Return to Transcripts main page
Russian Company Had Access to Facebook User Data; Trump's Trade War Escalating; Cave Rescue Video; Trump Disrupting NATO Meeting?. Aired 3-3:30p ET
Aired July 11, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: And what the fallout is. We do know that marketing service, the marketing company Laundry Service has already canceled its contract with Papa John's.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They have.
CABRERA: Alison Kosik, thank you very much.
Thanks for rolling with me to the top of the hour. I'm Ana Cabrera, in for Brooke Baldwin. Great to have you with us on this Wednesday, a dramatic Wednesday, with the president kicking off the NATO summit by scolding one of America's closest allies and demanding all members of NATO pay up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have to bring it up, because I think it's very unfair to our country, it's very unfair to our taxpayers.
And I think that these countries have to step it, not over a 10-year period. They have to step up immediately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: European leaders expected tough rhetoric from the president, especially about defense spending.
They may not have been prepared, however, for this. At a welcome breakfast, with cameras rolling, President Trump planned Germany.
Listen to what the president said and the awkward moment just hours later sitting alongside Chancellor Angela Merkel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Germany is a captive of Russia, because they supply. They got rid of their coal plants. They got rid of their nuclear. They're getting so much of the oil and gas from Russia. We have a very, very good relationship with the chancellor. We have a
tremendous relationship with Germany. They have made tremendous -- we have had tremendous success. And I congratulate you, tremendous success.
And I believe that our trade will increase and lots of other things will increase.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Did you catch that at the top there, Trump labeling Germany a captive of Russia?
I want to bring in Jeff Zeleny, CNN senior White House correspondent, live in Brussels.
So, Jeff, talk us through the drama of this NATO summit and why he is so unhappy with allies.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, there is no question that this is a longstanding complaint and criticism that the United States has made against other -- against other NATO countries, particularly the spending.
I mean, there is a commitment, a goal of each NATO country should spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product, their GDP, on military defense spending. It's called collective defense.
So, the defense of all these various countries already should an attack happened, of course, 9/11 a prime example. Germany, other NATO countries came to the aid of the U.S. after that.
Well, there has been -- only five of those 29 countries are spending at that level. The president today suggested that spending actually should be some 4 percent of GDP. Even the U.S. does not make that goal.
But what is really going on here I think very interestingly today, Ana, was the president throwing up the idea of Russia -- and Germany being essentially beholden to Russia.
Of course, he has been criticized for that very thing. One leader who is not here in Brussels is Russian President Vladimir Putin. He's certainly looming large here. But the president, it seemed to us, was certainly throwing up the idea of Germany and Russia because of their connection of that gas pipeline beneath the Baltic Sea as that, no, it's Germany who's beholden to Russia, not the U.S.
But, interestingly, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who of course grew up in Soviet era East Germany, said she does not need to be lectured on what it's like to be a captive of Russia -- Ana.
CABRERA: And despite all that playing out before our very eyes, the president heading into dinner tonight, said everything was going very good, his words.
Thank you very much, Jeff Zeleny.
To discuss further, to dissect the dynamics, I want to bring in David Priess. He's a former CIA intelligence officer. And Elise Labott with us, CNN's global affairs correspondent.
Elise, let me start with you.
Is the NATO alliance stronger or weaker after today?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Ana, I think obviously going into the meeting with President Putin, he's going to see it maybe as weaker because it's not united going in with a strong message about Russia.
I don't necessarily think the alliance itself is any weaker today because, when you look at the communique of what the NATO countries agreed to, they still did agree to boost up their collective offense. They're opening up two new commands, one in Europe to kind of respond quickly to threats and boosting up logistics, and another on the East Coast to protect transatlantic sea lanes.
And so, despite President Trump's rhetoric, I don't think the commitments of the countries are any -- the same -- in fact, some diplomats have joked that it kind of unified the rest of the members around each other against President Trump.
I think these comments that he's talking about, certainly, this is what President Putin wants to hear. This is one of his main goals is to kind of divide the alliance. But if you listen to what other members of the alliance are saying, if you listen to some of President Trump's own advisers who are trying to do damage control, everybody is trying to stay on the same page.
The only one that's going off the reservation is the president. And it's unclear whether this is just about rhetoric or whether he means it.
CABRERA: We even showed the picture earlier where the president looking one way and every other member of NATO during the family picture is looking the other way.
But, David, when you -- when we talk about the president disrupting things, he threw out this ask today that NATO countries double defense spending in their commitment from 2 percent to 4 percent, when most of the countries aren't even meeting that lower goal of 2 percent.
What do you make of that?
DAVID PRIESS, FORMER CIA OFFICER: Alliance management is hard enough went when you have a common goal and you have unity of purpose.
It's a lot harder when you're throwing out something that is patently ridiculous. Trying to get the countries to meet their commitments by 2024 of spending 2 percent of GDP on defense, that's a reasonable policy, and that's one that you can try to build towards with your meetings with these leaders.
Suddenly throwing out 4 percent, which the United States itself would have to spend hundreds of billions of dollars more, at a time when the government doesn't have a lot of extra money to spend, that's throwing a wrench into things.
And it makes me think that the fundamental purpose of NATO either isn't understood or is being pushed aside. The first NATO secretary- general famously said that the purpose of NATO was to keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.
The president seems to have corrupted that to be, build the Russians up, get the Americans out, and put the Germans down. It's hard to watch.
CABRERA: I kind of wonder, Elise, if this is President Trump trying to work his art of the deal, part of his negotiating strategy for sort of aiming for the moon and then landing on what he actually wants people to give when he's asking for 4 percent and still really hoping just for 2 percent.
Could that be what's going on here?
LABOTT: Well, I think this is Trump and the art of the deal.
I'm not necessarily sure, Ana, that it's really only about defense spending. If you listen to that press opportunity with Angela Merkel when he said they have a good relationship, there was also something noticed at the end, we're going to have more trade.
And I think what President Trump is doing a lot of ways is trying to kind of up the ante in terms of these negotiations with Germany and other E.U. members in terms of trade. That issue of tariffs is very important and very controversial.
And I think he is conflating a little bit what the whole issue of the E.U. and tariffs and NATO. I'm not sure that he necessarily understands kind of the difference. He just all lumps them into these countries are fleecing America.
But I will just on David's point say I think that what NATO countries would agree to, even as they have said -- and you heard the NATO secretary-general today acknowledge, give those props to President Trump for raising the issue of defense spending and getting countries to do it.
This is also sparking a real question about the purpose of NATO. This debate never really happened after the fall of the Soviet Union. And what diplomats are saying is, Russia is really not the kind of unifying threat that it was before.
So, I think when President Trump questions the usefulness of NATO, I think this is a larger question that goes far beyond him wanting to lower the U.S. or raise everyone else's percentage.
PRIESS: It's really hard to see the NATO secretary-general doing anything else.
I'm trying to imagine how in a diplomatic meeting you would see anything other than the secretary-general taking the high road and saying, yes, this is a topic we need to discuss, because that is what diplomats do.
Donald Trump not behaving like a typical diplomat, he's trying to shift the pieces by flipping the board. And all the diplomats are still playing diplomat, saying, what can we make out of this, how can we still so some unity?
Even Secretary Pompeo, the secretary of state, came out with an epic subtweet of the president by saying, we are all united. Weakness is a problem. We are cohesive.
Well, Donald Trump didn't show that, but his secretary of state is trying to do the diplomatic thing and build something from this.
CABRERA: Real quick, David, before I let you go, what do you think the president, President Trump, could do to send a message that puts Putin in his place going into their summit?
PRIESS: Well, two things.
First of all, a united NATO is more of a threat to Russia and more of a defense against Russia than a divided NATO. So instead of throwing a bomb on the floor this morning and seeing what would happen, perhaps get people together and come out with a unified statement about Russian meddling in elections in the United States, in domestic affairs in Greece, which news broke today about the Greeks kicking out some Russians because of that.
The second thing to do is go to Helsinki and actually look Putin in the eye and talk about election interference and talk about interfering in United States politics, instead of brushing it aside, saying, oh, we don't need to discuss it.
You need to do both of those to be effective.
CABRERA: David and Elise, thank you both for joining us.
Up next, the remarkable video inside that daring cave rescue -- a firsthand look at just how difficult it was for the rescue as this all unfolded underground.
Also, a trade war escalating. Trump hits China with a new round of tariffs, $200 billion worth. Neither country backing down, but is this a war the U.S. can win?
And did he walk too far? New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio responding to allegations that he illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border on foot. Details ahead.
CABRERA: Thailand's navy SEALs are calling their amazing cave rescue the operation the world will never forget.
And we are now seeing for the first time the new dramatic video of how this rescue went down. The Thai navy just released these images of divers getting ready to go inside. We're going to show you much more in a moment.
But just take a look at how dark it is, how deep the water is. We're also seeing for the first time video of the boys recovering in the hospital, tears of joy as their parents wave to their sons through the glass windows.
These boys are still in isolation for medical reasons, but the doctors say everybody is healthy.
For a closer look now at the rescue video, I want to bring in diving expert Tim Taylor.
Let's walk through some of these images, several videos that I want to show our viewers as well, as first they're getting ready to go underwater. I mean, clearly, the conditions aren't good.
What stands out to you when you look at some of this?
TIM TAYLOR, PRESIDENT, TIBURON SUBSEA SERVICES: Well, this typical cave diving. It's not always clear down there.
You get dark water and your actually diving by braille. These cave divers are used to this.
CABRERA: We see them point with an arrow at the wire that they're using. Is that typical as we well?
TAYLOR: Yes. Typically, any cave diver, even deep divers like myself in open water when we go into wrecks, will lie -- lay line. And that line is tied in, so you can follow it in and out when it's pitch black or dark or you can't see.
You have that line. That's lifeline to traverse back and forth.
CABRERA: We saw somebody else also check the watch. Timing is key?
TAYLOR: Timing is -- yes, I would imagine that they're not dealing with decompression in this type of thing. They're not deep enough. There is not enough water to cause the collection of nitrogen in their system.
But I would imagine time getting through certain legs and the amount of gas that you have is all important, so they keep an eye on that.
CABRERA: Let's take a look at some of the cliffs that they had to encounter and had to navigate.
I mean, it is steep. It is slippery. And obviously it is dark.
TAYLOR: Yes, yes.
Obviously, there's dry areas of the cave. But if you put this underwater and have to navigate this. it's an impossible feat, what they did. So this rescue is equivalent to our generation of Apollo 13 maybe. But the whole world was watching. The whole world wanted these guys to come back. And it was successful.
CABRERA: It was really interesting to see how they brought the boys out.
Let's turn to this video where we actually see this boy on a gurney.
TAYLOR: Yes. Yes.
CABRERA: Why put him on a gurney?
TAYLOR: Well, if they can carry him or the child through areas that they don't have to walk themselves, they can save energy, I would imagine.
Again, this is two miles, two-and-a-half miles deep in the cave. Some of it, they're swimming. Then they get out. There's probably teams there to help them get each section. And they restage that every day, so they could get threat other people in place to help the kids get through the cave and conserve energy and be able to do this, the stamina.
CABRERA: They also had to use water pumps, I understand, as part of this rescue. Explain the process there.
TAYLOR: The theory was for them, and it was successful, they were able to put pumps into certain areas of the cave, and stay ahead of the water.
So they could lower the water in those sections to make less of a water area that the children had to get through. By pumping the water out, they could be terrestrial. They could walk it, instead of having to swim it.
CABRERA: And finally I just have to ask because we are honoring the celebration that this is.
At the same time, though, there's sort of that sad lining to all of this with the diver who died prior to the actual rescues happening. How much do you think that's in the back of their mind as they're conducting threat rescues?
TAYLOR: I think that's a real key element to this.
The divers, every one of those divers, every single one of those volunteers put their life on the line to get these kids out. And one of them paid the ultimate price. It is not just the diver that lost their lives. Every one of those gentlemen were doing that. And they need to be recognized for that.
CABRERA: Well, Tim Taylor, thank you for helping us understand the process.
TAYLOR: You're welcome.
CABRERA: Amazing story. Obviously, we're all so happy, the outcome that it ended up being.
Up next: new privacy problems for Facebook. What a CNN investigation uncovered about a Russian company that may have still been gathering data on users, even after Facebook said the practice should have stopped. Details next.
Also, for the second day in a row, the Republican-led U.S. Senate pushing back on one of President Trump's policy decisions. This time, some of the president's closest allies say escalating tariffs on China is a bad idea.
CABRERA: We have just into CNN. The founder of faith the Papa John's pizza is now apologizing and admitting that a report he used the N- word on a conference call back in May is true.
John Schnatter had been talking to a marketing agency when he was asked how he would distance himself from racist groups online. And Schnatter reportedly responded: "Colonel Sanders called blacks" -- and then he used the N-word. And he complained that Sanders never faced public backlash for using it.
Well, in a just released statement, Schnatter said -- quote -- "News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true. Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society."
A major Russian Internet company with ties to Vladimir Putin may have had access to your personal data on Facebook long after the social media site said it did not.
For more on this, I'm joined by senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin.
Drew, what did you discover?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: What we're learning, Ana, is this Russian company with links to the Kremlin, as you said, could have been harvesting Facebook user data from Americans, and even after Facebook learned of that possibility, Facebook gave Mail.Ru a two-week extension to wind down two of its apps.
This is all coming out now as Facebook continues to investigate just how and who misused Facebook user data. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK ZUCKERBERG, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, FACEBOOK: Yes, there was abuse.
And that's why, in 2014, we took the step of fundamentally changing how the platform works.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): When Mark Zuckerberg told a congressional committee his social network shut down apps that gathered users' personal information, he didn't mention this: a list of 61 app developers Facebook now says were given an extension, the ability to keep gathering data from Facebook users for up to an additional six months.
Among them, the Russian Internet giant Mail.Ru, which ran hundreds of apps on Facebook. What does that mean to you?
Michael Carpenter is the former deputy assistant secretary of defense covering Russia.
MICHAEL CARPENTER, FORMER U.S. DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: What this means is that all data that Facebook users shared through this agreement with Mail.Ru is now available to the Russian intelligence services, all of it. And that is incredibly troubling.
GRIFFIN: The Facebook data privacy breach that gave companies the ability to harvest, use and target your personal Facebook information and your friends included a Russian Internet firm with links to Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.
That means if you were on Facebook before 2015, your name, gender, birth date, location photos and page likes were all available to the companies that ran the apps. Mail.Ru is controlled by a USM Holdings, a company founded by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov that the U.S. Treasury Department lists as having ties to the Kremlin.
Mail.Ru had the ability to use Facebook to harvest U.S. citizens' data through apps and games, but the company has denied doing that. In a statement to CNN, the Russian company said only about 5 percent of its users are in the U.S. and that "We have not collected data on any Facebook users via Facebook apps, other than for the purposes of in- game mechanics."
Facebook told CNN it's still investigating what Mail.Ru did its Facebook gaps and said in a statement: "Mail.Ru, one of the top five largest Internet companies in the world, has built apps for the Facebook platform and for other major platforms, including IOS and Android, for years. We have found no indication of misuse with Mail.Ru."
CARPENTER: It doesn't matter what the original intent was from the company, which may well benign. But once that data is in their possession, it's then under the purview of the Russian intelligence services. (END VIDEOTAPE)
GRIFFIN: And, Ana, Facebook insists there is no evidence it found that this Russian company did misuse its data.
But when we asked how Facebook could possibly know that, the company spokesperson cited confidentiality agreements and then ended the interview.
Security officials have told CNN, if a Russian Internet company did have data on its users, then most likely the Russian Secret Service would have had access. Already, one senator demanding Facebook get to the bottom of this -- Ana.
CABRERA: Yes, not very reassuring there.
Drew Griffin, thank you for that recording.
President Trump today raising the stakes on its trade war with China, unveiling a plan to impose new tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, this time, the U.S. targeting clothes, seafood, even baseball gloves.
Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, who is typically a Trump supporter, didn't seem entirely convinced this is a sound strategy. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: I'm not a great believer in tariffs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: All right, let's talk it over with CNN Money's Richard Quest, hosts of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS."
Richard, we heard Orrin Hatch call this move reckless in terms of the trade war with China.
I want to ask you about the very latest now, because the Senate has taken action, has sort of thrown a curve ball at the Trump administration, in fact, passed overwhelmingly -- they approved this idea that the president would need to get congressional approval to do more with tariffs if he's using national security at his reasoning.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Going nowhere. It is going nowhere, and it won't go anywhere. The president has the authority at the moment to that which he's already done.
It seems to me quite clear that that is his area of responsibility and to trade legislation. And in any event, the process has already begun. The process has begun to actually change in terms of the second round of tariffs against China.
CABRERA: You're saying too little too late. What's going to be the impact of this new round of tariffs? QUEST: Look, what it really comes down to is whether it is a mere
negotiating plea, this $250 billion against China, to try and bring them to the table.
If it is, I don't think it is going to work. The Chinese are pretty much clear. And even if it does to some extent bring them to the table -- and there are no negotiations taking place at the moment, by the way, serious negotiations of which we are aware -- China is going to retaliate through the backdoor.
It's going to retaliate through non-tariff measures.
CABRERA: And you say that because China can't do quid pro quo here, right, because, obviously, the U.S. brings in way more goods from China