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Cambridge Analytica Caught on Tape Bragging About Dirty Tricks; U.S.-South Korea Military Drills Begins April 1st; Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired March 20, 2018 - 04:00   ET


[04:00:12] CHRISTOPHER WYLIE, CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA WHISTLEBLOWER: I'm probably the only gay guy in London that had a membership card to a strip club. I will do whatever it takes to get a contract.


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Sex workers entrapped in a global propaganda. An undercover report shows Cambridge Analytica executives outlining dirty election tactics. So when will Mark Zuckerberg go public about Cambridge sharing Facebook data of some 50 million users?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The president's legal team sitting down for the first time with special counsel's lawyers. Now the president bringing in a flame throwing attorney who publicly says the DOJ is framing him.

BRIGGS: And overnight, the Weinstein company lifting all nondisclosure agreements with Harvey Weinstein. The question now, how many more women are ready to come forward with abuse allegations in bankruptcy?

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START on a busy day. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: It is a busy day. I'm Christine Romans. It is Tuesday, March 20th. The first day of spring. It's 4:00 a.m. in the East.

BRIGGS: Is that right?

ROMANS: That's right. 8:00 a.m. in London, 5:00 p.m. in Seoul.

BRIGGS: Did not know that.

ROMANS: We're expecting snow.

BRIGGS: Snow was on the way, right.

ROMANS: All right. Meanwhile the crisis at Facebook intensifying after it failed to protect user data. But CEO Mark Zuckerberg still missing in action. M-I-A. It has been days since news broke that a firm tied to President Trump's campaign Cambridge Analytica accessed data to 50 million users.

But so far Zuckerberg has been silent and the story has cost him about $5 billion so far. That's right. Facebook shares fell 7 percent yesterday. That is a big one-day move. That shaved $37 billion off the company's value. Sparking both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq's worst day since February. Investors think stricter regulation for Facebook are likely.

It faces tough question on how it protects user data from being exploited. "The Washington Post" reports that thousands of developers siphoned data every day. Everything from games like Farmville to dating app Tinder. Unlike those firms, Cambridge Analytica broke Facebook's rules by claiming the data was for academic use.

Now Cambridge Analytica says it deleted all user data and agreed to a forensic audit. But this latest crisis is a new threat to the Facebook's reputation. Already tarnished for allowing Russia to manipulate its platform before and after the election. The whistleblower from Cambridge Analytica told CNN's Don Lemon he is worried they contributed.


WYLIE: I'm concerned that we made Russia aware of the programs that we were working on and that might have sparked an idea that, you know, eventually led to some of the disinformation programs that we have seen and the interference that we have seen from Russia in American elections. So for me, I am concerned about that and if I played some kind of role in that, I feel like it is my duty to tell people about it.


ROMANS: An advocate for a strong approach to Russia plans to leave Facebook. Facebook's head of security Alex Stamos. In a tweet, Stamos did not deny leaving but promised he is still fully engaged with his work at Facebook.

BRIGGS: Further adding to the intrigue, an undercover report by Channel 4 in Britain, a hidden camera showing senior Cambridge Analytica executives talking about how they can use bribery and entrapment to dig up comprising material on their client's political opponents.

Let's bring in CNN's Isa Soares live in London for us with the latest.

Good morning, Isa.

ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Dave. Good morning to you, Christine. The Cambridge Analytica, the firm just behind me that is being really behind President Trump's presidential campaign in 2016 in the last 24 hours has been hit with an emergency data seizure order in the UK. And really what we know is the warrant is expected to be sought today for data to come out from Cambridge Analytica.

Lots of questions to be answered. This of course follows a dramatic turn of events as were you saying there, Dave, over the last 24 hours. Channel 4 reporter here in the UK went undercover posing as a potential Sri Lankan candidate who was seeking the services of Cambridge Analytica for upcoming elections. And over a course of several meetings with senior executives at Cambridge Analytica, including Cambridge Analytica CEO, Alexander Nix, because they were known to really outline and suggest how they may offer those services in order to help the candidate win, let's say.

That included, as you said, honey traps. Sending young women in there to operate a sex sting. Also offering bribes to discredit politicians. Offering sending one of their people to pose as a politician and offering them land and filming that and exposing them.

[04:05:05] Another thing they offered as well is discredit information, creating and promoting fake news. At one point, one of the executives says it doesn't have to be true, he says. It just has to be believed. He said -- he went on to day, it has to happen without anyone thinking it's propaganda because the minute it is propaganda, someone will be asking who is behind it.

So all the sort of expandable ethics that is gone out of the window. They talked about ghosting in and ghosting out when it came to serving and working at services in several of presidential elections right around the world. Including Kenya.

Back to you.

BRIGGS: There is a lot of questions hopefully for Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, hopefully from Congress. Isa, thank you.

Meanwhile, attorneys for President Trump meeting face-to-face for the first time with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team. The two sides sitting down last week to hash out which topics investigators could cover with the president. According to the sources, Mueller's team added specifics to the topics already discussed like the firing of former FBI director James Comey.

ROMANS: The meeting makes it clear the investigation is nowhere near ending. President Trump hiring a new personal attorney. A man who has claimed the president is being framed by a group of FBI and Justice Department officials.


JOSEPH E. DIGENOVA, NEW PERSONAL ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: There was a brazen plot to illegally exonerate Hillary Clinton and if she didn't win the election to then frame Donald Trump with a falsely created crime.


ROMANS: That's some serious deep state stuff there. Trump attorney Jay Sekulow confirms Joseph diGenova is joining the legal team. It is expected he will engage with the media and actively defend the president in the Russia investigation.

BRIGGS: Overnight, "The New York Times" reported the president has discussed dismissing White House lawyer Ty Cobb and that the president's lead personal attorney John Dowd has also considered leaving because he cannot control Mr. Trump's behavior. Fellow Republicans warn the president not to special counsel.


SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: It would be the stupidest thing the president could do is fire him.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: How would Republicans react you think if he'd fire Mueller?

SEN. BOB CORKER (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I think it would be total upheaval in the Senate.


ROMANS: So there is little support among Republicans to pass legislation blocking the president from firing Mueller.

Mr. Trump keeping up the Twitter attacks against the Russia probe on Monday and nothing but radio silence from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who did not respond this weekend when the president attacked Robert Mueller by name for the first time.

BRIGGS: President Trump's attorney Michael Cohen says a reported $130,000 payment to quiet Stormy Daniels before the election is normal. In a "Vanity Fair" profile Cohen says people are mistaking it for a campaign issue, adding, quote, "What I did defensively for my personal client and my friend is what attorneys do for their high profile clients." Cohen also jokes about the ongoing litigation, saying, "The more I'm thinking about it I might even take an extended vacation on her dime." Cohen referring to potential winnings from their ongoing case against Stormy Daniels.

ROMANS: The piece prompting a response from Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti. He said Mr. Cohen should ensure he makes refundable reservations for that extended vacation. Daniels has taken Cohen and Trump to court trying to end the nondisclosure agreement, compelling her silence about a supposed affair with Trump. Attorneys for Trump and Cohen's company moved last week to take lawsuit to federal court. They claimed Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, owes more than $20 million for violating that NDA.

BRIGGS: All right. Uber suspending tests of its self-driving cars after what is thought to be the first fatal crash involving a fully autonomous vehicle. Self-driving Uber SUV struck and killed a 49- year-old woman Elaine Hershberg Sunday as she walked her bike across the street in Tempe, Arizona. A driver from Uber was behind the wheel, but not in control. Preliminary data shows the car going about 45 miles an hour in a 35-mile-an-hour zone.

ROMANS: Police say there are no significant signs the SUV slowed down before impact. Uber says it is fully cooperating with local officials and, quote, "Our hearts go out to the victim's family." Last year, Uber briefly pulled its self-driving test vehicles after one landed on its side in an accident also in Tempe. Waymo, a corporate cousin of Google, is launching a public self driving car this year in Phoenix. BRIGGS: Pennsylvania's court order congressional map is here to stay.

At least through the next couple of elections. The Supreme Court denying Republicans' request for an emergency stay blocking the redrawn map from taking effect. The new map could tilt several key congressional races in Democrats' favor. The state's Supreme Court unveiled the new map last month after ruling the old map was gerrymandered in violation of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

[04:10:03] ROMANS: Actress and activist Cynthia Nixon officially jumping into the race for New York governor.


CYNTHIA NIXON (D), CANDIDATE, NEW YORK GOVERNOR: I'm a proud public school graduate and a prouder public school parent. I was given chances I just don't see for most of New York's kids today. Our leaders are letting us down.


ROMANS: The "Sex and the City" star will challenge Governor Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary in September. Nixon launched her campaign with a video on her Twitter page highlighting her New York roots and key campaign issues including health care, ending mass incarceration and fixing New York City's broken subway system.

She is forming a team many of whom worked on New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio's first campaign. De Blasio and Cuomo have clashed, shall we say, on critical issue in New York. Nixon plans to travel across the state in the coming weeks talking to voters.

There is a joke in there about being read your Miranda rights, I'm not sure.


BRIGGS: There is indeed. Were you a "Sex and the City" viewer?

ROMANS: I never watched that show. Does that say so much about me?

BRIGGS: It does indeed.

ROMANS: I never watched.

BRIGGS: What does it say that I was a devotee who never missed an episode?

ROMANS: I don't know. We're like the different sides of the same coin somehow.

BRIGGS: Manly man.

ROMANS: Yes, I guess so.

(LAUGHTER) BRIGGS: All right. Winter is going out like a lion. Reported tornadoes in the south, another nor'easter setting up to move up the coast. We'll have the forecast for you next.


[04:15:27] BRIGGS: 4:15 Eastern Time on a Tuesday. And spring starts today, not that you could tell from the weather. A possible tornado touching down in Jacksonville, Alabama. At least injuring one person, trapping others. Jacksonville State University, the campus police spent the night going room to room at residence halls, checking on students after the storm damaged dorm roofs as well as campus coliseum. Fortunately many students were away for spring break.

ROMANS: Power outages reported in Alabama and Georgia. The storm part of a larger system moving north due to turn into yet another nor'easter tonight into Wednesday.

For the very latest forecast, we go live to CNN Weather Center and meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.

It is spring, but another nor'easter. By my count, that's four nor'easters in three weeks?


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It is. Absolutely. Can you believe it, right? After what's really a quiet winter we come through March and we're getting now three going on four over the next 24 hours of nor'easter.

Here's what's going on right now. Across the southern U.S. we go, we've had active weather. Severe thunderstorms in place. And of course you know this is the time of year you begin to see activity spike. And it has been quiet in that sense as well. We've had about 80 tornadoes so far this season. About three of them coming through in the past several hours. All across the state of Alabama. Potentially one more will be added into the state of Georgia. But 150 is what is normal so far this early into the season.

We're about half where we should be for this time of year. There is what is left of the storm pushing in toward the eastern Georgia, parts of South Carolina where we have tornado watches in place just around the Savannah area and points to the north into western South Carolina. But to the north we go and the National Weather Service across this region not messing around. Upwards of 70 million people from the Ohio Valley all the way out there towards the northeast underneath winter weather advisories, winter storm watches, winter storm warnings in association with what this storm has the potential of doing over the next 24 hours.

Then we'll parks off the East Coast here we think by this time tomorrow. And in fact, before it gets there, the severe weather concern not done with just yet. Upwards of 14 million people from Orlando to Jacksonville up toward Charleston. That's where the highest risk is for additional round of severe weather. But this storm system will eventually end up right on the East Coast there and push up towards the north so depending on where the track goes really dictates how much snow could come down with this feature.

At this point the track actually wants to stay a little closer towards land. That is the case, heavy east snowfall potentially the heaviest of all of these nor'easters in the month of March. Would be happening for places like Washington, for places like New York City as well. So watch the track here. Again, watching this carefully between the first scenario being closer towards the coast and the second scenario farther away. Models have been wanting to bring this closer towards land which is why the snow totals look a little more impressive going in towards tomorrow night and eventually into Wednesday morning.

Here is what we're looking at. Bring in the snowfall totals over the next 24 hours, 6 to 8 inches across places such as Philly. Work your way towards New York. Could see that buck up closer to 10 inches.

And of course you compare this, Christy, with what we've seen in the month of March for at least Washington, less than half an inch have come down. We could pick up as much as six. For New York about 3.2 inches has come down in March with all of these nor'easters. We can pick up as much as 11 so this definitely is quite a way to start the spring season.

ROMANS: I wish you could see Dave Brigg's face right now. I mean, split screen with Dave Brigg's face. I'm sorry he is not very happy.

BRIGGS: That was an exasperated sigh, Pedram.

JAVAHERI: Dave, just think about -- just think, you know, in about a month it's going to be nice. It's going to start to (INAUDIBLE) outside.

BRIGGS: A month.

JAVAHERI: It's going to happen quickly.


BRIGGS: No March. Thank you, my friend.

ROMANS: All right. Thank you so much for that.

The Weinstein Company firing for bankruptcy protection. They're hoping for an organized sale process to a private equity firm. At the same time, the Weinstein board says it is ending all nondisclosure agreements related to sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein effective immediately, which could mean more victims are now free to come forward. The company calls it an important step toward justice for any victims who have been silenced, adding no one should be afraid to speak out.

BRIGGS: Women in Mississippi can no longer get abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Governor Phil Bryant signing a new law that gives his state the distinction of having the earliest abortion ban in the nation. The measure only makes exceptions for medical emergencies or severe fetal abnormality. There are no exceptions for rape or incest. Mississippi's Planned Parenthood director calls the ban unconstitutional and says it endangers women's health. Access to abortions was already restrictive in Mississippi. It's the only state that requires in-person counseling and a 24-hour waiting period before abortions.

[04:20:04] ROMANS: All right. 20 minutes past the hour. Military drills between the U.S. and South Korea set to resume soon. But overnight word they won't last as long as usual. We're live in Seoul.


BRIGGS: The Pentagon says the annual military exercises between the United States and South Korea will begin April 1st. The announcement comes as President Trump prepares for a face-to-face summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. But these new round of drills with South Korea will not be the same as usual.

CNN's David McKenzie live in Seoul for the latest. How will this one be different, David?

[04:25:03] DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dave, what we're hearing from the Americans at the Pentagon saying that this will be the same scale, scope and duration as previous war games or defensive drills as they called them. But from a South Korean official, we hear it will be roughly around half the time. So it does appear at least that they are going to curtail these annual drills which involve thousands of U.S. service members as well as hundreds of thousands of South Koreans both in terms of land operation tests as well as virtual war games.

So it's clearly trying to send a message probably subtly to the North that this is not business as usual. They were already delayed because of the Olympics allowing South Korea to have that moment of easing tensions with North Korea and making possible talks possible. So there's also been this interesting phenomenon that Kim Jong-un himself, according to South Korean officials, saying that he understands that these are just regular drills.

That's completely different from years past when he would normally fire missiles during these drills. So we'll see if that calm remains. But for now, they're trying to keep it on the down mode -- Dave.

BRIGGS: Interesting development there. David McKenzie live for us in Seoul. Thank you.

ROMANS: You are just a product. You are not a consumer.

BRIGGS: All of us.

ROMANS: You're not a social media guru. You are a product being sold online. If you care about your privacy online, you want to hear from Mark Zuckerberg. When will he finally address Cambridge Analytica sharing data of 50 million Facebook users?

Cambridge caught up in its own trouble. An undercover report with executives bragging about dirty tactics in elections worldwide. All of that ahead.