HC Wake-Up Call: Trump 'Willing to Do Anything' For Border Security, Social Media Hearings In Senate & U.S., Canada Resume NAFTA Talks

Good morning, Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

President Trump Says He Is “Willing to Do Anything” For Border Security

With just nine days remaining for Congress to pass legislation before a government shutdown occurs, President Donald Trump threatened a shutdown showdown over border security, ABC News reports.

“If it happens, it happens,” Trump shrugged of the possibility of a government shutdown during a photo opportunity with GOP leaders at the White House Wednesday. “If it's about border security, I'm willing to do anything,” Trump said.

via Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Trump’s comments are a stark contrast from congressional leaders who have said that they are hoping to put off funding for a border wall until after the midterm elections.

“We have to protect our borders,” Trump stressed. “If we don't protect our borders, our country won't be a country so if it has to do with border security, I'm willing to do what has to be done.”

Earlier Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan insisted that Trump was on the same page as congressional leaders.

“That's not in anyone's interest, and he knows that,” Ryan said of the possible shutdown. “I think the results will prove itself.”

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said that the congressional leaders’ meeting with Trump on Wednesday was “productive.”

“Well clearly the president campaigned on securing the border and building the wall and we strongly support those efforts,” Scalise said. “There is some wall being built. Obviously there’s a lot more wall that we want to see built.”

As the deadline to pass a funding bill quickly approaches, Scalise said Congress with keep working to pass other appropriations bills ahead of an anticipated short-term continuing resolution that will fund the government through December, ABC News reports.

“I’m confident that the House is working to make sure that we properly fund the military,” Scalise added. “And there are a number of other bills to fund different parts of the government where we have agreement between the House and the Senate, and we’re trying to get all those bills to the president’s desk.”

Currently funding expires at the end of the day on September 30.

Facebook & Twitter Say They Will Do More to Combat Misinformation At Senate Hearing

Senior executives from Facebook and Twitter apologized for their slow response to stop foreign agents using their platforms to interfere in U.S. elections and issued promises to further combat these issues during a social media hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

The Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, which featured the testimony of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, focused on whether regulatory changes are needed for the social media companies, USA Today reports.

“We were too slow to spot this,” Sandberg said in her opening statement, referring to Russian efforts to spread divisive propaganda and misinformation during the 2016 presidential election. “And we were too slow to act. And that is on us.”

via Drew Angerer / Getty Images

“We’re getting better at finding and stopping our opponents,” Sandberg said.

“We weren’t expecting any of this when we created Twitter over 12 years ago,” Dorsey said. “We acknowledge the real-world negative consequences of what happened, and we take full responsibility to fix it. We can’t do this alone, and that’s why this conversation is so important, and why I’m here.”

Both Sandberg and Dorsey outlined the steps their companies are taking to identify and stop foreign campaigns, while also calling for more collaboration between tech companies, the government and third-party researchers.

Dorsey discussed labeling automated accounts, or bots, on Twitter, and Sandberg said Facebook had removed hundreds of pages and accounts engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

When asked by lawmakers how Facebook deals with users intentionally spreading false information, Sandberg said that drawing the distinction between hate speech and misinformation is “very, very difficult.” Sandberg said Facebook has hired third-party fact checkers, and if they deem content false, Facebook decreases its distribution, warns those that have shared that information and provides similar articles so users can view “alternative facts.”

Dorsey said Twitter hadn’t done enough to warn users that they have been following fake accounts or had been targeted by foreign governments, adding that “it’s something we’re going to be diligent to fix.”

According to USA Today, lawmakers said they appreciated the social media companies efforts, but did not know if it was enough to satisfy their concerns.

“I’m skeptical that, ultimately, you’ll be able to truly address this challenge on your own,” said Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee. “Congress is going to have to take action here.”

Sen. Richard Burr, the Republican chairman of the committee, said he still had concerns about the social media companies’ ability to remedy these problems.

“Without question, positive things are happening,” Burr said. “But clearly this problem's not going away; I'm not even sure it's trending in the right direction.”

Google had also been invited to the Intelligence Committee hearing, but declined to send a senior executive, NBC News reports. The committee declined Google’s offer to send its chief legal officer, and so a chair with a “Google” placard was left empty during the hearing.

U.S. & Canada Resume NAFTA Talks

The United States and Canada have resumed and made progress in talks to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement, and officials from both sides worked into the night on Wednesday night to flesh out areas for further discussion.

“We sent them (the officials) a number of issues to work on and they will report back to us in the morning, and we will then continue our negotiations,” Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters when leaving the U.S. Trade Representative’s office in Washington on Wednesday.

via Reuters/Chris Wattie

Freeland sounded upbeat after emerging from talks on Wednesday, saying, “We are making good progress. We continue to get a deeper and deeper understanding of the concerns on both sides.”

Freeland did, however, say that there would be no trade deal until the last issue was nailed down.

President Donald Trump has threatened to move forward with a deal with Mexico, ending the 25-year-old North American trade deal, which covers $1.2 trillion in trade, Reuters reports. The United States and Mexico reached a trade agreement at earlier last week, increasing the pressure for Canada to agree to the new terms in order to be included in the regional trade agreement.

According to Reuters, Trump expressed optimism on Wednesday, saying he expects to know whether a deal could be struck with Canada within the next few days.

Trump nor Freeland have not detailed the progress that has been made between the two North American countries.

The two countries are currently sparring over issues related to Canada’s dairy market and patent protections for U.S. pharmaceuticals.

What to look out for…

September 6 is “Read a Book Day,” so what better way to celebrate than by reading one of these awesome must-read memoirs for college women?