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President Donald Trump Debunks Conspiracy Theory Against Former Vice President Biden, Biden's Son And Ukraine; Senator Elizabeth Warren Is Renewing Her Calls For President Trump's Impeachment; Judge Orders Trump To Testify In Case Over 2015 Confrontation Between His Security Team & Protesters; Virginia Roberts Giuffre Reveals New Details On Her Alleged Sexual Abuse By Prince Andrew; Facebook's Zuckerberg Holds High-Stakes Meeting With Trump; Preview Of Primetime Emmys. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired September 21, 2019 - 16:00   ET


[16:00:00] ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN HOST: In Tokyo, fans dressed up as their Batman characters. D.C. comics calls it a once in a lifetime event comparing it to a solar eclipse. We should note that D.C. comics and CNN are both part of the Warner media family.

MARQUARDT: Good afternoon, I'm Alex Marquardt in for Ana Cabrera.

Abuse of power, that is the blunt message that is being delivered in crystal clear terms from a fired up Joe Biden to a FOX News reporter who was asking him about the debunked conspiracy theory that is being pushed by the President that involves Biden, Biden's son and Ukraine. Biden just took the stage moments ago in Iowa. Let's listen.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Folks, we meet here today as the threat posed by Donald Trump that seems to get worse every single solitary minute. We saw it in El Paso. We saw it and we see it now in Iran and God knows where he is going to go with that. Mistakes are only getting higher. Above all else, we must defeat Donald Trump, period.


BIDEN: And stop his abuse of power. We have a President who traffics in the ugliest forces, the ugliest forces in our nation's history in both clear language and code. President Trump has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation.

When Charlottesville occur and there were decent people standing there saying we will not go along with his hate. And he was asked when a young woman was killed, he was asked to characterize what happened, he said quote "there were fine people on both sides."

No President, more than a boo. It's serious. No President has ever said anything like that, save the possibility of before the civil war. Ladies and gentlemen, in doing so, he has signed a moral equivalence between the neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, white sue supremacists, preaching hate to white supremacy and those who are opposing it. At that time, I said we are in a battle for the soul of America. And

we are in the battle for the soul of America. That's what's at stake. This country can overcome four years of Donald Trump with great difficulty, but eight years, eight years of Trump, I believe will forever change the character and nature of the country we are.

America is unique in all of history. It's an idea, an idea. American creed, all men and women are created equal. We have never fully lived up to that, but we have never ever, ever, walked away from it. It's genius. It is every generation of Americans, every generation has opened wider and wider access for more and more people.

That's why it's never gathered dust in our history books. We need a President who once again values honesty, decency, treating everyone with dignity and respect, leaving no one behind, giving everyone a fair shot and understanding that there's something bigger than our individual selves.


MARQUARDT: All right. I want to go now to CNN's Jessica Dean who is on the ground there in Iowa.

Jessica, Biden has decided clearly that this fight over Ukraine and what the President and Rudy Giuliani have done is one that he wants to engage in.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. Earlier today he did talk to the media about these unfounded claims about him and his son. There is no evidence to these claims. And he had a lot to say about it. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Vice President, how many times have you ever spoken to your son about his overseas business dealings.

BIDEN: I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings. Here's what I know, I know Trump deserves to be investigated. He is violating every basic norm of a President. You should be asking him the question, why is he on the phone with a foreign leader trying to intimidate a foreign leader if that what has happened. That appears what happened.

You should be looking at Trump. Trump is doing this because he knows I will beat him like a drum. And he is using abuse of power and every element of presidency to try to do something to smear me. Everybody looked at this and everybody has looked at it said there's nothing there. Ask the right questions.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will he be impeached for this?

BIDEN: Depending now on what the House finds. He could be impeached. But I'm not making that judgment out. The House should investigate it. This appears to be an overwhelming abuse of power. To get on the phone with a foreign leader who is looking for help from the United States and ask about me and imply things, if that's what happened, that appears to be what happened. We know that's what Giuliani did. This is outrageous. You have never seen anything like this from any president.

[16:05:24] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said before you enter the race that one of your concerns was about your family being brought into this race. Are you comfortable running a campaign in which --

BIDEN: I know what I'm up against. A serial abuser. That is what this guy is. He abuses power everywhere he can. And he sees -- if he sees any threat to his staying in power, he'll do whatever he has to do. But this crosses the line. This crosses this line.


BIDEN: I'm calling the President to release the transcript of the call. Let everybody hear what it is. Let the House see it and see what he did. That's what I'm calling on.


DEAN: Joe Biden previewed these kinds of attacks that he anticipated this saying this months ago to a fund-raising crowd in South Carolina that he thought President Trump would come after him and his family with attacks. And here we are at this moment. It is happening and it is happening in a very grand scale.

You hear former vice President Biden there calling for those investigations to look into what President Trump allegedly said. There are investigations ongoing on the hill right now. As for here at Iowa, you see former vice president Biden on the stage right now. Mostly, he set to his stamp speech, he hasn't addressed this issue from the stage just yet. But Alex, we will of course continue to listen to him today.

MARQUARDT: All right. A big day for the democratic Presidential candidates.

Jessica Dean, we know that you will be there listening to all of them. Thanks very much.

DEAN: Yes.

MARQUARDT: Now President Trump is, again, insisting today that reporters should dig into a widely discredited -- we need to emphasize this. This is widely discredited, a conspiracy theory involving Joe Biden and Ukraine and Ukrainian prosecutor that he helped to get fired.

Joining me now is CNN reporter and fact-checker extraordinary Daniel Dale.

Daniel, Democrats are accusing Trump of wrongdoing, of a flagrant abuse of power trying to rope a foreign ally into helping his reelection campaign. And Trump then has pointed the finger back at Biden saying that he in fact should be investigated. So let's dig into these unproven claims that Trump is making about the former vice President.

DANIEL DALE, CNN REPORTER: Sure, Alex. So what happened was Ukraine had a top prosecutor, a man Victor (INAUDIBLE), who a lot of people including U.S. Diplomats, Ukrainian anti-corruption activists, U.S. allies thought was ineffective in fighting corruption and should be fired. And in 2016 Joe Biden pressured Ukrainian leaders to oust this prosecute prosecutor. He said I will not -- the administration will not give you a billion dollar in loan guarantees you want unless you oust him. And so Ukraine's parliament, soon after that, did oust him.

Now the basis or alleged basis for the Trump world's complaints is that at the same time as all this was going on, Biden's son, Hunter, had a lucrative position on the board of directors of a Ukraine natural gas company that was supposedly being investigated by this prosecutor.

Now as you alluded to, there are a bunch of problems with this theory. One is that we don't know to what extent the company was being investigated. Blumberg, for example, has reported the investigation was dormant at the time that Biden has applied his pressure. Number two is that there's no evidence that Hunter Biden himself was under investigation.

And the third problem is that it is not all clear that getting rid of this prosecutor would have helped Biden at all. This prosecutor again was widely thought to be ineffective. So if there was theoretically was some wrongdoing, it might have hurt this company that Hunter Biden was affiliated with to have a new prosecutor brought in.

MARQUARDT: Daniel, hasn't exactly shade away from talking about his involvement in Ukraine with this prosecutor. What do we know about his story, what he is saying and whether it checks out.

DALE: Yes, it's interesting. I mean, Biden has himself told the story of the pressure he has applied on Ukraine to get rid of the prosecutor. He has held this up as an example of his own work to clean up corruption. Listen to what he said at an event in 2018.


BIDEN: I'm desperately concerned about the backsliding on the part of Kiev in terms of corruption. I will give you one concrete example. I went over I guess the 12th, 13th time to Kiev and I was supposed to announce that there's another billion dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poreshenko and from (INAUDIBLE) that they would take action against the state prosecutor and they didn't. So they said -- they were walking out to a press conference and I said, no, we are not going to give you the billion dollars. They said you have no authority. You are not the president. The president said. I should call him. I said I'm telling you you're not getting the billion dollars. I said you are not getting the billion. I'm going to be leaving here and I think it was six hours, I looked and said I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you are not getting the money. Son of a bitch, he got fired and they put in place someone who was solid at the time.


[16:10:18] DALE: So it's clear that Trump is right when he says that Biden did apply pressure on Ukraine, did threaten Ukraine to fire a prosecutor. But all of the rest of the story about why Biden did this is completely unproven.

MARQUARDT: All right. Daniel Dale, no one better to help break this all down for us. Thanks very much.

DALE: Thank you.

MARQUARDT: All right. With me now is former CIA officer and 2016 independent presidential candidate, Evan McMullin.

Evan, thanks so much for joining me today.


MARQUARDT: This is a hugely complicated story. And you have served not only in the CIA but also as a policy director for the House Republican conference. So I want to use the experience in both areas to delve into this.

When you look at this, as I mentioned, hugely complex story involving at the very least Biden, his son, Trump, Giuliani and the Ukrainians, what bothers you the most? What are the biggest red flags in this whole Ukrainian affair?

MCMULLIN: Well, one thing I would say to you, Alex, is that it is complex in part because it's a conspiracy theory. I mean, we just heard Daniel Dale break it down, breakdown the known facts. Others have looked into it as well. He cited some Bloomberg reporting about the timing of all of these things that dispels a lot of the claims that Giuliani and Trump are making.

But conspiracy theories are designed to be complicated and hard to understand, so that you can't disprove them. So that those who are inclined to believe them will simply accept them because they meet their partisan expectations and that's it.

And so that's why I think this is complex. I think the facts here are much less complex than the conspiracy theory and that's just normal. What concerns me the most is that the President is somebody now who I think has learned a lesson from 2016 and it's the wrong lesson.

It's a lesson in which he believes he can now pursue foreign interference again in our elections to help him because he's not going to be held accountable. I think that's what he's learned there.

And so, he is looking at Congress right now. And he is seeing, yes, they are taking some action. It's slow-moving. He is judging that they don't have the resolve to take real action against him and his presidency. And so what he fears most now is simply losing power, losing an election. That's the biggest threat to his power, to his presidency.

And so because of that, and because of what rides on this next election for him, which I think is the protection of the presidency, should he lose it, then he faces legal challenges on a number of fronts. He can't be indicted federally now as President. But I think what concerns me is that he is going to be willing to do more and more, abuse his power more and more in order to hold onto power. And what we see now is foreign interference 2.0 where the President is now actually using his power to compel foreign interference in our political process.

MARQUARDT: Evan, we do know that this whistleblower was part of the intelligence community. We don't know the identity of who this person is, which agency they are a part of. The President says that he doesn't either but that didn't stop him from saying this about the whistleblower on Friday. Let's listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ridiculous story. It's a partisan whistleblower. Shouldn't even have information. It's just another political hack job.


MARQUARDT: Evan, how can the President make that accusation that this was a political hack job given what we know at this point?

MCMULLIN: Well, this is what the President does. He throws up all kinds of defenses that are inconsistent with each other, even within the same interview, within the same minute, maybe within the same sentence. But he is trying to throw up, you know, trying to confuse the matter. Again, sort of the same approach as a conspiracy theory.

So he doesn't know who the whistleblower is, but he says they're partisan. He doesn't know, according to him, what conversation everyone is talking about, but it was a perfect conversation or however he described it. He described it specifically about that in positive -- in positive light. He said it was routine.

And so, you know, it just didn't make sense. His defenses don't make sense. And, by the way, he didn't -- he had a couple of opportunities there to deny he ever had such a conversation and he wouldn't do it. And I think that is extremely telling. You would think if you were the President you were being accused of this and you didn't do it, you would say I didn't do it. But he wouldn't go that far. He found other ways to obscure the matter. And I think he is going to continue to take that approach. But that's just why it's important for Congress and the American people to get the complaint, the whistleblower's complaint as the law requires. And at this point see the transcript or whatever there is from the conversation.

[16:15:12] MARQUARDT: At this point it looks like this intelligence operative was really going by the book and filing this complaint with the intelligence community inspector general. But now you have the director of national intelligence who is saying he doesn't have the responsibility to forward this on because it's not technically part of intelligence activity.

It relates to the executive branch and the President. So what recourse does this whistleblower now have for his or her complaint to be heard?

MCMULLIN: Well, it certainly -- that dynamic that you just described with the DNI certainly puts the whistleblower in a more precarious situation which is truly unfortunate. Now, we don't know yet all of the details related to the whistleblower's complaint. And so, it's hard for us to pick apart, does this meet the requirement.

But a Trump appointee, the intelligence community inspector general, has made the determination that it does. And that determination is enough, according to the law, to trigger that report to Congress and now the DNI is standing in the way of that, according to reporting under serious pressure from the White House.

So we will see how that develops there. But that whistleblower, I think, and I'm sad to say, is in a precarious situation, I think, because he isn't -- he or she isn't going to be able -- he is not going to be protected by some of the same legal protections that he would be had this -- if this were being handled in the way that it should be. And I think that's a problem going forward for future whistleblowers.

But not only for future whistleblowers. It's really an issue much broader than that about anyone who stands up to the President. Whether you are a civic actor or you are a reporter or you are a politician or whatever you are. If you stand up to the President and try to check his power or hold him accountable, he is going to find a way to attack you personally and that's -- many of us have experienced that. That's what he's going to do and that's what his authoritarian leaders do. They try to cram down and squash dissent wherever they can.

MARQUARDT: Evan, while I have you, the 2020 race of course is heating up. Would you consider jumping back as you did in 2016 and challenging the President in the Republican primary.

MCMULLIN: You know, I don't have plans to do that. I'm very busy with my work at Stand Up Republic, a leading a national organization devoted to defending and improving American democracy. I think that's where I can have the most impact. I do think that I will pursue public office again when I do that I'm just not sure.

I spent a lot of time thinking about it. I sometimes feel that, you know, I wish I were even more in the fight than I already am even though it's my 24/7 existence. But I don't have those plans and I'm not exactly sure in that regard pursuing public office exactly when I'll do that again.

MARQUARDT: All right. Evan McMullin, thanks so much for joining us.

MCMULLIN: Thank you.

MARQUARDT: On the campaign trail, 17 candidates have all descended on Iowa today. Senator Cory Booker is warning supporters that it's do or die for him now. And we ill be speaking to another candidate who's also facing calls to drop out.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[16:22:07] MARQUARDT: Senator Elizabeth Warren is renewing her calls for President Trump's impeachment. This time over these reports that he repeatedly pressured the President of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter for possible corruption.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): When our federal government tried to investigate those activities, Donald Trump did everything he could to obstruct justice. I read all 448 pages and when I got to the end, I called for the impeachment of Donald Trump.


WARREN: Congress failed to act and now Donald Trump has shown that he believes he is above the law. He has solicited another foreign government to attack our election system. It is time for us to call out this illegal behavior and start impeachment proceedings right now.


MARQUARDT: Warren speaking there at the Iowa stake fry today along with 16 other presidential candidates, including Montana governor Steve Bullock.

Governor, thanks so much for joining us this afternoon.

GOV. STEVE BULLOCK (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Alex, it's great to be with you this afternoon.

MARQUARDT: Quite a scene there behind you. I hope you are having a good time. So far we heard senator Warren there, you have been hesitant to go as far as calling for the impeachment of the President. Given what we know now about the President pressuring a foreign country repeatedly with the help of his personal lawyer to help him in an election, are you willing to go as part as your competito , senator Warren, and call for the President's impeachment?

BULLOCK: Well, no. To think that the President of the United States, he is acting more like an incompetent mobster than he is actually the President. If he is actually doing this every step of the way with Ukraine, but I think now what we really need to do is get that information over the inspector general. Get the inspector general's information over to Congress to find out exactly what happened. Because if he was pressuring a President and withholding money, that is an event that we really do need to take even that much further of a look at.

MARQUARDT: So if these reports are indeed accurate and you are saying that if there's this tie between investigating Joe Biden and withholding that 250 million, which was eventually released, by the way, earlier this month, you would support impeachment proceedings for the President?

BULLOCK: Yes, first I want to see what's actually in that information. But there are norms that are being broken every single day that we have to stop. The President of the United States cannot go to other heads of state and try to get interference in our elections here. That should be unacceptable for all Democrats and all Republicans and all Americans.

[16:25:02] MARQUARDT: You just said something quite strong there that the behavior, speaking of the President, is one that you would expect from an incompetent mobster. Do you think it's fear of losing this election that is driving the President to do this or is it something more?

BULLOCK: Look, I would hate to unpack the psychological suitcase that is President Trump's brain. Who knows what it is. But based norms, it should be expected, we cannot allow in this country. I mean, the rule of law exists. Norms of what we would expect a government to government consultation discussion to be about. So every step of this. So who knows what's in this guy's head. But it's not right.

MARQUARDT: When it comes to the 2020 race, you're in a crowded field. You are up against some stiff competition. I know that you are getting tired of hearing this question, of trying to answer this question of why you're still in the race, but the fact that you didn't qualify for this next debate in this most recent polling, you are standing at an asterisks.

There is also a recent op-ed in the "Washington Post" that is calling for you and Beto O'Rourke to drop out and run for the senate. Do you think that your efforts would be better spent on a Senate race where you have a good chance since you were a Democratic governor in a red state. You could make some difference in the Senate.

BULLOCK: Look, I'm the only governor actually in this race. I'm the only one that have won in the trump's state. We still have 135 days for Iowans to actually express their preference. We do need to take back the Senate. I'll do everything I can to make sure we have somebody in Montana.

But we should recognize who is at the top of the ticket. Actually, it matters for each of these senate races, we want to win. And at the end of the day, if we want to win in red and purple states, maybe we should have somebody at the top of the ticket who has won in a red and purple state.

MARQUARDT: There's an issue of course at the front of voters minds, that's gun reform. Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill have been trying to get President Trump to agree to some reforms. Let's listen to part of what he said earlier this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: A lot of Republicans and some Democrats who are now afraid to do anything to go down that slippery slope. A lot of people think this is just a way of taking away guns. And that's not good because we're not going to allow that.


MARQUARDT: Governor, you are a gun owner. Do you believe that's what Democrats are intending to take away guns?

BULLOCK: No, absolutely not. There is 30 million reasons why we're not making any progress on even common sense, like universal background checks. That's the $30 million that the NRA gave to Donald Trump.

We have heard time and time again. We heard it after Parkland. We heard after Texas and El Paso and Ohio where he says it's time to make movements here. And then all of the sudden, you heard from the NRA and he walks completely backwards.

So I am a gun owner. I'm a hunter like 40 percent in this country. There is time for gunowners and gunowners like to say we can make some movements here. And senator McConnell as opposed to taking every queue from the President, ought to be actually taking queues from his voters and recognizing it's an independent branch of governor.

MARQUARDT: All right. Governor Steve Bullock, thanks so much for joining us. Stay dry out there.

BULLOCK: Thanks for having me, Alex.

MARQUARDT: And coming up, a judge has just ordered President Trump to sit down for videotaped testimony, the scuffle outside of Trump tower at the center of the trial.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



MARQUARDT: A judge in New York has ordered President Trump to testify not about whistleblowers or Russia or even Stormy Daniels. It's for a lawsuit that's been brought by protestors who say that, in 2015, they were assaulted by the president's security team outside of Trump Tower in Manhattan.

This incident was at least partially captured on video, as you can see there. Five men who describe themselves as human rights activists, of Mexican origin, filed a suit a month later and their claim has finally made it to the courtroom.

Our Polo Sandoval joins me here now.

Polo, this was just a few months into the campaign. Describe what happened and how we got here with this lawsuit? POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At the core here, Alex, it's

fascinating. What you have here is a judge at the state level ordering a sitting president to offer his testimony under oath. Will it actually happen here? We'll have to see.

Let's go back to 2015 to paint a clear picture of this ongoing litigation here. To remind you that this started as a protest outside of Trump Tower where protestors were wearing parody Klan outfits. And that's when some members of his security team that worked for then- Candidate Trump was part of an altercation. And now what you have is a lawsuit by these five men. That image showing the scene out there on September 3, 2013.

The subjects of this lawsuit, Donald Trump, his campaign, the Trump Organization and various security agents who were working for him at the time, including Keith Schiller, who is the man who was holding that sign in this video from our affiliate.

It was written in the ruling that nobody is above the law and that includes the chief executive here.

The question is, what will be the next move by Donald Trump and his legal team. We reached out to the Trump campaign. They did not want to comment on this.

We are trying to reach out to his attorneys to see if they plan on appealing this. It's something that would not be surprising since trial is creeping up as part of this ongoing civil litigation.

MARQUARDT: That would certainly be the expectation. There are a number of people who would love to see President Trump testify on a number of different issues --


MARQUARDT: -- and on camera.

Polo Sandoval, thanks so much.

SANDOVAL: Thanks, Alex.

MARQUARDT: Coming up, there are new details revealing a bitter split between financier, Jeffrey Epstein, and his good friend the Duke of York, Prince Andrew.


And find out the true stories of the agencies that are protecting us from terrorists, drug cartels and Russian spies and more when the CNN original series "DECLASSIFIED" returns. That's on Sunday, September 29th, 9:00 p.m. Eastern time and Pacific, right here on CNN.


MARQUARDT: One of Jeffrey Epstein's many accusers has revealed new details of her alleged sexual abuse by Britain's Prince Andrew, the Duke of York. Virginia Roberts Giuffre said she was forced to have sex with the prince when she was 17 years old.

Court documents show that Giuffre accused Epstein of keeping as a teenage sex slave. Epstein died by suicide in jail in August following a trial on charges that he abused underaged girls.

And last night, Giuffre addressed her claims against Prince Andrew.


VIRGINIA ROBERTS GIUFFRE, ALLEGES SHE WAS FORCED TO HAVE SEX WITH PRINCE ANDREW: He was an abuser. He was a participant. The first time in London, I was so young. They Dulan (ph) woke me up in the morning said, you're going to meet a prince today. I didn't know at that point that I was going to be trafficked to that prince.

And then that night, Prince Andrew came to her house in London and we went out to Club Tramp. Prince Andrew got me alcohol. It was in the VIP section. I'm pretty sure it was vodka. Prince Andrew was like, let's dance together. And I was like, OK.


And we leave Club Tramp and I hop in the car with Dulan (ph) and Jeffrey. And Dulan (ph) said he was coming back to the house and I want you to do for him what you do for Epstein. I couldn't believe it.

He wasn't rude or anything about it. He said, you know, thank you and some kind of soft sentiments like that and left.

I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe that even royalty were involved.

He denies that it ever happened and he's going to keep denying that it ever happened. But he knows the truth and I know the truth.


MARQUARDT: Prince Andrew is Queen Elizabeth's second-oldest son.

Buckingham Palace has released a statement on these accusations against the prince. It reads, "It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is doing damage control while meeting face to face with one of his toughest critics, President Trump. But did he manage to convince the president the media giant is not biased against him?

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[16:45:31] MARQUARDT: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been on something of a charm offensive meeting with President Trump at the White House. The president tweeted out a friendly photo of himself and Zuckerberg shaking hands in the Oval Office.

Trump is one of Facebook's harshest critics and has tweeted on multiple occasions, accusing the social media giant of being anti- Trump and anti-conservative.

Here's the big picture. This was Zuckerberg's first visit to Washington since last year's tense testimony where he defended Facebook.

For more, I want to bring in CNN Tech Reporter, Brian Fung.

Brian, thank you so much for joining me.

Trump is expected to propose an executive order addressing these claims of anti-conservative bias from social media and Internet companies. This is something we've heard from other Republicans and conservatives. Is there any evidence to back up these claims?

BRIAN FUNG, CNN TECH REPORTER: Outside researchers who have looked at this issue have said they've found no evidence to substantiate these claims that there's some sort of anti-conservative bias baked into the technology.

Though, it is important to point out that a lot of Silicon Valley's workforce does lean liberal.

MARQUARDT: And, Brian, we also -- do we know at all what happened in that meeting between the president and Zuckerberg in the Oval Office, what was said?

FUNG: As we saw in that tweet, you know, the president said it was a nice meeting, although neither side is really elaborating on what the two men may have said.

Overall, i think, looking at how Facebook approached this, the trip really highlights the gravity of the situation for Facebook as, you know, it faces numerous investigations both in Congress and by the Federal Trade Commission into whether or not it has illegally harmed consumers or competition.

One theory that investigators are looking at here is whether or not Facebook may have, you know, tried to look for potential rivals to acquire before they became a competitive threat.

And Zuckerberg has declined to speak publicly to regulators and policymakers around the world so it really highlights here, you know, the significance with which he views U.S. policymakers. The fact that he came to Washington personally and not just, you know, met with lawmakers on the Hill but also with the president himself, it shows how seriously he takes this.

MARQUARDT: He was in Washington. Another one of his meetings was with another often critic from the other side of the aisle, Democratic Representative David Cicilline. He's been leading a sweeping anti-trust probe of technology companies, including Facebook, Amazon and Google and Apple.

Ad last week, he sent a letter to Facebook demanding internal company documents on their dealings with foreign governments. Do we know what happened in that meeting with Cicilline?

FUNG: Cicilline told reporters after the fact that he really had one main goal and that was to impress upon Zuckerberg the importance of this investigation and how significant it was to Facebook's business.

In return, Zuckerberg made a commitment that he would comply with the investigation and work to cooperate with the congressional investigators.

It's important to remember here what Congress is and isn't empowered to do in this scenario. Congress can't break up Facebook. That would take a lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission or the Justice Department, essentially, the anti-trust regulators of the United States.

What Congress can do, in this case, however, is to compel documents, interview witnesses, talk to other businesses in the industry who may have concerns about Facebook.

And, ultimately, you know, Congress could come up with legislation that would inform the policies governing Silicon Valley moving forward and put pressure on the anti-trust regulators to be more aggressive in bringing a case, potentially.

MARQUARDT: Brian, you know better than most, the scope, the span of accusations against Facebook, accusing them of violating people's privacy. Now we're seeing Facebook rolling out something called Portal TV. It's something I understand that can watch you and listen to you at home. That just smacks of them being tone deaf, I imagine, for millions of users.

FUNG: That's the criticism that's been leveled at Facebook here. And not just with Portal, but with things like Libra, the cryptocurrency that Facebook is trying to develop.

A number of lawmakers have said, why are you rushing to roll out a new product in a new sector that's very heavily regulated when, you know, your main core product still faces so many challenges and your house isn't in order yet.


So I think Facebook still has a lot of questions to answer before it can roll out some of these new products.

MARQUARDT: Before people allow a camera from Facebook in their homes.

Brian Fung, in Washington, thank you so much. FUNG: My pleasure.

MARQUARDT: Now coming up, will "Game of Thrones" keep the crown? A look at how the record-breaking show could do at tomorrow's Emmy Awards. That's coming up.


MARQUARDT: The annual night of glitz and glam at the Emmy Awards is one day away. "Game of Thrones" is the frontrunner for the second year in a row. This year, the awards are switching it up and going without a host like the Oscars.

Our Stephanie Elam in in Hollywood with the details.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Emmy question this year -- can anyone take the throne from "Game of Thrones". Last year's winner is once again the drama front runner with a record number of nominations for its final season.

MATTHEW BELLONI, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Even though some of the reactions to "Game of Thrones" were negative this season, the show is such a juggernaut and changed television in so many ways, voters were going to go for it.

JULIA LOUIS DREYFUS, ACTRESS: I just want to be president.

ELAM: Also in its final season, HBO's "Veep", our favorite for best comedy and actress, Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

BELLONI: It had to take a year off because Julia Louis-Dreyfus was undergoing cancer treatment so there is a lot of goodwill associated with the show. But the nice new shiny thing on the block is "Fleabag".



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are my clothes. I've been wearing this all day.

ELAM: "Fleabag" a British comedy, is Amazon Prime's new entry following last year's winner, the "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," a nominee again this year. But "Fleabag" has momentum led by stars Phoebe Waller Bridge, also a writer and producer for drama contender, "Killing Eve".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think I'm a bad person, Mr. Cousteau (ph)?

ELAM: Bill Hader's "Barry" is another comedy favorite. Overlooked in the category last year, voters could be looking to make amends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, Chernobyl is on fire. ELAM: "Chernobyl" leads a spate of real-life stories making up the

best limited series category, including tough competition from Ava DuVernay's "When They See Us" about the Central Park Five.

BELLONI: It is just -- it's nothing like it on television.

ELAM: This Emmys will be hostless this year emboldened by the success of the Academy Awards without a host.

BELLONI: I personally like having a host. I think it sets a bar and give you something to look forward to when you tune in. But the Oscars had no host, the ratings were up, and the reviews of the show were generally positive.

ELAM: Without a host, the star power of the Emmy's will be left to the winners.

Stephanie Elam, CNN, Hollywood.


MARQUARDT: Our thanks to Stephanie. And best of luck to the contenders tomorrow night.

Coming up, former Vice President Joe Biden blunt and fiery in Iowa, calling for an investigation into President Trump's controversial phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart. We will take you to Iowa.

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