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Eyewitness: Five Boy Rescued from Thai Cave; Trump to Announce Supreme Court Nominee Tonight. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired July 9, 2018 - 06:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

[05:58:38] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Monday, July 9, 6 a.m. here in New York. Erica Hill here, in for Alisyn.

The breaking news from Thailand: The miracle apparently continues. The rescue operations back underway there, and an eyewitness tells CNN that a fifth boy has been carried out of the cave. This happened just a few minutes ago. That means there are still seven boys and their soccer coach trapped inside that cave with oxygen levels falling and the water levels threatening to rise.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Now the four boys who were successfully freed on Sunday were obviously cause for so much hope and celebration. The task, though, as John mentioned, is growing difficult and dangerous, more so by the moment.

We want to begin with Ivan Watson, who's live there in northern Thailand with more on the breaking news on those rescue efforts and this fifth boy -- Ivan.


Yes, delighted to report that, according to this eyewitness, part of the rescue operation, stationed at the entrance to the cave complex, says that about 40 minutes ago, 4:27 p.m. local time, he witnessed a fifth boy being taken out, taken out on a stretcher.

Now, this is about six hours after a second day of the rescue operation began, with roughly the same multinational team that was here yesterday and that successfully rescued four boys from deep within the mountain behind me, after more than two weeks trapped deep underground by rushing waters that forced them to take shelter so far within that mountain.

Those four boys were rescued with the help of full face masks, because of course, they're not trained scuba divers, and this is very perilous journey even for the most trained, since a Thai former navy SEAL died last week when he ran out of oxygen, trying to make that same journey.

The rescued boys are taken to a hospital about an hour's drive from where I am right now, and they remain in quarantine. Their parents are not yet allowed to see them yet. And a parent has told CNN that all of the parents are essentially remaining at the base camp up in the mountain in solidarity, and they're not even being informed which boy is rescued first.

And this is part of this ongoing very delicate procedure. We don't know how many boys the rescuers are hoping to pull out today, but certainly, this is a very positive development on day two of rescuing these children from the cave network deep inside the mountain -- John and Erica.

BERMAN: All right. Ivan Watson for us in Thailand. Ivan, thank you very much.

As we continue to look at some of the pictures that we've seen from over the last few days, from this extraordinary and really miraculous rescue. Joining us now is an experienced cave rescuer, Michael McDonald, and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Michael, I want to start with you here. This fifth -- this fifth player rescued from the cave today, again, took about six hours. Continued success there. Do you believe this is getting easier now for the rescuers as they continue their efforts?

MICHAEL MCDONALD, EXPERIENCED CAVE RESCUER: Absolutely. As each boy comes out and morale increases, they would have honed their techniques. They would have put right any wrongs and any mistakes they made with the previous rescues. They would have ironed all the problems out. They're on a roll. They've got momentum going. And it's basically more of the same.

But certainly, as each boy comes out, morale grows, both with the boys remaining in the chamber and also, of course, the rescuers. And they would have sorted themselves out now. They would know where all the tanks are going to be, where all the personnel have to be. And they would have learned from their mistakes over the last 24 hours, if there were any, which I'm sure there were, because there always are in a rescue. And they would have learned by then, and they would have accentuated the positives. So it all looks good for the time being.

HILL: In terms of the divers themselves, the fact that they're going in and out -- and this is a long, arduous journey, as we know. How much does that come into play, Sanjay, as we're looking at these teams in terms of the rest that they legitimately need and yet the clock that is ticking, based on the water levels and the oxygen levels.


MCDONALD: Yes, the --

GUPTA: Go ahead.

MCDONALD: Yes, the well-being of the rescuers is absolutely paramount. In any rescue, the basic cardinal rule is you look after your rescuers almost as much as the people you're rescuing. Because there is no merit at all in rescuing somebody if you're losing some divers along the way. So each diver has to look for himself, his air supply, how tired he

is, his sleep patterns and all the rest of it. So yes, managing that is a massive task. And hopefully, because the Army are involved here, the military involved, they'll be treating it like a military operation which will hopefully safeguard the well-being of the -- of the divers.

BERMAN: Again, the breaking news this morning, as an eyewitness outside this cave in Thailand tells us that a fifth child has been rescued, spotted on a stretcher being pulled from the cave.

Sanjay, four in hospital still from yesterday. What's the first order of business in treating these children as they are removed from the cave?

GUPTA: At the very site where they're removed from the cave, it's basic triage. You want to make a determination at that point of how the boy is doing, how quickly they need to be going to more advanced care in the hospital.

And it's sort of basic stuff in terms of ABC: airway, how is the airway going? Is the person breathing OK, B. And circulation. Has there been so much dehydration that it's caused a lowering of the blood pressure? Those types of things. Are there any obvious signs of trauma? Whatever that sort of initial triage has done and then a determination made, go by ambulance, go by helicopter, whatever it may be in terms of the speed to the hospital.

After that, it's the things that's you'd expect. Certainly, you know, malnutrition, hypothermia, dehydration, all of that physically needs to be addressed. Any there any signs of infection?

There is this thing that's called cave disease, which really refers to something known as histoplasmosis. You don't need to remember the name, but basically remember this. There are these types of infectious agents, typically fungus agents, that can reside in caves, that can get into your lungs, that can cause a sort of histoplasmosis lung, and they need to be evaluated for that, as well.

[06:05:12] It's not typically contagious, so that's the good news there. But they do keep an eye and assess the boys for those types of things, as well. That's the physical part of it.

The psychological part of it starts almost simultaneously, in terms of, you know, reacclimating these boys.

HILL: In terms of that psychological part of it, too, Sanjay, let's stay on that for just a moment. Because we heard so much in the build up to these rescues, that one of the main factors was going to be, obviously, keeping these kids calm as they get them out, but also being able to get word back to some of the other boys that there have been the kids who went before them that got out successfully. That must go a long way toward helping with that potential anxiety.

GUPTA: I think there's no doubt. You know, you hear that the rescues have gone along successfully, that certainly would buoy up the spirits of the people who are left behind.

The anxiety here, you know, takes on a different meaning, as well, as compared to other rescues. Clearly, there's going to be a component of post-traumatic stress and anxiety, a fear of these very confined places, maybe the water itself.

But when it comes to diving, when our expert here, I'm sure, can comment more than me, but someone develops an anxiety while being rescued in scuba, in the scuba rescue, that could be a life- threatening event for the boy as well as the rescue divers. Somebody may take off their mask all of a sudden, you know, panic, whatever it may be.

So yes, relieving the anxiety, addressing that, both in the short term and then the long term, it takes on a whole level of added significance.

BERMAN: John Avlon here watching this alongside us -- John.

JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm just -- I mean, it is riveting. It is stunning that, after the first four boys were taken out, there was a long gap, and one wondered what that was about. Now we have a report of a fifth, and all of this comes after the first diver passed.

I guess what I wonder is what have they learned from that first passing of the diver, and why was there a delay between the first four? Because we're not yet at the halfway point.

BERMAN: Michael.

MCDONALD: As far as I understand, the reason for the delay was to fill a lot of the diving tanks, which are, of course, empty, and also, I suspect, to give the divers are rest. Obviously, there was a stream of divers going in, but nevertheless, they need a certain amount of personnel in there. And if those divers were tired or incapable of performing their duties properly, then, of course, it is safe to call a halt in proceedings. But I think mainly it was to start -- keep feeling the diving tanks with air.

BERMAN: They staged oxygen tanks all along the four-kilometer path in there, and they used them all yesterday in the rescue efforts to get those four children out. I assume the same thing will happen today.

Sanjay, so much has been made of the fact that we think -- we're not 100 percent sure -- but we think that they took the healthiest boys out first. If that's true, Sanjay, it means that the greatest concerns are for the children and maybe the coach still trapped inside there. What are your concerns there?

GUPTA: Well, this is a judgment call I'm sure they made at the time. I mean, typically, in medical triage, you take care of the sickest first, because you know, they're the ones that are most at risk. But this is a wholly unusual situation.

And as I think Michael is sort of alluding to, each time they do this, they are learning more and more. So one could make the argument -- it sounds like the argument they made here -- that by the time they get to the boys who are either the sickest, the most frail, the ones that they had the most concern about. They'll have done this a bunch of times and feel like they have really streamlined the process for getting those boys out.

That's my thinking, and that's probably what's happening here. But it's -- it's a judgement call. You know, this is something I think we're all probably going to learn from. We've covered a lot of these sorts of disasters. Each one is a little bit different.

And here's the different one here. When you add the scuba part to the rescue, it changes, you know, I think the decision making as far as who goes first.

BERMAN: So far, these decision are paying off. Let us hope it continues.

We are watching this throughout the morning. Again, the breaking news: a fifth child pull from that cave. It appears there could be more on the way. We're going to have a live report from the hospital in just moments.

HILL: Also in a matter of hour, President Trump set to announce his nominee for the Supreme Court. That move will kick off another confirmation battle as the president heads to Europe tomorrow.

CNN's Abby Phillip is live now at the White House with more.

Abby, good morning.

PHILLIP: Well, good morning, Erica.

The president is kicking off a really big week for his presidency today. He has a big announcement for the Supreme Court justice tonight, at 9 p.m. in primetime. But the president told reporters over the weekend that he still hasn't made a decision, after deliberating for days at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm very close to making a decision. I have not made it official yet, obviously. Have not made it final.

PHILLIP (voice-over): President Trump teasing tonight's primetime Supreme Court announcement after some last-minute, behind-the-scenes jockeying at his New Jersey golf club.

[06:10:07] TRUMP: Let's say it's the four people, but they're excellent, everyone. You can't go wrong.

PHILLIPS: Republicans praising the four leading candidates who, sources say, include federal appeals court judges Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Raymond Kethledge, and Thomas Hardiman, the runner-up to President Trump's first pick to the high court. SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Republicans are holding four

lottery tickets, and all of them are winners.

PHILLIP: Sources tell CNN that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been urging President Trump to choose either Kethledge or Hardiman, who he feels will have the best odds of getting confirmed quickly in this crucial midterm year.

SEN. ROY BLUNT (R), MISSOURI: I think the president has to think about who is the easiest to get confirmed here.

PHILLIP: Democrats vowing to stonewall any nominee who would seek to overturn rulings protecting minority rights.

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: I've never seen a president of the United States, in effect, make himself a puppet of outside groups and choose from a group of right-wing, fringe ideologues.

PHILLIP: But blocking the appointment will be near impossible for Democrats. The Senate only needs 50 votes to confirm a Supreme Court nominee, meaning that if all but one Republican vote along party lines, they will not need any Democratic support.

Three Democrats voted in favor of President Trump's first nominee, Justice Neil Gorsuch, and newly-elected red state Democrat, Senator Doug Jones, signaled he plans to vote independent of party.

SEN. DOUG JONES (D), ALABAMA: I don't think my role is a rubber stamp for the president, but it's also not an automatic knee jerk no, either.

PHILLIP: This as the Trump administration struggles to reunited the youngest children separated from their parents at the border before Tuesday's deadline. The administration requesting more time and releasing a list of roughly 100 kids under the age of 5 to the American Civil Liberties Union. Government officials say they still need to track down dozens of parents who are no longer in custody, including 19 who were already deported.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vote you out! Vote you out!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vote you out! Vote you out!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vote you out! Vote you out!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are the babies, Mitch?

PHILLIPS: Protestors confronting McConnell about the separated children as he left a Kentucky restaurant Saturday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you doing to give the babies back?


PHILLIP: And these two issues are going to dominate President Trump's plate before he leaves for Brussels for the NATO conference tomorrow. He's got a big, packed week ahead of him this week. He's going to the U.K. on Thursday to meet with the prime minister and the queen, followed by Scotland, where he plans to visit one of his golf properties there before Helsinki, Finland, where he has that big meeting with Vladimir Putin.

Back to you, John.

BERMAN: All right. Abby Phillip for us at the White House.

So who will the Supreme Court pick be? We're going to talk to one of the best Supreme Court reporters on earth coming up next.


[06:16:38] HILL: President Trump will announce his pick for the Supreme Court tonight. The president now says it's down to four finalists.

Let's bring in CNN legal analyst Joan Biskupic and CNN political analyst David Gregory.

As we look at all of this, obviously, Joan, everybody is trying to handicap this. Where could we go with these four? And there is a fair amount being made of a real push. People trying to get to the president to say, "Let's go with the path of least resistance," essentially.

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That's right. This all comes down to both credentials and confirmability. And for, you know, several -- the last few weeks, since Justice Kennedy announced his retirement, it's all been about who's going to be the splashy candidate that Donald Trump will pick?

But now, he's got to think about who can he get throughout without spending too much political capital and making sure Mitch McConnell can work with who he chooses.

And I would say, Erica and John, it kind of falls into two categories here once we get to those four.

Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett could be more lightning rods for opposition -- for the opposition, frankly, for like, two different reasons. One because Brett Kavanaugh has such a large record. He's probably the most credentialed of the four, but that also means that he has more to pick apart. He's been in Washington since the early '90s, worked for Ken Starr, worked for George W. Bush, has been on the federal court of appeals for 12 years. There's just a lot of material there.

Amy Coney Barrett, conversely, has not much of a record. That makes her a little bit of a risk for the White House and also for senators. She was a Notre Dame law professor. She's now on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit based in Chicago. And some of her writings on religion left senators during her confirmation hearing expressing doubts whether she would vote to uphold Roe v. Wade. The other two individuals have been on their appeals courts for, you

know, 11 and 12 years, but they don't have the kind of record that's as meaty. They're consistently conservative but not in distinctive ways that could cause a fight at the outset, I would say. And that's Raymond Kethledge and Thomas Hardiman.

BERMAN: And David Gregory, Thomas Hardiman, we know, was the runner up to Neil Gorsuch last time around. And it does seem that Hardiman has sort of taken a dark horse, vaulting to the front of the pack here. We've been told that the president was calling people about Hardiman over the weekend. We know his sister had recommended Hardiman last time around. We know that he drove a taxicab to work his way through college, Notre Dame and Georgetown, to provide a contrast to the Harvard and Yale --


BERMAN: -- members of the court right now. He seems to be on the rise, insofar as you can tell these things.

GREGORY: Yes, and you know, that could also just be a nod towards some of those like his sister, the president's sister, advocating for him. He's a guy from Pennsylvania. It's a good biography, good politics.

It is interesting, though. I mean, Justice Scalia used to make the point, as Joan knows better than I do, about more diversity on the court, and by that he meant, in part, more educational diversity. Not everyone coming from the top law schools in the country.

A couple things come to mind to me this morning, on an important day for the president. Look at how he handled the Gorsuch nomination. This was something he did very much by the conservative book. He went with intellect. He went with pedigree. He went with somebody who was arguably to the right of Justice Scalia to put him on the court, someone who had clerked for Scalia, as well. What's interesting about Kavanaugh, Kavanaugh clerked for Kennedy as well.

[06:20:18] And you have to bear in mind, too, inside the legal world, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is the feeder to the Supreme Court. This is so high-profile. And folks who have gotten on this court, like John Roberts before him, are -- have been confirmed and have gone through a pretty rigorous test in the Congress.

Remember, too, the D.C. circuit handles something that conservatives care a lot about, and that is the administrative state. Government regulation is what comes before them every day.

So this is where Kavanaugh has a very strong record that conservatives will like. So all those things Joe said are absolutely right. And the confirmability, this is a very tough vote.

This, I think, for the president is a big legacy play here, too. He doesn't want to get this wrong, doesn't want to be too risky on this, though I'm sure he would love to nominate Barrett and really take on Democrats by nominating a woman with very strong views that would -- they would perceive as being toward overturning Roe v. Wade. He can also do that later, should the seat become open by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and I think that's some of the advice he's getting.

So a lot of different factors here.

HILL: And we were talking a little bit about that, actually, even in just the break: the impact of the choice in the moment, right?


HILL: And what that brings to the president, but also, John, we were talking about the lasting impact in terms of putting someone on that court who is going to, in his mind, hopefully, continue to push things a little bit further to the right.

AVLON: Yes, look, that's obviously the aim. That's why you outsource this to the Federalists Society. The feeling is that we're going to check the box, make sure that the base is protected. And all this is done around the frame the president can't resist, doing the reality show frame for something as serious and legacy-driven as a Supreme Court nomination.

I think what's extraordinary about these final four, so to speak, is that -- is that Kavanaugh's experience, as Gregory said, is being used against him. That seems to be a dangerous sign of the times.

We all get the political risk of having a long record, but that's the kind of thing that would normally quality as someone to be a great jurist. The downside is, for some Republican and libertarian-minded critics, is he is a Bush guy. He's a big defender of presidential prerogative. And that could be valuable to President Trump down the road.

What's interesting is McConnell over the weekend allegedly calling the president to push Hardiman and Kethledge, saying that their lack of a deeper bench but their real solid conservative credentials makes it an easier lift for the Senate. So keep an eye on that.

BERMAN: We're going to shift gears in just a second. Before we do, Joan, you do so much reporting on this. Where is it this morning, do you think? If you had to put your chips in one -- you know, one basket, what would it be?

BISKUPIC: Well, it's funny you say that, because I was thinking about what a past president would do, and I think a past president would go with Brett Kavanaugh, just because he's tried and true. It would give the administration confidence based on his past record.

But John -- Erica and John, I just cannot predict President Trump based on past presidents. I don't think it's going to be Judge Barrett. I think that's a tough one and that they, as John just mentioned, she might be worth saving for down the road so that she's more tested herself and readier for the confirmation process.

I'm not betting money on this one, but I guess, to answer your question, I would -- I would say -- it's hard to say it out loud. I hate to say it out loud, because don't want to, you know -- I would say Judge Kavanaugh would be the traditional pick. Let's just put it that way.

GREGORY: And what's interesting about --

AVLON: -- un-helped by this assessment.

GREGORY: Right. But what's so interesting to me is that this is an area where -- where we have seen Trump really keep his own passions at bay, and his own impulsivity at bay. That's the big test here, is whether he does something different. He's got to worry about the confirmation but also staying true to this kind of -- the judicial monastery of what's best is a more predictable choice moving forward.

BERMAN: He has been able to put his energy into the theatrics of the whole thing --


BERMAN: Golfing with Sean Hannity, setting up this arbitrary 9 p.m. news conference and teasing to it for eight days and still claiming he's still thinking about it.

AVLON: Exactly.

BERMAN: Maybe getting something out of that.

BISKUPIC: I want to say one other thing, to Erica's point, about how long-lasting this is. You, your children, and your children's children will be living under the law of -- of this new justice.

HILL: Right. All right. Well, we're going to have to leave it there, unfortunately. But it will not be the last time we have this conversation, obviously. Thank you all.

Stay with us, too, for special live coverage of the president's Supreme Court announcement. That will happen tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern.

BERMAN: All right. The breaking news this morning is a fifth boy has been rescued from the cave in Thailand. We understand he was just air-lifted to the hospital. We will have a live report from that hospital next.


[06:29:09] BERMAN: To the breaking news out of Thailand this morning. An eyewitness tells CNN that a fifth boy has been carried out of the cave. This happened about an hour ago exactly. The rescue operations have begun again there. Seven boys and their soccer coach remain trapped inside that flooded cave. They've been there now for 17 days. We understand this one rescued boy being airlifted to the hospital now.

CNN's Matt Rivers live at that hospital in Northern Thailand.

Matt, what are you seeing?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, what happened, according to a source, is that that boy came out of the cave, was put in an ambulance, driven to the helipad. And then shortly thereafter, my colleague, Ivan Watson, who was outside the cave, heard a helicopter flyover. The helicopter now coming here to the hospital.

Now, if it follows what we saw yesterday, John, with the first four boys, we're actually going to see the helicopter fly from that way heading south down that road over there. They're going to land at an old airport, and then that boy is going to be put in an ambulance and driven right up this road behind me back to the hospital there over my left shoulder. That's the emergency room where those first four boys were put in, and that's what we're expecting the fifth boy to see happen, as well.