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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  April 6, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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hi, everybody. i'm dana bash in for brooke baldwin. white house briefing should begin momentarily as the president unleashes a new level of aggression against two of the
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world's powerhouses, russia and china. while billions of dollars in tariffs are still just threats against china, the administration is unequivocally going after vladimir putin and some of his closest and wealthiest allies, including the russian president's reported former son-in-law, the one who is not in that picture, and an oligarch who has close ties with trump's former campaign chairman, paul manafort. let's talk about what all this means with our own kara scanell. who are these sanctions against? >> a number of people who are the oligarchs. you can't be an oligarch in russia unless you have the preapproval of putin. they're in charge of the biggest industries like aluminum, energy. some of these oligarchs on this sanctions list also overlap with some of the actors in the mueller investigation. one of those is the head of one
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of the largest aluminum companies in the world. he invested with paul manafort and rick gates about two years ago in a fail ed enterprises. manafort had reached out through an intermediary to ask him if he wanted any private briefings, according to the washington post. we don't know if deripaska has ever gotten that briefing. rick gates has pled guilty and is now cooperating with this investigation. they have a lot of money. a lot of them come to the u.s. and have american friends and counterparts. one thing mueller is looking at is how money flowed from russia, potentially into the campaign. there's where a lot of these individuals come into play. >> what do you think this tells us about how deep the trump
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administration thinks that the mueller investigation is going into the ties that the campaign might have had? >> well, our reporting is that, you know, we know that there are a lot of questions being asked about relationships and money flows. and we know that mueller's investigations have stopped several oligarchs. at least two at the airport, in wanting to ask them questions about campaign financing. so, you know, two other ones that we know that are on this list that interact and overlap with people is a guy that runs one of the largest energy companies and attended this dinner where michael flynn was at. where flynn sat next to vladimir putin. another one is alexander torshin trying to build the parallel to the nra in russia, annual attendee of the convention. he made an overture to the trump
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campaign to try to set up a meeting. there's a lot of overlap and connections there, which is not surprising. we have seen mueller potentially be interested in this. it's interesting to see them end up on the sanctions list now. >> it sure is, especially after -- in all fairness, especially after the trump administration has been criticized by both parties for not doing enough to punish those who they believe potentially had connections to the trump campaign and also potentially involved in meddling in u.s. elections. thank you so much for that, kara. richard quest spoke to one of those russians hit by sanctions, russian bank ceokostin said it's all a misunderstanding by the u.s. government. >> i did nothing wrong to american interest. i was always trying to convey good relationships with american
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investors. i'm punished because the american administration considered that russian government conducted wrong policy. it's very unfortunate. i think we should stop somewhere because we are going from bad to worse and if not for us, but for the sake of our children, who definitely deserve the better world than this world, we should stop somewhere. i don't have any feeling of revenge. i don't even recommend my government to retaliate because we already had tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats. now russian businessmen. i think we should stop somewhere and start to rebuild our relationship. >> one of the seven russian billionaires kara and i were just talking about hit with these sanctions has tied to vladimir putin and paul manafort. matthew chance tracked down oleg
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deripaska, who manafort may have owed millions of dollars. [ speaking foreign language ] >> did he offer those private briefings to you to try to repay that debt? can you just answer me that, please? it's a big issue in the united states, sir. did he offer you those private briefings to try to repay some of that debt to you? is that why he offered them? >> get lost, please. thank you. >> nice try, matthew. get lost. pretty clear there. no issue with that translation. what do we know about this tycoon? >> first of all i know that it makes me wince every time i see that played again and again. such a difficult character to get ahold of. he's media shy. he doesn't like being
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interviewed. and for good reason. this is a man who is deeply controversial. he's very close to vladimir putin. he was standing right behind vladimir putin when i accosted him at that event, the apex summit in vietnam. it's interesting to see what u.s. treasury has to say about him. some astonishing words they're using to describe him, accused of threatening the lives of business rivals, illegally wire tapping a government official, taking part in extortion and racketeering. he is alleged to have ordered murder of a businessman and has links to organized crime. so this is not a figure who is particularly savory and not somebody who should be necessarily messed with. which is why, of course, he was so reluctant to answer the questions, legitimate questions i was putting to him last year. >> absolutely. now the question, given all of
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the connections he has to vladimir putin, how do you think vladimir putin is going to react to these sanctions? >> it's difficult to say, isn't it? undoubtedly this list of sanctions that the u.s. treasury department has put out is targeted at those individuals who are very, very close, indeed, to vladimir putin. oleg deripaska is obviously his favorite oligarch but there are others on the list. shamirov, the son of one of putin's closest friends and also said to be putin's son-in-law, though there are other reports that he recently got divorced from putin's daughter. a family member essentially. there's no question that this list of individuals targeted at those very close to putin himself and in the inner circle. other people on this list close to him as well. in terms of what putin will do,
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it's very unpredictable. we heard that call from andrey kostin for nothing to be done forks r this to end. in the past, putin has downsized the diplomatic mission here, expeled american diplomats t will be very interesting and very dangerous period we're currently in, i think. >> absolutely. very unpredictable. of course, he also cracked down on american adoptions in russia. matthew, i know you'll be on top of it. thank you so much for that report. we have a lot to discuss here, including how these sanctions tie into the mueller investigation, as we've been discussing. and the timing of this announcement. why now? will this slow russia meddling in u.s. elections this year? my panelists are standing by as we await the white house briefing. president trump defends his embattled epa chief, scott pruitt, calling him, quote, a good man. why that phrase could be the kiss of death for pruitt.
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and why chief of staff john kelly doesn't feel the same way. breaking news. facebook is announcing significant changes to its platform just before mark zuckerberg faces lawmakers here in washington on capitol hill. all this as the dow, look at that, down 590 points plus. we'll be back in a moment. so i add activia yogurt to my day. with its billions of live and active probiotics, activia may help support my digestive health, so i can take on my day. activia. now in probiotic dailies.
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for hr+/her2- mbc. welcome back. look at the screen there. the dow is down 572 points. it's definitely fluctuating but hovering around the 600 mark as a loss. we're back with our panel. i want to start with you, greg, from "the wall street journal." explain that to me, to our viewers, why that matters and
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what's happening right now. do you think it's related to this china trade issue? >> a couple of things are going on. clearly that's one of them. we had a somewhat disappointing job report this morning and overall uncertainty of policy. it's not just amazon but a couple of things. there were a couple of things unsettling for investors. the administration, it's first $50 billion import tariff threat was well telegraphed and the result of a very long process. but the additional dialing it up to say it's now $100 billion seems to be something that came together in less than 24 hours, was not telegraphed and has an ad hoc feel to t the other disturbing issue is that the chinese has responded much more aggressively. >> sorry to interrupt you. the white house briefing just began. i want to go to that. let's listen in. >> mt. vernon, historic home of our nation's first president,
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george washington. this setting will serve as a beautiful reminder as france's unique status of america's first ally going back to the revolution. general mcmaster's last day in the white house. on a personal note it's been a privilege to serve alongside him and travel around the world, advancing the president's american first foreign policy. his decades long service to our nation is an inspiration to us all and we know he will do well wherever he lands next. the president misses him well. he will miss working with him but will continue to be great friends and no doubt will continue to see each other in the years ahead. with that, i'll take your questions. major? >> what effect did the announcement on russia have? should we consider that off? >> as the president has said, he
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wants to have a good relationship with russia but that's going to depend on some of the actions by the russians. however at the same time, the president is going to continue to be tough until we see that change take place. and we're going to continue working forward in what we can to have that meeting and have a meeting with vladimir putin at some point. >> would this not suggest ratcheting up of tensions in the relationship and wouldn't a summit have to necessarily resolve some of that tension before it could even take place? >> i think that's part of the purpose of the two individuals and the two leaders being able to sit down and have those conversations and develop that relationship and hopefully put some pressure for russia to change their behavior. >> these oligarchs, aren't you sending a signal that you assume he would want to have to respond negatively to? >> we hope he would respond positively. we would like them to change their behavior and see significant changes.
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i'm not going to get into all those details right now. again, what we would like to see is the totality of the russian behavior change. we want to continue to have conversations working forward. john? >> what prompted the president last night to come out with a statement that he's threatening another -- threatening tariffs on another $100 billion on chinese goods? what was the purpose of upping the ante, if you would? >> responding to chinese actions that have gone on for decades. the chinese have engaged in unfair and illegal trade practices for many years and this is simply a response to that. we would like to see them change and make significant changes to the trade back and forth that we have with them. that's the purpose. >> what was it that prompted the escalation? he already announced $60 billion worth of tariffs and upped that
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to $100 billion last night. >> the president is going to do something and be tough when no one was willing to do this. china created this problem. the president is trying to put pressure on them to fix it and take back the terrible actions they've had over the last decades. >> on cnbc, steve mnuchin, reschry secretary, said it's not intended -- this could ignite a trade war. the stock market got wind of that statement and didn't like it at all. >> this is something that china has created and president trump is trying to fix it. we are moving forward in that process of trying to -- we'll continue putting pressure on china to stop in the illegal and unfair trade practices that they've continued in for decades. >> willing to fight a trade war on this? >> we don't want it to come to that. the president wants us to move to a process of fairness, to free and fair and open trade. that's what he's trying to do. >> does the president think that
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trade wars are easy to win? is that still his view? >> i think the president feels like if he is in charge of those negotiations, absolutely. he is the best negotiator at the table. we certainly have full confidence in his ability to help move things forward. if you look simply at the the progress we've made on nafta, and we're hoping to have great progress on the trade negotiations with china. >> if i could ask you to clarify something he said in his remarks in west virginia. he said yesterday it came out where this journey coming up, women are raped at levels nobody has ever seen before. what was he talking about? >> it was not -- >> it came out yesterday. >> i believe the l.a. times, i don't have it in here in front of me, that documented some of that. this is a well documented fact, that a lot of the people, i believe, up to 80% in recent years of women that are making that journey have been raped in that process.
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the president saying that's simply unacceptable and something that should be looked at. >> 80% of the women coming across the border are raped? >> noch. he's saying the drug smugglers, the traffickers, coyotes. this has happened in recent years and has been up to 80%. >> the dow is down. does that give the president any pause as he pursues these actions? >> we know there could be some fluctuation. at the same time the president has said enough is enough. china has to change this illegal and unfair practice they've been in. and the president -- frankly we shouldn't be in this situation. previous administrations should have stepped up and tried to stop these actions long before today. thankfully, we have a president that's willing to stand up, be tough and take some gracious and bold action like president trump has done. john? >> what is the next step?
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do you want the chinese to come forward and ask for talks, renegotiate? what do you want to see happen? >> we certainly want to be able to negotiate. we want them to stop participating in unfair and illegal trade practices, intellectual property theft being a huge threat to united states companies and businesses. >> to follow up on the question regarding the stock market, the dow is down nearly 4,000 points since january 26th. does the president, does the administration believe that any of that decline is attributable to any of the president's actions concern iing the tariff the president has announced on steel and aluminum? anything that the president has done in that time? >> let's be clear. the tariffs we're talking about have not been implemented and
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are months away. the president has cleared the way for a strong economic environment for tax cuts in deregulation. we're going to continue to push forward. at the same time we're not going to allow a country like china to continue to have these unfair and illegal trade practices. >> i understand that. just getting back to my question, any actions that the president has taken since january 26th, since that period in which the dow has declined almost 4,000 points, anything that he has done or said that you think is attributable to that stock market decline? >> the actions of the president have certainly strengthened our economy, creating almost 3 million new jobs, gotten regulation out of the way, provided tax cuts for american individuals and companies. we're focused on the long term and feel comfortable where we are. >> why hasn't the president spoken out personally about the sanctions and the behavior enumerated by the administration today? >> the president has.
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it's ridiculous that you guys say that. just earlier this week the president stood on a stage in an open press room and talked about how he had been tough on russia. and he has continued to do that through action. we've continued to do that through a number of administration officials. to say he hasn't addressed that directly, he did that while standing on stage with the leaders of the baltic countries, in front of almost every single one of you earlier this week. it's not an accurate statement. >> on these sanctions imposed today he has not spoken out. no statement has been issued under his name. he has not spoken out specifically about the issues enumerated by the administration. he hasn't condemned the alleged sub version of western democracies, the activity in syria, a number of things. cyber crimes, all the things that your administration has outlined. he himself has spoken out about those. >> we speak on behalf of the president day in, day out. the president has signed off and
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directed these actions. i think that speaks values, actually, in how the president feel feels. >> no one other than the president has the authority to hire and fire members of his cabinet. it's a decision that he'll make. we don't have any personnel announcements. the president feels that they have done a good job, the epa, has gotten unnecessary regulations out of the way and we're continuing to review any of the concerns we have and we'll keep you posted if there's anything further on that front. sorry, guys, i can't hear if you're all talking at one time. guys, be respectful.
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i'll call on you one at a time. >> everything that has been reported about mr. pruitt ends up being true -- >> i'm not going to walk through hypotheticals until we have time to go through a full review. he has done a good job of carrying out the goals of the epa. treasury secretary on cnbc earlier was asked and said the president is focused on the post office. party line around here has been kind of that there's no additional actions being contemplated by the administration against amazon. i'm wondering if that's changed and specifically if the white house per the president or any part of the administration has been in contact with the postal service about amazon's contract. >> i'm not aware of anything specific taking place on amazon.
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we are looking at ways to help the post office modernize and help move them forward. they've lost tens of billions of dollars over the last ten years. we would like to see that stop and we're looking at the best ways to do that. anything specific dealing with a.m. ston, i'm not aware of anything on the table. >> the discussion we've been having, i think we're all trying to get a little clarity on, whether u.s. and china are actively in negotiations now or if it's the routine contact we would expect through u.s. and china and you're hopeful that direct negotiations -- >> routine contact but this is a negotiation period. that's why it doesn't happen immediately. and there's a process and we're going through that process. >> two questions. one, following up on that, earlier chinese officials said
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negotiations wouldn't be possible in this current environment of threats of tariffs. what's your response to that? >> if they want to stop unfair trade practices, that would be great. until then we're going to continue to move forward in this process. >> with the talk of tariffs, a number of farmers in the midwest who have suggested that the volatility of the markets has made it difficult for them to plan for the upcoming season and they're already thinking there will be a negative economic impact on them. what is the administration's response to those farmers, many of whom supported the president two years ago? >> the president has directed secretary purdue to do what we can to protect our farmers and they'll look at different ways possible. i would refer you to them for some of the specifics and specific actions they're looking at taking. >> there seems to be a perception that at times the president makes announcements and then the white house has to come up with policy to match
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what the president said, like the talk with the military at the border. there weren't a lot of details with that at first and the issue with syria, saying he wanted to pull all the troops back. can you talk anything about like that perception and what's going on there? >> i think that's a perception of completely people that don't understand, i guess, how civics works. the only person elected to make those decisions is the president. it's up to his staff to implement those policies that he announces or that he makes. so he is doing exactly what the american people asked him to do. and that's to come here and change washington. he's doing that every single da
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day. >> sarah, on the border -- >> sorry, i was pointing up here. anita. >> a couple of days ago the hs secretary was saying it could happen as early as that night. we still haven't seen them gone over. i was wondering if you could update us. i know california is the one who hasn't said what they plan to do. they're still reviewing. will you all still go with the plan if it's just the three other states and not them? can you tell us what the hold up is with california? >> absolutely, they'll continue moving forward with the other border states, working with states' governors right now to go through this process. we hope to have national guard on the ground as soon as possible and we're going to continue to work with california. and we're hopeful that they'll do the right thing and help protect our borders. >> is there a time? >> not a specific time but as soon as possible. it's going to be as many as it takes. we're looking at what that needs
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to be and we'll move forward in the process. the president thinks it's a good step to have 2,000 to 4,000. if it's determined we need more, we'll make that at that time. >> a follow-up on that and also amazon. really fast, what happens when this honduran caravan gets there and you have this presence of national guard? what is going to happen when the caravan arrives at the border with the national guard? >> thankfully, the mexican government, in conjunction with our team and this administration has broken up a lot of that and is continuing to do so. in terms of what the specifics will look like of the national guard they'll be working in conjunction with cvp, who will be the lead law enforcement on the ground with national guard backing them up and supplementing them in those efforts. for the specifics on that, i would refer you to the individual states who will help make those decisions. >> now to amazon, what is the administration doing with the issue of faxing and e-mails?
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administrations before this were dealing with the fact that the post office was losing money because of the internet, because of social media, because of people being able to correspond versus using a stamp. how is the administration looking at that versus targeting amazon? >> we're doing a thorough review and looking at the best ways to modernize that. i don't have any specific policies on that front. we're in ongoing conversations with the u.s. post service. have a great friday. >> we've been watching sarah sanders at a pretty lively briefing. we're back here with our panel. i want to start, elise labott with you on the putin sanctions -- excuse me, on the russian sanctions, clearly
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directed at vladimir putin and to unpack the diplo speak that we heard there about the big question is, what's the goal, what's the strategy and what do you expect from vladimir putin in response to this. and the answer was that we want the totality of russian behavior to change. >> right. you know, i think what caught everybody's eye and attention is that these were because of election meddling. if you read what treasury secretary mnuchin was saying it's about all of russian behavior, in ukraine, in crimea, in syria with president assad and what they didn't mention was the recent nerve attack against the former russian spy in the uk. i think that kind of fits into the whole tit-for-tat on russian diplomats so they didn't necessarily want to bring that into it. it certainly has something to do with the timing. what they're trying to do, i think, is punish the wealthiest individuals who are profiting
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off vladimir putin's authoritarian behavior. by that extent he seeks his -- he gains a lot of his power from these rich individuals, from this system. and so by punishing them they're hoping that that could not only weaken putin but get him to change his behavior. does that work? i don't necessarily think so. certainly that's the aim here. >> i want to read part of a statement from senator john mccain, chairman of the armed services committee as a giant russia hawk who said that the united states must press forward with a broader strategy to deter and, if necessary, defeat russian aggression and counter russian malign influence activities. anything less will only encourage putin to continue attacking us, our allies and democracies around the world. so, david, he's saying this is great. we're glad that the
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administration is finally punishing russia. but what's the strategy? >> he said something similar after the 13 indictments came down from mueller. what i find interesting, if you take this story and the other story that dominated the briefing, china trade issue, what you have here are two countries that the president himself as recently as this week would be saying it would be really good if we got along and had positive relations. it seems that the path that the president is choosing with both of these countries to better those relationships is this tough man talk and action that he's taking with countries he has stated -- which obviously at times are adversarial that he thinks it would be better to have good right hip relations with. >> if you listen to what he said during the campaign he also said that countries don't respect us.
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i also think that he thinks that them respecting us is being afraid of us. now the russian sanctions are here and will be put into effect. on the tariffs, it remains to be seen whether they will be implemented. i think this is part of his strategy, put this tough front and then say if i don't get what i want i'm going to walk out the door. he will start with the toughest position. >> negotiations 101. as you answer, i'm sure you have been to china, elise, many times with many different administrations, democrat and republican representatives. i remember going there with president bush and vice president dick cheney. there's always talk about the trade deficit.
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but not action. that's what sarah sanders said in this press briefing, the president is going to do what other administrations have not done. it is a threat, not action yet. >> with respect to russia, the president has had to be direct, kicking and screaming into taking this action. the sanctions today that were announced, he didn't have any choice in the matter. they were a direct result from congress taking action because they were afraid trump would let them lapse. in 24 hours, tripling the amount of tariffs he wants to apply to the chinese. he is much more invested in the negotiations with china. >> there's no there there here. these are just words right now. >> he's trying to calm the markets. >> of course he is. markets have not been responding
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kindly to this news. >> right now even after that -- especially, i think, after that press conference, it's now down 663 points. before it started it was hovering around 600. >> you also see what china is doing in response. >> on that, i'm glad you said that. i want to ask both of you, but especially you, david, about it. obviously this is your wheelhouse as our political guru here. look at this map. as elise said we're talking about how china is threatening to respond to the u.s. and that is with sanctionors tariffs on soy beans. look at those states right in the middle of the country there. those are soy bean producing states, mostly republican, red states but some blue states. what they all also have in common is that they have about a dozen, all told, very competitive house races, david. this is important when you're talking about the democrats having only 23 states --
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>> districts. >> districts, thank you. when you have a dozen that have concerned farmers/voters, that's not good for the president or the white house. >> part of the trump base, farmers and in a lot of these states that he won, i saw washington post analysis. he sort of won by 12 percentage points in counties that have soy beans. >> he's also talking about car. >> it goes beyond soy beans. you are right to point out it is much more acute and imminent for house members who are running in this very tough environment. so it's not just a president trump 2020 problem where there's time to improve that relationship. you heard what she said, we're getting the secretary of agriculture involved. we're going to try to talk to farmers. there's tons of competitive districts where they are vulnerable in this. the last thing they need in this challenging environment their own president birks choice, making it difficult. >> it's not only one direction.
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remember, on the other side of the farm stuff there's lots of -- especially those blue collar manufacturing states getting tough with trade issues, especially china. special election in pennsylvania, both the democrat and the republican supported trump in the tariff stuff. the states hit hardest by those actions are washington and california. washington because of boeing. it's not as strong -- granted it's negative but not as strong as china thinks it is. >> going after trump's base. clearly the political map is david's domain and not my wheelhouse. but diplomatically it's interesting how they did that and cars, michigan is one of the states that hillary clinton was expected to win and donald trump won.
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he campaigned on this idea that life would get better for people in these industrial states. >> that's why you see a democrat like sherrod brown embracing some of this. >> such a great discussion. thank you all for being here. on a very much related topic, breaking news. facebook announcing significant changes to its platform just before mark zuckerberg is set to face lawmakers on capitol hill. we'll break down what those changes mean and monitoring the markets as we've been talking about. the dow is down 669 points right now. wow, again, right before the white house briefing, it was about 100 points higher. that could tell you a lot about the way the markets are reacting to the discussions about a potential trade war with china. the white house saying moments ago that president trump is the best negotiator at the table. back in a moment. this is the ocean.
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comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. cnn's senior tech correspondent laurie segall joins us now with the details. what exactly is facebook proposing? >> aimed at trying to combat election meddling, around election advertising. we heard them talk about political advertising, labeling it and authorizing it. now they're expanding that to issue ads, labeling all political and issue ads in the
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top corner it will say political ad. and verification of who paid for them. a searchable database of ads so it's easier to find and technology to look at ads that are already out there and make sure they were authorized. this one is interesting, maybing people verify if they're a big user, verifying users behind large pages. take a look what happened in texas, the ira had taken up these big pages and big followings and were posing as americans and were trying to create discord and get people on all different sides and no one knew that was coming from russian trols, essentially. they're trying to combat that. what mark said in this post, mark zuckerberg, he said these steps aren't going to stop people from gaming the system. we heard that earlier from sheryl sandberg who talked to a
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lot of different folks. she said security is an arms race. we're never fully going to get on top of it. the from us administration is that you want facebook to be more proactive and less reactive. this is days before they came out with changes restricting access for third-party developers trying to protect user data. this is all ahead of next week, a monumental week for facebook where mark zuckerberg will be testifying in front of congress and have to answer these hard questions. >> no question about it. i want you and our viewers to listen to part of the rounds that sheryl sandberg made this morning. she was talking to the "today" show and warning that more security breaches could happen. listen. >> what we weren't focused on is protecting. that same data that you enable to use social experiences could also be misused. >> do you think there could be other breaches like the one we saw in cambridge analytica,
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where tens of millions of people's data was accessed improperly? >> we're doing investigations and audits. yes, we think it's possible. that's why we're doing the audit. >> in addition to the substance of what she's talking about, what you mentioned, we want to ask you about the crisis management here. obviously you had that great interview with him as well. there is an obvious realization they were caught on their heels and they're suffering financially in the markets and elsewhere. what are you hearing from your sources? >> this is a leadership moment for mark, make it or break it moment. the irony, this is a company that's asked us to put our lives out there, to be transparent, share our likes and our moments.
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this is a ceo that's been protected. i don't want to joke but he has lived in his own filter bubble. he isn't used to going out in front of folks. he even said to me on camera when i had this interview, i don't like doing this. i know i have to start taking the hard questions. now he has to do that on such a politically large scale that i think it will be very interesting to see how this plays out. and the thought is that they took too long to get out in front of this. we've seen them deal with it in blog posts and facebook lives. we need a big leadership moment from mark zuckerberg and sheryl sandberg. folks wonder if it's too little, too late. next week will be a watershed moment for this company and mark. >> it absolutely will. they changed the world. they have been part of the wild west. and that seems to be changing. and we'll see it play out for sure next week. laurie, thank you for that great
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reporting. appreciate it. following breaking news on wall street. cristina alesci, we've been looking at the dow. down 700 points at this point. what are you hearing from traders on the floor where you are right now about how much this is related to the china trade war threat? >> hearing three things from traders and investors. they don't like the sabre rattling out of the administration and think there's a better, perhaps more calm way to get china to the negotiating table than this sort of very public tit-for-tat that's going on. two, traders are cognizant of the fact that a possible trade war may mean increased crisis for consumers and even possibly producers. that may curtail growth down the line at some point. and also three. this is something that's very specific to wall street. they were paying attention to the administration officials that came out after trump floated this idea of another
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$100 billion on goods. steve mnuchin and larry kudlow came out and gave conflicting messages. kudlow was trying to reassure the market early this morning. secretary mnuchin came out and said there's a possibility of a trade war. economists say look we don't like it when the president overpoliticizes the stock market and perhaps is giving messages and putting messages out there to reassure his base that he's tough. but there are consequences. and this is a risky strategy, dana. because china has levers it can pull to retaliate. this isn't just tit-for-tat on the number of goods we tariff and tax. this is about china, perhaps, making it more difficult for u.s. businesses to operate there. this is about china, perhaps, curtailing the number of tourists that can come and spend
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money in the u.s. there's a lot going on behind the scenes and it's tough for the markets to factor all that kind of stuff in. and traders and investors don't want to hold these positions. >> not to mention the part of america's debt that china is in control of as well. i wonder how much you think -- we were listening during the show to sarah sanders, the white house -- at the white house briefing. and she was continuing on the hard line that we have heard, particularly from the president, effectively saying, look, this is a problem. they, china, started this because of the fact that the u.s. has such a large trade deficit with china, that they haven't been acting fairly and it's up to president trump. he feels that it's up to him to act. how much is what we're seeing right now a reaction to that sabre rattling that we literally just heard from the white house? >> i think there was a little bit of that. no one argues, both here on wall
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street that something has to be done with china. you're not just talking about trade imbalance but possible theft of intellectual property. they argue perhaps there's a cleaner way of getting to the negotiating table and if you really want a solution when it comes to china, maybe embarrassing, you know, our biggest trading partner publicly isn't the right way to go about it. maybe it's something a little bit more measured and behind the scenes and maybe it involves also looping in the rest of your economic team on what you're going to do. the fact is larry kudlow wasn't aware of the announcement that president trump made overnight. and that makes the market very uneasy. >> i want to play a little bit of larry kudlow talking about this issue. let's listen. >> why has china gone two decades without making the changes that the entire world and the governing organization knows they've been breaking? why do they continue that? blame china. don't blame the administration.
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don't blame japan. don't blame europe. blame china. they have to put their best foot forward and act like a world power. >> cristina, effectively, what we're hearing from the white house, if you were to break it down, there might be short term pain but it's for long-term gain, to fix a very broken system and broken relationship with china. >> yes. and again, i don't think anybody disagrees that that has to be fixed but, again, is this the right way to do it? that's what the market seems to be debating right now. going into the weekend, i don't think anybody is comfortable holding positions. we might get a late-session rally. it's very unlikely at this point. dana? >> cristina, thank you so much. we'll stay with you and watch the numbers on the screen. the dow and wall street will be open a little more than an hour. we'll be back in a moment.
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welcome back. top of the hour here on cnn. i'm dana bash in for brooke baldwin. a wild ride on wall street. look at that, down 722 points. by down, i mean, of course, the dow, after a disappointing march jobs report and, of course, what we have been hearing from the white house, threats from president trump for $100 billion in tariffs against china. today, treasury secretary steve mnuchin said while not intended to the tariffs could, in fact, ignite a trade war. >> right now we've initiated a plan. the tariffs will take some period of time to go into effect. there will be public comments. while we're in the period before the tariffs go on we'll continue to have discussions. there is the potential of a trade war. let me be clear. it's not a trade war. the president wants reciprocal trade. >> so he said we could have