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California Braces For Another Round Of Dangerous Downpours; Three Women Vanish After Traveling From Texas More Than Two Weeks Ago; Power Fully Restored To Kharkiv After Russian Bombardment; CNN: Harris Hasn't Returned Warren's Calls After Perceived Slight; U.S. Senators Unveil Bipartisan Bill Empowering Biden To Ban TikTok; Treasury Secretary Yellen Rules Out Bailout For Silicon Valley Bank; New AI Tool Creates Convincing Fake Of Anyone's Voice; Source: Biden Administration To Approve Controversial Willow Project; Kennesaw State's Incredible Turnaround. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired March 12, 2023 - 11:00   ET




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, and thank you for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

And we begin this hour with the West Coast bracing for another round of dangerous downpours. The 11th atmospheric river so far this season is expected to hit in the coming hours. Forecasters are predicting this latest storm to bring up to 6 inches of rain for parts of Northern and Central California. Areas already facing severe flooding.

More than 15 million people remain under flood watches from California to Nevada and evacuation orders are already in place for parts of Monterey County after a levee breach flooded communities and threatened homes. Sheriff deputies are going door-to-door to help people to safety. And first responders are pulling dozens from the rising waters as rivers of water rush through the communities.

CNN's Mike Valerio is in hard-hit Monterey County. It looks like you're standing in a lake. But then, at the same time, it looks like that's like a downtown area.

MIKE VALERIO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Fredricka, good morning. This is the main stretch of Pajaro, the idyllic town here in Monterey County, California. And we thought, Fredricka, we are asking ourselves, would this water recede, but this water has been here for more than 24 hours. In fact, the water level has gone up because we have this water. We have this levee breach on the Pajaro River that has not been sealed as of yet.

So if you look over to my right, it is still pretty tough to get in and out of this apartment building unless you have waders. And take a look at this iPhone video that we shot just a few minutes ago, before coming on the air, just walking up and down some of these neighborhood streets. This explains the National Guard rescues that we saw yesterday because in some of these neighborhoods, well, you don't just see water coming up to the passenger and driver doors, you see water channelized into these narrow neighborhood streets and starting to rush past these front doors and really gain speed in terms of the current.

But, you know, in terms of rushing water, we have new video in this morning, Fred, of an amazing rescue close to Salinas. A man was trapped in his car, found safety on this island in the middle of the Salinas River and watch as he was rescued, pulled into this helicopter launched by California Highway Patrol. Watch.


UNKNOWN: Nice and easy. Nice and easy. (Inaudible)

UNKNOWN: (Inaudible)

UNKNOWN: We're coming down.

There you go. Just keep this line.


VALERIO: Just the precision and professionalism. Amazing right there. The man unharmed. So that is the Salinas River, south of where we are right now. And, Fred, that could turn into another potential area of concern as we enter phase two, the next act of this atmospheric river that's coming at us.

Monday night into Tuesday and Wednesday, there is concern that the Salinas River could enter major flood stage. There are mandatory evacuation orders for communities around the Salinas River as well. So we have here in Pajaro, all of the damages to these businesses and we have more concern for communities around Salinas as well on the days ahead, Fred.

WHITFIELD: My goodness. I mean it is unrelenting and unbelievable. Mike Valerio, thank you so much. We'll check back with you.

CNN meteorologist Britley Ritz is tracking all of this. Is there any let up?

BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: At the moment, sure, we do have scattered showers. However, with the westerly wind across the Pacific Northwest, and the northern coastline of California, but this is not the next AR. We're waiting tor that heavy moisture to really crank up in here which is why we still have flood watches still in effect, 15 million over -- 15 million under some sort of flood watch. And we're watching these slowly expand. I'm sure they will within the next 24 hours as that forecast holds quite a bit of rain.

Sunday night into Monday, notice the heavier rain really starting to ramp up, not only then but again rolling into Tuesday morning. Where the heaviest of the rain really starts to set in. And this is where we can really tap into that moisture.

[11:05:01] Talking about picking up four to six inches of rain. Widespread along the northern coastline and then stretching down into the southern coastline of California as that low begins to make its way further south, which is why we have that moderate risk for flooding along the north coastline on Monday. But again, along the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Tuesday, and then pushing down into San Luis and even L.A., Tuesday into Wednesday.

Not only the moisture in the form of rain, but we've had quite a bit of snowfall. That snowpack still rather impressive here on satellite. Notice the feet of snowfall that we've picked up. It reaches well past the roofline of some of these homes and unfortunately many homes roofs have been caving in.

And on top of that, is well above average even after all of the rainfall that we've been dealing with. So with that rain, we've had to release some of this from the dams. This is just yesterday from Lake Oroville, impressive amounts of water being released and the reservoirs still above average.

And we're watching this relieve the drought just over a matter of two months time. But the problem is, Fredricka, we still need some ground water and that is going to take some time. We need this to slow down, not just happen like it is going to happen over a short amount of time.

WHITFIELD: Wow. Just too much too soon. All right. Thank you very much, Britley Ritz. We'll check back with you.

Another story we're following today. The coordinated search now for three women believed to be missing in Mexico. Police say they entered the country from Texas more than two weeks ago to sell clothes at a flea market in the city of Montemorelos. Their disappearance happening one week before four American tourists were kidnapped in Montemorelos.

CNN's Polo Sandoval has been following the developments for us. So, Polo, what is the latest?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, Fred, these three women left a small South Texas town of Penitas, Texas which right at the U.S.- Mexico border. In fact, three -- two of those three women actually resided in that town. They crossed the border at Mission, Texas and then as you mentioned they were heading to the city of Montemorelos in Nuevo Leon.

These are their names, Marina Perez Rios, Maritza Trinidad Perez Rios, and their friend, Dora Alicia Cervantes Saenz. So the husband of one of the two sisters last spoke to them over that weekend after February 24th according to investigators. He grew increasingly worried when he was unable to get in touch with them and that is when he turned to investigators there in Penitas, Texas on the 27th of February. The police department there then turning to the FBI who have not at least responded to a request for comment right now in terms this of investigation.

Right now, the U.S. State Department saying that they are aware of reports of three U.S. citizens possibly missing in Mexico, but they could not go into greater detail there about these women.

But let me just give a quick layout of the land, Fred, about -- to give you an idea of where these women were last seen. So if you see on a map, you can actually see in Mexico, some of those states that the State Department has actually labelled as placed that Americans should not travel to.

Now, in order to get to Nuevo Leon, you would have to drive through the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. If that sounds familiar, that's actually where Matamoros is, which is where that -- where those -- where that kidnapping took place of those tourists a -- a few days ago. So that is certainly going to be something that is going to be a concern. But authorities are basically going to be calling on the public on both sides of the border for any kind of information about these three women.

Again, what we know is two of them actually resided there in Texas in Penitas, while the third, Dora Alicia Cervantes Saenz, was a friend of theirs and they were last seen, again, crossing the International Boundary in Mission, Texas. So still a lot of questions about this case and these three women just the latest to go missing in Mexico.

WHITFIELD: Well, we're wishing for the best possible outcome.


WHITFIELD: All right. Thank you so much. Keep us posted. Polo Sandoval, appreciate it.

SANDOVAL: Thanks, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Turning now to Ukraine where military commanders say supply routes in and out of the besieged city of Bakhmut are still functioning. That means the resupplying of ammunition to Ukrainian fighters is still possible. Fierce and bloody fighting for control of the city has been taking place for weeks now.


UNKNOWN: (Speaking in Foreign Language)


WHITFIELD: Russian forces led by the mercenary Wagner Group say they have almost completely surrounded the city.

CNN's Melissa Bell is in Kharkiv which came under heavy missile assault just a few days ago. Melissa, bring us the latest from there.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, life getting back to normal here in Kharkiv.


It was for 48 hours without any electricity, any water, or any heating at all. It was the longest power outage in the city so beleaguered. That's really been at the forefront of so much of the fighting and damage and devastation over the course of the last year. It was the longest that it had been without those basic necessities of everyday life.

It is an important reminder, I think, of what we heard from an aide to President Zelenskyy just after those devastating aerial bombardments that we saw from Wednesday to Thursday morning. Some of the worst since the start of this war, that this is aimed this long war of attrition, even beyond the front lines, is really aimed at making the lives of ordinary people as precarious and as uncomfortable as they possibly can.

Now here in Kharkiv, we've had more air raid sirens over the course of the day. We are, of course, so close to the border that it is a city that has been at the mercy of those S-300 surface-to-air missiles that get just across the border.

President Zelenskyy speaking to that last night, Fredricka, and saying that this is a city that since the start of the year has seen some 40 missile attacks. That is huge. Of course, the brunt of the fighting, as you say, continuous all along the front line to the east of here in towns like Kupyansk (ph), of course, in Bakhmut. That continues to be at the center of everyone's attention.

Now we've been speaking to a commander on the ground who explained that it had looked for a few days that there is Russian advances were happening much more quickly that he would have liked. But as you said a moment ago, there is crucial supply routes that have, because there has been a little less artillery fire in the year, the last day or so been able to get those much-needed supplies back to those soldiers still trying to hold the center of Bakhmut against all of the odds.

We heard about -- from President Zelenskyy, rather, Fredricka, on Friday night, saying that they were looking to send more reinforcements to try and hold the city that has become such an important symbol, of course, of Russian determination on one's hand but of course of Ukrainian determination to hold out on the other, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thank you so much, Melissa Bell.

All right. Still ahead, a former Vice President Mike Pence gives his harshest rebuke yet of former President Donald J. Trump. Condemning Trump's role in the insurrection. Those remarks straight ahead.

Plus, a string of snubs against Vice President Harris, has her inner circle reportedly feeling pretty insulted. Hear what Senator Elizabeth Warren said about Harris that got under the vice president's skin. The new CNN reporting straight ahead.



WHITFIELD: Welcome back. Mike Pence is taking aim at former President Donald Trump over his role on January 6th. At last night's Gridiron Club Dinner in Washington, D.C., the former vice president said, I'm quoting now, "President Trump was wrong. I had no right to overturn the election and his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day, and I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable."

Pence also chastised Republicans who have minimized the insurrection. And who have downplayed the people who entered the Capitol by characterizing them as tourists. The comments come after Pence's attorneys filed a motion last week asking a judge to block a federal grand jury subpoena for his testimony related to January 6th.

President Biden meantime will head west this week as he gears up for potential re-election bid. The president plans to meet with his U.K. and Australian counterparts. He will also visit the site of a recent mass shooting and give remarks on gun violence.

Meantime, back in Washington, Democratic leaders fear years of negativity toward Vice President Kamala Harris could pose a political problem ahead of 2024, according to new CNN reporting. That negativity fueled after comments Senator Elizabeth Warren made during an interview with a Boston radio station in January. When asked whether President Biden should run again, Warren was enthusiastic in her support. But when asked about whether Harris should be part of the ticket, this is what Warren had to say.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): I really wanted to defer to what makes Biden comfortable on his team. I've known Kamala for a long time. I like Kamala. I knew her back when she was -- when she was an attorney general, and I was still teaching, and we worked on the housing crisis together. So we go way back. But they need -- they have to be a team and my sense is they are. I don't mean that by suggesting I think there are any problems.


WHITFIELD: CNN's Jasmine Wright joining us now with more on this new reporting. So, Jasmine, what has happened since that January interview?

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, basically, immediately after Elizabeth Warren gave that answer in January, according to sources, she realized that she made a mistake. And so her office put out a statement to that local Boston radio station, saying that she fully supported Harris being on the ticket and that she did not mean to imply otherwise. But then, the senator took it a step further, and she called the vice president.

Now she called her twice, sources told me and my colleague, Isaac Dovere, to apologize for what she said, and the vice president did not call her back.

Now when you talk to people in the vice president's orbit here, they're pretty furious about the comments. And it's not just because it was Senator Elizabeth Warren, but because it really fit into a larger datapoint of snubs that people in her orbit feel have been directed at the vice president. Disrespect that doesn't really befit the office there about her tenure, about her capabilities and that the fact that the wider range of the -- the reason why it is so harmful is because, right, she is the vice president.

Now, Democrats largely have told us that they recognize the fact that the vice president has been the target of these criticisms, that they want them to stop.


Not only because she is the vice president, but because of the potential for President Biden to run for re-election and the large implications that denigrating the vice president could have on the future ticket and on the future party.

WHITFIELD: And so the vice president, you know, has faced criticism from her own party about her capabilities and whether she would be ready to lead the party if Biden didn't run for re-election, not -- you know, this is aside from the Warren comments. So why are other leading Democrats now pushing back?

WRIGHT: Yes, Fred, it's been a really a facet of her tenure over these last two years. And particularly because of the dynamic that they exist because she is a much younger vice president to an older president. And so questions have rise of whether or not he runs in 2024. If he doesn't run, would she run and questions about her capabilities in terms of whether she could feel -- whether she could clear a field, whether she could run, be the future face of the Democratic Party.

Now, that has put her a lot of allies, tells CNN, in unwinnable position. But she is no stranger to these questions about her capability. She's been asked about it before, and this was her answer when asked about how she feels about the negativity surrounding her role. Take a listen.


KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think that it is very important to focus on the needs of the American people and not political chatter out of Washington, D.C.


WRIGHT: So, there we hear her downplaying it. But even after she said those remarks we reported in this piece, Fred, that there was a Hollywood meeting with donors on Zoom where they questioned whether or not it was possible to replace her from the ticket. So these questions persist despite what the White House or the vice president's office may say. But the White House to us in this piece, they were very clear that the vice president is an irreplaceable part of this administration and if you read in between the lines here, that she's an irreplaceable part of the ticket should Biden run for re-election of 2024. And so there -- therefore she will not be replaced. And so these Democrats are saying because that is not happening, because she's going to remain on the ticket, it is now incumbent upon Democrats to come together to stop the slights and to really support this woman vice president going forward because it has greater implications here for the party.

WHITFIELD: So -- so, Jasmine, also, you know, in your reporting, one senior Harris aide told you, you know, who the f knew what Mike Pence was doing. So we're talking about, you know, the double standard here. Is Harris getting more criticism than her predecessors?

WRIGHT: Yes, well it is a common refrain that you hear from people around her orbit and those who support her. Obviously, that is kind of the most drastic way that has been put to me so far. But it's based on the fact that they feel that she is being judged differently than other predecessors, not just Mike Pence but those vice presidents that come before her because of the historic nature of her tenure.

She is, of course, the first Black vice president. She is the first woman vice president and the first South Asian vice president. Really, those three things together have made her historic in this role. But have also put her on a different pedestal when it comes to deciding whether or not she has the capability of in the future running for president as we know that she has those type of political ambitions.

But here, the White House has tried to wrap their -- wrap their arms around Harris and embrace her and put per into positions that are -- feel supportive and that is what her allies have wanted to see. I'm talking about her abortion platform, being the leading messenger for abortion. Allies have really respected what she's done in that role.

The White House says that she's been essential in that role. Of course, in the first two years of her vice presidency, we talked a lot about how she had very difficult things on her portfolio, like the root causes of migration, and like voting rights. But here, they really want to see the White House celebrate the vice president who they feel is kind of an -- in unwinnable position. Of course, if she shines too much, she overshines the president, but if she doesn't shine enough, she doesn't live up to that historic role.

So it's a balancing act that this White House and the vice president's office is playing. And allies want to see the White House do more to really uplift the vice president who they say has done a lot to lift up this presidency. Fred --

WHITFIELD: OK. All right. Jasmine Wright, we'll leave it there for now. Thank you so much.

All right. Coming up, dozens of U.S. lawmakers from both parties are pushing for a TikTok ban amid fears that the platform's ties to China could be putting sensitive information at risk. We'll discuss next.


[11:28:50] WHITFIELD: This past week, lawmakers in the House and Senate moved forward with bills aimed at restricting or banning TikTok in the U.S. The massively popular video app has come under increased national security concerns because TikTok is a Chinese owned company that collects a vast amount of data on its millions of American users. U.S. officials worry the Chinese Communist Party could access that information.

Joining us right now to discuss this is Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. He is a Democrat from Illinois and is the ranking member on the House Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party.

Congressman, good to see you. Whew, that was mouthful.


All right.

REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI (D-IL): Yes. Like my name, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Yes, and the titles, all of the accolades behind that, too.

All right. So this past week, a dozen U.S. senators unveiled bipartisan proposed legislation expanding President Joe Biden's legal authority to ban TikTok nationwide. House versions range from bans to restrictions. So what do you support when it comes to TikTok?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, I support my own bill, which is the only bicameral, bipartisan bill in Congress. Basically, what it would say is very simple, either a social media app such as TikTok controlled by an adversarial regime.


In this case, the Chinese Communist Party should not be allowed to operate, or that it should be forced to sell its assets, its company to, for instance, an American company that would control the user data and algorithm that provides the content for more than 100 million users in America.

WHITFIELD: So it sounds like your bill does not necessarily propose giving authority to the President to just simply shut it down.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, you know, basically, it would go a little further in terms of making sure that we are not subject to, you know, potential adversarial actions by the Chinese Communist Party or others. You know, Christopher Wray testified before the Intelligence Committee on which I sit in the worldwide threads hearing on Wednesday.

And he made it very clear that he could not rule out that the Chinese Communist Party, for instance, directed TikTok and employees recently to track the location information of journalists who were writing negative stories about TikTok, nor could he rule out that TikTok was using various means of, quote unquote, heating or pushing certain content at the direction of the Chinese Communist Party. So this is very disturbing.

WHITFIELD: So for the millions of Americans who use and love this app, you know, help us understand why so many lawmakers, including yourself are so concerned about TikTok and believe at a minimum, there needs to be some new restrictions.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Sure. So TikTok is owned by a company called ByteDance. ByteDance is a Chinese company that has to abide by two laws, at least two laws that are problematic. The first is that ByteDance is required to comply with an intelligence law in the People's Republic of China that requires that any user data be provided to the Chinese Communist Party regarding users anywhere in the world, including the United States, and ByteDance is not allowed to disclose when it does so. So that's the first point.

The second is a Chinese Communist Party cell, a CCP cell is embedded within ByteDance. And it turns out that the editor in chief of ByteDance is the Secretary of that cell. And he has said that all of its products must adhere to correct political attitudes. And so what that practically means is that the CCP ultimately controls the content on TikTok.

And you can look to Christopher Wray, again, who said that he would not put it past the CCP to help to shape American public opinion through that particular directive under Chinese law.

WHITFIELD: So just looking at, you know, that reel, a video that we just showed the variety of ways in which TikTok is used, I mean, cooking is is one way, it's also become a very popular social media platform for activists, you know, who want to promote change.

I mean, a recent push by climate change activists, using the hashtag StopWillow, aimed at blocking oil drilling in the Alaska wilderness has taken TikTok by storm. So what do you say to those who worry that a ban or certain restrictions on TikTok actually curtails a lot of good things that happen?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Sure, I don't think Tic-tac (ph) is going to -- TikTok is going to go dark. I think rather, it would be forced to sell to, for instance, American company who would allow the same content, the popular, positive content that you talked about. But let me just, you know, submit for your viewers respectful consideration.

Another issue, which is that when certain activists go on TikTok to criticize the Uighur genocide that's happening at the behest of the Chinese Communist Party, that content is censored on TikTok. And the same is true with regard to other dissenters. And so, you know, we have to ultimately make sure that, you know, neither our user data nor the algorithms are controlled by adversarial regimes like the CCP.

WHITFIELD: OK, let me shift gears, if I may, to that stunning collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank. I mean, it's the second biggest bank failure in U.S. history now and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen just weighed in on the government's role in the aftermath of this bank collapse. Take a listen.


JANET YELLEN, TREASURY SECRETARY: Let me be clear that during the financial crisis, there were investors and owners of systemic large banks that were bailed out and we're certainly not looking and the reforms that have been put in place means that we're not going to do that again.



WHITFIELD: All right, your oversight committee, Republican colleague, Congresswoman Nancy Mace agreeing on that saying on CNN today that she does not support a bailout at this time. So what do you think that government should or should not do in response to that bank collapse?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, I don't disagree with Secretary Yellen with regard to a bailout of investors. But the question is the depositors, Fredricka. You know, the depositors often are small businesses that are trying to make payroll next week, and their deposits are locked up right now.

And so, if you think about, you know, those people who benefit from payroll, they are not necessarily tech billionaires, they are just ordinary folks who are relying on a paycheck from those companies, and they can't get paid if those deposits are kind of at risk right now. So that's kind of the big concern that I'm hearing.

WHITFIELD: And it's a concern, but do you believe that the government should be stepping in and assisting in that way?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, I think the FDIC should do everything in his power as soon as today to kind of reassure those depositors that their money will be available. And, again, that these people who are relying on these paychecks are going to be taken care of.

WHITFIELD: All right, maybe that's the bank or maybe that's the Treasury Secretary when you call. All right, Congressman --

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Or the CCP, I'm not really sure.

WHITFIELD: That's right. Very important. All right, Congressman Raja --


WHITFIELD: -- Krishnamoorthi, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Thank you so much. Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, still ahead, could you spot the difference between the voices of your loved ones and an AI-generated invitation? Well, CNN's Donie O'Sullivan puts it to the test.




N. O'SULLIVAN: Hi, Donie. How are you?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN: Does my voice sound different to you?

N. O'SULLIVAN: Yes, I was just said that to Sinead. I said, "Donie sounds so American."




WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. A new kind of artificial intelligence or AI tool can now fake your voice but it's also raising a lot of serious concerns. CNN's Donie O'Sullivan shows us just how easy it is to put words into other people's mouths.




N. O'SULLIVAN: Hi, Donie. How are you?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN: Does my voice sound different to you?

N. O'SULLIVAN: Yes, I was just said that to Sinead. I said, "Donie sounds so American."

AI DONIE O'SULLIVAN: This is not actually me. This is a voice made by computer.

N. O'SULLIVAN: Oh my God. Are you serious?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN: Yes, mom, sorry.

(on-camera): There has been an explosion in fake audio and voices being generated through artificial intelligence technology.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an AI-cloned version of Walter White's voice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an AI-cloned version of Leonardo DiCaprio's voice.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on camera): All you need is a couple of minutes recording of anyone's voice and you can make it seem like they have said just about anything -- even --

AI-GENERATED VOICE, ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson Cooper. We've come here to U.C. Berkley today to talk to Hany Farid, a digital forensic expert about just how easy it is to put words into other people's mouths.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on camera): It's a lot of fun.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on camera): But it's also really scary.

FARID: I think once you put aside that gee-whiz factor, I don't think it takes a long time to look at the risks.

AI-GENERATED VOICE, WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: This is Wolf Blitzer. Hany Farid, you are in The Situation Room.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on camera): That's something.

FARID: That's good.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Yes, that sounds pretty good.

(voice-over): By uploading just a few minutes of me and some of my colleague's voices to an AI audio service, I was able to create some convincing fakes, including this one of Anderson Cooper.

AI-GENERATED VOICE, ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Donie O'Sullivan is a real piece of shit.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on camera): That's AI.

FARID: Is it really?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on camera): That's AI.

FARID: That's good.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Yes. Anderson's is really good --


DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on camera): -- because Anderson doesn't have a stupid Irish accent.

(voice-over): The technology did struggle with my Irish accent but we decided to put it to the ultimate test with my parents.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on camera): I am about to try to call my mom back in Ireland and see if I can trick her with this voice.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Do you think I'm going to be successful?

FARID: I'm nervous. I'm like -- my hands are.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on camera): All right.



N. O'SULLIVAN: Hi, Donie. How are you?

AI DONIE O'SULLIVAN: I just finished shooting our story here. I'm going to the airport in a while.

N. O'SULLIVAN: There seems to be a delay in the phone, Donie.

AI DONIE O'SULLIVAN: Can I say a quick hello to dad?




DONAL O'SULLIVAN: How are you doing?


DONAL O'SULLIVAN: Good. Yourself?

AI DONIE O'SULLIVAN: I just finished shooting our story here. I'm going to the airport in a while.

DONAL O'SULLIVAN: (INAUDIBLE). Oh, you're going back -- going back to New York?

AI DONIE O'SULLIVAN: Are Kerry playing this weekend?

DONAL O'SULLIVAN: They're playing Tyrone Sunday.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): My dad went on to have a conversation with the AI Donie about how Kerry, our home football team, had a game that weekend. Eventually, I had to come clean.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Dad, I'll give you a call better later on. Can you just put me back on to mom for a second?

(voice-over): My parents knew something was off but ultimately, they still fell for it.

N. O'SULLIVAN: Oh, yes. Some of it don't be bad but it was like -- it was like your voice was a little tone lower and it sounded very serious.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Yes.

N. O'SULLIVAN: Like you had something serious to say. Because I went oh, jeez, my heart was hopping first.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Oh, I'm sorry.

DONAL O'SULLIVAN: I thought the voice was very funny. I thought the voice was very funny, yeah, I did.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on camera): All right.

DONAL O'SULLIVAN: All right, Donie.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on camera): I'll call you later, dad.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on camera): OK, bye.

FARID: Is this not classic? The mom's like something is wrong with my son. The dad's like everything's fine.

AI-GENERATED VOICE, JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'd like to close out today's ceremony with a question. If you were given a choice, would you choose to have unlimited bacon but no more video games, or would you rather --

DONIE O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): With fake Biden and Trump recordings going viral online, Farid says this could be something to be wary of going into the 2024 election.

FARID: When we enter this world where anything can be fake, any image, any audio, any video, any piece of text -- nothing has to be real. We have what's called The Liar's Dividend, which is anybody can deny reality.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): With a flood of new AI tools releasing online, he says companies developing this powerful technology need to think of its potential negative effects.

FARID: There is no online and offline world. There's one world and it's fully integrated. When things happen on the internet, they have real implications for individuals, for communities, for societies, for democracies. And I don't think we as a field have fully come to grips with our responsibility here.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): In the meantime, I'll continue annoying my colleagues.

(on camera): Hear this to Anderson said.

AI-GENERATED VOICE, ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I've been doing this a long time, I have to say Donnie O'Sullivan is probably the best in the business.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN (on-camera): Incredible. It's very kind of him to say that as well.

FARID: It's really -- you know, you should be honored really.


WHITFIELD: Donnie O'Sullivan. We'll be right back.



WHITFIELD: The Biden administration is set to make a major announcement about a controversial drilling project. Sources now tell CNN that the White House will approve ConocoPhillips Willow project in Alaska's North Slope. CNN's Rene Marsh has details.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At this point, the only way that this project can be stopped is if --

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On TikTok and Instagram, calls for President Biden to stop Willow Project, an urgent call that's gone viral to block a controversial Alaska oil drilling project.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please help stop Willow.

MARSH (voice-over): The videos ranking up tens of millions of views spring more than a million letters to the White House and more than 3 million signatures to a petition.

ELISE JOSHI, GEN-Z FOR CHANGE: In order to stop Willow, people need to know about Willow.

MARSH (voice-over): 20-year-old Elise Joshi, a senior at the University of California Berkeley is one of the social media activists.

JOSHI: Will not just impact Alaska, it will not just impact this country, it will not impact the world. But the amount of carbon emissions that it will emit, we will see an increase in frequency and intensity of natural disasters.

MARSH (voice-over): ConocoPhillips Willow project would be located in Northwest Alaska on the National Petroleum Reserve, federal land roughly the size of Indiana. The project would tap as much as 600 million barrels of oil, but it would take years for it to make it to market.

It's messy politics for President Biden pitting his climate promises against the desire to produce energy at home and lower gas prices. The project's would release as much planet warming carbon emissions per year as adding 2 million gas powered cars to the road annually. That's according to a government estimate.


Siqiniq Maupin's family lives near their proposed site and she recently traveled to Washington to protest outside the White House against the Willow Project, despite its economic benefits. MAUPIN: We've been held in an economic hostage situation. We either choose our health, our children's health, our ways of life, or being able to have plumbing and infrastructure and running water.

Nagruk Harcharek's family has also lived in the region for generations. He supports the project. His non-profit represents two dozen native communities, corporations and local governments who say the project would be an economic boon and help the U.S. wean off of foreign oil.

NAGRUK HARCHAREK, THE VOICE OF THE ARCTIC INUPIAT: The economics that a project like this would bring into the region, mainly to the North Slope borough in the form of taxes to help provide and maintain first world conditions.

MARSH (voice-over): Meantime, the Arctic is warming four times faster than anywhere else on the planet due to climate change.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We cannot keep drilling for new fossil fuels if we want to address climate change.


WHITFIELD: All right, Rene Marsh, thanks so much for that.

It is Selection Sunday, the day college basketball fans have been waiting for to find out which teams will make it to the March Madness brackets. Preview straight ahead.



WHITFIELD: All right, hard to believe but here we are. March Madness hitting a fever pitch already by tonight. Teams from around the country will know if they are among the 68 to make it to the tournament. But who will be this year's belle's of the ball? Coy Wire joining me with more on all of this. Can't wait.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes, happy Selection Sunday.


WIRE: both men's and women's brackets, they're going to be filled out tonight. We'll know who we can pick.


WIRE: One of the things that makes March Madness so special is every year, you have that Cinderella team, the team that makes it to the dance and no one gave a chance --

WHITFIELD: So electrifying.

WIRE: It is. And one of those teams this year is Kennesaw State. On the men's side we caught up with their coach Amir Abdur-Rahim who won just one game three years ago, in his first year there, but he's inspired the outs to 26 wins this season, a conference title and their first ever trip to the tournament.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That will do it. Kennesaw State plugs the cork.

WIRE: Where were you when the magic moment happened?

AMIR ABDUR-RAHIM, KENNESAW STATE HEAD COACH: When the ball got tipped, I was about it the X right here shaking Coach McKay's hand, you know, trying to trying to be professional, right? Trying to --

WIRE: Remember --

ABDUR-RAHIM: -- yes, trying to hide the excitement, you know? What man? What a day. You know what a time for our university man. It was awesome.

WIRE: I want to play something for you and then hear your reaction to it.


ABDUR-RAHIM: I can remember four years ago when we would run out and it literally was 150 people, man and most of it was family and friends, right? It was incredible.

WIRE: How did Dad help you? What do you want him to know about what he means to you?

ABDUR-RAHIM: And I just want them to know he raised a man. And when I say he raised the man, you know, someone that has character, someone that has integrity, somebody that cares about his community.


WIRE: Now his dad William passed away two years ago, was always out in the community making it a better place. Mom, Deborah, full of Ceaseless Energy. Coach is one of 13 siblings.

WHITFIELD: Wow. Oh my gosh.

WIRE: And now he is inspiring, motivating, uplifting Kennesaw State. Look out for the Owls Men's selection show is 6:00 p.m. Eastern Tonight. Women's selection so --

WHITFIELD: And it's clear what a big heart he has, a man leading these other young men.

WIRE: Yes. He had me wanting to run through a big (INAUDIBLE).

WHITFIELD: I love it. Oh, that's great. OK. Coy Wire, thank you so much. WIRE: You bet.

WHITFIELD: I'm Fredricka Whitfield, thank you so much. Back here at 2:00 Eastern Time. CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" right now with Kaitlan Collins.