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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  January 19, 2022 6:30pm-7:00pm PST

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stalled agenda. and his prediction that russia will move in on ukraine. the consequences he says vladimir putin will face. our kristen welker asking will he run again in 2024 with kamala harris on the ticket? senate democrats brace for a bitter defeat on the legislation he championed also tonight the biden administration's plan to hand out 400 million n95 masks for free when and where they will be available. the deadly military vehicle crash. at least two marines killed what we're learning. the newly declassified video from the botched u.s. drone strike in afghanistan that killed 10 civilians. what it revealed. just in, the supreme court rejecting former president trump's request to keep his documents from the january 6th committee. and major news of the fraud investigation into his company. and celebrating a barrier breaking fashion icon this is nbc "nightly news" with
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lester holt. >> good evening. with potential war looming between russia and ukraine and covid still ravaging the country, president biden making news tonight on several fronts as he offered a self-assessment of his first year in office in a nearly two-hour long news conference, the president appeared to hit the reset button as he begins his second year in office tomorrow, vowing to get out of the white house more and seek more outside advice and input the president enumerating accomplishments, lower unemployment and millions vaccinated, while acknowledging rising inflation and not being on top of covid testing in the early days but the president also exploring the mind set of vladimir putin amid growing signs of a russian invasion of ukraine. kelly o'donnell has our report >> reporter: tonight president biden struggling with soaring inflation, a stalled agenda and sinking approval ratings is searching for a reset.
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in his first solo white house news conference in nearly a year, the president pointing to the pandemic >> still, for all this progress, i know there is a lot of frustration and fatigue in this country. we know why. covid-19 >> reporter: the president touting more than 200 million americans fully vaccinated but covid is still surging, despite his campaign pledge. >> i'm going to shut down the virus, not the country. >> reporter: just this week, some democratic senators calling out the president for failing to take more significant steps earlier to increase testing. >> should we have done more testing earlier yes. but we're doing more now. some people may call what's happening now a new normal i call it a job not yet finished it will get better. >> reporter: on inflation at a 40-year high, with prices soaring on everything from gasoline to groceries, the president again touted his massive social
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spending and climate bill. >> bottom line, if price increases are what you are worried about, the best answer is my build back better plan. >> reporter: but that legislation has stalled. so has democrats voting rights legislation. president biden unable to get his own party onboard. still, the president is blaming republicans. >> i did not anticipate that there would be such a stalwart effort to make sure that the most important thing was that president biden didn't get anything done. think about this what are republicans for? what are they for? >> reporter: he was asked about the impact if democrats voting bills failed speaking of voting rights legislation, if this isn't passed, do you still believe the upcoming election will be fairly conducted and its results will be legitimate? >> well, it all depends on whether or not we're able to make the case to the
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american people that some of this is being set up to try to alter the outcome of the election i think if, in fact, no matter how hard they make it for minorities to vote, i think you are going to see them willing to stand in line and defy the attempt to keep them from being able to vote. >> reporter: nbc's kristin welker asked the president about african-american voters who told us they're disappointed in him. >> i spoke to a number of black voters who fought to get you elected. they see this push on voting rights more as a last-minute pr push than it is a legitimate effort to get legislation passed so what do you say to these black voters who say that you do not have their backs as you promised on the campaign trail >> i have had their back i have had their back my entire career i have never not had their back
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the fact is that there is -- there's a timing that is not of one's own choice it is somewhat dictated by events that are happening in countries. >> reporter: and asked about the president's promise to unify the country with criticism of this recent speech where he blamed americans who disagreed with democrats' voting bills. >> do you want to be on the side of dr. king or george wallace? do you want to be on the side of john lewis or bull connor do you want to be the side of abraham lincoln or jefferson davis? >> i did not say that they were going to be a george wallace or a bull connor. i said we're going to have a decision in history. >> is the country more unified than when you first took office? >> based on some of the stuff, we got done, i would say yes. but it's not nearly as unified as it should be >> kelly o'donnell reporting. let's get more now from kristin welker. who you saw was inside that news conference kristin, the president making a number of promises, including on
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his special spending plan >> reporter: lester, that's right the president said he expects to break up that bill into smaller pieces, which means some elements like the child tax credit may be dropped and there is another headline about vice president harris i asked if he would commit to keeping her on his ticket in 2024, and he said yes. lester >> kristin welker at the white house, thank you. president biden also making news tonight on ukraine, predicting a russian invasion richard engel is there with the latest. >> reporter: even as u.s. officials warn russia now has enough troops in position to invade ukraine, president biden today appeared to suggest if russia does a partial incursion, the u.s. could live with it. >> russia will be held accountable if it invades. and it depends on what it does. it is one thing if it is a minor incursion and then we end up having to fight about what to do and not to do, et cetera. but if they end up doing what they're capable of doing with the force amassed on the border, it is going to be a disaster for russia. >> reporter: president biden warned a
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significant operation, a massive operation would trigger devastating economic consequences. >> if they invade, they're going to pay they're not going -- their banks will not be able to deal with dollars. >> reporter: but even when pressed, president biden repeated that he sees a difference between a small and big military incursion in ukraine, and that he expects one. >> my guess is that he will move in he has to do something. >> reporter: there is only one part of this country where russia could launch a small incursion that could be in any way ambiguous. it is in the far east, where pro-russian separatists already control enclaves and officials in this country and very likely in russia tonight are wondering did president biden just give vladimir putin a green light to launch an invasion into or around them? lester >> richard engel in ukraine, thanks. let's go deeper now on the challenges the president cited in dealing with the pandemic including those 400 million n95 masks the white house will offer to the public.
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miguel almaguer now with the latest. >> reporter: it will be the largest appointment of personal protective equipment in u.s. history. the first of those 400 million nonsurgical n95 masks should be shipped out to pharmacies and community health centers by the end of this week, allowing the first americans to pick them up for free, shortly after. but the program won't likely be up to full speed until february after most models predict the omicron surge will finally be behind us. >> we're moving toward a time when covid-19 won't disrupt our daily lives. where covid-19 won't be a crisis, but something to protect against and a threat >> reporter: as it stands now, the president's plan calls for americans to receive three masks per person, according to the cdc, they can be reused depending on fit, filtration, contamination and damage highly effective as the name suggests, they can filter out
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95% of airborne particulates, drastically better than cloth masks but experts concede, they are uncomfortable to wear all day long is there any concern that this roll-out comes a little too late >> i personally wish it would have come earlier, but there is no better time than now. >> reporter: with the supreme court just rejecting a request to block the federal airman date for travel, governors in states like virginia are ending mask requirements in schools. >> this is a matter of individual liberty >> reporter: and while many businesses still require them indoors, in much of the country, cities like cleveland, memphis, nashville and austin have no public mask mandates still tonight the very face of the pandemic could soon look different. miguel almaguer, nbc news. there is breaking news this evening. near north carolina officials say a military vehicle carrying 19 marines lost control as it
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turned on to a highway, overturning and ejecting the marines who were in the back of the truck. two marines were killed several others reported to be in critical condition. we're getting a look tonight at newly declassified video showing the botched u.s. drone strike in afghanistan last year that left 10 civilians dead courtney kube with the new images and what they reveal. >> reporter: tonight the u.s. military released three newly declassified videos of a deadly drone strike in kabul last august the footage published after "the new york times" sued for the release shows the final moments before 10 innocent civilians were killed, including 7 children the strike occurred in the last days of the chaotic withdrawal from afghanistan three days earlier, an isis attack on kabul airport killed 13 u.s. service members and dozens of afghan civilians. the u.s. military was on high alert, with intelligence about an imminent attack using a white toyota corolla, they tracked this car, believing it was an isis vehicle.
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but the intelligence was wrong and they were tracking the incorrect car. driving through a congested residential neighborhood in kabul, then seconds before the strike, what appears to be a child running into the frame. moments later, neighbors seem frantically throwing water on the flames. today the u.s. military said the strike was in response to what was believed to be an imminent threat to our troops, but none of the family members killed are believed to have been connected to isis-k or threats to our troops, adding, they deeply regret the loss of life ultimately the pentagon decided no u.s. military personnel would be punished for the tragic mistake courtney kube, nbc news, the pentagon. in just 60 seconds, breaking news from the supreme court on documents from former president trump related to the january 6th attack. and we'll remember a towering figure in the world of fashion
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breaking news tonight on the investigation of the
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january 6th attack on the capitol. the supreme court rejecting president trump's request to block the release of white house records to congressional investigators. the decision means the records can be disclosed even as lawsuits over the documents continue in lower courts and there are new allegations of fraud tonight against mr. trump and his organization the new york attorney general now detailing ose allega . . . ic examp les. gabe gutierrez now has the latest. >> reporter: new york attorney general letitia james says former president trump and two of his children were in charge of the trump organization when misleading financial statements were issued to lenders and the federal government we have uncovered significant evidence, she writes, that suggests donald j. trump and the trump organization falsely and fraudulently valued multiple assets for economic benefit for example, the filing points to financial statements that suggest the value of the former president's new york city apartment in trump tower was based on an assertion it was 30,000 square feet
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these documents allege it was closer to 11,000, over valued by about $200 million it is a civil investigation, not criminal >> generally a criminal investigation requires a much higher standard of proof to show that you violated criminal laws, rather than civil laws and of course in a criminal investigation, there is exposure to prison time, not just the fines. >> reporter: the new filing is in response to legal efforts by the former president to quash a series of subpoenas against him and his family. >> it's a political persecution. >> reporter: today the trump organization fired back saying letitia james defrauded new yorkers by basing her entire candidacy on a promise to get trump at all costs without having seen a shred of evidence her allegations are baseless and will be vigorously defended. late today an attorney for donald trump jr. and ivanka trump echoed the sentiments in that statement and also accused letitia james, a democrat, of repeatedly targeting the trump family
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meanwhile, james says her office has not decided whether the evidence merits legal action. >> all right gabe, thank you. back now with our series county to county, focussing on seven counties in seven key battleground states in this midterm year tonight dasha burns is in pennsylvania talking to people there about how economic struggles are shaping their vote. >> reporter: bruce vine has been building houses for 24 years right here in lazurne county, pennsylvania, a blue collar community at one time democratic stronghold that turned red in 2016. >> everyone is asking. >> reporter: but now with prices up 7% in the past year, his construction business is facing unprecedented challenges how much has inflation hit you? >> basically everything is double. >> reporter: plus, there is a long list of supplies he can barely get his hands on. >> bathtub, showers, vanities. >> reporter: everything >> yes. >> reporter: those higher prices are felt in his own home as well. >> you guys have a 14-year-old at home.
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>> he eats everything he can inside the house. >> reporter: so when you go grocery shopping and you look at that receipt now? >> it's painful. it is almost $400. >> reporter: bruce and jennifer both voted for president obama. then for president trump. one year into a biden presidency, they aren't happy. >> to fill my car at the beginning it was $30. now it's $70. >> reporter: where do you point the finger >> the biden administration. >> reporter: gas prices in pennsylvania are actually up 30% compared to a year ago, not 130%. but these frustrations speak to the politics of the region. on a sheep farm 23 miles away, union rep cameron cox also points to rising costs. >> look at fertilizer for farmers. last year it was $3.65 a pound. now it is up over $6.50 a pound. >> reporter: cameron, a former democrat now a registered republican what happened? >> i didn't leave them they left me. >> reporter: he says democrats forgot about their blue collar base but he doesn't point the finger at
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president biden. for today's inflation. >> i point at trump. let's look at how economics work you're telling me inflation -- this all happened in the last 365 days that's laughable i mean, that's not even possible. >> reporter: cameron voted for biden but worries the president is disconnected from the economic realities in places like luzerne. >> reporter: what is your message to biden? >> come and take a visit. see what people are dealing with >> reporter: as this year's midterms approach, cameron and bruce and jennifer count themselves as undecided voters, as prices and politics intersect like never before dasha burns, nbc news, luzerne county, pennsylvania. we've got more to tell you about up next, remembering a larger than life figure in the world of fashion. we learn about covid-19,
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the more questions we have. the biggest question now, what's next? what will covid bring in six months, a year? if you're feeling anxious about the future, you're not alone.
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calhope offers free covid-19 emotional support. call 833-317-4673, or live chat at today. he had remarkable influence in the fashion world. tonight we remember andre leon talley, who has died at age 83 here's joe fryer >> reporter: his name was as distinctive as his clothes. andre leon talley was a 6'6" icon who donned capes and projected confidence. >> i think people see in me something that they really respond to. >> reporter: he grew up in the jim crow south, eventually ascending to the world's fashion bible "vogue." he was the magazine's first black creative director and later its editor at large. though, it wasn't always easy. >> i make it look effortless sitting in the front row all those years with the attitude, the sable coats, the prada crocodile coats, the
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prada french coats, but it's been rough. >> reporter: he faced racism and homophobia but used his influence to push for inclusion. >> his legacy is really every time he knocked down a barrier, he made it easier for other people of color to achieve in fashion >> reporter: talley also advised the obamas on fashion and served as a judge on "america's next top model". >> if you want to get to the top of the fashion industry, this is the man that you need to impress. >> reporter: today vogue's anna winter calls his loss immeasurable in this 2020 mémoire "the chiffon trenches, talley wrote, to my twelve-year-old self, raised in the segregated south, the idea of a black man playing any kind of role in this world seemed an impossibility. to think of where i have come from, where we have come from in my lifetime, where we are today is amazing yet of course we still have so far to go. joe fryer, nbc news. up next, how one woman's garage is feeding her community and inspiring america.
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our follow-up tonight.
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finally, remarkable things can happen in a garage, something we found out last year with a woman named sue. kevin tibbles paid her a return visit and found that she's inspiring her community and america. >> okay. here we go. >> reporter: on one of the coldest days of winter -- >> let's put some fruit in these bags. >> reporter: sue's north chicago garage
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is filled with warmth. >> how are you what do you need how can i help you >> reporter: for 12 years sue has been using word-of-mouth and her own money to feed anyone who is struggling >> this is a double xl, so this will probably go in a large kit or maybe one of the parents. >> reporter: even distributing warm winter coats >> what i think people don't realize is how many people are living in need in this country. >> reporter: since our visit last summer, she's expanded her pantry >> oh, god she's an angel from heaven. >> reporter: volunteers now load groceries for delivery to single mothers, refugees, the unemployed, the elderly. >> there is a lot of hidden poverty within our community. >> reporter: sue feeds some 200 families a week. >> it is hard getting that extra fruits and vegetables because they're so expensive >> reporter: many she's helped in the past now paying it forward. >> you had to rely on her at one point, too? >> i did we did most of our food came from sue at one point. so now this is my way of giving back to the people in my community.
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>> reporter: this is more than a food pantry, just to take this a step further. we are feeding the body but we also want to feed the soul >> reporter: right out of the garage. >> yes, right out of here. >> reporter: because right here, right now people need help kevin tibbles, nbc news, vernon hills, illinois >> doesn't that make you feel good at the end of a long day? 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
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be in your moment. ask your doctor about ibrance. . raj matai. more signs of the covid surge in the bay area is turning around. what's coming next? when we can start easing some of our restrictions? millions of free n-95 masks will be available as soon as next week. we'll give you the early details about how to get them. plus -- did you hear that? a deadly fight between two mountain lions in the middle of the neighborhood on the peninsula. is this normal and did they capture this surviving mountain lion? good evening,


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