CNN’s Brianna Keilar Grills Sen. Hirono: Were You Told to Go Easy on Facebook By Chuck Schumer?


Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) defended Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) after a New York Times investigation reported that he attempted to interfere in an Intelligence Committee probe into Facebook’s handling of Russian misinformation.

Speaking to CNN on Thursday, roughly 24 hours after the article was published, Hirono was grilled by anchor Brianna Keilar — who wanted to know whether Schumer encouraged her to take it easy on the social media giant.

“Not at all,” Hirono said. “What these new revelations point out is that we, the Congress, should think about regulations of some sort because it’s disturbing to know that Facebook had information ahead of time.”

In the Times investigation, Facebook is said to have been aware of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election at least months before voting had even occurred, despite C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg‘s claim that any idea his company helped to determine the outcome was “crazy.” In addition, the company allegedly hoped to manage the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica data abuse scandal with damage control.

The Times also reported the Schumer told Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) to lighten up on his treatment of Facebook, though Hirono said Schumer did not speak to her personally about the matter.

“I don’t know if Mark Warner did take it easy, but Chuck Schumer certainly didn’t say anything to me about Facebook.”

Pushed by Keilar to say whether it would be appropriate to give the company special treatment, Hirno said no.

“Not at all. You’re presuming that somehow whatever conversations he had to that — to what you are saying that it has a kind of an effect and I don’t know that it had because I was at the hearing when Zuckerberg came to testify and at that point it wasn’t clear to me anyway what kind of appropriate regulation there should be,” she said. “It was an open question. Now I think we need to revisit that issue.”

Watch the clip above via CNN.

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