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Dozens Killed in Apparent Chemical Attack in Syria; Man Dead, 6 Firefighters Injured After Trump Tower Fire; Trump Defends EPA Chief: "Scott is Doing a Great Job"; Dozens Killed in Apparent Chemical Attack in Syria; Interview with Congressman John Delaney of Maryland; Members of Migrant "Caravan" Protest in Mexico City; Zuckerberg to Testify Before Congress Next Week. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired April 8, 2018 - 07:00   ET

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


[07:00:00] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And now if you don't think you can take it, look away, if you don't want to see it.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: I know it's so hard to look at. These are the men, women, children of Douma, lying on the floor. This is an underground shelter here.

What you see around their mouth appears to be foam, that's a sign of a chemical attack. This is not the first time chemical attacks have been reported in Syria.

BLACKWELL: Now, the government has been accused on at least three other occasions the last six years but the Syrian government denies being behind this incident.

PAUL: CNN senior international correspondent Frederik Pleitgen live from Damascus right now, the only Western TV journalist there.

Fred, so good to see you. Help us understand what you're learning this morning.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Christi. There certainly seems to be some troubling events that are happening, all of this going down only about -- I'd say about eight miles from where I am right now.

Now, the latest information that we have is that, apparently, around 8:30 last night, a helicopter, this is according to rebel and opposition media sources, a helicopter from the Syrian government apparently dropped some sort of improvised explosive device called a barrel bomb. And then after that happened, many people in that eastern Ghouta region, specifically the neighborhood of Douma, came down with respiratory problems and that when you those many casualties with the opposition saying that dozens of people has been killed and as you mentioned, they expect that the death toll is going to continue to go up. And that's also shortly afterwards that we found or got those videos that came out of those people with the respiratory problems of doctors trying to help them and, in general, what seemed to be a panic in that area. Now, again, we can't independently verify those accounts. We can't

independently verify those videos. And certainly, the Syrian government has come out in a very strong way denying these allegations. They say that they had had a battle in that area, they were making gains on the battlefield. They have no reason, they say, to use chemical weapons in that area because it's encircled by the government forces and (INAUDIBLE) anyway.

They also say these chemicals, the area where they apparently used was not on the front line. It was more in the rear echelon and they give them less incentive to use them there. The denial from the Syrian government and opposition groups saying that this happened. And, of course, in the midst of all this, millions who once again here in Syria are suffering the worse, Christi.

BLACKWELL: Fred, of course, as you've mentioned it, I've mentioned this is not the first accusation and denial of use of chemical weapons and, of course, part of the broader civil war that's been going on there for years and hundreds of thousands of people killed and the difficulty for the U.S. to come up with a strategy to deal with it.

I want you to listen to what retired General Mark Hertling said just a few minutes ago about the U.S.'s problem here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LT. GENERAL MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: The somewhat schizophrenic foreign policy regarding Syria that, by the way, Christi, as we know hasn't just started with this administration. There was challenges and ambiguities in the last administration as well in terms to what to do with -- about Syria. It seems to be more problematic today than it was even if we go back a week ago, because of what President Trump said about wanting to pull out as fast as possible, about the obvious contention that there existed between the State Department, the Department of Defense, the Central Command saying they were, in fact, increasing the number of troops in Syria.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: And, Fred, most people agree that there is no military solution there. But it appears, as the general says, the world is getting farther from diplomatic solution there.

PLEITGEN: Yes. I mean, I would absolutely agree with pretty much anything that General Hertling said there. I mean, I think this comes down to one main problem, and that is you have countries here in this region of the world who are willing to be involved in Syria in the long term. Those countries are Turkey, Iran, and Russia. And then you have the U.S. that over the course of the past year, was never really willing to fully get involved here in the situation in Syria and then, of course, now, you have President Trump saying that America wants to pull out.

That, of course, is something that diminishes America's credibility here on the ground. It makes it more difficult also for the U.S. to play a big part in diplomatic efforts. You have a summit happened just a couple of days ago that was put on by the Turks, the Russians, and the Iranians essentially debating the future of this country, U.S. again not at the table.

And then, of course, you have all of these three countries pushing their own military agendas as well. You have the Russians supporting the Assad government. In fact, the Russians are actually the ones who are at the negotiations with the rebel in that Douma district that got hit for those rebels to then give up. And then you have the Iranians, of course, you have a long-term agenda here as well.

So far, from what we are hearing, from what we're seeing here on the ground, it seems as though the Syrian government and other groups as well not really factoring America in what's going to happen in the future of this country.

[07:05:01] Again, all of them, of course, pushing their own way forward and the U.S. being left out, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Fred Pleitgen in Damascus for us, thank you, Fred.

PAUL: Now, the U.S. has condemned the apparent chemical attack on the civilians there in Syria. The State Department did release a statement in fact.

BLACKWELL: And here it is: These reports, if confirmed, are horrifying and demanding immediate response by the international community. The Assad regime and its backers must be held accountable and any further attacks prevented immediately. Russia, with its unwavering support for the regime, ultimately bears the responsibility for these brutal attacks.

PAUL: Kurt Bardella, a political commentator and columnist for "The Huffington Post" and "USA Today" is with us now, as well as Errol Louis, CNN political commentator and political anchor for Spectrum News.

Gentlemen, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

I want to listen with you, listen together here to what the president said last April, almost to the day, April 2017, after another attack had been detected.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A chemical attack that was horrific in Syria against innocent people, including women, small children, and even beautiful little babies, their deaths was an affront to humanity. These heinous actions by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: All right. Very different from what we heard from President Trump then just this week, a few days ago he said we will be coming out of Syria very soon and let the other people take care of it very soon. So, two very different angles that we hear from the president one year later.

How do they move forward, Errol, with some sort of response that is beyond just a verbal condemnation?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. What's missing here is a coherent foreign policy and to a certain extent, as the general suggested, this is what you get when you don't have a coherent foreign policy. So last year, before lobbing missiles in response, I mean, the clip that you just played, he had been president less than 90 days and it was, apparently, a kind of an emotional response to seeing the brutality that has been going on for years there.

But what's really missing, when you see the State Department say we need to have the international community respond, well, it is the role of the United States to rally the international community. That's what it's all about. That's the leadership role that this administration has more or less discarded and distained where you have the president acting as if we have to be smart, we have to be tough, we have to look out for America first and we have to pull out of these entanglements. That has been the closest we have heard from a through line, a consistent attitude, if not policy.

And this is what you get. You're opening the door for Russia, you're opening the door for Tehran, you're opening the door for chaos for hundreds of thousands of deaths, at this point and counting, and millions of refuges, a complete catastrophe that is what happens when the United States cedes its leadership.

PAUL: Well, and you brought up Russia and that is a very good point, because we had a conversation early this morning where the point was made that, look, the rebels don't have these kind of capabilities. They don't have helicopters going in and dropping these chemical weapons in the form of bombs on to this area of the town.

The point of the truth is to find out who does. Would, Kurt, President Assad do anything like this without Putin's green light?

KURT BARDELLA, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, of course, not and it says something already in the immediate aftermath of this horrific attack, Russia is already out there saying, well, it wasn't chemical weapons, we'll send our own people in there to verify that. They are already calling this essentially fake news that it was chemical weapons attack. So, when you have Russia immediately out there basically running propaganda and running, you know, block and tackle for Assad's regime, that tells you where they stand on this and tells you they did this with their complicity, they did this for their permission. They would not take this type of action if they didn't already know that they'd have Russia in their corner.

And again, it's no mistake that this happened just days after Trump said he wanted to pull out of Syria and wanted our troops out of there. And after that, it set off a train of events the United States government was tripping over themselves trying to walk part of that back, try to develop foreign policy in real time pretty much live on Twitter for everybody. Of course, the enemies of decency and freedom are taking this

opportunity to attack. They see in America, a government that has no coherent foreign policy, a national security apparatus that's in constant flux, we don't even have a confirmed secretary of state right now. This is the time where they're going to action and take advantage of this instability.

PAUL: As General Hertling pointed out too, this is something that the Obama administration struggled with as well.

[07:10:04] But when we talk about Assad and we talk about Russia, Errol, I'm curious, is there any chance or any sense that perhaps what we're seeing in the last 24 hours is a response from Russia to the recent sanctions that the U.S. has taken against Russian oligarchs?

LOUIS: Well, in this sort of a chess game, it's impossible to know what any one move means until you sort of see the subsequent rearranging of the pieces on the board. Let's not forget that Turkey is involved here too. There are credible reports coming out now of Turkish troops pillaging and looting in some of the areas that they are trying to control. They have their strategic objectives.

Here again, you know, everybody has got sort of a plan except for the United States. Iran wants to build a land bridge and has been backing Hezbollah and bringing troops and materiel and trying to sort of create a corridor to the Mediterranean. It's been a long term objective of theirs, they've been engaged in that for a long, long time.

The Russian attack, the very brutality of it is the whole point. The brazenness is the whole point. It's to demoralize the people in the region and to let them know, no help is coming. And if in the face of that, the best we can do is get sort of a weak statement from the State Department saying, gee, the international community needs to condemn this, with no further action, not the U.S. calling for an emergency meeting of the Security Council, threatening perhaps to maybe ramp up its own presence, demanding answers immediately from Russia, maybe stepping up sanctions just as you suggest.

I mean, we're not doing anything. We are standing by as bystanders as this humanitarian catastrophe unfolds.

PAUL: But the president did do something last year when this happened. He did launch military strikes on the airfield there. We'll see if anything like that happens again after what we are witnessing today.

Kurt Bardella and Errol Louis, we appreciate both of you. Thank you.

LOUIS: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Still to come, a four-alarm fire at Trump Tower leaves one dead and six firefighters injured. We have an update on what happened from New York City's fire commissioner.

PAUL: Also, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify in Capitol Hill on Tuesday. What can we expect to hear?

BLACKWELL: Also, get the green jacket ready. We'll take a look at the contenders heading into the today's final round at the Masters.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:16:28] PAUL: Always so grateful to you with us here. Sixteen minutes past the hour.

There's one man that's dead and six firefighters who are recovering from injuries this morning after a four-alarm fire broke out on the 50th floor of Trump Tower in New York.

BLACKWELL: This prompted a response from the president although no members of the Trump family were at the tower during the fire.

Our affiliate WPIX in New York has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REPORTER: It was an automatic alarm from an alarm company at 5:35 p.m. that alerted the FDNY that there was a fire on the 50th floor of Trump Tower. Within five minutes, the first firefighters were on the scene what the fire commissioner called a very large apartment with lots of furniture 50 stories up.

DANIEL A. NIGRO, NEW YORK CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT COMMISSIONER: Units made their way up to the 50th floor. The apartment was virtually entirely on fire. They pushed in. Heroically, they were knocking down the fire and they found one occupant.

REPORTER: The 51-year-old male resident was later pronounced dead at St. Luke's. More than 200 firefighters and EMS battled this four- alarm fire with lots of smoke damaging other apartments above. President Trump and his family were not in the building and the president tweeted just an hour after the fire broke out: Fire at Trump Tower is out. Very confined. Well built building. Fire men and women did a great job. Thank you.

The fire commissioner talked about how difficult it was to fight this fire.

NIGRO: The units have to get there and have to hook up to a stand pipe system with their hose, takes a little longer. The fire, of course, the building is -- it contains the heat, it contains the smoke. It was extremely hot in the apartment.

REPORTER: Several groups of tourists were inside Trump tower walking near the Trump Store and shared their videos of the fire and their stories of being evacuated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a little scary. I'm not going to lie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We could see the fire and the flames coming out. I was scared for a while. Glad I got out. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were downstairs in the cafe. We saw one

truck pull up and a gentleman came downstairs and told us to evacuate and we came outside and we saw it was on fire.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL: Thank you to (INAUDIBLE).

President Trump is doubling down now on his defense of his embattled EPA chief.

BLACKWELL: The president says that Scott Pruitt is doing a great job, despite the new questions about how much Scott Pruitt's unprecedented security detail is costing taxpayers.

CNN's Dan Merica is live in Washington.

It seemed that -- I mean, Scott Pruitt headline after headline was close to his way out. But now, the president said great job, everything is OK.

DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, it seems those headlines have not taken a toll on Scott Pruitt's boss, President Donald Trump, who in that tweet you just put on air fully supports what he has done and defended, in fact, many of the headlines that have dogged Scott Pruitt for a number of weeks now. The most damaging possibly the cost of his 24/7 security detail that CNN has reported has cost upwards of $2 million over the time they have been detailed to Scott Pruitt.

Now, President Trump and Scott Pruitt met on Friday, we are told, and clearly that tweet backs him up. But there are many in the White House who have complained about Scott Pruitt and complained about the fact that these headlines keep coming up and derailing the message that the Trump administration is trying to get out. So, while this tweet, yes, does back up Scott Pruitt, it's important to remember that we have seen, over the course of this administration, that the president can easily sour on one of his cabinet secretaries pretty quickly.

[07:20:05] PAUL: So, let's talk about President Trump to attacking his Department of Justice as we are understanding. Walk us through what's going on there.

MERICA: See, the president tweeted yesterday criticism of his Department of Justice, along the line of criticism he has lobbed against his Department of Justice. This stems from complaints that House Republicans have with the FBI saying that they are slow-walking document production on a host of issues that House Republicans want to investigate.

I want to read you what he says: What does the Department of Justice and the FBI have to hide? Why are they giving the strongly requested documents unredacted to the House Judiciary Committee. Stalling, but for what reason? Not looking good.

So, we are told that FBI Director Wray is actually doubling the number of people who are producing these documents and while many past attacks on the Department of Justice by President Trump have been used to attack Attorney General Jeff Sessions, someone he has gone after a number of times, we are told by a DOJ source that Sessions is also fed up with how long this is taking.

Throughout all of these attacks, it's worth remembering that President Trump controls the Department of Justice to an extent. He could call up the Department of Justice and ask these questions, instead he's taking to Twitter and that's because he wants to show House Republicans he is doing something, but it also allows him another opportunity to take on his long embattled attorney general.

BLACKWELL: We'll see if more tweets come this morning. Dan Merica, in Washington, thank you.

PAUL: The former vice president and environmental activist Al Gore sat down with CNN's Van Jones had some strong words for how President Trump should handle the situation with EPA Administrator Pruitt.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: I tell you I'd be very surprised if 90 percent of the American people looking at the facts of that situation did not think that there was the appearance of outright corruption there and Donald Trump ought to fire him. It won't do any good for me to say that. If I told him to keep him on, maybe that would make him fire him.

But, honestly, regardless of party, regardless of ideology or his policies, the American people have a right to believe there is some modicum of integrity in the way our government is operating.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: And be sure to watch "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER". President Trump's top academic adviser Larry Kudlow will be on the show. Senator Susan Collins is also a guest. That's at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

PAUL: Reports that dozens have been killed in Syria in an apparent chemical attack as President Trump says the U.S. troops will pull out of that country. Will the U.S. hold Assad government accountable? We're going to ask a congressman.

BLACKWELL: Plus, Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the hot seat next week as he prepares testimony before Congress for his company's misuse of user data. What should you expect to hear from him? We'll talk about that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:27:40] BLACKWELL: Breaking news out of Syria. Dozens of people have died in an apparent chemical attack in Douma. This is a suburb of Damascus. Syrian activists say toxic gas inside barrel bombs dropped by helicopters chocked and then killed people. The Syrian government denies being behind this incident. PAUL: Now, the rebel-held area has been bombarded by the Syrian

government in recent days and thousands of people have run from their homes.

BLACKWELL: Joining me now, Democratic Congressman John Delaney of Maryland.

Congressman, welcome back to NEW DAY.

REP. JOHN DELANEY (D), MARYLAND: Nice to be here.

BLACKWELL: First, your reaction what you're seeing in Douma and also the update that we're learning from the Russian government that they are calling this a hoax.

DELANEY: Well, look. It's a horrible set of atrocities that we are seeing on the ground in Syria and, unfortunately, it's not the first time. As far as Russia's response calling this a hoax, I mean, you just showed the clip. It doesn't look like a hoax for me. There's been significant, kind of independent verifications this has actually happened.

And once again, Russia is not fulfilling its role as a guarantor. You know, back in 2013, we thought we had an agreement where chemical weapons would be removed from Syria, we thought all of them would be taken out and Russia was supposed to be the backstop or guarantor of that agreement. They obviously haven't done that and they are saying this is a hoax is ridiculous.

BLACKWELL: Now, before that agreement, there was the consideration by Congress to authorize the use of military force specifically following up that August 2013 attack.

DELANEY: Right.

BLACKWELL: What should Congress' role be in shaping a potential response to this and shaping U.S. activities -- military actions in Syria?

DELANEY: Well, our response to -- shaping our military response to Syria or anywhere in the region should be guided by a new authorization for military force. We have been relying upon on 17- year-old document that was put in place after 9/11 -- rightly so, by the way. But it was very broad, very open-ended and had no time limit on it.

And so, Congress has really abdicated its responsibility to actually have a say and have the people's representatives to be a part of the debate in terms of what military action occurs on the ground in Syria and anywhere else in the region or the world for that matter. But over a dozen of countries have seen U.S. military engagement based on the 2001 AUMF. So, we need a new AUMF and Congress needs to play a role obviously in shaping that and working with the White House.

[07:30:06] The American people and the U.S. military deserve a debate about what our role is specifically in Syria and other parts of the region.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: You appeared to support actually a year ago yesterday --

DELANEY: Yes.

BLACKWELL: -- the president's targeted strikes on an air field and runway in response to the April 2017 chemical attacks. Would you support any military action short without, I should say, Congress' authorization in response to what we saw in Syria yesterday?

DELANEY: Again, I absolutely believe and I've been calling for a new authorization of military force generally for the region, but would I support a specific strike to degrade the capabilities of Assad to pursue another one of these attacks? Provided that there weren't a lot of kind of civilian casualties associated with it? Yes. I would support something like that something to what we did a year ago.

We can't stand by and let the Assad regime kind of violate international norms using chemical weapons on their people and their children and the community's type of atrocities. But the key point there, Victor, is we absolutely need a discussion in the Congress of the United States about U.S. military engagement broadly across this region and around the world. We should have a new updated authorization for military force, it should be debated starting next week in the Congress of the United States. And that's what we really need.

I think whether we respond in a targeted way to try to degrade capabilities to use chemical weapons against their people, I think, is a separate discussion.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about something that could potentially start up at the beginning of next week, what we saw in the last week, which is this ratcheting up of potential tariffs between the U.S. and China at the end of the week. The president suggested that the U.S. should consider an incredible $100 billion in tariffs against China.

Do you expect -- at this point, this is all threat. This is all rhetorical. Do you expect this really is a negotiating strategy or at some point, it will come to a point the U.S. and China are now in an active trade war?

DELANEY: Well, it feels like we are going down the path of a trade war, which would be very harmful to our economy and it's really not the way to deal with China. I mean, we have legitimate issues with China. They manipulate their currencies and they take our intellectual property, they're building islands in the South China Sea that are illegal islands.

We should be dealing with these things in the courts, the international courts. We should be dealing with these at the negotiating table with our presence in the region. And really by competing with China in Asia which is one of the reasons I think tearing up the Trans Pacific Partnership which would have given the United States a big footprint economically in the Asia Pacific region was a terrible mistake because it took away our leverage with China.

What the president is doing right now is kind of engaging what I would call almost 19th century economic policy which is to get us involved in some kind of a trade war, which is not the way to deal with China and it's not in the best interests of our country. I mean, the frustration I have with this administration is they seem to be debating whether we want 19th or 20th century economy if you listen to their economic policies and how they approach the world. I mean, trade wars and tariffs, it really is going back to the 19th century, and we should be focusing on the 21st century economic, which involves engaging around the world and making sure the United States has a footprint in keep markets in the world.

And starting a trade war, you know, on Twitter and directing kind of randomly your USTR, your trade rep to ratchet up tariffs and them do the same thing in response, this is no way to conduct kind of economic policy or foreign policy, and I think it's taking us down a really bad path.

BLACKWELL: All right. Congressman John Delaney, we'll see if the new week begins the way the last one ended, thanks so much for being with us.

DELANEY: Thanks, Victor.

PAUL: Well, migrants are getting closer to the U.S. border now making their way from Central America to Mexico are getting closer to the U.S. border now. What are they making their way here, why are there -- what their intentions? Why are their sights set on the U.S.? We're going to take you there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:39:06] PAUL: Well, a Canadian community this morning is trying to understand how this happened. A bus crashed carrying a junior hockey team killed 15 people and we know at least 14 others were injured. It collided with a tractor-trailer in Canada's Saskatchewan province. Coaches and players of the Humboldt Broncos team were on board. They were on their way to a junior league playoff game.

BLACKWELL: Some of the victims posted on social media from their hospital beds. Look at this photo, three survivors here on gurneys holding hands. This one went viral and it's captioned bonding and healing.

Authorities have not yet identified the victims and have not confirmed whether they were players or coaches. The cause of this crash is still being investigated.

PAUL: Well, asylum seekers making their way to the U.S. border have arrived at Mexico's capital. They gathered at the U.S. embassy in Mexico City, in fact, yesterday to rally against President Trump. The protests come after the president announced he'd be sending National Guard troops to protect the border.

[07:40:05] BLACKWELL: The president says the group is a threat to the United States, but migrants tell CNN's Leyla Santiago they are merely in search of a better life.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Valentina has become quite popular. She is the reason her mother says they are even here. For them, this is about the search for a better life.

(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

SANTIAGO: We are human beings, she tells me. Adding, if Jesus had to migrate, why shouldn't we?

Most of the people here didn't know each other two weeks ago, but it is part of an organized caravan, an annual pilgrimage that united to head north, leaving behind violence and poverty in Central America, they tell us.

(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

SANTIAGO: Desla Rich says her sister and uncle were both killed in Honduras. She doesn't want to be next.

Yadira Cruz can relate.

(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

SANTIAGO: When her son's life was threatened, she says they fled immediately. Both women hope to reach the U.S./Mexico border so they can seek asylum. They say gangs in Honduras controlled where they lived, and poverty makes it tough to find a way out.

The caravan has become a target of President Trump's tweets, calling them a dangerous caravan. While Trump may not understand, they tell me, they find support in each other. They become a community, a village on wheels.

Children playing. Medical teams caring for the ill. Volunteers serving food at dinner. Even the occasional soccer game.

(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

SANTIAGO: According to organizers, the group started with more than 1,000 people.

(on camera): People of the caravan are lining up to be counted by organizers. And then, they all have a full day worth of workshops where they will meet with immigrant advocates, as well as legal aide, while they make up their mind on what to do next.

(voice-over): Headcount this weekend, about 500. Some will stay in Mexico. Others, will break off on their own. As it has in previous years, the group becomes smaller as it heads north. Organizers believe only about half of them will make it to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Desla and Yadira are determined to be among those making it to the United States of America.

Leyla Santiago, CNN, Puebla, Mexico.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: Eight years ago, Facebook was being praised for helping fuel democratic change around the world.

PAUL: And now, Mark Zuckerberg is facing quite a grilling from lawmakers and Facebook's reputation is at stake here over allegations that Russia used it as a tool to undermine American democracy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:46:56] PAUL: So, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress on Tuesday about the company's role in the misuse of millions of people's personal information. Top company officials were on an apology tour of sorts all week, saying they are sorry, they didn't do enough to protect people.

Look at this.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK CEO: We're an idealistic and optimistic company. And for the first decade, we really focused on all the good that connecting people bring. But it's clear now that we didn't do enough. We didn't focus enough on preventing abuse and thinking through how people would use these tools to do harm as well.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: So, let's talk about this with social media and tech expert, Lance Ulanoff.

Lance, good morning to you. What do you expect from Zuckerberg --

LANCE ULANOFF, SOCIAL MEDIA & TECH EXPERT: Good morning.

BLACKWELL: -- on Tuesday?

ULANOFF: A lot of apologizing. He is going to map out the chances to control your privacy and changes to how they allow third-party companies to use data.

PAUL: So, let's listen together here to what the COO Sarah Sandberg said. She was asked if another data breach could actually happen again, which is what most people are concerned about. Here's what she had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHERYL SANDBERG, FACEBOOK CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: We are doing an investigation. We are going to do audits and, yes, we think it's possible, that's why we are doing the audit. This week, we announced we are something shutting down some of the ways groups, events, pages, other parts of our product used data.

Now, a lot of these have quite good use cases. But we are making a big shift here and it's a shift we are making to make sure that we are more protective.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: So, they are doing all of these things that she is outstanding there, but how really at the end of the day does the company build back the public's trust?

ULANOFF: Well, very, very slowly. I mean, Mark has said this is going to be a project that takes, you know, it's not going to be six months. You know, they hope to have turned the corner by the end of the year. It's going to take a very long time because people are frustrated and concerned.

And it wasn't really a data breach. It was kind of like relaxed data. You know, we have been willingly giving up this data to Facebook and Facebook has done a terrible job of informing their users of how the data might be used.

Now that their eyes are open to it, they are freaking out and it's going to take a long time for Facebook to build in the right kind of controls and also just remember, they may discover more data instances just like this and they have warned us about that.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the first numbers that they released were 50 million users data accessed and more than 80 million users data's access.

Let me ask you, do you think that the harm is irreparable or can they repair the Facebook brand with their users?

ULANOFF: Facebook has over 2 billion users around the world, using it for all different kinds of things, you know, connecting with people, you know, activating people, getting them excited about movements.

So, they have lost some trust but Facebook is not destroyed by any means. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg said that Delete Facebook, the movement, has not had a recognizable impact.

[07:50:06] PAUL: So, when look at Facebook itself, there are people out there who believe, why does this fall necessarily on Facebook? It's technology that we know of as of today. Is it going to take more than Facebook itself to fix this?

ULANOFF: Yes. Well, it's going to take people. The people who are using Facebook to wake up and understand that sharing their lives on social media is also sharing data. Their lives are now made up of data points and it's not just on Facebook, it's on any social networks they use and any companies that may be working with third party entities to share and use the data to drive targeting.

So, it is going to be a partnership between these companies, the technology companies and their users and the users really just need education, learning how to use these tools and also maybe sharing a little less.

PAUL: Not just that, but maybe being a little more skeptical of some things that we read and making sure that we know our sources.

BLACKWELL: Starting to make some changes relates to political advertising. We'll see if more changes are rolled out.

PAUL: We will. Lance Ulanoff, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.

ULANOFF: My pleasure.

BLACKWELL: All right. The conditions will be chilly at the Masters but the action -- pretty warm, pretty hot. A pair of familiar foes will go shot for shot with the green jacket on the line.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:55:57] BLACKWELL: Fourth and final round of the Masters tees off later today in Augusta.

PAUL: Vince Cellini joins with more.

Shaping up to be a dramatic ending and you say this is the day to be there.

VINCE CELLINI, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Two hours from where we are right now, the center of the sports universe. I think it's always one of the great day in sports.

PAUL: Yes.

CELLINI: Even if you are a golf fan or not. You will be.

Patrick Reed is in position to win his first green jacket and first major championship while possibly rewriting the record books. The conditions were no problem for this 27-year-old Texan. He's an Augusta University product. He shot 5 under 67 to grab a three shot lead heading into the final round.

Now, if Reid can score under 70 again today, he'd become the first player in the 82-year history of the Masters to have four rounds in the 60s. And even has the shot of breaking the tournament scoring record of 1,800 held by Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth.

Reed is going to be paired up with Rory McIlroy. If McIlroy can make up the gap, he'd be the sixth man and the first since Tiger in 2000 to complete the career grand slam, also the first from Europe. A year and a half ago at Hazeltine, Reed and McIlroy squared off in a back- and-forth, down to the wire match for the ages. Reed came out on top one up. But these rivals say this isn't a two-man race.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RORY MCILROY, PLAYING IN HIS 10TH MASTERS: There are a lot more players in this tournament than just Patrick Reed and I. PATRICK REED, SEEKING HIS FIRST CAREER MAJOR TITLE: It's probably one

of the most best matches we ever played, probably also one of the most exhausting matches we ever played. We'll be calmer. A lot of stuff -- there is a lot of stuff you can do at a Ryder Cup that you can't do at Augusta National.

MCILROY: Patrick is going for his first, and I'm going for something else. And it's going to be good fun.

(END VIDEO CLPI)

CELLINI: Well, we're all in for a treat. Reed and McIlroy set to tee off at 2:40 Eastern Time. But if those guys slip up just even a little bit, look at the guys on their heels, the chasers, plenty in contention.

Well, expectations were sky high for fourth time Masters Tiger Woods, but you have to look way down the leaderboard. He finished yesterday's round in a tie for 40th place, 18 strokes behind the leader. And even though he's out of contention, I guess there is silver lining as a former world number one would climb back inside the top 100 when the world ranking come out tomorrow, although that wasn't always Tiger's goal.

PAUL: Yes, a little bit more than that, yes.

CELLINI: I would say.

PAUL: Well, Andy Scholes has met one of his goals. Baby number three. Baby number three, woo-hoo, Andy!

BLACKWELL: Way to go.

PAUL: Look at him there. This is why Andy is not here and Vince, of course, so graciously fill in the shoes here. That is Nolan Robert Scholes with Andy, his wife, Lauren. His two other sons Beckett and Camden. Big beautiful family of three boys.

All I can say is good luck with that.

BLACKWELL: Congratulations.

PAUL: We're so happy for you.

CELLINI: Nolan is dictating my schedule.

PAUL: Already, yes. That's OK, lot longer, you're OK.

Vince, thank you.

CELLINI: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Vince.

PAUL: Sure.

And thank you so much for starting your morning with us. We always appreciate you and hope you make some good memories today.

BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King is next.

But, before we let you go, Alec Baldwin back on "Saturday Night Live" this week to reprise his role as President Trump.

PAUL: Taking on several topics including the chaos that unfolded with China this week. Here are your highlights.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEC BALDWIN AS PRESIDENT TRUMP: Hello, his, how is it going? Let's make this quick because I've a lot of trade wars to escalate here, OK? I announced more tariffs on Chinese products including fireworks and finger traps. We've also expelled the infamous Chinese billionaire P.F. Chang.

Here is the thing that no one else is saying and I'm the only one who's willing to actually say this, I don't care about America, OK? This whole presidency is a four-year cash grab and admitting that will probably get me four more years, OK? But I do not care about any of you. Does that basically answer all of your questions? OK? Does it? OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)