Return to Transcripts main page

NEW DAY

Zuckerberg Apologizes Over Data Mining at Facebook to Help Trump Campaign; Trump Defends Putin Call as Mueller's Team Reveals 4 Areas of Questioning for Trump; Trump: Biden 'Would Go Down Fast and Hard'; Interview With Rep. Eric Swalwell of California. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired March 22, 2018 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: I think that this was clearly a mistake in retrospect.

[07:00:05] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Zuckerberg says he's willing to come to Capitol Hill. That's a big change for him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Facebook is not the victim here.

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you believe Facebook impacted the results of the 2016 election?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We had a very good call, and I suspect that we'll probably be meeting in the not too distant future.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: A new report says the president surprised his senior advisers by suggesting a meeting with Putin.

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA), CHAIR, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I wouldn't have a conversation with a criminal.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), FLORIDA: If you don't like the guy, quit. But to be this duplicitous and continue to leak things out, it's dangerous.

CHIEF BRIAN MANLEY, AUSTIN POLICE: We have a recording of the suspect in a -- I would classify this as a confession.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are devastated and broken at the news.

MANLEY: The investigation continues. There's still outstanding questions.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. Alisyn is off. Erica Hill by my side. And a lot of news once again. We begin with CNN's exclusive. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg breaking his silence about this massive data breach. Millions of users had their information improperly obtained by a data

firm that was linked to President Trump's campaign. What Zuckerberg now says Facebook is doing to safeguard your information. And this is all going on as lawmakers ramp up talk of regulating social media giants like Facebook.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Congress facing a Friday deadline, meantime, to avoid a government shutdown. The House is set to vote this afternoon on a $1.3 trillion spending package. We'll tell you what's in and what's out in this 2,232-page Bill.

Plus, the president's legal team weighing an interview with the special counsel. CNN is learning the four topics Robert Mueller wants to discuss with President Trump.

We've got it all covered for you. We begin with CNN's Laurie Segall, who's live in San Francisco with more on her exclusive interview -- Laurie.

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, guys. You know, I think everybody wanted to hear from Mark Zuckerberg. We look at the news over the last week of what Facebook is facing and look at the news over the last year, with the weaponization of the platform. Everybody wanted to hear from Mark, and he was nowhere to be seen, nowhere to be heard.

We came out to Menlo Park. He sat down with me, and he started out by saying "I'm sorry." Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEGALL: I'm going to start with just a basic question, Mark. What happened? What went wrong?

ZUCKERBERG: So this was a major breach of trust. And I'm really sorry that this happened. You know, 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 U.K. are asking you to testify. Everybody wants you to show up. Will you testify before Congress?

ZUCKERBERG: So the short answer is, is I'm happy to if it's the right thing to do. Facebook testifies in Congress regularly, on a number of topics, some high-profile and some not. Our objective is always to provide Congress, this extremely important job, to have the most information on that that they can.

We see a small slice of activity on Facebook. But Congress gets to have access to the information across Facebook and all other companies, and in 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 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. And I'd be happy to do it at that point.

SEGALL: You are the brand of Facebook. You are the name of Facebook. People want to hear from you.

ZUCKERBERG: That's why I'm doing this interview. But you know, the question in a question of congressional testimony is what is the goal? And that's not a media opportunity. Right? Or at least it's not supposed to be.

The goal there, I think, is to get Congress all 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 to doing that.

I agree separately that there's an element of accountability where I should be out there doing more interviews. And you know, as uncomfortable as it is for me to do, you know, a TV interview, it's -- I think that 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. You know, 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's the right regulation?

ZUCKERBERG: Well, there's some basic things. Then I think that there's some big intellectual debates.

[07:05:04] On -- on the basic side, you know, there are things like ads transparency regulations that -- that I would love to see. Right, if you look at how much regulation there is around advertising on TV and print, you know, it's just not clear why there should be less on the Internet. Right? You should have the same level of transparency required.

And I don't know if a Bill is going to pass. I know a couple of senators are working really hard on this. But we're committed, and we've actually already started rolling out ad transparency tools that accomplish most of the things that are not enough people are talking about today. Because we just think that 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 that people are running to different audiences.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SEGALL: We're actually seeing lawmakers respond to Zuckerberg saying he'd be open to regulation on Twitter [SIC]. People are talking about that. It's, you know, the first time he has really come out and said that.

And, you know, can we expect to see him testify? We'll see. That, you know, was a bit of a half answer, for the right topic. You know, I just think there is less and less patience for not having these CEOs who have impacted all of our lives with these platforms, who are now essentially, utilities, which are incredibly important in our lives, have them not show up and answer these hard questions. Because, you know, this is an era of unintended consequences. There was so much power and promise to technology.

In the last year we have seen the weaponization of the platform, of Facebook by a foreign actor. We are facing challenging questions about what the company is doing to mental health. What's the impact on children? You want Mark Zuckerberg, who is the face of Facebook, to come out and be more open and be more transparent. And behind closed doors at Facebook, the buzz word is transparency. We want to see more of it -- Erica.

HILL: Absolutely. Laurie, appreciate it. Great to do that, that interview. Thank you.

CNN also learning Special Counsel Robert Mueller is eager to question President Trump about four main topics, while the president is defending his congratulatory call to Vladimir Putin, slamming his predecessor. CNN's Abby Phillip live at the White House with more on this, this morning -- Abby.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Erica.

President Trump is growing increasingly frustrated with the special counsel, Robert Mueller's, probe, especially as his White House aides have told him for months that it would be ending soon. We are learning that even as the negotiations are ongoing about when President Trump might sit down with investigators, Mueller has drafted up a list of potential topics that he might ask the president about.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIP (voice-over): As the president's lawyers prepare for a potential sit-down between Mr. Trump and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigators, CNN learning that the special counsel's team has shared four main topics they want to discuss, including the circumstances surrounding the Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and several Russians in June 2016 and what role the president played in crafting the misleading initial statement aboard Air Force One that suggested the meeting was about Russian adoptions.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president weighed in, as any father would, based on the limited information that he had.

PHILLIP: It later surfaced that Don Jr. took the meeting because he was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.

A source tells CNN the bulk of Mueller's interview will focus on the firing of national security advisor Michael Flynn and the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, "You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story."

PHILLIP: Based on these topics, a source says the president's legal team has written dozens of potential questions that Mueller's team could ask.

This as "The Washington Post" reports that President Trump surprised his senior advisors when, on Tuesday, he suggested meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

TRUMP: We had a very good call. And I suspect that we'll probably be meeting in the not too distant future.

PHILLIP: According to "The Post," officials says there are no plans for Trump and Putin to even be in the same country until November. President Trump is already preparing for a potential summit in May with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

President Trump defending his phone call with Putin to congratulate him on his reelection, attacking his predecessors, and insisting that getting along with Russia is a good thing amid criticism from his own party.

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA), CHAIRMAN, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I wouldn't have a conversation with a criminal.

PHILLIP: A source tells CNN the president was furious after it leaked that his briefing materials included a warning that read, in capital letters, "DO NOT CONGRATULATE." Some Republicans on the Hill echoing that frustration.

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R), LOUISIANA: Whoever did that ought to be fired immediately. And I think they ought to be prosecuted.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIP: So today President Trump is supposed to be announcing new tariffs and penalties on $50 billion in Chinese goods. But this morning he woke up tweeting about something completely different. He is engaging with former vice president Joe Biden, who yesterday said in his speech at the University of Miami that he would take President Trump out back and beat him up over his comments about women.

[07:10:00] Trump saying on Twitter, "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 this is the second time that these two have engaged over physical

threats. And I am having flashbacks to elementary school. I don't know about you, Chris and Erica.

HILL: There's a little bit of that, yes.

CUOMO: Abby throwing down in the school yard. All right. Thank you very much.

Let's bring in CNN political analyst David Gregory and CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. It is one of those laugh or cry moments, gentlemen. So Jeffrey, help me understand this.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, sir.

CUOMO: The president doesn't want to deal with these lawsuits from women. He doesn't really want to deal with the allegations. He just said that they were all lies from the women during the campaign.

But when Joe Biden brings up those allegations and what he thinks should be done with somebody who treats women that way, the president takes the bet -- bait and says to Joe, "Don't talk about me like that, or I'll basically beat your behind."

TOOBIN: Well, that's the difference between Twitter and a sworn deposition. You know, the president is very happy to tweet on any subject under the sun, because you know, you get -- you can say what you want, and no one gets to ask follow-up questions.

The great peril, certainly, as Bill Clinton discovered, that even during your presidency, if you are subject to civil litigation, you can be forced into a deposition. And we are now in the incredible situation where the president has three pending lawsuits against him, all related to sexual misconduct of one kind or another. And they're all real cases. I don't know if -- who will win those cases.

But you know, you have the Stormy Daniels lawsuit. You have Karen McDougal, the former "Playboy" model. And the woman on "The Apprentice" suing for defamation. And they are all really pending cases in which he may have to testify. It's a lot tougher than a tweet.

HILL: There's a lot going on. And yet again, I mean, just for the point, this is -- this is what the president is tweeting about this morning. Not the spending bill at this moment right now. We're not talking about the tariffs today on China that are coming up. None of these things. Talking about taking down Joe.

Moving on, you did bring up what else is pending. And when we look at what else is potentially happening here for the president, CNN has learned about some of the topics that Robert Mueller would like to talk to the president about.

Among them -- we can put them up for you here -- his role in crafting that statement that came, of course, out of the meeting with Don Jr. in 2016, as well as the circumstances surrounding that meeting. The firing of James Comey, the firing of Michael Flynn. And obviously, other things could come up, as well. But David, we're seeing that that is the bulk right now. That is our reporting of what Robert Mueller wants to know more about. What does that tell us about where the investigation could be leading?

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, what we're learning about is our -- among the areas that he would like to question the president about, these are areas where the president, in three or four of those, was directly involved: firing the president [SIC], being involved in -- I mean, firing Comey; being involved in crafting of that statement. So all of that goes to obstruction of justice. The president bringing these problems onto himself, because he hates this investigation so much.

And again, whether this could lead to a potential indictment seems less likely than perhaps fodder for a final report that could go to Congress and could become part of an impeachment proceeding down the line. So feeding a political process.

What I think is interesting, going back to the last topic about the tweet, this is a president who is a street fighter. That we know. And with Twitter at his disposal approaching this investigation, trying to delegitimize it as an investigation. Trying to lay the groundwork for, if they find something, that it's illegitimate because of how the investigation was started. Or if they don't find anything that implicates him, then being able to spin this was all a waste of time.

He's got all of that laid out as a basis on his Twitter feed to try to delegitimize what's going on here. And it takes it to another level than what, say, what Bill Clinton did when, certainly, allies of him -- his were trying to delegitimize the Starr investigation.

CUOMO: Jeffrey, there's all this reporting that the president was negatively affected by these categories, these questions that Mueller may be looking at his specific role. But can he handle all of these pretty easily in terms of insulating himself? "Why did you fire Comey?" "Because I didn't like him." "Why did you fire Flynn?" "Because he lied." "What about that meeting at Trump Tower?" "I didn't know anything about it, but it was nothing." "Well, then why did you help craft that statement?" "Because he's my son, and it was nothing, and I wanted to make sure it was handled right."

TOOBIN: That's potentially right. And those are -- those are potential answers. And you know, if you want to look for good news for the president, the fact that there is nothing on this initial list about collusion with Russia during the campaign, nothing about his personal finances, nothing about money laundering. I mean, that -- all of which have figured in the narratives about the campaign and about this investigation. The fact that they don't appear to be on the list is good news for him.

[07:15:21] You know, those are potential answers he could give. And maybe -- maybe that will -- that will be the end of it. We don't know all that Mueller has either. So I wouldn't say it would be as simple as you suggest. CUOMO: Do you think you could jump a president with a question about

money laundering? Like if he says, "These are the areas we want to talk to you about." And then you sit down, and he says, "By the way, I want to talk about this house that you sold and this financing string." Would that be within -- I know they could.

TOOBIN: Well, it --

CUOMO: Is that a "should"?

TOOBIN: Well, it depends on the nature of the negotiations. You know, it is often the case -- it certainly was the case during the Clinton investigation, that you negotiate -- that there is a negotiation about the duration of an interview and the location of an interview and the format of an interview.

Prosecutors, by and large, do not commit that they will ask only about certain subjects and others. Part of the nature of a prosecutorial role is that you have a pretty free hand.

So, you know, I'm not privy to the negotiations. But how much the Mueller office commits to these subjects and these subjects only, that's something that is unclear to me. And I think could affect what ultimately comes out of these interrogations.

By the way, if they happen at all. And it is far from clear that, ultimately, Trump will sit for this interview.

HILL: I think that "if" is fascinating. But again, we won't know for -- for a little bit, as you point out, Jeffrey.

Really quickly, before we let you both go, David, just want to get your thoughts, too, on this $1.3 trillion spending bill that we're looking at here. Some wins for both sides. Overall, though, 2,200- plus pages. This is not a slam dunk, frankly, for either party. And still a number of things that were supposed to or obviously, would have liked to have had in there that are not. And we can talk specifically about what Senator Susan Collins had, in many ways, been promised, what she wanted in terms of health care subsidies.

GREGORY: Right. To be --for the system to be shored up. If they got rid of the individual mandate, how are you going to shore up the rest of the program, which would prevent premiums from going up, which will happen if you take away that -- that mandatory provision of having individuals who are younger and healthier individuals pay if they don't have health care.

So this is a problem. This is another -- this is a short-term bill. Both sides can claim that they got some things that they wanted. But they leave a lot of important areas. Health care, which is very important to voters, comes up in the midterm. Gun legislation, the DREAMers, on and on that get avoided here.

The president was, I think, frustrated with aspects of this. He got some money for border -- for a border wall. Not as much as he wanted. So both sides end up spending on something that is still a short-term measure.

CUOMO: They had a big V.A. proposal they were trying to get done to help the veterans. Nothing on that. Didn't make it in.

All right. Gentlemen, appreciate it. Thank you very much.

HILL: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he would be happy to testify before Congress involving, of course, this massive data breach scandal. Happy to testify if, in fact, he's the right guy to talk about it. A, isn't he Facebook CEO? But B, what would lawmakers like to know? We're going to ask a member of the House Intel Committee, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[07:22:25] ZUCKERBERG: The short answer is, is I'm happy to if it's the right thing to do. You know, Facebook testifies in Congress regularly on a number of topics. Some high-profile and some not. 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'm happy to go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: In a CNN exclusive, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he would talk to Congress about how Cambridge Analytica accessed information from 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge, if he's the right person. So what questions would lawmakers have for Facebook, for Zuckerberg specifically? Let's ask Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell, who's a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

Good to have you with us.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), CALIFORNIA, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Good morning.

HILL: When you hear those -- when you hear those words from Mark Zuckerberg, he's happy to if he's the right person. No. 1, he's the CEO. Do you believe he's the right person to come and speak with you? And No. 2, what do you want to know?

SWALWELL: Mark Zuckerberg is the right person for Congress to hear from, and he's someone we should hear from sooner rather than later.

What I want to know primarily, as it relates to Cambridge Analytica, is did Facebook enter into an agreement with the Trump campaign, where Facebook sent embeds and Facebook employees to the Trump campaign's data operation with knowledge that Cambridge Analytica had illicitly obtained this data of 50 million users? And if Facebook did that, that's a big problem. If they had knowledge that this had occurred and they chose to work with the Trump campaign anyway. If that's the case, I think there's a lot of answers that they're going to have to provide as to why that was OK, why that, you know, many of would not be considered an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign that would have to be accounted for. And why is the Trump campaign still allowed on their platform, if they were working to cheat users out of their data?

But also, it's a question that I asked Facebook's general counsel when he appeared before our committee a few months back, on the House Intelligence Russia investigation, which is "Are you able to tell the American people fully what the Russian presence was on your platform?" I still don't believe we have a full understanding of what they did and how they weaponized Facebook.

HILL: And I would say, from Laurie's interview, it did not sound -- well, it's the impression that you get from Mark Zuckerberg, is that Facebook itself does not know.

I want to bring this up with you, as well. Laurie asked him specifically, "Do you believe Faceback [SIC] -- Facebook impacted the results of the 2016 election?" Mark Zuckerberg's response was "It's hard to have a full assessment."

Do you believe Facebook as a whole did impact the election?

SWALWELL: Yes. Their platform was weaponized by a foreign adversary, and there are still many questions about whether that adversary worked with the Trump campaign and whether that -- whether the Trump campaign used Facebook to amplify stolen hacked information that the Russians were using in their campaign.

[07:25:16] So we should continue to explore this in our House investigation. Today, incidentally, the Republicans will be voting for us to close the investigation at our committee meeting in just about an hour. I think that's the worst thing we could do in light of the new information that's been brought forward to us. We should continue to understand the data operation that was put in place, bring Facebook in, as well as other social media companies, and finally use our subpoena power, which the Republicans will not use, to subpoena the Cambridge Analytica documents so we can tell the American people just what happened.

HILL: So what's your recourse, then? Because you are about to go into this meeting. The vote is going to happen. You don't have the majority. Where do you go?

SWALWELL: Well, we ask the Republicans to not end our investigation, to do what's right for our ballot box and our upcoming elections. And we hope that the public sentiment and their own will to want to do the right thing prevails. I still hope that that is the case, that they understand it would be so irresponsible to close the investigation today as this is all happening and put out in incomplete and inaccurate report.

HILL: When we look at Cambridge Analytica, are you aware this morning of any federal probes involving Cambridge Analytica?

SWALWELL: I'm not. I'm aware of, you know, the questions that we've asked of them. We have interviewed Cambridge Analytica. But we couldn't use the subpoena power that the Republicans control. We asked for many documents that would have, I think, been

illuminating about whether the -- Cambridge Analytica was working with the Russians or what knowledge that Facebook had. We would like to hear from the employees from Facebook who were down in San Antonio working with the Trump campaign throughout the pendency of the campaign.

HILL: So these are all the questions many people watching at home want answered, as well. There's also the question of regulation. Even Jackie Speier talked about this the other day, earlier this week. She said, "Yes, I think we need to look at regulation."

What would a regulation look like for a platform like Facebook, when it has been difficult for people to define exactly what it is?

SWALWELL: Yes, well, first to me would be if you see something, you must report something. So if you see interference on your platform, as they were seeing Russians paying for -- paying in rubles to advertise to Americans, that should have been been reported to the FBI immediately. There was no law that required that.

Also, any political ad that is put forward to users in a coordinated way, I think, should have to meet the same requirements that they would have to meet if it were put on the airwaves, radio or television.

But there were already regulations in place under the Federal Trade Commission as to how user data can be used. And that's what's so concerning to me, is that if Facebook had knowledge that Cambridge Analytica had violated these data policies, and they were working with the Trump campaign. And Facebook was taking millions of dollars from the Trump campaign so the Trump campaign could put these ads out to the American people. There's going to be to have some answering to that.

HILL: There are still a lot of things that are unanswered, frankly, in the answers that Mark Zuckerberg did give. One of the things he said is he's open to talking about regulation for advertising, as you just brought up.

But does it go beyond that? Does it go beyond telling people who paid for what, where it came from? Is there additional regulation that needs to happen here, whether it's in terms of privacy policies, how your information is used? What did that look like?

SWALWELL: Again, many of those policies were already put in place once Facebook had an agreement to work with the Trump campaign. And that's -- that's what's concerning, is were these policies violated?

Now, I think going forward, you know, there's -- Congress can look at what default settings users should have on their profile pages so that they don't have to opt in to more privacy and that they're not exposed in the way that they were for their data to be used by Cambridge Analytica in the way that it was this past election.

HILL: Representative Eric Swalwell, appreciate your time this morning. Thank you.

SWALWELL: My pleasure.

CUOMO: All right. Much anticipated Stormy Daniels interview set to air Sunday. What will it mean in the court battle between the adult film star and the president's attorney? Stormy Daniels's lawyer joins us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)