Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Tonight

Fake A.I.-Generated Pictures Spread Online; Suspected Iranian Affiliated Drone Attacks Americans; Off-Duty Pilot Steps In After Captain Suffers Medical Emergency; Biden Administration Demands TikTok Spin Off Share Or Face U.S. Ban; Affleck And Damon Shared Bank Account. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired March 23, 2023 - 23:00   ET



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: This is misinformation on steroids, basically. Here is an example.

This is an A.I.-generated photo of Donald Trump. We put the word "fake" over it, so it is clear that it is not real and it can't be reproduced, but perhaps you can see just behind the "K" there, it is Donald Trump running away from police.

This was created by a man named Eliot Higgins. He's the founder of the investigative group "Bellingcat" after Donald Trump said falsely that he'd be arrested on Tuesday. We will show you more of these in a second.

Let's bring in our panel. We have Juliette Kayyem, CNN national security analyst, Gideon Lichfield of "Wired," Jessica Washington from "The Root," and political commentator Evan Siegfried.

Guys, great to have you. I think these deepfakes are terrifying. I think they're terrifying. I think that-- when I saw these, I know they're fake. They have fake written all over them. But still, I had a visceral reaction to seeing them. There's something about seeing a former president.

Let me put up another one. Here's another one. This is a -- this one is about Donald Trump. It shows him in the middle of a police -- fake Donald Trump, of course -- the middle of a police (INAUDIBLE). He is falling to the ground. And Gideon, just seeing a former president in this situation, is sort of viscerally felt sick, and I know it's fake.

GIDEON LICHFIELD, GLOBAL EDITOR DIRECTOR, WIRED: Yeah. Well, this is -- you know, this is the latest issue of Midjourney, which is one of these A.I. image generators, Midjourney 5, and it is just leaps and bounds better than the ones that we have been seeing before.

And so even though there are lots of ways in which if you look closely, you can spot that these images are fake, it's still the, you know, the training on Trump's face, the A.I. does that well enough, and expressions and the positions that it crosses that uncanny valley for us and it makes us think, my, God, maybe this could be real, and it provokes that reaction that is meant to provoke. CAMEROTA: And here's one to prove your point of how if you look closely, you can tell that it's fake. Let's look at this one. This is, um, again fake, Donald Trump surrounded by police.

And the only giveaway that something is awry, if you look closely, as you can see, that Trump's white shirt sleeve is visible up to his shoulder on his right arm despite him wearing a navy suit. So, that's a giveaway.

But again, I just think, Juliette --


CAMEROTA: -- that deepfakes are the apocalypse. I mean, they -- they -- this is -- we spend so much time trying to combat misinformation --


CAMEROTA: -- and then here are visuals that can trick all of our brains. What are we supposed to do about this?

KAYYEM: Well, one way is that we're going have to train ourselves to be more discerning about that visceral reaction. So, um --


KAYYEM: We will learn over time. Look, the A.I. -- this whole system is relatively new. We -- don't count the human species out yet. Don't worry, we still -- we still -- we still got game. And so what we're trying to -- what we should be figuring out is ways in which we can teach ourselves to discern that, not have the visceral reaction.

But you -- you can't believe that -- that -- that the computers get to adapt all the time and that we're just sort of stuck here not being able to respond to it. So, there's going to be ways in which we're also going to also be able to learn and eventually, we'll see where it ends up. You seem skeptical for humankind, but I --


KAYYEM: -- I still -- I still have -- I hope we have game.

LICHFIELD: I think it's asking a lot of human beings. I mean, yes, we can -- we can -- you know, we can talk about the ways in which you can spot that these images are fake, but the point is we are now having to -- we're now in the stage where we're going to have to treat every single image we see online suspicious.


LICHFIELD: That is a lot of work.


LICHFIELD: And there are things that I think companies could be doing like the social media companies. For example, there are tools that they could choose to use to flag it in advance to people this image is suspected of being fake. But right now, I don't see the signs of them doing that good.

CAMEROTA: Good. I want to talk about those in a second. But Jessica, what's your -- what's your thought about where we are with deepfakes? I mean, as, you know, a reporter, how are we supposed to be combating misinformation when -- let's remember -- I mean, January 6 was caused by misinformation, by people believing fake news, basically. And so, here we are. It's just another, I think, level of that.

JESSICA WASHINGTON, SENIOR REPORTER, THE ROOT: Yeah. I mean, we're going to have to work overtime. I mean, obviously, social media, it is a good strategy to have them be partners in this, but this is terrifying. We obviously have a society that's really susceptible to misinformation. Like you said, January 6th.

I mean, QAnon, the kinds of theories that people are willing to believe and buy into based off of really limited information. And then when you see these images, you add that in, that's terrifying. And as journalists, it's our job to continue to hammer this home, that these aren't real and that you have to be extra careful. But we don't have as much trust as we used to have. So, I think this is a really dangerous place to be in.

CAMEROTA: Evan, optimistic or pessimistic?

EVAN SIEGFRIED, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, PRESIDENT OF SOMM CONSULTING: Well, I'm optimistic in humanity, but pessimistic in social media companies actually wanting to be able to do this. Let's say -- you know, there was a picture that Trump posted on Truth Social tonight of him praying, he's kneeling down.


SIEGFRIED: It's clearly a deepfake and everybody knows it. But, you know, it's still drives engagement. I've sent -- made a deepfake the other week of Mike Tyson winning a spelling bee.


I sent it to my friends and it went up like wildfire. People are going to be entertained and social media companies have -- they want to get profit and engagement, not necessarily correcting misinformation. But what really worries me now, it's not pictures, it's deepfake videos where they have voices.

What if they have a deepfake of Jay Powell saying the banking system is about to collapse?


SIEGFRIED: What happens on Wall Street? What happens on Main Street?


CAMEROTA: Okay. KAYYEM: Look at SVB. I mean, it's a -- you know, the rumor mill, the Silicon Valley Bank, the rumor mill creates a perception that it's falling apart. Everyone pulls their -- they pull their money. And, uh -- and uh, you know --


KAYYEM: -- time. There's no reason that this bank as compared to any other bank should have had the troubles it had, but it was. A part of that was that inability to just sort of take a deep breath and think about what in fact is reality here and what is just the panic or everything else out in social media.

LICHFIELD: Right. It is already trivial to make an audio, a fake audio of, say, Jamie Dimon talking to --


LICHFIELD: -- one of his associates on the phone, saying, listen, JPMorgan is in much worse shape than we --


LICHFIELD: -- thought because of SVP. And, you know, in the few minutes that it would take for that to be discovered as a fake one (INAUDIBLE) post it online, you could -- you could launch half of finance crash.

SIEGFRIED: Imagine when a state actor decides to weaponize that.

CAMEROTA: Okay. I mean, are we just around the corner from that? And what is the answer? How are we supposed to be training ourselves to spot this?

LICHFIELD: So, let's -- let's know how we train ourselves because yes, I think that's -- we right now -- humans are the first line of defense.

So, let's look at these pictures. You know, number one, if you look at these pictures of Trump, Trump's face himself is pretty -- it's pretty well done because there are lots of images of Trump on the internet. But if you look to the edges of the picture, look away from the center, that's where you start to see more. The face is distorted. You see a police officer who looks like he has rocks in his mouth instead of teeth.

Another thing to look for, look at texts. These images don't do text very well yet. So, if you look at these guys' badges, the policemen's badges, there's not real text there. It's gobbled. It doesn't even look like English.

It -- these images now doing things like limbs and hands much better, but they still make mistakes, like fingers were crooked. In one of the pictures, I think Trump has three legs. People are in distorted, funny positions.

CAMEROTA: That's a giveaway.

LICHFIELD: That's kind of a giveaway. Um, you know, and then another thing that's actually useful is, if you see a sequence of images, look for details that are inconsistent. So, in some of these pictures, on all of them, Trump is wearing a tie, and I think in each one, the tie is different color.

CAMEROTA: That's interesting. But are we just around the corner from them perfecting some of those quirks?

LICHFIELD: I think it will get a lot better very fast. We are going to see, you know, as you said, we're going to see video -- right now, fake video is pretty grainy, but, you know, a year or two from now, it could be pretty convincing.

CAMEROTA: Now, do you still have faith in humanity?

KAYYEM: Still has faith in humanity, that we will adapt and -- as well. We will learn to be more discerning. The market will change because of this. Ah, we will be able to discern between fakes that don't matter and fakes that do matter. So, your thing about Mike Tyson sounds funny. I don't really -- it's not going to bring down humanity. So --

SIEGFRIED: We do have historical comparison for this. Orson Welles broadcasted "The War of the Worlds."


SIEGFRIED: And that freaked people out, but we did adapt.

CAMEROTA: Thank you all very much. I don't know if I feel better or worse --


-- but we might get back right now to our breaking news tonight. The Pentagon says that a U.S. contractor was killed in Syria after a drone strike five U.S. service members and an additional U.S. contractor were wounded in this strike. The United States is now taking an action.

CNN Pentagon correspondent Oren Liebermann joins us on the phone. Okay, Oren, give us an update now.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): This all played out Thursday afternoon, Syria time, which would be early Thursday morning, when the Pentagon says a drone, one-way UAV, which is another term for a suicide drone, attacked the U.S. position near Hasakah, Syria, far Northeast Syria.

In that drone attack, as you pointed out, one U.S. contractor was killed, according to the Pentagon, five U.S. service members, and another contractor were also wounded in that attack.

In terms of how they're doing at this point, the Pentagon says two of those service members were treated on site, while three and the U.S. contractor had to be evacuated to the medical facilities in Iraq for treatment. So, those injuries, it's possible, maybe substantial at this point.

The Pentagon says the drone is of Iranian origin, which suggests it would likely be an Iranian proxy or an Iranian-backed Shia militia in the region, which carried out this sort of attack, and we've seen that in the past.

In response to the attack, the U.S. carried out what it called a precision strike against Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or groups affiliated with the IRGC.

In a short statement from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, he said the United States took proportionate and deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize casualties.

We are still waiting for what's called a battle damage assessment to find out if there were -- those suspected or perhaps launched this attack or affiliated with this attack killed in the U.S. response.


That information, we're still looking for at this point. But we've seen attacks on U.S. forces often in the form of rockets, perhaps a little less often in the form of drone, but this is one of the more dangerous, deadly tragic in terms of the results of the attack on U.S. positions in in Syria, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Oren, how many troops does the U.S. have in Syria?

LIEBERMANN (via telephone): The U.S. has about 900 troops in Syria as part of the campaign to defeat ISIS in the far Northeast Syria. They work with Kurdish partners as part of that campaign. They come under attack, perhaps more often than we would think.

In fact, earlier today, General Erik Kurilla, the commander of U.S. Central Command, said since the beginning of 2021, U.S. forces in the Middle East have come under attack from Iranian proxies and drones 78 times. If you do the math there, that averages out to about one attack every 10 days or so, and that doesn't include the rocket attacks. You saw one of those just a couple of weeks ago.

And inf act, a top U.S. general, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs was in Syria earlier this month visiting U.S. troops and one of the questions on his mind was forced protection. So, you can see the Pentagon still very much concerned about this with Iranian proxies in the region who have fired and continue to fire on U.S. forces there.

CAMEROTA: Okay. Oren, come back to us with any developments, please. Thank you for the reporting.

LIEBERMANN (via telephone): Of course.

CAMEROTA: Al right, next, we're going to tell you what happened when the pilot of a Southwest Airlines flight was suddenly incapacitated and who came to the rescue.




CAMEROTA: Scary moments for passengers aboard a Southwest flight yesterday when the captain became incapacitated and needed medical attention. But an off-duty pilot from another airline who was a passenger stepped up and went to the flight deck and then helped the co-pilot land the jet successfully.

My panel is here waiting to talk about this, but let's first get more on the story from aviation correspondent Pete Montean.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The scene on board the Boeing 737 sounds like something out of a movie, an off-duty pilot in the passenger cabin swooping into the flight deck after one of the original pilots fell ill.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): The captain became incapacitated while en route. He's in the back of the aircraft right now with the flight attendants.

MUNTEAN (voice-over): Southwest Airlines says the incident started on flight 6013 from Las Vegas to Columbus, Ohio. Flight tracking data shows 27 minutes into the flight, at 37,000 feet, the flight started to turn back for Las Vegas. Southwest says that's when one of the pilots needed medical attention, and a credential pilot from another airline entered the flight deck and assisted with radio communication.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): We need to get him on an ambulance immediately.

PETER GOETZ, FORMER NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD DIRECTOR: The modern aircraft, a single pilot can fly it and handle communications, but it is a very heavy workload.

MUNTEAN (voice-over): Off-duty pilots being pressed into service has been the subject of fiction.

UNKNOWN: By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

MUNTEAN (voice-over): In fact --

UNKNOWN (voice-over): What is the situation with the pilot?

UNKNOWN (voice-over): He is incoherent. He is out.

MUNTEAN (voice-over): Just last year, a passenger without piloting experience landed a charter flight from the Bahamas with help from air traffic controllers when the lone pilot became incapacitated. In 1989, an off-duty United pilot volunteered to help wrestle United flight 232 into Sioux City, Iowa when a major mechanical issue was more than the crew could handle.

In this latest incident, the flight made a safe landing back in Las Vegas, but the helpful pilot's identity remains a mystery.

GOETZ: That he was willing to step in and did a good job is really quite commendable.

MUNTEAN (on camera): The nature of the Southwest pilot's medical issue is still not clear. Experts tell us having two pilots is best, even though the 737 can be flown by one pilot. There is a push to get rid of the second pilot. It would be a cost cutting move by airlines. The largest union of pilots puts it like this: The choice is between saving money or like in this case, saving lives.

Pete Muntean, CNN, Washington.


CAMEROTA: Thanks to Pete. And we are back with the panel. I don't think they should get rid of that co-pilot on flights, Evan.

SIEGFRIED: No, not one bit. If anything, I'd add a third --


SIEGFRIED: -- because in case of emergency. Look, I'm not terrified of flying. I'm terrified of the sudden cessation of flight. The airlines wanting to cut costs by removing a second pilot is one of the most boneheaded things you could ever have happened. Health emergencies do happen to people. You can't predict it, like what happened with this pilot. And what would have happened if this pilot who were a passenger weren't there? We don't know.


WASHINGTON: I do not want them to get rid of -- I want backup, backup, backup pilots. I mean, if something --

CAMEROTA: It's redundancy.

WASHINGTON: Exactly. If something like this were to happen and I was in the air, I would -- just don't tell me. Let me leave my headphones in. Please don't alert me.

CAMEROTA: So, you don't want the announcement, is there a pilot on board or anyone?


WASHINGTON: I'm not religious, but I'm praying, you know? No, I want multiple backup pilots. Please do not save me any money or more likely the airline any money by getting rid of the safety measures like an extra pilot. CAMEROTA: You know, it is not just that we are covering these things more often. Things are happening more often. And today, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg talked about that. So, it's not just that we're aware of it. He said that, for instance, there are -- there have been more near misses this year. Let me play him for a second.


PETE BUTTIGIEG, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION: We think that the uptick is partly related to the exceptionally fast surge in demand and the swift return to the skies faster than even the most optimistic scenarios that we heard a couple of years ago. We need to make sure, of course, that as that system comes back to that high level of demand, there is no negative safety impact to that.


CAMEROTA: He says, basically, the near collisions are occurring at double the rate of last year.


LICHFIELD: Yeah. And we also have the shortage of pilots that the airlines are still recovering from post pandemic when, you know, they retired. Some people like some people off to save costs. So, they're still scrambling to recruit more people, so there aren't enough. So, it's kind of not surprising that all of these -- these incidents are stacking up on each other.

KAYYEM: Yeah. The transportation system -- so -- like -- I -- the near misses, we should not view as near misses. They are flashing red lights, telling us that the system is under stress, whether it's because of pilots or too many flights in the air or, as even the transportation secretary has said, going back through your protocols.

There are lots of these problems. Do not fly a lot for two years, so we're sort of re-gearing up. But that would mean, of course, that when we study security systems or safety systems, you want to avoid the single point of failure, right? If you got one pilot, you've got one single point of failure.

And so, it's just the most ridiculous thing to how much does it cost to have a second copilot on it to make any movement to not have a redundancy on the one thing --

CAMEROTA: It is hard to imagine they're even thinking about it.

KAYYEM: It's hard to imagine that some of these planes are, you know, some of them, as we've been reporting, can be flown by themselves, but it is -- it is -- it is the most absurd, um, action to take because the -- it's an on-off switch. If the plane doesn't fly, very unlikely people survive it, or that you would have the luck of having a passenger who has a pilot's license.

So, this -- but I -- but the bigger issue is the system -- the system is telling us something from these near misses and it's good that we are now starting to pay attention. These are not like, oh, thank goodness that didn't happen. This is -- the system is under stress.

LICHFIELD: I'd be willing to sacrifice the disgusting blankets, the pillows --


LICHFIELD: -- whatever can save the money --

SIEGFRIED: Two inches off the leg room.

CAMEROTA: Whatever, whatever it takes. Thank you all very much. Okay, standby. Is the clock ticking for TikTok in the U.S.? The CEO is grilled by Congress today. We're going to hear from a TikTok creator, next.





MATTIE WESTBROUCK, TIKTOK INFLUENCER: Today, I'm meeting the president of the United States. Oh, my God. I don't think I had said it out loud until like just right now, but I am terrified. What will I say? Maybe I'll ask him to tell me a government secret, but I don't want to get kicked out of the White House.


CAMEROTA: An exciting moment for TikTok influencer Mattie Westbrouck. Mattie and other TikTokers were invited to the White House last year. But now, just months later, the White House is threatening to ban TikTok unless the app's Chinese owners agreed to spin off their share of the platform.

And Mattie Westbrouck joins me now. Mattie, great to have you here. What do you think of the idea that TikTok could be banned in the U.S.?

WESTBROUCK: Yeah, I think it's a really quick turnaround from being so openly welcomed into the White House and having a great conversation with Joe Biden himself about the impact that social media can have and the positivity that they can spread across the entire nation.

But it does feel a bit like whiplash and it is kind of very back and forth on whether or not it's, you know -- again, I'm not -- I'm not any type of national security expert, I'm not any type of data privacy expert, but at the end of the day, you know, it connects us all and it can be used for such positive impact and such positive waves and motions throughout, you know, political agendas as well as social issues.

So, it's a very, very interesting concept to me. That is very, very -- it's trying. CAMEROTA: But do you understand the downside of TikTok, the dangerous side?

WESTBROUCK: You know, I've been trying to educate myself a little bit on the downside of that. And again, I'm no national security expert. I'm not aware of a lot of what could be happening on the on the doubt of privacy side, but at the same time, you know, I think it's something that we have never really seen before.

The massive expansion of social media throughout the pandemic, I think it was something that connected us all. I do see like in a personal sense that the privacy and security issues are there. I mean, you could tag your location. That's a very scary thing. I want to be completely transparent thinking that's something we should fix.

I mean, you know, youth being able to go into the app and spread their location is very scary thing. And that's just one example of privacy that is extremely concerning. But at the same time, you know, I think the positives outweigh the detriments in every single way.

CAMEROTA: And does it give you pause that it's owned by, you know, a Chinese -- by Chinese owners?

WESTBROUCK: Absolutely. I mean, we don't know what it's used for. I mean, I don't know where my dad is going a lot of time. But at the same time, you know, if that is sold to an American company, I think there are massive strides that can be taken to ensure our privacy and our data security.

CAMEROTA: Also, one of the things that came up is they said that, um, within basically -- I don't know if it's seconds or minutes of using it, the algorithms, you know, funnel sometimes dangerous content to, as you know, young women get content on body image stuff for anorexia. There's content that people see that they didn't ask for about suicide. What about things like that?

WESTBROUCK: You know, I think it's very interesting. I was talking about this earlier with my friends today. That's a threat on any platform. I think TikTok's algorithm is just extremely specific just because of the way that we utilize that every single day.

I mean, it's the first place I go to every single morning. It's the first place I go to before bed every single night. And I think it has created such a personal profile on every single person that has interacted with the app and that algorithm -- it can be dangerous.


But it's not to say that that algorithm that is created across all social media platforms can be dangerous on every single one. I think it's a very interesting target that TikTok itself rather than, you know, let's say YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, those algorithms can also be extremely specific. And TikTok itself, I think, is just used as like the prime example rather than speaking on the algorithms as an entire whole. I watched the social project on Netflix about how that algorithm can be, you know, created to work kind of against mental health. I would agree in some sense, but at the same time, it's a conversation that needs to be held across all platforms, not just TikTok.

CAMEROTA: And Mattie, when you say it's the first thing you check in the morning and then before you go to bed, what do you -- what are you looking for? What do you see first thing in the morning?

WESTBROUCK: I think at this point as well full transparency, it's a habit. It's not something I'm particularly looking for. I think I'm looking for something new every single day. I'm looking for something exciting. I'm looking for something I've never seen before.

And, you know, I don't think our brains are particularly programmed to wake up and watch, you know, happy public video. And then like you said, a video on anorexia and then maybe a video on suicide. I don't think our brains are programmed to intake that information as quickly as we do and take it on a daily basis.

But I think our brains have been programmed to require that natural dopamine hit every single day. It doesn't even feel like a thought or choice is just there and that's something that -- it's obviously my job. So, it's also a little bit, you know, back and forth.

It's like alright, what can I work with today? What's trending right now that I have to work with? Just like a job. I also view it as, like, all right, let's get started. Let's log into my work email and see what's up.

CAMEROTA: It's really interesting. So, if you could talk to President Biden right now, what would you say as he considers banning it?

WESTBROUCK: Right. I think I would remind him of the positive impact, that we came in as a group -- I went in with -- I've been going around with eight or nine amazing other creators. We went in and we promoted the vaccine. Also, something I'm very, very positively, you know, supporting throughout time. I was a part of the made to save vaccine campaign that generated over 90 million views.

So, I would just kind of reiterate the positive impact that it can have because he's obviously quite aware of the positive social impact and political impact that the TikTok can have with its creators' period. I mean, he brought us in for a very specific reason, and I think being utilized a little bit as like a positive change. I think he should be reminded of that.

CAMEROTA: Mattie Westbrouck, really great to talk to you tonight. Thanks so much for giving us your perspective. Really interesting.

WESTBROUCK: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me.

CAMEROTA: My panel is back now. That was helpful. That was really helpful because I think that, you know, TikTok to so many of us, um, in a certain generation --


-- seems like what's the point. But Mattie spelled it out pretty well. But yet, as a national security expert, what do you think?

KAYYEM: So, I was hoping that there would be less drastic solutions to this. It is clear that the Biden White House wanted that. They've been trying to work through some rules and regulations about the Cloud, about access, about where data is, um, stored.

But the politics of this are just, um, not really about TikTok anymore. They are about China and technology and then banning some of our technology. In some ways, it's sort of not about the content. It's about a company that has access to 100 million Americans and their data.

Those Americans know it. We're not surprised. We know -- I mean, by now we know who owns TikTok. And so that's the -- I think -- I think whatever my opinion is, I think this is where it's heading. Ans it's important for people to remember the tremendous influence people like Mattie did have on something like the vaccine.

I mean, we all talk about Fauci. Fauci was irrelevant to a lot of people who were looking on TikTok, looking to the Matties and others of the world and saying, okay, now, you know, that's -- that's the person I'm going follow.

LICHFIELD: And I think Mattie is also absolutely right that, um, a lot of the issues that are being raised about TikTok are the same for any other platform. It's not that there are not legitimate questions about how TikTok uses data.

It's certainly true, it seems, according to reporting, that (INAUDIBLE) can have some access to the TikTok data. But, you know, I would say two things. Number one, the same issue is potentially harmful content. Political manipulation, mental health, and data privacy or data lack of privacy in general are happening across all of the platforms.

CAMEROTA: But doesn't the Chinese ownership at a new level?

LICHFIELD: It has a little bit of a new level, but not as much as I think people are making out because --


LICHFIELD: Let me finish.



LICHFIELD: So, I think, first of all, if China wants to get data on American citizens, there are lots of ways they can get it other than TikTok. There are lots of apps that are putting out data that can be freely bought and sold. The third-party data brokers will sell that data to anybody who wants it. There are also ways that apps -- even if TikTok, the (INAUDIBLE) were banned, there are lots of apps that send data to TikTok for purposes of online advertising and things like that. So, I think simply banning the app would not really solve these concerns about China having access to data.

SIEGFRIED: First of all, we saw today on Capitol Hill TikTok CEO going -- give a master class and what not to do in front of Congress. He flubbed it left and right. One of the things he kept on pushing was, oh, we're a private company. In China, There's no such thing as a private company. Chinese government can have access to it, particularly through their intelligence services at any point.

And what we also saw today was how close they are to China. They were repeatedly asked -- can you say that the weaker genocide is happening? And they say, oh, I'm not an expert. They then tried to compare themselves to other platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Look, Elon Musk is a lot of things, but the last time I checked, he has not been participating in any sort of concentration cancer genocide of another group.

And lastly, the thing that really scared me today was the answer when the CEO was asked, have you used TikTok to spy on Americans? You know what he said? I wouldn't call it spying.

LICHFIELD: And would Facebook call it spying? What they do?

SIEGFRIED: Facebook doesn't have a direct relationship with the Chinese intelligence services.

WASHINGTON: One point I would make is that Facebook did have -- does have connections to genocide that have occurred. I mean -- and also January 6th. We know that was fomented on Facebook. So, there's a ton of dangerous things that have happened on social media platforms that exists in the United States that are owned by U.S. companies.

So, it does seem like part of what's happening here is a fear over China that is very political and not necessarily -- I'm not saying entirely separate from some real concerns, but not necessarily grounded in this concern, grounded maybe more so in kind of politics and politicking.

I also grew up with Instagram and Facebook, and I can say those were very harmful to mental health, to my mental health, to a lot of people's mental health. I think internal studies of Instagram have shown that one in three teenage girls who went on Instagram had worse body images. It has been shown to increase depression, anxiety, all these different mental health issues.

CAMEROTA: What was your experience?

WASHINGTON: I mean, my experience was, it's a lot to try and keep up with your peers on Facebook, on Instagram, to have to post photos from parties or look a certain way or feel a certain way. And I actually think with TikTok, there's less of that pressure. It does feel a lot more real than some of the platforms that I grew up with as a teenager. So, I do see something with TikTok that is slightly different than maybe other people see who didn't grow up with Instagram and Facebook.

SIEGFRIED: But we have to also acknowledge there's no way that they can sell it off. The Chinese government has veto power over it.

KAYYEM: This is happening. I mean, I think whether the -- whether the specific -- whether it should happen because we have all these other variables to consider, whether it's just like other social media, it's happening.

The politics have now aligned that for a variety of reasons, including, let's just be clear, like other social media companies lobbying for TikTok to be banned in the United States because of the competition. We -- it is -- it is going to happen, and so we have to prepare for, okay, what other platforms --

CAMEROTA: You're sure it is going to be banned?

KAYYEM: The politics are -- foreign policy, diplomatic decisions are often made based on a threat and a lot of other stuff. And for whatever reason, the bullseye has landed on TikTok.

Of all the issues that we have with China -- am I up late at night about TikTok? No, I am not playing. I'm a national security person. I do not worry a lot about TikTok. But for, you know, for a variety of reasons, the Democrats and Republicans and the White House now conceded. After two years of, I think, trying to keep this at bay, is at least willing to now more consider, uh, potential ban. Congress most recently gave them the authority to do it. So, it just seems like, you know, no one's going to stop this train. That's --

LICHFIELD: Yes. It felt like the hearings today were kind of a show trial of the scene.


LICHFIELD: They basically preparing the public.

KAYYEM: There wasn't like there, oh, I'm learning something new. It was -- it was this is my moment to get the clip.

CAMEROTA: Okay, everyone, stay with me if you would. On a lighter note, Hollywood besties, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, shared a lot more than an Oscar. We'll explain.





BEN AFFLECK, ACTOR: Way out of here (ph).

MATT DAMON, ACTOR: What do I want way out of here for? I'm going to live here the rest of my life. You know, we'll be neighbors, have little kids (bleep), take them to little League together up at Foley Field.

AFFLECK: Look, you're my best friend, so don't take this the wrong way. In 20 years, if you're still living here, coming over my house to watch the Patriots games, still working construction, I'll (bleep) kill you. That's not a threat. That's a fact.


CAMEROTA: That's awesome, hearing their old Boston accents there.

KAYYEM: I need subtitles now.


KAYYEM: What were they saying?

CAMEROTA: I don't even know if they were acting. That was Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, one of Hollywood's favorite power couples. Of course, I mean, best friends. But how close are they really? Well, it turns out that they shared a bank account at the beginning of their careers.


DAMON (voice-over): We had been so used to having a shared bank account from high school that like I remember.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): You had a shared bank account in high school?


DAMON (voice-over): Yeah, yeah. We had a Bay Banks account that we shared which we used.

AFFLECK (voice-over): I still have the check book. I found the check book.

DAMON (voice-over): Did you really? It was unusual but it was also like we needed the money for auditions, for trips to New York.

AFFLECK (voice-over): Yes, to go to New York.

DAMON (voice-over): So that's what the money was for. It was like you were allowed to go to New York with the money, you could go to camera. We were allowed to take out 10 bucks and get quarters and go to a thousand and one and play video games. That was another use of the money we were allowed. And eventually, you know, we were allowed to try to buy beer. Like, you know, never (bleep) worked.

AFFLECK: And that's how we went broke.


CAMEROTA: I'm back with my panel. Jessica, that's interesting. I actually never heard of best friends sharing a bank account.

WASHINGTON: I haven't either, but I kind of think it's great. I think a lot of people that I'm talking to now, they're talking about the ways in which, you know, community looks different, family looks different, and why should people in romantic relationships be the only one to benefit from having a dual income? You know, people are buying homes with other single mothers together, with their best friends. I see no problem with this.

CAMEROTA: Would you do it?

WASHINGTON: I don't think my best friend would do it with me --


CAMEROTA: Because you would use all the money for beer or what?

WASHINGTON: Or maybe sushi --


-- $20 cocktails in New York. I don't know.

CAMEROTA: That can drain a bank account. Yes, Evan?

SIEGFRIED: I see this as a very risky thing that can ruin a friendship actually. Clearly, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck had ground rules and they thought it out. But I don't think a lot of people will think it through and they'll just say, okay, let's just throw our money into this account and we can use it for this.

And then there's going to be some day where they say, why are you using more of the money than I am? Where's the fairness? Or why are you spending it on this? And it's going be the same old arguments. So, why have some sort of trap where your friendship can be ruined where you can actually just think it out and say, hey, let's go take a trip together? We each need to save up X amount of money.

LICHFIELD: Or -- or you could treat it as a learning experience. This is a great way to learn about how to have accountability and manage your friendship well together. Sure, I never ever shared banking with anyone, not even with my first boyfriend.

But, you know, I think this -- you know, maybe this is a thing that people need to learn to do and it is communication style, communication teaching tool. I think it's a good idea.

CAMEROTA: Doesn't have a big downside, though?

LICHFIELD: Which is?

CAMEROTA: It could squander all your money. LICHFIELD: Well, that is what you learn to communicate about.


KAYYEM: I love the reference to Bay Bank, which was like this old school bank, which is now defunct. Reminded me of when I was in college. But I guess my only addition is that I think it shows why they are both so successful, that at that age, they were thinking about pulled money to go to rehearsals. I mean, at 16, 17, you know, I don't even think I had a bank account at that age.

So, to me, it was -- they were pretty smart, pretty young. This is no fluke, how they're sustaining power over the years.

CAMEROTA: Yes. And it's also fun to remember that they were broke.


CAMEROTA: And they were best friends.


CAMEROTA: You know, they had this hard, bad hardscrabble past, but they certainly didn't -- it wasn't handed to them. It's fun to hear about that. This would -- my friends would have gotten such a raw end of the deal if I had shared a banking account with them. I mean, I just -- I was always broke. I would have -- and I needed, you know, gas, money, and money for food. I would have just helped myself.

Thank goodness they didn't let me have part of their bank account. I remember going to my back in college and being upset that the ATM wouldn't give me less than $5. That was the lowest you could take out. I was, like, I'm going squander that. I need just $1 from my bank. Yeah.

KAYYEM: And now we have Venmo. It makes it way too easy.

CAMEROTA: To pass around money?

KAYYEM: Pass around money. Yeah. Dangerous.

CAMEROTA: Yes. All right, so, good for those guys. All right, we will be right back.




CAMEROTA: Before we go, a couple of programming notes. Tomorrow on "CNN This Morning," Jake Tapper talks about his interview with the star of "Ted Lasso," Jason Sudeikis, the phenomenon of the show, and the casts' visit to the White House. Tune in for that at 8:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN. Then you can catch Jake on "The Lead" at 4:00 p.m., and his with Jason Sudeikis at 9:00 p.m. Then this weekend, actress and activist Eva Longoria is proud of her Mexican roots and deeply connected to the country she calls her second home. Now in the new CNN Original Series "Searching for Mexico," Longoria is taking us on a journey across the country to see how its people, culture, landscape, and history have shaped its diverse cuisine. Here's a preview.


EVA LONGORIA, ACTRESS: I don't know the secret to happiness. All I know is every time I eat Mexican food, I'm happy.


(Voice-over): I'm Eva Longoria, born and bred and Texas with Mexican American roots.

(On camera): I'm going to get a t shirt that says, more salsa.

(Voice-over): I'm exploring Mexico to see how the people, their lands, and their past have shaped a culinary tradition as diverse as its 32 states.

(On camera): Right here. Today, we are going to be making our food pilgrimage.

Look at that. I don't know if I've ever been this excited to eat anything. I was going to do this. That's why.

(Voice-over): The people here are so secure in who they are and where they come from.

(Voice-over): You guys are amazing storytellers.

UNKNOWN: Appreciate it.


LONGORIA (voice-over): Mexico is going through a major makeover to emerge as one of the world's greatest food destinations.

UNKNOWN: You know what brings people to Mexico? The food culture. I fell in love with it.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): "Eva Longoria Searching for Mexico" premiere Sunday at 10:00 on CNN.




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Tonight, why a Manhattan grand jury in the Stormy Daniels hush money case appears to be in a holding pattern? Why one of the two federal cases, by contrast, just keeps accelerating? Sources tell us the Manhattan grand jury panel met today but did not take up the case. It's expected to reconvene on Monday, possibly to hear additional testimony.

Tonight, my exclusive conversation with the attorney for Stormy Daniels, his thoughts on where the case is heading and whether his client wants to see the former president indicted.

Mr. Trump has been seeking donations, as you know, from his supporters, fundraising off his claims he was going to be arrested this past Tuesday.


And in a new series of statements on the social network, he is calling the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg -- quote -- "danger to our country" and "animal."