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UK Politicians Resign over Brexit Plan. Brett Kavanaugh Nominated for Supreme Court. Aired 5-5:30a ET
Aired July 10, 2018 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law.
DAVE BRIGGS, CNN HOST: Brett Kavanaugh is the President's choice for the Supreme Court. Who he is and why Democrats vow to stand in the way.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: The Administration will miss today's deadline to reunite all migrant families with children under the age of 5. They will miss the deadline. Now the judge says the government cannot extend how long it holds migrant children.
BRIGGS: And right now in Thailand, rescue crews racing to bring out the last boys trapped inside a cave. There are four remaining plus the head coach of the team, the Wild Boars. The rescue started several hours ago and could come to it's conclusion any minute now. We have Ivan Watson standing by outside that cave.
Welcome to "Early Start," I'm Dave Briggs.
ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Tuesday, July 10th. It is 4:00 p.m. in Thailand, 5 a.m. in the East. While we're waiting for developments at the cave, let's talk about developments here and the political sphere. The left and right are preparing for battle now we know President Trump's nominee to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. He is 53-year-old Appeals Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh introduced by the President last night. The Yale-educated lawyer worked on the Ken Starr investigation of Bill Clinton. He worked in the George W. Bush White house and served 12 years as an appellant judge. Sources close to the selection process say the President was encouraged by the key conservatives who recently came to Kavanaugh's defense - Ann Coulter, Laura Ingram, and writers we're told for Breitbart.
BRIGGS: After the announcement, the nomination fight was instantly underway as you expect. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer issuing the statement within seconds. President Trump has put reproductive rights and freedoms and healthcare protections for millions of Americans on the judicial chopping block. Kavanaugh himself, tried to ease those concerns.
BRETT KAVANAUGH, NOMINEE FOR SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: My judicial philosophy is straight forward. A judge must be independent. They must interpret the law, not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written and a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent.
BRIGGS: Vice President Mike Pence will kick off the White House campaign to pressure red state Democrats to support Kavanaugh. Pence is also said to have accompanied Kavanaugh to the office of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell this morning.
ROMANS: Sources of both parties say because of Kavanaugh's lengthy paper trail as a judge, moving his nomination along quickly could be a challenge. For the latest, let's go to Boris Sanchez, he's at the White House.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, there is no one more qualified or deserving for the position. That is how President Trump described Brett Kavanaugh, his choice to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy following his retirement from the Supreme Court. Two sources close to the decision making process indicate that President Trump showed a bit of favor for Brett Kavanaugh long before Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement and after a conversation with the now retired justice, President Trump felt even more strongly about the former clerk for Justice Kennedy. The President talked a little bit about his criteria for choosing Kavanaugh during his speech.
TRUMP: What matters not a judge's political views, but whether they can set aside those views to do what the law and the Constitution require. I am pleased to say that I have found, without doubt, such a person.
SANCHEZ: Now some Democrats have come out in total opposition to this nomination but he could potentially win some favor among red-state Democrats. Previously Kavanaugh had made statements suggesting that he would respect legal precedent and potentially uphold Roe v. Wade. Dave and Christine.
ROMANS: All right, Boris at the White House. Thanks Boris.
BRIGGS: OK, let's bring in former U.S. Attorney Michael Moore from the CNN center in Atlanta and in Washington, "Washington Examiner" commentary writer Philip Wegmann. Good morning to you sirs.
PHILIP WEGMANN, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER" WRITER: Good morning guys. BRIGGS: Sirs, thanks for being up so early. Philip, we'll start with
you. What do you make of the pick? What does it say about the President and where's he's headed?
WEGMANN: Well I think that this is more than anything a job well done. If you are a conservative or if you're a republican because President Trump kept his word. He referred back to that list of about two dozen justices and he kept his promise from the campaign trail. In Kavanaugh, we have someone though who is very interesting in that we heard him say it last night and we have seen it in the more than 300 cases he already decided, this is someone who is going to defer to history, tradition and precedent. I think more than anything, when it comes to these sticky social issues which are contentious political fights at the court, he will be more likely to kick that to Congress and force the legislature do their job rather than legislating from the bench. ROMANS: Michael Moore, let's talk about what you think is the main
attraction for the President for the pick and that is his strong support for presidential power. Senator Ed Marke tweeted this, Brett Kavanaugh was the only nominee on Trump's short list who has written that a sitting President should not be indicted. Is that a coincidence that he was it is not a coincidence he was elected.
And here's something that Kavanaugh - let's bring up a past Kavanaugh statement on presidential power. You can see it here, having seen firsthand how complex and difficult that job is, I believe it vital that the President be able to focus on his never ending tasks with as few distractions as possible.
The point is not to the President above the law or to eliminate checks on the President, simply to deter litigation and investigations until the President is out of office. Do you think this is going to bring a great deal of controversy to the President? MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA: I do, I think this is a pick that guarantees controversy. I mean, this was a lot like a king sending out his - his favorite knight into battle in the confirmation process. And I think that's really - that's really where were at. I mean, think about Kavanaugh's position.
I mean, he's qualified academically. I think there's no question about that. But he's taking these floating positions about presidential power. He was on the - in the Ken Starr Committee. He wrote the report, basically, talking about things that Bill Clinton should face while he was in office.
But then, he flips around now and he's talking a little bit more about that the President is almost the king and he shouldn't be touched while he's in office because he's got so many things that he has to do. And so, I think that Trump has set him out, now, on, sort of, the field of battle in the confirmation process.
And he's picked a nominee who, by all accounts, is guaranteed to face controversy. He's not new to controversy. It took about three years for him to get confirmed through his appellate court hearings. And I think you're going to see that. And there - there will be no way for Kavanaugh to step back now and say, oh look, I don't want to talk about those issues because they may come up before me.
We hear that line all the time in these confirmation hearings. The judges say, well, I can't really talk about it because I want to - I don't want to address something that may be before the court. Well, he's already written about it. We already know, now, what said. We know what he thinks. And he's going to have to answer those questions and that's going to - that's going to raise problems.
BRIGGS: But will he answer these questions? We have become quite accustomed to...
BRIGGS: ...the non-answer. And it is an art form at these hearings. And here's the reality of it, Phil. Let's put up the senators who are key here, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins.
Susan Collins offered a statement that looked pretty favorable upon this pick. And then there were the Democrats. There are 10 Democrats up for re-election from Trump states, including those five we highlight, Donnelly. Manchin, Heitkamp, Jones, and Tester, they can fight all they want and they may even subpoena emails going back to the Bush administration. But what can they really do to hold up this pick and could it cost them crucial senate seats, Phil?
PHILIP WEGMANN, COMMENTARY WRITER, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, I think that they need to do something more than they did last night. It was laughable to see the protest on the steps of the Supreme Court where you had people, again, with signs that were, you know, fill in the blank, ready to protest whoever the President nominated.
They did this with Gorsuch, they're doing it with Kavanaugh right now. And it's not just the protestors who showed up from a late night here in Washington D.C. It was groups like the Women's March as well. They sent out an email blasting the nominee before he was even named. And we know, as a matter of fact, that mainstream Democrats, Chuck Schumer, is going to oppose the nominee. We knew that before he was named here.
As far as the questions about whether or not, you know, the President should face investigations, I think with Kavanaugh, you have someone who saw it from both perspectives and I think that, perhaps, looking back to his experience in the Starr investigation, he realized that this should not necessarily be a partisan thing and that this hampers a President from fulfilling his executive duties.
But really, again, I think what's interesting here is that those red state Democrats think, you know, think Donnelly, think Heitkamp, you know, think of Manchin. They're not going to have an opportunity to make these intricate hash tag resistance arguments. They're going to need something much more to justify voting no come November.
ROMANS: Michael Moore, you know, this is why - this is the spoils go to the winner of an election. He won the election. You know, I mean, how much...
BRIGGS: It's an establishment pick.
ROMANS: ...resistance can they do?
MOORE: Well, I mean, there's not a lot they can do. I mean, let's face it, when you look at the numbers in the Senate. But I think what we hear is the - the fear, already, of the shifting sands of precedent.
You know, we've got him talking about one thing over here when he's talking about executive power when it's this administration. He changes his opinion when it's another administration. And I don't know that's just, necessarily, an increase in his judicial intellect. I think it's really just shifting sands at a convenient time.
And I think that's going to give discomfort to people like Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski who are really looking to see what he says about Roe v. Wade. And, you know, you raise a good point about these non-answers that the nominees give when they go to their confirmation hearings. They're trained what to say. I mean, they go through weeks of briefings and practice runs on these hearings.
And the concern will be that we'll see a shift in what he said about following precedent and when it comes to issues like gay rights, when it comes to issues like abortion, women's right to choose, those things out there --contraception. And I think that is a concern and I think he is a nominee who has made contradictory statements in the past and those things are going to come up and be used as ways to say, look maybe - maybe you don't follow precedent because you've already shifted around before and he will have to answer those questions in the upcoming hearings.
BRIGGS: You have mentioned Collins and Murkowski. That is all they really need here; they have 51-49 edge. If they need Mike Pence, they can bring him in for tie breaker. Here is what Susan Collins said about Judge Kavanaugh has impressive credentials and extensive experience but did hold up a little bit saying I will conduct a careful thorough vetting of the pick. Murkowski did not go as far, simply saying I intend to review decisions and writings. She did not go as far as Susan Collins did. But ultimately Phil, is it sooner the better that this pick gets through if you're Democrats in terms of wanting to keep the numbers on your favor. You don't want this to go right before the midterms do you?
WEGMANN: You know as far as timing that is interesting. On both sides, Republicans are expecting this to help them rally their base come November and the same with Democrats. The timing is still up in the air. Earlier as you alluded to, Kavanaugh has a very long paper trail. I think that we're going to see due diligence from Senators on the right and left. I think that they are going to do their job of advising and consenting and we're going to be better off for it. But, you know, it plays two different ways and I think that this is something that is going to continue and define - define and energize the run up to the midterm elections.
ROMANS: Thanks guys for excellent discussion this morning, only eight hours after the pack. Lots to mull over. Thank you. BRIGGS: Thanks guys. The operation to rescue those four remaining boys and their soccer coach from a cave in Thailand has resumed this morning. Officials are hoping the rescue effort will end today. Let's go live to Northern Thailand and bring in CNN's Ivan Watson. Ivan what's the latest?
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave, the rescue operation resumed again at 10:00 a.m. local time so it has been under way for more than six hours; resumed earlier than originally telegraphed by the authorities here. They say the goal today is to rescue the remaining four boys and the 25-year-old coach who had been trapped inside that mountain behind me at a depth of 2.5 miles to rescue them all today and bring out as well the doctor who has been with them since rescuers were able to reach them some weeks ago as three navy SEAL officers who accompanied them and stayed with them in the cave since day one. This precarious and dangerous operation is underway yet again. There has already been remarkable success since Sunday and Monday where the rescuers were able to rescue four boys each of the days and then rush them to nearby hospital for treatment.
We know some more details about the rescue operation itself. The boys are dressed in wet suits for the long journey out because they are being taken through submerged tunnels, rushing water, cold water in the dark and doctors say that they emerge at the end of the long journey, a process which takes hours, their bodies are colder because of the cold water, even with the wet suits and they are also suffering from malnutrition. They have not had solid food for more than two weeks. They are wearing full air face masks because none of them are trained in scuba diving.
This is tough danger stuff, a journey that claimed the life of one professional former Thai navy SEAL doctor, sorry diver, last week. No I'm getting some breaking news that I'm going to bring to you now Dave and Christine.
According to two sources now, a Thai Navy source and a member of the rescue team, a ninth boy is out of the cave and is at the makeshift field hospital on site. So this is breaking news, CNN now reporting two sources involved in this rescue operation, a Thai Navy source and a member of the rescue team tell CNN that a ninth boy has emerged from the cave complex and is now being treated, reviewed at the field hospital at the mouth of the cave. We don't know anything yet about the condition of the ninth boy but now six hours after today's process has begun, we can report a ninth boy has emerged from the cave complex. Dave and Christine.
ROMANS: I mean what can you tell us about the eight boys who are being treated medically? I know you've said that they are wearing eye masks because they haven't seen natural sunlight in two weeks. And a couple of the boys have some -- a lung ailment. The condition overall though, the boys are doing okay?
WATSON: Yes, that's what the health authorities have said. They gave an extensive and pretty detailed briefing today saying that all eight who have been rescued Sunday and Monday, that they're in pretty good physical shape, pretty good mental shape. Yes, they were outfitted with blindfolds effectively and later sunglasses because they haven't seen natural light in more than two weeks.
They're also being rationed solid food because they haven't eaten solid food. They were getting gel packs from the divers that we're bringing them nutrition, but they're not being allowed to just gorge themselves, even thought they've been writing and talking about food that they're craving for some time.
They're being quarantined in a part of the hospital as well. Two of them had some kind of inflammation of the lungs, infections and they weren't even allowed to -- the first group of four that got out Sunday, haven't been allowed to touch, hug, kiss their parents.
Their parents were able to see them on Monday evening through glass windows in the hospital ward, but they're being quarantined to keep their conditions sterilized because they don't want their weakened immune system to be exposed to any possible viruses, germs.
The Thai government, all of Thailand has invested an enormous amount in this rescue effort and they want to make sure nothing goes wrong in this critical and vulnerable period in the hours and days after the rescue. Christine and Dave.
BRIGG: And there you have a good point Ivan. We know from the start, they were said to evacuate the strongest of these boys first. Are we led to believe that that process along those lines has continued and therefore we should be cautious, there is still a long way to go, if you believe that the three remaining boys could be among the weakest of the swimmers or in terms of their condition physically?
ROMANS: All right. Ivan is working the scene. We've lost his audio, but clearly we'll let him get out and do some more of that reporting. But again, boy number nine is out of that Thai cave.
Matt Rivers has been reporting from the hospital location for a few days now. He's watched each of those boys come there for treatment. So, another boy is on your way Matt.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes and if it follows the protocol, Dave and Christine, that we've seen over the past couple days, what's going to happen is, as Ivan was just talking about there, the boys will get treated at that field hospital at the cave.
They're going to be taken to an ambulance that will take them to a helicopter, a military helicopter, will land in an old airport just south of where we are and then the ambulance will drive right past us and they'll go right into the emergency room. That is what we're expecting. Each time these boys have come out, they're really trying to get them into the hospital here as fast as possible, as you might image.
We don't know the condition of the ninth boy that has just emerged from the cave, but we do know the conditions of the eight boys already here, that have been rescued over the past couple days. Thai health officials saying they're in pretty good shape, all things considered.
They did have -- two of them did have lung infections that responded to treatment well. Five of the eight had very low body temperatures, not surprising given the temperatures in the cave and also they had to dive through cold water for hours and hours. But yet, all of these boys are alert, they're talking; they're craving food as Ivan talked about. They wanted chocolate, they wanted fried chicken.
So that, hopefully, is the pattern we're going to see as more boys come out tonight. They will be treated by doctors, they're going be evaluated, blood tests for dehydration and they're going to be put in an isolation unit for up to seven days, Dave and Christine, because there is a fear that their immune systems have been weakened to the point that they're more susceptible to infection.
And so they're put in an isolation unit, their parents can come see them, they can't touch them, they can't hug them, but still that is marked improvement from where we were just two weeks ago. So, now we're hoping that all of these beds that have been put aside for these boys here in this hospital are going to be filled up, hopefully, by the end of tonight.
ROMANS: That is so impressive as how the families have banded together. They wrote a letter to the coach saying that they don't blame him. That they're all a team, they're a family, the Wild Boars and hopefully they'll be able to watch the World Cup from their hospital bed or at least maybe even from home at some point. Matt Rivers, thank you so much.
BRIGGS: Yes, the good news is now it's only a matter of when they get to hug their parents and eat those delicious meals again, not if. Let's get back to Ivan Watson, not far from the cave, for the last word on the three kids and their coach remaining inside that cave. Ivan?
WATSON: Yes, and we'll be following closely the continuation of this rescue operation. This remarkable multinational effort, which ...
520 BRIGGS: ...kids and their coach remaining inside that cave. Ivan?
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDANT: Yes, and we'll be following closely, the continuation of this rescue operation. It's a remarkable multi- national effort which has some 90 people, a number of international divers and, of course, Thai divers doing this - conducting this - this perilous operation.
The chief of it, he said, at the start of the day, he predicts that the four boys who were in the cave at the start of the day as well as the lone adult who was with them when they were first stranded on June 23, that they will all be brought out today, as well as the doctor and the three Navy Seal officers who have been with them since the authorities were able to reach them at a depth of two and a half miles deep into the mountain behind me there on the border between Thailand and Myanmar here in northern Thailand.
So, just as soon as we hear more about this remarkable rescue effort, we'll bring that to you, but - but I have to caution everybody, you know, this is risky, dangerous stuff. It claimed the life a professional former Thai Navy Seal diver last week.
So, we can assume that this remarkable effort, nobody is taking any chances and they are taking every possible precaution to make sure the people who have been trapped and the rescue workers, that they all emerge safely before this is all concluded, Christine and Dave?
ROMANS: (Inaudible) a huge operation there. Ivan Watson, we'll come back to you when you have more information. When you look at the scale of that operation and all that water that they were pumping out of that had had to be put somewhere, right? It was pumped into the rice fields surrounding the area and flooded them out after they had just planted for the season.
So, the government is going to reimburse those rice farmers, many of whom say, we just - those are our children too.
ROMANS: We just want the kids out safely.
BRIGGS: Looks like - looks like a happy ending. We will return to Thailand when we hear any news about the three remaining boys and their 25 year old coach, but good news for the Wild Boars. Ahead, the struggle at a cut of Brexit deal causing the biggest leadership crisis of Theresa May's tenure, just days ahead of her meeting with President Trump. We're live in London with the latest.
BRIGGS: Five twenty-six Eastern time. The British government in turmoil this morning as Prime Minister, Theresa May, faces the most serious crisis of her leadership. She now has named a new Foreign Secretary to replace Boris Johnson and a new Brexit Secretary to replace David Davis after both resigned dramatically, within hours of each other, Monday.
CNN's, Nic Robertson, live at Ten Downing Street in London, with more. Nic, complete chaos now the backdrop to President Trump's visit this week? Good morning.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning David. It isn't the week that Theresa May would have liked to have where she could focus, perhaps, on the very important meting with President Trump later on in the week.
Instead she's had to deal with mutiny in her cabinet. She's dealt with that. She's replaced (inaudible) minister, she seems to have divided some of her sort of biggest opponents on how she is handling Brexit, getting Britain out of the European Union.
The battle's not over. Boris Johnson has long harbored ambitions for leadership, but perhaps she will survive until the summer recess, a couple weeks away. I don't think anyone thinks that there won't be a leadership challenge later in the year. That's certainly not off the cards, most of her conservative M.P.s are divided. Some of them are saying, well now is not the time to tackle it. See
if she will follow through and do what we want, leave the European single market, leave the European Customs Union and allow Britain to trade how it wants around the world. But that is still not a done deal for Theresa May by any stretch of the imagination.
President Trump turning up later this week, the fortifications around the place where he will be overnighting have gone up. Heavy concrete, heavy wire fences and of course it's the week, as well, where British subject died of that deadly nerve agent, Novichok. A tumultuous week for the British Prime Minister, just ahead of President Trump arriving. Dave?
BRIGGS: All right. Nic Robertson live for us at 10 Downing Street in London. Thank you sir.
ROMANS: Great. It's 28 minutes past the hours. Breaking news from Italy this morning. George Clooney, the actor and activist involved in an accident.
A police officer in Sardinia confirms the actor was involved in a mishap, but gave no further details. Reports say Clooney was on a motorcycle. We will have more as soon as it becomes available. Again, George Clooney in Sardinia, police officer there at the police station confirming he has been involved in an accident of some sort ...
BRIGGS: Actor, activist, Tequila tycoon, new dad most importantly, right?
ROMANS: Yes. Our Democrats vowing to fight to keep Brett Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court. The President reveals his pick to the nation. Who he is and how the court could shift on major issues for generations.