Return to Transcripts main page


U.S. and Russia Exchange Heated Rhetoric; Trump Sees a Silhouette for Rosenstein's Possible Exit; Mark Zuckerberg Grilled by U.S. Lawmakers; Video Shows Israeli Sniper Shooting Palestinian; How One Company Targets Voters Online; Who's In And Who's Out At Royal Wedding. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired April 11, 2018 - 03:00   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Diplomatic threats and counter threats. The heated rhetoric at the Security Council with Russia and Syria teaming up against the U.S.

Sources telling CNN that Donald Trump is considering firing the deputy attorney general as a way of curbing the Russia probe.

Plus, Facebook CEO in the hot seat. Mark Zuckerberg says he's sorry and promises to do better during a five-hour marathon on Capitol Hill.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, and this is CNN Newsroom.

The U.S. and its allies are weighing how to respond to a suspected chemical attack in Syria. President Trump even cancelling a plan trip to South America this week.

Now, this comes as the teamed international chemical weapons experts prepares to go to Syria on a fact finding mission. But at the U.N. Security Council the U.S. and Russia furiously face off again Tuesday, effectively blocking each other's draft resolutions for investigations into last weekend's suspected attack in Douma.


NIKKI HALEY, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: When the people of Douma along with the rest of the international community look to this council to act, one country stood in the way. History will record that. History will record that on this day Russia chose protecting a monster over the lives of the Syrian people.

VASILY NEBENZYA, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: The threats that you're stating, vis-a-vis, Syria, should make us seriously worried, all of us, because we could find ourselves on the threshold on some very sad and serious events.

I would once again ask to refrain from the plans that you're currently developing for Syria. BASHAR JA'AFARI, SYRIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS (through translator): I would like to say to those western parties and they need to listen to me attentively, your threat of aggression, your maneuvers, your lies, your terrorism will never derail us.

As one of the founding states of this organization from exercising our right and fulfilling our duties in accordance with our national Constitution, and a charter to protect our sovereignty and territorial integrity and defend of any aggression from any source, and we will not allow anyone, permanent member or non-permanent member to do to us what they did to Iraq and Libya.


CHURCH: CNN's Fred Pleitgen spoke with a senior Syrian minister about the possibility of U.S. strikes, Fred asked if he's worried about that.


HUSSEIN MAKHLOUF, SYRIAN MINISTER OF LOCAL ADMINISTRATION AND ENVIRONMENT: (through translator): Of course not. If you can stop any child in Syria, any young person or woman, they won't be afraid. We weren't afraid. We won't be afraid and we will never be afraid.

But Trump's earlier tweet about American forces exiting Syria is a correct decision. We consider any foreign presence without the approval and coordination of the Syrian state to be occupation.


CHURCH: And joining us now, CNN senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman in Beirut, Lebanon, and CNN international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, who is in Moscow. Good to see you both.

Ben, let's go to you first, as we've seen the U.N. Security Council faulted Tuesday, and we are still waiting to see how the United States and its allies responded this suspected chemical weapons attack in Douma. Syria said it's not afraid of any response, which you saw out there. What if action is taken will it change anything on the ground?

BEN WEDEMAN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, it's hard to know what action will be taken. We did get an indication from the French President Emmanuel Macron that they will possibly be focus in on Syria's chemical capabilities, in which case we can anticipate perhaps U.S., British, and French air strikes on what they allege are chemical capabilities of the Syrian government.

But beyond that it's probably going to be sharp and short and not going to really change the realities on the ground. We heard from President Trump quite recently that he wants U.S. courses, currently around 2000 in northeastern Syria to leave the country.

Clearly, the United States has abandoned the express desires of the Obama administration for some sort of ouster of President Bashar al- Assad from Syria, and therefore, when the dust settles from this probable military strikes very little will actually be change.

[03:05:02] Now clearly, the big risk if there is any U.S. or western military action in Syria, is that they will target not only Syrian targets but also Russian, perhaps Iranian forces in the country in which case there's a very big chance of a broadening of the conflict beyond merely pushing strikes against the Syrian government. Rosemary?

CHURCH: And Ben, what about these weapons experts that will be on the fact-finding mission, what they can achieve in all?


NIC ROBERTSON, INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR, CNN: -- just about what happened in Syria. There is a bigger, broader message about chemical weapons that the international community wants to send. Nikki Haley says and British ambassador said you can't convince the Russians at the Security Council of this.

But Russia pushing back very hard. We've heard this morning from a senior parliamentary official here pointing the Russian military, saying that if there are strikes that impact Russian military assets on the ground then the Russian response will be immediate to that.

An eye witnesses on the ground in Syria yesterday recording hearing many aircraft flying towards Russian

Seriously, reporting hearings, many aircraft flying towards Russian bases and that was taken to mean on the ground there in Syria that Syria was actually moving its aircraft to co-locate with Russian aircraft at Russian air bases inside Syria to make it harder for the coalition to strike Syrian aircraft.

CHURCH: Yes. Well, a lot of crossed concerns over developments coming out of the story. Nic Robertson, many thanks to you joining us from Moscow, and Ben Wedeman in Beirut.

Well, back in the United States now, and Donald Trump maybe reconsidering whether he will submit to an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller. A source also says the FBI raid on Mr. Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen has upended discussions between the two sides legal teams.

Another source tells CNN, the president and his aides have been discussing firing Mueller for months.

[03:10:03] Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is also reportedly in the president's crosshairs. Multiple sources say Mr. Trump is considering firing Rosenstein to curb the Mueller investigation.

Senior White House correspondent Pamela Brown broke the story and she joins us now. Good to see you, Pamela. So, what are you hearing about the president's deliberations to fire the deputy attorney general? And explain to our international viewers, if you would, Rod Rosenstein's role in the Robert Mueller investigation.

PAMELA BROWN, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Rosemary, he is critical in the investigation because he overseas it, he is Robert Mueller's boss essentially because the Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuse himself.

And our team has learned that the president's consideration of firing the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has gained urgency following the raid of the office of the president's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Sources familiar with the matter say this is one of several options including going as far as to fire the Attorney General Jeff Sessions as well that Trump has been weighing more recently. And officials say if Trump acts Rosenstein in his is most likely target because installing a new deputy attorney general could provide a check on Mueller that Trump is seeking.

Now we should note that not all of the president's legal advisers are onboard with this, but there are others who were telling him that they now have a stronger case against Rosenstein. They believe he has crossed the line in what he can and cannot pursue and they consider him conflicted because he is a potential witness in the special counsel's investigation since he wrote that memo that justify the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

So, even though Trump has considered firing him in the past, this possibility has taken on a more serious tone in recent days according to sources we been speaking with.

CHURCH: Interesting. Of course, this latest agitation is because of the FBI raid on Mr. Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen on Monday. What more are you learning about the evidence said they were actually after?

BROWN: Well, we've learned that the search warrant carried out by the public corruption unit of the Manhattan federal attorney's office sought information about Karen McDougall. She is an ex-Playboy model who claims she carried on a nearly year-long affair with Mr. Trump shortly after the birth of his son back in 2006.

Now McDougall was paying $150,000 by American media Inc, that's the Inquirer's parent company whose chief executive is a friend of Mr. Trump's.

Now agents were also searching Cohen's office for information related to Stephanie Clifford, better known as Stormy Daniels, who says she also had sex with Mr. Trump while he was married. Mr. Cohen has a knowledge that he paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 as part of a nondisclosure agreement to secure her silence just days before the 2016 presidential election.

CHURCH: And Pamela, a source has told CNN's Jim Acosta that Mr. Trump and his aide have discussed firing special counsel Robert Mueller for months now. It's the question that came up during the White House briefing on Tuesday. Let's just take a listen to that exchange.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The power to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller does he believe that's within his power?

SARAH HUCKABEE-SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Certainly he believes he has the power to do some.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does the president believe he has the power to fire Robert Mueller because usually the most legal experts believe that he would have to order Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to fire Mueller. And Rosenstein could of course refuse.

SANDERS: I know a number of individuals in the legal community and including at the Department of Justice that he has the power to do so, but I don't have any further announcements on--


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They said that it's Rod Rosenstein overseas special counsel and only he has the power to fire the special counsel.

SANDERS: Again, we've been advised that the president certainly has the power to make that decision. I can't go anything beyond that.


CHURCH: So Pamela, who does have the power, and if Mr. Trump were to fire Robert Mueller what would be the political implications?

BROWN: Well, the Justice Department regulations state that indeed Rod Rosenstein would have to be the one to fire Mueller, normally it would be the attorney general. In this case, he was -- recuse of Rod Rosenstein would be the one to do it.

Now of course regulations could be changed, so it's unclear if that is what she's referring to. If the regulations were changed then with the president directly be able to fire Mueller. It's a little unclear. She didn't specify.

But the political implications would be huge, which is a big reason the president hasn't actually pulled the trigger to fire him.

Republicans on Capitol Hill have warned him against doing so, saying it would cause a crisis, and the president does believe that if he fires Mueller or pushes to fire him it would play right into Democrats hands. For the president the concern is that doing so would only prolong the Russia probe which is the last thing he wants as we know.

So, all in all when they game it out here at the White House with the president and his legal advisers they belief firing Robert Mueller is the least realistic option compared to firing Rod Rosenstein or even the attorney general.

[03:15:04] CHURCH: Senior White House correspondent, Pamela Brown, thank you so much.

BROWN: Thank you.

CHURCH: And reports about the president wanting to fire the special counsel aren't sitting well with members of Congress. Democrats are pushing once a game for legislation protecting Robert Mueller's investigation, but Republicans say that may not be necessary.


CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: I beseech my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stand up and say what the president is doing is wrong. Make it clear that firing Mueller or interfering in his investigation crosses a red line and is a threat to our constitutional order.

JOHN CORNYN, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: I think that would speak there would some serious repercussions and that's hard to predict exactly what that might look like. But that's why I think director Mueller want to be free to do his job and let the courts and let the lawyers work it out.

MANU RAJU, SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Why not pass legislation proactively (Inaudible) so we can get the president (Inaudible).

CORNYN: I don't think it's necessary.

RAJU: Are you concern that the Senate is not doing enough to prevent this possible outcome?

MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: Well, it is still my view that Mueller should be allowed to finish his job. I think that's the view most people in Congress. I haven't seen clear indication yet that we needed to pass something to keep him from being removed because I don't think that's going to happen.

CHUCK GRASSLEY, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: I think it would be suicide for the president to fire him. I think the less the president says about this whole thing the better off he will be. And I think that Mueller is a person of stature and respected and I respect him.


CHURCH: Two bipartisan Senate bills introduced last year would have protected the special counsel from being fired, but there's been little action on the measures.

Regulations are on the table for social media. Facebook CEO face hours of questioning on Capitol Hill about what happened to the data from millions of users.

Plus, North Korea may not give up its nuclear weapons without getting something big in return. We'll explore what Kim Jong-un could demand from the United States.

We're back with that and more in just a moment.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Mark Zuckerberg is facing a second of questioning about data privacy Russian influence and government regulation. His first appearance before Congress included his accusation the British data firm Cambridge Analytica got access to the data of millions of Facebook users and used during President Trump's 2016 campaign.

Analytica says it bought the data and deleted it well before the election, but that led Senate as wondering what Facebook should have done.


[03:20:02] BILL NELSON, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: Do you think that you have an ethical obligation to notify 87 million Facebook users?

MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO AND CO-FOUNDER, FACEBOOK: Senator, when we heard back from Cambridge Analytica that they've told us that they weren't using the data they deleted it we considered it a closed case. In retrospect though, that was clearly a mistake. We shouldn't have taken their word for it and we've updated our policies and how are we going to operate the company to make sure that we don't make that mistake again.


CHURCH: CNN money, technology, and business correspondent Samuel Burke joins me now from Jerusalem. Good to see you, Samuel. So, first day of the hearings and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized for the data breach as expected, but in the course of the five hours or so that followed, was the Senate up to the task of questioning the CEO when most of the term appeared to failed to grasp how it will work.

SAMUEL BURKE, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, there's a very crude and capitalistic way to see how Mark Zuckerberg integrate his performance and that's the stock price. Facebook went up 4.5 percent yesterday, Rosemary, adding $21 billion of value back to the stock price.

Why did it go up so much, for exactly the reason that you're highlighting because so many of the senators were so weak in their questioning. Just take a look at this exchange between Senator Orrin Hatch and Zuckerberg.


ORRIN HATCH, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: Well, how do you how do you sustain a business model in which users don't pay for your service?

ZUCKERBERG: Senator, we run ads.


BURKE: Pretty simple answer. Pretty simple answer for a pretty simple question that honestly, the senator should have known ahead of time so that we could get to something more profound.

It was really only one time that I saw where Mark Zuckerberg really slipped up and I was quite surprised because this is really one of the most important questions of our time. The possible connection between Russia and President Trump, his campaign, and maybe how Facebook was an intermediary.

Take a listen how Mark Zuckerberg answered this question, where he wasn't so study. He starts out strong and then has to walk back what he says.


PATRICK LEAHY, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: I assume Facebook's been served with subpoenas from the -- Special Counsel Mueller's office. Is that correct?


LEAHY: Have you or anyone at Facebook been interviewed by the special counsel's office?


LEAHY: Have you been interviewed--


ZUCKERBERG: I have not. I have not.

LEAHY: Others have?

ZUCKERBERG: I believe so. And I want to be careful here, because that -- our work with the special counsel is confidential, and I want to make sure that, in an open session, I'm not revealing something that's confidential.

LEAHY: I understand. I just want to make clear that you have been contacted, you have had subpoenas.

ZUCKERBERG: Actually, let me clarify that. I actually am not aware of a subpoena. I believe that there may be, but I know we're working with them.


BURKE: So a strong question from Senator Leahy there amidst I see a very weak questions, to put it quite bluntly, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, and a lot of caution there from Mark Zuckerberg as well. So, where does this leave any effort to come up with a way to regulate Facebook, and of course, other social media platforms to ensure that data privacy breaches of this magnitude don't happen again.

BURKE: And that's really the key question, not just in this testimony, but for all tech companies moving forward. It doesn't bode well and the senators don't seem to understand Facebook that well. How are they going to create laws they get ahead of Facebook to help protect our data. And let me just say, people around the world are watching this, Rosemary. I'm in Israel right now, which has so many startups, tech startups, and they're all watching here to know how their relationship might change with their consumers how countries around the world might change their laws.

What many people in the tech journalism world are hoping for today is that the members of the House who are going to be grilling Mark Zuckerberg really do grill him. Asking him the tough questions like, does Facebook follow you when you're not using the platform, do they still track what you do. He was able to evade an answer on that.

Hopefully, members of the House today will be stronger on that. Why doesn't somebody ask him the question why give any data whatsoever to a third-party, especially when Facebook doesn't even make money off of it. That's an answer I would really like to hear.

CHURCH: Yes. We'll see what comes of the second day of testimony.

Samuel Burke, always great to tech chat with you joining us there live from Jerusalem.

Well, breaking news coming in to CNN. A Russian lawmaker says Russia will respond immediately if its military is hit by a U.S. airstrike in Syria. He says a Russian air base and naval base along with Russian service personnel deployed in Syria are on under Russia's firm protection. And this comes as the U.S. and its allies are weighing a response to the suspected chemical attack in Douma, Syria last weekend.

[03:25:01] Well, Korea and the U.S. may be further along in their preparations for direct talks than many thought.

CNN has learned both countries have been secretly talking about the plan summit between Kim Jong-un and President Trump. But there are still some major sticking points, including what North Korea could demand to get rid of its nuclear weapons.

Our Brian Todd reports.

BRIAN TODD, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: We now have the first clear indications that a historic summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un may really happen.

During a meeting of the North Korean Workers Party, Kim for the first time acknowledged the possibility of a meeting with Trump. According to his news agency the dictator presented a quote, "in-depth analysis of possible talks between his regime and the United States."

This comes as CNN was told by several Trump administration officials that the U.S. and North Korea have been holding secret talks to prepare for a Trump-Kim summit. CIA Director Mike Pompeo has been leading the secret negotiations according to CNN sources. With U.S. and North Korean intelligence officials even meeting in a third country to nail down some details.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've been in touch with North Korea. We'll be meeting with them sometime in May or early June, and I think there will respect paid by both parties and hopefully we'll be able to make a deal on the denuking of North Korea.


TODD: Several U.S. officials tell CNN Kim's regime has reaffirmed its willingness to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. But now analysts warn about what that really means. For the U.S. it means North Korea would talk about giving up its nuclear weapons. But for Kim, they say, denuclearization means something completely different.


LISA COLLINS, KOREA CHAIR FELLOW, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: That means in practical terms is usually the removal of U.S. troops from the Korean peninsula a dissolution of the U.S.-South Korea alliance, and eventually a peace treaty between the United States and North Korea.


TODD: And experts say there are other sticking points that might prevent the deal between Trump and Kim and might still prevent a summit from occurring in the first place.


DEAN CHENG, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW FOR CHINESE POLITICAL AND MILITARY AFFAIRS, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: North Korea has this very, very bad habit of making incredible demands. It's quite possible they're demanding cash, they're probably demanding political recognition and to end the U.S. and South Korea military exercises. The list is almost endless as preconditions for talks.


TODD: North Korea once got $500 million from South Korea just for agreeing to hold a summit with the South Korean president in 2000. Tonight, while Kim Jong-un talks about a summit he is strangely silent on another major development. He hasn't said a word about joint U.S.- South Korean military drills going on for the past week - exercises which Kim always views as a threat.


COLLINS: The North Korean leader is actually preparing for talks and so he doesn't probably want to raise a lot of conflict or tension, additional tension with the United States and South Korea in the run up to both the inter-Korean talks on April 27 and then the future U.S.-North Korea talks later for either May or early June.

(END VIDEO CLIP) TODD: Another possible complication for a Trump-Kim summit could come

in a couple of weeks when Trump meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago. Analyst say Abe is expected to raise several concerns that Japan has about a possible summit. He may ask Trump to press the North Koreans to stop flying missiles over Japan in tests and to send back several Japanese citizens where the North Koreans have kidnapped over the decades.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

CHURCH: We'll take a short break here, but still to come on CNN Newsroom, chilling video from the scope of an Israeli sniper, but Israel says it doesn't show the full picture of what happened. We'll take a look when we come back.


CHURCH: A very warm welcome back to CNN Newsroom, I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we had been following this hour.

Russian lawmakers says Russia will respond immediately if its military is hit by a U.S. airstrike in Syria. He says a Russian air base and naval base along with Russian service personnel deployed in Syria are on the Russians firm protection.

A source familiar with the matter says Donald Trump and his aides have discuss firing Special Counsel, Robert Mueller for months. Speculation is heating up once again after the FBI raided the home and office of the president's personal attorney Michael Cohen.

A judge in Myanmar is refusing to dismiss the case against two Reuters journalist who were arrested while investigating the killings of 10 Rohingya men last year. The journalist were accused of having secret government papers. Meanwhile Myanmar has reportedly sentence seven of its soldiers to 10 years of hard labor for those killings.

A disturbing video from Israel shows a sniper from the Israel defense forces shooting a Palestinian standing near the border fence with Gaza. The video that last more than a minute led the Monday evening news in Israel and was prominent in newspapers. Now it has reignited a debate about the Israeli army's principles and the actions of its soldiers. We do need to warn you, this video is graphic and disturbing. CNN's Ian Lee reports.


IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: An Israeli sniper zeros in on a Palestinian man near the Gaza border. He appears unarmed, when he stops, you take him down. The commander orders in the video. Gunshot cracks and a man falls. Son of a bitch, one soldier yells with a legendary film. I haven't seen this kind of thing for a long time.

Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman praise the soldier, while criticizing Duvon (ph), who recorded it through his scope.

AVIGDOR LIEBERMAN, ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER (TRANSLATOR): The sniper deserves a medal, the other soldier should be demoted.

LEE: The video and the soldier's celebration has provoked outrage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They committed not only did above them, there is one more criminal, his name is Avigdor Lieberman. He is inciting those soldiers to kill.

LEE: Israel's military says the video was filmed in December and that it doesn't show the full picture of what happen. He says the shooting was justified, but will conduct a full inquiry adding the cheering does not suit the degree of restraint expected of IDF soldiers.

This video comes on the heels of others from the recent violence on the Gaza Israel border. Here in Israeli, sniper shoots a protester in the back as he runs away from the border. And this woman waiving a flag near the border, rocks after getting shot. Both appear unarmed and their conditions are unknown.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians have gathered near the border fence onto two successive Fridays, saying they want to cross over to lance lost Israel 70 years ago. Israel says the demonstrations are led by Hamas and present a security threat. In total, Israeli soldiers have killed 32 Palestinians since the protest started two weeks ago, there was really soldiers have been killed or injured. International and Israeli rights groups have accused Israel of using excessive force.

[03:35:06] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The army is shooting people outside of a normal rules of engagement. And that is why my organization called soldiers to refuse those orders which are criminal orders and manifested illegal.

LEE: Even before the latest round of protest began, Israel's military posted this video on social media. It shows what appears to be an unarmed Gazan near the fence, shot in the leg. It warn, Hamas is sending you to demonstrations and endangering your lives.

JONATHAN CONRICUS, IDF SPOKESMAN: We use very specific and a sharpshooter's or snipers at specific persons who are trying to sabotage the fence. We aim for lower part of the body, for the feet and to make sure that those people are not able to -- those rioters are not able to climb or sabotage our defense and pose a significant threat to our facilities.

LEE: With Palestinians bowing to cross, an Israel's military not backing down. A video like this shows peace is far away. Ian Lee, CNN, Jerusalem.


CHURCH: We will take a short break now, but it was hours of tough questioning on Capitol Hill, how Facebook CEO responded when pressed on social media regulation. Plus, we are learning about another company suspended from Facebook over possible misuse of data. We are back in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHURCH: This is just in to CNN, a third of the athletes from

Cameron's team at the Commonwealth Games in Australia is missing. The team says eight athletes disappear between Sunday and Tuesday. They include five boxers and eight weightlifters, team officials had notified Australian police as well as state officials in Cameron. We will continue to watch that story.

Well, drawing it nearly 5 hours of testimony, Mark Zuckerberg face a wide range of questions from 44 U.S. Senators. It talk about protecting user data. The Russia investigation and Facebook's business model. Here is a look at the highlights.


MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO FACEBOOK: We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake and I'm sorry. I started Facebook, I run it and I'm responsible for what happens here.

SEN. PATRICK LEAHY, (D) VERMONT: Facebook has been serve a subpoenas for the Special Counsel (inaudible) office, is that correct?


LEAHY: And you were in with Facebook being interviewed by the Special Counsel's office?


LEAHY: Have you been interviewed?

ZUCKERBERG: I have not. I have not.

LEAHY: Others have.

ZUCKERBERG: I believe so and I want to be careful her, because that are work with the Special Counsel is confidential and I want to make sure that in an open session. I'm not revealing something that is confidential.

LEAHY: Affirmative. That's why I make clear that you have been contacted, you have had subpoenas.

[03:40:09] ZUCKERBERG: Actually, let me clarify that, I actually am not aware of the subpoena. I believe that there may be, but I know were working with them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why didn't Facebook banned Cambridge in 2015?

ZUCKERBERG: And it's because as of the time that we learned about their activity in 2015, there weren't an advertiser they weren't running pages. So we actually have nothing to ban. When I went back and that would be my team afterwards they let me know that Cambridge Analytica, actually did start as an advertiser later in 2015, so we couldn't theory banned them, we made a mistake by not doing so, but I just want to make sure that I updated that, because I misspoke or got that wrong earlier.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Who is your biggest competitor?

ZUCKERBERG: Senator, we have a lot of competitors.

GRAHAM: Who's your biggest? Is Twitter the same as which you do?

ZUCKERBERG: It overlaps the portion of what we do.

GRAHAM: You don't think you have a monopoly?

ZUCKERBERG: Certainly doesn't feel like that to me.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your user agreement sucks.


ZUCKERBERG: There is a very common misperception about Facebook that we sell data to advertisers and we do not sell data to advertisers, we consulted to that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You clearly rent it.

ZUCKERBERG: What we allow is for advertisers to tell us who they want to reach and then we do the placement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you sustain a Venus model in which users don't pay for your service?

ZUCKERBERG: Senator, we ran that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we been going out for just under two hours, so I think will do --

ZUCKERBERG: We can do a few more.




CHURCH: Joining me now to talk more about this is, Rod Beckstrom, former Director of the National Cyber Security Council. Good to have you with us.


CHURCH: So how do you think Mark Zuckerberg did, after five hours of grilling by the Senate?

BECKSTROM: Excellent performance overall, as I said it's a bit of Shakespearean drama and he did a great job, his role in the Facebook global empire.

CHURCH: Right, and some have suggested that the Senate's lack of tech literacy actually saved Mark Zuckerberg. Would you agree with that assessment?

BECKSTROM: Let's say he did a brilliant job of leveraging or less than let's say computer science programming skills on average, yes. It was a good environment for him and it did really well, you know. Under that grilling and heat. So, good as to him and to prep team.

CHURCH: Right and I just want to listen to the back-and-forth between Senator Lindsey Graham and Mark Zuckerberg, Tuesday. Let us just bring that up.


GRAHAM: You don't think you have a monopoly?

ZUCKERBERG: Certainly doesn't feel like that to me.



ZUCKERBERG: My position is not that there should be no regulation. I think the internet is increasing --

GRAHAM: -- embrace regulation.

ZUCKERBERG: I think the real question as the internet becomes more important people's lives is what is the right regulation, not whether there should be --

GRAHAM: With you as a company welcome regulation?

ZUCKERBERG: I think if it's the right regulation, yes.

GRAHAM: You think the Europeans have it right?

ZUCKERBERG: I think of the get things right.

GRAHAM: Have you ever submitted?


That's truth. So would you work with us in terms of what regulations you think are necessary in your industry.

ZUCKERBERG: Absolutely.


CHURCH: So that thing seems to be the central question, doesn't it? What would be the right regulation for Facebook and indeed other social media platforms? What do you think? BECKSTROM: The right regulation is the Senator should get to work and

work on a privacy amendment to the bill of rights in our constitution, because short of that, I don't think we are going to really create the solid legal foundation we need to protect the privacy of American.

So that's the work for senators, you really be doing in my view. I think that the obviously I wanted to pull pound of flush out of Zuckerberg and he is offering, you know a little bit of his finger or something in terms of saying, hey, will cooperate with 72 hours, you know, this disclosures, possibly, etc.

So, I mean, I think a played it extremely well, but I would like to see Senator Lindsey Graham and others work privacy amendment. I mean, it is what I think is really needed and has been discussed in the past, but the senate has not move forward on it yet.

CHURCH: Right, I mean after all, Facebook has shown it is not able to police itself is it? What is Facebook need to do moving forward to prevent a future data breaches like this?

BECKSTROM: It sure look -- the reality is there in the business of gathering all the information they can from their users. You know, if you look at them like a global communications company, 30 years ago we have the phone company that you paid for access the phone company, but they had listen to your calls, they didn't track your words. They even grab your, you know, photos or any images or faxes that you shared.

The Facebook model is, they give you the communication for free, but you as a user, give them the right to all of your data and they are keeping everything and occupies on that, so the users need to understand and humans needs to understand, that is their business model. And at the same time, you know, we need to develop privacy regulations, but again, I think it really starts with, let's get the constitution right, I mean that's what made America and other countries in the world great, you know, let's get their the real mechanics right.

[03:45:11] In the meantime, there is a lot of tampering that can be done and thing could try to get tighten up but I don't it going to change the fundamental thing.

CHURCH: Yes, it seems to be a turning point for everyone to realize that that they need to keep up with the sort of technology, don't they and we have to be very careful with what we share. So, does any of this --

BECKSTROM: Absolutely.

CHURCH: Does any of this represents an existential threat to Facebook, do you think? And what's your advice to Facebook users after all I do note that you turned off your personal Facebook page, didn't you, about five years due to privacy reasons. Would you suggest the same to others?

BECKSTROM: I did. Well, look, you know, I have reasons for doing that and I don't regret, you know the decision sometimes it will be well can I do an opinion on Facebook is like, no.


But, look, the reality is, that's how they make their money. So, if you are going to use that platform, you got to decide, you want to give up all that data and otherwise you can use other platforms that are not monetizing their information, by the way, the center is a bit interesting, none of them offered to stop using Facebook. Most of them, if not all of them are using Facebook, for their own political campaigns, as part of their social media programs. I'd like to see some of them say, OK, we are not going to use it, until you get your privacy policies in line and your actions, but I didn't hear the volunteering there.

CHURCH: All right.

BECKSTROM: There is a lot more fun.

CHURCH: So, no existential threat here for Facebook?

BECKSTROM: Absolutely not. Facebook, look, if it is Shakespeare's time there is another great company that spread around the world that change the world is called the Dutch East India Company -- country -- company. It was even more powerful than Facebook and it went global it reshape the world. Facebook is reshaping the world as are its three big competitors, for the three competitors that Zuckerberg mention today. It's changing the world. These are global enterprises, they are actually is powerful as many governments and more powerful and the governments themselves and they -- they go across all the borders.

So this company is like the Dutch East India Company that had live for 200 years, I would not be surprised to see Facebook or its successors leaving for 200 years. It would a half trillion dollars market cap in their momentum, they are not going away, they will be affected, they will lose a little ground here, just as we seen those stock market value go down, but they are going to be with us in a long-term.

CHURCH: That is a very glowing assessment of Facebook. Rod Beckstrom, thank you so much for joining us, we appreciate it.

BECKSTROM: Thank you.

CHURCH: Well, speaking of Facebook it has suspended the Canadian advertising firm over a possible misuse of personal data. Facebook says the firm Aggregate IQ, could have links to the parent company of Cambridge Analytica. Aggregate says it has had nothing to do with it, and has done nothing wrong, but after Drew Griffin shows us just what the firm has been up to.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aggregate IQ created with the company's own records call a database of truth, the ability to collect shopping records, internet browsing, social media connections and voting records to create individual profiles on almost every voter in the United States. And according to Chris Vickery use that information to influence voters in a way never seen before.

CHRIS VICKERY, CYBER RISK ANALYST, UPGUARD: : Kind a like a -- being able to whisper in somebody's ear any message you want and nobody else is going to find out about. Think of all the things you can do with that ability.

GRIFFIN: Vickery, is director of Cyber Risk at UpGuard, a data risk security firm. It was through his smoothing, he came upon Aggregate IQ's unguarded work product exposing the company's campaign tools used in targeting voters for the Ted Cruz pack, for Texas governor Greg Abbott, a super pac for now National Security Advisor, John Bolton, along with several different campaigns supporting the U.K.'s Brexit's referendum.

VICKERY: Ted Cruz is actual personal email is in here.

GRIFFIN: Vickery says, it was all out in the open until Aggregate IQ was notified of the exposure. The company took just 11 minutes to take it all down. What was there? Vickery says a window into the type of campaigning that he says seeks to radicalize voters by changing how individuals receive political messages.

VICKERY: Let's say you get an email from your uncle that -- that loves Donald Trump and there's a hidden tracking pixel and it assumes your email client loads that image of the tracking pixel, their server can figure out what your I.P. addresses.

GRIFFIN: From there the software can track everything you bought online, get your home address and because Aggregate IQ was in possession of the Republican National Committee data on U.S. voters could determine your voter registration history. Combined with Facebook data, Vickery says it is a blueprint into how you think.

VICKERY: We know all this about you, what do we think we should target you with to engage you? How can we get you interested in downloading the app? How can we get you interested in liking posts like Ted Cruz, you know?

[03:50:02] GRIFFIN: Sounds both genius and frightening?

VICKERY: It is pretty genius and fairly frightening, yes.

GRIFFIN: Facebook continues to investigate how data from as many as 87 million users got into the hands of Cambridge Analytica. A London- based data firm that work for the Donald Trump campaign. This weekend, Facebook extended its investigation to include Aggregate IQ. The British Parliament is investigating both companies over the alleged misuse of personal data and also possible campaign spending violations tied to the Brexit campaign.

Despite the evidence linking the two companies, Aggregate IQ release this statement saying Aggregate IQ has never been and is not a part of Cambridge Analytica or SEL, denies ever using the Facebook data and says it has never knowingly been involved in any illegal activity. Phone calls to the company went unanswered. Drew Griffin CNN, Mountain View California. (END VIDEO)

CHURCH: And still to come, tropical cyclone Kenny is wreaking havoc on the South Pacific and causing widespread damage. Our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us in just a moment with the latest forecast.

Plus Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are about to tie their knots, find out who is getting an invitation and who is left of the world guest list. We are back with that in just a moment.


CHURCH: Well, the island of Fiji is recovering from a second cyclone in just 10 days, let's get the latest now on the forecast for that region from our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. Pedram, I always get worried when small islands like this get hit with weather systems like that.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely, I mean the frequency of this two and even so far 28, Rosemary, we've had twice the number of tropical cycles which is the impact of the islands across this region of the South Pacific. So, it's only a big story what is left of it right now just scattered showers and want to show you some video out of this region, because the rainfall has been tremendous here. To put it very lightly to have rainfall, not only each and every single day in the past week, but really going back to last 14 days for system rainfalls has come down and accumulated over -- 600 plus on millimeters of rain across this region.

So, if we take that, that's roughly the amount of rainfall for the city of London gets an entire year, folks across this region, the town of Noddy's(ph), just western portion of the large island of Fiji have experience the average being somewhere around 140 or so millimeters of rainfall. So, to bring in tropical cycle, Josie, you bring in Kenny and what is left of it is going to be four times the amount of rainfall you would see in the month of April and almost 40 percent of an entire year's worth of rainfall coming down on this community in the past two weeks alone. So that is how we know, bridges have been damaged here and communities certainly had been really blocked off, because the amount of damage and trees coming down as well.

This is climatologically the tail, end of the wet season, so we do expect drier conditions to persist across this region of Fiji as we go in to May and June, but notice the track of these two storms, one after another very close proximity effect closest approach the land, right there, was a similar for both Josie, Kimmy in the past couple of days.

Again this is -- it began moving farther to the South, nit going to be a direct impact the land, could see some showers impact areas of New Zealand and that's a very hard hit in recent days as well. We had at least two reports of tornadoes across New Zealand with the wild weather across this region, 20 is what the average in an entire years, so, talk about unusual weather there, Rosemary, unusual weather in Sydney, the hottest temperature ever observed in the month of April just occurred on Monday in Sydney coming in at 35.4 degrees and some 10 consecutive days above 25 for the month of April.

[03:55:21] That had never happened before across that region of Sydney, Rosie.

CHURCH: Unbelievable, we are getting use to all this extremes, don't we, Pedram?

JAVAHERI: We are. Absolutely.

CHURCH: Thank you so much.

We are getting a better idea of the guest list for the Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May. Kensington Palace says there will be no political leaders unless they are also personal friends of the couple, that means Donald and Melania Trump are not invited nor is Prime Minister Theresa May. A royal source said, the Obama's are not coming either, but it's not clear whether or not they were invited. The ceremony will take place inside St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. And some 2600 people will be invited to the Council grounds to watch the newlyweds to path, they include charity workers, injured service members, young community leaders, members of the Royal household and students from local schools. We suspect one of the world family's biggest fans would happily accept an invitation to the wedding as well. Here is Margaret Tyler.


MARGARET TYLER, CHARITY WORKER: This is my lovely picture of Harry and Meghan, I love this picture and just so this is it all that so filled with happiness, aren't they?


CHURCH: The 74-year-old fan is also known as Britain's Loyalist royalist as you can see, Margaret's home is virtually a shrine honoring the royal family, it's filled with at least 10,000 souvenirs ranging from coffee mugs to more unusual items like toilet seats. The home also doubles as a bed-and-breakfast and attracts visitors curious about the royal items she has collected over the years.


TYLER: You will be amazed how quickly the time passes. You know, people sit with us and talk to us. Take our photographs and bring cakes for us and that sort of thing. So it got really a big party actually and on the actual day, when they come out with the baby, that is -- oh, that is fantastic. I would miss the royals.


CHURCH: Oh, no word yet, if Margaret was invited to next month's Royal wedding, but given all her hard work, I think she certainly deserves, doesn't she?

Thanks for your company this hour, I'm Rosemary Church, remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter. The news continues now with Max Foster in London. You are watching CNN. Have a great day.