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One World with Zain Asher
U.S. Senators Grill Social Media CEOs On Child Exploitation; House Speaker Mike Johnson Speaks On Border Crisis; U.N. Secretary General Appeals For Continued Support To UNRWA; Universal Music Group Pulls Its Music Off TikTok. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired January 31, 2024 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone, live from New York, I'm Bianna Golodryga. Zain is off today. You are watching "One World". And
we've been watching top tech CEOs on Capitol Hill getting grilled over child safety measures.
Also, this hour, any moment now, U.S. Speaker Mike Johnson is expected to give a speech on the House floor where the issue of border security will be
front and center. We'll be taking you there live. But first, we want to go back to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on online safety.
(LIVE COVERAGE BEGINS)
RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT), U.S. SENATOR: -- Congress. You disavowed that filing in court.
MARK ZUCKERBERG, META CEO: Senator, I don't know what filing you're talking about, but I testify honestly and truthfully.
BLUMENTHAL: It's a filing from --
ZUCKERBERG: And I would like the opportunity to respond to the previous things that you showed, as well.
BLUMENTHAL: Well, I have a few more questions, and let me ask others who are here because I think it's important to put you on record -- who will
support the Kids Online Safety Act? Yes or no? Mr. Citron.
JASON CITRON, DISCORD CEO: There are parts of the act that we think are great.
BLUMENTHAL: No, it's a yes or no question. I'm going to be running out of time. So, I'm assuming the answer is no, if you can't answer yes.
CITRON: We very much think that the national privacy standard would be great.
BLUMENTHAL: That's a no. Mr. Siegel?
EVAN SPIEGEL, SNAP CEO: Senator, we strongly support the Kids Online Safety Act, and we've already implemented many of its core provisions.
BLUMENTHAL: Thank you. I welcome that support along with Microsoft's support. Mr. Chew?
SHOU CHEW, TIKTOK CEO: Senator, with some changes, we can support it.
BLUMENTHAL: No. In its present form, do you support it? Yes or no?
CHEW: We are aware that some groups have raised some concerns. It's important to understand how this works.
BLUMENTHAL: I'll take that as a no. Ms. Yaccarino?
LINDA YACCARINO, TWITTER CEO: Senator, we support CSUMB. We'll continue to make sure that it accelerates and make sure it continues to offer community
for teens that are seeking that voice.
BLUMENTHAL: Mr. Zuckerberg.
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, we support the age-appropriate content standards, but would have some suggestions on how to implement --
BLUMENTHAL: Yes or no. Mr. Zuckerberg, do you support the Kids Online Safety Act?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, these are --
BLUMENTHAL: It's a measure that is public and I'm just asking whether you'll support it or not.
ZUCKERBERG: These are nuanced things. I think that the basic spirit is right. I think the basic ideas in it are right. And there are some ideas
that I would debate how to best stay on.
BLUMENTHAL: Unfortunately, I don't think we can count on social media as a group or big tech to support this measure. And in the past, we know it's
been opposed by armies of lawyers and lobbyists. We're prepared for this fight.
But I am very, very glad that we have parents here because tomorrow we're going to have an advocacy day. And the folks who really count, the people
in this room who support this measure, are going to be going to their Representatives and their Senators, and their voices and faces are going to
make a difference.
Senator Schumer has committed that he will work with me to bring this bill to a vote and then we will have real protection for children and parents
online. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
DICK DURBIN (D-IL), SENATE MAJORITY WHIP: Thank you Senator Blumenthal. We have a vote on -- has Senator Cotton, have you voted on -- and Senator
Hawley, you haven't voted yet? You're next. And I don't know how long the vote will be open, but I'll turn it over to you.
JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO), U.S. SENATOR: Thank you Mr. Chairman. Mr. Zuckerberg, let me start with you. Did I hear you say in your opening statement that
there's no link between mental health and social media use?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, what I said is I think it's important to look at the science. I know it's -- people widely talk about this as if that is
something that's already been proven and I think that the bulk of the scientific evidence does not support that.
HAWLEY: Well, really? Let me just remind you of some of the science from your own company. Instagram studied the effect of your platform on
teenagers. Let me just read you some quotes from "The Wall Street Journal's" report on this. "Company researchers found that Instagram is
harmful for a sizable percentage of teenagers, most notably teenage girls."
Here's a quote from your own study, quote, "We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls." Here's another quote, "Teens blamed
Instagram," this is your study, "for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression." This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.
That's your study.
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, we try to understand the feedback and how people feel about the services we can improve.
HAWLEY: Wait a minute. Your own study says that you make life worse for one in three teenage girls, you increase anxiety and depression. That's
what it says and you're here testifying to us in public that there's no link. You've been doing this for years.
For years you've been coming in public and testifying under oath that there's absolutely no link. Your product is wonderful. The science is
nascent, full speed ahead while internally you know full well your product is a disaster for teenagers.
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, that's not true.
HAWLEY: And yet you keep right on doing what you're doing. Right?
ZUCKERBERG: That's not true. That's not true.
HAWLEY: Let me -- let me show you some other facts I know that you're familiar with.
ZUCKERBERG: You can share the data if you want.
HAWLEY: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. That's not a question. That' not a question. Those are facts, Mr. Zuckerberg. That's not a question.
ZUCKERBERG: That's not. That's bizarre facts.
HAWLEY: Let me show you some more facts. Here are some -- here's some information from a whistleblower who came before the Senate testified under
oath in public. He worked for you -- a senior executive. Here's what he showed he found when he studied your products.
So, for example, this is girls between the ages of 13 and 15 years old. Thirty-seven percent of them reported that they had been exposed to nudity
on the platform, unwanted, in the last seven days.
Twenty four percent said that they had experienced unwanted sexual advances. They'd been propositioned in the last seven days. Seventeen
percent said they had encountered self-harm content pushed at them in the last seven days.
Now, I know you're familiar with these stats because he sent you an email where he lined it all out. I mean we've got a copy of it right here. My
question is who did you fire for this? Who got fired because of that?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, we study all this because it's important and we want to improve our services.
HAWLEY: Well, you just told me a second ago that you studied it but there was no linkage. Who did you fire?
ZUCKERBERG: I said you mischaracterized me.
HAWLEY: Thirty-seven percent of teenage girls between thirteen and fifteen were exposed to unwanted nudity in a week on Instagram. You knew about it.
Who did you fire?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, this is why we're building all these tools.
HAWLEY: Who did you fire?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, that's, I don't think that's -- that's --
HAWLEY: Who did you fire?
ZUCKERBERG: I'm not going to answer that.
HAWLEY: Because you didn't fire anybody, right? You didn't take any significant actions.
ZUCKERBERG: I don't think it's appropriate to talk about individual HR decisions. It's not appropriate.
HAWLEY: Do you know who's sitting behind you? You've got families from across the nation whose children are either severely harmed or gone, and
you don't think it's appropriate to talk about steps that you took? The fact that you didn't fire a single person? Let me ask you this, let me ask
you this. Have you compensated any of the victims?
HAWLEY: Have you compensated any of the victims? These girls, have you compensated them?
ZUCKERBERG: I don't believe so.
HAWLEY: Why not? Don't you think they deserve some compensation for what your platform has done? Help with counseling services? Help with dealing
with the issues that your services caused?
ZUCKERBERG: Our job is to make sure that we build tools to help keep people safe.
HAWLEY: Are you going to compensate them?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, our job and what we take seriously is making sure that we build industry-leading tools to find harmful --
HAWLEY: To make money.
ZUCKERBERG: -- take it off the services --
HAWLEY: And to make money.
ZUCKERBERG: To build tools that empower parents.
HAWLEY: So, you didn't take any action. You didn't take any action. You didn't fire anybody. You haven't compensated a single victim. Let me ask
you this. Let me ask you this. There's families of victims here today. Have you apologized to the victims?
ZUCKERBERG: I --
HAWLEY: Would you like to do so now?
ZUCKERBERG: Well, they're here. You're on national television. Would you like now to apologize to the victims who have been harmed by your product.
Show them the pictures. Would you like to apologize for what you've done to these good people?
ZUCKERBERG: I'm sorry (INAUDIBLE) -- through -- the things that your families have suffered. And this is why we invested so much and are going
to continue doing these pretty big efforts to make sure that no one has to go through the types of things that your families have had to suffer.
HAWLEY: You know, why Mr. Zuckerberg, why should your company not be sued for this? Why is it that you can claim -- you hide behind a liability
shield? You can't be held accountable. Shouldn't you be held accountable personally? Will you take personal responsibility?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, I think I've already answered this. I mean, this is - - these are --
HAWLEY: Well, try us again. Will you take personal responsibility?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, I view my job and the job of our company is building the best tools that we can to keep our community safe.
HAWLEY: Well, you're failing at that.
ZUCKERBERG: Well, Senator, we're doing an industry leading effort. We build AI tools that --
HAWLEY: Oh, non-sense. Your product is killing people. Will you personally commit to compensating the victims? You're a billionaire. Will you commit
to compensating the victims? Will you set up a compensation fund with your money?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, I think these are complicated. Senator --
HAWLEY: With your money.
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, these are complicated issues.
HAWLEY: No, that's not a complicated question, though. That's a yes or no. Will you set up a victim's compensation fund with your money, the money you
made on these families sitting behind you. Yes or no?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, I don't think that that's -- my job is to make sure we build good tools.
HAWLEY: Sounds like a no.
ZUCKERBERG: My job is to make sure that --
HAWLEY: Your job is to be responsible for what your company has done. You've made billions of dollars on the people sitting behind you here.
You've done nothing to help them. You've done nothing to compensate them. You've done nothing to put it right. You could do so here today, and you
should. You should, Mr. Zuckerberg.
Before my time expires, Mr. Chew, let me just ask you. Your platform -- why should your platform not be banned in the United States of America? You are
owned by a Chinese communist company or a company based in China. The Editor-in-Chief of your parent company is a Communist Party Secretary.
Your company has been surveilling Americans for years. According to leaked audio from more than 80 internal TikTok meetings, China-based employees of
your company have repeatedly accessed non-public data of United States citizens.
Your company has tracked journalists improperly gaining access to their IP addresses, user data in an attempt to identify whether they're writing
negative stories about you. Why should -- your platform is basically an espionage arm for the Chinese Communist Party? Why should you not be banned
in the United States of America?
CHEW: Senator, I disagree with your characterization. Many of what you have said, we have explained in a lot of detail. TikTok is used by 170
HAWLEY: I know, and every single one of those Americans are in danger from the fact that you track their keystrokes, you track their app usage, you
track their location data, and we know that all of that information can be accessed by Chinese employees who are subject to the dictates of the
Chinese Communist Party.
CHEW: That is not --
HAWLEY: Why should you not be banned in this country?
CHEW: Senator, that is not accurate. A lot of what you described we collect, we don't.
HAWLEY: It is 100 percent accurate. Do you deny that repeatedly, Americans' data has been accessed by ByteDance employees in China?
CHEW: We built a project that cost us billions of dollars to stop that. And we have made a lot of progress.
HAWLEY: And it hasn't been stopped. According to "The Wall Street Journal" report from just yesterday, "Even now, Bytedance workers, without going
through official channels, have access to the private information of American citizens" -- I'm quoting from the article - "private information
of American citizens, including their birth date, their IP address, and more." That's now.
CHEW: Senator, as we know, the media doesn't always get it right. What we have --
HAWLEY: What, the Chinese Communist Party does?
CHEW: I'm not saying that. What I'm saying is that we have spent billions of dollars to build this project. It's rigorous, it's robust, it's
unprecedented, and I'm proud of the work that the 2000 employees are doing to protect the data.
HAWLEY: It's not protected. That's the problem, Mr. Chew. It's not protected at all. It's subject to Communist Chinese Party inspection and
review. Your app, unlike anybody else sitting here, and heaven knows I've got problems with everybody here.
But your app, unlike any of those, is subject to the control and inspection of a foreign hostile government that is actively trying to track the
information of whereabouts of every American they get their hands on. Your app ought to be banned in the United States of America for the security of
this country. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
DURBIN: Senator Corona.
MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI), U.S. SENATOR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As we've heard, children face all sorts of dangers when they use social media, from
mental health harms to sexual exploitation, even trafficking. Sex trafficking is a serious problem in my home state of Hawaii, especially for
Native Hawaiian victims. That social media platforms are being used to facilitate this trafficking, as well as the creation and distribution of C-
scam is deeply concerning, but it's happening.
For example, several years ago, a military police officer stationed in Hawaii was sentenced to 15 years in prison for producing C-scam as part of
his online exploitation of a minor female. He began communicating with this 12-year-old girl through Instagram. He then used Snapchat to send her
sexually explicit photos and to solicit such photos from her. He later used these photos to blackmail her.
And just last month, the FBI arrested a neo-Nazi cult leader in Hawaii who lured victims to his Discord server. He used that server to share images of
extremely disturbing child sexual abuse material interspersed with neo-Nazi imagery.
Members of his child exploitation and hate group are also present on Instagram, Snapchat, X, and TikTok -- all of which they use to recruit
potential members and victims. In many cases, including the ones I just mentioned, your companies played a role in helping law enforcement
investigate these offenders.
But by the time of the investigation, so much damage had already been done. This hearing is about how to keep children safe online. And we've listened
to all of your testimony, to seemingly impressive safeguards for young users. You try to limit the time that they spend. You require parental
consent. You have all of these tools. Yet trafficking and exploitation of minors online and on your platforms continues to be rampant.
Nearly all of your companies make your money through advertising, specifically by selling the attention of your users. Your product is your
users. As a made-up product designer wrote in an email, quote, "Young ones are the best ones. You want to bring people to your service young and
early," end quote. In other words, hook them early.
Research published last month by Harvard's School of Public Health estimates that SNAP makes an astounding 41 percent of its revenues by
addressing to users under 18. With TikTok, it's 35 percent.
(LIVE COVERAGE ENDS)
GOLODRYGA: We're going to interrupt this hearing of tech CEOs in Washington to take you to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives
where Speaker Mike Johnson is speaking on immigration and the U.S. southern border.
(LIVE COVERAGE BEGINS)
MIKE JOHNSON, U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: -seven core principles of American conservatism, but really, really they're the seven core principles of
America. They are our foundations. I believe it boils down to individual freedom and limited government and the rule of law, peace through strength,
fiscal responsibility, free markets, human dignity.
These are the things that made us the most successful, most extraordinary nation in the history of the world. We're also the most benevolent, but it
can't be maintained if we sacrifice those foundations.
Today, however, I need to address the burning issue, the unprecedented challenge that we find ourselves in, demands that we all address the issue
of the day. And it is no surprise to anyone in this chamber that that issue is America's border security.
And as I said here on the night that I took my oath, we have a catastrophe at our southern border. It is because the border has been deliberately
opened wide that we see the terrific horrors that are taking place across our country right now. Here's a short list. From Texas to New York, waves
of illegal immigrants are now overwhelming our communities.
Just since the time I was elected Speaker, less than 100 days ago, more than 700,000 illegals have been welcomed into our country illegally by the
Biden administration. American school children have been forced into virtual schools. Why? So, migrants can sleep in their school buildings.
Korean War veterans of the U.S. have been booted from nursing homes that were sold to house migrants.
Our streets are being flooded with fentanyl. Hundreds of thousands of children and adults are being poisoned and losing their lives. Vulnerable
children and women are being exploited and trafficked by cartels, and that's happening even within our borders.
The fallout goes on and on and on. And I am here this morning to beg of my colleagues to help us force the administration to take action. We have to
stop this now and put Americans and Americans border security first.
In January, I took the largest ever congressional delegation down to the southern border. We had 64 members -- 64 House Republicans representing
more than half the states in this country. Why? Because now, every state is a border state. And during our trip, we met with senior border patrol
officials and officers and local sheriffs and ranchers and landowners and community leaders who are dealing with this crisis right there at the line.
And we heard about how they're struggling to deal with the overwhelming surge of illegals who are flooding into our nation. And while the Senate
and the White House were negotiating a so-called border security deal, one Border Patrol official compared the situation this way.
He said, what we're being asked to do right now, this is a 33-year veteran of the Border Patrol, a high-ranking official in the agency, he said, what
we're being asked to do right now is administer an open fire hydrant. He said, please convey to our friends in Washington, we don't need more
buckets. We need to turn off the flow.
And his metaphor explains the situation perfectly. Since President Biden and Alejandro Mayorkas assumed office, there have been more than seven
million encounters with illegal aliens just at our southern border alone. Thirty five of our 50 states, including my home state of Louisiana, don't
have a population that large. Yet that's how many people have been apprehended in just the past three years.
Among those who've been apprehended on the southern border, but between ports of entry, more than 300 individuals who are on our terror watch list,
terrorist watch list. The frightening question is, if so many terrorists were caught attempting to cross our borders, how many have entered
undetected? We suspect it is a much higher number.
And we know that there are at least 1.8 million gotaways that we know have escaped CBP. Who knows what dangerous plans those gotaways are making and
what foreign adversaries they may be speaking with?
Understand the situation at our border presents a clear and present danger to our national security and it demands that it be addressed. Even
officials within the executive branch are saying so. FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Homeland Security Committee just in November that
these gotaways are a great concern for the agency and that all 56 of our joint terrorism task forces are trying to identify who these people are.
But we don't know how many terrorists are inside our borders. It's an unknowable number. We do know that fentanyl is pouring into our communities
like an open sewer. Right now, the leading cause of death -- the leading cause of death in America for Americans aged 18 to 46 is fentanyl
poisoning, and fentanyl seizures have increased two and a half times since President Biden took office. That's just the seizures. The rest of it flows
But even as some of it is seized, we know much more is making its way into our schools and our neighborhoods and virtually every community in America.
Just a quick --
(LIVE COVERAGE ENDS)
GOLODRYGA: Okay, you've been listening to House Speaker Mike Johnson using a procedural rule called a magic minute, allowing leadership in any party
to speak for an unlimited amount of time.
Obviously, front and center is the issue of border security. The big question is whether or not we will see the advancement of what appears to
be a Senate bill that maybe just days away of being finalized and agreed to actually make its way to the House, where there's a lot more division on
moving that forward and a lot of pushback from former President Trump.
CNN's Annie Grayer joins me live from Capitol Hill. It's interesting, Annie, because James Lankford, a top GOP negotiator in the Senate on this
bill, said that they are just, quote, "whisper close to finalizing the border deal in the Senate", says that it has been mischaracterized,
obviously largely focusing on the attention that former President Trump has been putting on this and the pressure he's been putting on some
Republicans, namely the man we're looking at right there, the House Speaker. What are the like -- what's the likelihood that this bill actually
sees another day if it does advance to the House?
ANNIE GRAYER, CNN REPORTER: It's a great question. I mean, Speaker Mike Johnson has said that what he knows of the Senate negotiated deal, he
thinks it's a non-starter in the House. It's dead on arrival. That's caused Senate negotiators to kind of go back to the drawing board.
You know, the Senate had been making a lot of progress, House Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats, on this pretty conservative deal that had
a lot of policy changes addressing the border, but with Speaker Johnson pouring cold water on that.
Now, there's kind of a standstill in the Senate over what to do with that legislation. I think, you know, what was most interesting hearing Speaker
Johnson speak, as he's still going, is he talked about the need for executive action. He wants -- which speaks to what House Republicans --
what their position is right now.
He wants the House and Congress to try and force the Biden administration to do more unilaterally on their own. But the President said recently as
yesterday, he's done all he can do, and that it's on Congress to act and create some kind of policy change.
But, you know, we saw what we're seeing happening right now is just the split in the Republican Party over the border. While you have Republicans
in the Senate working across the aisle trying to come with a deal, the House Republicans, which many are beholden to former President Donald
Trump, are squashing that deal, largely because the former President came out against it.
So, while the Senate Republicans are trying to push this bipartisan deal through, the House Republicans are now trying to just push the Biden
administration on their own.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, among those pushing, helping to push this Senate bipartisan bill through, is Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas,
who we should note was ever that much closer to being impeached after House Republicans moved ahead with impeachment in Committee yesterday.
We'll follow that story and see where it ends up in the House as soon as next week. Annie Grayer, thank you.
Well, we've also been watching the dangers of social media back in the spotlight on Capitol Hill. The CEOs of five big tech companies are
testifying for the U.S. Senate right now about children's safety online. It has been a contentious hearing so far, to say the least, as we've just seen
and we continue to follow and monitor and we'll bring you any more big moments from this hearing.
But right now I want to go to Claire Duffy from CNN Business who has been watching this hearing. So Claire, this hearing was meant to showcase five
major CEOs of media companies. And really talk about sexual exploitation of children here. It's expanded to other issues, as well.
But I just have to play for our viewers, if they missed it, this moment between Senator Josh Hawley and the CEO of Meta, also Facebook, Instagram,
Mark Zuckerberg, where Hawley had put enough pressure on Zuckerberg actually forcing him to stand up and apologize to family members of those
children that had been victim to online exploitation. Let's show our viewers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAWLEY: Would you like now to apologize to the victims who have been harmed by your product? Show him the pictures. Would you like to apologize
for what you've done to these good people?
ZUCKERBERG: I'm sorry (inaudible) -- through -- the things that your families have suffered. And this is why we invested so much and are going
to continue doing these efforts to make sure that no one has to go through the things that your families have had to suffer.
HAWLEY: You know, why, Mr. Zuckerberg --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: It's clear that was an unscripted moment in Zuckerberg's prepared comments at the end. He did offer an apology, or I guess, his
sympathies to those family members. That clearly wasn't enough for this Committee. And Senator Hawley, what do you make of what we've heard so far?
These CEOs came prepared, saying that they've put a lot of safeguards in place and parental consent, some of them even agreeing to an Online Safety
Act, others, though, pushing back a bit more.
GRAYER: Right, Bianna. It has been a really fiery hearing full of big moments. And that moment where Zuckerberg turns around and faces what he's
facing is the families who are in that hearing room, many of them holding up pictures of young people who presumably have been harmed by social media
in some way. Really a striking moment to see him do that.
But I think what's different about this hearing than a lot of the other online youth safety hearings that we've had over the past couple of years
is you really see lawmakers... pushing to gain some momentum behind some of the legislative proposals that would hold these companies accountable.
As you mentioned, some of these CEOs, the SNAP CEO, the ex-CEO, Linda Yaccarino, agreeing to endorse the Kids Online Safety Act. We've also heard
about proposals that would crack down on certain A.I. generated content, illegal drug trafficking online, and also a proposal to repeal Section 230,
which would be really significant. That is that shield law that protects these companies from being held accountable for the content that their
users post on their platforms.
We are hearing these CEOs touting some of their existing youth safety measures, as you mentioned, these tools that they have in place for parents
to monitor, sort of oversee their kids' usage of these platforms. But many critics, including these lawmakers today, are saying those measures are not
GOLODRYGA: Claire, can you -- Claire, I'm going to interrupt you. I'm sorry. We're going to take you back to this tech CEO hearing.
(LIVE COVERAGE BEGINS)
COTTON: Okay. Finally, Mr. Chew, has the Federal Trade Commission sued TikTok during the Biden administration?
CHEW: Senator, I cannot talk about whether there's any ongoing --
COTTON: Are you currently being sued by the Federal Trade Commission?
CHEW: Senator, I cannot talk about any potential lawsuits.
COTTON: I didn't say potential. Actual. Are you being sued by the Federal Trade Commission?
CHEW: Senator, I think I've given you my answer.
COTTON: The answer is no. Ms. Yaccarino's company is being sued, I believe. Mr. Zuckerberg's company is being sued, I believe. Yet TikTok, the
agent of the Chinese Communist Party, is not being sued by the Biden administration. Are you familiar with the name Christina Kifara (ph)?
CHEW: You may have to give me more details.
COTTON: Christina Kifara (ph) was a paid advisor to ByteDance, your communist-influenced parent company. She was then hired by the Biden FTC to
advise on how to sue Mr. Zuckerberg's company.
CHEW: Senator, ByteDance is a global company and not a Communist -- Chinese company.
COTTON: Public reports indicate that your lobbyists visited the White House more than 40 times in 2022. How many times did your company visit --
did your company's lobbyists visit the White House last year?
CHEW: I don't know that.
COTTON: Senator, are you aware that the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee is on your platform?
They have TikTok accounts?
CHEW: Senator, we encourage people to come on --
COTTON: Which by the way, they won't let their staffers use their personal phones. They give them separate phones that they only use TikTok on.
CHEW: We encourage everyone to join, including yourself, Senator.
COTTON: So, all these companies are being sued by the FTC. You're not. The FTC has a former paid advisor, your parent, talking about how they can sue
Mr. Zuckerberg's company. Joe Biden's re-election campaign, the Democratic National Committee is on your platform.
Let me ask you, have you or anyone else at TikTok communicated with or coordinated with the Biden administration, the Biden campaign, or the
Democratic National Committee to influence the flow of information on your platform?
CHEW: We work with anyone, any creators who want to use our campaign. It's all the same process.
COTTON: Okay, so what we have here, we have a company that's a tool of the Chinese Communist Party that is poisoning the minds of America's children,
in some cases driving them to suicide, and that at best the Biden administration is taking a pass on, at worst maybe in collaboration with.
Thank you, Mr. Chew.
DURBIN: Thank you, Senator Cotton. So, we're going to take a break now. We're on the second roll call. Members can take advantage of it. They wish
the break will last about 10 minutes. Please --
(LIVE COVERAGE ENDS)
GOLODRYGA: All right. We're going to go back to Clare Duffy. Sorry to interrupt you there. Clare, maybe no surprise that out of all the
companies, out of the five CEOs that we've been hearing from today, the one that would take great brunt of this heat in questioning would be TikTok,
obviously they're owned by ByteDance with a Chinese company, and a lot of concerns about the risks to national security that they may pose. Talk more
about what we heard today.
DUFFY: Right, Bianna, so I mean, I think you're getting a sense from that back and forth that we just heard about the fact that there are broader
concerns beyond just these youth safety concerns that this hearing was built around. And certainly, these concerns about TikTok and its connection
to its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, which has raised national security concerns in the U.S. previously.
I think the underlying thing here is that lawmakers no longer believe that these big tech platforms can effectively self-regulate anymore, that there
needs to be actually some federal regulation to hold these companies accountable.
I think it's interesting, though, you hear on one hand these lawmakers saying how they're tired. They don't want to keep having these
conversations about these concerns. They want to actually take action.
And then on the other hand, you're hearing all of these different issues come up and so many different legislative proposals that are being made. It
does make me wonder whether these lawmakers will be able to coalesce around an actual plan of action once this hearing wraps up, Bianna.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, a lot of great questions you just raised there. Clare Duffy, thank you. And we'll be right back.
GOLODRYGA: Welcome back to "One World", I'm Bianna Golodryga. The United Nations Secretary General is appealing to donor countries to keep what he
calls the vital work of UNRWA going, rather than cutting its money.
Sweden is the latest country to pause its funding to the U.N.'s main relief agency in Gaza. Now, it follows Israel's allegation that some UNRWA staff
members were involved in Hamas' October 7th attacks. The U.N.'s Antonio Guterres says that he was horrified by the allegation, but that the people
of Gaza should not be punished.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL: UNRWA is the backbone of all humanitarian response in Gaza. I appeal to all member states to
guarantee the continuity of UNRWA's life-saving work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: But the executive director of U.N. Watch, a human rights organization, says the accusations against UNRWA shouldn't come as a
surprise to Guterres. Here's what he told U.S. lawmakers on Capitol Hill yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLEL NEUER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, U.N. WATCH: Now on Friday, Secretary General Guterres announced that he was, quote, "horrified to learn that
members of his UNRWA staff were implicated in terrorism".
Members of the Committee, I'm here to bear witness and testify that Secretary General Guterres, the head of UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, their
predecessors, their senior colleagues, could not possibly have been shocked that UNRWA employees are implicated in terrorism.
Because for the past nine years, and Chairman Smith knows this very well because he's been on this issue and he's invited me to testify, we've been
uncovering, publishing, and submitting to the U.N., to UNRWA, evidence of widespread and systematic incitement to Jihadi terrorism, the praise of
Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, calls to slaughter Jews on the part of UNRWA teachers, school principals and other employees.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: And Hillel Neuer joins us live now from Washington. Hillel, thanks so much for joining the program. So, as it relates to these 12 UNRWA
employees who were terminated given their connections to the Hamas October 7th attacks, the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. had
not corroborated the evidence itself, but quote, found the allegations highly, highly credible.
If you're saying that no one should be surprised that members of UNRWA have been connected to Hamas or terrorism, given your nearly 10 years of
investigative work just a couple of months ago, I spoke with an UNRWA administrator as well and asked about some of these allegations. He seemed
to not want to talk about that. Why is this now just coming forward this week?
NEUER: Well, look, "The Wall Street Journal" has reported just two days ago that 12 so-called aid workers, what the Secretary General calls doing
life-saving work, were actually involved in the massacre of October 7th, which was murder, mass rape, mutilation, and torture of 1200 Israelis. And
never before in the history of the United Nations have aid workers at one of their humanitarian agencies been involved in a massacre, mass rape,
mutilation and torture.
So, this is absolutely outrageous and it's not just those 12. The estimates in the intelligence reports, which as you said the Secretary of State
called highly, highly credible, also indicate that an estimated 1200 UNRWA workers are actual operatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and as many as
6000 UNRWA workers in Gaza have a close family member which belongs to Hamas or Islamic Jihad. So, we're talking about a so-called humanitarian
agency that is riddled with actual terrorists.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, and I guess that addresses the question of whether these are just what we've heard described as a few bad apples or a systemic
problem within the organization as a whole.
"The Wall Street Journal" found that 10 percent of UNRWA employees in Gaza have ties to Hamas or Islamic Jihad. I guess I'm going back to my initial
question to you. Given your investigative work, given everything that you say you've presented to the U.N. and other authoritative bodies, why is the
U.N. just acting on it now?
NEUER: Yeah, look, indeed, as you say, for nearly a decade we have submitted to the United Nations, to UNRWA, to the Secretary General's
Office and others, detailed reports documenting systematic and widespread incitement to Jihadi terrorism, praise of Adolf Hitler, calls to slaughter
You know, there was a -- UNRWA teacher in Lebanon named Elham Mansour. She called on all Muslims to slaughter Jews. She said this was their religious
obligation to kill all Israelis. That was in May 2022. We sent all this to the U.N. and their response was to attack us and to say that we're not
credible, and really just to disparage, obfuscate. They told their donor states not to listen to us.
So, they were not taking it seriously. I think, Bianna, to answer your question, I think that the reports that they were literally involved in the
commission of murder, abducting a corpse of an Israeli murdered civilian, these sorts of things just reached another level.
And when the Israeli authorities presumably presented this to top U.S. officials, to top U.N. officials, I think they realized they were at
another level. And I think also Israel apparently came into possession of new intelligence information, giving this amount of connecting their aid
workers to terrorists.
GOLODRYGA: Well, just to remind our viewers, UNRWA is an essential source of assistance to Palestinians in Gaza. Not only is it one of Gaza's largest
employees with some 13,000 people employed by the organization, it helps provide education, health, and social services, and shelter and aid,
especially needed now during a time of war.
It has a budget of $1.2 billion. Nearly 90 percent of that comes from U.N. member donations. So, that leads us to the bigger question of, okay, you've
exposed this, but what then happens to these civilians in Gaza who are desperately in need of the aid if you are saying that this organization as
a whole should be shut down?
NEUER: The reason we're saying this organization has reached its end is because we're talking about not only is the fact that it is riddled with
terrorists, but the very essence of the agency is not humanitarian. That is not the purpose.
You know, I work in Geneva next to the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR. Their job, and they do it, is to resettle refugees so that there are no longer
refugees. UNRWA has the very opposite mandate. Their mission is to perpetuate Palestinians as refugees for more than 70 years, including those
who live in Jordan and have citizenship in Jordan.
For 70 years, they call them refugees. Their whole point of UNRWA is to tell Palestinians, the war of 1948 is not over. Your homes are not here in
Gaza. Your homes are not here in Jordan or Lebanon. Your homes are in Israel. And that's why we shouldn't be surprised that they build terror
tunnels. On October 7th, tunneling into Israel, that was effectively the message of UNRWA.
GOLODRYGA: So, what should be an alternative option, Hillel, in your opinion? Obviously, I don't want to put you on the spot here, but you've
NEUER: No, no. It's fine.
GOLODRYGA: Now, you have people in the IDF even saying, listen, this is going to become our problem, this humanitarian crisis, if we don't get this
aid into Gaza and deliver it to civilians. If UNRWA is not the avenue to go by, then what is?
NEUER: You know, the defenders of UNRWA, and I would say the apologists who keep saying it's life-saving workers, life-saving aid. You know, this
is an agency that has 1200 terrorists. This is not something we'd call life-saving. You know, if you make a drink and you put in two scoops of
vanilla ice cream and a tablespoon of poison, that is a toxic brew. This is an agency that has become a toxic brew.
There are many alternatives. Most places in the world, when there's a crisis, refugees need help. They send in a cluster of multiple
international relief organizations managed by the U.N. humanitarian agency called OCHA, and they deal with it. We have World Food Program.
There are numerous agencies that can handle it. It's not like you say we have an agency that is subverted by Hamas terrorists, which conceals
weapons, used against Israeli civilians, and there is no other option. There are other options. A U.N. worker yesterday, Emma Riley, who is a U.N.
human rights lawyer, said there are other options.
And certainly, if we want to deal with the humanitarian issue, may not, of course, Bianna, we do not want anyone to starve and it has to be done in a
gradual way. It's not from one minute to the next. But there are many other options and we need to begin the transition now. There are many voices
around the world who realize that the days of UNRWA are numbered.
And if we want to help Palestinians and Israelis alike, we should not be dooming them to an agency that is not trying to help them but has only a
political agenda, which is to undo the state of Israel.
GOLODRYGA: Hillel Neuer, appreciate the time. Thank you so much for joining us today. Well, the families of the six remaining American hostages
in Gaza met with White House officials Tuesday night, including National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. They were updated on the on-going
negotiations, including what was discussed at Sullivan's meeting this week with the Prime Minister of Qatar.
CNN spoke to the parents of 23-year-old hostage Hersch Goldberg. They attended the meeting via Zoom, and they told us they believe the Biden
administration is quote, "extremely serious about getting to the finish line on a deal'. The Israeli Prime Minister is also interested in bringing
the remaining hostages back home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JON POLIN, SON IS BEING HELD IN GAZA: I think right now, he's at a pivotal moment. His legacy is at stake. And this is the opportunity for him to say,
hey, what happened on October 7th happened. It happened on the watch of my government.
But rather than leave these people to stay and wither in Gaza, I'm going to do the bold thing. I'm going to make a deal and I'm going to bring them
home. And I hope and think that he's thinking in that direction. And we're doing everything we can to encourage him at this point to continue to push
in that direction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: We're going to continue to cover the plight of these families and these hostages until all of them are brought home. You are watching
"One World" and we'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(TAYLOR SWIFT SINGING)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Well, if you want to hear the rest of that song, don't look for it on TikTok. Universal Music Group says that it pulled its artists' music
off the social media site because TikTok wouldn't pay them enough.
TikTok denies that, saying that UMG is putting greed over the interests of its artists and songwriters. More than a billion TikTok users will have to
find somewhere else to hear performers like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Rihanna. And finally, some news out of the E.U., but maybe not quite what
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
("PUMP UP THE JAM" BY TECHNOTRONIC PLAYING)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: If you live in the European Union, your breakfast could soon be tasting well fruitier. The E.U. has reached a provisional agreement to
require jam makers to increase the levels of fruit in jams. It says that should reduce the sugar content and help people make healthier choices.
Belgium, the current E.U. Council President, shared the news by posting the iconic techno tune, "Pump Up the Jam", get it, -- by Belgium's own,
Technotronic. That was our great producer Jason that caught that very important story for us that we had to get in. Well, that does it for this
hour of One World. I'm Bianna Golodryga. Thank you so much for watching. Amanpour is up next.