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Massive Spending Bill Clears Key Hurdle In House; Soon: Trump To Unveil New Tariffs On China; Trump And Biden Trade Tough Talk Of A Fistfight; Facebook CEO: "I'm Really Sorry" About Massive Data Breach. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired March 22, 2018 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there. I'm Brianna Keilar in for Kate Bolduan. Breaking news, drama on the House floor, a massive $1.3 trillion spending bill narrowly clearing a key hurdle in the House.
CNN congressional correspondent, Sunlen Serfaty is up on Capitol Hill where she is watching all of this. What happened here, Sunlen?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, some real moments of drama on the House floor this morning, Brianna, over a procedural vote, which really underscores how each and every step of this spending bill will face its hurdles and certainly why Republican leaders are essentially sweating through every step that the bill must take between now and midnight on Friday.
There was some drama over procedural vote in the House this morning, basically a rule to get on to the bill. Some drama whether that will go forward, but that essentially did pass through by a vote of 211-207 in the House, which means that essentially they can move on to the bill and cast their votes on this spending bill.
That bodes well for this bill likely getting through the House, then it will get sent over to the Senate where as we have been reporting in recent days, there it gets tricky too. We have certain degree of -- Senator Rand Paul is certainly not being clear what he intends to do.
Whether he will essentially stand in the way, procedurally of this bill from going forward as he did back in February with the last spending bill. He has the ability to essentially push this past the midnight deadline, although, the votes are here in the Senate to ultimately get it through.
Now, what is in this bill, over 2,000 pages long, 1.3 trillion in spending, and includes money for the Defense Department, infrastructure, the opioid crisis, the fix nics background check bill, which improves the existing background checks system, but certainly falls very short of those sweeping gun control measures that many Democrats wanted.
It also improves money for border security, money for the new construction of border fencing, but falls short of President Trump's goal of funding the border wall. A lot left on the table as well, this bill does not address DACA, doesn't address the health care market stabilization bill.
So, a lot of concerns too, the fact that many lawmakers did not have time to read all 2,000 pages in this bill. The fact that it was just posted late last night, and they have to pass this through by midnight on Friday.
But, again, Brianna, this kind of skirmish on the House floor this morning, some drama over just the procedural vote, really underscores the tract this vote has to go through where every step of the way is going to be a little uncertainty and certainly a lot of grumbling up her from many lawmakers that they didn't have time and passing this through really quickly -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Grumbling will be the name of the game. I think you're right. Sunlen Serfaty on Capitol Hill for us.
At the White House, President Trump will soon unveil new tariffs on Chinese goods coming into the U.S. and Beijing is jabbing right back with new threats to retaliate. Much of the world is watching as the threat of a global trade war rattles nerves and also markets as you can see. This morning, the Dow tumbling out of the gate, dropping more than 300 points in the opening minutes.
CNN's Kaitlan Collins at the White House for us. What all do we know about these tariffs, Kaitlan?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Brianna, the president is set to sign these here in the next hour or so at the White House. It is at least $50 billion in tariffs and penalties and the White House says this is in response to years of technology and trade secret theft from China and pressure on the U.S. to give them those trade secrets and technology secrets in order to do business in their markets.
This doesn't come as much of a surprise here at the White House because the president time and time again on the campaign trail promised to be very tough on China. At times threatening to label the currency manipulator once going to into office and to be clear, these are much more politically popular on Capitol Hill than those steel and aluminum tariff imports on imports he imposed in recent weeks.
But the question here is what impacts does this have? You can see the market there, but also China is threatening to retaliate depending on what exactly comes out in this, in the wash here at 12 when the president does sign these.
This comes as the president, as you know, is negotiating a sit-down with the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, something he's going to need the Chinese's help on. What impact does this have on the U.S./China relationship? And the question is, does it contribute to the relationship at all or does it fray that relationship here -- Brianna. KEILAR: And so, he has perhaps this fight that is going to start with China. He's also -- he also has, Kaitlan, this other fight going on, on Twitter, with the former Vice President Joe Biden. Let's listen first to what Biden said the other day that really got President Trump's attention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:05:09] JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When a guy who ended up becoming our national leader said, I can grab a woman anywhere and she likes it, and then said I made a mistake. They asked me would I like to debate the gentleman, I said, no, if we were in high school, I'd take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: I mean, when you heard that, Kaitlan, you knew that this wasn't going to be unanswered by President Trump. What is he saying?
COLLINS: Certainly not, Brianna. He does not forget the smallest slight, he didn't forget that one from Joe Biden. He quickly responded on Twitter this morning saying, "Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak both mentally and physically and yet he threatens me for the second time with physical assault.
He said he doesn't know me, but he would go down fast and hard crying all the way. Don't threaten people, Joe." So, Brianna, we have got something very fascinating here that does not often happen in Washington where the president of the United States is threatening to beat up the former vice president of the United States, who threatened to beat him up, and these men are both in their 70s.
To be clear, this is never going to happen, but that, it goes to speak to what kind of state Washington is in right now, when this is what we're talking about and this is what the president is tweeting about on a day when he's going to announce these tariffs, a lot of other things going on. This is where we are -- Brianna.
KEILAR: When you describe it in such plain language, exactly what it is, Kaitlan, you almost can't help but roll your eyes a little bit. We do appreciate that. Kaitlan Collins, thank you so much.
Joining me now are CNN senior political analyst, Mark Preston, and CNN senior political reporter, Nia Malika Henderson. Let's start off where we left off.
NIA MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Do we have to?
KEILAR: I love how Kaitlan did that. She just explained exactly what it is. I mean, this is ridiculousness, Mark Preston.
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It is ridiculousness and it just really shows you where we are at this state in our political nature, I guess. You know, not only do we have really, really bad partisanship on Capitol Hill, Republicans can't even -- barely able to get their own bills through the House of Representatives.
Now you have this eighth-grade shouting match back at each other. Guess what, they're doing it over social media. It is almost like what I did with my children, day in and day out, and they're 12 and 13.
KEILAR: OK. But it also makes me think if we're just going through this tiny little snippet of an episode here, watching this, Joe Biden is considering running for president. So, then I think what would 2020 look like if this is what you're deemed --
HENDERSON: This kind of back and forth schoolyard taunting, this is a fight, you know, the actual fight between two 70-year-olds. I wouldn't pay to see that but --
PRESTON: You wouldn't pay to see that? I would pay a lot of money to see that.
HENDERSON: Come on. So, yes, we might see this in terms of them going at it in 2020. What is interesting here is that the idea for Democrats in 2016 was when they go low, you know, Democrats go high. This, you know, Biden seems like if Trump goes low, he's going to go low and maybe even lower. That would be an interesting matchup to see.
He certainly is not taking the tactic that Obama is taking, he doesn't really talk about Donald Trump, doesn't say his name. He's there, threatening this guy, basically saying he beat him up. They were in the eighth grade.
PRESTON: It's worth noting, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, two absolutely different gentlemen, grew up absolutely different, Joe Biden, the scrapper from Pennsylvania, grew up in Delaware, you know, his father had to leave to go work and had -- you know, and then you have Donald Trump who grew up in a life of privilege. I think what you're seeing from Joe Biden is Joe Biden looking at him and there is a little bit of a privilege thing, a class war going on.
HENDERSON: And Biden is saying he's the real deal, right? He's the real working-class guy, which is why Obama wanted him on that ticket. He could talk to the working class white voters.
KEILAR: Let's talk about this move that is coming here shortly from the White House, where we're expecting tariffs on Chinese goods. Amid -- the reaction that we're seeing from China is clearly one indicating that they may be retaliating here. I mean, what is your expectation, Mark, especially as there are big concerns that we're heading for a trade war.
PRESTON: I say that, you know, I'm not the trade expert, I would suggest we watch what happens at the markets today, not only here in the United States, but let's see what happens overnight and let's see what's going on around the world because I think you'll see some major, major concerns coming out of investors.
KEILAR: Do you think that the White House is hearing this concern? Very clearly the president campaigned on taking on trade issues, intellectual property, that's the reason that the White House is saying, look, China is ripping off intellectual property, this needs to be taken to task, there is questions about whether this is the right way to do it.
But these are things they talked about, promises that he made, but is the White House aware, there say difference between campaigning and governing, are they aware of the fallout of this?
[11:10:05] HENDERSON: Well, the people around Trump, at this point, if you think about the people who aren't there anymore, Gary Cohn for instance, he had concerns, but people like Peter Navarro seemed to be on the same page and echoing the president's tough talk and action on this.
The president said bring it on essentially in terms of a trade war thinking America would ultimately win. That's to be determined. We don't know what China is going to do we don't know what this is going to do to the price of goods in America. That's where the kind of unknowns are, and we'll see the markets, I guess, already down about 300 points.
KEILAR: A little over 300 points.
HENDERSON: Let's see what they do going forward.
PRESTON: Worth noting, let's see what Larry Kudlow says when he comes in. He's somebody who is not for trade wars.
KEILAR: Yes, we'll see. Mark Preston, Nia Malika Henderson, thank you so much to both of you.
Coming up, Special Counsel Bob Mueller has some questions for President Trump and now CNN knows what they're about. We'll have details ahead.
Plus, a CNN exclusive, Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, finally breaking his silence on this massive data scandal that has sparked serious backlash against the social network. He says he's really sorry and a whole lot more. Is it enough, though? We'll have that next.
KEILAR: Now to a CNN exclusive, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is breaking his silence on the scandal that he himself calls a major breach of trust. Data firm, Cambridge Analytica, collected personal information from up to 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge. Then it used that data to influence elections in the U.S. and Great Britain.
CNN's senior tech correspondent, Laurie Segall, got this exclusive big interview and she is joining us live from San Francisco. Laurie, tell us all about this, what did Mark Zuckerberg tell you? LAURIE SEGALL, CNN SENIOR TECH CORRESPONDENT: What a fascinating moment to go into Facebook, it is almost historical with the type of pressure. By the way, everybody was waiting to hear from Mark. Everyone was saying where in the world is Mark during these really tough times.
And I went to the office yesterday, I sat down with him, here in Menlo Park right near Facebook and, you know, he started out, Brianna, by saying I'm sorry. Take a listen.
MARK ZUCKERBERG, FOUNDER AND CEO, FACEBOOK: This was a major breach of trust and I'm really sorry that this happened. We have a basic responsibility to protect people's data. And if we can't do that, then we don't deserve to have the opportunity to serve people. So, our responsibility now is to make sure that this doesn't happen again.
SEGALL: Lawmakers in the United States and the U.K. are asking you to testify. Everybody wants you to show up. Will you testify before Congress?
ZUCKERBERG: So, the short answer is I'm happy to if it is the right thing to do. Facebook testifies in Congress regularly on a number of topics, some high profile and some not. And our objective is always to provide Congress the extremely important job, to have the most information that they can.
We see a small slice of activity on Facebook. But Congress gets to, you know, have access to the information across Facebook and all other companies and the intelligence community and everything. So, what we try to do is send the person at Facebook who will have the most knowledge about what Congress is trying to learn. So, if that's me. Then I am happy to go.
SEGALL: Given the stakes here, why shouldn't Facebook be regulated?
ZUCKERBERG: I actually am not sure we shouldn't be regulated. I think in general technology is an increasing -- increasingly important trend in the world and I actually think the question is more what is the right regulation rather than yes or no, should it be regulated?
SEGALL: What is the right regulation?
ZUCKERBERG: There is some basic things, I think there is some big intellectual debates. On the basic side, you know, there are things like ads transparency regulation that I would like to see. If you look at how much regulation there is around advertising, on tv, in print, just not clear why there should be less on the internet.
You should have the same level of transparency required. I don't know if a bill is going to pass. I know a couple of senators are working really hard on this. But we're committed, and we've actually already started rolling out ad transparency tools that accomplish most of the things that are in the bills that people are talking about today. Because we just think that this is an important thing. People should know who is buying the ads that they see on Facebook and should be able to go to any page and see the ads people are running to different audiences.
SEGALL: Do you think that bad actors are using Facebook at this moment to meddle with the U.S. midterm elections?
ZUCKERBERG: I'm sure someone is trying. I'm sure that there is, you know, v2, version 2 of whatever the Russian effort was in 2016. I'm sure they're working on that and there will be new tactics that we need to make sure we observe and get in front of.
SEGALL: Do you know what -- speaking of getting in front of them, do you know what they are? Do you have any idea?
ZUCKERBERG: Yes, and I think we have some sense of the different things that we need to get in front of.
SEGALL: You know, what Mark said to me is they're putting quite a few resources into that. They're putting a lot of money and a lot of people towards trying to get in front of that, so we don't see what we saw in 2016. He said that he flat out said to me we could have done a much better job protecting the platform in 2016. So, I think we're all going to be carefully looking to make sure that we don't see the type of manipulation that we saw in the past election as we head toward the midterms -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Laurie, it really stuck out to me when he said if he's the right person to testify before Congress, he will testify before Congress. But the general practice is that whoever knows the most goes before Congress. I mean, that's just not how it works, right? If there is a problem with a company, the CEO goes up.
[11:20:06] We have seen that when it comes to car companies, oil companies. Does he understand that? Does Facebook understand that?
SEGALL: Yes. I think Facebook does understand that. I get the sense that also, you know, they know because he's not out there enough, they haven't put him out there enough, that it will be a spectacle when he goes, and for good reason.
I know from talking to sources within the company there is a whole back story of deciding who would go testify with the Russia investigation and the weaponization of the platform. You know, so I know there are a lot of conversations going behind the scenes.
I think it would be fascinating and important to see him be the face of this, Mark Zuckerberg is one of the most well-known people in the world and this is a massive, massive problem. I think we need some accountability and for him to show up.
KEILAR: Yes, I agree with you on that. Laurie Segall, fantastic interview. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
I want to bring in Senator Ed Markey, a Democrat, serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and on the Commerce Committee. Sir, thanks for being with us. Facebook was, of course, actually founded in your state. You've been very clear you want Zuckerberg before the Commerce Committee. You just sent him a letter to that effect this morning.
You heard what he said to CNN, he would testify if it were the right thing to do, if he's the one who knows the most about something. I imagine that you have a differing point of view from him on whether that is the rational for whether he should appear before your committee.
SEN. ED MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Yes, I don't think there is any question that he is the right person to testify. When there was a BP oil spill, the CEO of BP was the right person to testify before Congress to explain why there were no blowout preventers that worked. We had a big oil spill.
Now we have a huge data spill, which has occurred, and he is the CEO of Facebook and he has to come because no one understands the algorithms of Facebook better than him. He knows how they use to gather information, and he should also know how they use to protect information from being leaked.
And so, he should explain what are those algorithms and how were they penetrated and other penetrations of the privacy of Americans going on right now because those safeguards are not in place.
KEILAR: If you -- if you had a chance to have him at a hearing there, what questions would you ask?
MARKEY: Well, I would want to know when they knew that the privacy of Americans was being compromised by this professor and then by Cambridge Analytica. What did they do? And did they, in fact, understand that that might be a lesson that then should ensure that at that point in time that they began to examine all of the apps, which could be used in order to take this private information of families, of children, across our country, and then be put into the hands of complete strangers while Facebook was operating under a consent decree from 2011.
They were on privacy probation since 2011, where they promised that without explicit permission they would not allow for the disclosure of any information, of any American. They have to answer those questions. What did they do to put in place the protections under the 2011 consent decree to ensure the complete protection of the privacy of all Americans.
KEILAR: You want to know whether there is ongoing attempts to try to get this information. The intel community has been really clear that Russia is, as we speak, interfering in U.S. elections. This includes the upcoming midterms this year. Zuckerberg expressed confidence that his company can get in front of bad actors like Russia. Do you share that confidence? MARKEY: I think that they are late, and I think other tech companies are late. They clearly have a conflict because they make money in the monetization of this information, and the less able they are to gather it and then sell it out into the marketplace is the less they may be reducing their -- the more they may be reducing their profitability.
So, the question we're going to have for him is do you support a privacy Bill of Rights? I've introduced this bill into Congress. That would be one, that every American has the knowledge that information is being gathered about them, two, that the company to which they gave it is now reselling that information to other companies, other individuals.
And, three, that Americans have the right to say no, knowledge, notice that it is being re-used and the right to say no. And if they break that privacy set of protections, then there are huge penalties that the company has to pay.
[11:25:00] BP had to pay a huge penalty because they did not have safety precautions in place. Here it is the data, it is the privacy of all of Americans that has been compromised. We need real penalties that are now put on the books that ensure that each of these companies understand that it is not just an oops, it is more than that.
It goes right to our identity as Americans, especially if Russians are trying to penetrate and ultimately this information was put in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, owned by Robert Mercer, Vice President Steve Bannon, Consultant Michael Flynn. So, this is very serious, it goes to the right to the heart of the privacy of Americans and democracy in our country.
KEILAR: You know about this movement right now, this #deletefacebookmovement. A lot of people are saying I'm getting rid of my account. Do you think that Americans should delete their Facebook accounts?
MARKEY: My feeling is that if people are not confident that their information is being protected, if safeguards are not in place, if the algorithms to protect the privacy of Americans has not been instituted, by Facebook, other companies, then people should be aware. They should be very cautious about whether or not they take their most private information and put it into the hands of this company. That's what we're learning.
I think that's what's happening in the marketplace, people are saying, this clearly there is no privacy. That's the new revelation, I think, that is coming to the American people, but these companies should have known all along that they did not have privacy protections at a level that was sufficient in the past and then raises the question of willful blindness.
Did they know it was happening? But just decide as -- it went up level by level that ultimately they would not put the protections in place? We don't know the answers to these questions yet and in the absence of those answers, I think many Americans are just saying, I'm going to take my information off those companies' websites until I'm sure that it is protected.
KEILAR: Senator Ed Markey, thanks so much for being with us.
MARKEY: Thank you.
KEILAR: So, we're just moments away right now from the House Speaker Paul Ryan, he's going to address the details of this gigantic $1.3 trillion spending bill. What's in it? What's out of it? Is this even going to pass? Stay with us