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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  August 4, 2017 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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shortly in prison and not see the light of day again. good evening. we begin with a cnn exclusive. new details unreported until now from the u.s. intelligence battle. not only did it go up until the final vote was cast but it goes right up to the line when it first went. tell us how some members of the fbi, how they spent election day. >> so on election night, analysts and investigators were huddled in a room at fbi headquarters here in washington, d.c. on elexs day monitoring social media. and what they could see was streams of fake news, negative
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stories about being posted about hillary clinton. some having to do with her health, according to multiple sources. they were able to identify suspected russian links to the accounts that appeared to be pushing the fake stories, anderson. >> pamela, was the fbi working with the white house on this? >> there was a coordinated effort, so we learned that teams at homeland security and the office of director of national intelligence were holding these conference calls every three hours with the white house to discuss any problems, possible problems, and the big focus was whether the vote could be tampered with. there were some minor issues that popped up across the country in related to tampering with the vote from alaska to georgia, but no major incidents or disruptions of the vote, the fbi has said. and by the way, the fbi declined to comment. >> obviously this raises concerns the fbi was monitoring what people were reading but this also ended up being
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important to the investigation going on. >> they were really monitoring the fake news, and even that was uncomfortable territory for the fbi, given the first amendment's free speech protections. even for fake news this exists. one law enforcement official we spoke with said "we were right on the edge of constitutional legality." the official said, we were monitoring the news but, nonetheless, for investigators, this is still part of the counterintelligence investigation that the fbi has been conducting into russian meddling in the election because there is a need to understand the effect of this kind of fake news campaign on the election and whether anyone in the trump campaign was involved in the fake news operation. and as we know, that investigation continues today, anderson. >> pamela, what's the reaction from officials when donald trump won the election? >> well, the reaction was mixed. at the end of the night, we're told that officials, some of them were relieved because their big concern was the vote could be tampered with, and there were
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no major problems in their view. but we're told one official in the obama administration had the opposite reaction. as everyone was celebrating, this official said something to the extent of, are you kidding? what they did worked, meaning what the russians did worked with the disinformation campaign, and this person felt like the government's response during the campaign and what russia was doing was a "failure of imagination." but of course, anderson, we may never know what kind of impact the russian disinformation campaign had on the election outcome. >> pam, shimon, thank you. joining us now is phillip mudd nvd former senior cia official daniel hoffman who served five years in moscow. phil, you spent years in the fbi. is it standard practice to have a command center on election day monitoring among other threats to the election fake news and
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threats to the election? >> it would be standard practice to monitor threats. i remember sitting around the fbi and cia and you would say whether it's the turn of the year on january 1st when you're concerned about threats, especially going back to y2k, or looking to see if there's anybody trying to disrupt the inauguration to the voting. to monitor social media in this way is a new world for the fbi. i think there are two quick aspects of this that are critically important. one is very simple. that is, the fbi should be talking to the congress about whether there are lessons learned in terms of controlling this information when they talk to people like facebook and yahoo! twitter in the future. another final point on this that is lost but critically important. that is meta data. i would want to know as soon as i saw this story, did we identify who is involved? can we identify it down to knowing what their internet activity is, whether we can find e-mails or phone information, and were there any hops, that is
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one hop or two hops away from anybody in the trump campaign? i think this does relate to the russia question we've been dealing with for the past year. >> we know the fbi was prepared for an onslaught of fake news to influence the election. in hindsight, could they have done something to stop it? obviously there's been a lot of criticism with the obama administration and how they handled it. >> stopping it would have been exceedingly difficult. there's two critical elements to vladamir putin's life experience. one is that he was a kgb officer. the other is, he's a black belt in judo. one of the key principles in judo is to use your opponent's strength against him. in our case, whereas russia seeks to impose cyber sovereignty, cyberspace in the united states is wide open. it's a force multiplier for free expression and for commerce. i believe that vladamir putin saw an opportunity effectively to exploit our open internet for his own influence gain. >> the comment made by the one
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obama white house official, we don't know who it was, saying what they did worked, there's no real way to ever know that. it's easy to say this was russian disinformation, but it's not clear how effective fake news stories are on facebook or twitter. >> i don't think it is. but we're muddying the question, we're spending way too much time, including members of the clinton campaign, talking about the impact on the last election. my problem with the current congressional inquiries is they keep getting caught up in circles around democrats, republicans, who's got access to information. the key question is, if we go into the next election cycle, what is the role of the federal government in supporting silicon valley, but also supporting free speech to keep this stuff off the internet? we've got to get out of rejudicating the last election to answer one question -- should the federal government be
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setting up this kind of center? this is almost unimaginable. realtime, to monitor the next election in support of people like facebook or twitter to remove this stuff realtime. that is 21st century. >> daniel, is this even possible? >> i think that would be quite a challenge. >> yeah. daniel hoffman and phil mud, thank you for joining us. joining us is van jones, gloria, jeffrey lord and molly. the idea that americans were going to the polls while the fbi was kind of poring over social media, as phil said, it is a brave new world and raises a lot of concerns. >> it raises a lot of concerns. but part of the thing, if you pull back, you have an obama administration that's between a rock and a hard place. the republicans spent so much time driving down confidence in this white house, stoking suspicions about this president, that here you have a real threat to our most basic institution, and the president and the fbi, they don't know what to do. if they go forward and say the russians are messing with the election, there's a concern the
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republicans will say he's just doing that to help hillary clinton. if they do nothing, you wind up with this outcome where now nobody knows what to believe. i think the republicans have to take some responsibility for doing their own campaign of disinformation around this birtherism, et cetera, which left us vulnerable to this day to sort out these threats. >> was it just concern by the obama white house about being -- saying -- about being accused of rigging the election, or was it the obama white house believing that hillary clinton was going to win and that they can sort this out once that all was done? >> i think it's a messy mix. the truth is messy, as i often say. it's a messy mix. but what i think you can't allow the republicans to keep doing is to be in this situation where if the president had done something, he's wrong. if he does nothing, he's wrong. at some point, that's just hypocritical and unfair to everybody. >> gloria, you heard the quote from one fbi official saying we were right on the edge of constitutional legality.
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is that true? >> it is true. on one hand, is fake news protected by the first amendment? we know that public officials can bring an action if there is a reckless disregard for the truth and actual malice. in this case, there appears to be reckless disregard for the truth because if they have intended to put out fake news, then hillary clinton has some action against but whom? that's the other issue. the other side from the fbi's standpoint, though, is that if they're going to be watching this, what are they going to do? what was the action they would have taken if they found it and they saw that it was hurting the election? what would they have done? >> jeff, do you buy any of this, that it had an impact, that the idea of, you know, russians flooding twitter with fake news stories had an impact in influencing anything in the election? >> no, i don't, anderson. i'll tell you why. it's just historically -- i mean, not just in this country, but in any democratic country, opponents flood the media with
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bizarre and untrue stories about their opponents. i was a child in 1960, but i remember a -- what i now a regurgitated story from 1928 when none of us were here that said john f. kennedy, if elected, was going to build a tunnel from the white house, a secret tunnel from the white house to the vatican. it was nuts. it was nuts. but well within first amendment rights. you can go through election after election, barry goldwater and the psychiatrist who said he was unstable. these things are said in hot political campaigns. i'm a first amendment fundamentalist. i'm a little concerned about the trump administration looking into reporters, et cetera, with this. i'm all for clamping down on leaks, but not the reporters. i just think you've got to let this flow. and if foreigners are going to do that, that's fine. it's a different thing if they have high-tech access to ballot boxes, that's a different thing.
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>> molly, where do you see this? >> the issue is foreign propaganda, which is different than the kind of speech you're talking about, that the libel laws apply to, and we do have laws about foreign propaganda and procedures to shield the united states from that foreign propaganda, going back to the days of german propaganda. that is the issue. and has been said here, this is the 21st century threat and 21st century version of this that clearly the white house had a very hard time figuring out how to deal with. and to your question, i do think there was an element for the obama administration of assuming they knew how the election was going to turn out, and assuming that the next administration being the hillary clinton administration, would be the ones to handle it. and there has been a lot of reporting that they did not act as decisively as they would have because of that assumption. more when we come back, including the possibility that the president's own national security adviser is the target of a russian propaganda campaign.
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later the presidential vacation. how his time off, president trump's time off, stacks up against his predecessors and how it squares with his campaign promises on the subject. we're keeping them honest. hi. i'm the one clocking in... when you're clocking out. sensing your every move and automatically adjusting to help you stay effortlessly comfortable. there. i can also help with this. does your bed do that? oh. i don't actually talk. though i'm smart enough to. i'm the new sleep number 360 smart bed. let's meet at a sleep number store. if they knew just howers rich they were.ed the average american home value has increased $40,000 over the last 5 years. but many don't know you can access that money without refinancing or selling your home. with a home equity loan, you can pull cash out of your house for anything you need- home improvement,
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tonight's breaking news only underscores how seriously the intelligence and law enforcement community consider the russia
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hacking problem. it's quite a picture. people at battle stations on election night, some of them worried that their efforts to secure a fair process could jeopardize the first amendment. he continues to downplay the story every chance he gets. he did it again just last night in west virginia. >> the russia story is a total fabrication. it's just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of american politics. that's all it is. >> back now with the panel. there's also, van, reporting today that h.r. mcmaster, the national security adviser, is under attack online not just from alt-right groups and individuals but russian-backed or controlled twitter accounts. >> this is one of the things that is most dangerous is that you are now having this convergence. people on the far right, the so-called alt-right, i call it the dirty right because i think they play dirty.
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i call them the dirty right people. they don't like mcmaster and -- i didn't say everybody on the right. i said this particular section, jeff, which you don't like yourself. so the dirty right that traffics in racism and violence, that you hate, jeffrey, that section has gotten itself in a posture. they don't like mcmaster because they know he doesn't like steve bannon. and they see steve bannon as one of their icons. so they started to gin up stuff. that's all fair and good. i have no problem with that. that's america. but now jumping on top of that, these russian bots are amplifying. so you're seeing a convergence, which is very, very dangerous of our foreign enemy with some domestic discontent. that mix, i think, is very dangerous. >> i guess the argument is that some of these alt-right groups and russia have similar sort of geopolitical similarities,
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opposition to the eu, brexit, et cetera. >> yeah. anderson, i'm not listening to the alt-right. i'm listening to my conservative friends like sean hannity who has expressed his doubts about h.r. mcmaster, and i can tell you why. at least the stories i'm seeing are that, and if they're untrue, please tell me, that he has dismissed from the nsc staff people associated with president trump, and there are still obama holdovers in there. >> he dismissed somebody from the staff who had been put on by general flynn, and somebody he wanted to try to get rid of -- >> listen, in other words, a trump person. and there's where you get this. anderson, i can only tell you that the sensitivity -- i mean, this long predates the trump administration of conservatives to people inside a republican administration doing in conservatives, whether they're reaganite or what have you, is
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very sensitive, and this has mainstream conservative concerns. this long predates what van called the alt-right. or dirty right. >> i guess, jeffrey, what i worry about is our inability to deal with the complexity and the nuance of the challenges now. yes, there are people who i am sure have quite legitimate concerns about mcmaster, and that's normal politics. you may have people who have illegitimate concerns who are cheerleaders for bannon and some of the worst ideas associated with bannon and now they are being supported by russian bots. and i don't see people in your situation expressing enough concern about that. it's disturbing to people. >> van, van, let's go back in history a little bit when you had people who are opposing the vietnam war in the 1960s who were being in many ways supported by the soviet union or the chinese communists. i'm old enough to remember vietnamese flags carried at anti-war --
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>> did you think that was a good thing or bad thing? were you a big fan of that at the time? >> well, no, but what i'm -- >> that's my point. we agree. that stuff is bad. >> there's not a thing new about this, van. >> see, jeffrey, this is where people want to blow their brains out when you talk sometimes. just because it's not new doesn't mean it's good for america. there are things that are bad that are old. there are things that are bad that have precedence. this is bad that has a precedence. if you didn't like it in the '60s, why do you apologize for it today? >> it's also, molly, it seems like it's at a different level. to jeffrey's point, funding of anti-war groups years ago or idealogical backing of groups by foreign entities is one thing. but the active involvement in a social media campaign that is relentless and ongoing, that's indistinguishable from americans
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exercising their free speech, that's a whole new level. >> well, there's a couple of differences here. number one, this is a hostile regime, and traditionally the american tradition has been when hostile regimes try to meddle under the radar in our domestic affairs, traditionally american politicians and the american white house has said hey, get the heck out of here, instead of saying how can we use this and draft on this, how can we make use of this for our own political purposes? so there's a big difference and this is the wink and nod relationship that trump has had with the alt-right as well, instead forthrightly saying these are not my people, he's allied with them when convenient and taken a different side when not. and you have this whole mcmaster thing playing out and this is still a battle for the soul of donald trump, and the president hasn't taken a side in terms of which of these foreign policy
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camps he falls into. the president has arrived at his new jersey golf resort. we don't normally talk a lot about a president's vacation. all presidents have a right to vacation, but this president did criticize president obama for golf and vacation days, so we thought we would compare how president trump's time off stacks up to his predecessors. keeping them honest, next. . but when it comes to mortgages, she's less confident. fortunately, there's rocket mortgage by quicken loans. apply simply. understand fully. mortgage confidently. no splashing! wait so you got rid of verizon, just like that? uh-huh. i switched to t-mobile, kept my phone-everything on it- -oh, they even paid it off! wow! yeah. it's nice that every bad decision doesn't have to be permenant! ditch verizon. keep your phone. we'll even pay it off when you switch to america's best unlimited network.
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the president arrived today at his golf club in new jersey for what's being described as a 17-day working vacation. he left without holding the traditional prevacation press conference. the president has already taken more vacation days than his predecessor according to cbs news' mark knoller. president trump has taken 41 days off, over the same time span, president obama took 21, george w. bush took 67. it would be a fair assumption he'll be playing golf at his club, though the white house doesn't publicize it. just the opposite, cameras are kept at a great distance. it's understandable the president needs time off. it's a stressful job. wherever he is he's able to be briefed on important matters and conduct business. he should get time off. every single modern president has spent ample time away from the white house.
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president obama at martha's vineyard. joerges george w. bush at his crawford ranch. eisenhower at camp david. james k. polk hardly left the office, and the job nearly killed him. his term expired and three months later, so did he. the point is presidents need time away. tonight no lectures about the vacationer in chief but it is only fair to point out this president was a harsh critic of his predecessor for golfing and taking a vacation. when it was president obama doing it, candidate trump and civilian trump went after him for it. so as you watch this, just remember this president has taken almost twice as much time off as the man he loved to criticize on the campaign trail. >> obama, it was reported today, played 250 rounds of golf. everything is executive order, because he doesn't have enough time, because he's playing so much golf. obama ought to get off the golf course and get down there. i'm going to be working for you, i'm not going to have time to play golf.
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he played more golf last year than tiger woods. this guy plays more golf than people on the pga tour. i love golf, but i don't have time. if i were in the white house, i don't think i would ever see turnberry or doral again. if i win this, i'm not going to play much golf. i wouldn't leave the white house very much, because these little trips where they cost you a fortune. i love working. i'm not a vacation guy. i don't take vacations. i'm not like obama where he takes air force one to hawaii. i don't take vacations. i promise you, i will not be taking very long vacations. if i take them at all. there's no time for vacation. other people go away for weeks and weeks. i don't like vacations. obama likes relaxing and going on vacations. me, i like working. i like working, i really do. if i get elected president, i'm going to be in the white house a lot. i'm not leaving. we have deals to make.
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who the hell wants to leave, right? >> who the hell wants to leave? who indeed. jim acosta joins us from the white house. what is the white house saying about the president's time away? >> he might want a mulligan for all of those comments after that clip, anderson. but the white house at this point is saying that this is going to be a working vacation, as you put it. he's going to deal with a range of issues. from talking to various officials, he's not giving up on repealing obamacare. i assume there will be some discussions on that. but from what we understand, the new chief of staff, john kelly, is going to be up in bedminister for much of this trip. he has been clamping down on access to the president in the west wing, in the oval office, keeping tabs on who is coming and going into the oval office. we heard from mick mulvaney, the budget director, saying he even listens in on phone calls. when mulvaney was calling the president, john kelly was listening in. the question is, whether the chief of staff can maintain that kind of discipline at the president's country club. but make no mistake, presidents can have work creep up on them
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when they're on vacation. i was with barack obama up at martha's vineyard. he had to give a statement to the news media a couple of times. the white house had to give statements to the press because the world did not go on vacation while the president was taking time off. so the president may be going up to his country club in new jersey, but the world may not let him have a vacation that entire time. >> and there's some big developments in the russia probe that are going on just as the president is leaving. did he have anything to say about the investigation today? >> no. as a matter of fact, the only time we got to see the president in front of the cameras is when he departed the oval office, got on marine one and started to head up to bedminister. questions were shouted about the russia investigation, about bob mueller, whether he plans on firing bob mueller during this investigation. he did not answer any questions. anderson, it is very important to point out, the president did not hold a news conference before going on vacation.
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that is something presidents have been doing over the last two presidencies. barack obama typically held a news conference before he went on vacation. george w. bush did this, as well. for our viewers to remember, i think it's very important, donald trump as president of the united states, has only held one full news conference with the news media since being in office, back in february. he had an opportunity to do it today and didn't do it. as i said earlier, there is a possibility that he could potentially do this up in bedminister. last year, we were in scotland visiting his golf course during the campaign, and he took us on a rolling news conference, and he took questions as he went from hole to hole on the golf course in scotland. the question is whether he will do that this time. we're not holding our breath. >> they don't like cameras near him when he's on the golf course. thank you, jim acosta. back with me is my panel. van, the leader of the free world should take vacation, and he can do work wherever he is.
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the whole entourage goes with him. but the hypocrisy of running on the guy, going after your predecessor for taking too much vacation playing golf is obvious. >> i see nothing wrong with this at all. i see no hypocrisy, we should move on. no, this is ridiculous. this is ridiculous. this was part of an overall strategy of delegitimizing this president. and i know people don't like when i say this, but i'll tell you how this landed for a lot of african-americans. there is a stereotype that african-americans are lazy. and that goes all the way back to the slavery days. when you start saying an african-american is a lazy person, whether you mean it that way or not, it lands with us as oh, my god, they're stereotyping this guy. and look, you can tell that president obama was working hard. he went in there looking like tiger woods and came out looking like morgan freeman. he worked himself to death and
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was still accused of being lazy. so for you h him now to be doing almost twice as much vacationing, even you, jeffrey, have to be embarrassed by this. >> van, i am old enough, and i know you weren't around when democrats in 1960 criticized president eisenhower for playing too much golf and being too lazy. and john f. kennedy got elected and instructed people, he didn't want any photographs of him playing golf. eventually a few photographs did leak out. >> isn't it hypocritical then and now? >> i'm just saying this is what happens. >> do you believe it's hypocritical for the president to have campaigned -- >> i think it's political and it happens all the time. >> but is it hypocritical? >> anderson, let me be serious about this. >> you're not going to answer that. >> i thinky in real problem here -- i didn't hear any
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democrats say congress should cancel their vacation. i did hear some republicans saying it. and they didn't do it. and i think they should have. republicans should have canceled their august recess and stayed there in washington and -- >> but jeff, the question of -- yes or no, is it hypocritical for somebody to run, attacking your predecessor for taking too many vacations -- >> no, every president -- >> i'm just asking you. yes, if that's your answer, then you're saying, yes, donald trump has been hypocritical like every other president. >> in the scheme of things, this is nothing. >> this isn't just about politics. it's about what he's achieved so far in his term. and he campaigned on the idea that he is a great dealmaker and he's a hard worker and he was going to go to washington and turn the city upside down and get things done. we're now at almost the seven-month mark of his administration. he hasn't gotten any major legislation through. he has a poor communications strategy. >> other than neil gorsuch.
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>> yes. >> the stock market. unemployment. >> that's a land grab, jeff. any time right now that president trump makes a claim for stock market -- how robust the stock market is or unemployment rates, he's simply praising obama. it's far too early in his administration to claim authority on any of that data. >> doug, when it comes to the vacation destination, president trump almost exclusively goes to his own golf resorts, which gives attention to his own golf resorts, which i guess are clubs, which people can join if they have enough money. it seems like his predecessors took vacations as an opportunity to visit national parks or spend time in more suburban or everyday settings. >> you know, anderson, you mentioned james k. polk not ever leaving. we should mention the winner was james madison.
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1860. four months he disappeared. both fdr and t.r. would leave a lot. i do think that it may be seen as a mistake to constantly only go to his resorts. it's his first year. i would think there's so many great places in the midwest that would love to have a president in their backyard, puttin bay up in ohio, or the wisconsin dells. but this president likes golf. like barack obama, they're addicted to it. but i'm afraid the curse of august may catch up to donald trump. presidents that think they get these 17 days off really don't. barack obama himself had a tea party event exploded on him. there was one august a chemical attack in syria. james foley was beheaded by isis. wildfires. the whole world doesn't stop because donald trump is trying to get away for 17 days. >> don't forget, the white house is being renovated, right? >> yes. that's right. >> jeffrey, nobody thinks it's a
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bad idea for donald trump to take a vacation. you don't hear democrats out here complaining about it. what we think is that if you make a promise to the american people it might possibly one time should matter. he said, i am not going to vacation. we've got too many deals to cut. we've got too much work to do. obama, according to trump, he's lazy, not working for you. so listen, he set the table. now, since he set the table, then he should play the card game the way he set out. he's not. so part of what we have to deal with here is how many times you have this president making false claims and promises to his base and can he be held accountable? >> thanks to everyone. when we come back, the fbi says russia tried to influence the 2016 election using fake news spread on websites. how laymakers and companies like facebook are responding, next.
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who are all these caretakers, advocates too? turns out, it's californians it's me and it's you. don't stop now, it's easy to add to the routine. join energy upgrade california and do your thing. as we reported earlier, cnn has learned the fbi monitored social media on election day,
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tracking the suspected russian fake news campaign. if you had facebook or twitter, your feed likely included fake news. fake news, not like what president trump calls fake news but part of the oxymoron, real fake news, fabricated stories, many of them about hillary clinton. now we have new reporting how lawmakers are looking how fake news spread on facebook and figuring out what they can do to stop it. cnn's drew griffin has more. >> reporter: there's no question according to the fbi that russia used fake news to try to influence the 2016 election. >> they also pushed fake news and propaganda and they used online amplifiers to spread the information to as many people as possible. >> reporter: what democratic congressional investigators want to know is whether russia colluded with the trump campaign to spread false information about hillary clinton through facebook. >> i commend them. >> reporter: senator mark warner the top democrat on the senate
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intelligence committee has travelled to facebook headquarters in california. while he won't discuss specifics of the meeting, he tells cnn he wants to know whether the trump campaign helped russians to target fake news to specific facebook users. >> i would like to look into the activities of the trump digital campaign. i will point out this. facebook, which basically denied any responsibility around our elections, by the time the french elections took place this spring, they took down 30,000 fake sites. >> reporter: fake sites spreading fake news, mostly negative about hillary clinton. the democratic theory, somehow the trump campaign and russians colluded to do it. tell me what we're seeing right here. this is why it matters. look at this program that tracks social media. you can clearly see the explosion of completely fabricated stories, fake news, in the months just before november's election. >> in the fall, it just became so much of a problem.
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>> reporter: gabriel a content strategist with news whip, a social media analytics firm, says fake news spiked before the months before the elections with headlines like, donald trump protester speaks out, i was paid $3,500 to protest trump's rally. the story is from a fake news site made to appear like the real abc news, created by paul warner who said he writes fake news to make money. but that didn't stop his fake story from spreading through conservative media. and there's this story. fbi agents suspected in hillary e-mail leaks found dead in apparent murder-suicide. this story was 100% made up, released on a made-up news site of the denver guardian. nothing about it was true. the author admits that. but it had 570,000 shares or
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likes or comments on facebook. the questions democrats want answered is how did fake stories from fake websites become popular so quick and did someone pay to boost the fake news? facebook was a massive part of the trump campaign's online advertising efforts. >> i went to wall street. >> reporter: 95% of trump's fundraising ads were placed on the platform according to campaign officials. but the trump campaign has flatly denied any russian collusion whatsoever. and though not appearing on camera, the trump campaign official who oversaw all of the trump campaign's digital advertising, is going on record at cnn to say it simply didn't happen. >> trump's followers got amazing kind of engagement. >> reporter: gary coby, the former director of advertising for the republican national committee and the trump for president campaign, told cnn by phone, we never put money behind someone else's facebook
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page or source and added we did not back anyone's hillary stories, had nothing to do with fake hillary stories or any hillary stories that weren't our own. >> we would produce content. >> reporter: brad parscal has also denied any involvement with russia. he's been called to testify to swear to that under oath. facebook has done its own internal review and reported it did find malicious actors with fake accounts spreading misinformation during the campaign dusays in a statement to cnn, we've been in touch with a number of government officials, including senator warner who are looking into the 2016 u.s. presidential election. we will continue to cooperate with officials as their investigations continue. as we have said, we have seen no evidence that russian actors bought ads on facebook in connection with the election. drew griffin, cnn, new york. up next, two terror plots foiled in australia, including a plan to blow up passenger
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disturbing details about new techniques that isis may be using to target the west. two men in sydney australia were arrested. senior isis commander sent the man a kind of do it yourselves bomb kit which they allegedly used to build a fully operational ied. they were also allegedly planning to release deadly toxin gas in a public place. so i understand this represents pretty much a new tactic for
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isis. in what way. >> it does when you look at the coordination and even the grade of weaponry. it truly is chilling, an isis commander shimd partially assembled bomb components via air korg oh from turkey to australia. the intention was for the individuals in australia to build a bomb and place it on board an airways flight on july 15th. now, what's new and concerning about all of this is isis is essentially shipping do it yourself bomb kits to extremists in the west. as you know, around son, building those powerful bombs from scratch has been one of the most difficult issues for extremists. this plot indicates that isis is making it a whole lot easier. they're flying these comparable partially assembled components to the west and then talking
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these individuals through the final steps. >> you've got more details about the construction of the bomb. >> well, a couple of major assen media outlets say that the police have been examining these devices and they're leaning towards the idea that this was pe tm involved as the explosive. the australian, one of the newspapers reporting this. now, pe tn was the same explosive which was used in that shoe bomb attempt right after nine lech with richard reid and also the underwear bombing over detroit in 2009. and then the bomb plot against the united states in 2010 where pe tm into printer cartridges and shipped it halfway to the united states. this is a very powerful explosives. the australians believe it could have had the possibility of bringing down a plane. very, very disturbing that isis would manage to ship this by airmail all the way to australia
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from turkey and then give these instructions over these enkriptd apps. they were talking to isis from april onwards, and so very, very worried, they are, in australia about this plot, anderson. the arrests only coming 11 days after this aborted attempt to bring down this jet. >> what about this alleged deadly gas plot? >> right. so there was another half of this plot was that it involved a plan to release a toxic gas in public. hydrogen sul fied is what they were planning to release. it's very dangerous, very flammable. it's an industrial chemical. it essentially attacks the respiratory and the nervous system. so it can be used as a story rest women. a very small amount can kill you in literally minutes. the information from australian police is that the isis
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commander actually instructed one of the men in australia to dis% this gas in a confined space, potentially public transportation. the men had not successfully built this device because it's just a very difficult thing to achieve. even if you're in a lab setting. but chilling to hear the details. they wanted it in that confined space to kill the maximum amount of money. >> have there been other examples of isis trying to use this chemical? >> no. i mean, there have not been any kind of plots from isis. there was an al qaeda poison gas plot against the new york subway in 2003, but that, again, was an aborted plot. the high command of al qaeda decided they weren't going to go through that. but with al qaeda developing these poison gas techniques before 9/11, the concern has been that ooisds with all their
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resources have also been doing research and development into chemical weapons, into poison gas. and they want to get some sort of chemical component through in an attack against the west because they think that is going to cause panic and propel them back into the global headlines. ic tell you that the official on both sides of the atlantic very worried that we could see some kind of poison gas attacks on the streets of a western capital within the next couple of years. >> prieshlt the details. thank you. breaking news in the russia investigation dating back to the election day. we'll be right back. that's why you drink ensure. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals. for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...what you love. ensure. always be you.
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call or go to xfinity mobile. it's a new kind of network, designed to save you money. breaking news tonight you'll only see here. it takes us inside an fbi counterintelligence war room on lakz night and details the efforts to monitor russia's online really time disinformation campaign against hillary clinton. got the exclusive. she joins us now. pam, you've learned new information about what some members of fbi were actually doing on election day. >> yeah, that's right, around son. we've learned that fbi counter analysts and investigators were mulgded in a room on election day actually monitoring social media and what they were seeing were these streams of fake news, these negative stories being posted about hillary clinton. some having to do with her