tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN November 20, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
herself could impact the outcome of tuesday's run off election. >> stunning. when you think about this run off, you never would have thought could be in contention, and yet, here we are. martin, thank you from the ground in mgs ississippi. thank you for joining. ac 360 starts now. >> lock her up. turns out it wasn't just a campaign slogan after all. our breaking news, new reporting by "the new york times" and cnn on the president's desire, it seems, to put his opponents in jail. that kind of gets your attention. late today "the times" maggie haberman dropped a bomb. she reported this past spring president trump told don mcgahn that he wanted to order the justice department to prosecute hillary clinton and fired fbi director james comey.
mcgahn told the president he didn't have the authority to do that. i spoke with maggie haberman, a cnn political analyst a short time ago. >> then candidate donald trump vowed to put maggie haberman in prison if he won. what are you learning tonight about following up on that? >> he had a conversation earlier this year in the spring when he made clear that he wanted to prosecute hillary clinton along with james comey. he was told in definitive terms by the white house office that he could face a range of outcomes, among them, impeachment if he went ahead with this. as far as we know it was dropped. but it is pretty remarkable the degree to which he's repeatedly rushed to the levers of power in the executive branch to solve personal problems and vendettas?
>> this was the bring of 2018. he'd been in office a long time and learned about what it meant to be president. do you know what he wanted to prosecute them for? >> i think a range of things. in the case of comey, i believe it would have been about handling of information when he was the fbi director in the case with hillary clinton, it was a range of things. there was the e-mail server issue and the constant being around the approval by u.s. officials of a deal. officials with the company had given money to the clinton foundation. there's never been any evidence of impropriety. this has continued to be a thread that her critics have tried to poke. that was one of the areas. again, i think this went dark after he was warned against it. but it is a reminder that when donald trump wants to go ahead with something, he will keep
going until there is some kind of cattle prod that shocks him. in this case, it seems to be his own future. >> mcgahn taking evasive action. >> don mcgahn wrote a memo making clear the parameters and also what could happen if you violate those parameters. i think on the one hand that was trying to warn donald trump who to be clear we don't know if he read the memo. he's not a big memo reader, but it also made clear that it happened. it laid it out in pretty stark terms and made clear mcgahn tried to prevent it. that's the other purpose. >> as part of your reporting throughout this story, is disappointment and anger with current fbi director christopher ray. why? >> because he felt initially that ray was not doing enough to work quickly to try to read the upper echelons of the fbi of comey loyalists or of obama people as he put it, as people
he felt were partial to hillary clinton. then he wasn't looking at hillary clinton's problem. again, it is the same issue of trump not understanding or not being interested in understanding what the justice department is supposed to do, and not supposed to do. and it is not about serving an individual. it is about serving institutions. >> it's fascinating to me that don mcgahn is a key player in the drama you're revealing tonight when, of course, we also learned months ago, you were part of the reporting, that don mcgahn testified for hours. what? 30 hours to be special counsel robert mueller. >> yeah. look, i mean, and i don't know that he's got this memo, but i think that if he doesn't, i suspect that mcgahn will be called back as many witnesses have been to meet with mueller's prosecutors. and he could ask for this memo. i think that don mcgahn is going to be a central player in all of
this, and i think that on issues like this, history is going to look favorably on mcgahn. >> don mcgahn is gone from the white house. jeff sessions is gone from the administration, and now the president has his own guy, whittaker as acting attorney general. the thrust of this piece is the president has tried to use the justice department as a tool to be wielded against his political enemies like no other president has. with sessions gone -- >> for -- or at least not since richard nixon. >> my question is with whittaker in place, his own guy in place, is there concern maybe he'll feel emboldened to try to try this type of thing again? >> i think even if he did, it would be difficult with democrats holding subpoena power beginning in january. it's different when it was an entirely republican congress. i think there are things he could do in the next two months,
but i think that would be very difficult to sort of go ahead with under cover of darkness. >> maggie haberman. a lot ghoioing on. thank you for your reporting and time. >> thank you. just to expand a bit on the reporting. cnn has learned the president also talked about prosecuting hillary clinton with rod rosenstein and, yes, matt whiter the who was chief of staff to sessions. whittaker briefed the president on what justice was doing with respect to the clinton foundation and uranium one foundations. whittaker was trying to appease the president but did not seem to cross any lines. do our experts agree? joining us author carl bernstein, john dean, and former fbi special agent josh campbell who served as special assistant to james comey.
josh, on that front you have news. you've just spoken, i understand to james comey. what's his reaction to this news that the president was asking to prosecute him? >> i was just chatting with him earlier this evening, john. tonight he's shaking his head. this is the kind of stuff that had him so worried when he was the fbi director. you think about the incidence of him sit bfting before the presit and the president demanding loyalty. and the president is attempting to interfere with the fbi's criminal investigation into michael flynn, the national security adviser. this is what had him worried then. this is what he's been so vocal about now and speaking out. he wrote a book about it. i think he's also pleased the new york times made clear that president trump and his allies have been lying when they claimed he divulged classified information. i don't think he's surprised by the lies. i think it's just another indication, instance of this white house, this president attempting to interfere with the
justice department in an extraordinary way. >> john dean, this is the definition of nixon. nixon used the ir s. this is president trump asking to use the justice department to go after his political opponents. what is your reaction to the news tonight? >> he actually used the justice department to back off of some of his friends as well. but what's interesting if i had to channel a little of richard nixon, i think he'd tell this president he's going too far. this is a sort of tough of banana republic. political scientists developed standards by looking at what they do all over the world, and trump is checking all those boxes. it's rather frightening and startling, because he was told about this during the campaign when he started mentioning these sort of things. but he's never backed off. it looks like he won't back off until he's forced to. >> john, i want to ask you to
repeat that one more time here. it strikes me as extraordinary. you were involved with water gate, and you just said that richard nixon would tell trump he's going too far? >> i think he would. this is a level that richard nixon never went to where you went after somebody's personal well being by a criminal prosecution. i've listened to all the tapes that are relevant. i never heard him break the law by turning on his enemies and trying to put them in jail. this is really very, very heavy sledding. >> and carl bernstein, one thing i want to point out. the timeline in this is spring of 20 18. donald trump had been president of the united states for well over a year by this point. 14, 15 months. the excuse that you might hear from some supporters oh, that he didn't know what the job was. he doesn't know what a president should and shouldn't do.
by 16 months into the administration, he should know what the justice department can and can't do and what he can and can't order. >> there are no excuses, and this is a defining moment in the history of the trump presidency, because this is a demonstration of his unfitness to be president of the united states, of his abuse of presidential power, of his em babrace of authoritarian. it's going to get the attention of some in congress. we are watching a president of the united states undermine the very principles of our democracy, the president of the united states swears. today i read the articles of impeachment against richard nixon. everybody should read article 2 and how similar it is to what we've seen trump do here. but the president takes an oath to defend the constitution of the united states to uphold it and protect it. this president daily abuses it
but never have we seen such flouting of willingness to abuse the constitution and the powers of the presidency as we are now seeing and what we're learning from maggie haberman's story. and this is going to be investigated. it's going to figure in the mueller investigation. it's going to figure in investigations on the hill. and this is a moment that we're going to look back on and say, a, that's what happens whperhap message got across in washington that the president crossed lines that must be noted. >> karl, you say there was a willingness to, and he asked don mcgahn about whether he could order the justice department to prosecute these people, but at the end, he didn't. so i could see supporters of the president say, and people who probably work for him in the white house will be out spinning this tomorrow saying he never ordered anything. no one actually did anything. so no harm, no foul.
>> they will say that. but i think what we know now is that the mueller investigation is a sprawling inquiry into all areas of the president's conduct, both in possibility with foreign entities, with foreign nationals, and certainly those around him with foreign nationals. but more than anything, it is focussed as we know on an obstruction of justice that involves mr. comey among others. very significant today that rudy giuliani talked about questions that the president would not answer and sure enough, they involve the firing of james comey. and here we are with more and more information and evidence about what the president intended. so people can say oh, yeah, this doesn't cross the legal barrier. let's see what happens in real investigation. and that's where we're heading. >> i wanttoget a couplemore questions in josh to you. also in this article is the
notion the president is very disappointed with current fbi director christopher ray for failing to more aggressively go after hillary clinton. what message do you think that sends to the rank and file inside the fbi right now? >> so i think there's two parts. there's the message that the president is trying to send and the message that will be received. by now the men and women of the fbi understand this administration for what it is. from day one when they came in attempting to blur the line between the independents of the white house and the justice department. they say it for what it is. they're not going to look at director ray and look at him as a weak leader because he failed to act and serve as the president's personal goon here essentially. but also i think the american people understand that. they know that just because the fbi director or the attorney general or anyone in the department of justice doesn't jump when the president says go investigate something, that's not a sign of weakness. that's a sign of strength. standing up and saying we'll say
no, this is inappropriate. you're about to cross a line and we'll not be a part of it. >> john, i want you to channel your former white house counsel yourself. mcgahn said the president to his knowledge never ordered anyone to prosecute clinton or comey. when you see that, how do you interpret that statement and what do you make of the 30 plus hours we know don mcgahn sat down with robert mueller? >> first, on the 30 hours, i would suspect this sort of thing did come up in the 30 hours. so the special counsel probably is aware of it, and i would think that mcgahn is smart enough to get it off his chest and make sure he gave his point of view of it that he didn't do anything with it. after the fact it's awfully easy to remold and look at your conversations with the president differently. i have the benefit of having mine all taped. and i can see what i did and what i didn't do.
and i can remember, for example, when nixon told me when i'm trying to get him to stop the coverup, that he was just joking when he said getting a million dollars was no trouble. it wasn't a joke. he was dead serious to tell me that the coverup had to go on. >> i could feel carl bernstein smile when you said you had the benefit of your conversations being taped. thank you all for helping us understand this. as i said, this is incredible perspective from you three gentleman on the story. i appreciate it. zwlnc we'll have more on this with richard blumenthal. also the president givesi his clearest statement that he's willing to let saudi arabia get away with murder as long as the money keeps rolling in. specifically the murder of jamal khashoggi. later with facebook under fire from multiple directions, an exclusive interview with mark
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the greatest wish of all... is one that brings us together. the lincoln wish list event is here. sign and drive off in a new lincoln with $0 down, $0 due at signing, and a complimentary first month's payment. only at your lincoln dealer. before the break john dean was talking about reporting that president trump this past spring discussed ordering criminal prosecutions of sessions and clinton. john dean said his old boss richard nixon would have called what the president is now doing a step too far. in a way, though this should not come as a shock. during the campaign candidate trump said this is what he wanted to do. >> if i win, i am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because
there has never been so many lies, so much deception. there has never been anything like it. and we're going to have a special prosecutor. >> with me now is senator richard blumenthal. senator, what's your reaction to this news tonight in the new york times, also cnn is reporting it as well, that president trump, and we're talking about just this past spring, asked then white house counsel don mcgahn, questioned whether or not he could prosecute clinthillary clinton james comey? >> this is a bomb shell. profoundly significant. the fact that there was actually no prosecution in no way means that there wasn't evidence of criminal intent. in fact, intent to obstruct justice. and it also indicates the profound danger to the special prosecutor, because now mcgahn is gone.
sessions is gone. whitaker is there. he is really a trump loyalist. in fact, he has no other qualifications for this job, and that indicates that congress must take action now. there are protocols and practices and policies in place informality written down in memoranda, but congress needs to be involved. having hearings and setting boundaries and guardrails on what the white house can do, because the department of justice needs to be protected. its independence is a bedrock. the using of this police power against political enemies is characteristic not only of a banana republic but of saudi arabia and russia whose rulers apparently donald trump really admires. >> i understand the discussion about using the justice department as a tool to go after political opponents but you said this is evidence of obstruction of justice. i'm trying to understand exactly why in this narrow case hillary
clinton was go longer in office. james comey was no longer fbi director. why would their prosecution be an obstruction of justice? >> in the same way that the firing of james comey was an obstruction of justice. in the same way that misuse and abuse of the police power to silence critics is a potential obstruction of justice. the fact that a crime is planned or attempted or conspired to be done can be evidence not only of obstruction of justice. it can be a crime itself. so the intent here is what's important. it's the most difficult element of obstruction of justice to prove. >> now, i know because you told me this morning, that as a foreigner prosecutor one of the things you want to make sure is you have all the evidence before you make a judgment, but there's a memo written by don mcgahn which outlines what happened here. what the president asked and why
mcgahn thinks it might not be a good idea to carry through what the president wanted. does this white house need to get ahold of this memo, and this an item worthy of discussing about perhaps impeachment? >> that memo needs to be subpoenaed by the house, and my hope is the senate judiciary committee as well. in fact, i have a real hope. i think it's realistic, that my republican colleagues are going to see this report as a kind of water shed. it's a moment of reckoning. because clearly the president has such contempt for the rule of law, for the standards and norms that have guided other presidents that we need really enforceable rules against interference with the department of justice. i hope my republican colleagues will join us in seeking that memo and all of the other evidence that's relevant to formulating rules to protect the independence of the department of justice.
and as i said before, we need to require disclosure of the findings and evidence of the special probation reposecutor. because the american people deserve to know. >> thank you for being with us. appreciate your time. >> thank you. next the president weighs in on jamal khashoggi's murder and saudi arabia's responsibility and raises a lot of questions about his own priorities. is he trading long standing american principles for saudi money and less of it than he claims to boot? we're keeping him honest, next. sometimes a cough gets in the way of a good night's sleep. that's when he needs vicks vaporub. proven cough medicine. with 8 hours of vapors, so he can sleep. vicks vaporub. goodnight coughs. thiuninterrupted streaminglogy brilliant sound clarity and life-like color. experience dell cinema on the xps 13. shop the biggest black friday ever at dell.com (intel chime)
presidential rival and the fbi director he fired. it certainly says a lot about how he used the role as president. his statement begins with "the world is a very dangerous place". now, a lot could follow from that. the world is a very dangerous place, for example, so we must do all we can to make it safer. or the world is a very dangerous place which makes holding wrong doers more important than ever. president trump today chose a different path. something more along the lines of the world is a dangerous place. because it is we should let murders get away with it, especially with the murders are paying us lots of money. that's the top and bottom line of the president's response to the murder of the american-based saudi journalist jamal khashoggi. last month khashoggi went into the saudi consulate in istanbul to pick up papers so he could remarry. he was set upon by a saudi hit team which included a
pathologist with a bone saw. they murdered and dismembered him. the cia concluded the hit was ordered by the crowned prince. those are the facts in front of president trump. make no mistake. they would put any president in a difficult spot. any president would have tough choices to make about how to balance strategic and economic interests with human rights and american values. except that opposing thuggish behavior has always been a part, a very shelf interested part of u.s. foreign policy. and ensuring no country thinks it can reach out and whack somebody is not a squishy concept. president trump chose to set it aside and make it all simple. >> we're not going to give up hundreds of billions of dollars and orders and let russia, china
and everybody else have them. for me it's america first. saudi arabia, if we broke with them, i think your oil prices would go through the roof. i think that it's a very simple equation for me. i'm about make america great again, and i'm about america first. >> okay the president's priorities are plain to see. but he gets there by playing fast and loose with the facts. that cia assessment which we and now other news organizations have confirmed with multiple sources, the president says never happened. >> they did not make that assessment. the cia has looked at it, studied it, they have nothing definitive. the fact is maybe he did, maybe he didn't. >> maybe he did, maybe he didn't. the president used those same words in a statement today. he also added we may never know all the facts which sounds eerily like his statements about russia's attack on the 2016 election. keeping them honest, though, even if he doesn't know all the
facts, he certainly does know enough. according to the outgoing chairman of the foreign relations committee, he should know better. bob corker wrote i never thought i'd see the day a white house would moonlight -- >> there's no disputing that whatever the saudis are getting, they're likely paying less than the president lets on. he talks about an enormous weapons deal except it has yet to be finalized. his claims about saudi money and american jobs have varied all over the place from $19,000,000,040,000 jobs in march to nearly half a trillion dollars now and hundreds of thousands of jobs. putting america first may be selling america short, or critics say selling american values short. the president, though, famous sli sees a zero sum world. a dangerous place. and by his lights,
he's-and-a-hahe's navigating it in the best interest of the american people. is there another motivation? here's how he answered that when asked about it today. >> just so you understand, i don't make deals with saudi arabia. i don't have money from saudi arabia. i have nothing to do with saudi arabia. i couldn't care less. >> now, just for starters, that is all notably in the present tense. it's also worth noting we have no evidence he's not currently benefitting from such deals. the president has not divested himself of his business empire. he has yet to release his taxes. if he is not right this moment personally doing business with the saudis, he certainly has done plenty over the years as he boasted during the campaign. >> saudi arabia, and i get along great with all of them. they buy apartments from me. they spend 50 million. am i supposed to dislike them? i like them very much. >> and saudi money kept coming in after he became president.
saudi lobbyists reserved rooms at the trump international hotel in washington. and this year his hotels in new york and chicago reported significant up ticks in bookings from saudi visitors. the world is a very dangerous place, but it might feel safer from a nice hotel suite. and there's yet one more aspect to the dangerous place notion. also from the washington post. it has to do with the president's reluctance to visit us troops in war zones. the post citing a senior white house official who says, quote, he's afraid of those situations. he's afraid people want to kill him. dangerous place, indeed. a lot to talk about. i spoke earlier this evening with republican congressman and house foreign affairs committee member adam kinzinger. congressman, you wrote today we cannot turn a blind eye to the murder of khashoggi. is that what you think the united states is doing?
>> you know, it's kind of tough. it depends behind the scenes what's happening. what i wish would have happened today, and i think the president ultimately is making the right decision to not fundamentally shift our relationship with saudi arabia, because that has very broad implications. but i wish in the statement today, in the two-page press release about a page and a half of that would have been just focussed on how wrong this was. the fact that we believe in the first amendment. even if it's not in the united states, we believe in journalism and journalistic ideas, and so i was a little disappointed in the statement. but i think the end result is probably the right end result for this issue. >> and in his statement, he said the cia hasn't made a determination yet. but cnn reported the cia has high confidence that the saudi crowned prince ordered this assassinati assassination, and the president said maybe he did, maybe he didn't. does that not give the crowned prince cover for basically
murder? >> well, i think the crowned prince is certainly aware that the world is watching now. i'm not sure about it giving him cover for further murder, but i think -- that was the line that stood out to me the most, and i think to most people the most. he may have, he may not have. the fact is we'll never absolutely know. that's how intelligence works short of a confession. with high confidence we pretty much know that with pretty much certainty. so i think that was an unfortunate thing to say. i think it was wrong to say. but again, the end result, i think, is right. but i wish somebody else had written that statement. and that statement would have said something like we never stand for this kind of brutality. but given the fact that we live in a world where there's a lot of bad actors, sometimes we have to pick the least bad. >> you use the word unfortunate. you realize there's a mountain of difference between what you said. we never stand for this kind of brutality and what the president said which is maybe he did, maybe he didn't, and they send
opposed messages. >> they do. i think they send opposed messages in that the president needs to be more verbal. he -- and not just more verbal. he needs to say any time something like this happens, it's unacceptable and wrong. russia does this. media people have been killed in moscow -- >> congressman. >> the president should be more spoken out about it. >> should vladimir putin be concerned the next time he wants to order the assassination of a journalist or political opponent? what message should he take from what the president just decided to do in saudi arabia? >> i don't know. i can't speak for what message he's going to take. i don't think there's ever any doubt that we're going to do anything militarily or whatever, against russia. because of what they already do. i think he's taken a strong message from this t united states and this administration in the past. when it comes to the killing of political opposition, there's
not much we do. >> was this a good message around the world? >> not a good message for human rights. i think american foreign policy has been strong, but i think human rights piece hasn't been in messaging. i think that messaging when it comes to things like human rights, we can't interveen everywhere where there's a human rights issue or problem, any kind of a civil war. but what we can do is speak with authority. i think we missed that opportunity. >> congressman, late today there was a new report out of "the new york times," maggie haberman and michael schmidt that writes that the president wanted to justice department to prosecutor hillary clinton and james comey. last spring, spring of 2018. fairly recently. what's your opinion of that? >> yeah. i haven't read that. so i can't fully react to all the details. sometimes i hear something on the front and find out a lot more details later. i think if there were laws broken, there needs to be a justice process j but i also
don't want to get into the position with this country where past administrations are prosecuted by next administrations because that's what happens in a lot of third world countries. >> congressman, thank you for being with us. happy thanksgiving. >> you too. facebook is under increasing scrutiny over what it did and didn't do to stop the russia misinformation campaign ahead of the 2016 election yerks and there are calls for mark zuckerberg to step aside. just ahead he responds to that and more in an exclusive interview. step aside. just ahead he responds to that and more in an exclusive interview.
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facebook is under fire. the social media website founded by mark zuckerberg is under the microscope on multiple fronts including questions about why it didn't more actively police the russian misinformation campaign and why they hired an opposition firm. "the times" says facebook lobbied a jewish civil rights group to portray some of the criticism of facebook as anti semitic. mr. zuckerberg hasn't talked in an interview about the allegations until now. we are joined now from facebook head quarters in california where we spoke exclusively with the facebook ceo. >> reporter: you know, very critical time for facebook.
i think a lot of people watching to see what mark zuckerberg, what the leadership will do. i sat down with him today. i asked him about the allegations. he defended the company and the leadership. take a listen. i want to start with some of the revelations that came from the new york times piece. >> sure. >> reporter: let's look at russia. did you and other leaders try to minimize russia in spreading propaganda on the platform? >> no. here's what happened. in 2016 there was no doubt that we missed something really important. right? the russian effort to try to have these coordinated information operations on facebook and also the internet was not something we were expecting. elections are always high security events. and we were expecting certain kinds of cyber attacks. we found them. the russians were trying to hack into specific accounts and we told the people and the fbi and
all that. but we weren't on top of these coordinated information operations. so we've spent a lot of the last couple of years now basically building up our systems and strengthening them to be able to address this. but we've been very focussed on this and invested a lot in it. anyone who says we haven't been focussed on trying to both address it and also that we -- i think anyone who says that we haven't made a lot of progress, i just think that's not right. >> reporter: i think folks talk about transparency, the idea the former chief security officer wanted to publish a transparency paper and every mention of russia was taken out. it was encouraged not to put russia in the transparency paper. do you regret not being more transparent at the time or not being more vocal about it at the time? >> i wish we understood the issues sooner. i wish we understood it before 2016, before the russians tried to do the information operations
in the first place. i think sometimes people say how did you not know this, and i think in some of these cases, it's a really big deal to come out and say that a nation state is behind something. before our company puts a stamp on something saying that, i want to be really sure that's the case. >> one referenced a decision to keep up a trump post that many considered fell under the hate speech category. in part of this revelation, it said one of the reasons you kept it up is because you were worried about a conservative backlash. facebook is under pressure from the democrats and republicans. the government in general. are leaders making content decisions based on appeasing political leaders? >> no. >> reporter: did they in that situation? >> no. they didn't. i was involved in those conversations, and i think it's very important that people have the opportunity to hear from what political leaders are saying. in those cases, i don't think
that a lot of the content violated our policies. we also have a specific point in our policies where newsworthy content, we give a special deference to, which certainly someone who is a prominent politician going out and making a point fits into that. i think we did the right thing there. >> it wasn't accurate part of the reason they didn't take down the post was because of concern over a conservative backlash? >> no. >> i was on the reporter call where you denied you knew anything about hiring the opposition group pr firm. did you know anything about this? >> well, i -- like i said on the call, i learned about this when i read the report as well. but i'm not sure that's the most important point. i think your question is right that this is -- i do run the company. i am responsible for everything that happens here. i don't think that this point
was about a specific pr firm. it was about how we act. right? and that's why it's -- i think it's important not just what we're doing in relation to this one firm. but that we go through and look at all the different pr firms and folks we work with and make sure we're operating in the way we want. >> the pr firm was founded by a republican political strategist. it linked campaign critics to john sor roos. i think people were shocked when they found out about this. i think that was one of the parts of the report that a lot of folks had questions about. does that strike you as stooping low? >> um, yeah. i wasn't particularly happy about that piece of it. and that certainly is a big part of what i -- when i read about this, what made me want to look into this more deeply. so the intention here is never to attack an individual. >> but in this scenario, launching -- it's not common for tech companies to necessarily
hire these types of firms. and many would argue it's a way of spreading the same type of conspiracy theories facebook has worked hard to get on top of. >> yeah. from the review that i've done so far, it doesn't appear that anything that the group said was untrue as far as we can tell. >> reporter: there are a lot of questions about sheyrl sandberg's role. will she stay in the same role? >> yeah. look, she's an important part of this company and is leading a lot of the efforts to address a lot of the biggest efforts -- the biggest issues we have. she's been an important partner for me for ten years. and i'm proud of the work we've done together. and i hope that we work together for decades more to come. >> reporter: you are ceo and chairman of the facebook. that's an extraordinary amount of power given that you rule a king of 2 billion people
digitally. shouldn't your power be checked? >> i talk about how we need to partner with other sectors. yes, i don't think fundamentally we're going to be able to address these issues by ourselves. >> you're not stepping down as chairman? >> that's not the plan. >> reporter: not the >> would anything change that? >> i mean, eventually over time. i'm not going to be doing this forever, but i certainly, i'm not currently thinking that that makes sense. >> this idea of transparency is important. we keep hearing it, but then you have these reports coming out that say something otherwise. so how do you ensure that you do win back public trust? i think this is an incredibly pivotal point for the company, and for you as a leader, because it certainly seems over the last year, we haven't stopped hearing about, you know, one thing after the next that shows otherwise that the company hasn't been as tra transparent. >> yeah. well, look, there are always
going to be issues, but if you're serving a community of more than 2 billion people, there's going to be someone who is posting something that is -- that is problematic that gets through the systems that we have in place, no matter how advanced the systems are. and i think by in large, the -- a lot of the criticism around the biggest issues has been fair, but i do think that if we're going to be real, there is this bigger picture as well. which is we have a different world view than some of the folks who are covering this. >> but if we've given the world a voice, look at what's happened in the last year. you've had elections in the last years, elections manipulated. hate speech that's gone viral and turned offline. it certainly seems like this mission has been accomplished in many ways and there's a whole new set of problems that, perhaps, you guys didn't foresee. and now we're in a very complicated place where there's not an easy solution. >> yeah. there's -- these are complex
issues that you can't fix. you manage them on an ongoing basis. >> given what you know now, can facebook effectively be a part of politics and can you guarantee that you can control it? >> well, i think it's a positive force because it gives more people a voice. >> but it's also given nation states a voice, too, in our democratic process. >> and that part needs to be managed really carefully, but -- >> you're confident you guys can do that? >> with the right support from governments and partnerships, and a ton of investment on an ongoing basis, i think we can stay ahead of these sophisticated threats. >> lori, so interesting to hear him speak at length as we so rarely get that opportunity. now, he told you he's not stepping down as chairman, as some suggested, but i understand that they are putting some checks on the amount of power that he might yield? >> reporter: yeah, you know, look, i think a lot of folks are wondering, is mark zuckerberg too powerful? this is a question i think a lot of folks have at this time given
what's happened. but, you know, when it comes to content, this idea of who decides what stays on facebook and what goes, i don't think facebook or mark zuckerberg really wants to be in that decision of being editor in chief of facebook. think that's problematic and we've seen as you heard from this interview are they -- why are they making these decisions, are they politically biased? those are questions we're all asking. they added an independent third party where if your content gets taken down for wavr reason on facebook, you can appeal to the third party. if they decide facebook was wrong, your content will go back up. think that's one step but that's just one step. i think the company has a long way to go. they just announced some changes with their news feed that would help make it difficult to see some of the more sensational headlines and i think that's something maybe, you know, that's something they could have done a couple years ago, but that's something they're doing now. so, you know, you hear over and over again that we were too slow to act. and i think that's an issue and that's something mark zuckerberg is trying to get on top of. you know, i'm sitting here outside of facebook's -- at
facebook's campus outside of facebook's pawalls. inside you have all these posters, john, that have all these inspirational quotes about doing good in the world. then on the outside, you have people really questioning the impact of that company. i think that's something moving forward we're all going to be looking at very closely. >> posters only go so far. laurie segall, fascinating interview. look forward to hearing much r more of it. the interview with mark zuckerberg part of a launch of a new series called "the human code," what's happening in silicon valley and what the future may bring. one interview a week will roll out on cnnbusiness.com and here on cnn. let's check in with chris cuomo, see what he's working on for "cuomo primetime" in a few minutes. chris? >> big news, j.b. big news. the president submitting his answers to questions of the special counsel. what was in them, more importantly, what wasn't? more important than that, even, what's the agreement going forward? i have new reporting on all of that and excellent perspective with the 81st a.g. of the united states, mike mukasey.
worked with george w. bush. we'll get his thoughts on what the process is, what these answers might mean. so we'll take care of that. then, this idea that the president wanted to prosecute comey and clinton, how did he say he wanted to do that? to whom did he discuss it with? what would it have meant if he tried to do it? again, he's a great voice on that. we're taking that on and headlines for you. i have a special treat in my thanksgiving closing, j.b. maybe a word about your pretty self. >> a special treat as long as you bring cranberry sauce as well. >> you like the jelly. >> chris cuomo, see you in a few minutes. as recently as yesterday the pentagon said it didn't have a cost it was ready to publicly disclose for the president's border troops but there's breaking news tonight. we're learning what you, the taxpayers, are paying for this particular exercise. that's next. so, that goal you've been saving for, you can do it. we can do this. at fidelity, our online planning tools
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more breaking news tonight, for the first time the pentagon is putting a price tag on the president's operation to send thousands of troops to the border before the caravan of migrant asylum seekers reaches it. the price tag is $72 million. today the defense department said the total cost of the operation has yet to be determined. that's the estimate of the current deployment of 5,t900 troops through december 15th. the news continues. "cuomo primetime" starts now. all right, j.b., thank you very much, a happy thanksgiving to you, if i don't see you. i'm chris cuomo. welcome to "primetime." two hours tonight. we're going to need all of it. let's get after it, my friends. there are three breaking stories on our watch. the president actually did want his justice department to go after clinton and comey. it wasn't just rally rabble. the president tried to order this in the
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