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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  February 13, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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the birds also got check ups and a hearty of meal of what else? fish. in the shape of valentine's. thanks for watching. "nightly news" is next. we're back at 6:00. hope you can join us then. breaking news tonight. historic acquittal the final vote in the second impeachment trial of former president trump. the senate unable to convict >> he is hereby acquitted of the charge in said article >> mr. trump found not guilty for the second time but multiple republicans voted against him and mitch mcconnell blasts the president after voting to acquit >> president trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office the chaos on the senate floor. democrats calling for witnesses after newly revealed details of a phone call president trump
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made on january the 6th. what the former president is saying now as the country tries to move forward. ice out. states of emergency across the country. more than 100 million americans bracing for nasty winter weather. the 21-car pileup in nashville and the major storm coming right behind it. back to school confusion the cdc puts out new guidelilin on when to open schools, but parents don't know what to make of it. will your child's school be opening soon first-class problem. accusations that the postal service is getting even slower and now a new plan that could make it even worse and the life-changing surprise for the basketball player who really puts in the work >> announcer: this is nbc "nightly news" with jose diaz-balart. good evening it was a historic day in
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washington today a majority of senators including seven republicans voted to convict former president trump on the charge of inciting an insurrection on january 6th. never before have so many senators crossed party lines to convict a u.s. president but it was not enough. and president trump will hold the distinction of being the only president impeached and acquitted twice. but the trial and tonight's vote revealed deep divides, both across the country and within the republican party now both will try to move forward. we're covering all of it tonight. and we begin with kasie hunt on capitol hill >> reporter: former president donald trump tonight declared not guilty of the impeachment charge he incited insurrection at the capitol on january 6th. >> he is hereby acquitted of the charge in said article >> reporter: seven republican senators voting with democrats to convict 57-43. the most bipartisan senate impeachment vote in history. but far short of the 2/3 majority needed to convict
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43 republicans voted not guilty, including republican leader mitch mcconnell. but mcconnell still offered a blistering indictment of trump's actions. >> impeachment was never meant to be the final forum for american justice president trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office. >> reporter: the former president defiant. in a statement calling the trial a witch hunt and insisting "our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to make america great again has only just begun." the vote coming just over a month after rioters invaded the capitol and took the very chamber where the vote was held. then vice president pence rushed to safety as he was hunted in the halls. >> traitor pence traitor pence! >> reporter: senators casting their votes tonight from desks that were ransacked by the rioters. >> you're outnumbered. there's a [ bleep ] million of us out there and we are listening to trump, your boss! >> reporter: after then president trump said he would walk to the capitol with them. >> we fight. we fight like hell and if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore. >> reporter: the final moments
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of donald trump's historic second impeachment trial playing out after a day of missteps and confusion. >> debate is not in order. >> reporter: at the last minute house managers unexpectedly calling to subpoena a witness to explain how the top house republican leader called president trump on the 6th to beg for his help >> the president said, "well, kevin, i guess these people are more upset about the election than you are." >> kasie, this was the shortest impeachment trial ever >> reporter: that's right, jose. and they didn't call witnesses today in part because members of both parties were anxious to move on. many republicans want tout t p trump era behind them, and democrats want to focus on president biden's coronavirus relief package to speed vaccine distribution and send more stimulus checks to americans they're racing to pass that bill before unemployment benefits expire for millions in mid march. jose >> kasie hunt at the capitol thank you.
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throughout the trial there was a sense that there were not enough republicans to convict, but more ended up voting guilty than expected, leading to more questions about the future of the party and the former president. here's kelly o'donnell >> mr. cassidy -- >> reporter: not enough to convict but enough to make history. seven republicans turned away from donald trump. north carolina's richard burr, retiring next year, surprised colleagues >> mr. burr. mr. burr, guilty >> reporter: six others had signaled their intentions. >> mr. romney, guilty. >> reporter: the most ever to vote to convict a president of their own party. if trial by impeachment is ultimately political theater, what is the next act for republicans and a twice-acquitted former president who today gets to keep his
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freedom to run again >> we love you we will be back in some form >> reporter: while republicans protected mr. trump, gop leader mitch mcconnell welcomed the prospect of criminal charges against the former president as the better venue for justice >> didn't get away with anything yet. >> reporter: mcconnell also suggests trump voters are being unfairly held hostage. >> our ex-president's associates have tried to use the 74 million americans who voted to re-elect him as a kind of human shield against criticism. >> reporter: trump's ardent allies may keep up threats to purge any republicans who backed impeachment. like house republican conference chair liz cheney, who already beat back one challenge to her leadership post. >> who says you can't stand up against bullies? who says in my mind liz cheney is a hero for standing up for the truth. >> and kelly joins us now. kelly, the louisiana gop actually voted tonight to censure one of the senators who voted to convict the former president. >> reporter: it's one of the most immediate signs of the reaction to this and it's expected because many of these state republican
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parties have a strong influence of donald trump. so bill cassidy, senator of louisiana who voted to convict, was censured by fellow republicans. however, we expect more of that to come for any of those who voted to convict the real test will come next year when all candidates who are up for re-election are on the ballot and what happens then, which party will have control. jose >> kelly o'donnell at the white house. thank you. we are now joined by nbc's political director and host of "meet the press," chuck todd, and chief washington correspondent andrea mitchell. chuck, what does this division mean for the republican party going forward? >> well, look, seven republicans make up approximately 15% of the republican conference. and you know what? that translates. it does translate. there's about a 15% to 20% of republicans that are anti-trump. and the question -- it's not big enough to win primaries, though. except that wing of the party are th
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does this wing grow or does the former president use acquittal to make those seven pay and does that wing shrink and move left >> andrea, this is the second impeachment for trump. also the second acquittal. what does this mean for his legacy >> i think his legacy is so damaged with t majority of there was such an indictment in mitch mcconnell's comments afterward. but he will try to ride that acquittal. and as you have seen, he's already projecting that he intends to become a leader of a movement we'll have to see as chuck says whether that is the movement that defines the republican party going forward. but i think that as more comes out it's going to be very apparent that he, as mitch mcconnell himself said, is the one person who engineered the conspiracy theories and provoked this riot. >> andrea mitchell, chuck todd, thank you so much for being with me and make sure to watch "meet the press" tomorrow. lead house manager jamie raskin
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will join chuck exclusively. now to the severe winter weather sweeping across the country tonight. 150 million americans facing snow, ice, and wind chill alerts as well as very dangerous conditions on the road kathy park has more. >> reporter: tonight a dangerous blast of winter weather gripping the country. parts of washington state waking up to heavy snow and icy conditions >> yep suv. >> reporter: state troopers responding to hundreds of spinouts and stranded cars overnight a snowy seattle went from scenic to scary for unprepared drivers the storm forcing mass vaccination sites in the pacific northwest to close today for days the winds were so fierce in northwest oregon they
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knocked some people off their feet meanwhile, in places like virginia and north carolina crippling ice cut off power to hundreds of thousands. a mix of freezing rain and sleet stretching across the mid-atlantic the freezeover coating trees, cars, and power lines. in nashville an icy interstate triggered a massive pileup, sending at least eight to the hospital plunging temperatures are making matters worse. especially for essential workers in billings, montana braving the subzero chill. >> i'm on an all-walking route i have about 15 miles or more. i'm out there for at least seven hours. >> texas still shaken by this week's deadly interstate crash is on alert this weekend for blizzard conditions and brutal cold tonight air travel already disrupted in dallas-fort worth the governor issuing a disaster declaration before the next storm charges through. >> all right kathy park joins us from central park, where kathy, they're
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expecting even more snow >> reporter: jose, that's right. we have seen a lot of snow this winter we are still digging out from the last nor'easter. so far this season new york city has doubled its average snowfall totals jose >> kathy park in new york. thank you. meteorologist dylan dreyer is here with more on that storm and what we could expect next. dylan. >> jose, it is brutally cold tomorrow morning we are going to see wind chills about 20 to 30 degrees below zero even billings, montana will feel like it's 40 degrees below zero. not much better through the afternoon, with wind chills still feeling like they're in the teens to 20s below zero. so really exceptionally cold we also have to get rid of this ice storm that is going to continue to bring mostly rain but also some ice through the mid-atlantic tonight into early tomorrow morning and then monday into tuesday going to have a big snowstorm for especially the middle of the country, an area not used to seeing this much snow we could end up with about six to ten inches in parts of the plains jose >> dylan dreyer, thank you so much still ahead, the desperate search for migrants trapped in the back of a tanker truck after their chilling 911 call.
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the authorities now have a lead. also the new guidelines are out from cdc on how to reopen schools. why are so many parents more confused about what happens next
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back now with the concerns of a potential superspreader event. tens of thousands of people are annual national cheerleading competition.
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the event, which takes place indoors, has health experts worried, particularly given rising cases of the new highly transmissible covid variants now circulating in the country with millions of kids across the country still learning remotely, the cdc has now announced new guidelines for reopening schools. but the specifics have left many parents and experts with more questions than answers blayne alexander has the story >> reporter: it's the long-awaited guidance from the cdc, getting kids safely back in classrooms but after reading it shawna yashar is even more concerned. >> my initial reaction was it's taking like five steps backwards and this is going to be a real impediment to getting kids back into the classroom >> reporter: jessica allen had wanted to hear more about ventilation. >> i'm really frustrated because i've been holding on to this hope that there would be really clear actionable guidance coming out. >> reporter: and keri rodrigues is hopeful but cautious. >> it's wonderful to get this guidance but if the guidance is not implemented it doesn't mean anything at all. >> reporter: as for teachers -- >> it would have been great to
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have this ten months ago >> it is a relief. >> reporter: guidance includes implementing a color-coding system to determine which schools should be open based on how covid is spreading in the community. in the classroom districts should make masks, hand washing and social distancing a focus. all common practice during the pandemic but it's the first time the agency has said they should be prioritized in schools. notably missing, vaccines. while encouraged, the cdc says they are not mandatory but in the nation's second largest school district that is not enough the los angeles teachers union calls the omission troubling, writing, "the guidelines do not do enough to address the specific challenges of large urban school districts." >> does this guidance go far enough >> well, look, this guidance is a floor, not a ceiling but it's a huge change from what we've had before we have been seeking credible scientific guidance for ten months now >> reporter: in marion county,
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tennessee these new guidelines are top of the agenda for monday's board meeting members will consider whether to tailor their policies requiring masks at all times, not just when changing classes. >> we're now going into it that our plan was going to be a very fluid plan >> reporter: bottom line -- >> i think these guidelines are a game changer to a certain extent because i think for the first time they've gotten more than just kind of vague recommendations, vague suggestions on what to do. they've gotten specifics >> and blayne joins us now from atlanta. blayne, you mentioned the cdc says vaccines are not mandatory for teachers returning to school it has some upset. >> reporter: absolutely, it does, jose. you know, experts say that studies have shown that schools are not big areas for transmission, less so than in the communities themselves so the cdc is saying that yes, it is safe to get back to schools with those guidelines firmly in place but while it's
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not mandatory they say that teachers should certainly be prioritized when it comes to receiving vaccines. jose >> blayne alexander in atlanta thank you. we're back in a moment with a powerful earthquake rocking japan. and why has the mail been so slow recently? you know what? it could get even slower
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we are back now with an update to a story we brought you yesterday. authorities in texas have been searching for dozens of migrants who called 911 because they were trapped in a tanker truck and
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running out of air tonight we now know that one person has been taken into custody though the fate of the people in that truck is still unknown. overseas there was a 7.1 magnitude earthquake off the coast of fukushima, japan rocking the city nearly a decade ago a massive quake struck the area, causing a nuclear meltdown at a nearby power plant. today's earthquake was actually an aftershock from that earlier one. there may have been no reports of irregularities at the nuclear power plant today. and dramatic video just released of a rescue in oklahoma city firefighters raced to a house fire and soon learned there was a dog inside they were able to work their way into the home and find the dog, carry him to safety, and put out the fire no one was hurt in the fire. humans or dogs you probably have noticed during the holidays the mail seemed to be coming more slowly. for some customers that continued even into the new year
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well, there is a new plan in the works that could actually slow the mail even further. sarah harman has more. >> reporter: after months of delays big changes could be headed to your mailbox, possibly making it worse. >> i just had a friend who received a postcard in the mail just last week from christmas of december 22nd. >> reporter: two sources familiar with the matter tell nbc news that a new proposal from postmaster general louis dejoy would transform the way first-class mail works in america, eliminating two-day delivery and hiking prices for first-class postage. >> what's going to change for me as a consumer? >> prices will go up service will go down and that people will be less happy with the postal service. >> reporter: in a statement to nbc news dejoy said in part, "this work is not only needed, it is long overdue," but declined to go into specifics. the proposal comes after the u.s. postal service reported losses of more than $9 billion in 2020, even as revenues rose, and americans wait longer and
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longer for their mail. at the end of 2020 only 38% of mail was delivered on time a fact the post office admitted in court dejoy, a supporter of former president trump, was named postmaster general by the usps board of governors last year he's been heavily criticized for changes that led to delays in mail-in balloting during the election the delays hitting working-class families and seniors the hardest. as much-needed prescriptions, parcels and payments failed to arrive where they're needed most >> my husband gets all his medication in the mail and i'm worried about putting my order in and not getting the pills. >> reporter: if you're one of the millions of americans who rely on mail order prescriptions, you can find out if your pharmacy offers delivery and ask your doctor and insurance company to provide a 90-day supply. if you're worried about late fees on credit cards see if you can pay online or over the
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phone. as millions of americans who rely on the postal service wait for them to deliver. sarah harman, nbc news when we come back, the amazing gift that brought this college basketball player and his coach to tears
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there's good news tonight about hard work paying off and the college basketball player struggling to play tuition who had a life-changing surprise oklahoma state university basketball player dee mitchell
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thought he was taking a break from his shift at walmart last month to attend an online team meeting. >> we've got the entire team standing by here >> reporter: but head coach mike boynton had another idea >> i thought today was a great opportunity to let him know he's going to be on scholarship [ cheers and applause >> the scholarship surprise an emotional moment for dee >> you've worked your butt off, you never complained you show up early, you stay late >> let me take you back to that moment that we've all seen, right? what was that like >> definitely one of the biggest moments of my life i was very excited caught me off guard. i felt as though i was dreaming. >> a dream because dee came so close to leaving the team he loves. during the pandemic dee, the oldest of seven siblings, thought about quitting the game
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to make more money for tuition >> when he said he was going to have to work, i felt disappointed because i know how much basketball means to him and that he may not be able to play was certainly something i wanted to try to avoid at all costs >> reporter: so coach boynton arranged a scholarship for dee covering tuition, books and housing. >> dee mitchell's going to dress tonight. [ applause ] >> yeah! >> reporter: a well-deserved reward, the coach says, for the examples dee sets on and off the court. >> give me an idea of a typical
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day for you. >> i usually get up around 5:00 or 6:00. i work out i shoot. i lift about an hour. then i'll have class until like 12:00. and then i go to work from 1:00 to 10:00 >> reporter: what are your dreams, dee? >> i just want to be the best version of me, honestly. >> reporter: a goal now in reach for an inspiring student athlete. coach mike, this is a pretty unusual young man. >> very much so. he is an american success story. >> dee >> yes, sir. >> and dee's major, appropriately, is sports and coaching science he's working to graduate early but he's going to keep on working part-time at walmart an extraordinary person. that's nbc "nightly news" for this saturday. i'm jose diaz-balart thank you for the privilege of your time and good night right now at 6:00, taking a stand. oakland community members say violence against the asian-american community must end. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening, everyone. thanks for joining us.
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i'm terry mcsweeney aanoushah has the night off. incredible turnout? the east bay. people rallying against attacks on age community members. kristy smith joins with us more. >> reporter: they are wrapping is up. i had a chance to speak with an organize era few minutes ago and she said she wasn't expecting a turnout as large as it was. they say it's about acknowledging hurt and pain that people are feeling about what they've seen. but also having a dialogue and coming together as a community, looking for answers. they came together at madison park in oakland, several community groups, and oakland chinatown coalition, all about healing communities. in response to the violent attacks and robberies we have seen targeting the asian community where the victims are often elderly. today there was a very diverse group of people who came out to support as they talked about cross-cultural education and dialogue, weighings to keep the
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community safe and program


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