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Trump Visits Japan; Hiker Found Alive in Maui; Sanders Holds Rally as He Slips in Polls; Bernie Sanders to Hold Campaign Rally in Home State; West Point Graduates Most Diverse Class in Its History; Trump Bypasses Congress on Arms Sales to Middle East Allies; WhatsApp Reveals Major Security Flaw. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired May 25, 2019 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN HOST: Shortly before his arrival, the president leaving multiple controversies behind, will partake in a mostly a ceremonial visit complete with golf and sumo wrestling. On the policy front, however, there are some looming issues. Trade, the trade rift with China and the growing concerns from saber rattling from both Korea and Iran. Trump meeting with business leaders as soon as he got on the ground, he wasted no time complaining about the U.S. Federal Reserve saying its preventing economic growth.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Last year for the first time in a decade, the United States was ranked the most competitive economy anywhere in the world. During that year our economy grew at 3 percent, and if the Fed didn't raise interest rates, frankly, it would have been much higher than 3 percent. And the stock market is as high it's been would have been at least probably anywhere from 7 to 10,000 points higher, but they happened to raise interest rates. You'll explain that to me.
SAVIDGE: CNN White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins is in Tokyo, and she joins us now and Katelyn, the president clearly setting a tone by talking trade and the fed right out of the gate.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Martin, this was supposed to be this trip focused on ceremony here and the newly-crowned emperor but you could see what was on the president's mind as soon as he touched down in Tokyo. And that was of course the potential trade deal the president had kind of predicted he could potentially secure during this trip, but now officials say that's unlikely, and instead focusing on the substance there, going to focus on the ceremony during this trip.
But of course as he is with the Prime Minister of Japan going golfing later today, sumo wrestling, meeting and having dinner with the newly- crowned emperor later on this week. This is what's going to be in the background, trade because this is something that has been on the president's mind not only as we've seen these talks fall apart with China over a potential trade deal there, but now with Japan because there is a certain sense of uneasiness here that the president could impose those tariffs on autos and auto parts, something which the president has delayed by six months, which of course the Prime Minister Abe knows is not that long of a timeline and he's concerned that if the president does impose those tariffs it could really hurt his economy.
So that is something to keep - and remember in the background of all of this as you see the two of them with this black slapping, a very chummy relationship between President Trump and Prime Minister Abe, that is something that's looming in the background as well as North Korea which in recent weeks has fired those short range missiles. Something that the president initially downplayed when he found out about and so did his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but of course a big concern for the Japanese who are much closer to North Korea than the United States is. So expect those two issues to be something that's looming in the background of this ceremonial visit but of course they're hoping they can work out those issues as they continue to meet again hopefully throughout the summer, Martin.
SAVIDGE: Between the two men, the personal relationship, the friendship between these two men goes back a long way, and I'm wondering is it going to be front and center as part of this ceremonial visit, as we call it?
COLLINS: It is because Abe wants to remind the president he's his closest ally in Asia, and he wants the president to know that and that's why you're seeing him rollout the red carpet for President Trump. Having him be the first foreign leader to visit with this newly crowned emperor, something that he said is very significant and a way to sell it to the president, he said it was 100 times bigger than the Super Bowl. That's something you've seen the president continue to tout throughout the weeks before he arrived here in Tokyo. So he's going to keep that front and center because he wants the president to be his close ally on trade and on North Korea. So that's something you can expect them to tout for in front of the cameras.
SAVIDGE: All right, Kaitlan Collins, appreciate it very much. We'll look forward to seeing how this visit goes. With me now is Shihoko Gogo, she is -- no, I'm sorry we're going first to a piece I believe it's by Ivan Watson here to focus on this relationship between the U.S. and Japan.
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On the first lady's birthday last month, the U.S. President welcomed Shinzo Abe to celebrate at the White House.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. Prime minister, you're my friend....
WATSON: (voice over) Before they departed for dinner and cake, Japan's prime minister invites Trump to Tokyo, to be honored as the first official guest to meet a newly-crowned emperor. TRUMP: And I said, gee, I don't know if I can make it. Let me ask
you a question. How big is that event compared to the Super Bowl for the Japanese? And the prime minister said, it's about a hundred times bigger. I said, I'll be there if that's the case, I'll be there.
WATSON: Making good on his promise this weekend, Trump's arrival launches a four-day state visit to Japan. An honored meeting with the imperial couple is just one of several events in a carefully tailor made schedule. It appears to follow a tradition of what's been called Abe's charm offensive as U.S. policy in Asia grows more problematic.
On his first full day in Japan, the two leaders plan to play a round of golf, now known as a cornerstone of their diplomacy, Abe once even gifting Trump custom gold-plated golf clubs.
After the green, Trump heads to a sumo wrestling match where he'll have a chance to present a Trump Cup to the winner. It's to be followed by a dinner where the meat will be prepared just the way the president likes, probably well done, maybe even with a side of ketchup. On his previous trip, Trump enjoyed similarly familiar fare when he and Abe sat down to eat an American-style hamburger.
The VIP treatment has led to speculation of a calculated effort to court Trump's favor as deeper policy issues loom.
TRUMP: Japan sends us millions and millions of cars, and we tax them virtually not at all.
WATSON: After threats of damaging auto tariffs, Abe and Trump are in the midst of bilateral trade negotiations. As one of Japan's largest export markets, the U.S. is a partner Japan cannot afford to lose as its economy slows. But Japan may find leverage after a dramatic failure of U.S. trade talks with China this month. On matters of security, North Korea's resumption of missile testing has rattled many in nearby Japan, who rely on defensive support from their U.S. ally. Trump's inability to strike a deal with Kim Jong-un during his last meeting and stalled talks with South Korea, having some ways left Japan in the cross hairs. Although officials have said this weekend's trip is largely ceremonial, matters of trade and national security could penetrate warm welcomes as Japan's relationship with the U.S. becomes ever more relevant. Ivan Watson, CNN, Tokyo.
SAVIDGE: Thanks, Ivan. With me now is Shihoko Goto. She is the Senior Associate for Northeast Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Asia Program. Thanks very much for being with us this morning.
SHIHOKO GOTO, SENIOR ASSOCIATE FOR NORTHEAST ASIA AT THE WOODROW WILSON CENTER: Thank you for having me. SAVIDGE: So how important is the pomp and circumstance part of the
visit with these two leaders?
GOTO: It's very important. The United States and Japan share a lot of common values at a time when there's a great deal of uncertainty in Asia, especially in East Asia. And part of the success of diplomacy is actually showing up and the fact that Trump is actually going to Japan and only to Japan really demonstrates the importance of this relationship, both for the two countries but also to ensure stability in the region.
SAVIDGE: I think the president made pretty clear the moment he got on the ground that it is not all just ceremonial. He began talking about trade. He began talking about the Fed. Trump says that he wants to address the trade imbalance and I'm wondering does that have Japan particularly worried, especially about its automobile exports.
GOTO: Yes, there are two issues on trade that Japan is particularly concerned about. First, is the car sector which, of course, is at the heart of Japanese industry itself? The other sector is agriculture and we've already seen President Trump trying to offset some of the losses as a result of the U.S -China trade tensions. What kind of concessions will Japan have to make when it comes to the car sector and the agriculture sector will be a true test of negotiations moving forward. But I do want to point out that Japan is heavily invested in the United States. It is the third largest source of foreign direct investment into the United States and its created 1,000s of jobs, 100,000 of jobs in the United States as well and that is an issue that Japan will continue to deliver to the Trump Administration.
SAVIDGE: And is that a point of leverage then for the Japanese?
GOTO: Absolutely. To say that Japan has been good on its word and providing really good jobs, competitive jobs companies like Toyota earlier this year have announced that they're upping their investment in some of Trump's big supporting states like Alabama and West Virginia. They could always talk about their discomfort with increased threats of tariffs as well.
SAVIDGE: All right, let's switch to North Korea because last year there was a lot of focus on that. There were two summits that took place between the U.S. snd the leader of North Korea and at times it might have felt that Japan was the odd man out here. So is this a way for Abe to remind the president about the importance of Japan and their relationship?
GOTO: this issue. This issue. Well Japan is the only country that has not yet had a bilateral meeting with Kim Jong-un amongst the former six party talk countries. So what Japan has done is really used the United States as a conduit for some of its interests and of course the security issue comes in but also this issue of Japanese abductees and Japanese citizens who were abducted from Japan in the 1970s. I still that resonates very strongly with the Japanese. Japan does want to have a bilateral negotiation with Kim Jong-un directly but until then it does look to the United States to voice that concern. SAVIDGE: Can I ask you how is President Trump perceived by the
GOTO: Well, unlike in some other countries there hasn't been a massive protest against Trump. There is concern about the rhetoric of Trump, but at the same time there is an acknowledgement that some of the issues that Trump has raised resonates with the Japanese. Ad I'm thinking in particular about China. So China is japans' biggest security concern at the moment. And, yes, China is japans' biggest trading partner but at the same time it is a rival. So when the United States takes a stronger stance against China that is very much welcomed by Japan as well.
SAVIDGE: And real quick, we've got about 30 seconds. I know domestically Abe faces elections later this year. How does this play into it? Does it help or hurt his close relationship with the president?
GOTO: Well, hopefully all this wining and dining and wooing and sumo wrestling and golfing will help provide an image that the relationship between the two men is strong, and therefore U.S.-Japan relations more broadly are strong as well. Now, what happens will really sway how Abe's perceived in moving forward with the relationship.
SAVIDGE: Yes, I suppose it matters as to what really gets done.
SAVIDGE: Shihoko Goto, thanks very much for joining us.
GOTO: Thank you.
SAVIDGE: Still ahead, it's being called a miracle. A hiker missing for weeks in the Hawaiian wilderness rescued. Her friends and family breaking down into tears at the news.
And later, West Point cadets are celebrating their graduation today and the school is celebrating history in the making. That story coming up.
SAVIDGE: We have good news for you this morning. A yoga instructor has been found alive after vanishing in a Hawaiian forest for more than two weeks. This video shows the dramatic moment a 35-year-old Amanda Eller was airlifted to safety out of a Maui forest reserve. CNN's Jessica Dean has more on where she was and how she's doing.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Missing more than two weeks Amanda Eller is found alive in Maui, Hawaii.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And there she goes.
DEAN: Her rescue was announced on this post on a Facebook page setup by family and friends. "Urgent update, Amanda has been found. She got lost and was stuck and slightly injured in the forest, way, way out. Somewhere way far above Twin Falls between two water falls down a deep ravine in a creek bed."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can cry now. It's awesome. That's like the best -- you got a good Memorial Day.
DEAN: A photo on the page showed Eller just before the air evacuation surrounded by members of a search team. She appeared to be only slightly injured, and this picture of the ravine where she was apparently found.
JULIA ELLER, MOTHER OF AMANDA ELLER: I was crying tears of joy.
DEAN: Her mother, Julia Eller, told CNN affiliate KHON, Amanda used water sources and ate the berries she found, strawberries, guava and other items to sustain her.
ELLER: I never gave up hope for a minute. And even at times I would have those moments of despair I stayed strong for her because I knew we would find her if we just stayed with the program, stayed persistent.
DEAN: Authorities say Eller, a 35-year-old yoga instructor disappeared after going on a hike May 8th. Her car was found with her cell phone inside at a forest reserve parking lot. A last image of her was captured on surveillance video buying a Mother's Day gift the day before she was reported missing. A $50,000 reward was being offered for information regarding her disappearance and possible abduction. But now there's an ending that some are calling miraculous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unbelievable. If you believe in prayer, folks, thank your Lord because this is an answer.
DEAN: Jessica Dean, CNN, Atlanta.
SAVIDGE: And CNN spoke with the lead rescuer earlier today about the harrowing rescue. Let's listen.
JAVIER CANTELLOPS, LEAD RESCUER OF AMANDA ELLER: We were pushing real far east in the helicopter, trying to do a little recognizance of what terrain we were going to be facing this upcoming weekend. And sure enough, Troy(ph) is like, why don't we push down to an area called Twin Falls and we we're going to come up. That's a very popular local area in Maui but that's all the way at the bottom. We were going to go push 3 1/2 miles up, so let's shoot up so we start flying the helicopter.
We're in an open air helicopter, no doors and we're all hanging out and we're going up this one particular gulch, we're right now as the crow flies about seven miles east of where her car was found. But if you walked it it'd be about 25 miles just because of the up and down terrain. But we're flying up this gulch, we're flying up this ravine and as we're looking down, man we're passing waterfall and going up and the river continues and we're passing waterfall and the river continues up and we're all looking around and at the same time we all look to our right and it's like a movie man, like a double take.
We all look to our right and it's like oh, look at that hiker. And I said do what? And out of the wood work you see Amanda Eller, my friend coming out waving her hands. We're about 200 feet up, 250 feet off canopy so it was unbelievable dude.
SAVIDGE: A happy ending in paradise.
coming up, more good news. West point graduating its most diverse class ever. And up next we'll talk to one of those graduates about how she feels to be making history.
SAVIDGE: In just a few hours democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders is holding a rally in his home state to kick off the long weekend. It is of course still early days, but for most of the race so far Sanders has held a solid second place in the polls behind former Vice President Joe Biden. But this latest Monmouth poll could show some trouble for the Senator. He went from 20 percent down to 15 percent. Let's check in with CNN's Ryan Nobles at the rally site. Ryan, good to see you. What are we expecting to hear from the Senator, today?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Martin, they're kind of describing this event here in Montpellier today as a homecoming rally for Bernie Sanders. Vermont, of course, the state where he made his political name, he ran here for more than a decade in the '70s and never won an election before being elected the mayor of Burlington. He then went onto be their lone representative in the House of Representatives and of course the Senator from Vermont and that is where he gained a national reputation.
So this is an opportunity for him to thank the people of Vermont, talk a bit about his political history here and then talk about his broader message about why he's running for President of the United States. And, Martin you're right, there is some indication Bernie Sanders is slipping a bit in the polls. There was a period of time he was the front-runner and that was before Joe Biden got in the race. But there's no doubt that the former vice president's entry has kind of turned things upside down.
I'm being told from Sanders' aides that's not something that they're necessarily worried about quite yet. They expected Vice President Biden to be strong once he got into the race and that Sanders is in this for the long haul. He's raised more than $18 million. He's got a huge staff and resources in a number of these early primary states. They still feel confident if they stick with their current plan, they're going to be just fine. Martin?
SAVIDGE: All right, stay with us, Ryan because I want to bring in "New York Times" politics editor Patrick Healey. Patrick, good to see you. PATRICK HEALEY, "NEW YORK TIMES" POLITICS EDITOR: Good to see you.
SAVIDGE: What do voters need to see from Sanders say today that would advance or reenergize his campaign?
HEALEY: I think they need to see an argument for why Bernie Sanders is the best candidate to go up against Donald Trump. Right now the party, the many sort of the voters in the party are hearing Joe Biden, sort of seeing him again, remembering the Obama economy, the record of different accomplishments under President Obama. And so they have a sense of what Joe Biden would do here, and then they're hearing a great deal from Elizabeth Warren, another democratic candidate, about sort of her specific plans and policies. And then, look, you've got about 20 other candidates in this race. So Bernie Sanders who in 2015 when he had his big kick off in Vermont in Burlington who looked like very much this fresh and energetic counter point to Hillary Clinton, talking about Medicare for all, talking about a $15 minimum wage back in 2015, those issues are now, and those policy ideas are now pretty standard in the Democratic Party. So what kind of either new or galvanizing argument can Bernie Sanders make that can really go to electability, that can help people see him as someone who can beat Trump.
SAVIDGE: Right, I want to go back to this new Monmouth poll and how it can show trouble for Sanders. I mean his support is slipping while we see other people like Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Elizabeth Warren as you point out support on the rise. So in his message if it seems like the voters, well, I know Bernie, I've heard pretty much what Bernie has to say, now I want to listen to other people, what can he really do about that?
HEALEY: It's a real challenge. I mean right now he's facing people like Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Senator Warren, as we've discussed, who are frankly kind of either newer faces or newer voices in the party. As Ryan said, what Sanders' aides have been telling us as well is he wants to run his own race, that this is long haul race, that he is someone who's very identified with these core policy priorities for democratic primary voters who tend to be more on the progressive side, who want serious answers on health care, on -- frankly on wage stagnation, and that it is a matter of getting to those debates, seeing Bernie Sanders up on stage against a Joe Biden, against a Kamala Harris. The reality is Bernie Sanders does have a core group of support that at this point if they're not going to Elizabeth Warren, you know, it's hard to see other candidates necessarily picking those other people off, but he at least needs to keep running his own race.
SAVIDGE: Patrick, hold on, thank you. Ryan, let me ask you this last question, really. Bernie, is there any way that he may be planning some sort, I don't know, new thing to unveil, something that would catch fire to his campaign, or something that would reignite interest?
NOBLES: That's not going to happen here today, Martin, but I can tell you two things to the point you were making with Patrick about how he differentiates himself in this democratic field and then how does he rollout new policy proposals. You're right in that the Democratic Party has kind of moved more in his line of thinking on a number of these big ticket issues, like economic inequality and healthcare, but this argument that Sanders is making to Democratic primary voters is, if you believe in these principles, I'm the guy that's been talking about them for the last 40 years and I'm the guy that can get them done in the White House.
But I should point out that last weekend, he made this trip all throughout the deep south and he talked about a lot of big issues. He talked about poverty in a big way and he also talked about education and he rolled out a pretty specific policy proposal that called for among other things banning for profit schools, setting a salary floor for teachers of $60,000 a year. So even though Bernie Sanders is really going to kind of have the bedrock of his campaign be this progressive politics that he's been running on since the '70s here in Vermont, he still has some ideas up his sleeve that I think that they are prepared to roll out over the course of this campaign.
It's going to be different though than Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris and others is that you're not going to see it once a week. They're not going to it -- they're not going to be rolling out all these policies all the time because they'd argued that they'd been out on the record on a lot of these things for the balance of his career.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: And he'll do it on his schedule. Ryan Nobles and Patrick Healy, good to talk to you both, thanks.
Take a break with the lighter side of politics on Memorial Day. CNN presents a comedy special that is bigger than both sides. "Colin Quinn, Red State Blue State" premieres Memorial Day 9 Eastern and Pacific only on CNN.
SAVIDGE: Vice President Pence had some words of encouragement for the class of 2019 when he spoke this morning to the graduates of West Point congratulating them on being part of a historic class.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I couldn't be more proud to stand before the graduating class of 2019 that includes the highest number of African-American women cadets in the history of the United States Military Academy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[12:35:01] SAVIDGE: And as you just heard the school now making history because it's graduating the largest number of African-American women in its 217 years. The school says that its 2019 graduating class is also the most diverse ever by both race and gender.
And one of those graduates joins me now, West Point 2nd Lieutenant Nikiay Comer. Nikiay is from North Point -- North Port, Florida I should say. She majored in engineering and psychology. She will go on to assume duty at Fort Riley after acting as director of operations for women's soccer at West Point for six months.
Congratulations to you, Nikiay. Thank you for being with us. I'm just wondering how does it feel to be a part of this historic class.
2ND LT. NIKIAY COMER, WEST POINT GRADUATE: Sir, thank you for having me. This feeling is absolutely unbelievable. There are definitely no words to put into a sentence to describe how I feel about this. All of our works these past four years have just all come together on this day and this is awesome.
SAVIDGE: It is awesome. I want to get your thoughts on a photograph. We're going to show it to our audience. I know you can't see it right now, but you have seen it, the significance of this picture. Women of color in uniform graduating in record numbers, 34. And I'm wondering what does that represent to you personally?
COMER: Personally, sir, I think that represents where the academy has come from and where they're going. I think that's a testament to West Point as a whole and also the African-American women who have put themselves in a situation to succeed at West Point. But I think it's a good sign. I am definitely blessed to be a part of that, and I hope that we can continue that as the years continue.
SAVIDGE: As you know this is a very divisive time in our country's history, but you all have an opportunity to show the strength that comes from diversity. How will you demonstrate that in your military career?
COMER: Showing strength through diversity? I guess taking on every situation head-on, free heart, open mind, willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, not sticking to a one-step plan. And just taking all that West Point has taught us and using that for any future situations that we run into.
SAVIDGE: And what do you want to accomplish now as a graduate and what's next for you?
COMER: What's next, sir? I'll stay here for six months after graduation, work with the soccer team as the director operations position which I am very excited about. And then after that, I will head to Fort Riley, Kansas, and kick off my career as a quartermaster officer.
SAVIDGE: In 2014, we know that West Point moved to not just actively recruit more women and minority students but to diversify its leadership. And I'm wondering how important is it to have a leader or classmates come from the same background as you do.
COMER: I think it's pretty fantastic. Like most people when you see someone that has a similarity to you, you tend to go towards that bond and you tend to work together better. But I think that although it is good, it is also good to have people from all different backgrounds as well. Because when we get into the real army and when we are in the position to lead other people our soldiers are going to come from all different backgrounds. So it's very important for us to be able to lead anyone from any background and be able to connect them on a special level.
SAVIDGE: Yes, well put. You've written dozens of letters to elementary school students, pen pals in California, urging them to dream big. How does it feel now knowing that you're blazing trails for those young students?
COMER: Sir, it feels incredible. I hope that they can look at me and maybe think that they can do this, too, and they can definitely be in my shoes and that anything they want to do is possible and that there are no limitations on their dreams.
SAVIDGE: Well, I know they look up to you. I know we look up to you. Cadet Nikiay Comer, thank you very much for being with us today, and congratulations.
COMER: Thank you, sir.
SAVIDGE: Up next, the White House bypassing Congress in an effort to speed up the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia. But is it legal? Can the president circumvent Capitol Hill? More right after this.
[12:43:41] SAVIDGE: President Trump is approving the sale of billions of dollars worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan. To push through the $8.1 billion sales, the president declared an emergency to bypass Congress. A U.S. official tells CNN many of them will be engineers who support patriot missile batteries and recognizance aircraft. The sale comes on the same day that he approved sending those 1,500 troops to the Middle East to deal with what the White House calls a rising threat from Iran against U.S. troops in the region.
With me now is Greg Brow he is a former assistant director for the Office of Congressional Affairs for the FBI and a former U.S. attorney. Thanks for being with me today.
GREG BROWER, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR OFFICE OF CONGRESSIONAL AFFAIRS, FBI: Sure, Martin.
SAVIDGE: Arms sale, let's start with that one. Does the current threat from Iran really constitute a crisis, an emergency I believe is the actual word, from your legal perspective?
BROWER: Well, that is, of course, the question that Congress is considering right now. There seems to be a bipartisan group of members of Congress who don't think that there is an emergency or that the president has established an emergency such that this loophole in the Arms Export Control Act could be used in this way. And that's going to have to be determined by Congress.
[12:45:02] The president appears to have the legal right to do this, and so even if Congress does object to the characterization of this as an emergency, it may be that the president is going to be able to go ahead and do it anyways. But this is a classic case of how dysfunctional our foreign affairs has become in certain respects when even with the Republican majority in the Senate, the White House can't coordinate something like this to achieve an agreement with Congress before acting unilaterally.
SAVIDGE: Is there anything that Congress can do to stop or delay the sale?
BROWER: Well, I think the ability on the part of Congress to stop or delay really is their political power. If the -- if leadership in Congress in a bipartisan way is able to push back on the White House is sufficiently strong to convince the White House and the president that this is really a bad idea to do it unilaterally, that's where their power lies. It appears that legally as the secretary of state explained this past week, the president does have this power.
SAVIDGE: The secretary of state has implied, you know, that the reason for this was to sort of -- he was worried about congressional delay. This was a workaround for that. The role of Congress in sort of reviewing these deals and even the military which would get involved looking at the hardware, this is actually important stuff here. They aren't just trying to be a pain in the side of the president.
BROWER: Very important. And it's often as past circumstances and examples have shown over the years it can be very labor-intensive, it can very challenging. It can cause the White House and the president to expend a lot of political capital. But it is from the perspective of Congress, the way the system is supposed to work. That political capital is supposed to be spent, negotiations are supposed to happen, discussions are supposed to happen. And there should be a bipartisan agreement before an action like this is taken is what the Congress would say.
SAVIDGE: On the subject of Iran, the president, of course, ramping up his rhetoric. We've also seen the movement of military hardware into the region. And I'm wondering if there is a concern not just militarily whether the U.S. is prepared, but I want to ask you on a subject the FBI is familiar with, that's cybersecurity here. That plays into this whole potential conflict if it came to that, right?
BROWER: Cybersecurity is an increasingly important threat and a priority for the FBI. And it takes on very many forms including cyber attacks by nation-state actors such as Iran. So, yes, this is a very big deal for the U.S. government, particularly for the FBI. And that has to be part of the consideration when dealing with anything involving Iran.
SAVIDGE: And one last question, and that is the president, of course, has repeatedly said he doesn't always trust his intelligence community. And I'm wondering if that relationship still strained and how is it affecting our ability to deal not just with America's enemies, but our allies as well?
BROWER: Well, it would appear to be strained given the president's order from this past week wherein he has given the attorney general who is part of the intelligence community but a small part, frankly, has given the attorney general effectively a lot of power over the heads of other intelligence community agencies. This is unprecedented. In my view it's unnecessary, and it does appear to be political which is why in the eyes of most people in Washington, most experts, this was a really bad idea. And I have to believe that behind the scenes, the heads of the other intelligence agencies are considering how to push back and how to interpret this order that, again, is simply unnecessary in the view of most intelligence experts.
SAVIDGE: Yes, it has to be concerning not only the U.S. intelligence but also those who are allies of ours. All right, Greg Brower -- I'm sorry, I interrupted you. Go ahead.
BROWER: Martin, I was just going to say you're absolutely right. With respect to allies, I can tell you from personal experience in my time at the FBI, this is the sort of thing that our most trusted closest allies really find confusing and disturbing and that has to be a serious consideration going forward.
SAVIDGE: OK. Greg Brower, thanks very much. Good to see you. We'll be right back.
[12:53:02] SAVIDGE: Silicon Valley is scrambling after yet another massive data breach. Just last week, the popular messaging service WhatsApp revealed it was vulnerable to hackers who had the ability to install spy wear on personal devices. Facebook has dealt with similar incidents in the past. Last year the Cambridge Analytica scandal saw an app developer accessing information of tens of millions of Facebook users without their explicit knowledge.
So, here to talk about all of this, CNN law enforcement analyst and former Secret Service agent under President Obama, Jonathan Wackrow. Jonathan, good to see you.
JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Nice to see you, Martin.
SAVIDGE: OK, so when I think about someone hacking, stealing, it's credit card information and social security numbers. Is that primarily what it is or is there more they're getting from me?
WACKROW: No. Listen, Martin, the risk is much greater. I mean, think about it. It is Memorial Day weekend, tens of millions of people are taking to social media to make travel plans, make travel reservations, connect with friends and family and, you know, buy goods and services online. Social media platforms broadly have become, you know, an extension of our life. So as opposed to traditional data breaches that you were mentioning where the motivation is primarily around financial gain, breaches of social media platforms, you know, have a greater impact because they have access to a greater amount of information, personal information about our lives.
So at the end of the day, the impact of a social media breach has far- reaching consequences than a traditional breach we have become so, you know, numb to almost.
SAVIDGE: Yes. So what can they do with that information?
WACKROW: Well, listen, you know, it's all around the motivation and the -- just the sheer amount of information that social media platforms have. Take a step back. These platforms are designed to collect, analyze, and disseminate information about our online behavioral traits.
[12:55:01] Every single thing is tracked and collected. So, you know, people, you know, who are trying to utilize that information can take it and socially engineer very sophisticated attacks against, you know, businesses and individuals. Oftentimes, people connect their business credentials, their business e-mails to social media accounts.
WACKROW: So, you know, people with nefarious means will try to take that information and go towards the business domain to try to utilize those credentials to get to you.
SAVIDGE: All right, let me stop you real quick there, Jonathan because before we run out of time, I would like people to know at least what on social media can they do to protect themselves.
WACKROW: Listen, this is about awareness, understanding the risk, and don't make yourself a victim. So what you want to be able to do is take, you know -- basically, conduct an audit of all of your online activity. What type of social media accounts do you use, and what don't you use? Those accounts that you're not utilizing, you know, eliminate them, disregard them, disregard them.
You know, you should be utilizing very strong protocols around your passwords and, you know, just conduct great, you know, cyber hygiene day in and day out. Don't make yourself a victim.
SAVIDGE: Great. Good advice. Jonathan Wackrow, thanks so much.
WACKROW: Thanks a lot, appreciate it.
SAVIDGE: Coming up, she went missing for more than two weeks in a remote Hawaiian forest injured and alone, but today it is all smiles. We'll talk with one of the rescuers who was able to find the woman missing in paradise.