Return to Transcripts main page

NEW DAY

Trump's Supreme Court Pick; Rescue Efforts in Thailand; More Time to Reunite Families; Jordan Knew About Alleged Abuse. Aired 8:30- 9:00a ET

Aired July 9, 2018 - 08:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[08:30:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hardiman might have an easier path to confirmation. Do you believe that to be the case?

LEONARD LEO, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, FEDERALIST SOCIETY: I think any of the nominees that the president's been considering right now are confirmable in the Senate. That's what having a Republican majority is all about. And the president made this a very, very important issue in the presidential election. More than any other presidential candidate. Was one of the major factors that got him elected and that kept the Senate in the GOP majority. So I think the path to confirmation for any of these final four is not -- is not a problem.

BERMAN: He absolutely did make this central to the election and you were very helpful to him in that path. It was hugely effective. He was asked about the Supreme Court in the debate hosted by Chris Wallace from Fox News. Let me just replay you part of that right now.

We don't have it.

Let me -- I will read you what he said. Chris Wallace asked him, do you want to see the court overturn Roe versus Wade? The president said, well, if we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that really what's going to be that will happen and that will happen automatically in my opinion -- here's the key point -- because I'm putting pro-life justices on the court.

I'm putting prolife justices on the court, Leonard. Why did the president say that?

LEO: Look, all I can tell you is the process I've seen, and that's one where the president hasn't asked any such questions. And when it comes to vetting all of these different candidates' records, here's what's really important --

BERMAN: But, Leonard, hang on, hang on.

LEO: What makes a justice --

BERMAN: You were involved in the campaign. So you were there then. I'm asking you, during the campaign, why did the president say then, leave aside now for a second, why did he say then, I'm putting pro-life justices on the bench? LEO: Lots of presidents before him have said these kinds of things on

both sides of the aisle. And, at the end of the day, what matters is a judge's record. And what makes a judge most fair and courageous and impartial is the idea that he interprets the law as written.

And that's what the president has talked about as well. He wants judges who are going to enforce and respect the limits on government power contained in the Constitution. He understands that fairness is about interpreting the law as it's written.

And, look, the fact of the matter is that, you know, the president's supporters care about self-government at the end of the day. They want a court to withstand the politics.

BERMAN: No, no, but they also care about this -- I just want to know if we should believe what he said. He was running a campaign. He promised pro-life judges on the court. Why not believe that promise? Is there any reason not to believe that promise that he made?

LEO: The process hasn't been about abortion. The process has been about picking judges who are going to interpret the law as it's written. Those questions haven't been asked. And the fact of the matter is that one of the really important things in evaluating potential members of the bench is to make sure they have a respect for precedent. All of the nominees we're looking at right now, the public knows about, have demonstrated respect for precedent. They understand that major precedence is (INAUDIBLE). So --

BERMAN: Amy Coney Barrett specifically has written and suggested that perhaps the precedent of Row versus Wade shouldn't stand. She has talked about that in her writings, correct?

LEO: She parroted what the Supreme Court has said in cases like Casey. But the fact of the matter, if you read her articles carefully, she's shown tremendous deference and respect to precedent and she struggled with the whole issue of when you overturn precedence and when you don't.

BERMAN: Yes. I do understand that the president hasn't been asking the judges about Roe in the interview process. But you do understand why there are people wondering why this is even an issue. The president made clear he wanted pro-life judges. Why not just own it? Why not just say, yes, the president campaigned on having pro-life judges. That's who he wants to pick here. There's every reason to think that he will pick someone who's pro-life.

LEO: The reason that I and others have been resisting this particular theme is because you can go back 36 years and people have made Roe v. Wade and abortion an issue in Supreme Court battles. And at every turn, they've been wrong about what justices are going to do. And, you know, there was only one sitting justice on the court right now --

BERMAN: Not at every turn. Not at every turn. Not at every turn. I mean, look, you look at -- you look at David Souter. Certainly that turned out differently. And with Kennedy it was -- it was, you know, more down the middle right there. It's not every turn. Clarence Thomas, they certainly knew. Ginsburg, it's safe to say people knew where she was headed, even though you guys use the Ginsburg rules to sort of talk about it.

Is it possible that one reason the president doesn't want to answer this question directly, or you don't, and, again, I don't see why you don't just own it, is that more than 60 percent of people in polling this week over the last two weeks say they don't want to see Roe overturned?

LEO: Again, all I can tell you is the process doesn't focus on that. The process focuses much more broadly on the business of judging, what it means to be fair and impartial. And that has to do with interpreting the law. It has to do with recognizing the structural limits on government power. It doesn't have to do with issues. We bring the court too much into politics when we start asking ourselves, how is a judge going to decide this particular case or that particular case. And I don't think the American people want judges who are going to have predetermined results in particular cases. I think they want judges --

[08:35:01] BERMAN: Well, in this case -- in this case it's not how he's going to decide certain cases or she is going to decide certain cases, it's how she or he believes past cases have been decided.

But I understand your point and I get that this is an area where I'm not going to get a solid answer here.

But, Leonard Leo, thank you for joining us. I appreciate your role in the process. I appreciate you joining us this morning.

LEO: Thank you.

BERMAN: Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Four boys, as we know, freed today, taken out of that cave in Thailand. Just ahead, you'll hear from a rescuer who took part in Sunday's rescue, which also freed four boys. He is with us, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HILL: Four boys rescued today from that flooded cave in Thailand. That brings the total to eight. Eight boys have been pulled out alive. They are getting medical treatment at this hour. Rescue operations have wrapped for the day. So that means the four other boys and their 25- year-old soccer coach remain trapped in that cave. It has now been 17 days that they're some 2.5 miles in there.

[08:40:06] Joining us by phone is Ivan Korczech (ph), who is a volunteer rescue diver participating in this mission. And he was there, part of that first group that brought the first four boys out on Sunday.

Ivan, tell us, when you saw these boys emerge, how were they doing? And not just physically, but, I mean, what were their emotions? IVAN KORCZECH, VOLUNTEER RESCUE DIVER (via telephone): Well, it's a

(INAUDIBLE) all the kids (INAUDIBLE) but they're hanging in there. (INAUDIBLE) and they were going in a full face mask. It's hard to see -- see their faces. It's hard to see their (INAUDIBLE). But what I saw was that they were obviously afraid. I think they were very afraid. But they looked as good as I could see them, they looked -- they looked good.

HILL: Did any of the other divers talk to you about their demeanor in those five or six hours that it took for them to make their way out? Were they able to remain calm?

KORCZECH: Yes, so I was stationed in a -- on a part of the route that's probably about 200 meters and on that part of the route there was none the kids that (INAUDIBLE) is that there (INAUDIBLE). There was no events of panic. Everything then very smoothly according to the plan that was made for the boys rescue attempt.

HILL: Which is fantastic news.

Having been in that cave --

KORCZECH: It was fantastic news.

HILL: Yes. Talk to us a little bit about the challenges.

KORCZECH: (INAUDIBLE).

HILL: I was going to say, talk to us about the challenges, because we've been told for even the most experienced professional cave diver, this operation in particular is very difficult. Why?

KORCZECH: Well, the biggest challenge that the operation faces is obviously that the -- rescue kids that don't have sufficient training, there are no kids (INAUDIBLE) that are certified cave divers, becoming a certified cave diver requires many, many dives and a lot of training. So the biggest challenge that we're dealing with is the kids that they're not trained to be in this environment.

HILL: It's also dark. We know there's obviously the issue of the water, which is at different levels thorough the cave. Some of the passageways are narrow. Has the pumping been helping at all?

KORCZECH: The pumping has been a massive help. So there's (INAUDIBLE). I don't know exactly, but several large (INAUDIBLE) pump. And from my 31st (ph) dive, which was about a week ago, to today, the (INAUDIBLE) as much as two to (INAUDIBLE).

HILL: And, as we know, rescue operations --

KORCZECH: (INAUDIBLE) -- what?

HILL: Rescue operations for today have ceased. They will pick up again tomorrow. I would imagine people are still feeling very hopeful having seen eight of the children now emerge.

KORCZECH: Yes, I believe that that will bring the hopes even higher, yes. Obviously that (INAUDIBLE). Yes, (INAUDIBLE).

HILL: And how are -- how are the divers holding up?

KORCZECH: Oh, well, what did you say?

HILL: How are the divers doing?

KORCZECH: I haven't spoken to any of the divers who have been part of the operation today.

HILL: OK.

KORCZECH: But the feeling that it's successful, I presume they are in incredibly good spirits and very, very happy (INAUDIBLE) such a complex mission.

HILL: Very complex.

There was some reporting initially that the first four children who were brought out were said to be the healthiest. Would you agree with that? Did they seem the healthiest of the children?

KORCZECH: It's incredibly hard for me to -- I'm not a doctor or medical trained, so it's very hard for me to (INAUDIBLE). All of the kids were packed in several layers of exposure suit, wet suits, to protect them from hypothermia, and they were all wearing (INAUDIBLE) masks. So it's very, very hard. I don't know exactly which of the -- of the (INAUDIBLE) that got out, it's almost impossible for me to answer that question.

HILL: We know the families of the children we're told are there at -- in this area. Do you know how close they are to the point where the children are being pulled out?

KORCZECH: I believe that the parents are at the -- at the hospital, the local hospital in Shangi (ph).

HILL: OK.

KORCZECH: And that's about 30 kilometers from the cave.

HILL: Ivan, really appreciate --

KORCZECH: But I'm -- as I said, I've only been part of the dive operation, not what happens afterwards (INAUDIBLE).

HILL: Sure. No, we understand, but your perspective is -- and your knowledge of what happened there is invaluable.

Ivan, thank you so much for taking some time to join us. Again, one of the divers there, he was part of the first effort on Sunday, telling us that there was no panic with the children, according to other divers he spoke with, they were afraid but they didn't panic and everything went very smoothly.

John. [08:45:08] BERMAN: All right, more former wrestlers are speaking out about the sex abuse allegations at Ohio State University and whether Congressman Jim Jordan knew about it when he was a coach there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: The Justice Department will appeal today for more time to reunite families. The U.S. government is facing a court ordered deadline to reunite children younger than five years old with their parents by tomorrow. Undocumented parents have been making their way out of detention facilities and searching for their children.

CNN's Miguel Marquez live am Brownsville, Texas, with the latest.

Miguel.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, it seems very clear that the government never had a plan in place to reunite these parents from the get-go. It looks like, from what the ACLU is saying, that more than half of those parents with children under five won't be reunited by the deadline. And for all parents looking for their kids, it is not likely to happen by the end of this month either.

[08:50:11] (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ (voice over): A mother's anguish, separated from their son.

Only God knows what we've been through, she says.

Brenda Alvarado (ph) separated from her six-year-old son Gody (ph) for over a month.

Brenda and four other parents who spoke to CNN now facing what the Trump administration promised was a process for reuniting with their kids.

More parents like them getting out of detention every day, all of them now desperate to hold their children again.

It's not right for them to detention my son, she says. He hasn't committed any crime. I don't know what to tell him.

Lesvia (ph) visited her 10-year-old son Yudum (ph), being detained here in Brownsville. They've been separated more than a month. Despite having documents proving their relationship, officials here won't turn him over to his mother.

I already gave them information and documents, she says, but they said they need fingerprint from all the people where I'm going to stay. And that alone will take 15 days.

After forcefully separating these parents from their kids, the Trump administration is now telling them they must fill out a 32 page application and background check to prove they are who they say they are.

JODI GOODWIN, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: In any normal case we usually expect about a month before there can be reunification.

MARQUEZ: The Trump administration, under a judge's order, has until July 26th to reunite all families separated by the president's zero tolerance policy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ: What the government seems to be saying is that for those parents who are locked up and the kids that are locked up, they can put those people together and they, at least in some cases, intend to move them, it seems, to another facility where they will try to house them together.

For parents that were deported, for kids that were deported, for parents who are now getting out on bond on their asylum hearings, the government's saying it's up to you to prove to us that you're actually these kids parents. Just no thought given to it whatsoever.

Back to you.

BERMAN: No unified process, not even close at this point it seems.

HILL: No. Not at all. It's a -- it's mind boggling, even though in some ways it is not surprising because we've been talking about this for so long and we have known that there was not a system in place and we have known that there were a number of questions about even the identities of both the children and the adults.

Just to see this all play out, it leaves you speechless.

JOHN AVLON, CNN ANCHOR: It's the human cost, which is what we knew. But right now they're admitting that that first deadline they're confronting, you know, the judge ordered them to reunite all children under five by tomorrow. And they're basically saying, that's not going to happen for at least half of them.

HILL: We do know there's another hearing this afternoon. But among those children --

AVLON: Yes.

HILL: Nineteen parents of those young children already deported we know.

AVLON: That's right.

HILL: We also want to bring you up to date on this. More former Ohio State University wrestlers now say Congressman Jim Jordan had to know about sexual abuse claims against a team doctor. Jordan was an assistant coach at OSU at one point but maintains he knew nothing.

CNN's Jean Casarez joining us now with more on that.

Jean.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's definitely a difference of opinion here. One former Ohio State athlete, who wrestled under Assistant Coach Jim Jordan in the late 1980s says he was sexually abused by Dr. Richard Strauss and never told Jordan. He describes Larkins Hall, the athletic facility where the wrestlers showed, as a pedophile's dreamland. And that if Jordan didn't know, he was living under a rock. He described Jordan, though, as a class act.

Another alleged victim, former OSU wrestler Mike Olf (ph), tells CNN he didn't consider it abuse at the time. They wrestlers joked about it. But the physicals were weird with inappropriate behavior. Jim Jordan, he believes, did not know. He would have done anything to protect us.

Another former OSU wrestler told CNN Dr. Strauss was always first man in, last man out of the shower and that former head coach Russ Hellickson and Jordan knew because they too were in the shower area at the same time. They knew he was in the showers, he said, adding that they may not have known the extent of the allegations that are now surfacing in the media. I don't think that we look at this kind of thing with the same lens as sex abuse today, he tells CNN. At least not to that degree.

Now, as Jordan continues to say he never knew or heard that athletes were being sexually abused and would have done something if he knew, Jordan has mentioned a conviction. One former wrestler that has probably the most serious accusations, that wrestler, Danyasi Yets (ph), confirmed to CNN what he told NBC, that he and his teammates told Jordan multiple times about the alleged sexual abuse and nothing was done. Yets was convicted and served 18 months in federal prison for fraud related to an investment scheme. He tells CNN though over this weekend, if my mistake happened over 18 years ago, people just need to move on. I'm now a successful businessman.

[08:55:11] And, Erica and John, the investigation at OSU continues to see if sexual misconduct did take place with this physician, Dr. Richard Strauss. He died in 2005.

BERMAN: If I'm clear, Jordan hasn't been asked directly what he did see or hear about Dr. Strauss, not about the abuse, but what did he hear? That's one question he hasn't answered directly, at least not yet.

CASAREZ: Good question.

BERMAN: Jean Casarez, great. Thanks for having -- thanks for being here with us.

That's it for us this morning. CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow picks up after a quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good Monday morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. And welcome to what could be one of if not the biggest weeks of Donald Trump's presidency so far.

[09:00:03] We are 12 hours away from his prime time Supreme Court reveal, after which comes a sure to be tense NATO summit and a potentially chilly visit to our closest ally, Britain, complete with planned protests after