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Boycott Calls Grow As Georgia Adopts Controversial Voting Law; Activists Call New Georgia Law Deliberate Voter Suppression; Senior Border Patrol Official: Surge Expected To Last For Months; WSJ Reports Investigators Subpoena Dozens Of Cuomo Administration Officials; Top Tech Bosses Grilled On Social Media Spread Of Lies And Hate; Myanmar's U.N. Envoy Slams Military After Saturday Massacre. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired March 27, 2021 - 19:00   ET



PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: And welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. And let's go straight to Georgia where demonstrators are expressing their anger this Saturday over the new state election law that President Biden calls an atrocity. CNN's Natasha Chen is in Atlanta. Natasha, what did you hear from those protesters?

NATASHA CHEN, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well Pamela, about 150 people gathered in front of Atlanta City hall just around the corner down a block. There were several different activist organizations represented, but I also spoke to individual voters. Voters who had been given free food in line last year when they waited for hours.

In particular, another voter named Kimberly Wallace, she shared these photos with me. She said, she realized when she saw the photo of Governor Brian Kemp signing the bill into law. There was a painting depicting a plantation behind him.

And she realized, that's actually the plantation where her family had worked for generations, as recently as her father working as a sharecropper there. Here is what she said in reaction to seeing that painting in that moment.


KIMBERLY WALLACE, GEORGIA VOTER: It was very rude and very disrespectful to me, to my family, to black people in Georgia that he said, that the whole visual was very disrespectful. That whole thing symbolized everything that's going on in Georgia right now. Black people are coming out. Black people are voting. They don't like that. So they're going to try everything they can to stop it and it's not going to work. Because we are fueled by the power of our ancestors and we are going to change things. It's a new Georgia.


CHEN: And that last part was her reacting to the arrest of Georgia Representative, Park Cannon, who was taken away in handcuffs when she knocked on the door of Governor Kemp's office to try and witness that bill signing. A few of the people who were there today really told me, how strongly they reacted to that.

They felt it was terrifying and they really contrasted it with what they saw on January 6, at the nation's Capitol, comparing what happened to those folks who were destroying property versus an elected member of the Georgia State House arrested because she was trying to witness a part of this bill process, Pamela.

BROWN: All, right. Natasha, thanks so much reporting for us live from Atlanta. And let's do a fact check now on some of what really is and isn't in this new law in Georgia. It limits the use of ballot drop boxes, imposes new ID requirements for absentee voting, and allows state officials to take over local election boards.

The law also makes it a misdemeanor to give food or water to voters in line and allows any Georgian to make unlimited challenges to voter registrations. But it also expands early voting access for most counties, adds a mandatory Saturday early voting option, and requires all counties to have a drop box. Here is what you won't find in the law, that proposed ban on Sunday voting or the repeal of no excuse absentee voting. Those had initially been proposed by Republicans but did not make it in the final version.

And with me tonight is CNN Legal Analyst, Ben Ginsberg. He is a republican election lawyer, who worked on the Bush v. Gore case. Also, Professor Cornell William Brooks of the Harvard Kennedy School. He is a Former President of the NAACP. Gentlemen great to see you both.

I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this. But I want to start with you, President Biden says the justice department is "taking a look at this law." At least one lawsuit has already been filed. The accusation Democrats are making, is that the law is voter suppression. As a Republican yourself, do you see it that way?

BEN GINSBERG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think there are certainly parts of this law that are very wrong as a matter of principle. Voting is the most fundamental right. You went over some of the provisions that take away and are barriers to that fundamental right. Getting rid of drop boxes make no sense. The potential takeover by the state legislature.

The state board of elections is fraught with peril. And certainly, providing food and water to people in line is an attempt to suppress votes. Things like the voter Id provision gets rid of signature matches, which is sort of an impossible process these days. And substitutes, identifying numbers that are being used by democratic states like California, New Jersey and Virginia. So, I think that part of it is a bit overblown.

BROWN: So, Cornell, you just heard Natasha Chen interview, a woman who says the portrait at Governor Kemp's bill signing, shows the plantation where her ancestors worked. When you hear about something like that, what do you think? What goes through your mind?

CORNELL WILLIAM BROOKS, FORMER NAACP PRESIDENT: What goes through my mind is that, the slave operasi (ph) that began literally on the plantation and that continues in this moment, that is to say, relegating African Americans to second class status as citizens is tragic real and ongoing.


The fact of the matter is that this voting suppressing law in Georgia is designed to literally strip African Americans and others of the right vote. How? When 200,000 Georgia's don't have state IDs or our driver's licenses, that's a challenge. When you mandate that absentee drop off boxes have to be inside of buildings, which is like requiring mailboxes to be inside of the lobbies of post offices.

When you prohibit people from offering water and food, people in line are, this is clearly an effort to strip African Americans of the right to vote, and to move them from the center of our democracy, the center of last - the last presidential election back onto the plantation. That's what this is about. And we need to be clear about this. And we got to be morally frank, and as citizens honest about what's going on here.

BROWN: As I'm sure, you've heard, Georgia's Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, says the outcry about the law is all hyperbole. I want to remind people that he stood up to President Trump amid direct pressure after the election. So, I know you laid out some of the reasons there. But why is he wrong? What would you say to him? If you could talk to him right now and talk to Governor Kemp. What would you say to them about this being hyperbole?

BROOKS: I would simply say this, where the Secretary of State has been the subject of nothing less than a political coup d'etat. That is to say his or her ability to oversee elections, local elected officials carry out their elections as they have. And generally speaking, well, that demonstrates the ill intent of this law.

So, what I would say to the Secretary of State without Ron Kim, is that you cannot perpetuate this fall, note this. President Trump delegitimize the vote and legitimize violence. If the GOP, if Congress, if the President don't intervene at, that is to say protect the right to vote. What they will unwillingly do is literally delegitimize the vote by not protecting it. And in so doing, legitimize violence. We have a choice as a democracy.

We can either allow the people to speak to the ballot box, or we will have insurrectionists in our Capitol. Brian Kemp, the Secretary of State in the state of Georgia have to understand. They face an existential choice. In terms of preserving our democracy or literally undermining our democracy, and slapping, literally a slap in the face of every American citizen, particularly African Americans.

BROWN: So, Ben, in light of what Cornell just laid out there. One of the provisions in this bill allows state officials to override county election officials. So, if this had been in place after Trump lost Georgia, when he came calling for Georgia Republicans to find enough votes. Would this have created a legal avenue for them to nullify Atlanta area votes, which were predominantly democratic votes?

GINSBERG: Well, it might have and that would appear to be the purpose of the state legislators putting this in. Of course, these things have a way of sort of what goes around and comes around and coming back to create exactly the different effect from what they want.

And in fact, overall, Republicans have given a great political organizing gift to the Democrats, by being so hard handed in the way they've put this out. I can't think of anything that will motivate Democratic voters to vote, like the scene of arresting the African American state legislator yesterday, unless it's arresting grandmothers giving out water to grandmothers standing in a voting line.

BROWN: Do you agree Cornell that this will only serve to general energize minority voters? And what do you think about the fact that some of the harsher proposals, like eliminating Sunday voting didn't make it and that this bill does add extra early voting? I want to get your thoughts on that. Is that enough of the counterbalance?

BROOKS: Absolutely not. The fact that the GOP has not been completely successful in suppressing the right to vote is nothing to celebrate. So, for every member of the Republican that expressed admiration for John Lewis. For every member of the Republican party that has ever said, happy fourth of July or happy Martin Luther King Day.

Stop, and do not show over your hypocrisy in this moment by failing to denounce voter suppression and calling this law out. Let's be clear, voting rights are literally the most important right in this democracy in terms of ensuring all other rights.


So, we cannot engage in doublespeak here. To be clear this law is dangerous. We are in a dangerous moment of our democracy and it calls for more (inaudible) in this moment, that demands that we all speak up for the right to vote in the present, honoring our martyrs in the past, literally so that we can ensure that we have a future as a democracy.

BROWN: All right. Professor Cornell William Brooks, Ben Ginsberg, we're going to leave it there. Thank you both for coming on.

BROOKS: Thank you.

BROWN: So what does banning people from giving water to voters have to do with fraud. Nothing. still Republicans like Governors Brian Kemp, are saying provisions like this are necessary because.


BRIAN KEMP (R), GOVERNOR GEORGIA: There is no doubt there were many alarming issues with how the election was handled and those problems understandably led to the crisis of confidence in the ballot box here in Georgia.


BROWN: Many alarming issues, except he didn't provide any examples because there aren't any examples. A state recount and multiple audits confirmed Georgia's 2020 results and Biden's victory, and found no widespread fraud. For the record, Kemp shouldn't be surprised by this. He certified those results and when he ran Georgia's elections in 2018 a Secretary of State, he boasted about their integrity saying, "We have laws on the books that prevent elections from being stolen from anyone."

That was after a tight race that Kemp himself won. But after three tight races that Republicans lost, suddenly the Brian Kemp of 2021 says there is a "crisis of confidence." Why? Why is there a crisis of confidence? Because the Republican party spent months parroting the falsehood that voter fraud was rampant.

Donald Trump was saying it, before the first vote had even been cast. After the election, his attorney Sidney Powell repeatedly said, she had evidence that would prove massive voter fraud. Well guess what, in a court filing this week, her lawyers provided a stunning disclaimer "reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact but view them only as claims they await testing by the courts through adversary process."

Well, guess what, those claims were tested by the courts and promptly tossed out dozens of times. But that lie already worked its way into the GOP DNA and became the basis for a broad voter restriction push and effort. President Biden strongly condemned this week.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When I am worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is. It's sick. It's sick. Deciding in some states that you cannot bring water to people standing in line, waiting to vote, deciding that you're going to end voting at five o'clock when working people are just getting off work, deciding that there will be no absentee ballots under the most rigid circumstances. The republican voters I know, find this despicable. Republican voters.


BROWN: So, what this is about election security, is it just a coincidence that these measures tend to impact communities of color the most. That is something to think about. Look at Georgia, metro Atlanta counties have about half the state's active voters, but only 38 percent of the polling places.

So already that would mean longer lines there. When the drop boxes make it harder to vote by mail, bam mobile voting units, and you get the idea. Georgia Senator, Raphael Warnock, who may not have one of these new measures have been in place explained the stakes.


SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): Voting rights traditionally has been bipartisan. The last time we reauthorized the 1965 Voting Rights Act, George W. Bush was President. And it passed the United States senate 98 to zero. We have to pass voting rights no matter what and it's a contradiction to insist on minority rights and the senate, while refusing to stand up for minority rights in the society. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Now we want to reiterate here, there are provisions in the Georgia bill like expanded early voting on the weekends, and requiring every county have a drop box under certain limitations, which advocates say, advocates of the bill say expand voter access. But the larger question at play here is, if the facts show Georgia's election was free, fair and secure, why is this bill necessary?

Why tinker with a system that is working? Does this create a precedent that every time a party loses, they will cry foul and there will be this fight to change the laws? Well, Top Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling was praised nationally when he called out Donald Trump's election fraud lies last year. Now Sterling says, voter suppression claims about George's new law are just as false.


I'm going to ask him why at the top of the hour. So, stick around for that. And still ahead on the Saturday evening, international condemnation after the bloodiest day in Myanmar since the military took power by force. I'll ask the co-creator of Facebook's Like button. If the company he helped create is guilty of spreading misinformation and hate.

And it's the logjam been felt around the world, how the clog Suez Canal is hammering the global economy. But first, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that dozens of officials have been subpoenaed, as part of the investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Governor Andrew Cuomo. Athena Jones is live with the latest for us tonight. When we come back.


BROWN: What a difference a day makes and the situation at the U.S.- Mexico border. On Thursday, there were more than 18,000 children in U.S. government custody, up for more than 17,000 on Wednesday.


The Biden administration has scrambled to find space to house them opening up multiple facilities. Currently almost 6,000 of those kids are being held in Customs and Border Protection facilities which are not equipped to care for children. And many of them are held there for longer than 72 hours that the law allows. Joining me now Republican Congressman Tony Gonzales of Texas.

His district includes more than 800 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, and he has spent a lot of time at various border hotspots in the state. Congressman Gonzales, thanks for coming on. So, first off, let's talk with what you have seen. After a recent visit to an El Paso facility, you said, we should focus on legal immigration because seeing what these children have to go through is heart breaking. But there hasn't been enough bipartisan support in Congress to pass legislation. You're a Republican, what would it take? REP. TONY GONZALES (R-TX): If it's frustrating that, this isn't a more bipartisan effort. I have six children. When I visited that facility to see these children of various different ages, from very young, infants to teenagers. It's heart breaking, and it's not fair to them. It's not fair to the border patrol agents that are working around the clock. It's not fair to the Texans that see it every day, that don't feel safe in their homes. What would it take? It takes Congress leading. Look, we can't always determine and lead by executive orders.

BROWN: What does that look like? And how did you made that happened?

GONZALES: Yes. It starts by coming together and having the conversation basically going. What happens when a person leaves their home in Honduras, and makes their trek to America? The good parts, bad, all of it and then understand it. Right now, there is two trains of thought. Either you're for border patrol and against immigration, or you're for immigration and against border patrol. That's the wrong answer. We need to be both for a secure border, as well as be compassionate and have a robust immigration system, that I think helps with that.

BROWN: But what specifically, do you think there could be enacted that would garner bipartisan support? I mean, I think everyone can agree. It's a humanitarian crisis to see these young children that you just described, making this dangerous track.

And in these border-like facilities, I mean, no matter who's to blame, or you know, and there is a lot of blame game going on finger point. This is awful. I mean, you don't even have to have kids to know how awful it is. Why isn't Congress doing more? Why don't they're coming together to do more to figure this out?

GONZALES: Yes. So, if children are legitimately making the trek from these dangerous areas, which many of them are, right, and they're legitimately seeking asylum? Why do we have to wait till they reach America? Why can't we focus on Mexico and some of these areas? That way they don't have to make that dangerous trek.

That's one answer to it. Another part is work visas. Let's increase the amount of work visas. If people want to come to live the American dream and work hard. Well, let's welcome them through the front door. We absolutely need to know who is coming into our country, but we need to do it through increased work visas.

Right now, what you're seeing is a very partisan effort. The Citizens Act that the administration is going to put forward. It is dead on arrival. The bills that were passed in the House, get on arrival, no one is willing to work with each other. That starts there, but we also got to talk about border security. Families have to feel safe in their own homes.

I was in Eagle Pass, and there is a member there that he's a small business owner, and he got a call. He's at work. He got a call from his two teenage children, that there were some migrants that were banging on the door. They were terrified, right. They called 911, took 45 minutes for the police to arrive. Nothing ended up happening when people feel unsafe. It's wrong all across the board.

BROWN: I want to get your reaction to what we heard from Democratic Congressman, Pete Aguilar, who I spoke with earlier in the show. Listen to what he had to say about the current situation at the border.


REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): It's hard to look past what they did for four years to create this issue. Clearly, President Biden and the Biden-Harris administration is looking to remedy this, as they should, and they are putting leadership into it. They did visit the same facility that they were at members of the administration. High level members visited the Carrizo Springs location that I was in yesterday with Congressman Castro and my colleagues.

And so, they are taking this serious, but it's going to take time is what we would say, because the Trump administration tried to dismantle so many aspects of our immigration system. They tried to recreate it every possible step from the asylum process to the homeland security process and everything in between. They tried to damage it, including removing funding from Northern Triangle Countries, which is the root cause of this migration.



BROWN: So, what do you say in response to that?

GONZALES: So, I was the first member to visit the facility in Carrizo Springs. I visited three days after it opened up and I urge the administration to go out and visit. I was excited. When they did, we recently visited the facility out of El Paso. And I was excited that a week later that the administration did. There is a new facility out in Vegas. I'll go out there and visit it. Visiting it is part of a step one.

I'm excited that Vice President is going to be leading this effort. I chose the importance that it's going to take in order for us to solve this, but this isn't a new issue. This isn't a new topic. Every President has had to deal with this. And what I'd like to see is this administration work closer with those that see it every day. I'm on the border every day. Henry Cuellar is on the border every day.

Work with us to come up with a solution. Building more and more facilities is the wrong answer. We are about to open up two more facilities here in San Antonio, one at the Freeman Coliseum, and another one at the base at Lackland. There is going to be another facility out in Fort Bliss in El Paso.

I mean, what I am hearing from border patrol agents on the ground is this, things are only going to get worse. April is going to be worse than March, and May is going to be worse than April. We have to act now. Time, we're out of time. We have to start acting now. And the administration needs to work with others, not just have a one-way approach.

BROWN: So, what about Governor Abbott of Texas, your state? Do you think he should accept money from the federal government to help with some of these efforts and to help with COVID testing and so forth? As you know, he initially rejected getting that money?

GONZALES: Absolutely, I think the state and the federal government, and the local government should all be working together, just like we've worked together through this pandemic, this immigration crisis is no different. And I'll give an example. You know, when they opened up this facility out in Vegas, I got a call from HHS, and my first call was to the mayor of Vegas, the county judge of Vegas and the commissioner.

And they had no idea that this facility was opening up in their community. That's wrong. We have to have a joint conversation, right? And a lot of people, they just aren't concerned. They don't know what's happening. And when you don't know what's happening, you're afraid of that change. If you'd have a conversation, you'd have a lot of communities that are compassionate, that want to help out, but the administration can no longer go it alone. Let's work together and solve this issue.

BROWN: And have you reached out to the administration very quickly. Have you tried to work with them?

GONZALES: Absolutely. It was the very first thing I did. It was the beginning of January. And honestly, it was very difficult to get anyone on the phone. I was able to reach the Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Border Security in January. And this is what I said, I go look, I get it.

You think I am a Republican? You think I am out to get you? I don't have any - no interest in that. All I want to do is, help you all work through this problem. I am on the ground every single day. That was the last time I spoke with anybody.

BROWN: All right. Congressman Tony Gonzales, thanks for coming on the show and lending your voice to this conversation.

GONZALES: Thank you.

BROWN: And tonight, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that dozens of officials have been subpoenaed as part of the investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Governor Andrew Cuomo. That's next. Trump's Big Election Fraud Lie Mutates Into Georgia Law; Dem Senator: "We Have To Pass Voting Rights No Matter What"; More than 18,000 Migrant Children In Federal Custody;



BROWN: Turning to New York now. Investigators have reportedly subpoenaed dozens of Governor Andrew Cuomo administration officials. This is all part of an ongoing probe into sexual harassment claims against the Governor.

Our Athena Jones is following the investigation -- Athena.

ATHENA JONES, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Pamela. Well according to "The Wall Street Journal," these dozens of officials in the Cuomo administration have been asked to produce documents as part of this investigation. Now, it's important to note that the Governor has denied any wrongdoing and the Attorney General's Office declined to comment on "The Wall Street Journal's" report.

But asked about the report, two lawyers who are representing the Cuomo administration in this investigation told CNN: "No one should be surprised that the A.G.'s Office is issuing requests for documents and interviewing witnesses including several who work for Governor Cuomo. That happens in every investigation and it's wildly premature to speculate what it means. Good, thorough and fair investigations take time."

Now one of those lawyers, Paul Fishman of the law firm Arnold & Porter declined to confirm to CNN that Melissa DeRosa, Governor Cuomo's top aide is among the officials who was subpoenaed as "The Journal" reported.

Several women have accused the Governor of sexual harassment including Charlotte Bennett, a 25-year-old a former aide whose lawyer, Debra Katz has said investigators must examine whether high level aides enabled Governor Cuomo's behavior and swept evidence of sexual harassment under the rug.

Katz says that Bennett spent several hours being interviewed by investigators last week over Zoom and they asked detailed questions. This is one of three separate probes the Governor is facing into a variety of misconduct allegations including his administration's handling of COVID-19 related nursing home data and these independent investigators in the sexual harassment investigation are expected to reproduce a report when they've reached a conclusion and that could be months from now, though -- Pamela.

BROWN: All right, we'll be tracking it all. Athena Jones, thank you so much.

And by the way, don't miss this unprecedented event with Dr. Sanjay Gupta when the medical leaders of the war on COVID break their silence. CNN's Special Report "COVID War: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out," begins tomorrow night at nine Eastern.




ANNOUNCER: In an unprecedented event, the leaders of the war on COVID break their silence. DR. DEBORAH BIRX, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR:

They wanted to make sure that we stopped saying that the risk to Americans was low.

DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, FORMER DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: I finally hit a moment in life where I said, you know, enough is enough.

ANNOUNCER: What things saw --

DR. STEPHEN HAHN, FORMER COMMISSIONER OF FOOD AND DRUGS: That was a line in the sand for me.

FAUCI: We're in for a disaster.

ANNOUNCER: What they believe --

REDFIELD: People are not being transparent about it. You know, I could use the word cover up.

BIRX: I knew I was being watched. Everybody inside was waiting for me to make a misstep.

GUPTA: Were you threatened?

ANNOUNCER: And what's next.

DR. ROBERT KADLEC, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: As bad as this was, it could be worse and there will be another pandemic, guaranteed.

ANNOUNCER: Join Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

GUPTA: We were not testing enough?

REDFIELD: I agree with you.

GUPTA: Why not?

ANNOUNCER: CNN Special Report "COVID War: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out," tomorrow at nine.


BROWN: Maneuvering through misinformation, social media can be filled with that as you have seen during the pandemic and tech giants like Mark Zuckerberg were on the hot seat with lawmakers this week. We're going to talk about it with a key developer of Facebook, Justin Rosenstein join me next.



BROWN: Well, we all spend more time with tech than we'd like to admit and it's changing us, but not for the better. In the Netflix documentary, "The Social Dilemma," many of the creators

of the sites we pay attention to like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram reflect on the dark side of social media especially when it comes to the spread of misinformation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone is entitled to their own facts. There's really no need for people to come together. In fact, there's really no need for people to interact.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have less control over who we are and what we really believe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you want to control the population of your country, there has never been a tool as effective as Facebook.


BROWN: Justin Rosenstein helped develop Google Chat and the "Like" button on Facebook. He is also the cofounder of One Project. Justin, thanks for joining us tonight.


BROWN: So first off, we as a country just went through a bitterly divisive election and then a violent insurrection that's been directly tied to extremism on social media. Now, we're dealing with the spread of misinformation about COVID and vaccines. Here's your former boss getting grilled this week about it.


REP. MIKE DOYLE (D-PA): Why in the midst of a global pandemic that has killed over half a million Americans and that you haven't taken these accounts down that are responsible for the preponderance of vaccine disinformation on your platform.

MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: Congressman, yes we do have a policy against allowing --

DOYLE: Well, I know you have the policy, but will you take the sites down today? You still have 12 people up on your site doing this. Will you take them down?

ZUCKERBERG: Congressman, I would need to look at the -- and have our team look at the exact examples to make sure they are violating the policy in place --

DOYLE: Look at them today and get back to us tomorrow because those still exist.


BROWN: What's your reaction to that? Zuckerberg didn't exactly answer that question directly.

ROSENSTEIN: It is a challenging question because you heard in the hearing Democrats saying that companies like Facebook aren't doing enough to remove misinformation, but at the same time you heard Republicans thinking that companies are removing too much information, removing conservative viewpoints.

I think the problem is deeper, which is that no matter how well intentioned the corporation is, private companies shouldn't be the ones playing Ministry of Truth. It shouldn't be Facebook or Twitter deciding what information gets widely distributed to millions and millions of people and when information gets censored.

What it means to live in a democracy is that those kinds of questions that the institutions that govern our lives are governed by us, the people, not by politicians or corporations.

BROWN: So OK, so let's just boil down what we heard more specifically from Zuckerberg. He said -- in his testimony, he said: "We do more to address misinformation than any other company," then he said, "We will accept paid ads from politicians that are full of misinformation and allow those to be targeted at our users."

So how does that square doing more to address misinformation than any other company, but then, oh, we'll take these paid ads that are political ads and include misinformation, we're okay with that.

ROSENSTEIN: Yes, there's definitely a big challenge in the business model itself. It's on the advertising side, but it's also on the content side, and Frank Pallone, the Committee Chairman said the business model itself has become a problem.

What you see is that, these companies have a direct financial incentive to get us to spend as much time staring at our phones as possible and what keeps people staring at their phones isn't necessarily what's true or what's nuanced or actual, but instead it is what is most salacious, what most plays to people's existing biases.

So the business model is directly set up to incentivize this kind of behavior.

BROWN: So in light of that, do social media profit models mean that Mark Zuckerberg will never willingly police Facebook to get rid of disinfo and those political ads?

ROSENSTEIN: I think that that is very likely the case, but also, I wouldn't want Facebook to be the one that's deciding what information I get to see and what information I don't get to see.

I think it's very dangerous that we're looking to a small group of unelected profit maximizing companies with a small group of oligarchs in California to decide what the public square gets to contain.

I think democracy can survive a storming of the Capitol. I'm not sure it can survive a privately held public sphere. So instead, we need to look at why is it these companies that get to

decide these things in the first place? And instead, given that these -- the public square is so influenced by these new technologies, how do we instead start to think of them as public utilities, where it's not the whim of Mark Zuckerberg that's deciding whether or not certain information gets censored or certain information gets promoted, but that is being decided by the people ourselves?


BROWN: So I want to ask you before we let you go, when you first started at Facebook, did you ever imagine it will grow this big, and be involved in misinformation and disinformation campaigns like this?

ROSENSTEIN: No, absolutely not. I was really inspired joining Facebook by the mission of making the world more open and connected and I'm still inspired by that mission, and really the mission of the -- the emergent mission of the entire internet.

And I still believe that technology can and should and must become a powerful tool for democracy, a powerful tool for us to work together toward truth. It really should be.

You look at sites like Wikipedia that show the power of working together, how we can make sense of reality, and actually form and create new ideas that create better understanding and resolve tensions.

The problem has been that technology instead by being governed by these private entities has torn us apart instead of bringing us together.

I still believe in that promise, and that's why I've started this nonprofit, One Project, that is working to look at what could a vision of the future be and which technology does help us to enable these things and economic incentives that make that a reality.

BROWN: All right, Justin Rosenstein, thanks for coming on the show.

ROSENSTEIN: Thank you so much.

BROWN: And tonight, after more than a hundred civilians are massacred in Myanmar, the country's envoy to the U.N. is begging the international community for help tonight.



BROWN: Overseas today, soldiers in Myanmar shot dead more than 100 people, their fellow citizens in the bloodiest single day in two months since the country's military grabbed power in a coup.

Diplomats for Myanmar, the country also known as Burma are begging the international community to intervene against the military leaders they are now calling murderers. CNN's Ivan Watson is in Hong Kong. IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Pamela, Saturday

was supposed to be Armed Forces Day in Myanmar, a day to celebrate the military. Instead, it became a bloodbath.

We're getting reports of scores of people killed in cities and towns across the country. Demonstrators who tried to come out to protest against the military coup on February 1st that swept a civilian elected government from power and they met lethal force coming from the Security Forces.

Now, the military did throw itself a parade in the capital and that's where General Min Aung Hlaing, the military dictator who declared himself ruler of the country on February 1st, he gave a speech. He promised elections sometime in the future.

He accused ousted government officials of crimes such as corruption. He called Russia a true friend because the only foreign delegation really visible at the military parade came from Russia.

In the meantime, the Security Forces were cracking down hard on the demonstrators. This has been denounced by the embassies of the European Union and Britain in Myanmar. The European Union embassy saying quote, "Armed Forces Day will forever stay engraved as a day of terror and dishonor" -- Pamela.

BROWN: Ivan Watson in Hong Kong for us. Thanks so much, Ivan.

A stuck ship with billions of dollars' worth of cargo can't get through the Suez Canal. Find out how it's now affecting the global economy. We'll be right back. Stay with us.



BROWN: That massive cargo ship wedged in the Suez Canal this weekend is blocking everything coming and going for five days now.

The ship is so huge, it is visible from space and the massive traffic jam it has caused it's not just a nuisance anymore, it is actually affecting the global economy.

Here is CNN's Ben Wedeman on the urgent work to get the ship unstuck.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Pam, five days on and the Suez Canal remains closed, 12 percent of world trade on hold.

Now Saturday, Egyptian authorities claimed they were able to move the bow of the Ever Given ever so slightly, but not enough to open the waterway.

The current effort focuses on dredging around the ship and nudging it free with nearly a dozen tugboats.

The Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority says, however, that the Ever Given is weighed down by 18,300 containers. Now, if this current effort doesn't work, the plan is to bring in floating cranes to remove those containers and lighten the ship's load, but that's going to take time.

All the while, the maritime congestion is continuing to build. At this point, there are more than 320 ships stalled in the waters in and around the Suez Canal -- Pam.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): I think that this is a wake-up call to which side of America do you stand on.

RICHARD ROSE, PRESIDENT, ATLANTA NAACP: The only two things that are missing for this bill is the question of how many bubbles in a bar of soap and how many jellybeans in a jar.

GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R-GA): Simply find out what's in the bill versus just this blank statement of this is Jim Crow or you know this is voter suppression or this is racist, because it is not.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Okay, had we mitigated earlier, had we actually paused earlier, how much of an impact do you think that would have made?

DR. DEBORAH BIRX, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: There were about 100,000 deaths that came from that original surge. All of the rest of them in my mind could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.