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"Rust" Movie Production To Wrap Indefinitely After Alec Baldwin Accidentally Shot & Killed Cinematographer; Mark Zuckerberg Defensive On Facebook's Earnings Call; Biden To Head To G20 Amid Escalating Tension With China. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired October 25, 2021 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: That's it for us. The news continues. Let's hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right, Coop, thank you very much.

I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

The production of "Rust" is now shut down indefinitely. But investigation seemed to be ramping up, after actor, Alec Baldwin, accidentally shot and killed a cinematographer, with a gun, Thursday.

Question, how did a live round end up in what was supposed to be a prop gun? Now, there is no such thing as a prop gun. They only use, in a lot of these things, certainly in this production, real guns, and then they just change the ammunition, if they get it right.

So, are we going to hear at some point that no real guns will be used in movies anymore? It certainly seems clear now that missteps led to the accidental killing of Hutchins, the cinematographer.

Someone was in charge of the gun that Baldwin pulled the trigger on. And someone else handed it to him, and told him it was "Cold," meaning no live ammo. You could also ask why, were they even using a real gun, in a rehearsal? Why wasn't it a fakie? Why wasn't it just a rubber thing? They were just blocking out a scene.

Tonight, we're learning more about what is knowable, at this point, those two crew members.

The 24-year-old rookie armorer, that's the position that is in charge of the weapons, she had doubts about her own capabilities, and expressed them openly, on a podcast, just last month, talking about the movie she worked on, right before this one.

Listen to Hannah Gutierrez.


HANNAH GUTIERREZ, ARMORER, "RUST": I was really nervous about it at first and I almost didn't take the job because I wasn't sure if I was ready. But doing it, like it went really smoothly. Dad has taught me everything. But a lot of things, you know, I kind of just caught on by myself and everything, like this.


GUTIERREZ: Yes, just observation, watching him do things, or like just knowing how the firearms work. I think loading blanks was like, the scariest thing to me because I was like, "Oh, I don't know anything about it."


CUOMO: Now, the last part is especially haunting, on two bases, right? First, how can loading blanks be scary? And two, how do you hire someone, who doesn't really know what they're doing, by their own admission?

Then, there's the assistant director, who was the one, who physically handed Baldwin, the weapon, and gave him the go ahead that it was safe to use, allegedly shouting, "Cold gun."

Now, his name is Dave Halls. We're learning Halls was fired, from a previous movie, he was working on, over another gun incident that injured a crew member.

The production company, Rocket Soul Studios, says Hall was serving as an A.D., an assistant director, on the film, "Freedom's Path," in 2019, when a 1800s-style muzzle-loading rifle unexpectedly discharged, on set, causing a sound crew member, to get medical treatment, and halted production.

So, this wasn't his first gun incident, on a job. And the Head Armorer wasn't a 100 percent confident in what she was doing, specifically loading blanks into a gun. Although, again, if it is a blank, then, the loading part isn't your problem. It's that they had live ammo on set. Why would you have that in a make-believe situation?

Now we're hearing multiple reports that there were at least two accidental prop gun - and again, I keep using that word. Never use it. It's completely immaterial.

There is no such thing as a prop gun, in this instance, OK? They're using real guns and not real ammo. You hope. I pause, because they probably used real ammo here. That's why someone's dead, and someone else is injured. So, the real weapon discharged, twice, on set, in the days prior, to the deadly shooting.

Joel Souza is the director of the film. He was shot. I believe he has a shattered clavicle. They say he's OK. And he's talking to investigators in Santa Fe. They say they're still waiting on the forensic report, from the coroner's office, to identify the type of projectile that killed Hutchins.

Now, look, theoretically, it could be that there weren't bullets, in the gun, that this was some other kind of thing, from some defective blank, or something like that. We don't know, for sure. But, in all likelihood, something, that did the kind of catastrophic injury to this poor woman, and had enough power to go through her, and hit somebody else? It's a bullet.

We've learned enough to bring in a better mind, to make sense of how risky this all was. You remember Bill Davis? Licensed weapons specialist, been a firearm trainer, for film and television, for many years.

It's good to have you back.



CUOMO: So, just let's deal last thing first. We're waiting on the forensics. But what else, could have come out of this gun, and blown a big hole, in somebody, and killed them, and then hit somebody else, except some type of ammunition?

DAVIS: Well, that's it right there. In a nutshell, it had to have been a live round, with a lead projectile, in order to penetrate one body, and partially penetrate another. You can't do that with a blank.

CUOMO: Right. Now, you heard there that the armorer said one of the scariest things, in doing the job, the first time, which was the job, right before this one, she said "Loading blanks was tricky." Why?

DAVIS: Well, it's not tricky. It is to the uninitiated, or the inexperienced.

Now, she is 24-years-old. By law, in the United States, you have to be at least 21-years-old, to handle firearms. And why would someone hire somebody, like this, and make them a quote unquote, "Armorer," when it takes years, to become an armorer?

Now, you can be a gun handler. But that isn't what she was doing. She just wasn't focused. She wasn't paying attention. And she didn't know the weapon.

CUOMO: But this isn't about how she loaded blanks. It's that they had live ammo on set, right?

DAVIS: Yes, that's my understanding. I'm still waiting for it - because we're dealing - no longer dealing with a movie set, we're dealing with a crime scene that I think they're investigating for negligent homicide, and see who they can lay that off on, which there seems to be an abundance of people, involved in this.

There's just no way that the first A.D. should have had any access to the gun at all. He should not be touching the gun. It goes right from the armorer, to the actor, and back to the armorer. That's it. No exceptions.

CUOMO: So, the normal, let's call it, the chain of custody, just for no other, you know, it's - I know it's a movie.

But so it goes from the armorer, who's supposed to check it, and know what she put, or he put, in the weapon. Then it's supposed to go right to the actor. And the actor should check also, no?

DAVIS: Oh, of course. Well, normally, what - at least what I do, and I've learned from other armorers, over the years. That's how I got to be long-lasting in this industry.

You've got to learn from those who know. And it's like anything else. You get into a field of endeavor. And it's you have to pay attention. You have to focus. You have to learn the business.

Well, live ammo has absolutely, and I say this with - I am deadly serious. Live ammo has no place, on a motion picture, or a television studio set. It has no place, on a set, anywhere, at any time.

CUOMO: The only reason it would be there, the last time we spoke, you said, it's possible that if they ran out of dummy bullets, for a close-up, and showing someone loading a gun, so that you wouldn't notice that there was no slug, on the top of the casing, because it was a blank, then maybe you would try to substitute the dummy bullets, which are casing that has no gunpowder on it, with a slug on top, with real ammo.

I know you would never do that. But that's the only possibility right?

DAVIS: I suppose that that's one of the possibilities. I know that when you're dealing with ammunition, a blank round of ammunition, right here, is for the Cowboy guns. That's what it fits into the 1873 Colt Single Action Army, which is what Baldwin apparently was using.

So, you've got a blank ground. You'll notice it's crimped, on the front. So, then, if you were to load in a live round, this one, this is a live round of ammunition, in .45 Long Colt, you notice the lead projectile at the end, OK?

CUOMO: Right.

DAVIS: Then, you're dealing with another dummy round. It looks like the real deal.


DAVIS: It's beautiful. It's shiny. It's brand-new. But it's got that silver primer at the bottom, that little silver circle, that's got a big dent in it, which indicates it's used spent primer. So, even if it had powder in it, it wouldn't - it wouldn't go off. There's no ignition. No ignition source.

CUOMO: Let me ask you something, real quick, before I let you go, Bill. And thank you, again, for taking time, to come on with us. What do you think of the suggestion that--

DAVIS: Yes, no problem. CUOMO: --you shouldn't be using real guns, in a make-believe endeavor, like a motion picture? You have the technology now. And just the safety issues alone, it's time for a change.


DAVIS: Well, if I thought for a moment that it would be - it would make the movie look better, to use non-guns, or use plastic guns, or rubber guns, and use computer CGI enhancement, for the flash, I'd be standing in line, saying, "Yes, sign me up. I want to - I want to run these guns. I want to learn all about them."

But sadly enough, they don't look real. Not only do they not appear real, like this one, is a real one, the patina of it, the action of the hammer, and the cylinder turning, you can't get that in a rubber or plastic gun.

And you can get replicas. This is a replica. It all boils down to experience, neglect, and failure to perform, your function, as an armorer. And there's no excuse for that. If you're going to call yourself an armorer, then you better know the job. And you can't call yourself an armorer, or a prop master, after just two movies.

CUOMO: I hear you.

DAVIS: It's just not right. It doesn't happen.

CUOMO: Bill Davis, thank you very much, for talking to us, about the ins and outs, very helpful. Be well.

DAVIS: My pleasure. Good night.

CUOMO: Now, Bill raises another issue for us that we're going to take on in the next segment. This was obviously an accident, in one part, and it was obviously a failure to do your job, in the main part. Now, what does that mean? What does that mean, legally?

You heard Bill say the investigators may be trying to do criminally- negligent homicide. Now, that is a very specific crime, with a very specific mental intent, and a burden of proof, OK? Is there criminal exposure? Is there civil liability? You know, that's a yes.

Would this really be about Alec Baldwin, maybe as a producer, on the film, or the other producers, the armorer? We have a legal mind, who, has been, put to exactly these kinds of questions, next.









CUOMO: For all the intrigue, surrounding the Alec Baldwin shooting, in the "Rust" movie, it's really about what happens now. What is the legal exposure here?

Is there going to be any kind of criminal exposure on this? I mean, look, Halyna Christiansen - Halyna Hutchins is dead. She was a mom. She was a professional. She was a wife. She's gone. Is there criminal exposure?

Baldwin was told he had a cold gun in his hands. Did the person, who gave it to him, check? If they didn't check, and they said that, is there exposure for that?

Now, there was live ammo on set. What's the exposure for that? A lot of it to me sounds like it's going to be about civil. It's going to be about money. It's going to be about liability. But could it be more?

Stuart Fraenkel knows the law in this area, even in New Mexico. He represented a stunt woman, who was injured, in one of Hollywood's "Resident Evil" movies. So, he understands the analysis here, on both sides of the table.

Thank you very much, Counselor.

Now, I didn't hear you. Let me see if it's me, or if I can hear you, Counselor. Let me see if I can hear you.

STUART FRAENKEL, ATTORNEY, LAWYER FOR STUNTWOMAN HURT IN "RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER": All right. I hear you loud and clear, Chris. Can you hear me now?

CUOMO: Yes. What, do you want to give me a heart attack, doing something now?


CUOMO: Now, you have criminal exposure! No, I'm kidding.

So, when you look at this facts pattern, help us understand what is the universe of possibility, as you understand the circumstances, at this moment?

FRAENKEL: Well, first off, I think we need to say our heartfelt condolences to the Hutchins' family, and to Mr. Souza, hope that he heals fast, and he heals well.

But moving to the second part of your question, and that is what is the exposure here? What we're really looking at are two things. We're looking at criminal exposure, potentially. And we're looking at civil exposure.

And you want to start with the criminal, first?

CUOMO: Yes, please.

FRAENKEL: So, first off, what we have here is a situation, where the District Attorney, in the State of New Mexico, is going to investigate this potential crime. And they're going to collect all the facts.

And then they're going to determine, whether or not, they want to charge, any or all of the people involved, Mr. Baldwin, Ms. Gutierrez, Mr. Halls, or others, with involuntary manslaughter.

When you're dealing with involuntary manslaughter, all you really have to prove was that there was an unintentional killing, one, and number two, that it occurred, while acting in a reckless manner.

However, you do also have to prove that there's criminal negligence. So, there has to be a little bit more than just "Oh, I made a mistake." Does that make sense?

CUOMO: It does. So, we're not talking about "I made a mistake."

We're not talking about - because this would all be civil. You had a duty to do this job the right way. You didn't do it the right way. And it caused an injury. And now, you're going to have to pay. That's got civil liability written all over.

But on the criminal side, negligence isn't ordinary negligence. You have to approximate a higher standard, to trigger a statute, no pun intended, even a fourth degree felony, like in New Mexico. What does that look like in terms of a factual representation?

FRAENKEL: Sure. Let me give you an example.

Let's say, for example, I'm standing in my backyard, and it's a Fourth of July. And I take my gun out. I'm so excited. And I take, and I point it, in the air, and I shoot my pistol.

I don't - not intending to hurt anyone. I'm not intending to kill anybody. But let's say the round travels, through the air, drops down, and hits someone, and kills someone. I could be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

I had the intent to pull the trigger, knowing that round would be discharged. And it is foreseeable that someone would be injured, and or killed, as a result of my actions. That is enough.

Here, as we said before, there's a lot we don't know, OK? Was any or all these people's conduct reckless? Did they know that this was a live round?


And we don't even know what live round means here. I mean, we're talking about, was it a projectile, end up in the cartridge? We don't know. It could have been a blank. And that blank can still kill people. So, we just don't know that. And it's going to up to-- CUOMO: I don't know. Listen, you're right. You're right. You're asking the questions the right way.

But, in terms of the strongest suggestion here, it would be shocking, if the forensic exam comes back, and says this was a blank, because this was a catastrophic injury that resulted in her death, and the way, what it takes to do something, that's no blank, especially that distance.

But I hear you, what you're saying, though. We got to wait for the forensics.

FRAENKEL: We just don't.

CUOMO: How would Baldwin? I don't see - how does Alec Baldwin - you talk about foreseeability. He was handed what was called a "Cold gun." And he was rehearsing a scene.

Isn't this really about the guy, who said it was a cold gun, when obviously they didn't check, or didn't know, what they were checking for, and the armorer, who may have had light ammo in the set?

FRAENKEL: Not necessarily. And let me tell you what I mean by that.

When I was in the Marine Corps, I was taught a very simple rule, when handling a weapon.

If you're going to point it at someone, you need to intend to kill them. And if someone is going to hand you a weapon, and they're telling you it's cold, you have to do a very simple thing, and that is trust, but verify. You need to verify that that gun is safe.

And if you go - any basic gun safety is going to tell you, you always treat a gun, as if it's loaded. You never point it at someone. And you don't put your finger on the trigger, unless you intend to pull it.

So, right here, we know Alec Baldwin, well, from what we know, didn't verify that there were no rounds in there. Why were there rounds in there in the first place? It's very simple to open that gun up, plop it in there, "Oh, well look," and you can see it, just looking at, there are rounds in there.

There never should have been rounds in this, especially for this mock- up, trying to figure out what the line of sight is going to be, et cetera. So, he had the - he has duty and responsibility. That's a lot of shared responsibility, and a lot of bad acts, here, in my opinion.

CUOMO: Stuart Fraenkel, I appreciate you. Thank you very much.

FRAENKEL: Thank you, sir, very much. Have a great night.

CUOMO: All right, now, when you go to negligence, and understanding, and still not doing the right thing, forget about this movie set.

Think about social media, and the big proprietors. Now, Facebook is the one, in the crosshairs. But they're not the only one. They're just symbolic of the entire situation.

But we now have reason to believe that Facebook intentionally didn't do enough, to stop the lies that fueled the violent insurrection, on January 6. I'm not saying it. Facebook said it, in internal documents.

Look at this. I can barely lift it. Thousands and thousands of pages, of leaked documents, referred to now, as the "Facebook Papers."

And they reveal a lot, about a company - look, you know what this means, other than a TV prop? It means that's a lot of discussion about something that you want to pretend you never really focused on, and don't have any control over.

Let's bring in a true pro, knows the company, knows the business model, knows the behavior, and knows the reality, Roger McNamee. He wrote the book, on Facebook, literally. Let's talk to him about what the solution is, next.









CUOMO: The saga of social media, or as I see it, anti-social media, we just seem to - we can't get past the obvious. Of course, Facebook plays to profits. Of course, it doesn't always do, what it tells us, it's going to do. That's business. And we both know it.

The problem is Facebook, and the other major players, in social media, are too important to be allowed to do what other big businesses do. No other businesses played a role, in the shaping of our political behavior, let alone the January 6 domestic terror attack, on the U.S. Capitol.

CNN has this big, fat stack of documents, explosive in their implications, including how, quote, "Almost all of the fastest growing Facebook Groups were Stop the Steal," and how quote, "The harm existed at the network level. It normalized delegitimization and hate in a way that resulted in offline harm and harm to the norms underpinning democracy."

This is from them, not from me. There are example after example, of Facebook employees, raising concerns, demanding the company behave better. But it has been allowed to play around, like many big companies do. So, everyone who's acting surprised at this hasn't been paying attention. Look at almost any of the nearly 600 indictments of people, charged with attacking our Capitol. Facebook's role in them being there is all over the damn court documents.

You know who else said Facebook played a role in organizing the events of January 6? The organizers of so-called "Stop the Steal" events. Listen.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How did you guys hear about this event today?


O'SULLIVAN: Facebook events, Instagram, how have you been plotting this?

SCOTT PRESLER, "STOP THE STEAL" ORGANIZER: Yes. Well, I created a Facebook event, for yesterday's event. And I posted after the fact that we were again coming today. I will be again making another event, in regards to tomorrow.


CUOMO: Look, we all know the problem. What is the fix? How do we balance rights and responsibilities?

Zuckerberg focuses on the first part, rights, because it's the easy part.


MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK CEO: I do agree that we should work, to give people the fullest free expression that is possible.

I'm very committed to making sure that Facebook is a platform for all ideas.

When I talk about giving people a voice, that's what I care about.


CUOMO: But he has to care about what they do with that voice as well, and how to monitor it. And they already admitted they can. Look, we both know. We're chatting about something on Facebook, or even email, these days, you start getting ads, about what you're talking about.

In the days after the terror attack, Sheryl Sandberg, the company's Chief Operating Officer, played up that other platforms, quote, "Don't have our abilities to stop hate." They have the tools. We know it.


But this also shows you why self-regulation won't cut it. A company that prides itself on mining every piece of data, it can get its hands on, rejected its own Advisory board's recommendation to study how its policies contribute to the violence.

Few know the scope of the challenge, better than Roger McNamee. His book is "Zucked."

Roger, it's good to have you.


CUOMO: See, so my thing is, even though I held up the big stack of papers, like a vintage B actor, we know this. We know it. They say as much in the Senate hearings, even Zuckerberg himself. "You got to regulate us. We're open to regulation."

So, what is the fix? Because we're past the point of, can they? It's, should they? And now I believe, we think, it's yes. So, what does that look like?

MCNAMEE: So Chris, there are three problems you have to solve, in any regulatory scheme.

The first is companies, like Facebook, and this would apply to Google, it would apply to Amazon, and others, they operate at nation-scale. Facebook has literally put 3 billion people on a network, with no borders, no boundaries, no limits. So, anything can happen there.

The second thing they did, which is again, common, not just to Facebook, but also Google, and now spreading through the whole economy, they have the ability to target each of us, individually. They have a little model, which is everything we've ever done in the real world, that's turned into digital.

So, you leave footprints on your phone, when you travel, when you make a financial payment, anything like that, anytime you use an app, anytime you browse the web, they have all that. So, they know us. They have the ability to target us, and with recommendation engines, to manipulate us.

And then, the third part of the problem, and this is where it all comes together, is that when you match that business model, to that giant network, of 3 billion people, it essentially - you want those people active.

And so, you promote the most emotional ideas out there. And what happens is that things that are normally, at the fringe, like White supremacy, or anti-vax, suddenly get drawn into the mainstream.

And Facebook, and other companies, promote that stuff, because it's more profitable than news. It's more profitable than kitten photos. And so, as a consequence, the whole thing becomes this huge nexus for scams, and for political harm.

And if you want to solve it, you need to solve all three. You need go, safety, privacy, and competition, are the three problems.

We need an FDA for Tech. We need to have rules that say "I'm sorry. But you can't use intimate data, like health, location, in any kind of third-party use." And you need to have new rules that prevent companies from getting to be so big, they can't be regulated.

CUOMO: So, we have Senator Klobuchar on, after you. She has a bill that's out there. It's very directed towards looking at this, from an antitrust perspective.

Break these companies up. They're too big. Is that the key?

MCNAMEE: I think it's a key. But the way I look at competition, actually Chris, is the big issue today, is that it's impossible for startups to compete.

And if you broke Facebook, up into pieces, it would still be impossible to compete with, either the mothership, or Instagram, or WhatsApp. They're still market-dominant in their spaces. You still can't compete.

What you really need to do is to prevent companies from Facebook - like Facebook, from operating ad marketplaces, at the same time they operate networks. You have to separate the components as well as the divisions from each other. But that's only a piece of it.

Without the safety rules, which have to apply to all of technology, without the privacy rules, which have to apply to the whole economy, it won't help just to regulate them, from a competition point of view, because they're doing too much harm.

CUOMO: Look, we know - we know this can be better.

And I honestly believe - I don't mean to be a cynic, Roger. And having you in my life has improved my disposition on this. But I believe the problem works better for all the power players than the solution. Even in government--


CUOMO: --that going after Facebook, it's the only thing that unites the Right and Left, right now. They're both attacking Facebook.

Of course, you got the people, on the Right, saying "Don't censor us," even though they get the most traction, of any political sites, on Facebook, and these other sites. And then you have the Left saying, "You got to control more." It's like immigration. The problem works better than the solution.

Roger McNamee, thank you very much, for helping us understand this. To be continued. Be well.

All right, we're going to keep talking solutions. Like I said, we have Senator Amy Klobuchar, very smart, understands the law and policy very well, at the state and national level. She has a bill for regulation. She has not been sleeping about this. She just can't get buy-in. What does she make, of what McNamee said? What is the future for her bill or any kind of regulation? Next.









CUOMO: Head of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, is not happy. He doesn't like the headlines.

His take, on today's earnings call, right, no irony there, it's on earnings call that he's talking about this, "Is all part of an effort to make the company look bad," he says. Listen.


ZUCKERBERG: Good faith criticism helps us get better. But my view is that what we are seeing is a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company.

The reality is that we have an open culture, where we encourage discussion, and research, about our work, so we can make progress on many complex issues that are not specific to just us.


CUOMO: Now, look, I doubt he'll take the invitation. But I'd love him to come on the show. And look, let's just have a frank conversation about this, OK?

The problem is obvious. My suspicion is it's been obvious to Facebook much longer than it's been obvious to the rest of us, because they understand their capabilities, in a way that our government never will, OK?


Why hasn't he fixed this? Is it really just about what makes you money, and that the provocative things what works for you? I mean, you want to talk frank, you want to be upset? Do it.

Is the fix anywhere close, in our Congress? Senate Judiciary Committee member, Senator Amy Klobuchar, she's done the homework. She understands the law. She understands policy. And she's understood the need for change here, for a long time.

It's good to see you, Senator.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): Thanks, Chris. That's just what I was thinking, as I heard him speak, at the earnings meeting.

And that is that I've been taking this on long before, there were any documents out there. And that's because any parent, anyone that's interested in our democracy, no matter what party they're part of, you start to see the harm. You start to see the injury.

You start to see the fact that they are putting profit, and that is based on polarized-- and algorithms that promote polarized speech and angry speech. They put that in front of the safety of this nation. That's a fact. I would suggest reading the book, the "Ugly Truth" by two "New York Times" reporters that really sums it all up.

CUOMO: So, we know the problem. Do you believe there is the will, in government, these days, to fix it?

KLOBUCHAR: Yes, it's not going to be easy. There are lobbyists around every corner. The tech industry has hired well over 300 lobbyists. And I noted that at the whistleblower hearing is that my colleagues have to get through this.

They're going to hear from lobbyists, that they've got to look at the facts, and listen to their constituents, like I listened to seven moms and dads, who talked about desperately trying to keep their kids, in a safe place, so, they can grow up without being exposed to accounts like "How to be perfect," or "How to be thin," or some of these things that they get exposed to, when they just ask, or someone who asked, about doing a school report, on vaping, and then started getting ads for vaping equipment. That's a fact. And this shouldn't be happening to young kids. So, that's part of it.

The other part of it is what was just revealed today, in "The New York Times" and elsewhere. And, of course, a lot of reporting from "The Wall Street Journal," CNN, on all of this, is what this did to our democracy.

The fact that Mark Zuckerberg claimed before Congress that 94 percent of this content was down, when people, within his own companies, researchers, are now saying it's 5 percent.

When they put up a Facebook account, to see what will happen, the researchers themselves, a woman from North Carolina, who simply says, she's a fan of Melania Trump, OK, but then she starts getting QAnon content.

We've all known this. Anyone that has Facebook accounts, in politics, or the news, or the like, know this. But it's literally hurting people and hurting our democracy.

CUOMO: So, the conceptual pushback is "Free speech." And your brothers and sisters, on the Right, will say, "You just want them to censor them more. That's what this is all about, for the Left." KLOBUCHAR: Yes.

CUOMO: What is the balance for you between rights and responsibility?

KLOBUCHAR: Very good point. And you want to have free speech, right? But there is a difference between someone, let's say, in a crowded movie theater, yelling "Fire." That is not free speech, right? That is not protected speech.

But guess what? This is the trick of their algorithms. It would be like a multiplex theater, put speakers in every one of their theaters, and broadcast it. They would be liable for that.

So, you've got algorithms that we need to have transparency. And we also need to make sure researchers can access them. And then we have to look at the liability provisions for that.

Second big bucket of things? Privacy laws. The fact that we don't have a federal privacy law has very much hindered us. And it's one of the reasons, Facebook, and other platforms make so much money, off Americans, compared to other countries, because there's no rules of the road for privacy.

And finally, what was, I know, has been the subject before, of some discussions, with you, and me, and others, competition policy, and trying to allow the marketplace, to develop alternatives, with new bells and whistles.

We're never going to know what those bells and whistles are, when in the words of Mark Zuckerberg, in an email, he would rather buy than compete.

You don't develop the competitive products that might protect kids, or may do something, about vaccine misinformation, if they buy everything in sight, and our government allows them to do that.

The end must come to that. And that means making our laws more sophisticated, and investing in our agencies, and putting, as Joe Biden is doing, people in charge, that's going to take this on, in a serious way.

CUOMO: I mean, the big challenge will be, any kind of collective political will, obviously. But then you're going to have to figure out how to enforce it. I mean, this is - I remember you. You and I, I mean, I'm much older than you are, Senator. But we remember when--


CUOMO: --the conversation was about stocks, and securities, and "How can we really regulate trading? It's so complicated." That was Stone Age, compared to understanding what these people are doing.


But look, you're fighting the good fight. You're doing the work of the people. And we'll stay on it, Senator. You're welcome back. KLOBUCHAR: And I'll note that my bill has 11 different senators on it. And it includes, people like Chuck Grassley, Dick Durbin, Lindsey Graham, and Cory Booker, and Mark Warner.

We have half Democrats, half Republicans. There is starting to be bipartisan work in this area. And that's really important to get this done.

CUOMO: Good luck.

KLOBUCHAR: OK. Thank you.

CUOMO: Take care, Senator.

All right, one of the biggest tests of Joe Biden's presidency is coming. And it's not about Washington in-fighting.

Are we headed into a new Cold War with China? In fact, I would suggest a better question. Are we there already?

Let's bring in someone, who helps us understand, what Biden is facing, when he faces the world, at the G20, coming up this week. What is the challenge? Next.









CUOMO: As President Biden, joins world leaders, in Rome, for the G20, and a Climate summit, in Glasgow, Scotland, later this week, a major player will notably be absent, but looming large nonetheless, China.

Tensions with the superpower have only been building, since Biden took office. In the last month alone, experts point to some of China's actions, as evidence of a new Cold War.

Like what? Well, the country launched a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile, launched three more astronauts, to its Space Station, ratcheted up its intrusions, on Taiwan's airspace, and managed the release of a top executive, for two Canadians, and two Americans, in what looked like a prisoner swap.

What should we make of all this? Let's bring in Global Politics expert, Ian Bremmer. It's good to see you.


CUOMO: First, is there an urgency?

BREMMER: There's an importance. This is by far the most powerful country in the world, except for the United States. And we agree on very little. There's virtually no trust.

I wouldn't say there's urgency in the sense that there is no impending crisis that is imminent. But clearly, if you're talking about, where our foreign policy priorities are, for the United States, around the world, China is clearly number one right now.

CUOMO: Cold War. Media hype, or is that a functional reality, or a future prospect?

BREMMER: It's, right now, media hype. It could be a future prospect. But we're not close to it.

It's important to recognize that these two countries need each other immensely. The amount of economic interdependence, between the United States, and China, and it goes both ways, is overwhelming.

And our banks are corporations. I mean, they are, most of them, not only are planning, to stay in China, but a majority of those that are in China, are planning on expanding their investments in China. In fact, a decent minority, say, China is by far the most important future market that they have, around the world.

This is a country that's likely to be the largest economy in the world, by 2030. So, it's not - think of it this way. Rather than a Cold War, it's more a relationship between a husband and a wife, where you hate each other. There's no trust.

But you're living with the kids. And you both love the kids. And as a consequence, it's there's a deep psychological challenge about how you're going to persist in this household. But you're not going to do anything to damage the kid.

CUOMO: What does this mean, for President Biden, when he faces, friends, and not-so-friends, at the G20?

BREMMER: Well, you mentioned that Xi Jinping is not coming. But, by the way, Xi Jinping also didn't come to see Putin, a few months ago, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Xi Jinping has not left China, since January of 2020, because they have zero tolerance around COVID, and their vaccines don't work very well.

I mean, in the same way that the Americans right now, are overwhelmingly prioritizing, trying to get a couple trillion dollars through, trying to improve Biden's performance, before the midterm elections, so they don't lose both houses, Xi Jinping, same thing. Remember, Chris, we used to talk all about Belt and Road, and how the Chinese were doing a Marshall Plan, around the world, everyone was going to align with Beijing?

Last five years, their external investments are down almost 80 percent, through Belt and Road. They have really big challenges through a financial crisis, this Evergrande Real Estate thing that's blown up on them.

They've got big energy shortages, so they've had to do rationing, and that's causing our prices to go up, on goods, because they aren't able to get their supply chain working, the way it should. Their problems internally are easily as distracting as ours are.

And so, I mean, frankly, you may not like this as an answer. But to the extent that we're not heading towards a Cold War, it's largely because things are so messed up at home, for both countries. We beat on each other, in part, because we want to burnish our bonafides. We're really not up for a fight.

CUOMO: Well, that's for sure. What do you think about how President Biden has handled China, as opposed to his predecessor?

BREMMER: It's interesting. He's made a lot of mistakes on foreign policy, around the world. But China's really not one of them.

American European allies really mistrust Biden, because the way he handled Afghanistan, the way he's handled, not allowing them to travel to the U.S. through COVID.

America's Asian allies actually feel like the United States can be counted on. You think about the QUAD, for example, this new diplomatic engagement, with the Indians, the Australians, and the Japanese, all countries that want to see more United States, in their backyard, because they're worried about China. That relationship is going very well.

The announcement of this new AUKUS deal, which you saw really antagonize the French, antagonized the Chinese even more. But the Australians really wanted it, why, because the Chinese launched a trade war, against Australia.


So I mean, when you're talking about the Asian allies, and this pivot, towards the region, because people are concerned that China is getting too strong, and not aligned, with the rules of engagement, that the Americans and our allies have been living with, for decades now? Largely speaking, the Asian allies are pretty happy with the Biden administration, right now.

CUOMO: So, this is a good test, for the President, to see how he can operate in this setting, and control outcomes, in terms of change of disposition, towards him, in the United States. I'll be there. We'll be watching.

Ian Bremmer, thank you very much.


CUOMO: All right, we're going to take a quick break.

BREMMER: Thank you.

CUOMO: And come back with the handoff.


CUOMO: All right. Now, listen, don't take things the wrong way, OK? When it comes to social media, of course we all want free expression, and to be able to see a marketplace of ideas.

But there has to be a balance of rights and responsibilities. This isn't a legal question. Oh, you know you can. It's about how you do it. We can do better. Enough on the problem. What is the fix?

Thank you for watching. "DON LEMON TONIGHT" with the big star, D. Lemon, right now.