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8th Boy Pulled Out Alive from Thai Cave; President Trump to Announce His Supreme Court Nominee; British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson Resigns; Aired 10-10:30a ET
Aired July 9, 2018 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:43] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Four more rescues in eight hours. A perilous but productive day in the Thailand cave, where a youth soccer team of 12 boys and their coach have been trapped for more than two weeks.
Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York and we are on this breaking news. Four boys pulled out today, four yesterday. And that means that four teammates remain inside of this cave in Thailand along with their coach. They will stay there for at least another day.
It is right now 9:00 p.m. in Thailand and divers and their gear need to be replenished, despite the coming end of the good weather that has helped in these rescues. Heavy rain could re-flood the tunnels and chambers the teams spent days pumping out last week.
We're live at the cave as well as at the hospital where those eight boys are now being treated and quarantined. Let's begin at the cave. Our Ivan Watson is there.
Ivan, what's the update?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a second day of rescues, with now a total of eight boys brought from deep within the mountain, where they've been hiding, trapped now some 2.5 miles into this mountain for more than two weeks now. Now we've gotten some details from some of the rescue workers about how the boys are being brought out, that they're wearing wet suits, that they have full face masks that are kept on the boys' faces while they're carried on stretchers from the mouth of the cave complex to the field hospital that's been erected nearby there.
And that's where doctors get a close look at the boys after they've made the perilous journey in from the cave where they were trapped. And then they're ferried out by ambulances and then by military helicopters to a hospital in the provincial capital.
You know, the question of why they're wearing wet suits, well, we know that the professional divers, it was taking them about 10 hours to do the round-trip journey from the cave's entrance to where the 12 boys were trapped with their soccer coach for more than two weeks, and then back out again. Presumably there are long stretches where the boys would be in cold water. They're weakened -- in a weakened state, they're dehydrated, malnutrition as well.
So those wet suits keeping them warm. The full face masks because they're not trained divers. And something to underscore here, this is -- there's good news that eight boys have been brought out. We don't know the medical condition of all of them, but this same journey killed one professional former Thai Royal Navy diver just last week. And that's why we can't afford to get too euphoric when there are four boys still trapped inside and another soccer coach. And when there are divers from around the world, risking their lives to try to bring out the remaining trapped people -- Poppy.
HARLOW: Absolutely, Ivan. I'm so glad you said that. We are thinking of all of those four boys. The coach still inside and the eight being treated at the hospital.
Ivan Watson, thank you.
Let's go to the hospital now. Our Matt Rivers is outside. And Matt, we're learning some details about these boys. I understand they're in quarantine. They can't see their families immediately. What are they undergoing?
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, what we've seen over the last couple of hours here, Poppy, is each boy successfully brought into this hospital, airlifted from the cave entrance to an area south of here, an old airport, driven by ambulance here to the ER behind me. They're taken up to the eighth floor of this hospital, Poppy, which had been turned into from a normal ward into an area that has been sterilized. It's an isolation unit. And that's where each boy will have to be kept for one to two days after he is brought off the cave.
What doctors are saying is the reason for that is kind of an abundance of caution. They want to make sure that their immune systems aren't too weak to be able to fight off other infections. They want to make sure they didn't bring certain pathogens out of the cave that could affect not only their health, but the health of others around them. And so as a result, they're being isolated. If their parents come to see them, they would have to wear a suit and a special infection-proof suit, if you will, and they won't be able to get within two meters of where their boys are.
So they won't be able to give them that hug, at least initially, that you can imagine they would want to give them. But shortly thereafter, they'd be able to do that. And we expect them to remain in the hospital for five to seven days, maybe longer than that, under observation to make sure that no other symptoms from any other kind of illness develops, so their recovery goes as smoothly as possible -- Poppy.
[10:05:09] HARLOW: OK. All right, Matt Rivers, thank you so much. And we're thinking of those four that still remain, those four boys as we look at those images in that cave.
I'm joined now by cave rescue expert, Anmar Mirza, and also Dr. Carole Lieberman, a psychiatrist and former scuba doctor. Thank you both for being here.
Dr. Lieberman, let's just talk about the mental state of these young boys. How optimistic they may be. And if they even know that the eight got out safely. Hopefully that message is getting to them. But what does that do to their mental state, to know that their friends are out?
DR. CAROLE LIEBERMAN, FORMER SCUBA DOCTOR, DIVER: Well, hopefully they at least know that the first four got out because the divers would have gone back to get the next set.
HARLOW: Right. Sure.
LIEBERMAN: And that is so important, you know, to make them believe that they can do it. Now, of course, the problem is, that it seems like they're taking the healthiest boys out, physically and psychologically the healthiest, and that means that these other boys who were weaker were exposed more to the elements of being in the cave, both the psychological elements, you know, being in this darkened space, and so on. Also, the fear each time that people leave that they're not going to come back, that something's going to happen and they're not going to be able to get out.
Also the reality of it, that now it's my turn, I have to do this. These other people did it, but you know, can I do it? So it's all of that.
HARLOW: Right. Anmar, to you, when you look at the extremities that they're going through, I had read that it's the first kilometer of this hours-long journey out of the cave that is the most perilous and the most treacherous for these boys, and you look at how difficult it is, that even an expert diver died on this journey, what stands out to you the most about what's ahead still for these remaining four boys and their coach?
ANMAR MIRZA, CAVE RESCUE EXPERT: Well, the fact that we've gotten now eight of them out actually is a very, very good sign, obviously. But what it means is that the people who are in there and they're staged and they're running the plan have now had two opportunities to run the plan, to fine-tune it, to take out any problems that they can. And it runs more efficiently, the more practice you get with it.
It's still dangerous, but I'm far more optimistic now than I was before. The fact that the water was pumped down to the degree it was, though, makes it a lot less risky and a lot less strenuous than it was in the beginning, and then when the later diver died.
HARLOW: But you do have this, you know, very heavy rainfall, that is forecast. And you talk about the time it took them to pump, Anmar, all of that water out. And now how could this complicate efforts in the next 24 hours?
MIRZA: Well, that is the big problem. If the rainfall comes and they cannot pump it out enough to allow them the last little bit of the operation to go, then we're back to a real problem again. It's still a problem if they're doing it the way they're doing it now, but the weather has always been, from the very beginning of this, the weather has always been the biggest variable and the biggest hazard.
HARLOW: Carole, again back to the long-term impact on these boys. Hopefully all 12 make it out safely and their coach. When the, you know, news cameras are gone and when they are not inspect headlines anymore, what is the long-term impact on them? Because they can't talk to their friends and family and say, you know what it's like to go through something like this, because no one else does.
LIEBERMAN: Right. Right, I mean, of course, it's the team, the team, being able to talk together and be together, you know, teamwork that they've been doing, and that's been helping them all along actually. The cohesiveness that they have as a team. But, you know, they are going to be having posttraumatic stress disorder, some more than others. And that will depend upon who they were before they got trapped in the cave. In other words, the healthier they were psychologically before they got trapped, the more -- the easier it will be for them to deal with the psychological problems caused by being trapped.
But, you know, they're going to have things like, they probably will have nightmares, they will have intrusive thoughts about what happened in the cave. They may have flashbacks. Chances are, they're not going to want to go cave exploring anytime soon. They might have fears of the water. You know --
HARLOW: But what about the resilience it can build, right? I mean, knowing that you can survive something like this.
LIEBERMAN: Well, it's kind of a double-edged sword. Yes, on the one hand, you know, they'll be thinking, I survived this. And of course, they're going to be getting lots of kudos.
LIEBERMAN: Everybody's been watching that they were resilient enough and strong enough to survive it. But on the other hand, that doesn't protect them from being plagued by things like nightmares.
HARLOW: Of course.
[10:10:05] LIEBERMAN: And my concern is that people are going to skip over this and think that if they come out and they say, you know, I want fried chicken, that they're going to think, oh, well, this must mean they're healthy.
LIEBERMAN: And fine.
HARLOW: Mm-hmm. Anmar, just finally to you, the divers that are doing this, it does appear that they -- each time they do this trip, it's taking less time, they're becoming even more expert at navigating these tunnels. Is it the same divers, do you believe, that are going in and out each time? And how much does it benefit them that they've now been, you know, in and out a series of times?
MIRZA: Knowing the route and knowing the hazards in there is absolutely important. And it is, my understanding is it is the main primary batch of divers who are doing this.
MIRZA: Once they know the hazards within the route, they can easily avoid them. So the unknown is always harder. And they also have gotten a lot of practice with the techniques that they're using, specifically to bring the boys out, which certainly makes that go smoother.
HARLOW: Anmar Mirza, thank you. Dr. Carole Lieberman, appreciate you both being here.
And again, four more boys, their coach, we're waiting for them to be rescued hopefully tomorrow morning.
All right, we're less than 12 hours away from President Trump's primetime announcement on his Supreme Court nominee. Then the real battle begins on Capitol Hill.
Plus, Rudy Giuliani says Michael Cohen just needs to tell the truth to prosecutors, but a source telling CNN Michael Cohen is trying to send a clear signal to the president, the truth isn't your friend, next.
[10:15:55] HARLOW: Tonight, President Trump will reveal his Supreme Court nominee. It will happen at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, of course, in primetime, and you'll see it here. All indications are he's narrowed his choice to one of these four justices you see on your screen.
Abby Phillip is live at the White House with more. And our reporting, apparently, Abby, is that he has not decided which of those four justices he will nominate, but he will decide in less than two hours.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Poppy. This is a moving target, but as of this morning, our sources were telling us the president, if he has decided, he hasn't made it known to people who are close to the process. He did say last night upon returning to Washington from New Jersey where he spent the weekend deliberating on this, that he was planning on making a decision by noon today. But this is coming down to like you just showed up on the screen about four candidates who have been in the sort of top tier for quite a while now.
But one of the most interesting developments over the weekend is that we've learned, sources are telling us that Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, has told President Trump who he thinks will be the easiest of those candidates to confirm. Those two candidates are Thomas Hardiman and Raymond Kethledge. Those two, McConnell believes, could be the easiest. They won't be as polarizing as some of these other candidates out there. Hardiman, as you see there, was the runner-up the last time around. So he's already been through quite a bit of this vetting process.
Now there were two other candidates on the list. Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, both of whom had been believed to be kind of rising up and down in the president's estimation in the last few days. And both of those folks are still obviously in the running, but there have been some concerns from conservatives that perhaps they're too polarizing. Amy Coney Barrett has been the target of Democrats who believe that she is likely to repeal Roe versus Wade. And then Brett Kavanaugh is someone who has a long traditional record, but perhaps so long, that Democrats can poke a lot of holes in it in a confirmation process.
So there's a lot that the president is weighing here. But obviously this decision is his and his only. He says it's going to be by noon, but of course 9:00 p.m. is still quite a ways away and he can take perhaps as long as he wants to make this decision -- Poppy.
HARLOW: Sure. Yes. Of course he can. And it's his decision to make. But of course, conservative senators like Ted Cruz, like Senator Rand Paul, Tom Cotton, have expressed concerns about Kavanaugh directly to the White House. We'll see how this plays out.
Abby, thank you for the reporting.
With me now, Steve Vladeck, CNN contributor and law professor at the University of Texas, also Jamil Jaffer is with us, an associate counsel for the president in the George W. Bush White House, also previously clerked for Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch before he was on the high court.
Nice to have you both. Thank you for being.
Steve, you just wrote something interesting on Twitter. And, you know, look, these justices are not all the same, they have important differences, but those differences pale in comparison to how different all four of them would be to Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose seat they will be taking.
STEVE VLADECK, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I mean, Poppy, I think that's the important point. That for all the drama we're going to see over the next, you know, nine, 10, 11 hours, with regard to who the president's pick is going to be, at the end of the day, all four of the folks on the top of the short list really are, you know, strongly conservative nominees, folks who would move the court to the right.
Poppy, folks who would really make John Roberts, the chief justice, the center vote on the nine-member court. I think it's important we not lose track of that, even as we've seen conservative groups going after one name versus another, Democrats lining up to get ready to go after one versus the other. If it's any of these four folks, unless the president throws us a curve ball, this is someone who's going to move the court meaningfully to the right, you know, in ways that I think are going to affect a lot of Americans far beyond one issue like abortion or one set of cases, like with Brett Kavanaugh, you know, presidential power. HARLOW: So, Jamil, to Brett Kavanaugh, that Steve brings up, you do
have those senators that I mentioned, Republican senators, who expressed concern about him to the White House. Some thinking that the dissents he wrote on some key cases, including one Texas abortion case, didn't go far enough. There's concern that the administration can't go through all the paperwork from his time in the Bush White House ahead of 9:00 p.m. tonight.
[10:20:06] But you do have him as reportedly a favorite of White House counsel Don McGahn. And on the flipside of that, you have Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who was so key in the Gorsuch appointment, saying Hardiman or Kethledge would be a safer pick for the president in terms of getting him confirmed. What's your read?
JAMIL JAFFER, FORMER ASSOCIATE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL, GEORGE W. BUSH ADMINISTRATION: Well, look, Poppy, I mean, the president hardly goes with the safe move on almost any issue. He likes to be bold, he likes to be bold-leaning. It wouldn't surprise me if he went with Brett. Brett is a solid conservative candidate. He's very smart. This idea that somehow Brett is not conservative enough, totally false. He's right within the mainstream, as are all four of these candidates.
To be sure, they're conservative. I don't agree with Steve that they would move the court substantial to the right. I think that discussing the court even in a right-to-left dynamic is really inaccurate. When you really think about what the judges do and they way think about these issues, it's all about whether they follow the law that Texas perhaps, like Congress and the Constitution by the framers or to be --
HARLOW: Yes, but it's different -- but when you look at abortion rights, Jamil, and you look at Roe versus Wade and you look at what the president himself said at CBS in 2016, that judges will be pro- life, that's a quote from the president, when asked about Supreme Court justice nominations, and you look at the issue of stare decisis, right? How these justices read a precedent? What's been determined by the court which Roe has, and whether or not a precedent should be overturned. So that is a significant difference.
JAFFER: Sure. Great point, Poppy. I mean, the thing is, look, we've been talking about Roe v. Wade and these -- the sort of concern it'll be overturned since 1987. Hasn't happened. I think you're right, though, to raise this question of how a judge views stare decisis, that's an important point about the role of the judge. But, you know, the hard question here is whether the president is really looking for a pro-life candidate because he hasn't asked that question.
It's been very clear that throughout this process, he's not asking that question. Now it's true, he's looking for judges that have a limited view of the role of the judge like Neil Gorsuch who believe that judges who wear robes, not capes, they're not caped crusaders. They're judges doing their jobs.
You're right these are hard questions. But at the end of the day, I think the hard thing to figure out is whether the judge is going to move the court or not.
JAFFER: I think the answer is we don't know that.
HARLOW: Steve, 30-second response?
VLADECK: Yes. I mean, I think it's just worth stressing. I mean, this notion that only conservative judges are faithful to the Constitution and the text is bollocks. I mean, the reality is that if you look at the last month of the Supreme Court's term just this year, Poppy, you had the conservative majority getting rid of three precedents. You had the conservative majority reading into the First Amendment rules that aren't there.
So, you know, let's not delude ourselves into thinking that this is about mainstream nominees. The president has the power right now to push through someone who is a very conservative nominee. I think that's what we're going to see tonight. And I think it's worth stressing that it's going to move the court decidedly to the right, for better or for worse.
HARLOW: Steve Vladeck, Jamil Jaffer, thank you, both. We have to leave it there because I do have breaking news to get to out of the UK.
British Foreign secretary Boris Johnson is resigning. The prime minister just accepting his resignation letter.
Nic Robertson is outside of 10 Downing Street. The significance of this -- Nic.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It's big, it's very big. We had overnight into Monday morning here the resignation of David Davis, the Brexit secretary, the minister in charge of getting Britain out of the European Union. That was a big blow for the prime minister. David Davis was a very strong component of the key ministers that wanted a strong, tough Brexit.
Britain leaving the European Union very clearly able to negotiate independent trade deals around the world, free of any European Union legislation and controls. Boris Johnson's resignation as perhaps the -- one of the biggest and most vocal critics of Theresa May inside her Cabinet, absolutely hammers double down but rings much louder on the resignation of David Davis.
Why? Because Boris Johnson is a charismatic figure. He may well draw in enough support and others to positions of resigning or potentially calling for a vote of no confidence in the prime minister. That would be absolutely huge, with a potential for bringing down her government.
What we are expecting to see in the next five or 10 minutes is the prime minister deliver in parliament her explanation of her new Brexit plan. This was what was unveiled to her Cabinet at a sequestered session on Friday night. It was understood then that the whole Cabinet had signed up to that, including Boris Johnson, who described it in some very fruity and negative language. But the understanding was that everyone signed up.
Now Monday morning, that's absolutely not the case. Her whole deck of cards is falling apart. Boris Johnson, one of the biggest, most charismatic figures in her Cabinet stepping down. What other dominos are going to fall after this? That's the question.
[10:25:01] HARLOW: And just days before President Trump lands in Britain to hold these meetings with the prime minister.
Nic Robertson, appreciate the breaking news. Thank you.
The truth is not your friend. The president's former so-called fixer, sending a clear signal to the president. That breaking news, next.
HARLOW: As tomorrow's deadline approaches, mandating that the Trump administration reunite children under 5 years old with their parents who were separated at the border, in just hours a court hearing will take place where a federal judge will decide if the administration should have more time.
The administration says they're working tirelessly to reunite these children with their parents, but what will the federal judge say?