured what only he could coin >> in a year that has been so improbable,
the impossible has happened >> reporter: born in the bronx in 1927, the slender redhead first began calling games for the brooklyn dodgers at 22. when he retired in 2016, he was awarded the medal of freedom >> i've needed you far more than you needed me >> reporter: though vin scully never played for the dodgers, he was the face of a franchise who left the field with the grace of a legend ♪ three strikes you'r out at the old ball game ♪ >> reporter: miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. that's "nightly news" for this wednesday. thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night
i'm raj mathai. we're following several developing stories. a clash between protesters and police over a construction project at people's park in berkeley. also a shooting on a muni bus in san francisco. the deadly outbreak of legionnaires disease in napa. plus san francisco's new district attorney reversing dozens of deals made by jason. this is all about drug use. she joins us live. voters in kansas overwhelmingly rejected a ban on abortions, so what does it mean for the rest of the country? and also a librarian in oakland is getting national