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Zuckerberg Vows to Protect User Data after Scandal; Trump Slams Biden He is Weak both Physically and Mentally; Daniels' Attorney: My Client is Ready to Share Truth. Aired 10-10:30a ET
Aired March 22, 2018 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm John Berman.
He proved he can launch a multibillion dollar company from his dorm room, but can Mark Zuckerberg prove he can clean up? Not his room in this case, but the mess that Facebook is smack in the middle of right now after 50 million users had their data compromised without their knowledge.
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Zuckerberg says he's really sorry, but he stopped short of a 100 percent guarantee that he would talk to Congress. CNN's Laurie Segall sat down for this exclusive on camera interview, which was compelling, it was fascinating, Lori. What did Mark Zuckerberg want to convey to you?
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN SENIOR TECH CORRESPONDENT: Look, I think everybody wanted to hear from him because we hadn't heard from him yet. So there was a lot, as you can imagine, to talk about, especially in light of everything that has happened in the last week. You know, I sat down and I asked him, you know, the basic question of you know let's start big, what happened and he just started out by saying I'm sorry. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEGALL: I want to start with just a basic question, Mark. What happened? What went wrong?
MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK CEO: So, this was a major breach of trust. And I'm really sorry that this happened. We have a basic responsibility to protect people's data. And if we can't do that, then we don't deserve to have the opportunity to serve people. So our responsibility now is to make sure that this doesn't happen again.
SEGALL: Lawmakers in the United States and the UK are asking you to testify. Everybody wants you to show up. Will you testify before Congress?
ZUCKERBERG: So the short answer is I'm happy to if it is the right thing to do. Facebook testifies in Congress regularly on a number of topics, some high profile and some not. And our objective is always to provide Congress the extremely important job to have the most information that they can. We see a small slice of activity on Facebook.
But Congress gets to, you know, have access to the information across Facebook and all other companies and the Intelligence Community and everything. So what we try to do is send the person at Facebook who will have the most knowledge about what Congress is trying to learn. So if that's me, then I am happy to go. What I think we found so far is that typically there are people whose whole job is focused on an area, but I would imagine that at some point that there will be a topic where I am the sole authority on. And it will make sense for me to do it. --
SEGALL: You're the brand of Facebook. You're the name of Facebook. People want to hear from you.
ZUCKERBERG: That's why I'm doing this interview. But you know I think that there is -- the question in -- a question of congressional testimony is what is the goal, right? And that's not a media opportunity. It is not supposed to be. The goal there, I think, is to get Congress all of the information that they need to do their extremely important job. And we just want to make sure that we send whoever is best informed of doing that.
I agree separately that there is an element of accountability where I should be out there doing more interviews. And as uncomfortable as it is for me to do, you know, a TV interview. I think this is an important thing that as a discipline for what we're doing, I should be out there and being asked hard questions by journalists.
SEGALL: Given the stakes here, why shouldn't Facebook be regulated?
ZUCKERBERG: I actually am not sure we shouldn't be regulated. I think in general, technology is an increasing -- increasingly important trend in the world and I actually think the question is more what is the right regulation rather than yes or no, should it be regulated.
SEGALL: What is the right regulation?
ZUCKERBERG: Well there are some basic things that I think there are some big intellectual debates. On the basic side, you know there are things like ads transparency regulation that I would love to see. But if you look at how much regulation there is around advertising, on TV, in print, you know just not clear why there should be less on the Internet, where you should have the same level of transparency required. And I don't know if the bill is going to pass. I know a couple of senators are working really hard on this.
But we're committed and we - actually already started rolling out ad transparency tools that accomplish most of the things that are in the bills that people are talking about today. Because we think this is an important thing. People should know who is buying the ads that they see on Facebook, and you should be able to go to any page and see all the ads people are running to different audiences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[10:05:07] SEGALL: It's interesting. Right after he said that, you already have lawmakers, John, tweeting, you know that they would love to have a conversation with Mark Zuckerberg about this. They have different ideas on it. You know there is a lot of pressure and this is his pivotal point where I think a lot of people are asking are the tech companies, the tech companies too powerful. We've looked at Facebook, Twitter. We looked at the weaponization of these platforms, what happened with data, with Facebook. These 50 million users who had their data used for purposes they never envisioned.
We look at over the last year the way Russia was able to influence folks -- utilizing Twitter, utilizing Facebook. And, you know, the idea is do they have enough control? Are they controlling our data? And I think that's a question lawmakers are asking and I think here in Silicon Valley, I'm in Menlo Park, which is -- right near Facebook.
There is a lot of pressure. It is a very different vibe than when I have come out here in the past. There is a boom of innovation. There are different startups and everyone is excited about them. When I got started it was Uber and Instagram that were coming up and Twitter. You know now the questions and the challenges are just so much bigger. And I think you want folks, I know lawmakers want folks like Mark Zuckerberg showing up and being accountable to answering some of these challenging questions as we go to the future.
BERMAN: Well, Mark Zuckerberg said he would be happy to if the right circumstances exist, sort of a 100 percent guarantee. Laurie Segall, a terrific interview. I've now seen it a few times. I recommend people go back and watch it so they can see exactly what Mark Zuckerberg is promising and not promising he will do because there are varying degrees. Laurie Segall, great job. Thank you.
This morning, the Markets are down ahead of the president's tariff announcement. He's announcing new tariffs on China later today. The Dow is off 271 points on fears that this could be the beginning of a trade war.
Our Kaitlan Collins, live at the White House. Kaitlan?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, John. That certainly is a concern here. These are the world's two largest economies. The question is are these tariffs need trade penalties that the president is set to announce here by lunch going to fray that relationship with China. But to be clear, this is no surprise, the president on the campaign trail often promised to be very harsh on China, once he came into office. And this is certainly his most aggressive move to date with these, at least $50 billion in tariff and trade penalties and response to the -- what the White House says is the theft of technology and trade secrets here in the United States. But certainly it will bring up the question of what this fits into, this larger context of how it affects that relationship with China, because the Chinese are already threatening to retaliate depending on what the president does impose here today, John.
BERMAN: Kaitlan, you know the president not writing about this, this morning, choosing instead to make official statements about how he would beat up the former vice president. COLLINS: Yes, that's right, John. Another Thursday here at the White House where the most powerful man in the world is threatening to beat up the former Vice President Joe Biden in a tweet. He wrote this morning saying, "Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak, both mentally and physically, and yet he threatens me, for the second time, with physical assault. He doesn't know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don't threaten people Joe!"
Now, John, to set the stage for people just so they can understand what that tweet is in response to, here is what Joe Biden had to say about beating up the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When a guy ended up going on national television and said I could grab a woman anywhere and she likes it and then said that would make a mistake. They asked me -- (INAUDIBLE) -- if I were in high school, I would take him to the gym and beat the hell out of him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: So to be clear John, this is never going to happen. These men are both in their 70's. The president obviously has secret service protection. Joe Biden would likely have secret service protection if he runs for office in 2020 but this is just a statement of Washington that we are now where the president is threatening to beat up the former vice president who has threatened to beat him up if they were in high school. John?
BERMAN: Kaitlan Collins. If only they had the maturity level of someone in high school in this case. Thank you, Kaitlan, I appreciate it.
Joining me now, CNN politics reporter and editor at large Chris Cillizza here. Chris, this is dumb. Let's stipulate this is dumb. But you do know we have learned a few things here.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR AT LARGE: Yes, it is dumb on one level. That said. When the president of the United States tweets something and Kaitlan mentioned this, the fact that we have tariffs, we have the ongoing Russia investigation. We have the Vladimir Putin phone call. We have the number of civil lawsuits against the president from women.
The fact that this comment piqued his interest I think is telling -- of how he views himself. He thinks he's a street fighter. His mental state at the moment, which I think is quite frustrated. He does have all of these things pressuring down on him combined with the fact he doesn't have as many people he fully trusts to lean on anymore. [10:10:06] So I always think follow the tweets. That's what we've learned I think during the campaign. That's the closest reflection of who Donald Trump is and what he's thinking about.
BERMAN: He fired Rex Tillerson on Twitter. You then can't say, oh, this is just silliness when he's threatening to beat up the former vice president. This is an official statement from the president of the United States. And when I said it is dumb, Chris, it is not the fact that we're talking about it, because I think you should talk about things the president says and the former vice president says --
BERMAN: It is dumb that they're doing it.
CILLIZZA: Correct. And, look, I said this yesterday, I think I was on with Brooke and I said right after the Biden stuff came out, I said, look, this is dumb, this is machismo by Joe Biden, it is not new. Joe Biden has an element to him as well. He likes, I'm a fighter, I came up you know from the hard streets of Scranton, et cetera, et cetera, that's part of his story too.
But, yes, we could and should expect more of our leaders. I don't give Joe Biden a pass. At the same time, I think it is important to note that Donald Trump doesn't care at all about what is presidential. He has shown that time and time and time again. Should we be stunned that he, again, this morning, has defined what presidential is, downward? No, but we absolutely should take note of it.
BERMAN: Next time he should try the, I'm rubber, you're glue defense.
CILLIZZA: I try that with my kids, totally effective.
BERMAN: Chris Cillizza, thank you for being with us. I do appreciate it.
CILLIZZA: Thanks, John.
BERMAN: Also this morning, we now know, we now have been told by the president's lawyers what they have been told by the team from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Office. The topics they have been told that they would like to ask the president about, including the firings of Michael Flynn and James Comey. Mueller's team wants to quiz the president on the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower back in 2016 that was the meeting where Donald Trump Jr. was promised dirt from the Russians on Hillary Clinton. They also want to ask about the president's role in creating a misleading explanation about that meeting.
Joining me now, CNN legal analyst Paul Callan and counterterror analyst Phil Mudd. And Paul, these questions all deal directly with the president, which is interesting.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It is very interesting, John. And it suggests that the Mueller investigation is now narrowing its focus to the Oval Office or at least its investigation to the Oval Office. But I think although it sounds like this is a limited area of questioning, let me tell you one thing about prosecutors. When they say we're going to question you about the Trump Tower meeting, OK, limited, right? But think of all of the things that emanate from that. The prosecutors can do dozens, hundreds of questions that emanate off one of those three topics that you mentioned. So it is still a broad thing that Mueller's looking at.
BERMAN: And Phil Mudd, I know from talking to you about things like this in the past, you've been involved in investigations before. If you were telling the legal team that you're going to ask questions about these subjects, you already have a pretty good idea about what went on in these areas, correct?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: That's right. I think that's where the president's vulnerable. I completely agree with Paul. If this looks like narrow questions, the prosecution can go wherever they want -- the prosecution -- the investigators can go wherever they want -- the investigators can go wherever they want, depending on the president's answers. But first, understand as you're saying, John, the team -- the Mueller team has already done dozens if not hundreds of interviews. They have reviewed millions of pages of documents. They know a lot of what went on, for example, around the Flynn termination. They talked to Michael Flynn and he's flipped.
I tell you the interesting part here is the president keeps saying no collusion, no collusion, that's not what the investigators are going to ask. The president is going to have a tough time because he's going to sit down for four hours or six hours or eight hours and he's going to be asked about details and timelines. And I suspect after a few hours, a, he's either going to trip up, or he's going to get tired of it and make a mistake. This is really interesting. I wouldn't look at those four areas and just assume those are the only areas that the president will be asked about. Depends on what his answers are.
BERMAN: And again, the team, the Mueller team has the details and timeline. They want to find out what the president has to say about those details and timeline. Paul --
CALLAN: Sorry, I just wanted to add one other thing, playing off what Phil said. The -- what I think may happen here is Trump may go in and submit to questioning and then walk in the middle of the session. And say, you know, we agree that the president would talk about x, y and z and now the special prosecutor is abusing his position. And he walks. And his public position is I tried to be cooperative with these guys. But they're unreasonable --
BERMAN: That would be a political -- that would be a political story after not necessarily a legal one, but you can see him laying the ground work for a political outcome like that right now with the statements he's been making about the special counsel investigation. Phil Mudd, Jeff Sessions, the attorney general of the United States, we learned yesterday that the FBI, even prior to this special counsel's appointment had been investigating looking into whether or not Jeff Sessions committed perjury in testifying before Congress.
[10:15:05] The statement from a lawyer for Jeff Sessions now says that they have been informed that that investigation has wrapped up, he's no longer under investigation there. That's interesting. I mean it is interesting, and I know, again, as someone involved in investigations before, interesting that he has been told he's in the clear on that specific issue, correct?
MUDD: Yes, but there are investigations and there are investigations. Look, he goes up there, that's Jeff Sessions in front of a congressional committee and says something that the facts show to be untrue. I don't think he lied. I think he had a million meetings during the campaign and made a mistake. The Department of Justice sees that. FBI sees that, opens an investigation, and quickly determines I'm guessing, you know, the guy made a mistake, we're going to close it. I doubt this was an in depth investigation that lasted months. I suspect they sort of had to open it because they saw on public TV what Sessions said, but I wouldn't look at this and overvalue it. I think it was an open and shut case.
BERMAN: Made me wonder about who hasn't been told they're on the clear on specific subjects who may be connected to this investigation. Phil Mudd, Paul Callan, great to have you with us, thank you very much.
CALLAN: Thank you.
MUDD: Thank you, John.
BERMAN: Still to come, the porn star and the playmate. We're about to hear from them both in public, really in some ways for the very first time. Is the White House ready for what they have to say?
Also on Capitol Hill, the first vote on $1.3 trillion spending bill. What is in it? Do members of Congress even know? We're following the latest.
Police say they found a 25-minute confession on the Texas bomber's phone. Do they have any new information about why he staged these attacks?
[10:20:45] BERMAN: This morning, President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden making headlines together and they may not like being together. They're trading barbs about who would win a fistfight, for real.
I'm joined now by Jennifer Granholm, CNN's senior political commentator, former Governor from the state of Michigan and Scott Jennings, CNN political commentator, working all parts of the government and politics before. Thank you for being with us.
Governor, this fight between the president and the former vice president, I do not see how it is helpful to America, first of all. It is not. You know, your first inclination is to laugh.
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I love Joe Biden.
BERMAN: But -- finish that statement, though. I know you love Joe Biden.
GRANHOLM: Guys in a, you know, testosterone battle. I mean come on. It is so crazy. But I do think that the president must have known that Joe Biden was coming out with a big announcement this morning and trying to -- I don't know who knows what is in the president's mind.
BERMAN: If you had -- if you could call up Vice President Biden and say -- give him one piece of advice about this battle, what would it be?
GRANHOLM: It would be don't -- I mean don't troll him to do this because it is just not helpful for the country -- for the president to be tweeting out that stuff. Plus, it is just silly. It is silly stuff, this. You know I'm going to take you behind the schoolhouse essentially for both of them, for both of them to do that. They're better, or at least Joe Biden is better than that.
BERMAN: Enough said. Scott Jennings, I'm sure you probably agree with that assessment. So we'll move on to something else, another official statement from the president this morning. And let me read this because it is interesting. "Remember when they were saying, during the campaign, that Donald Trump is giving great speeches and drawing big crowds, but he is spending much less money and not using social media," put a pin in that for a moment, "as well as Crooked Hillary's large and highly sophisticated staff. Well, not saying that anymore!"
I'm not as interested in talking about the campaign per se anymore. We don't talk about it so much because it has been over for a long time, Scott Jennings. It was interesting to me that the president chose to brag about his social media effort on this day in this moment when Cambridge Analytica, there are so many questions about possibly unethical behavior from his firm.
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. I think there is an ongoing concern from the president as different parts of this investigation become public that somehow his presidency is not legitimate, that people are calling into question, you know, his legitimacy and people are saying, well, they had this tool and these underhanded tactics caused them to win and therefore he's not a legitimate commander in chief.
My advice the president would be shaken off, haters going to hate. I mean they're going to say that about you for as long as you're in office, whether it is one term or two terms. They did the same thing to George W. Bush, to shake it off and don't let them take you off focus. But I think it all comes back to this issue, John, of the president believing that a lot of this investigation and what people say about his campaign and the way he won, it all comes back to this concept but he's not legitimate. Look, he's the legitimate president, making policy. I want to see him keep focused on that.
BERMAN: Legitimate president, threatening to get in a fight with Joe Biden, where Biden would be crying for hours after -- Governor Granholm, it is interesting to me that he's bragging about his social media effort when that social media effort was -- Cambridge Analytica was part of it.
GRANHOLM: The kicker about this, John, to me is that he's drawing attention to this at the moment when Cambridge Analytica and Facebook and frankly the Mueller 13 indictments, the 13 Russians that Mueller indicted, are all wound together. You know that Mueller is taking a look at the connections between Cambridge Analytica and the Russians. And did Cambridge Analytica, who Trump campaign employed, give data to the Russians to be able to do that targeted advertising that those 13 Russians who were indicted did? I mean there is just -- it is not hard to draw that line.
BERMAN: We don't know.
GRANHOLM: We don't know.
BERMAN: If that line is connected yet. There is reason to think that Robert Mueller has been asking questions about Cambridge Analytica.
GRANHOLM: And the Russians together.
BERMAN: -- in the Russians. But again that's something, that's speculation right now who knows if it goes beyond that.
Scott Jennings, I've heard you speaking over the last few days and I think really insightful interesting way about how we should all be looking at this moment with these women coming forward for interviews, Karen McDougal, former Playboy model who is going to be with Anderson tonight. She has said her representative said she had a relationship with President Donald Trump before he was president, signed a non- disclosure agreement with a media company at stake.
[10:25:08] Stormy Daniels sits down with Anderson that will air on "60 Minutes" on Sunday night. You know Stormy Daniels lawyer has been on TV a lot. Let me just show you what he was saying this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL AVANATTI, STORMY DANIELS' LAWYER: My client wants a platform to speak to the American people, to tell her story, to have the American people pass judgment as to the accuracy of that story and to the extent that the president or Mr. Cohen have separate or different narratives, a different version of those facts. They should come forward, explain those facts to the American people and let the American people decide who is telling the truth and who is not telling the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: And look, I get what people say, that people had already taken into consideration certain behaviors of the president when they voted or didn't vote for him in 2016. But it is also hard for me to believe that these interviews will just be trees falling in the woods, Scott, with no impact and not making a sound.
JENNINGS: Yes, I mean look, I think it is always more impactful when you hear someone's own words versus just reading about what might have happened. But you haven't yet heard their voice. We saw this in the Alabama Senate race last year before the women spoke publicly on television and other venues. They were allegations that people had read and when they spoke it became a much, much bigger deal but ultimately sunk Roy Moore.
So yes, I believe it is impactful. I do believe people already have come to the conclusion that the president has been unfaithful to his wife and other wives. What I think the real issue here for Trump is not that maintaining a facade that these affairs didn't happen, it is the underlying legal issues and it is frankly whether or not he is dealing with this the way a normal politician would deal with it. Obfuscation, trying to hide it, cover it up. Frankly the Trump model here would be just to own it, like he owns everything else. That would be the nonpolitician way to handle it. It is my advice, all this information, details coming out. I think I would try to own it on my own terms instead of letting other people own me.
BERMAN: Governor what do you think we're talking about on Monday after both these interviews?
GRANHOLM: Well, I'll just say this. Just to Scott's point right here, I think, you know, I agree with him. But Trump has denied this publicly and vociferously on the campaign trail and elsewhere. Perhaps because he is still married to Melania and he does not want to further exacerbate that relationship. But I think this is -- seeing these women, and knowing that what was done to silence them is a violation of the law. Both of those, I think, are really something that people will have to evaluate and I think it is another chink -- and I'll just say, it is a "me too" year, and these women coming forward is going to remind people why there are so many women who are now running for office and successfully.
BERMAN: Whether the nondisclosure agreements are valid or legal, that is --
GRANHOLM: I'm talking about the in kind contribution.
JENNINGS: You know, John --
BERMAN: Unfortunately, Scott, we have to wrap this up. The good news, though, is that with this interview airing tonight and Sunday night, we're going to have a chance to talk about this in the next few days. I appreciate you both being with me. Be sure to watch the "Anderson Cooper 360," exclusive interview with Karen McDougal. That's tonight at 8:00 Eastern only here on CNN.
All right, as we speak, the first vote is underway in the House of Representatives on the $1.3 trillion spending bill. We'll get the latest from Capitol Hill. Stay with us.