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Trump Slams Obama on Russia Hack; Five GOP Senators Oppose Own Party's Health Care Bill; Intel Shows Putin Directed Hacking to Help Trump; More Details Revealed About U.S. Ship Collision; Facebook Unveils New Mission Amid Fake News Backlash. Aired 1a1-12p ET

Aired June 24, 2017 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:04] BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: It is 11:00 on the East Coast. I'm Boris Sanchez, in for Fredricka Whitfield. We thank you so much for joining us on this CNN NEWSROOM. A lot to get to today.

But first, shifting blame or maybe shifting strategy? President Trump is now responding to stunning details from a "Washington Post" report about President Obama's efforts to stop Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Tweeting this out last night, quote, "Just out, the Obama administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. Why?"

The "Post" story reveals that Obama knew Russian President Vladimir Putin was directly involved in Russian meddling in the election and it also chronicles the super secretive and strained play-by-play of what the Obama administration did do mostly through sanctions that even administration officials admit were mostly symbolic.

Let's get more on this from CNN Washington correspondent Ryan Nobles. He is live at the White House -- Ryan.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Boris, and the President now seemingly conceding the fact that Russia was involved in intervening in the American election last fall. This is something that he has pushed back on and suggested that perhaps Russia wasn't the only ones responsible for that for some time to come. But he's doing it in a way to put the blame on President Obama and his administration.

Listen to what the president tells FOX News in an interview that is set to air tomorrow.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election. And he did nothing about it. But nobody wants to talk about that. The CIA gave him information on Russia a long time before they even -- you know, before the election. And I hardly see it. It's an amazing thing. To me, you know, in other words the question is if he had the information, why didn't he do something about it? He should have done something about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP) NOBLES: Well, the president is seizing on a quote from a former administration official who described how the White House handled the situation as sort of choking. They didn't do everything that they possibly could to stop Russia's interference but other administration officials are pushing back about President Obama's response. They point to the fact that he had a one-on-one meeting with Vladimir Putin where he confronted him about Russia's attempts to intervene in the election back in September. And they also say that by the time the president learned about this information, it was August. Much of the hack had already been completed and the damage was already done. Also President Obama was concerned that if he took too much action, that that may look as though he was trying to tip the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Regardless, Boris, as I said at the beginning of this report, we should remind our viewers that Donald Trump himself was among those who was very skeptical of Russia's involvement. At one point he blamed China. He even blamed a 400-pound man sitting in his bed. It seems now that he's come around to the thinking that yes, Russia, is responsible for this hack.

SANCHEZ: And he also tweeted out just a couple of days ago that this was a DNC hoax so we'll keep an eye on what he tweets today.

Ryan Nobles at the White House, thank you.

Let's discuss further with our panel. CNN political analyst Josh Rogin. He's also a columnist for the "Washington Post," and CNN legal analyst Page Pate.

Josh, first to you. One of the most glaring things in that "Washington Post" article is the lack of urgency from the Obama administration to respond to this. At one point there's a line in it that says, the assumption was that Hillary Clinton would win and that contributed to that lack of urgency. Ultimately how big of a stain is this on President Obama's legacy?

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure, well, you know, hindsight is 20/20. And it's very easy to criticize what they did or didn't do looking back, given what we know now, but that doesn't mean that they don't deserve some of the criticism. I think they had two problems, and as I talked with secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson about on Thursday, and what he told is that they were, you know, as you mentioned, worried that the political implications of them dealing with this national security threat would be misinterpreted and, two, they had this process.

The Obama people always went through this very long process to come up with any decision and that probably contributed to a bunch of delays. But in the end they did do a number of things and they did make an announcement, although it was in October. They did impose sanctions, although that was after the election.

The question, you know, for the Trump administration I think, is OK, if you're now acknowledging that this really did happen and the Russians were involved, what are you going to do? What is President Trump prepared to do? Is he going to uphold sanctions? Is he going to agree with Congress to have new sanctions? Is he going to set up some punishment, some deterrence, to make sure that this doesn't happen again?

You know, it's unclear if the Trump administration is actually admitting that they now believe that this actually happened. And if they're going to criticize President Obama and not do anything else in the future, then that's just hypocrisy.

SANCHEZ: We should mention the Senate actually did pass some measure to impose further sanctions on Russia. We'll see how far that goes.

[11:05:06] I want to bring in one more person into this discussion. Steve Moore, he's a retired supervisory special agent for the FBI.

Steve, what can you tell us about these "Washington Post" reports about some of the critical intelligence that was gathered on the Russia hack coming from a foreign source. In other words an ally that might have had this information. That kind of information has been faulty before. What do you make of it?

STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it could still be faulty. It's very -- it's very frightening when you start seeing our stuff, stuff that we have very carefully compiled and shared with ally getting out. It doesn't necessarily mean, though that we give it to an ally, that it's false. It's just that you can't take it at face value, and that's part of the investigation. It's going through and taking apart every word and every sentence. And seeing whether it matches up to actual intel that we shared.

SANCHEZ: Sure. Page, I want to turn to you. The president on Twitter, we saw what he tweeted last night, seemingly acknowledging that Russia did meddle in the 2016 election. But just a few days ago he tweeted this. I want to pull it up on the screen. Quote, "Why do the Democratic National Committee turn down the Department of Homeland Security's offer to protect against hacks long prior to the election? It's all a big Democratic hoax." He also tweeted, "It's all a big Democratic scam and excuse for losing the election."

Does consistency matter legally? How do these tweets affect him legally with all these investigations open?

PAGE PATE, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think consistency does matter. We're hearing so many different things out of the Trump White House that we really don't know what they believe about Russian meddling in the election. But what we do know now is there's sufficient evidence to show that Russians were involved. They attempted to affect the U.S. elections. And more importantly, they attempted to help Trump in those elections. That appears to be fact based upon the intelligence reporting. So it's like building -- you know, taking building blocks to put a case together like this.

I am sure now the special counsel will take that information and then try to determine if the Trump campaign or the Trump transition team had any involvement in it whatsoever. Were they encouraging them? Were they helping them in any regard? Because if you can put that final piece together, then you perhaps have a case against Trump or someone in his administration.

SANCHEZ: I'm sure that question of consistency, though, keeps coming up not just for legal reasons.

But, Josh, you also politically, does consistency, you know, logic, rationality matter to the president or his supporters? It seems like this is not the first time that he's gone back on something that he has said within hours and nobody really calls him on it in a way that makes him maybe put down the phone and stop tweeting.

ROGIN: Right. It's not even the only time that it happened this week. We just had the end of a 43-day saga, where the President raised the specter of taping the FBI director and then seemed to deny it kind of after everyone pressed him. So it's not that he doesn't get called on it. He gets called on it all the time. "The New York Times" put up a list of hundreds of straight-up falsehoods and lies that the president has told since he's been in office.

His supporters don't seem to mind. Their allegiance to him has been maintained. But, you know, there's an obvious and persistent -- degradation to the credibility of the president. The credibility of the presidency, the credibility of the White House. The credibility of America's word to foreign countries abroad. And that has second and third-degree implications for, you know, our power, our influence, our democracy, that are going to take years, if not decades to fix. But that doesn't mean that the president agrees with that or he has any, you know, feeling that he's going to change his ways of doing things any time soon.

SANCHEZ: Steve, one of the really unsettling recurring themes of this "Washington Post" reporting is the fact that Russia, the Kremlin, have not paid an appropriate price for this meddling. There's talk of a future program, some implants within Russian systems that might eventually spur deterrence. But in your eyes, has the U.S. done enough to prevent this from happening again?

MOORE: No. Obviously they haven't paid enough of a price to where they've been discouraged from doing it again. If you don't punish somebody for doing something, they're just going -- they're just going to return to it. The problem with punishing the Soviets or the Russians is that when you do something about that, it sometimes hurts us, for instance I remember when we were working counterintelligence. If you took a diplomat, a Russian diplomat and threw him out of the country, well, that was years and years and years of work the FBI had on that one guy. And now they're going to have to start over again. So every kind of punishment that you might hit the Russians with really actually can sometimes hurt us back.

SANCHEZ: Sure. Page, back to you and the investigation. There's some reports out that the White House that says -- that say that Trump has no intention of firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

[11:10:07] But we just heard yesterday at least one House Republican calling for his recusal because of his close relationship with James Comey. The two of them go back. They're good friends. Is that enough for him to recuse himself? PAGE: No, I don't think so. I mean, the relationship he may have

with a potential witness in the investigation, unless that potential witness is a targeted investigation or a subject of the investigation, I don't think it's a real conflict. But what I think we see happening is a preemptive strike. Trump and his allies are suggesting that hey, this investigation, if it doesn't go our way, it's problematic because of Mueller's relationship with Comey. And I don't think that's accurate. And ultimately if they were confident that Mueller wasn't going to find anything, why would they be raising these issues?

You would think that they would want Democrats on that team. You would think they would want Comey allies on that team because if they found nothing there, then it would have a lot more credibility.

SANCHEZ: We'll see if this tweet from last night is a first step toward at least moving forward with some kind of response to Russia and perhaps more cooperation with the many investigations that are out there.

Gentlemen, we want to thank you so much for joining us. Josh Rogin, Steve Moore and Page Pate, we do appreciate your time on this Saturday.

Still ahead, some skeptical senators, a fifth GOP lawmaker has come out against the Republican health care plan. All of this becoming a tough uphill climb to lock in support before next week's expected vote on this bill. We'll discuss, when we come back.


[11:15:31] SANCHEZ: This morning a new jab from President Trump via Twitter on health care, as the Senate gets ready to vote on a bill by the end of next week. He writes, quote, "Democrats slam GOP health care proposal as Obamacare premiums and deductibles increase by over 100 percent. Remember keep your doctor, keep your plan?"

But repealing and replacing Obamacare will be tough since a number of GOP senators say they will not back it

. Here's where things stand right now. Five Republican senators oppose the bill in its current form but they are open to negotiations. Three are planning to review it more over the weekend. But they have expressed some concerns. Now even with the bill on shaky ground, President Trump told FOX News he's optimistic it will all work out. Listen.


TRUMP: I think that they'll probably get there. We'll have to see. You know, health care is a very difficult situation. If you look, the Clintons tried to get it and after years and years they couldn't do it. Obamacare was murder for them to get and now it's failed. It's virtually out of business. Obamacare is a disaster and we're trying to do something in a very short period of time.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: The health care math is tricky, though. The president can only afford to lose two votes. Utah GOP senator Mike Lee is not closing the door on voting for some version of the health care bill. But he did have some strong words about it yesterday.

Here's a quote. Quote, "Far short of repeal, the Senate bill keeps the Democrats' broken system intact. Just with less spending on the poor to pay for corporate bailouts and tax cuts. A cynic might say that the BCRA is less a Republican health care bill than a caricature of a Republican health care bill."

I want to bring in CNN politics reporter, Eugene Scott, to discuss.

Eugene, good morning. Thanks for joining us. Now Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is kind of in a tough place. If he gives the Pauls and Cruzs of the world what they want, he stands to lose moderate Republicans who have promised constituents that they're going to keep parts of the bill that they like. So where do they find common ground? Where does he get to 50 votes?

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: What he's going to have to do is figure out what issues it is that both sides of the Republican Party agree are most essential when it comes to repealing Obamacare. The reality is that the Republican Party is a little more ideologically diverse than I think many people thought when it comes to health care. We have people like Dean Heller, who come from a state that was devastated during the economic downturn. And the Affordable Care Act actually helped many people in that state get to a really difficult situation. So a complete repeal of the bill like what we would -- what Rand Paul and what Ted Cruz wants, would harm some people in other states within the party.

SANCHEZ: Eugene, what are the chances we see a repeat of the first time the House tried to do this? Would McConnell hold this thing if he's not sure about the number of votes he has?

SCOTT: I think that's possible. I think what we're looking at right now is whether or not they're going to be able to bring things to a vote by July 4th. Quite frankly, I'll be very surprised if they are able to do that. But I think all sides within the Republican Party are mindful of the PR obstacles that they currently face. If they are to do something again like they did the first time when they were trying to get the bill through the House some may ask if this will ever happen. The repeal of Obamacare. At least this year.

SANCHEZ: There's still several undecideds. Any idea who McConnell might try to sway?

SCOTT: Well, I'm thinking that he's going to listen to some people like Susan Collins who is more moderate but she quite frankly is a very influential voice in the party. And what she says, I think is carrying weight with some within the party because they've got a lot of heat for not having a lot of women at the table involved in the decision-making.

I think Rob Portman also coming from a state that Trump won and that he spoke to regarding this health care plan. Trying to meet the needs of those voters is something that conservatives in the Republican Party are going to need to pay quite a bit of attention to.

SANCHEZ: We know one tough sell is going to be Nevada Senator Dean Heller. Listen to one of the things he had to say.


REP. DEAN HELLER (R), NEVADA: I'm telling you right now, I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans. You have to protect Medicaid expansion states. That's what I want. Make sure that we're taken care of here in the state of Nevada.


[11:20:03] SANCHEZ: Now he especially is in a difficult position, right. It's a swing state. There are already ads being taken out against him. Is that someone that McConnell might come to or is he just out of the picture?

SCOTT: I can't imagine that anyone is completely out of the picture. I think it's a matter of how much time will McConnell spend trying to win some people. What we saw is that a pro-Trump PAC said that they are going to actually attack Heller in ads if he does not come on board with the conservatives in repealing this Obamacare and replacing it with this plan.

I think what they're going to have to ask themselves to do is how beneficial will that be for them and will they risk losing that seat as a whole to a Democratic candidate if they don't take into consideration the things that Heller is saying Republicans need to pay attention to when it comes to this bill.

SANCHEZ: Democrats have come out very strongly against this bill. Hillary Clinton calling the GOP a death party if this thing passes. A very strong statement. She writes, "Forget death panels, if Republicans pass this bill, they're the death party." But for Democrats it seems like statements are really the only thing they're going to be able to do to stop this bill if McConnell gets enough votes so what can they do now?

SCOTT: Right. What the left is trying to do and what they probably will continue to try to do is just highlight how problematic they believe that this bill is and target quite frankly conservative lawmakers in districts that they hope they can win so that their voters will see who voted for it and who voted against it. And they'll probably going to try to hold these people accountable in forthcoming elections.

I think what's going to be very interesting, though, is whether or not conservatives listen to what the left is saying regarding where the areas are problematic. I think they have some own issues and priorities they have to work out within their own party.

SANCHEZ: All right. Eugene Scott, helping us break through the health care news today. Thank you so much, Eugene.

SCOTT: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: We do have some good news to bring you. Republican Congressman Steve Scalise is out of intensive care. He is in fair condition. Scalise was shot in the hip last week at that GOP baseball team practice. He's going through an extended period of healing and rehabilitation.

Now another victim of that shooting, Matt Mica, is in good condition and out of the hospital. George Washington University Hospital sent this picture of him with Jayson Werth of the Washington Nationals who stopped by for a visit with him on Thursday. Mika fortunately is expected to make a full recovery.

Still ahead, much more on the bombshell report on Russia's election meddling and Vladimir Putin's direct involvement. What impact could it have as President Trump and Putin get set to meet face to face next month.


[11:26:58] SANCHEZ: We're continuing to follow our major story today. Scathing new details have been revealed about the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 Presidential election.

CNN's justice correspondent Jessica Schneider has details.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A new report reveals Russian President Vladimir Putin gave direct orders to defeat Hillary Clinton and help elect Donald Trump as president. According to a bombshell report by the "Washington Post," the Obama administration knew Putin was directing cyberattacks during the 2016 campaign, three months before the election. Intelligence obtained from deep inside the Russian government was couriered by the CIA to the White House in August and it detailed Putin's direct involvement in the hacking meant to disrupt and discredit the presidential race.

TONY BLINKEN, FORMER DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER TO PRES. OBAMA: When you go back, this was a moving picture. It's not like we had an immediate clear snapshot of what the Russians were up to. It evolved over time. At first we simply thought they were simply trying to do what they always do, which was pull information, see if they could something that they'd use later down the road. Then it looked like they were trying to basically interfere in the election, mostly by creating doubt about our institutions.

SCHNEIDER: Former National Security adviser to President Obama, Tony Blinken, defended the administration's strategy to keep the information quiet.

BLINKEN: As we were deliberating this, we thought the more we play this out in public, the more we play their game. We actually create even further doubt by making this into a big, public matter. SCHNEIDER: But a former senior Obama official felt differently,

telling the "Post," "It is the hardest thing about my entire time in government to defend. I feel like we sort of choked."

President Obama reportedly issued a stern warning to Putin at the G-20 Summit in China in September. And the "Post" details Obama's authorization to plant cyber weapons, so-called digital bombs, in Russia's infrastructure that could be used to retaliate. But Obama left office before the planning was complete. Lawmakers are questioning why more wasn't done to stop the Russians or alert Americans.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: I greatly admire President Obama. I wish that he and the administration would have acted differently.

SCHNEIDER: Meanwhile the Russia probes are moving forward on Capitol Hill. Hillary Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta will meet behind closed doors with members of the House Intelligence Committee next week. Podesta's e-mails were hacked and distributed by WikiLeaks at the height of the campaign. Meanwhile the Senate Judiciary Committee is expanding its investigation to look into political interference by both the Obama and Trump administrations.

The committee sent a letter to former attorney general Loretta Lynch Friday, demanding she disclose any conversations with the Clinton campaign or the Democratic National Committee about the FBI's investigation into Clinton's private e-mail server.

(On camera): This letter to Loretta Lynch is being seen as a way to appease both Democrats and Republicans. While the Democrats on the committee push for an obstruction of justice investigation against the president, Republicans are widening the probe to include potential political interference into the FBI's investigation of Clinton's e- mail server.

Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.


SANCHEZ: Jessica, thank you for that.

Among the revelations in the "Washington Post" report Jessica mentioned was that direct line drawn between Vladimir Putin and election interference.

[11:30:04] President Trump may bring that up if he meets with Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of next month's G-20 talks in Germany.

Let's get some perspective from the Kremlin. We're joined by CNN's former Moscow bureau chief Jill Dougherty.

Jill, thank you so much for joining us this Saturday. What does this --

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Hey, Boris. SANCHEZ: What does this apparent confirmation about Vladimir Putin's

direct order to meddle in the 2016 election change? Does it alter anything at all?

DOUGHERTY: You know, I don't think if you're talking about the meeting that we expect will happen between President Trump and President Putin in the early part of July at the G-20, I don't think it's going to affect much of anything because this is a subject that neither leader wants to talk about.

President Trump certainly does not want to get into Russian hacking allegations. It's something that he avoids or just completely denies, and then you have President Putin, who also doesn't want to get involved in that subject. It's something that he has denied Russia has done. Remember he's been saying, show me the evidence, we never did it. So I would predict, we never know, but I would predict that it's something that won't come up.

Now what probably would come up would be, let's work together fighting terrorism, especially in Syria. In fact the State Department issued a little statement about potential subjects that they could talk about and working together on fighting terrorism is one of them.

And also, Boris, I think you'd have to say, this is going to be a very delicate little operation. When they meet, where they meet. Would it be in a corridor? Would they sit down? Will they shake hands? Will President Trump look very happy? Will he look stern? These are all things that we're going to have to watch if that meeting happens.

SANCHEZ: Yes. To be a fly on the wall for that.

Now, Jill, getting back to that "Washington Post" reporting, I want you to listen to how one of the writers describes a bombshell moment in the story.


ADAM ENTOUS, WASHINGTON POST REPORTER: It's very rare for the CIA, despite popular perception that they are, that they have information on everything, it's very hard for them to get Putin himself, him providing an instruction. That is as close to a bombshell internal coup if you will for an intelligence service and for the CIA as ever.


SANCHEZ: Yes, as we know, Vladimir Putin is notorious for how protective he is. He rarely uses e-mail and phone communication as we understand. How is that being received in Russia that this information was gleaned apparently through tradecraft?

DOUGHERTY: Well, when we asked the Kremlin, they did not have a response. The only response we got was kind of a cryptic statement from the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, who said essentially the show must go on which I took to be kind of diminishing, you know, let's, that insane show in American politics, which is called the hearings and the witch hunt about Russia continue. That was -- that was the I think the way it was perceived. So they're not saying much of anything.

This should be of concern of course to the Kremlin because if that is correct, that they were able to get deep inside the recesses of the Kremlin to get some information, about the actions of President Putin, that is significant.

SANCHEZ: Now at last year's G-20 summit, Barack Obama told Putin to cut it out, to stop his country's hacking, but it didn't seem that that actually worked. There were some sanctions imposed by the Americans, even Obama administration officials admit that they were mostly symbolic and superficial. Are they expecting perhaps a stronger response from President Trump despite the fact that he appears to be pretty chummy with the Russian leader?

DOUGHERTY: Well, I don't think necessarily that President Trump would push for a new sanction. But Congress is. So you have a new round that just they're kind of strengthening sanctions that already exist. That happened this past week. And then you also have the Senate, looking into new sanctions that would be stricter and would be much harder for President Trump to undo. So that's kind of in the pipeline.

But I don't -- you know, President Trump is -- appears not to be a big fan of using these sanctions against Russia. The sanctions have hurt to a certain extent, but the price of oil, when it fell, was really much more serious for the Russian economy.

SANCHEZ: Certainly. Jill Dougherty, thank you so much for your perspective. We may be speaking to you later on today so we thank you for staying with us this Saturday.

Still ahead, new details about the collision of the USS Fitzgerald that claimed the lives of seven sailors. Much more on that straight ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We went from 18 miles in this town to three.

[11:35:03] We went from 1500 employees to 150 people working.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all went in economic down turn in the coal industry.

W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST: And this is the main industry of Appalachia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is. With the loss of those jobs, it's really devastating families and communities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We struggled to get by.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want a good job. That's it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No job leads to no money, leads to the pressure, which leads to drugs.

BELL: How easy is it to fund drug down here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All you have to do is walk on the sidewalk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm concerned about the future.



SANCHEZ: It's been one week since a U.S. Navy destroyer and a cargo ship collided off the coast of Japan, killing seven sailors. And now new details on that incident are emerging.

CNN Pentagon reporter Ryan Browne joins us now.

Ryan, what have we learned about what happened?

RYAN BROWNE, CNN PENTAGON REPORTER: Boris, you know, again, the Navy officials I've spoken to are stressing that the investigations are still ongoing and multiple investigations in fact.

[11:40:04] There's a coast guard investigation, a Navy investigation as well as an investigation being conducted by the Japanese authorities. That being said, there are some preliminary findings we're learning about including of where this collision took place on the starboard side of the USS Fitzgerald and it's where the cargo ship collided. That's the reason that so much of this destruction happened because of where the collision took place.

It struck near the berthing area where five of the seven sailors who were killed were sleeping at the time. And it's believed that they were incapacitated almost instantly due to where this collision took place. That exact point. It's also very close to the communications node on the Fitzgerald where a lot of the communications gear was being housed.

And again the Navy is taking its time to conduct a full investigation. They're looking at the radar data from the Aegis weapons system on board. They're hoping that will have a lot of information about where the ships were, why the cargo ship was not detected before this collision. And they're also reviewing data from the cargo ship including navigation and radar data from the cargo ship that the much larger cargo ship that struck the Fitzgerald.

So they're still reviewing a lot of this information. But still at this point the location of the collision is providing some preliminary information as to what happened.

SANCHEZ: There's a big question, though, apparently the collision happened around 1:30 a.m. but it wasn't reported until almost an hour later. Do we know why?

BROWNE: Well, there's a couple of factors at play here. One, the cargo ship, they believe, was operating on an auto pilot system and that there wasn't necessarily anyone on the bridge of that cargo ship. And that they not necessarily know -- they did not necessarily now that they had struck the Fitzgerald before the cargo ship reported it. And the second thing is the collision took place, as I said, right on this communications node where a lot of the equipment was.

And in fact, the Navy sailors aboard the Fitzgerald were forced to rely upon satellite cell phones to kind of communicate that this collision took place. So there was a real damage to the communications gear and again a lot of damage to these sailors struggled valiantly to try to keep this ship from sinking, the Fitzgerald, as flooding with as coming in. So they were forced to rely on satellite phones and they think this delayed the communications aspect of this. Relaying what happened back to their higher headquarters.

SANCHEZ: Just a tragedy and we'll look forward to more answers as these investigations continue.

Ryan Browne, thank you for your reporting from Washington.

Staying in that port of the world, we are following a developing story out of China where a desperate search is under way for more than 120 people missing after part of a mountain gave way. The landslide buried more than 60 homes, scores of rescuers are on the scene. Digging through the rubble. They were able to save one couple and their newborn baby just a few hours ago. China's president has called for an all-out effort to find others who may be buried.

And tensions involving the U.S. and North Korea continue to build after U.S. spy satellites detected activity at a North Korean nuclear test site. Two Trump administration officials shared their concerns with China after President Trump tweeted out, that China's attempt to help, quote, "has not worked out." Meantime, an incident involving North Korean delegates at New York's JFK airport is only adding to tensions.

CNN's Brian Todd explains.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): U.S. officials tell CNN Kim Jong-un's regime has just test-fired a rocket engine which could be used for a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile. A worrying reminder that North Korea has vowed to deploy a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to the United States.

With rumblings that another North Korean nuclear test could come at any time with no warning, President Trump and his team are growing increasingly frustrated that China, who they counted on to tamp down Kim Jong-un's weapons build-up, hasn't been able to help.

TRUMP: I do like President Xi. I wish we would have a little more help with respect to North Korea from China. But that doesn't seem to be working out.

TODD: The president has invested heavily in a personal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Hoping Xi would lean on the North Korean dictator. Some analysts believe it was a losing bet. JAMIE METZL, FORMER NSC OFFICIAL: China has paid lip service to

pressuring North Korea. But at the end of the day, China is not willing to put enough pressure on North Korea to change North Korea's behavior.

TODD: So now tensions between Washington and Pyongyang are left boiling. Kim's regime claims three delegates it sent to a U.N. conference in New York were, quote, "mugged" at New York's JFK Airport by U.S. Homeland Security officers. The North Koreans accuse of U.S. officers of taking a diplomatic package away from the delegates. DHS officials tell CNN there was a confrontation, but the package in question didn't have diplomatic protection. And they say the aggression was started by the North Koreans.

The "Los Angeles Times" reports those North Korean delegates took an unauthorized side trip while they were in America.

BARBARA DEMICK, LOS ANGELES TIMES: They went to Arizona on some sort of shopping expedition.

[11:45:02] I was told it was technology related. I don't know precisely what technology. And I still don't know what was in the packages. But they did bring something back.

TODD: North Korean officials decline to comment to CNN about the incident. In a statement, DHS says its agents seized, quote, "multiple media items and packages" from the North Koreans. But they won't say specifically what those items were.

The North Korean regime says Friday's incident shows the U.S. is a, quote, "felonious and lawless gangster state." Experts say its North Korean diplomats who sometimes act like gangsters.

MARCUS NOLAND, PETERSON INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS: There is a long history of North Koreans using diplomatic pouches to smuggle drugs and endangered species parts. Things like rhino horn or ivory.

TODD (on camera): Homeland Security officials say those North Koreans were not held by U.S. authorities, but they refused to board their flight out of New York. It's not clear right now where those North Koreans are. Neither Homeland Security officials nor the North Koreans are saying anything about them.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


SANCHEZ: Another bizarre chapter in an already bizarre story. Brian Todd, thank you.

Coming up, an exclusive interview with the elusive social media tycoon, Mark Zuckerberg. His views on combating fake news and the social network's mission to connect the world.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK CEO: I used to think that if we just work to give people a voice and help people connect that that was going to make the world all better by itself. But now I feel like we have a responsibility to do even more.



[11:50:42] SANCHEZ: Stark criticism over the increase of fake news is causing a revamp for one of the forefathers of social media. Facebook.

CNN senior tech correspondent Laurie Segall sat down for an exclusive rare conversation with its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg -- Laurie.

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN SENIOR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Boris. Well, Facebook is nearing two billion users and a lot of folks are asking really challenging questions about the company because of its extended reach. And one of the people doing a lot of soul searching is the company CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. And he's decided to completely overhaul Facebook's core mission for the first time over a decade.

And it used to be about connecting individuals, making us more open and connected. And what he's saying it's about now -- it's about connecting communities and bringing the world closer together. He feels very strongly about this. He sat down with me here in Chicago to tell me why he's deciding to rethink Facebook's mission. Take a listen.


SEGALL (voice-over): It's been a year of tough questions for Facebook. Fake news distributed across the platform. Terrorists spreading propaganda. And Mark Zuckerberg has been doing some soul searching.

MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK CEO: I used to think that if we just work to give people a voice and help people connect that that was going to make the world all better by itself. But now I feel like we have a responsibility to do even more, all right. Because I mean today a lot of society is divided. Right? So it's pretty clear that just giving people a voice and connecting people isn't enough.

SEGALL: It's an admission by one of the most influential tech leaders that the world's most popular social media network needs to change.

ZUCKERBERG: So today we're going to set a new mission to set our course as a company for the next decade. And the full formal mission statement is going to be to give people the power to build community to bring the world closer together.


SEGALL: It's the first time Facebook has overhauled its core mission, shifting focus from connecting individuals to building communities. Zuckerberg made the announcement at Facebook first community summit, a

gathering of leaders and influential Facebookers.

Lola is the creator of a group called Female IN, A place for over a million women to connect.

LOLA OMOLOLA, CREATOR, FEMALE IN NIGERIA: We need tools to make sure people feel safe. And that was Facebook is providing now. These tools help us better manage our community.

ZUCKERBERG: And we're also going to help you remove bad actors and all their content from your Facebook.


SEGALL (on camera): What does that mean to you specifically?

OMOLOLA: Wow. It means trolls.


SEGALL (voice-over): The question, are we more connected or has technology driven us apart?

(On camera): Technology to a degree has always promised to help us discover and to help us learn. There's also the question of does it make us more insular and is, you know, information being hijacked and spread? So as you make the future of Facebook these communities, how do you make sure they remain a place for authenticity and for real discourse?

ZUCKERBERG: When you want to help people stay connected with the people they already know and care about, but you also want to make it so that people get access to new people and new perspectives, too. So bringing people together in creating these communities is I think a lot of what we can do to help create more civil and productive debate on some of the bigger issues, as well.


SEGALL: Boris, as part of this, Mark Zuckerberg talked about giving some of these groups Facebook tools to organize better. So artificial intelligence to help you discover groups that you might like or the ability to kick out bad actors easier.

And I think if you want to put it into context, think about the Women's March and how this movement, this very organic movement started on Facebook and some of these groups, then grew and created a real public dialogue. I think Mark Zuckerberg wants to focus on this, and it's -- you know, this isn't just a random announcement. He's been spending a lot of time thinking about these kinds of things.

He's been at dinner tables across the country sitting with people outside Silicon Valley's bubble. He wrote a 5700-word manifesto on the future of technology and humanity. You get the idea that he understands the power of Facebook and that platform and he does want to make the world more connected at a time where, you know, truthfully it feels like we're pretty divided -- Boris.

SANCHEZ: Should be interesting to see what comes next.

Laurie Segall, thank you.

Still ahead in our next hour of news, former President Bill Clinton set to speak in front of hundreds of U.S. mayors during a conference in sunny Miami Beach.

[11:55:06] We'll bring you what he has to say live.


SANCHEZ: Happening now in the NEWSROOM, he's called Russia's interference in the 2016 election a hoax and a scam. But now President Trump is blaming his predecessor for, quote, "doing nothing to stop Vladimir Putin."

Also, back to the drawing board. Five Republican senators now publicly opposing the Senate health care bill in its current form. We're going to discuss what changes have to be made to get a passing vote next week.

Plus, she's held the most powerful political office of any American woman, but is Nancy Pelosi's leadership a liability, a desperation, a re-brand of the Democratic Party before 2018.