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President Donald Trump Held His First Two Political Rallies Since The Impeachment Inquiry; Acting Secretary Of Homeland Security Kevin Mcaleenan; Marie Yovanovitch Ignored The White House Wall Of Silence; Key U.S. Ally In The Fight Against ISIS Is Now Saying That The United States Is Leaving Them Behind To Be Slaughtered After The Surprise Pullout Of U.S. Troops In Syria; Trump Calling McConnell Several Time Per Day; Trump Singles Out Schiff, Bidens, Pelosi, Omar at Rallies; Trump Voters in Florida Weigh in on Impeachment Push; Facebook Under Fire for Allowing False & Misleading Political Ads Appear on Site; Human Rights Crisis Unfolding in China; All-New Episode of "THIS IS LIFE" with Lisa Ling, Tomorrow Night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern & Pacific. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired October 12, 2019 - 16:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[16:00:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:00:59] ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Alex Marquardt in for Ana Cabrera.

And we are beginning this hour with a White House reeling from a string of crisis from the halls of Congress to the courts and to the President's own attorney now reportedly under investigation.

But first, President's ousted ambassador total her story her story on Capitol Hill on Friday. Marie Yovanovitch ignored the White House wall of silence, she broke out telling lawmakers that the president wanted her gone based on what she described as unfounded and false claims and what she called a concerted campaign against her. And she questioned whether associates of Rudy Giuliani stood to benefit financially from her dismissal.

Meanwhile, "the New York Times" is reporting that Rudy Giuliani is now facing an investigation by federal prosecutors into whether he involvement with Ukraine violated lobbying laws. Giuliani says he is not aware of any such investigation. He calls it a political attack.

The President after being somewhat cagey about Giuliani's status yesterday, saying he didn't respond when asked if Giuliani was still his personal lawyer. He appeared a today to stick up for him on twitter.

But even with his personal legal team intact, the Trump administration is facing new woes, losing in federal court five times just on Friday, in cases dealing with three matters -- releasing the President as tax returns, using emergency funding for the proposed border wall, and making it harder for low-income immigrants to get green cards because they are more likely to need government assistance like food stamps or Medicaid.

Jeremy Diamond is at the White House.

Jeremy, a lot going on how is the President and his team reacting to this onslaught of setbacks in just the past 24 hours.

JEREMEY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Alex, even as the President begins to mount his own defense in Democrats rapidly advancing impeachment inquiry, we are now also seeing the President's lawyer facing scrutiny from federal investigators who are probing whether or not the president's personal attorney violated federal lobbying laws. \

Now the President yesterday, Alex, as you mentioned, he initially his tailed when he was asked whether Rudy Giuliani was still his personal attorney. But today he took to Twitter to defend the former New York city mayor calling him a great guy and a wonderful lawyer in a tweet that also accuse the deep state of going after the New York city mayor.

Now that maybe what the President is saying publicly. But privately, Alex, we are hearing that the president is growing concerned for his personal attorney especially in the wake of the arrest of two of Giuliani's associates who were also involved in digging up that dirt in Ukraine -- Alex.

MARQUARDT: And Jeremy, amid all this, there was another rather sudden as this often happens departure from the Trump cabinet. We saw the acting secretary of homeland security Kevin McAleenan leave. He had only been in that job for around six month. He was the fourth homeland security secretary during the Trump's tenure. What do we know about McAleenan's exit?

DIAMOND: Well Alex, when we obvious see the President tweet about somebody's departure, it's usually so suddenly. It is usually because he is firing them. But what we are being told is McAleenan's resignation came yesterday and on his own terms. That is the line at least that we are hearing from sources familiar with the matter.

Now, McAleenan's departure comes after there was a fairly precipitous drops in apprehensions of undocumented migrants at the southern border. It drops 65 percent from May until September.

But that is not to say that McAleenan's tenure as acting secretary of homeland security was a smooth one. What we saw was McAleenan frequently clashing with many of the President's other aides who focus on immigration enforcement just a couple weeks before McAleenan's sudden resignation. He complained that he was not in control of the messaging surrounding immigration despite being the head of homeland security. As far as who will succeed McAleenan, well, the President has yet to actually name his successor to get once again another acting secretary to lead the department of homeland security.

[16:05:07] MARQUARDT: And we know the President likes his acting positions because it gives him more flexibility.

Jeremy Diamond at the White House, thanks very much.

Joining me now are CNN political commentator Tara Sethmayer and CNN legal analyst Shan Wu. Thank you both for joining me. We have got lots to talk about, as we just heard Jeremy list.

So Shan, let's start with you. Let's start with Giuliani. As we know, two of his associates are now under indictment. They were arrested as they were trying to leave the country on one way ticket, I should add. How much does this expose Giuliani because they were his associates? And it also might have the fact that "the New York Times" are reporting that he is being investigated?

SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It makes perfect sense, Alex, he is being investigated. And I think his peril is quite dire at the moment. If I was his lawyer, I would tell him you better take the fifth amendment instead of continuing to talk on and on. You are going to talk yourself right into a guilty plea or to criminal charge. These are folks who work for them. I think at some time they are his clients. So they are not going to have much incentive to be saving him at this point.

Now the particular charges they face right now aren't necessarily the kind that carry decades and decades in jail, but the prospect of even a little bit of jail tends to change people's focus as to who their friends are. So I think he has got some concerns.

MARQUARDT: And just following on that, Shan, how much does it implicate the President? I mean, if we just draw a simple line -- san we draw a simple line from these men to Giuliani to the president or is not that simple?

WU: That's certainly a line that everyone is thinking about, but I don't think we quite have the evidence to exactly see that. While, however, what is quite obvious is the fact that Giuliani was running this shadow campaign, which he says was authorized by the state department. So there are a lot of questions, Alex. And we need answers about that.

MARQUARDT: Tara, turning to you and this nothing that maybe we might start seeing some cracks in the dam, if you will, if people start speaking out, and we saw the former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch do this yesterday. If say these two of Giuliani's associates, if they were to start speaking more openly to strike some sort of plea deal, do you get the sense that more people will be -- have a willingness to come forward and really detail what they knew about the President's dealing with Ukraine?

TARA SETHMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I would hope so. Excuse me. We are starting to see a bit of a dam breaking when it comes to people coming forward starting with that whistleblower. Now, we have a second potential whistleblower. You have the ambassador yesterday decide to testify, even though she was instructed by the state department not to. We have ambassador Bill Taylor next week. We have ambassador Sondland.

So more I think people that are in position that have been front-row seats to this kind of misconduct. I think they are going to be -- it's going to be more and more difficult for them to stay silent. Even -- I mean, even the acting DHS secretary resigned because they couldn't take it anymore either. But he has been disenchanted for quite sometime and he has been alienated because of just the absolute disarray going on over at the department of homeland security, because this president can't decide, you know, what he wants to do with whom and whether he can do it within the confines of the law. So wow we have note the top three positions in DHS are vacant.

I just -- you know, I think back to secretary Mattis and what happened with Syria and what's going on with the Kurds and this absolute immoral decision by the president to abandon our Kurdish allies, and how secretary Mattis resigned on principle. I would like to see more people like him come out and say what this president continue to do is not governing, is not in the best interest of the United States and enough is enough and this is what I know.

MARQUARDT: Shan, I want to get into the sort of the technicalities of these people appearing before congress. We saw Marie Yovanovitch requested to testify. Her bosses at the state department told her that she wasn't allowed to do that, but the Democrats seemed ready for that move. The issued a subpoena. So what resource do Democrats have to get these people to testify in front of them if the White House, as we have seen, is willing to defy subpoenas.

WU: Well, first, they do want to take the formal step of issuing the subpoenas. Once they do that, then they have a foundation -- they have a couple options. They can go the more moderate route, which is go to court and file a civil lawsuit of contempt. They can go old school which is to do self-help enforces with their sergeant of arms. That hasn't been done in a while. And lastly, of course, as we know, they can simply wrap up the White House's efforts as evidence of obstruction of Congress, which is article three of the Nixon impeachment and I think it was done with Clinton as well. So they have a couple -- three different options there to use.

[16:10:09] MARQUARDT: Tara, why do you think it is that we haven't heard more from Republicans on Capitol Hill. I mean, I know that they have been in recess and they are coming back this week? But we have gotten so many more details about the President and his associates dealings in Ukraine, this desire to fuel in conspiracy theory about the Bidens and dig up dirt and yet we have heard so little from member of Congress, from Republican members of Congress.

SETHMAYER: Well, it is a constant profile and cowardness because they just don't want to be on the receiving end of the President in his twitter feed. We saw how e attacked Mitt Romney. He is, you know, cursing at people, cursing during these rallies. He is becoming more and more unhinged. He is putting forth these conspiracy theories, doing things that are a breach of the oath of office. And these Republicans just don't want to answer the question.

CNN has done a great job in following some of these Republican senators at town halls. Joni Ernst being an example, where people asking her, are you OK with the President soliciting foreign help for his own campaign? And, you know, they just can't answer it because deep down inside they know that this is wrong, all of them do.

And you know, my friend that still work on the hill, my Republican friends here in D.C., their bosses are reeling at what's going on. They know what Donald Trump is doing is a violation. And they just don't want to face the backlash. They don't know how to handle it other than just doing the right thing. At some point they need to just stand up and do the right thing and be loyal to their oath of office in the country over this charlatan who in the White House destroying the Republican party and compromising national security in the process.

MARQUARDT: And you know, we are about to enter a very heated election year. So it remain very much to be seen on whether they actually do that.

SETHMAYER: Absolutely.

MARQUARDT: Tara Sethmayer and Shan Wu, we got to leave there. Thanks, as always, thanks for your expertise.

WU: Good to see you, Alex.

SETHMAYER: Thank you.

MARQUARDT: Now a key U.S. ally in the fight against ISIS is now saying that the United States is leaving them behind to be slaughtered after the surprise pullout of U.S. troops in Syria. We will be discussing that and how this move could impact American influence in the region for years to come. That's next.

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[16:00:55] MARQUARDT: Breaking news this weekend, there's an exclusive we got. The U.S. government and military are now being accused of abandoning a trusted ally in the war on terror and leaving them, in one of their general's words, to be slaughtered.

CNN got access to an internal U.S. government readout that quotes the commander of Kurdish forces in Syria telling a senior American diplomat that Washington sold them out, leaving them with no protection against the current attack from Turkey, their longtime arch-nemesis. The Kurds in Syria are a key U.S. partner in this fight against ISIS, often taking the lead in battle against the terror group.

And just in to CNN this hour, U.S. and NATO member, France says it is halting arms sales to Turkey in light of their offensive against Kurdish forces inside Syria.

Our global affairs analyst Max Bot is here with me.

Max, there is lots of going on here. First, the French says that they are not going to sell arms to Turks while this goes on. We know that a lot of the arms that the U.S. -- sorry, the Turkey is using are American. France seems to be saying what everyone is thinking, that America here is leaving an opening for ISIS to regroup. MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, not just an opening ISIS

to regroup but also a opening for Iran and Russia to come into the void. In fact, one of the Kurdish commanders who was quoted not just saying that, you know, you are leaving us here to die, which is true, but also saying that if Americans we will protect us, we will turn to the Russians who will. So on every level, whatever you look at, Alex, this is a geopolitical disaster in the making.

MARQUARDT: We heard secretary of state Mike Pompeo say that we are not leaving the Kurds in the lurch. Defense secretary Esper, he said the same thing. How do you find their arguments? How are they walking this this line when U.S. troops have clearly been pullback and as a result, the Turks have done it?

BOOT: Right. They are lying. I mean, that's my reaction. They are not telling the truth. They have no credibility. And we know what the President, who is the only person that we should look to for any guidance in terms what the U.S. government is going to do. We know what the president said, which was last Sunday, he issued a release saying he was going to pull U.S. troops back for the border in northern Syria, as the Turks were coming in. So that's a clear green light to the Turk to do whatever they want to do.

And you know, Pompeo and anybody else can try to walk it back. But they cant do it. And now, of course the President himself is being confronted with the consequences of his rash words and actions for leaving our allies to be slaughtered as they themselves say. And now the U.S. is threatening to put sanctions on Turkey. And you know, Trump says, I'm going to decimate the Turkish and destroy their economy, this doesn't make sense. Instead of trying to destroy the economy of a NATO ally, instead of putting sanctions on a NATO ally, why didn't President Trump say, no, you can't come in and attack or Kurdish allies. We have American troops that we consider this an attack upon ourselves if you attack out Kurdish allies. And if that had happened, the Turks would not have don't anything, I'm convinced.

MARQUARDT: And we should note that there are still some 1,000 U.S. troops who, of course, still in Syria.

BOOT: Right. Still in harm's way.

MARQUARDT: Max, you know better than I, when you speak to senior officials from key U.S. allies like France, like Great Britain, they say nothing surprises us anymore. But this decision, which is by all accounts is quite rash after one phone call with president Erdogan, how much do you think that has surprised key allies members of the coalition?

BOOT: I think it is a very nasty and unexpected surprise, not just to countries like Britain and France, but you see in Israel where people have, you know, thought that Trump was 100 percent in their corner, 110 percent pro-Israel, will to do anything to help Israel. But now a lot of Israelis are saying, hey, wait a second, how do we possibly trust Trump? If he is leaving the Kurds in a lurch, why won't he leave us in a lurch?

MARQUARDT: Right.

BOOT: So this is really sending a very dangerous signal to our allies all over the world saying that you cant trust United States. And that the same time it is sending a signal to our enemies that we don't have the resolution to stand up to them. We are pulling back. We are under an isolationist president. So that is basically a signal for countries like Iran and Russia to move forward into the vacuum that we are leaving behind.

[16:20:06] MARQUARDT: One of the other things that might have scared American allies particularly in Europe was the response to a question that the President got about ISIS detainees who are currently being held by these Kurdish forces, many of whom are now having to leave their post to go fight against the Turks. Let's take a quick listen to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Well, they are going to be escape to Europe. That is where they want to go. They want to go back to their homes, but Europe didn't want them for months. We could have given them to them. They could have had trials. They could have done whatever they wanted. But as usual, it's not reciprocal. You know my favorite word, reciprocal. That's all I want. I don't want an edge. I want reciprocal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUARDT: He says that they will escape to Europe. There are 11,000 of these hard-bitten ISIS fighters who are being held by the Kurds. Your reaction to that ?

BOOT: It is just unbelievable that the president of the United States can be so cavalier about the prospect of some of the world's most hardened terrorists escaping. And going to Europe, which is a bunch of countries we are closely aligned in NATO. And beyond, there are -- God knows Americans visiting and living in Europe. By the way, it's not that hard to get from Europe to the United States.

So this is just -- Trump says so many appalling and disgusting things. But to say like, who cares the terrorists are going to Europe? No big deal. I mean, that's such a shocking message. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that the President of the United States actually said something like this.

MARQUARDT: And it seems like the Turks are trying to assuage America fears albeit very simply, we will take responsibility for these detainees as we move in. How plausible is that?

BOOT: It is not very plausible. I mean, first off, the key point here is I'm not aware of any planning to keep the detainees in custody. I mean, Trump just announced this decision last Sunday and said, hey, the Turks are going to move in. He didn't notify the Pentagon. There was no kind of contingency planning being done for how do you secure these prisoners, who are in many cases on the verge of breaking out anyway. And by the way, these prisons are well outside the Turkish area of operation. So unless the Turks are going to go a lot deeper into Syria than they are proclaiming, they are not going to be taking custody of these prisoners.

The real worry is that the Kurds are going to have to move their forces to fight the Turks. So they are not going to be able to keep their forces in place to maintain custody of these very dangerous detainees.

I mean, this is a very explosive, very dangerous situation. And Trump, you know, has basically just plundering (ph) into with no idea what he is doing or what the outcome will be or how to safeguard American interests.

MARQUARDT: Fast-moving dangerous developments.

Max Boot, thanks, as always, for you breaking it down for us.

All right. Coming up, what is a president to do in the middle of an impeachment saga? Well, if you are President Trump, you hit the road and entertain the crowds.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The radical Democrats policies are crazy. Their politicians you are corrupt. Their candidates are terrible. And they know they can't win an election day so they are pursuing an illegal, invalid and unconstitutional bull (bleep) impeachment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:27:08] MARQUARDT: We are following breaking news out of the New Orleans, where emergency crews are looking for two missing workers after several floors of a high-rise construction site collapsed this morning near the historic French Quarter.

Look at this video. People literally ran for their lives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUARDT: At least one person is dead, 18 others are injured after the seventh and eighth floors of that building suddenly pancaked at a hard rock hotel under construction. Investigators are trying to assess how stable the building is, including the crane that is standing next to it.

Now, this past week, and we are well aware we say this very often, it was not a great week for President Trump. He is being hammered from a number of different directions for deciding to pull out troops from northern Syria, even some lock usually lockstep Republicans lawmakers are calling it an enormous mistake. Then a new poll came out this week that show a majority of American

voters believe that it's time to impeach the President and remove him from office. And get this, that poll was conducted by Fox News. And then there is an administration insider tell CNN this week that the president is calling Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell as often as three times a day trying to make sure that there's enough Republican support in the Senate to avoid a possible conviction in his impeachment trial.

Also this week, the President held his first two political rallies since the impeachment inquiry began unleashing on, well, just about everybody.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: So shifty Schiff, little Adam Schiff, Adam, I have had you up to here. Little Adam Schiff.

Hunter, you are a loser. And your father was never considered smart. He was only a good vice president, because he understood how to kiss Barack Obama's -ass.

And then when Pelosi, nervous Nancy. I used to think she love the country. She hates the country. She is either really stupid, OK? Or she's really lost it or maybe there's a certain dishonesty.

Omar's legal husband was Omar's brother and that she had married him for fraudulent purposes. You mean like coming into the United States maybe?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUARDT: With me now is Trump biographer and CNN contributor Michael D'Antonio.

Michael, thanks so much for joining me. You had a piece on cnn.com this week called "secrecy is Donald Trump's Achilles heel." Do you think that if the President was a more transparent person, that he wouldn't be in this situation?

[16:30:02] MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, of course, but it's not just the transparency that we should consider. A lot of this has to do with the fact that he's so dishonest. When you're dishonest, you make things opaque. You try to create a wall between the reality of your actions and what people see.

This has been the president's problem his whole life. He's told lies about virtually everything imaginable, from what kind of baseball player he was when he was a kid, to his haircut, his appeal to women, to now he's lying about whether Rudy Giuliani is his lawyer or not. Everything is about deception.

So transparency is -- you know, it's a word he has used but, with so many things, when he's making a claim, you have to assume that the opposite is the case. When he says I'm transparent, it means he's not. When he says, I'll tell you the truth, you should be waiting for a lie.

MARQUARDT: We're seeing a lot of people close to the president, professional and personally, being caught up in this impeachment inquiry. We saw the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, testify before Congress yesterday. Other State Department officials are being dragged in front of Congress to ask to testify about what they know.

How does the president react when these layers of secrecy start to fall away and the bigger story comes to light?

D'ANTONIO: One of the fascinating elements about this dynamic is the president really tried to anticipate the professionals in the State Department standing up for themselves long ago.

When he talked about the Deep State, the whole purpose of that -- and this was during the campaign and after -- was to establish there was something nefarious was under way and that there was an enemy he could then cite as the reason he was being found out, and that they were lying and they were deceiving, and it wasn't him.

So now that the State Department professionals are coming forward, and they appear to be just competent, intelligent, patriotic people telling the truth, the president is in a bind.

This idea of him calling Mitch McConnell three times a day to ask if he still has the votes to protect him from being convicted, that's his response. He's obviously very nervous.

MARQUARDT: Michael D'Antonio, we have to leave it there. Thank you so much for joining me.

D'ANTONIO: Thank you.

MARQUARDT: A recent poll shows support for impeachment is growing. Coming up, we traveled to the crucial swing state of Florida to see if Trump's base will stick with him, no matter what the investigation uncovers. That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:37:15]

MARQUARDT: Impeachment and removal from office. According to a recent FOX News poll, 51 percent of Americans say they support the impeachment inquiry against President Trump. But in some key states, the president's base is standing strong.

CNN's Martin Savidge talked to voters in Florida.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Welcome to Orlando, Florida, not the land of make believe, but where people really live and vote. And we're talking to Trump voters about impeachment.

RICHARD DOMZALSKI, TRUMP VOTER: I don't think he's getting a fair deal out of it. I think it's very political.

SAVIDGE: Nearly three weeks into the formal congressional inquiry, polling shows a noticeable shift in the public's attitude towards impeachment. A Fox News poll released this week found 51 percent of registered voters supported President Trump's impeachment and removal from office.

We wanted to see if shifting polls suggest Trump vulnerability among his base in the swing region of a key state. For most, the short answer is no.

(on camera): It doesn't change your opinion of this president?

BRIAN BARNES, TRUMP VOTER: In this case, no. No.

SAVIDGE: And you don't believe he's done anything wrong or broken any sort of oath of office?

BARNES: In this case, no.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): On camera, no Trump voter would tell us the president should be impeached.

(on camera): Do you believe this president has used his office for political gain?

DOMZALSKI: In this particular case?

SAVIDGE: Yes.

DOMZALSKI: I don't think so.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Most Trump voters we spoke with called the impeachment inquiry a sham put on by Democrats followed by unsubstantiated claims. They downplay the president's phone call with the President of Ukraine that seems to seek dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

(on camera): You've seen the transcript of the phone call: I'd like you to do us a favor.

DOMZALSKI: I've seen the transcript, but I haven't read the whole thing.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): But off camera, we did find Trump voters troubled by the president's actions. In fact, two admitted it was wrong but stopped short of calling for the president's removal.

(APPLAUSE)

(CHEERING)

SAVIDGE: At a "Latinos for Trump" rally outside Orlando, we found something that should concern the Trump administration. Though these Trump voters say they've heard nothing so far in the impeachment inquiry to change their support -- (on camera): Has this caused you to question or second guess your

vote in '16?

NANCY ACEVEDO, TRUMP VOTER: Never, ever. We need Trump to be elected for four more years to make sure his agenda is completed.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): -- all we've spoke with did say the inquiry should continue.

(on camera): Do you want the process to at least go forward?

SERGIO ORTIZ, TRUMP VOTER: I want the process to go through the whole shebang.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Even as they work for Trump's reelection, these Trump voters say they reserve the right to change their mind.

(on camera): Is there something that come to light that would change your feelings?

MARIA SCOTOLONGO, TRUMP VOTER: Maybe. It depends what it is, what is truth.

SAVIDGE: There's no question that the impeachment inquiry has raised the level of political tension in this country to a whole new realm.

[16:40:05]

We've been talking to Trump voters for years now on all kinds of topics in all different places, but never have we had as much difficulty engaging or getting people to talk on camera with us on a subject more so than this one, impeachment. People are either so angry or so over it, they simply just don't want to talk.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Orlando.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUARDT: Our thanks there to Martin.

As the 2020 race heats up, Facebook is under fire for letting false or outright misleading political ads appear on its site. The controversial response is coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:45:21]

MARQUARDT: Social media giant Facebook says, if you buy ad space on their platform, you can basically say whatever you want. That goes for political ads as well.

They're now reacting to complaints from Joe Biden's presidential campaign, who says that some pro-Trump ads are putting out inaccurate information, claims about the Bidens and their dealings with Ukraine, details that are central to the president's impeachment inquiry. I want to talk about all of this with CNN tech reporter, Donie

O'Sullivan.

Donie, these ads are appearing on Facebook. They have incorrect information in them.

Their defense is, and I'll quote here, "Our approach is grounded in Facebook's fundamental believe in free expression. Political speech is already arguably the most scrutinized speech there is. Thus, when a politician speaks or makes an ad, we do not send it to third-party fact-checkers."

What are their critics saying in response?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN TECH REPORTER: Alex, if you bring this back to 2016, if you think about Facebook's role in that election, there were Russian trolls, there was misinformation. It was all these problems.

The company, over the last three years, has hired fact-checkers to fact-check posts from regular users, from different publishers. So it's sort of remarkable to hear them say, well, when it comes to President Trump or to any political figure, we're going to accept money from them and allow them to spread lies.

MARQUARDT: When these fact-checkers do find something wrong, I understand they don't take the stuff off the platform. They just demote it. Is that right?

O'SULLIVAN: Right. So Facebook's defense, as you mentioned, that they don't want to be seen as a private company to be in the position to censor of the leader of the free world.

And Mark Zuckerberg and the company has said throughout the year, please regulate us, write some laws and rules, you know, that will guide us and put in place a framework to do this.

It's also important to mention that YouTube and Twitter are also running these ads, as are some broadcasters across the country.

CNN, in this particular case, refused to run the ad, because they said it was false.

But this is an issue that -- Facebook is a lightning rod, but I think we're talking about something much broader here.

MARQUARDT: Across the social media giants.

One of the major critics, former Vice President Joe Biden, his opponent, Senator Elizabeth Warren, has also taken major issue with this and done something quite radical. Tell us about that.

O'SULLIVAN: That's right. If you're a politician on Facebook, they say you can run a false ad. That's what Elizabeth Warren did this week. She ran a false ad saying that Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook officially endorse President Trump. In that ad, she says, "This is a lie. But i am allowed to run this ad on Facebook and target it to you, the voter, because Facebook says we're allowed to lie."

Facebook came back and with a statement yesterday and said, well, if Warren wants to share information she knows to be untrue, that's her prerogative. She can do that We're not getting involved in speech.

As I mentioned, Facebook really is the lightning rod for a bigger discussion of, how do we moderate this type of speech, particularly when it's untrue.

In Facebook's defense, they say, in a thriving, open democracy such as the United States, that these ideas will be tested.

They're not really accounting for the fact that Facebook has created these sort of ideological echo chambers for people. We all know people who only like and follow certain pages, so it's very possible that somebody could encounter one of these lies, the lie in the Trump ad, and not see any correcting information at all whatsoever on the platform.

So that's where I think it makes Facebook different than, say, a broadcaster that might run this ad.

MARQUARDT: This is certainly not a conversation that Facebook wants to be having, but it's not going away.

Donie O'Sullivan, thank you so much.

[16:49:06]

MARQUARDT: Well, the video that China doesn't want you to see. CNN gets a rare look in Xinjiang Province in China where China is reportedly detaining the Muslim minority, the Uighurs, there in a crackdown that activists are calling a human rights crisis. That's coming up.

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MARQUARDT: CNN has gotten a rare look inside Xinjiang Province in China, where China is reportedly detaining the Muslim minority, the Uighurs, there, as part of a crackdown people are calling a human rights crisis.

Here's CNN's Matt Rivers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hundreds of men cuffed and blindfolded on the ground, heads down, armed guards standing above them in this shocking drone video. The U.S. government believes this video, posted online anonymously last month, was shot in Xinjiang, China.

CNN can't independently confirm its authenticity but activists say it's a disturbing example of an ongoing unparalleled human rights crisis in the world today. Xinjiang is the western Chinese region where the government has detained hundreds of thousands of Muslim ethnic minorities over the past several years. They're thrown into a massive network of detention camps where allegations of torture inside abound.

The Chinese government doesn't want you to see these camps, as we saw firsthand on a trip to Xinjiang this year.

RIVERS (on camera): Ma'am, can you tell me what that is? Is this something that you don't want us to see?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why you are here? Tell me. Why you are here? Why you are here?

RIVERS: We're here to film what we believe is a camp.

RIVERS (voice-over): Activists say by detaining people en masse, China is trying to eradicate Muslim ethnic minority culture. But, Beijing says the camps are merely vocational training centers designed to eliminate religious extremism.

Officials say anyone can freely travel to Xinjiang to see what the government is doing for themselves. When we went, that simply wasn't true.

Our welcome gift was a government tail.

(on camera): We've already been followed by three or four guys, including one of them who I've seen follow us from the second we got out of the baggage area.

RIVERS (voice-over): That would be this man. He and at least a dozen others followed us every single hour of our six-day trip, never more than 20 feet away -- in the car, in the train station, in the hotel, in the room next to mine.

Xinjiang is on lockdown so a video like this, smuggled to the outside world, is rare and crucial evidence. Western intelligence sources say the video shows Muslim minorities being transferred between detention facilities by train.

Omerbeck Bikali watched the video and says he went through something very similar.

"I feel so said," he says. "That used to be me. I can't forget that. It's criminal."

Bikali says he was held in a Chinese camp for months in 2017, though he was transferred by car and says he was bound and blindfolded the same way.

"I think the reason they want to torture us, firstly, to make us physically weak so that you cannot resist."

[16:55:07] Beijing did not respond to questions about Bikali's claims. The government in Xinjiang said, in part, it's, quote, "crackdown on crimes has never been linked to ethnicities or religions. Transporting inmates belongs to normal judicial activities."

CNN cannot confirm why the men are being held. And criminal prisoners in China are regularly transported wearing blindfolds.

But this drone video does not exist in a vacuum. It's just a part of more corroboration, including firsthand accounts and what we've seen on the ground for ourselves, that shows China is persecuting people in Xinjiang simply because they are Muslim.

Matt Rivers, CNN.

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MARQUARDT: Our thanks to Matt Rivers for that terrific report.

In this week's new episode of "THIS IS LIFE" with Lisa Ling," she gets a rare look inside the Marines' initiative to integrate men and women in combat training. Here's a preview.

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UNIDENTIFIED MARINE: Go down there next to your weapons.

LISA LING, CNN HOST, "THIS IS LIFE": When you think back on the little girl from El Salvador, how do you think she'd feel if she could see you today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think she would be pretty surprised.

(SHOUTING)

(GUNFIRE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Being here, protecting my country, giving freedom, and not having that where I was from, it's something old me probably would be really proud about.

UNIDENTIFIED MARINE: All right, let's go!

(GUNFIRE)

LING: In this pressure cooker situation, men and women work the gun as a unit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three, two, one.

(GUNFIRE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a male-dominated society, but we all wear the same color. We're all green. We all do the exact same job.

(GUNFIRE) (END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUARDT: That all-new episode premieres tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times right here on CNN.

We'll be right back.

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