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How Facebook Users' Data Was Allegedly Misused; Interview with Mark Zuckerberg; Special Counsel Outlines Topics for Trump Interview; Trump Sex Scandals; Kidnapped Girls Freed; Police Learning More about Austin Serial Bomber. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired March 22, 2018 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[00:00:26] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour --
With his company in crisis Facebook's CEO goes on damage control. In an exclusive interview with CNN, Mark Zuckerberg not only apologizes but says there is a need for government regulations.
Also ahead, Donald Trump doubles down on his Putin congratulations phone call but is said to be furious with whoever leaked the story. >
And after days of living in fear police in Texas finally tracked down the serial bomber but his motive remains a mystery.
Hello, everybody -- great to have you with us. Hope you can stay with us for the next three hours.
I'm John Vause. And this is NEWSROOM L.A.
Five days of silence from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have finally been broken with an apology for what he calls a major breach of trust.
We'll have CNN's exclusive interview with Mark Zuckerberg in just a moment. But first here's Drew Griffin with more on this scandal involving Cambridge Analytica. The data firm with ties to the Trump campaign is accused of misusing the personal information from millions of Facebook users.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The reason Facebook is under fire is the ease with which a researcher was able to use Facebook to harvest the personal information of tens of millions of Americans then transfer all that personal information to a data analytics company that would eventually work for Donald Trump's campaign. That firm, Cambridge Analytica, denies any of its work on the 2016 election used the Facebook data to target voters.
But Christopher Wiley, the former U.K.-based Cambridge Analytica employee turned whistleblower says at the core of the company's activities was the access Facebook provided. CHRISTOPHER WILEY, FORMER CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA EMPLOYEE: So we went
from no data to, you know, harvesting all of this data off of Facebook and then combining it with all the consumer data -- voter data sets.
So, you know, we had Steve Bannon and a billionaire breathing down our necks trying to, you know, go where's the data, where's the algorithms, where's our, you know, information weapons.
And that's where Kogan came along, Aleksandr Kogan, the professor at Cambridge.
GRIFFIN: Aleksandr Kogan is the Cambridge University researcher who in 2014 developed an app, a Facebook personality test called "This is Your Digital Life". 270,000 people voluntarily took the personality test.
But what no one who took the test knew is that Kogan's app opened the door to all their personal information and to all of those voluntary Facebook responders' friends and their friends and so on -- tens of millions of people.
Facebook says Kogan misled them. That he was supposed to only use the data for research. Instead he collected it and sold it. But Kogan doesn't believe he did anything wrong.
ALEKSANDR KOGAN, DATA-MINING RESEARCHER: Because the reality is that our app wasn't special. It was completely common place where there are thousands -- tens of thousands of apps doing the exact same thing.
GRIFFIN: Now the attorneys-general of at least three states are demanding answers. Congress demanding Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg testify. Even government officials in the U.K. want executives from Facebook and Cambridge Analytica to explain how a research app led to the exploitation of the personal data of millions.
Drew Griffin, CNN -- Atlanta.
VAUSE: One reaction to the scandal is the growing "Delete Facebook Movement". In her exclusive interview with Mark Zuckerberg CNN's Laurie Segall asked him about the damage done to users' trust.
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Facebook has asked us to share our data, to share our lives on this platform. And it wanted us to be transparent. And people don't feel like they've received that same amount of transparency. They're wondering what's happening to their data? Can they trust Facebook?
MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: Yes. So one of the most important things that I think we need to do here is make sure that we tell everyone whose data was affected by one of these rogue apps, right. And we're going to do that. We're going to build a tool where anyone can go and see if their data was a part of this but -- SEGALL: So the 50 million people that were impacted, they will be
able to tell if they were impacted by this.
ZUCKERBERG: Yes, we're going to be even conservative on that. So, you know, we may not have all the data in our system today so anyone whose data might have been affected by this we're going to make sure that we tell.
[00:05:02] And going forward when we identify apps that are similarly doing sketchy things we're going to make sure that we tell people then too, right. That's definitely something that looking back on this -- you know, I regret that we didn't do it at the time. And I think we got that wrong and we're committed to getting that right going forward.
SEGALL: I want to ask about that because when this came to light, you guys knew this a long time ago that this data was out there. Why didn't you tell users? Don't you think users have the right to know that their data is being used for different purposes?
ZUCKERBERG: So yes. And let me tell you what actions we took. So in 2015 some journalist from "The Guardian" told us that they had seen or had some evidence that data that this app developer Aleksandr Kogan who built this personality quiz app and a bunch of people used it and shared data with it had sold that data to Cambridge Analytica and a few other firms.
When we heard that, that's against the policies -- you can't share data in a way that people don't know or don't consent to. We immediately banned Kogan's app. And further we made it so that Kogan and Cambridge Analytica and the other folks with whom he shared the data, we asked for a formal certification that they had none of the data from anyone in the Facebook community, that they deleted it if they had it and that they weren't using it.
And they all provided that certification so as far as we understood around the time in that episode, there was no data out there.
SEGALL: So why didn't Facebook follow-up? You know, you say that you certified it, I think. Why wasn't there more of a follow-up? Why wasn't there an audit then? Why does it take a big media report to get that pro-active approach?
ZUCKERBERG: Well, I mean I don't know about you but I'm sued to when people legally certify that they're going to do something that they do it. But I think that this was clearly a mistake in retrospect.
VAUSE: Laurie Segall joins us now from San Francisco. So Laurie -- congratulations, a good exclusive to get.
And I guess the big headline out of all this Zuckerberg sort of all but admitting that Facebook may have influenced the outcome of the U.S. election and then adding that maybe now is the time that regulations are needed. SEGALL: Yes, it's interesting to hear a tech leader say that. And
you know, he said the right kind of regulation is important. But you know, normally you don't hear them come out and say that.
You have lawmakers calling for Facebook to be regulated, calling for the big tech companies to be regulated. You usually see a lot more push back. And, you know, I think Zuckerberg said we need a more thoughtful approach -- John.
VAUSE: Yes, I wonder how -- how will this go down with the other big tech companies? You know, Google and Twitter -- how will they react to this?
SEGALL: Look, I think it's a big moment. And I will say, you know, I think all tech companies are under a lot of pressure at this moment. We've had a year of unintended consequences. We've seen the weaponization of all of these platforms.
I think we focus a lot on Facebook because, you know, Facebook is very personal to us and we've seen Russian influence on Facebook. It's been a year for Facebook where we saw a lot of bad actors take advantage of the platform.
So I think the pressure is on. I'll tell you this -- John. You know, Mark doesn't like doing on-camera interviews. He gets very nervous. He would rather be kind of behind the scenes with the engineers working on the product.
But I think we've kind of reached this pivotal point where we also need our tech leaders to step up and talk about, you know, some of these unintended consequences, some of the nuance behind the challenges that they're facing that come along with this really powerful technology.
VAUSE: You know, it's only a guess but I'm guessing he also does not like testifying before Congress but he said he would. But then he added, if it's the right thing to do. It's hard to imagine how it would be the wrong thing to do.
SEGALL: Yes. You know, he said for various -- very specific. And he said maybe, you know, for the right thing. I wonder what that right thing is.
And what I said to him is, you know, you are the brand. You are the face of Facebook in a way that's bigger than other tech founders. You know you don't think -- when you think of Microsoft, sure some folks might know the CEO is Satya Nadella but when you think of Facebook most people around the world know Mark Zuckerberg is the CEO.
So that's why when you see a tough year like Facebook's had, when you see a tough couple -- last couple of days that Facebook has had when it comes to knowing that this data was used for nefarious purposes I really do think that people want to see Mark.
And it's interesting and newsy that he said he could potentially, would do for the right reason is he willing to testify. VAUSE: He also had this sort of narrative out there that yes Facebook
takes responsibility for everything that has happened but he also kind of played the victim role here as well. You know, essentially saying, you know, we're the victim here of Cambridge Analytica. And that doesn't really match up with all the facts.
[00:10:00] SEGALL: Yes. Look, I think there's also -- there's an interesting narrative because at one point he said, you know, we're in front of this. These are issues that we're still kind of paying the price for but we've fixed it.
This issue, years ago but this is kind of the after effect. He said we're getting in front of it. And I said to him, you know, Mark we're still sitting right here. You know, this has actually 50 million people years later, you know.
So I do think while there is that company line and while I do think they feel a responsibility I also think, you know, this could just be the beginning of it, you know.
We don't know back in 2014 what happened with Facebook actually changed their data policy to make it stricter for developers to share user data, you know. We don't know what happened back then and what data is still out there.
And I think that's a question for Mark. It's the question I asked him and he said they're going to do everything they can to find it.
You know, the skeptic in me says that's going to be really, really difficult. I think transparency is important which is good that they're coming forward but, you know, they are talking about the past and I think, you know, there are a lot of challenges that comes with the future, too -- John.
VAUSE: Very, very quickly. You've interviewed Zuckerberg a number of times. This is to me different. During this interview was he rattled or worried about just how serious all of this could be?
SEGALL: I'm going to go out and say in both times I've interviewed him, you know, he is nervous in front of the camera. He doesn't love doing these TV interviews. But I will say the stakes are much higher this time.
I interviewed him back in June before a lot of this came to light. And I think, you know, where in the world is Mark Zuckerberg? We were all wondering when he was going to come publicly on this situation, on this story and on what happened that impacted 50 million users and he just remained silent.
And I think the pressure for him was very different. It was a very different tone today than it was in the past -- John.
VAUSE: Many thanks to you -- Laurie Segall. And we'll have Laurie's entire interview with Mark Zuckerberg about two hours from now right here on NEWSROOM L.A. Well, if the special counsel investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. election ever gets to interview the President CNN has learned that the focus will be on at least four topics. The circumstances surrounding Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with the Russians in Trump Tower in 2016; the President's role at crafting a misleading statement about said meeting; the firing of FBI director, James Comey; and the firing of national security advisor Michael Flynn.
Well, joining me now for more on this, CNN political commentators Democratic strategist Dave Jacobson and Republican consultant John Thomas.
Ok. So there will be at least four of these topics. They're not the only ones but that's the ones that we've learned of. It seems Flynn and Comey are also reportedly at the top of that list.
So just on the surface, you know, Flynn seems to be a direct line to Russia during the campaign and the firing of Comey seems to be a direct line to the obstruction of justice. So John, you know -- or Dave rather -- I'm going to you first, legal tracks seem to be of equal legal importance here.
DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think they're all tied together too, right. I think one of the biggest questions for me was Donald Trump's tweet on December second when he fired off that tweet saying that Michael Flynn, you know, had lied to the Vice President but in addition to that had lied to the FBI.
So essentially, he admitted he was attempting to obstruct justice, right, because he asked Comey the next day after the firing, hey can you let this go. And so I think that's going to be one of the most revealing elements of that interview if it happens.
VAUSE: Ok. And the President began his day attacking Robert Mueller by name on Twitter. Special counsel was told to find crimes, whether crime exists or not." Then he seems to go on quote the Harvard Law professor, Alan Dershowitz but it's a little bit unclear.
This is what Dershowitz I think said. "I was opposed to the selection of Mueller to be special counsel. I'm still opposed to it. I think President Trump is right when he said there was no probably cause for believing that there was any crime, collusion or otherwise, or obstruction of justice," exclamation point.
Apart from the fact that no one can seem to find exactly where Dershowitz may have said that, John -- this is why the President cannot find good lawyers because he does that which is exactly the kind of thing he should not be doing at this point.
JOHN THOMAS, CNN COMMENTATOR: Yes, I think the Dershowitz quote, I think he was on Fox News last night or something.
VAUSE: No, it was in the transcripts. I could not find --
THOMAS: He didn't say that exact quote,
VAUSE: It was kind of -- it wasn't exactly that same.
THOMAS: I think he was on Fox.
VAUSE: He was, yes.
THOMAS: But regardless.
VAUSE: The presidential --
THOMAS: There are a couple of things that were interesting about the information CNN got.
THOMAS: First of all it didn't appear that there were any financial crimes -- or financial questions in the Mueller questions.
VAUSE: In the four topics, yes.
THOMAS: In the four topics. And legal experts, at least on CNN today seemed to think that there probably will only be one interview; that Mueller probably wouldn't go back a second time.
THOMAS: So it's interesting that the financial angle doesn't seem to be a focus by Mueller. And the other issues seem logical that that's what Mueller would want to question.
VAUSE: So you're not concerned about this?
THOMAS: Well look, I knew it would make its way to the President at some point. Just the question it still seems like there's really no -- that the public has no real hard evidence of collusion or obstruction -- hard evidence.
[00:15:02] So the question for me -- what I'm trying to figure out, is Mueller checking a box and just going up to the top to run leads down so that he can come right back down to Flynn? Or is there something there?
I don't know but I think if you're the President you have to be concerned, of course, because you can get yourself in trouble in that interview even if you didn't actually obstruct justice. So that is a huge risk in itself.
But I think the other part, he should be pleased in the sense of by the times he makes his way to this President hopefully Mueller's getting ready to wrap this thing up.
JACOBSON: That's now the biggest unknown, right. It's like, we know Donald Trump has a very difficult time with the truth, and so -- he loves those alternative facts --
JACOBSON: -- and so the question is like, is Bob Mueller going to catch the President in a lie and he's going to essentially be charged with something perhaps like what Michael Flynn was charged with --
THOMAS: Well -- and even, even a lawyer like Bill Clinton perjured himself in this kind of situation.
VAUSE: -- Donald Trump continues to -- he has this ongoing upheaval within his legal team. He can't get the lawyers to come and work for him because he doesn't follow their advice. He thinks he can, you know -- he's his own best lawyer.
JACOBSON: He doesn't follow anyone's advice. Today when it came to Putin --
THOMAS: This is the same challenge he has with communications directors.
VAUSE: Ok. So this is how the lawyer for Stormy Daniels has described dealing with the Trump legal team.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL AVENATTI, STORMY DANIELS' LAWYER: Right now, we're playing three-dimensional chess and these guys are playing tic-tac-toe quite honest and then not even playing tic-tac-toe that well, all right.
When we filed this case, there was one response that made sense and one response only. And that response should have been, you know what, you're right. I wasn't a party to the agreement. This is the President speaking. She's free to talk. She can tell her story and I'm going to tell mine.
And guess what, had that happened, I wouldn't be sitting here right now. And we wouldn't be talking about it. The fact of the matter is that's not what happened.
They have stepped into every trap we've laid in this case the last two weeks. It's remarkable. I've never seen anything like it. I've never had good fortune like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And you know, he may be overstating it -- he's a lawyer. You know, he's one of these slick New York lawyers. But the overwhelming opinion out there does seem to be at this point not just the lawyers for Stormy Daniels but the other two, you know, sex scandal-related lawsuits, you know, their legal counsel are playing rings around the Trump attorneys at the moment.
THOMAS: Well, they're certainly playing a better public relations game. And look, it's a sexy story, you know.
THOMAS: Yes. You know, it has all the elements of tabloid fodder. And Stormy Daniels understands that if she wants a book deal or something else that she's going to keep pushing while the Trump team keeps trying to muzzle them. And it's just escalating and escalating. And I think Stormy and the gang is loving every minute of it.
VAUSE: Yes. There's also this real risk to the President that these lawsuits, these private lawsuits could actually pose a bigger threat to him than Mueller.
JACOBSON: Well, I don't know necessarily that they'd be a bigger threat than Bob Mueller. But look what was once a storm brewing has not turned into a massive volcanic eruption --
JACOBSON: -- that is not going to go away.
VAUSE: Three volcanoes erupting there.
JACOBSON: Right, right -- three, a trio.
And the fact is we are continuing to get closer and closer to the 2018 election. Imagine what's going to happen if Democrats take control of Congress, you know. And this is a massive challenge. People are tired of the chaos. They are exhausted.
THOMAS: I just don't know if voters really care that they --
JACOBSON: Absolutely they do.
THOMAS: -- that they found out that the President was promiscuous in his past life. I think everybody kind of understands that going into this.
JACOBSON: There is hard evidence -- there's hard evidence that Donald Trump is losing support with white suburban women -- one of the core constituencies that helped propel him to the White House.
THOMAS: And they're shocked and outraged that had he affairs?
VAUSE: Ok. Ok.
The President also defended his decision to congratulate Vladimir Putin on -- he did that on Tuesday. He defended the decision on Wednesday. This was that congratulations call, even though he was told not to do it.
So he tweeted this. "I called President Putin of Russia to congratulate him on his election victory. In the past, Obama called him also. The fake news media is crazed because they wanted me to excoriate him. They are wrong.
Getting along with Russia and others is a good thing, not a bad thing. They can help solve problems with North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, ISIS, Iran and even the coming arms race.
But tried to get along but didn't have the smarts. Obama and Clinton tried but they didn't have the energy or chemistry. Remember reset? Peace through strength," in all caps like "do not congratulate".
You know, Dave -- it's not unreasonable to think that Moscow couldn't see how insulting some of these big global issues around the world except for the fact that Moscow created these big global problems around the world. It's like asking the arsonist to put out the fire that he started.
JACOBSON: Totally. And like look, facts are facts. Like yes, Barack Obama congratulated Vladimir Putin. He probably shouldn't, he did. Barack Obama also probably should have done more when it comes to taking on Russia with election meddling.
But at the end of the day Donald Trump who skewers and eviscerates his own staff, his own supporters, refuses to criticize Vladimir Putin throughout the presidency, throughout the campaign and years before that. And it just begs the question, like what does Vladimir Putin have on Donald Trump?
VAUSE: Ok. Obama did congratulate Putin when he won the election but Putin hadn't just hacked into the U.S. election in 2012
JACOBSON: Right. And Obama also held Putin's feet to the fire when it was --
VAUSE: -- talk of improving relations. So -- John.
[00:20:03] THOMAS: And I think Trump is thinking that he can improve relations, that he can sit down and talk with leaders like North Korea, maybe where others haven't, right.
So this is a guy who thinks he's a consummate negotiator. He wants to keep lines of communication open. And the fact that, you know -- besides the fact that it was leaked that he got advice otherwise, presidents don't always follow their national security team's advice.
VAUSE: Having said that, the former CIA director, John Brennan has an idea of why Donald Trump never seems to confront Vladimir Putin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN BRENNAN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: I think he's afraid of the President of Russia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why?
BRENNAN: Well, you know, I think one can speculate as to why. That the Russians may have something on him personally; that they could always roll out and they just like more difficult. The Russians I think have had long experience with Mr. Trump and may have things that they could expose.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something personal perhaps?
BRENNAN: Perhaps. Perhaps.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JACOBSON: Yes. I mean like just what is he hinting at? But I think like the optics here make Vladimir Putin look like the puppet master. And Donald Trump is clearly the puppet.
And John -- in isolation, you can explain these things. You can rationalize each individual case. It gets a lot harder when you look at them in sort of the entirety of the last 14 months.
THOMAS: Brennan is losing so much credibility as a partisan now going into this fight with Donald Trump. And that's what I hate to see about this. He may be right.
VAUSE: Well, he was CIA director at the time when the Steele dossier was hander over to the agency.
THOMAS: Well, right. My issue is he's trying to fight -- he looks like he's on a one-man mission to torpedo Donald Trump. And so now when he's speculating on these things, I doubt he would be leaking classified information on MSNBC.
VAUSE: Good point.
THOMAS: So he's just pontificating and that's not the role of somebody that should be a respected former intelligence officer.
VAUSE: OK. We will leave it there. John and Dave -- thank you.
VAUSE: We appreciate it.
Still to come here, more than 100 school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria have been freed. And now the government is facing questions of just how they managed to secure their release.
VAUSE: Well, almost all of the 110 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria last month are free. The terror group returned the girls to their hometown on Wednesday. Five others reportedly died while being held hostage.
But now there are questions as to how the government secured their release.
Nima Elbagir reports.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was the moment that for the parents of over 100 children abducted from their school in Dachi they had feared would never come. It was a moment of respite, of euphoria but also one with plenty of lingering questions.
Could have the government done more? Should have the government done more? And could all of this have been stopped in its tracks.
Amnesty International say they believe that there were warnings that this was going to happen and certainly there have been a lot of concerns about a resurgent Boko Haram in the north of Nigeria since Chad withdrew its troops in October of 2017 in response to its inclusion in President Trump's Muslim ban.
[00:25:05] The worry is what was given in exchange for those children? The Nigerian government insists that no money changed hands but they also insisted post the release of the first batch of Chibok girls that nothing was given in exchange. Incredible reports were issued in the days and months that followed contradicting that statement.
What does this mean for the region? Well, we'll certainly seeing Boko Haram walking away with a pretty substantial propaganda coup. What that will mean for the north of Nigeria remains to be seen.
Nima Elbagir, CNN -- Nairobi. >
VAUSE: Well, next here on NEWSROOM L.A. the terror in Texas is over but the mystery remains. What was the motive of this 23-year-old serial bomber?
VAUSE: Welcome back everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.
In an exclusive interview with CNN Facebook's CEO has apologized for the reported misuse of users' data calling it a major breach of trust. Mark Zuckerberg said he's open to the idea of social media regulation and will testify before Congress but adding "if it's the right thing to do". Special counsel Robert Mueller wants to ask Donald Trump why he fired FBI director James Comey and national security advisor Michael Flynn. Sources say Mueller's team is also interested in that 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump, Jr. and a Kremlin-linked lawyer.
Well, most of the 110 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria last month are back in their hometown. The terror group Boko Haram released them. Five other girls reportedly died in captivity. The Nigerian government says no ransom was paid. >
Well, the man who put Austin, Texas on edge for more than two weeks is dead but police still don't know why he scattered explosive devices across the city. But there are a lot of clues including a 25-minute long video confession.
We have details now from CNN's Ed Lavandera.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Five home-made pipe bombs killed and injured unsuspecting victims around Austin and San Antonio in the last three weeks. One last bomb blew up in the sender's hands blowing out the windows of this maroon SUV as a SWAT team closed in.
Authorities say 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt was the serial bomber who unleashed a deadly chill across the city.
BRIAN MANLEY, AUSTIN, TEXAS POLICE CHIEF: The suspect is deceased and has significant injuries from a blast that occurred from detonating a bomb inside his vehicle.
[00:29:57] LAVANDERA: The surreal ending stunned relatives and neighbors in Conditt's hometown of Pflugerville just north of Austin. Family members say Conditt was a loving and peaceful man who was homeschooled and briefly attended community college, the oldest of four siblings who never showed signs of violence.
But sometimes even those who are closest don't see the darkness lurking under the surface.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know they're (INAUDIBLE) people. I know that they're extremely good neighbors. I like them a lot. It's extremely confusing and I don't make anything of it because it's just -- it's -- doesn't make sense. And I suppose this type of thing never does.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Conditt lived in this house with two roommates. Those men are being questioned by authorities but have not been charged. Meanwhile, investigators searched Conditt's home, including sheds in the bomber's back yard. Investigators say they discovered a large amount of bomb making materials inside, much of it locked in one room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no (INAUDIBLE) devices in the house. There's poetry and a homemade school zoo. (INAUDIBLE) about it.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): The Texas governor said in an interview that investigators have discovered a treasure trove of information that could help explain a motive. (INAUDIBLE) 25-minute recording left by Conditt. which police described as a confession.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know everybody is interested in a motive and understanding why and we're never going to be able to put a ration behind these acts. But what I can tell you, having listened to that recording, he does not at all mention anything about terrorism nor does he mention anything about hate. But instead it is the outcry of a very challenged young man, talking about challenges in his personal life, that led him to this point.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Law enforcement sources say one of the key breaks came when Conditt walked into this FedEx station in South Austin, wearing a hat, blond wig and gloves to drop off two packages.
Investigators began tracking his movements using surveillance cameras and cell phone towers, which led them to the violent ending along this interstate and perhaps a little closer to understanding why a 23-year old would unleash this kind of mayhem.
LAVANDERA: Here in Mark Conditt's neighborhood, the search continues inside his home. Investigators have cordoned off an area around it. The police chief says that that video recording was made by Conditt just hours before he was discovered.
Police chief says that he believes Conditt felt that investigators were getting closer to capturing him and that's why he made that recording -- Ed Lavandera, CNN, Pflugerville, Texas.
VAUSE: CNN law enforcement contributor and retired FBI special agent Steve Moore is with us now for more on this.
Steve, let's (INAUDIBLE) reporting there about the motive. Investigators in this country are well experienced in trying to find out why young men do terrible things. Here is a little more about that recorded confession that Conditt made before he died.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have, at this point, located a recording that the suspect in this incident made. It is about a 25-minute recording, where he talks about what he has done. I would classify this as a confession.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK, so he knew the police were closing in. He took the time to make this confession. The police chief also described as an outcry from a challenged young man as well.
So put this together, what picture does this paint of the sort of person Conditt was and a motive?
STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: What it -- what the picture paints is somebody who came out of nowhere. I mean, I hate to --
VAUSE: -- violation.
MOORE: No, and if you look at his writings, going up through the year before the bombing, the guy was about as buttoned down and squared away as you can imagine. So I'm -- if I'm still in the bureau, I'm confused by this.
That the profilers think that they've got something here, even before they were saying, please call in, because we hear you, they believed that he had a message that he wanted to give out.
They may be wrong but they may know more about him than he did.
VAUSE: But if you wanted to give out a message, that explains the confession, doesn't it?
That may be where that message --
MOORE: It does. But if it -- the confession -- if he was putting out a message -- would have been much more of an accusation, would've been much more of a diatribe. It would've been a manifesto.
VAUSE: OK, so police are now looking and they're searching the house and they're looking at the Internet footprint, they will not say if there was a manifesto.
Would you be surprised if there was?
MOORE: I would not be surprised if there was a manifesto. But here's the other thing and this is -- this -- maybe this is just me but I've investigated before. I think it's possible that these were thrill killings.
MOORE: I have not seen bombings -- and I've investigated quite a few -- I have not seen anybody change their method of triggering the explosives, change their delivery method in the process of the whole series.
Never seen that done before. And to me, that risks your capture, that risks your detection. And so to me that's counter to a manifesto. That is putting interesting things and thrills ahead of any cause.
And I think maybe this kid woke up one day and realized, there's something wrong with me and -- I don't know. I'm putting my money on thrill killer.
VAUSE: OK. As you said, the house has been searched and this is what investigators say they found so far.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's primarily one room that has got a considerable amount of material. I wouldn't call it a bombmaking factory but there's definitely components consistent what we've seen in all these other devices.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK, so we also know that his two housemates have been interviewed. They haven't been charged at this point.
But we get back to this question of how can someone be preparing with this material, admitted not a bombmaking factory but a significant amount of material in this one room of the house and yet the two housemates did not raise the alarm?
They see anything worthy or sufficiently alarming to go to the authorities?
MOORE: Well, what -- the room as they're seeing it now, as the police are seeing it now, was the way he left it after he knew he had been caught, after he knew police were onto him.
And the thing about bomb components is only one thing is usually going to look like a bomb. The rest is going to look like something like you're building a circuit board. It's going to be wires. It is going to be batteries. It is going to be a little tiny motherboard and maybe you have a pipe, maybe you have some type of device like that.
But nothing about a bomb looks like a bomb --
VAUSE: What about change in behavior?
What about something in the last three weeks that would have maybe been a sign that something was up?
MOORE: I think that's very possible. But usually different people in your life have different quadrants of you. And so if the roommate saw a difference of behavior, they might not have brought it up because it might've had to do with his parents and vice versa the friends that he could have said, it's a problem with my friends.
VAUSE: Or something at work or whatever, yes.
VAUSE: OK. His family released a statement to CNN.
It reads in part, "We had no idea of the darkness that Mark must have been in. Our family is a normal family in every way. We love, we pray and we try to inspire and serve others."
VAUSE: Without (INAUDIBLE) and with the advantage of 20-20 hindsight, can you actually say that this is a normal family? MOORE: You can't with any kind of authority at this moment because, you know, there's one of two things here. It's either learned behavior or genetic behavior. He either has something wrong from his DNA or he has something wrong that happened as a result of growing up in that house.
And most of the time it's something that they've learned, it's learned behavior. But at this point we don't know enough about his growing up to understand which it is.
But you're absolutely right, it is hard to say that that is a normal family but they -- I give them the benefit of the doubt.
VAUSE: And clearly --
VAUSE: -- but this is all part of the investigation.
MOORE: Yes, sir.
VAUSE: OK, Steve, thank you.
MOORE: Thank you.
VAUSE: Next on NEWSROOM L.A., President Trump, he's got the best words but does he actually know how to spell them?
We'll check in on the latest typos from the tweeter in chief.
VAUSE: Keeping in mind that the president's tweets are in fact official White House statements, so maybe now's the time the president cut himself a spellcheck because right now he has taken misspelled words in all of those tweets to a whole new level. Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump knows we're watching his tweets with eagle eyes...
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If I do a typo, it's like death. They just go, they go wild.
MOOS (voice-over): But it was the president who went wild misspelling. Trump sets new record for most typos in one tweet. There was
"wether," missing an H. There was the "the" and three mistakes with the same word.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: He meant c-o-u-n-s-e-l.
MOOS (voice-over): Twitter helpfully pointed out the difference between special counsel, a lawyer, and a special council, as in a meeting of, say, white dogs. All those mistakes got graded and marked.
"Hees a ideot."
MOOS: We welcome you to the Donald J. Trump Presidential Typos and Misspellings Hall of Fame.
Is that all spelled correctly?
MOOS (voice-over): The president got off to a fast start, the day after his inauguration, tweeting, "I am honered to serve you."
"Saving this for postority," joked one reporter.
But the president was so honored he later did it again.
He's misspelled everything from "hearby" to "tapp" my phones, even tapping out this unforgettable non-word, perhaps while falling asleep.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Covfefe, huh?
MOOS (voice-over): He once called something China did an "unpresidented" act.
TRUMP: I'm like a very smart person.
MOOS: Smart enough to misspell on purpose...
TRUMP: L-y-e-n, lyen.
MOOS (voice-over): Sure, President Trump's predecessor blew a word or two now and then --
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: When Aretha first told us what R-S-P- E-C-T.
MOOS (voice-over): But you've to respect that we can learn from President Trump's mistakes.
CUOMO: "Wether," another typo.
MOOS (voice-over): "Whether" is no mere typo.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wether.
MOOS: "Wether" is an actual word that means castrated ram, a male sheep. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's not a happy lamb.
MOOS (voice-over): The president may be castrating the English language, but he sure doesn't seem sheepish about it -- Jeanne Moos, CNN...
TRUMP: Trust me, I'm like a smart person.
MOOS: -- New York.
VAUSE: It's hard to spell. I know. It's difficult.
Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. Stay with us. "WORLD SPORT" is after the break.