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Zuckerberg at F8 in 2017. Photo: Facebook

In a flurry of media interviews on Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he is willing to testify before Congress, that he can't guarantee that Russians didn't get their hands on Facebook user data and that he isn't sure Facebook shouldn't be regulated.

Why it matters: After remaining silent for several days, Mark Zuckerberg has given interviews with outlets including CNN, Wired, the New York Times and Recode. The interviews answer some, but definitely not all of the questions left unanswered by his earlier Facebook post.

Some key comments:

  • Wired asks "How confident are you that Facebook data didn’t get into the hands of Russian operatives—into the Internet Research Agency, or even into other groups that we may not have found yet?"
I can’t really say that. I hope that we will know that more certainly after we do an audit.
  • He told Recode he is open to testifying before Congress — if he is the right Facebook executive to do so.
I’m open to doing that... We actually do this fairly regularly ... There are lots of different topics that Congress needs and wants to know about, and the way that we approach it is that our responsibility is to make sure that they have access to all of the information that they need to have.
  • CNN: Do you believe Facebook impacted the 2016 election?
That is hard. It's really hard for me to have a full assessment of that.
  • CNN: Given the stakes, why shouldn't Facebook be regulated?
I actually am not sure we shouldn't be regulated.
  • He also finally apologized, in the Recode interview.
We let the community down and I feel really bad and I’m sorry about that.
  • In the New York Times interview (and he made a similar point on CNN), Zuckerberg painted the issues as hard to foresee.
If you had asked me, when I got started with Facebook, if one of the central things I’d need to work on now is preventing governments from interfering in each other’s elections, there’s no way I thought that’s what I’d be doing if we talked in 2004 in my dorm room.

Go deeper

Updated 17 mins ago - Technology

Facebook refers Trump ban to independent Oversight Board for review

Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook's independent Oversight Board has accepted a referral from the platform to review its decision to indefinitely suspend former President Trump.

Why it matters: While Trump critics largely praised the company's decision to remove the then-president's account for potential incitement of violence, many world leaders and free speech advocates pushed back on the decision, arguing it sets a dangerous precedent for free speech moving forward.

Biden plans to keep Christopher Wray as FBI director

FBI Director Christopher Wray at a virtual DOJ news briefing on Oct. 28. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/pool/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden plans to keep Christopher Wray as director of the FBI, CNN first reported and an administration official confirmed to Axios.

The big picture: Wray, who was nominated by former President Trump in 2017 after he fired former FBI Director James Comey, came under heavy criticism from Trump and his allies over the past year.

3 hours ago - World

Netanyahu and Israel reluctantly adjust to a post-Trump Washington

Netanyahu (R) and Biden in 2010. Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO via Getty

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his close aides are very nervous about the transition to a new U.S. administration after a four-year honeymoon with Donald Trump. One Israeli official told me it felt like going through detox.

What he's saying: Netanyahu congratulated Biden minutes after he was sworn in, saying in a statement that he looked forward to working together to "continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran."

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