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Trump Predicts Arrest Tuesday, Calls For Mass Protests; March Madness; Defiant Putin Visits Occupied Ukrainian City of Mariupol; Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) Is Interviewed About Russia's War On Ukraine; 20 Years Since The Start Of the Iraq War; New AI Tech Stirs Debate About Spreading Of Misinformation. Aired 11a12p ET

Aired March 19, 2023 - 11:00   ET




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

Former President Trump's call for protests has law enforcement officials in New York preparing for a week of uncertainty.

In a social media post, Trump says he expects to be arrested Tuesday for his alleged role in a hush money payment made to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. In the statement, Trump urged his supporters to, "protest take our nation back."

Trump dialed up the rhetoric with a follow up post saying, we just can't allow this anymore. We must save America. Protest, protest, protest. The posts are alarmingly similar to his calls for protests prior to the January 6, 2021 insurrection and has New York police officers and officials bracing for whatever may happen.

Joining me to discuss all of this, Ron Brownstein is a CNN Senior Political Analyst and a Senior Editor for The Atlantic. Jonathan Wackrow is a CNN Law Enforcement Analyst and a former Secret Service Agent.

Gentlemen, good to see you both. So, Ron, let me begin with you and your reaction to Trump's claim that he will be arrested Tuesday, his calls for protest, and by the way, the Manhattan DA's office still not confirming that there is any imminent arrest or indictment that is scheduled for Tuesday.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right, that's part of the story that he's putting a specific date on it that the DA's office is not. But obviously, the larger point is the one, Fred, that you mentioned. You know, if you are the most sympathetic observer possible to Donald Trump. And you do double backflips, you can find some credence in his argument that on January 6, he did not know that his language would lead to violence.

But January 6 has now happened. He knows the effect of the language that he used that day and how it led to violence. And here he is coming very close to that language again. It makes it very hard to avoid the conclusion that he is willing to use the threat of violence as part of his political strategy.

And that is just a reminder of the very different era we are in than we have been at any point in American history where you have Trump, the leader of a political movement who is routinely willing to raise the specter of violence as a way of advancing his goals.

And so many conservative commentators and members of Congress who have condemned preemptively the possibility of indictment remain silent on his raising this threat of violence. So that, I think, is just enormously significant and a marker of the very different era that we are in politically than we have ever been in before.

WHITFIELD: Yeah, and Ron, I want to ask you a little bit more about that later. I mean, remaining silent at the same time, there is Republican leadership that's coming to his aid, so to speak, ahead of, you know, this inflammatory language.

Also, you know, Jonathan, I want to go to you in a second, but also joining us right now is Norm Eisen. He is a CNN Legal Analyst and a former House Judiciary Special Counsel in Trump's first impeachment trial.

And so, Norm, what I want to ask you is, you know, to Ron's point some of the language that the former President is using in this social media, you know, post is very similar to the kind of language we heard from the -- then president just prior to January 6. So there remain investigations that are open as it relates to January 6.

So what do you suppose his current language is doing to be in developed potentially into these ongoing investigations aside from what could or couldn't happen on Tuesday?

NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yeah, well Fred, I think what his current language is doing is signifying his level of concern that he is about to face the most challenging legal situation that he has encountered in a lifetime of tiptoeing on the edge of the law, and that is potential felony charges. We'll see if they actually happen by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg .

And what you see in this language, so similar to the last existential threat that the former President felt he faced that resulted in the violence of January 6, is the personal peril that he is experiencing. Just like when he thought he was going to lose the presidency, be ejected from the White House, and veered into conduct that is now under criminal investigation in 2020.


This is an investigation of possible democracy crimes in 2016, of hush money payments that could change the outcome of the 2016 election. So he's right to be concerned. He's wrong to use this language that in the past has led to such terrible violence. WHITFIELD: OK. And now, Jonathan, aside from the politics and the

legal, you know, roads ahead here, let's talk about what law enforcement right now in New York might be responding to because of the president's -- the former President's inflammatory language. And downright a threatening language by, you know, asking for demanding protest?

JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yeah, well, unlike January 6, law enforcement is going to be ready for every eventuality that could possibly occur, right? And there's extensive coordination between multiple law enforcement entities, both at the state and federal level.

However, it's important to note that these responsibilities of the different law enforcement groups are different. They have a different remit based upon their role. Let me just walk through this real fast.

The New York City Police Department, you know, is preparing again for the worst-case scenario, but their role is to maintain civil order, right? They have to protect the area around the courthouse, but also the entire -- the city as a whole.

Remember, there could be protests in Times Square, there could be protests at Trump Tower. So they have to be ready to react and respond to protests. You know, again, these are individuals who are trying to or expressing their First Amendment free speech right. But they have to be prepared for acts of violence at the same time. So they have a dual role in maintaining that civil order.

The New York State Court officers are there to protect the courthouse itself. The FBI is involved. They're monitoring for any type of domestic acts of terror by extremist groups.

And then you have the Secret Service, Fred. And this is a really interesting role for the Secret Service. They're charged with protecting the former president, but they're not a coordinating entity. And what I mean by that is this isn't a speech. This isn't a political rally.

It's not a formal event that the president -- I mean the former president is engaging in. This is an action by the court. So from the Secret Service, they want this process to be as administrative as possible. They want to be able to take the president from Point A to Point B and back to Point A again without any issues, right?

So they're going to take the president to the courthouse, let him address his business with the court, and get him out. They are not engaging with the security perimeter. They're not engaging with, you know, the overall security plan.

They'll be aware of it, but they're not a coordinating entity. I think that's a real interesting aspect of the Secret Service's role and what may happen this week.

WHITFIELD: So that awareness may bring a little bit of coordination. And I wonder, too, on that issue of the Secret Service, Jonathan, you know, there is a relationship, right, that has been built between those Secret Service agents and the former presidents. There might even be a certain level of allegiance because of what could or couldn't happen in the week ahead.

Would there be a swapping out of detail? Because there may be, if not a hesitancy, a reluctance, or sort of an uncomfortableness about what the mission would potentially soon entail.

WACKROW: Yeah, Fred, great question. And let me lower some anxiety for the viewers around this. I know the people that are on that detail. First and foremost, they are federal law enforcement agents, and they will uphold their responsibility to the Constitution. And as law enforcement officials for the United States.

They are untainted in the way that they execute their mission. Their mission is twofold. One is, you know, to protect the former President of the United States, but again, also uphold the laws of the land.

So while many people may think like, hey, maybe they need to switch agents out. I know these women and men that are on that detail. They are of the highest caliber and integrity. And, you know, from my opinion, there's no concern there.

WHITFIELD: OK, Ron, sources have told CNN that, you know, Trump has been pushing to agitate his supporters, that he believes an arrest would help him politically. So, you know, what's your take on how manufactured this might be so that he feels he can benefit from a feeling of, oh, he's still, you know, adored out there. There are people who are still, you know, willing to come to task for him.

BROWNSTEIN: I think there are two questions, what it means for him, what it means for the Republican Party?



BROWNSTEIN: Certainly as you suggest, Donald Trump has always deployed the argument that the deep state or the liberal elites are targeting me because they really want to silence you. And that is -- that is something that he is used to energize and solidify his core supporters.

But I think the equation is more complicated now in the Republican Party because you have a divide. You know, we saw in that CNN poll last week, 60% of Republicans said it was most important to them to have a nominee who shares their values, and Trump led DeSantis among them.

But there's another 40% of the party that said it is most important to have a nominee who has the best chance of beating Joe Biden. And DeSantis led Trump among that half of the part -- or that 40% of the party.

And I suspect that the prospect of a succession, potentially of indictments is only going to deepen the concerns among the Republican leaders, strategists, and donors who are worried that identifying too closely with Trump is a losing proposition for '24.

The problem is that memo has not clearly not gotten to the Republican leadership in the House. You know, and you see Kevin McCarthy coming out yesterday preemptively dismissing this as a political prosecution, saying that they needed to investigate the investigators.

Marjorie Taylor Greene saying anyone who doesn't go full scale defense of Trump should be sort of run out of the party. They are tattooing the stamp of Trump on the Republican Party after a midterm election in which many Republicans felt that was more of an anchor than a lift.

WHITFIELD: And it's really extraordinary because you have that. And then you also now see another dynamic. I mean, Trump's old, you know, running mate, the Vice president, the former Vice President Mike Pence, reacting to Trump's potential arrest.

He says a possible arrest would be a politically charged prosecution. But then just last weekend, he blasted Trump, saying history would hold him accountable for January 6. So, you know, what is this, I guess, tightrope walk that you see with a Pence. Even other Republicans who are seemingly defending Trump now after him signposting, he could potentially be arrested this week?

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah, if you're asking me, I think Pence --


BROWNSTEIN: -- you know, has said history will hold -- Pence has said history will hold Trump accountable. But Pence is simultaneously doing everything he can to ensure that Trump faces no accountability in the hearing now. You know, he's refused to testify the January 6 Committee. He's refusing to testify to the grand jury.

Here he joins Trump in blanket statement. Preemptively by definition. This has to be a politically illegitimate investigation. And you have similar language from Kevin McCarthy and others. That is not the only choice that is available.

I mean, it probably wasn't that long ago in American history where you would have seen political leaders in both parties say, no one is above the law. We have to let the legal process play out, and we'll see where it falls. Instead to preemptively argue that any kind of attempts to hold Trump accountable is -- are politically motivated, really underscores the continuing hold that he has on the party and how difficult it will be for Republicans to escape his shadow.

Don't forget, in 2022, 75% of Americans said the economy was in bad shape. A majority of Americans said they disapproved of Joe Biden's performance. Historically, that's a recipe for enormous gains for the opposition party. It didn't happen. Republicans underperformed in large measure because too many independent swing voters thought they were extreme. And a big reason for that was their continued ties to Donald Trump. And yet, here we go with Kevin McCarthy lashing the party more tightly to Trump than as ever, as tightly as ever.

WHITFIELD: And Norm, you know, the hush money case is just one of several investigations that Trump is facing. I mean, there's Mar-a- Lago with the documents ongoing January 6 curiosity is tax, curiosities, you know, the calls being made pressuring to overturn an election in Georgia. So how do you see this one, this hush money case, stacking up with all of them?

EISEN: Fred, I believe the hush money case is a strong one. Donald Trump paid these sums to Stormy Daniels, and he booked them as legal fees. They were no such thing. So, under New York law, that is a strong misdemeanor case. And there are complexities with elevating it to a felony. But I think people are overstating that. Make no mistake, this is not a political matter.

This is another assault against democracy. After the Access Hollywood tape in 2016, another sex scandal could have crippled Donald Trump's campaign, could have changed the outcome of the election. And so it's like a gateway drug, Fred, to the democracy crimes alleged in 2020 that are under investigation by another DA, Fani Willis in Fulton County, Georgia. All so under federal investigation.


I think he faces severe legal jeopardy here in the hush money investigation, also in that Georgia investigation. And of course, the Feds looking at the attempted coup 2020 as possible crimes. And the Mar-a-Lago classified documents situation.

Donald Trump has a cascade of criminal troubles. And notwithstanding. We saw this in the impeachment. There was an initial surge of support among his closest followers that abated after time.

Republican voters are going to have to ask themselves. Do they really want to support somebody who has so many potential criminal charges? Now, we'll have to see what the prosecutors do, starting with DA Alvin Bragg in Manhattan.

WHITFIELD: Yeah. All right, here's another analogy to what I hear you saying, they're all links in the chain. All right, thanks so much, gentlemen. Appreciate it. We'll leave it there for now. Norm Eisen, Jonathan Wackrow, Ron Brownstein.

All right, still to come another day, another major upset. Number one seed and defending national champion Kansas out of March Madness.

And later, Vladimir Putin visits the Russian occupied city of Mariupol, just days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for him.



WHITFIELD: All right. Cinderella strikes again at March Madness. Don't you love this? This is the most exciting year 15 seed Princeton is heading to the Sweet 16 after pulling off another historic upset, beating Missouri on Saturday.

Coy Wire is here with all the action. And, oh, my gosh, action there is.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yeah, the madness.

WHITFIELD: This is so fun.

WIRE: Hey, you were one of the teams to take Princeton to win in round one.

WHITFIELD: Can I say, woah.

WIRE: Camp is here. But listen to this, only about 1% of the tens of millions of brackets that were submitted had Princeton advancing to the Sweet 16. The school of around 8000 students. They're taking down Giants. The Princeton Tigers, looking to continue their magical run against the Missouri Tigers.

And they pulled off one of the unlikeliest upsets already. In tournament history on Thursday when they beat two seed Arizona. And now here at Princeton, was unstoppable against Mizzou, twelve, three pointers.

My producer, Brian, who went to Mizzou, is just writhing in pain that we have to do this story again. They win 78/63, just the second Ivy League school ever in the past 43 years to reach the Sweet 16.

Coach Mitch Henderson was a member of the last Princeton team to even win a game in this tournament. That was a quarter century ago. Here he is now, saying, this is a dream come true.


MITCH HENDERSON, PRINCETON HEAD COACH: We are so thrilled to be going to the Sweet 16. It is an absolute pleasure being around these guys. They just grit their teeth and they do it. I've always dreamed of playing deep into the tournament. And as a player got to the second round a couple of times, never -- never got beyond it. So I'm just -- I feel like these guys are unbelievable.


WIRE: And a wide range of emotions in this one. Defending Champion Kansas, down two to Arkansas just three seconds ago. Kansas needed to miss the free throw to even have a shot to rebound a tie or win it, but it didn't happen.

And Arkansas pulls off the upset. Look at coach Eric Musselman showing off the muscles. Man. Down goes Kansas. There will not be a repeat champ this year. And then watch as the eight seeded Razorbacks are headed to their third straight Sweet 16. Watch this emotion.


DAVONTE DAVIS, ARKANSAS GUARD: A lot of work. Crazy. Oh no, it's crazy. I feel good. I'm glad we came out with the win.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What makes you tear up? What are you thinking about?

DAVIS: Just putting in the work. This team is struggling and we figured it out and I'm glad we did at the right time and hopefully we continue to do it.


WIRE: That's what it's all about. And hey, the madness continues on the women's side. Two big time upsets yesterday, 12 seed Toledo. They stunned the Big 12 champions. Iowa State 80 to 73. It's their first March Madness win since 1996.

Florida Gulf Coast. They make it back-to-back turns with a win as a 12 seed, knocking off the Pac-12 champions.

WHITFIELD: I love it.

WIRE: Washington State Cougars 74/63. 16 more games today. Eight women's, eight men's, five of which you could catch on our family and networks, including the Cinderella Fairleigh Dickinson, Fred. They're trying to become the first 16 seed to ever reach the Sweet 16. They face Florida Atlantic at 7:45 Eastern on our sister channel, TruTV.

WHITFIELD: Oh, this is really a sweet, Sweet 16. I love it. I love the underestimated, surprising everybody.

WIRE: Yes.

WHITFIELD: So it's been nice.

WIRE: And that's, you have --


WHITFIELD: That's how I picked my bracket.

WIRE: Yup.

WHITFIELD: I go with the underestimated. Bring it.

WIRE: You got three of your four final, four teams still in it. That's what I have.


WHITFIELD: I love it. It's fun. OK, good. We're doing good. We're doing good. Cool. All right. Thanks, Coy.

WIRE: All right. All right, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Good to see you. Appreciate it. We'll be right back after this.


[11:28:31] WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. A defiant Vladimir Putin making a surprise visit to Ukraine overnight just days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for him accusing him of war crimes. Putin made a stop in Russian occupied Mariupol, a city largely destroyed, a Ukrainian city largely destroyed by his own forces. Ukrainian officials slamming the visit, saying as befits a thief. Putin visited Ukrainian Mariupol under the cover of night.

CNN Senior International Correspondent Ivan Watson joining us live now from Kharkiv. So what else did Putin do during this visit and remind us of what Russia's army did in Mariupol?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: All right, well, the Russian president, he's fresh from receiving this arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for alleged kidnapping thousands of Ukrainian children and spiriting them away to Russia.

Now, he's paying a visit to the city of Mariupol, which has been occupied by Russian forces since spring of last year. He arrived by helicopter. The Kremlin says. He then was shown driving himself from the airport to the outskirts of the city, being briefed about efforts to rebuild of the city and shown an apartment building and introduced to several residents who'd been put there. All part of an effort to show that Russia, the Russian government, is rebuilding a city that it destroyed in the first place.

I spoke with a woman who I met in March of last year, who had just escaped with her family from the Russian siege, from the Russian bombardment who is now living as a refugee in Lithuania. She said that this was like seeing a serial killer return to the scene of a crime, to see the Russian president there in Mariupol, a city that his forces destroyed in the first place.

There has been an enormous amount of scorn poured on -- poured on this by Ukrainian officials who point out that Vladimir Putin made the visit under cover of darkness. We've gotten accounts of how difficult it is for the handful of residents still living there with scanty electricity or no heat whatsoever.

Russia is keen to show that they're trying to rebuild parts of Ukraine that they destroyed in the first place and that they have also annexed as part of a territory grab which much of the rest of the world views as illegal under international law. Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Quite extraordinary. Ivan Watson, thank you so much.

All right. Let's bring in now Congressman John Garamendi. He's a Democrat from California and a member of the House Armed Services Committee. I mean, brazen, Congressman. What are your thoughts about this?

REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D-CA): Well, it is certainly brazen, and it is no doubt that Putin is trying to justify by his presence the takeover of that particular area. I'm often reminded of a dog in a fire hydrant here. His presence is trying to convince the world that this is his. Interesting that they didn't show the whole town. They probably found one apartment complex, some place in that entire

city in which he could tour that wasn't destroyed by the Russian army. Bottom line of this is, this is Ukraine territory as is Crimea and that ultimately this must end with Ukraine regetting -- reacquiring its territory and that is all of it that Russia has occupied for the last seven, almost eight years now.

WHITFIELD: China's President Xi Jinping is beginning his visit to Moscow tomorrow. The U.S. has warned China repeatedly about supplying lethal aid to Russia in its war on Ukraine. So how should the U.S. react if China does, you know, I guess intensify its commitment or even provide aid to Russia?

GARAMENDI: Well, if China were to increase its assistance, which basically seems to be mostly economic and some humanitarian, although the humanitarian aid borders on military. But if they were to increase, as a result of this visit, it would be a very serious diplomatic problem for China. They would become even more isolated by Europe as well as the United States.

Keep in mind that China is heavily dependent its economy on Europe and the United States. So, Xi Jinping is going to have to be very, very careful here and the advice from all of us would be, do not, do not go further in supporting Russia. I know he wants to be the peace maker. But what is a peace deal thus far is one in which it would be advantageous to Russia, that you would have a ceasefire, giving Russia advantage to rebuild its troops and at some point continue its aggression.

So -- but we could be optimistic that perhaps Xi Jinping would tell Putin, back off, this isn't going to work for you, it's not going to work all the way around, and by the way, you are an international pariah now, having been accused of war crimes.

WHITFIELD: All right. I want to switch gears if I could to the Silicon Valley Bank failure. You know, how confident are you that this situation is being managed adequately?

GARAMENDI: Well, I think it really is. Certainly, with regard to Silicon Valley Bank, the federal government and particularly the Biden administration stepped in very forcefully, very quickly, within 36 hours, they devised a mechanism to secure the depositors at that bank. Other banks were weakened probably by the same situation.

They invested in what they thought were the most secure investments in the world, U.S. government bonds. They didn't account for the very rapid rise in the interest rates and then the potential runs.

Beyond Silicon Valley Bank, there is security for every bank in this country. So, I think that the depositors, big and small, need to recognize that the federal government is not about to allow the American banking system to crater as has happened in 2008 and '09. Similarly, across the world in Switzerland, the Credit Suisse has been banked -- backed up by the Swiss government and now in the process of being taken over by another very strong bank.


So, I think the entire western economic system is working very diligently, very quickly and I would say correctly to address the concerns that the banking public has.

WHITFIELD: All right. Congressman John Garamendi, always good to see you. Thank you so much.

GARAMENDI: Good to be with you, Fred. Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Straight ahead, 20 years ago, the United States and its allies invaded Iraq. We'll take a look back at the war and the state of Iraq today.


WHITFIELD: It's been 20 years since the U.S. invaded Iraq. And an invasion that led to the capture and execution of Saddam Hussein. It also made space for the rise of ISIS. CNN's senior international correspondent, Ben Wedeman, is joining me live now. So, Ben, what is this two decades journey been like?


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's been a very difficult journey for Iraq. And I think what struck me -- what has stayed with me all of these years is that for those of us who covered the war and particularly the messy aftermath is that all of this could have been avoided.


WEDEMAN (voice-over): It began with shock and awe. Twenty years ago, the United States and its allies embarked on a war in Iraq. Within weeks, Saddam Hussein's regime fell.

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.

WEDEMAN: They prevailed in the brief battle of Iraq, but the war in Iraq that followed was long and hard. The American road paved with good intentions soon led to hell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Son of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Well, welcome to frigging Iraq, huh? Get back in the vehicle.

WEDEMAN: The U.S. never found Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, the original rationale for the war and blunder after blunder poured fuel on a fire of resentment. Every U.S. operation like this one I covered in the summer of 2003 left behind a trail of bitterness.

By midweek, U.S. troops had detained nearly 400 men. None from their most wanted list. They also managed, however, to arouse a fair amount of resentment. The Americans are occupiers, says this man. They have no manners or ethics. One of them grabbed a Quran and threw it to the ground.

The U.S. cobbled together a political order based on sectarian divisions. Disbanded the Iraqi army and the once ruling Ba'ath Party throwing hundreds of thousands out of the job. And was mired in Abu Ghraib prison scandal where Iraqis were tortured, humiliated and photographed. Eleven U.S. soldiers were convicted of crimes.

Less than a year after the invasion, large parts of Iraq were in chaos. Saddam Hussein was captured, tried and executed but the insurgency went on. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian born leader of al Qaeda in Iraq was killed but the insurgency went on.

Two years after the invasion, sectarian tensions between the Shia majority and the once dominant Sunni, Arab minority, erupted into civil war and the killing intensified. The violence only subsided after the U.S. surged more troops into Iraq in 2007.

In August 2010, the last U.S. combat troops left Iraq leaving behind a brittle, corrupt, deeply flawed democratic regime riven by sectarian tensions, which provided fertile ground for the rampage of the Islamic State, or ISIS, spilling over from the war in Syria into Iraq. ISIS seized control of the northern city of Mosul and then captured city after city, reaching the outskirts of Baghdad.

It took more than three years of bitter combat and foreign military assistance to defeat the group. That enemy vanquished. Old discontents resurfaced. In 2019, Baghdad was gripped by massive protests against corruption, sectarianism and poor living conditions. But like protest movements across the region, it, too, was crushed.

As the U.S. invasion and occupation fade into history, neighboring Iran plays an ever-greater role in the country's affairs. Old problems, corruption, dysfunctional infrastructure and unemployment remain unresolved. Yet, despite it all, today Baghdad is more peaceful than it has been in years.


WEDEMAN (on camera): It is peaceful, but certainly the problems that exist there are not being addressed. For instance, keep in mind, Fred, that Iraq is floating on a sea of oil. But it is still -- the government is incapable of providing reliable electricity or clean water for the population or, for instance, employment opportunities.


The youth unemployment in Iraq, a country that by all standards should be rich, is 25 percent. So I think the discontent that we saw in those demonstrations in 2019 could very easily break out once again. Fred.

WHITFIELD: Full recovery still. A long way to go. Ben Wedeman, thank you so much.

Still to come, AI technology. Is making it easier to create convincing fake voices and videos. But some experts say that could be used to spread misinformation. We'll discuss straight ahead.



WHITFIELD: All right. Last week, the artificial intelligence company opened AI unveiled ChatGPT 4. The AI language tool that is fascinating and frightening people around the world. GPT-4, which is that tool, that can analyze thousands of words of text to create almost anything from coding, video games to passing standardized tests.

It can even write lawsuits. AI technology is developing at a dizzying pace these days, even able to re-create voices as CNN's Donie O'Sullivan found out and we showed it to you last weekend by using -- using one to simulate his own voice in a phone call with his parents.




DONAL O'SULLIVAN: How are you doing?


DONAL O'SULLIVAN: Good. Yourself?

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

DONAL O'SULLIVAN: Oh, you're going back to New York?

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

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


WHITFIELD: OK. Well, it may seem like fun and games. AI technology can even be used to create so-called deepfakes. That's not so funny, which are like digital masks that can replicate the look of just about anyone like this.


TOM CRUISE, ACTOR (DEEPFAKE): If you're a pretty good climber, I want to see you climb this. Not easy to do. Discipline and hard work. I don't know what I'm talking about. It's crazy!


WHITFIELD: Remember that? That was not Tom Cruise even though it looked like him. Some are now raising alarms about how these advances could be used to create and spread misinformation. Our next guest is an AI expert and Emeritus professor of psychology and neural science at NYU. He is also the author of the book "Rebooting AI: Building Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust." All right. Welcome, Dr. Gary Marcus. Good to see you.


WHITFIELD: All right. So, doctor, you know more about this technology than most. You've even developed your own versions. So for all of us who are just learning about this whole world of AI, how does it work in its current form and why is it that you are concerned about kind of the next level? What could happen next?

MARCUS: I think the first thing to understand is it's not as intelligent as it looks. It's mimicking a huge database of things that it's seen before, and it is so huge that an ordinary human being probably can't imagine quite how huge it is.

It's billions and trillions of bits of texts. And what it's doing is it's (inaudible) them, it's putting them together, these little bits without really understanding them. Which is why sometimes it does weird things. Like it blamed the Silicon Valley Bank on GPT5, which doesn't even exist, because it doesn't really know how to assemble all these bits of text.

So sometimes, it kind of gloms together a whole lot of text and sounds really cool, and sometimes it just makes stuff up. And we have to realize even though it looks smart, it's just making stuff up.

WHITFIELD: Maybe it shouldn't be called artificial intelligence, but something else. So you wrote an article in "The Atlantic" this week. You know, we talked about how bad actors could manipulate, you know, the power of these AI tools to spread misinformation. And I guess, you know, what are the degrees of your worry about this because, you know, is there -- is there going to be a point where it's going to be difficult to differentiate real thing from AI generated, if we're not there already?

MARCUS: We are very close to that point right now, and part of the concern is the bad actors will deliberately use these things to misinform people. So it's one thing to have fun with Tom Cruise and make up having him say something wacky, but you can imagine troll farms -- in other countries trying to influence our elections.

And my single biggest fear is that, is that people are going to try to disrupt this democracy by making an atmosphere where we can't really trust anything, where when you look at Twitter, you look at Facebook, you don't know what's true anymore.


MARCUS: Because the sheer volume that you can make with these machines. You can make millions or billions of pieces of misinformation a day with whatever your own alternative set of facts are. It's incredibly plausible that has references of data, and so it looks really real. And most humans aren't going to be able to tell the difference. And so a lot of people are going to be fooled.

WHITFIELD: You're right.

MARCUS: And a lot of people are going to be like they can't trust anything.

WHITFIELD: Oh my gosh. And that's my biggest worry. I mean, we just came off of it. And you know, a lot of it is still stuck. People who have used the terminology of fake news and, you know, information, and then manipulating it, and then people believe it. And now you've got, you know, this form, these tools that can really help that happen and look even more believable and people can't discern the difference between real, you know, and fake.


And so, you know, we have to -- you know, I feel like we may have run into, you know, this Jurassic Park moment where these AI creators are so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if we really should.

MARCUS: I think that's exactly right. I actually wrote another essay called the Jurassic Park moment for AI and quoted exactly that bit. I keep thinking of Jeff Goldblum saying that in Jurassic Park and how true that moment might be. I'm more concerned about AI than I've ever been before in terms of the uses for misinformation and in terms of accidental misinformation around health and ultimately people applying these technologies when they're not really solid yet and applying them prematurely.

WHITFIELD: Oh my gosh. OK. We'll have to keep an eye on it as I know you will, and you're going to keep us informed.

Dr. Gary Marcus, thank you so much. Good to see you. Appreciate it.

MARCUS: Thank you. Thank you very much.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks for being with us today. I'm Fredericka Whitfield in Atlanta.

Coming up on CNN "State of the Union" with Senator Mark Kelly and governor of New Hampshire, Chris Sununu, back here at 2:00 p.m. Eastern for more newsroom.