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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Trump Tells Russia to Get Ready for Missile Strike on Syria; Kremlin: Won't Take Part in Twitter Diplomacy; Two Hundred and Fifty Seven Killed in Algeria Military Plane Crash; House Speaker Ryan to Retire from Congress in November; Trump Considers Firing Mueller and Rosenstein; Zuckerberg Tussles with Lawmakers Over Data Privacy; Sugarfina Candy Scours the Globe for the Best Candy. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired April 11, 2018 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN ASHER, GUEST ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: There we have it. A round of applause marks yet another trading day out of Wall Street.
We were actually probably in the red today. The Dow ended down, triple digits or so today. The story had nothing to do with trade. It was all
about geopolitical risk. This fear that markets have that perhaps President Trump, the US could be planning a missile attack in Syria in
retaliation for the chemical weapons attacks that we saw.
Okay, it is Wednesday, 11th of April. Tonight, markets get a jolt as Donald Trump threatens Russia over Syria.
And the European Alliance are being warned that airstrikes could indeed be imminent. And Mark Zuckerberg makes few friends on his second day of
hearing in Washington.
Hello, everyone. I am Zain Asher and this is "Quest Means Business."
Hi, welcome, everybody. I am Zain Asher, so tonight investors, airlines and foreign governments are scrambling as President Trump taunts Russia and
says that US airstrikes on Syria are coming. He says that they are imminent.
As stocks -- let's take a look here -- struggled throughout. This session, the Dow ended down 218 points. And by the way, it has been such a volatile
week at the stocks. This does appear to be the new normal.
The President's tweets and Russia's defiant response echoed in all corners of the market, so it's pretty much just one story today. This is what the
markets were focused on and oil prices spiked to a three-year high over fears about supply disruptions.
Demand for safe havens also rose. Gold prices hit their highest in two months. In the meantime, the Russia ruble fell to its lowest level against
the dollar since 2016. It recovered ever so slightly later on in the day.
Art Hogan is chief strategist at B. Riley FBR. He joins us right now from Boston. So, Art, thank you so much for being with us. And here is the
thing, this time last year, if I could just compare this year to last year, this time last year, the markets really did sort of seem to shrug off any
kind of geopolitical news.
This year, it has become so much more sensitive to every single headline, whether it is trade, whether it is North Korea, whether it's the potential
strike against Syria. What gives?
ART HOGAN, MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, B. RILEY FBR, INC.: It's interesting. I think you stated that perfectly clear, right.
So, last year, we saw eight days with the S&P 500 move 1 percent. We have already had 28 of this, this year where we saw 1 percent or more movement
in the S&P 500, so, literally, you have four times the volatility and twice of volatility of an average year.
And I think that really hinges around three things. I think it's a fear of a mistake whether it's a monetary policy or in trade and now, it's a fear
of pickup or an escalation of geopolitical concerns in the Middle East.
So, clearly, we have shifted from China and a trade war to Syria and perhaps an actual war where US involvement, it looks like it is going to be
increasing in the near term, not decreasing and investors don't like that kind of uncertainty.
So, I think that is why we saw the movement in the market today, and you add on top of that the Fed minutes came out, they were slightly more
hawkish. Remember, the CPI came out a little bit harder this morning. The Feds sounding a little bit more hawkish on rates.
So, when you get that juxtaposition of hawkish Fed and geopolitical problems in Syria, not a good combination for the market.
ASHER: And not a good combination, but were the markets really focused on those Fed minutes or was it just more about the potential airstrikes in
HOGAN: Well, I will tell you, the market tried to post a bit of a rally. It bounced off its lows this morning, but you know, a half an hour after
those Fed minutes were released, and really had time to disseminate that, you saw the acceleration into the late afternoon, so I think part of that,
I think that the Fed talking about changing their statement from you know, one that is accommodative to one that is neutral makes people think about
the fact that they are in line. They are going to continue this.
They probably have five more interest hikes over the next two years, probably two more this year. And rising rates trend to slow down the
economy. So, I think that's playing a part of this, but clearly, the number one catalyst to the down side today was the Syria and the back and
forth over Twitter talking about missile strikes.
ASHER: And it wasn't just markets that are affected, stock markets rather that were affected. Also, oil prices rising on the back of the
geopolitical risk. Syria isn't necessarily a major oil producer, but the fear is that you know, if there is some kind of attack that could actually
lead to a major disruption in terms of supply. Just walk us through that.
HOGAN: Yes, certainly, we haven't seen a bid in the oil market for a fear of disruption of supply and there have certainly been areas that haven't
been able to produce up to their quotas. OPEC members like Venezuela hasn't been producing their quota.
But, this -- you know, when something is happening in the Middle East, whether it's an oil producing country or not, that disruption causes that
fear of disruption of supply because that's not the right reason for oil prices to begin to go up. There is no economic benefit to that 10 percent
increase we have seen over the last week or so in the price of barrel of oil.
We would like to see oil rise because the blind demand dynamics have balanced out. That's not necessarily the case of this particular week.
HOGAN: Also, look at the yield on the 10-year. It was in the, you know, 2.83 and then as soon as we started thinking about the ramifications of
Syria and missile strikes and what that could mean, that's another flight to safety, so you saw money coming in to the -- for the US 10-year.
We also saw it in gold. Gold up almost 20 bucks at the close and you know, clearly, all three of those are harbors of safety, so you've got the pop in
oil, you've got a pop in gold. You have got a movement into the US 10- years and you even -- we actually saw some action in the currency markets in terms of the end.
So, you know, a typical flight to safety kind of afternoon as markets sort of accelerated their losses from the two o'clock hour to the close.
ASHER: All right, Art Hogan live with us there. Thank you so much, appreciate that.
All right, US officials tell CNN that President Trump's tweets caught aides and allies off guard. It came as a huge surprise today. The President
wrote, I just want to walk you through the tweet that started all of this. He wrote, "Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria.
Get ready Russia because they will be coming. Nice and new and smart and you shouldn't be partners. The gas-killing animal who kills his people and
Elise Labott is in Washington for us. So, Elise, gosh, so much dig through there. I thought it's really interesting when I read this tweet that the
tweet was more directed towards Russia than towards Bashar al-Assad. I mean, the alleged perpetrator of the chemical weapons attack in the first
place. Didn't that strike you as a bit strange?
ELISE LABOTT, GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT, CNN: It's interesting, isn't it, Zain, how recently when it comes to Syria, President Trump and you have
seen those kind of in the last couple of weeks that President Trump has kind of turned his anger on Russian President Putin for its support of the
regime rather than the regime itself, although, look, the State Department, the Pentagon, and others continue to blast the Assad regime for its
And I mean, we have to be careful to note that investigators are still trying to prove the responsibility of the Assad regime, they say it's
consistent with previous attacks and that it does look like this. But you know, you heard the Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis today say that they are
still going through the intelligence to try and prove that responsibility.
ASHER: Correct me if I am wrong, Elise, but isn't it rather difficult for the President to change his mind in terms of launching an attack against
Syria in the wake of this tweet. I mean, now that he has announced it to the entire world, surely, he has to go through with it?
LABOTT: Well, he said that he is going to and I think, you know, he has made it pretty clear that he has decided to respond and I think you look at
the French definitely want to have some kind of retaliatory response, possibly the Brits and I think they are kind of formulating now what they
want to do.
I don't think it's a question of it, but the scope and the timing. I think they are deciding you know, whether they want to do something small like
they did last year to kind of just send the message or whether they want to do something a little bit more crippling against the Air Force.
Of course, if they do that, that then becomes more of an open conflict and particularly with Russia. And I think when -- to go back to what you were
saying about President Trump before, he has kind of made it more of a conflict now with Russia and so when those missiles or whatever they are,
are going to start flying into Syrian territory. Is President Trump aiming at Russian targets or is he aiming at Syrian targets? Or is he conflating
And I think by that tweet, he kind of conflates a conflict with Syria and a response against Syria with a conflict and response against Russia.
ASHER: All right, Elise Labott, live for us there. Thank you so much. Okay, so in the wake of the geopolitical risks that our Elise Labott was
just talking about, European airlines are being warned about potential air strikes in Syria. The advice that is specifically coming from the European
Aviation Safety Agency has directed out flights operating over the Eastern Mediterranean.
It is not clear if it was based on any sort of specific military information. We don't know that yet, but the warning relates to part of
this area. This area right here around Cyprus close to Syria shown in blue, refers to the possibility of air to ground attacks or cruise missile
launches in the next 72 hours in the next three days or so, and possible disruption to navigation equipment.
Looking at the region right now, let's take a look here. This is a live view if you will on Flight Radar 24. It's a live view of all the flights
that are in the region right now as I speak and take a look. Come closer because it is apparent that planes are avoiding this area right here. That
is the area between Cyprus and Syria. Planes are avoiding that area. You see the war is there in clear blue.
I want to bring in David Soucie, CNN's aviation analyst. So, do we know whether this warning, David was based on any sort of direct, credible,
specific military information or was it just sort of a general warning based on media reports? How do we know?
DAVID SOUCIE, SAFETY ANALYST, CNN: Well, the fact that they only made it a 72-hour restriction is very telling because that means that they do have
some information to say that there is a beginning and an end to whatever is going to happen.
Now, if you go back to your previous story about President Trump's tweet, I can't imagine that they would be using a tweet as some reason to do this,
but nonetheless, there is something going on there and they are basing all of these movement on the fact that something is going to go on there to
what those -- with missiles in the area.
ASHER: So, if a missile attack on Syria in retaliation for the chemical weapons attack is indeed launched, will the airlines get even more specific
about timing and location, does that rarely happen?
SOUCIE: Unlikely. It very rarely happens. The only thing that get us that (inaudible). Now, the US has had a restriction since August of 2017
on Syrian airspace all the way from Damascus, up all the way through the entire country. So, that has been in place for a long time for US and
domestic carriers. But that is mostly to do with security concerns at the airports. This is something entirely different.
And Euro control issuing this says that that entire region is in agreement with that state that it is a high risk to be flying over it.
ASHER: So, I just showed our audience the map showing just sort of a live view of the region right now and where flights are traveling to and you
could sort of see the area that is between Cyprus and Syria just being completely avoided. There it is on our screen, being completely avoided by
planes right now as I speak.
How much of a disruption is that to airlines? Financially? Just in terms of time. I mean, is it minimal?
SOUCIE: No, it is costing millions and millions of dollars every hour that those airplanes have to go around because now, you are also talking about
overloading airports, changing schedules, people are having to wait for hours and hours on the tarmac waiting for a gate to get in and out of the
airports, it's a huge amount -- if you look on the north side of Syria, you will see that all of the planes are lining up almost in a straight line.
Those are all lined up ready to land at various airports.
So, it's a very big concern and it is costing probably hundreds of millions of dollars every hour just to -- the fuel burn alone, let alone the
inconvenience to the passengers.
ASHER: Okay, so it is quite a big disruption, so we know that the Air Traffic Control Agency that oversees Europe has issued warnings, but what
about other airlines in other parts of the world. What sort of warnings are they getting?
SOUCIE: Well, EASA and Euro Control is really what communicates through and then the International Civil Aviation Organization, they issue these
notes and so they go out to every country. Each state or each country is supposed to give that information back to these other reporting agencies if
there is something new happening like a military action or something in their country.
So, this is something that happened in Ukraine. If you remember MH-17, which was shot down over Ukraine. They were in a very similar situation in
which they had put out a restriction and that restriction came out and shared amongst the entire aviation community, yet still an airplane flew
over that area and was shot down.
So, it's something that is a very good communication network. People know when and when they are not supposed to be in these areas and so they all
agreed to it and you could see that is happening. However, if you notice - - I was looking at Flight Radar 24 about an hour ago, and there were a couple of aircrafts that were still flying through their with their IDENT
off so there were some commercial airplanes that were flying through Syria trying to, I guess, stay off the radar, but they still are showing up
there. And this is an IL-76.
SOUCIE: That's similar to the plane that was just shot down -- that just crashed over in the other part of the country, over on the other side of
ASHER: All right, David Soucie, live for us there. Thank you so much. We'll leave it there. Thank you. Okay, so yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg
emerged, a lot of people are saying virtually unscathed from that Senate grilling.
Today, boy oh boy, did they turn up the heat in Washington and we are going to talk about how the Facebook CEO handled it. How did he handle all of
that pressure from the House? Coming up after the break.
ASHER: Welcome back. So, yesterday, some people said that Mark Zuckerberg certainly had an easy time in front of Senate lawmakers. Today, the
lawmakers came back and they hit hard as Facebook CEO gave evidence in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. And Mark Zuckerberg basically said that
his own personal information has been exposed.
Again, he reiterated his apology. He said that Facebook has taken responsibility. They made a big mistake by not taking a broad enough view
of their responsibility as a company. Facebook stocks by the way closed up, interesting enough for a second day adding nearly 1 percent.
Yesterday, it felt like lawmakers were sparring with the Facebook boss. Today, it came down to brass tactics. Take a listen.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
FRANK PALLONE, US REPRESENTATIVE, NEW JERSEY, DEMOCRAT: Will you make the commitment to change all the user -- to changing all the user to full
settings to minimize to the greatest extent possible the collection and use of users' data. I don't think that's hard for you to say yes to, unless I
am missing something.
MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: Congressman, this is a complex issue that I think deserves more than a one-word answer.
PALLONE: Well, again, that's disappointing to me.
ANNA ESHOO, US REPRESENTATIVE, DEMOCRAT: Do you think you have a moral responsibility to run a platform that protects our democracy? Yes or no?
ZUCKERBERG: Congresswoman, yes.
ESHOO: Have users of Facebook who are caught up in the Cambridge Analytica debacle been notified?
ZUCKERBERG: Yes, we are starting to notify people this week. We started Monday, I believe.
ESHOO: Will Facebook offer to all of its users a blanket opt-in to share their privacy data with any third-party users?
ZUCKERBERG: Congresswoman, yes, that's how our platform works. You have to opt-in to sign in to any app before you use it.
ESHOO: Well, let me just add that it is a mine field in order to do that. Are you aware of other third-party information mishandlings that have not
ZUCKERBERG: Congresswoman, no. Although, we are currently going through the process of investigating every...
ESHOO: So, you're not sure.
ZUCKERBERG: ... that had access to a large amount of data.
ESHOO: What does that mean?
ZUCKERBERG: It means that we are going to look into every app that had a large amount of access to data in the past before we locked down the
ESHOO: You're not aware.
ZUCKERBERG: ... imagine because there are tens of thousands of apps, we will find...
ESHOO: All right, I only have four minutes. Was your data included in the data sold to the malicious third parties? Your personal data?
ESHOO: It was. Are you willing to change your business model in the interest of protecting individual privacy?
ZUCKERBERG: Congresswoman, we have made and are continuing to make changes to reduce the amount of data...
ESHOO: No, are you willing to change your business model in the interest of protecting individual privacy?
ZUCKERBERG: Congresswoman, I am not sure what that means.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: "Congresswoman, I am not sure what that means." Okay, so even if members of Congress couldn't pin down Zuckerberg on every single topic, we
actually got an insight into his thinking, into his thought process when he actually left his notes in the middle of the hearing room yesterday.
Uh-oh. So, these -- take a look here were on show for everybody to see. That was an entire section devoted to Tim Cook's criticism of the company
and said, "Important to hold everyone to the same standard." And one bullet point read, "No accountability for MZ?" And it goes on to say,
"Accountable to you, to employees, to people who use Facebook."
Now, reviewing his performance, Brian Stelter joins us live now in New York, Laurie Segall is in the Capitol for us as well.
So, Brian, let me start with you. Despite the obvious sort of time constraints, right, they were -- they only had four minutes each and
ASHER: ... that they couldn't really follow up in a way that they should have been allowed to, did lawmakers do a better job today compared to
yesterday of holding Mark Zuckerberg accountable?
BRIAN STELTER, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, we learned a little bit more. The questions were feistier in some cases. We found out for example,
Zuckerberg's own personal data was shared through this Cambridge Analytica situation, however, I don't think these lawmakers successfully landed many
blows against Facebook's Zuckerberg.
His company has to feel good at the end of two days of testimony. They were able to start a lot of questions...
ASHER: But you found the questions today, it's seemingly a little bit more difficult to answer than yesterday?
STELTER: I think that's true for some of them. There was also a lot of focus on issues like alleged conservative bias on Facebook. There is very
little evidence to back up those claims, but we did learn more about data practices and about election meddling and Facebook has been given a long
to-do list now of questions they promise to follow up on.
So, it certainly is a moment for Congress to appear to be holding the company accountable. Count me skeptical though that we are going to see
systemic change or new regulation as a result of this.
ASHER: Okay, so Laurie, Brian is skeptical that we are going to see any sort of systemic change, but do you think there really will be regulation
that comes out of this? Changes that we see as a results of the hearings today?
LAURIE SEGALL, SENIOR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, I think that one of the things was that, it was very difficult for lawmakers to
understand, A, the platform and B, what kind of regulation would be the right kind of regulation.
So, I think there are actually even more question marks than there were before. Facebook has been trying very hard to get in front of the
regulation conversation. You know, they have started talking about the Honest Ads Act, talk about election transparency and labeling political ads
and the Mark Zuckerberg used a phrase, "we need the right kind of regulation" so we heard quite a bit about that.
And also, looking at European regulations, we heard Mark Zuckerberg answer a lot of questions about that. You don't get an idea that there is going
to be a clear solution to this problem following today, Zain.
ASHER: Yes, Brian, I mean, it's an important point that a lot of people have brought up. How do lawmakers draft and craft the right regulation,
when they don't even know, I shouldn't say they, but a lot of them don't even know how Facebook works.
STELTER: Today, at least some of the House members said they are active users and they sounded like they were. But a lot of these lawmakers were
showing their age for over two days of testimony and that's understandable.
You know, but constituents, most of their constituents are using Facebook. Facebook is a utility at this point. It's like infrastructure. It's like
bridges or banks, and it's not always treated that way. And I think the questions we heard from lawmakers underline some of the embarrassing and
awkward questions, was it real anxiety or real tension about the power of these social networks and tech giants in our lives?
And that's real. Whether some of these questions were off base, they were, but there is a real tension here. And we might see it play out in the
midterms, in the next Presidential election and in elections all around the world. This sense, this gnawing sense that these companies will become too
big, too powerful and are abusing their power, abusing the data we give them.
It is sometimes hard to pin that down, but some of the lawmakers tried today, and I think that anxiety is going to be with us and these tech
companies are going to have to fight it for a while.
ASHER: So, Laurie, one question that came up over and over again today, and I think a little bit yesterday was this idea that people should be
allowed to opt-in to have their data shared, as opposed to it being just the default. I mean, are we at least going to see -- just in terms of
changes, are we at least going to see the terms and conditions of sort of a user agreement between Facebook and a user -- ordinary user like myself or
yourself become a lot more simple and clear to understand?
SEGALL: Well, I think Facebook's company line right now is transparency and you heard Mark Zuckerberg get skewered there. I mean, essentially
every single lawmaker was saying, "You have to be more transparent. Your terms of service are terrible." I think Senator Kennedy actually said,
You know, I think actually, we will see more transparency, but you know, I am not sure we will ever see, you know, an opt-in option. I don't think
people even really understand the power of their data and what it does and you know, I think we really should have a larger conversation about privacy
because you know, I don't think people quite understand targeted advertising while we are having this conversation and it can be very
You know, I do think the question you know, what Brian talked about, about are these tech companies too powerful? I think that is emerging and that
is going to be one of the most important question that we are all going to be grappling with. You know, it was funny, Mark Zuckerberg said something
today. He said, "You know, I feel competition. You know, the average person uses eight apps a day," you know mentioning Facebook and apps, as
well as if you take a look at that...
ASHER: Yes, Facebook owns most of them, yes.
SEGALL: ... three of those -- Facebook owns three of those apps, and you know, this is an incredibly powerful company and you know, they talk about
-- they always get the question, "Are you a tech company? Are you a media company?" And you know, that's a really important question and while Mark
Zuckerberg says, "We are a technology company." He admitted that they are responsible for the content on their platform over the last couple of days,
and I think that's a very significant admission because it comes along with a lot of power and responsibility...
SEGALL: ... and you know, we saw today on Capitol Hill, lawmakers saying Facebook has a conservative bias, calling out conservative bloggers that
have been kicked out the platform.
So, you're going to see Facebook falling into these really nuanced questions of hate speech and political speech and that fine line and there
is a lot of nuance there. Mark Zuckerberg himself said they are struggling with that and it goes back to the idea of artificial intelligence, which is
going to really help fix a lot of this.
It's going to help proactively police. Well, that's going to open up a whole new set of problems, so you know, there are a lot of fundamentals
that I think came up in these hearings. We might not have gotten as much information about data collection, but I think if you kind of take a step
back, there are a lot of ethical issues we can look at when we look at the future of Facebook and just how big and important it has become in all of
STELTER: At the end of this day, we have talked about this data scandal for almost three weeks, and yet, Zuckerberg today has said there has been
no meaningful impact on his business. Meaning, people aren't using Facebook less.
ASHER: See, that I believe.
STELTER: ... their accounts.
ASHER: That doesn't surprise me.
STELTER: So, to me, that's one of the headlines.
ASHER: As Laurie mentioned, you know, the average person uses eight apps a day, Facebook owns three of them. They are in some ways, a monopoly.
STELTER: I was watching Laurie's Instragram's from Washington. It looked like a fun scene and I was thinking, wait, this is a Facebook app I am
using right now.
ASHER: Oh, that's hilarious. We're all addicted. We're all addicted.
STELTER: They've got us.
ASHER: Guys, I've got to go. Laurie, thank you so much. Brian, thank you so much.
SEGALL: Thank you.
ASHER: Guys, I appreciate that. Okay, so elsewhere in Washington, we actually saw a rare case of bipartisan agreement today. Lawmakers came
together in an attempt to combat online sex trafficking. In fact, President Trump signed a new law which aims to help victims hold websites
accountable if they knowingly -- if these websites knowingly facilitate sex trafficking.
However, the bill certainly does have its critics. Joining me now, Jean Bruggeman who is the Executive Director of Freedom Network USA. Jean joins
us live now.
So, Jean, here is the thing. Some good news is that there are some websites that facilitate -- that apparently facilitate sex trafficking that
have already been shut down. Obviously, that is certainly a step in the right direction, but how much of a dent does it make in the underlying
problem do you think?
JEAN BRUGGEMAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FREEDOM NETWORK USA: Well, I think it's hard to say. Time will certainly tell.
But what is -- I think what is the challenge is that we haven't identified any sources, any platforms that are solely used for sex trafficking. What
we are talking about is platforms that are broadly used for a wide variety of businesses including sex workers who trade sex for a variety of reasons.
Some of whom are certainly coerced and forced and need protection and others who are engaging in work through their own choice that are
conventional sex workers.
And I think that distinction is lost in this legislation unfortunately.
ASHER: Okay, so then how much of a problem does it make the legislation? I mean, if you have websites that aren't solely used with sex trafficking
that like for example, you know, Craigslist, they just shut down their personal ads section, so if you have websites that are used for a variety
of reasons, how much more difficult does it make sort of crafting legislation and going after these websites?
BRUGGEMAN: Certainly, that's a challenge. You know, going after the abuse and exploitation in any industry and the various trafficking that occurs in
all industries and all different forms of labor, we see trafficking victims from teachers to agriculture to mining to domestic work.
And so, isolating those who are committing these acts of violence and exploitation is a challenge for law enforcement and is an important task
and more tools are needed to assist law enforcement and identifying those traffickers, going after those traffickers, and protecting and providing
services and support for those survivors.
And it's not easy to do and yet, that is the task before us and we can't take -- we can't take the easy way. We can't excuse ourselves from doing
that hard work of being very specific and going after the traffickers in a very nuanced way.
ASHER: It's such an important task ahead. All right, Jean Bruggeman, live for us there. Thank you so much. Appreciate that.
Okay, so the Speaker of the House prepares to go silent, that the 48 years old, Paul Ryan's departure from politics has some people asking why. Why
is he leaving? After the break, I want you to hear what he told CNN just moments ago. That's next.
[16:30:00] ZAIN ASHER, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Hello everyone, I'm Zain Asher. Coming up in the next half hour of QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, Paul
Ryan signs his exit from Congress, leaving behind a nervy group of Republicans on Capitol Hill.
And I'll speak to the privacy activist who's already been a nemesis of Facebook in Europe -- so before that, this is Cnn, of course on this
network the news always come first.
OK, so the White House says the U.S. is keeping its options open on how to respond to a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria. That's after the
U.S. president warned Russia to get ready for the missile strike. He tweeted, "nice and new and smart missiles are coming."
The Kremlin says it won't take part in Twitter diplomacy and that U.S. missiles -- any U.S. missiles rather would be shut down. And investigation
is underway into Algeria's worst ever plane crash. State media says at least 257 people were killed when a military transport plane slumped into a
field near the capital Algiers.
Most of the dead are army personnel and their families as well. One of the victims of the nerve agent attack is Salisbury in the United Kingdom says
she's still suffering the effect.
With the statement issued by some police, Yulia Skripal; the daughter of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal says she's faced having been discharged
from the hospital. She added that no one should speak publicly on her or her father's behalf.
The Republican Party has been dealt a major setback heading into the mid- term elections later on this year. House Speaker Paul Ryan says that he is not -- he is not going to seek reelection in November.
Ahead of the departure that's far from expected, but Ryan says the time has come for him to spend more time with his family. He actually added that he
didn't want to just be a weekend dad, he wanted to be there for his children.
And there's no secret though that Paul Ryan has had a strained relationship with President Trump. A short time ago, Ryan spoke to my colleague Jake
Tapper and said that his differences with the president has no bearing on his decision to leave Congress. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN, SPEAKER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: We're very different people, I'm from the upper mid-west, I'm not from New York,
we're from a different generation, so we definitely have different styles.
But we learned after we got to know each other because we didn't know each other at all in the campaign. And yes, we had a pretty -- we don't have
friendship in our relationship. What we learned is we have a common agenda that we agree on and we want to get it done and we know it's going to make
a big difference in people's lives, and that's what we're elected to do.
[16:35:00] He got elected president, I got elected as speaker, I think it's our job on behalf of the people we represent, the people of this nation to
focus on their problems, get things done, make a big difference and that's what we're doing and that's what I'm proud about.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN: I find it hard to believe that January will be the last time you're on the political scene, I find it hard to believe that you
won't run for Senate or governor or president someday -- you're shaking your head --
RYAN: Yes --
TAPPER: You don't think there's no chance you're going to re-enter politics down the road --
RYAN: Well, not while my kids are growing up, and obviously not in the near future. I really don't see that, I really thought when I took this
job, Jake, that this is probably the last elected office I would have. I'm not going to run for president, you know, that's not my plan, I'm not going
to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: All right, lot to discuss here with our David Chalian, and he joins us live now. So Paul Ryan said -- told Jake Tapper that, you know, he
doesn't see politics in his future in the near term at least as in --
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes --
ASHER: While his kids are growing up. But what does this mean in terms of democrats eventually taking control of the house later on this year. What
are your thoughts?
CHALIAN: Well, listen, our electoral environment here in the U.S. is shaping up to be a good year for Democrats. We know there's a wave of
enthusiasm that is generated largely in opposition to President Trump. We've seen this throughout history here.
A sort of -- that first mid-term election in response to a president. We see the enthusiasm in the opposition party. But what happened today and
why it's so key, Zain, is because as it's getting to be a really tough political environment, the man in charge who is the head of Republicans on
Capitol Hill calls it quit.
That's sort of just a morale deflator for a team that is already facing pretty serious headwinds. The other key factor here that is problematic
for Republicans is Paul Ryan is an enormous fundraiser for them.
And so he just was touting a few days ago, how he transferred $40 million to the campaign committee in charge of trying to elect enough Republicans
to keep the majority in the house.
Announcing you're not running for re-election, you're not going to be the next speaker, some of that fundraising prowess diminishes a little bit.
ASHER: OK, so let's talk about this idea that President Trump says that he has the power -- or he believes that he has the power to fire Bob Mueller,
and that sources say he's considering firing Rod Rosenstein as well.
Just in terms of Mueller, if Republicans -- if Republicans do not believe at all that the president is at all going to fire Bob Mueller, why not then
draft some sort of legislation to protect him?
CHALIAN: I think the main reason why Republicans are saying now that they don't feel the need to do that. What we heard from the Senate Republican
leader or Majority leader Mitch McConnell, what we heard from Speaker Ryan today when he was asked about this was they've got assurances from the
White House that the president isn't going there.
So they don't want then to upend their policy agenda items what they would like to finish this year and go to the campaign with and take to the
people. And the idea of just getting from their perspective, distracted and trying to have legislation that is all about the Russia investigation.
It's not something they're interested in doing in their day-to-day work, and they believe they have assurances. What -- I think the key question
here and that we've been asking Republican members all the time -- OK, so if you're not going to do this in advance as some kind of protective
action, of what are you going to do if indeed he does this for that?
There's not a very clear answer from Republicans.
ASHER: So what are the chances just in terms of you looking into a crystal ball and what your sources say. What are the chances that the president
makes some move towards firing at least Rod Rosenstein?
CHALIAN: I mean, that's an impossible crystal ball question just because to predict Donald Trump's behavior on any given day is just a very
dangerous proposition. He clearly is wrestling with this. He clearly according to all our reporting has Rosenstein in his sights.
We know he's talked about trying to get rid of Bob Mueller, we know he's completely frustrated by this investigation that he thinks as he calls it,
it's a total witch-hunt and unfair.
And yet, there are lots of people in his orbit who tell him that that would be sort of going nuclear and he shouldn't make that move. So what -- on
any given day, how much does his tension rise that he actually goes and takes the action? I mean, for that we have to stay tuned.
ASHER: OK, and David, just quickly there. It's one thing I'm having some trouble understanding and I'm hoping that you can clear it up for me, and
that is -- because we had you on the show -- anyway, but apparently, when the FBI raided Michael Cohen's office; the president's personal attorney.
They were actually also looking at information regarding the Access Hollywood tape. I don't understand why that would be. Can you explain
that to us?
CHALIAN: I wish I could --
Don't have a full understanding. But we know that there are a couple -- the Access Hollywood take the "New York Times" and now we have confirmed
this as one avenue of what they're looking into.
[16:40:00] And maybe it has to do with some attempts to keep that out of the public eye, we don't know.
Michael Cohen's private business is another avenue they were looking out with that. And of course the payment to Stormy Daniels; the adult film
actress that Michael Cohen was trying to prevent from talking publicly about her affair -- alleged affair with Donald Trump.
ASHER: OK, well, you did the best you could, I know it's complicated, David Chalian live for us there, thank you so much, appreciate that. OK,
so still to come here on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, Facebook is planning to roll out European-style privacy control to users around the world.
The man who fought Facebook in Europe and won, and won, tells me what the social network and regulators should be doing next, that's next.
ASHER: Welcome back. So Mark Zuckerberg says some regulation of the internet is inevitable. He just hopes that it is the right kind of
regulation. Facebook CEO insisted over and over and over again to lawmakers that users are in control of their own data.
Max Schrems fought Facebook in court on that very issue and ended up winning. It started about seven years ago when he was just 23. Schrems'
case triggered changes to the law on the transfer of personal data in the EU.
Now Schrems leads the startup called None of Your Business -- that's the name of the startup, None of Your Business, and the goal of his start up is
to make it easier for internet users to sue companies that mishandle data.
Schrems told me how Facebook has changed its tune since he accused them of misusing data. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAX SCHREMS, FOUNDER, NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS: We had a meeting with Facebook about apps and the possibility that this data is then shared and
not regulated at all. At the time, they said that is exactly how the system is meant to be.
At the time when we debated that with Facebook, there was no outrage at all, they took exactly the opposite position of right now, and that this is
how the system is meant to be. So I doubt if a company that said originally the Cambridge Analytica situation is how it's meant to be is
really capable of regulating itself in the long run.
And they're in a competition, so if one company is really cutting back on their data usage, they are going to be in competition with others. So I
think there's going to be a problem with our first mover, like even if some people think that there should be less data usage within Facebook.
Their investors will probably have a different opinion. So in the long run, you only have a fair market, the possibility I think it's only to have
regulation. That is reasonable, still allows them to use data, but that's -- you know, cuts off at things that just go too extreme.
And that is also interesting for the industry because then the first mover is not the one person that loses out on business, but that -- then would
probably have a red line for everybody that we could agree on.
ASHER: And you know, just quickly, just in terms of Facebook taking responsibility. How much responsibility should we the users of Facebook
also bear as well.
[16:45:00] I mean, some people argue that, listen, the privacy terms and agreement, Facebook is so cumbersome, it's so difficult for the average
person, myself included understand.
But shouldn't we all educate ourselves that if we're going to use Facebook, we should really know what we're signing up for.
SCHREMS: We see a couple of problems with that so far. To give you a simple example, I dealt with Facebook for seven years as a privacy lawyer
and I can still not tell you exactly what they do with my data.
So the average person that works for 10 hours and goes home at night and just wants to post something is never going to self-regulate this. And we
don't do it in other area, we have building --
ASHER: Well, that's part of the problem then, that's part of the problem. I mean, if they're not going to educate themselves or we're not going to
educate ourselves, do we really have an axe to grind? Do we really have a leg to stand on in terms of complaining about this?
SCHREMS: I think that's exactly the problem that this is too complicated to really have everybody educated on. We don't educate everybody on
building codes, we don't educate everybody on food hygiene which is expected in a civilized country.
I can go to a supermarket and to see Lingle's(ph) fall on my head and I can't eat it without vomiting later. And that is exactly how uncivilized
world really regulate things. Just in the privacy area, just in the IT area, that is much more complex than food safety or building codes.
We suddenly say the user, the average person should understand it all. And I don't think that's going to get us anywhere, what we see here really is
responsibility to shift -- the industry tries to shift the responsibility that it has because it creates these systems and then sends them towards
the user that does not create and does not know about these systems and cannot possibly understand them.
And that is exactly situation where we do usually regulate things. It's -- in Europe, I usually say I get on board trains and they go 300 kilometers
an hour, and I don't know how trains are built, I just know that it's safe to ride them because there are some regulation taking care of it --
ASHER: That's inflicting costs, right --
SCHREMS: I think that's basically what we need in privacy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: OK, so as people keep using social media, some of what they post looks quite delicious, and the couple who started Sugarfina know all about
that. They actually gathered the glove, they sell the world to the best candy and they take full advantage of the online marketplace in this week's
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hard candy from Japan, dummies from Italy, chocolates from Greece. Sweets as delightful to the eyes, as they are to the palette,
unfavored around the globe.
ROSIE O'NEILL, CO-FOUNDER, SUGARFINA: We have been to over 50 countries in our search to find this whole collection of Sugarfina candies. Everywhere
from Denmark to Sweden to France to Italy, the U.K., Japan, South America, Morocco, you name it, we probably been there sourcing candy.
We get to work with these candy because we're really preserving a lost art.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sugarfina was inspired by a classic children's movie from the 1970s, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory".
O'NEILL: You know, after seeing that movie, that we thought why should kids have all the fun, where's the candy store for grow-ups?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The candy boutique was founded in Los Angeles in 2012.
O'NEILL: When we started Sugarfina, it was just Josh and I in a basement of our house, literally doing everything. And today, just about six years
later, we have over 500 team members, 50 retail locations, a website, all of these great hotel partners where we sell our candies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 2017, Sugarfina turned over more than $40 million. The first sweets were created by the ancient Egyptians who preserved fruits
and nuts in honey. Hard candies like peppermints and lemon drops became popular in the late 19th century along with chocolate bars invented by
Joseph Fry in the United Kingdom.
Despite a rise in healthy eating, worldwide confectionary sales are predicted to slowly increase by around 3 percent by 2022. Germany consumes
the most candy per capital, followed by Ireland, Switzerland, Austria and the U.K.
O'NEILL: So this is our design your own candy bento box concept. What's really fun about this is you get to choose eight different candies to go
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it's not just in the retail store that sweets are flying off the shelves, during holidays Sugarfina's website sees around
400,000 visitors a month.
O'NEILL: We have a very active social media presence and it's so fun to see our fans just play with their candy -- I feel like before anyone needs
our candy, they like to style a photo-shoot around it first. I have a thing I say, which is that you eat with your eyes first.
And in a business like confections, it's all about the aesthetics especially when you're online. So we put a lot of effort into making
beautiful candies -- I don't know if you're giving this as a gift or if you want to have it all for yourself, either way is fine, I won't tell.
[16:50:00] We really want people to walk out of our store feeling like Sugarfina was really the sweetest part of their day. That's so beautiful,
ASHER: Welcome back everybody. So earlier in the program as we showed you, the notes that Mark Zuckerberg brought with him on Tuesday in
preparation for his testimony on Capitol Hill, one valid point, and this is key, he actually seemed to be in a mission Silicon Valley has a diversity
Something that he was pressed on today and something we've talked a lot about on this program. Jennifer Fonstad is co-founder and managing
director of Aspect Ventures. She's now part of a new program to improve diversity in the world of venture capital.
So I want to -- before we go, I want to show our audience some pretty startling statistics, if you could just put them up on the screen, 9
percent of venture capitalists are women and 74 percent of American venture capitalists firm do not have a single female partner.
We've talked about these sorts of numbers before and they are quite startling, especially in the United States. I'm just curious how do you
translate -- you know, how do you actually translate just these sort of anger, outrage about that into action?
JENNIFER FONSTAD, CO-FOUNDER, ASPECT VENTURES: So there's a number of things that we're trying to do. That's both raising the number of women in
venture capital and we've as a group come together but through a number of organizations including time's up tech and always to help identify and
bring candidates -- the next generation of candidates in and serve as mentors to the next generation of venture capitalists who may be women and
minorities and may not have a natural network to access into venture capital.
And then we're also focusing on women founders and minority founders and how to actually provide both the systematic and non-systematic ways to
access funding and access a network again of peers in order to get the support they need to make their companies successful.
But Aspect Ventures for example, we were co-founded by two women founders, though we invest with a non-gender, non-blind -- gender blind focus, and
about 40 percent of our entrepreneurs are -- have a women founder on the team and about 50 percent are minorities or children of minorities and
ASHER: Yes, because, you know, one of the sort of on vacations of just having very few women venture capitalists and there sort of few women
female partners of venture capital firms is the fact that it means that women-founded firms received less funding.
I'm curious though is that partly because of inherent bias, inherent discrimination that some people might not be aware of or is it just because
the pool of women founders is that much smaller?
FONSTAD: Well, I don't think -- I don't think the pool is necessarily smaller, and I think actually the pool is growing, and what I think is
really exciting is that there's the next generation of women entrepreneurs that are doing it.
And what happens is when you have successful women entrepreneurs out starting companies like CEO of the news here in New York City for example
which was founded by two women founders.
[16:55:00] Other women can see that they're being successful, that they're raising money and they think, well, that means there's an opportunity for
me to do it. And then there's -- and so the feeling, the sense that that's possible has to be the starting place and then you have to build the
networks of support networks in order to and to be successful.
And being able to raise capital, being able to hire and recruit successful team members and go on from there. So but it starts with that sense of
what's possible --
ASHER: I see --
FONSTAD: And so what we're trying to do is help build truly a number of organizations to help provide that network.
ASHER: And it's also important that people understand that diversity really does foster new ideas, traded upon ideas, innovation. I mean, I
sometimes worry that some people sort of see the statistic, they will hire a more diverse workforce out of political correctness or out of the fact
that they know it's the right thing to do.
But do they actually understand how diversity or how much diversity can lead to innovation and can improve their business model.
FONSTAD: I think that's a great question. There's a lot of data and a lot of studies that had shown that actually corporations and companies have
increased their performance of their business in terms of their RY in that margin.
Because when they've had more diverse teams, and the reason for that is because it's the combination of two things. One is to identify blind
spots. If you have a broad team around you, then you have a team that can help you identify areas that you may not have thought about --
ASHER: Right --
FONSTAD: Or you may not have understood because you blind spots, everybody does. But by having a broad team, you're able to prevent yourself from
walking in the blind spots. And on the up side, if you're able to access networks and customer groups you may not have thought about or created a
solution to a problem you may never have thought about.
ASHER: Right --
FONSTAD: And that's what really drives that extra performance. And we think that's a real opportunity for us, and that's why we're taking that
ASHER: All right, Jennifer Fonstad, we have to leave it there, out of time, sadly. OK, my friends, that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, I'm Zain Asher,
Richard Quest will be back tomorrow, have a great weekend.