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President Trump Nominates Brett Kavanaugh To Supreme Court; Two More Boys Rescued From Thai Cave So Far Today; Judge Rejects DOJ Bid To Alter Detention Rules; President Trump Headed To Brussels For NATO Summit. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired July 10, 2018 - 05:30   ET



[05:31:21] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications, and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Brett Kavanaugh is the president's choice for the Supreme Court. Who he is and why Democrats have got to stand in the way.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The administration will miss today's deadline to reunite all migrant families with kids under five. And now, a judge says the government cannot extend how long it can hold migrant children.

ROMANS: And a ninth boy pulled from a cave in Thailand. Reports say a 10th is very close. We're going to go live to that cave in Thailand in just a moment.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Thirty-one minutes past the hour.

They did say they expected the rescues from that Thailand cave to be faster now that they're confident in their surroundings and now that they know the path. And hopefully, it's only a matter of when all boys and their coach are out. A live report straight ahead.

But we start with the Supreme Court. Left and right preparing for battle now that we know President Trump's nominee to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Fifty-three-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. That will be consequential. He worked in the George W. Bush White House and served 12 years as an appellate judge. Sources close to the selection process say the president was encouraged by the key conservatives who recently came to Kavanaugh's defense, including Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, and some writers for "Breitbart."

ROMANS: After the announcement, the nomination fight was instantly underway. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer issued this statement within seconds.

"President Trump has put reproductive rights and freedoms and health care protections for millions of Americans on the judicial chopping block."

Kavanaugh, himself, tried to ease concerns.


BRETT KAVANAUGH, NOMINEE, U.S. SUPREME COURT: My judicial philosophy is straightforward. A judge must be independent and 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: So, Vice President Mike Pence will kick off the White House campaign to pressure red-state Democrats into supporting Kavanaugh. Pence also set to accompany Kavanaugh to the office of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell this morning.

Sources in both parties tell us because of Kavanaugh's lengthy paper trail as judge, moving his nomination along quickly could be a challenge. You might even expect e-mails to be subpoenaed dating back to his time with the Bush administration.

ROMANS: All right.

Before we have a little discussion about this I just want to let everybody know a 10th boy has been taken out of the cave in Thailand. We're going to go to Ivan Watson in just a second but we want to stick on this SCOTUS story right now.

We want to bring in former U.S. attorney Michael Moore in the CNN Center in Atlanta. And in Washington, "Washington Examiner" commentary writer Philip Wegmann.

And, Michael Moore, you make this point. You think that this is going to generate a lot of controversy -- explain.

MICHAEL MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA: I do. I mean, I think if Trump was going to pick somebody who he wanted to stir up the pot a little bit this is the nominee.

I mean, you get a guy who -- it took about three years for Judge Kavanaugh to go through the process in his appellate court nomination. There's a lot of writing. He's been a political insider. He worked in the Bush White House.

And you look back at -- he worked for Ken Starr, rather -- and you look at it and he's taken the position that a president -- when he was working with Ken Starr -- that the president could be at peace and helped author this Ken Starr report about 11 grounds for an impeachment and talk about why Bill Clinton -- what he'd done wrong in office.

[05:35:02] Well, now he's kind of shifted and he's saying well, a president really is above the law and we don't think that he has time to deal with these trivial things, including civil lawsuits.

And so I think what you see is that Trump has picked somebody -- and I said this in the last segment -- he's sort of picked his Lancelot and sent him out into the field of battle and he's going to let him fight.

And this is a pick that I think is going to stir up a lot of passions with the Democrats, and that is we know we've got the Mueller investigation going on. We expect at some point those issues will make their way to the Supreme Court.

And, Trump has clearly picked the person who has now overtly said that a president should not be subject to indictments, should not be subject to other lawsuits -- to other things that could be a distraction during the presidency. So those things are clear to inflame the passions of those on the Democratic side.

And I also think that the shift that you've seen doesn't give comfort for those who may be looking to see whether or not he would stand by the president's issues such as reproductive rights, gay rights, and that type of thing.

BRIGGS: Here's what Michael's talking about -- some 2008 writing from the Minnesota Law Review where he says the president should be able to focus on his never-ending tasks with as few distractions as possible and simply to defer litigation to investigations until after the president is out of office.

Philip, that is going to be the attack line of the left, but what's the reality here? It's 51-49 and there are several red-state Democrats who are on the spot.

Let's put up the key senators in all of this. Of course, Republicans Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, but then the red-state Democrats Donnelly, Manchin, Heitkamp, Tester, Jones. And you could even add to that list.

What's the reality here and what's the message to the conservative base?

PHILIP WEGMANN, COMMENTARY WRITER, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, because it's 51-49 this is going to be a contentious confirmation. We already knew that regardless of who the nominee was going to be.

His writings on presidential indictment obviously provide a new angle of attack to Democrats. But let's go back to the Minnesota Law Review article. I think that Kavanaugh argued persuasively, from his perspective, that we would have been better off if President Clinton was focused more on, in his words, Osama Bin Laden than Paula Jones.

But take a closer look at what he said. He didn't say that the courts should protect a president from any type of indictment. Instead, he said that Congress should pass a law so that the president should be indicted after the -- after the fact, once he leaves office.

So again, this isn't lining what Kavanaugh -- in line with Kavanaugh's basic jurisprudence which is that he should -- that he wants the court to interpret laws that are already on the books and if there's not a law, Congress should go pass it.

He expressed his personal opinion back then. He didn't say that the courts should provide any sort of insulation to the president.

So obviously, this will be the line of attack. But again, I think that we're going to find this persuasive for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, not so much for Indiana red-state Democrat Joe Donnelly or West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin.

ROMANS: You know, one has wonder how much of the resistance is simply for the cameras. He says he's going to -- he reveres the Constitution. He says he will interpret the law and not make the law, Michael Moore.

And isn't this what happens when you win elections? When you win elections you get to appoint Supreme Court justices.

MOORE: It is, but I'd challenge anybody to tell me one Supreme Court nominee who haven't said that they revere the Constitution and stand with the president.

ROMANS: I know, I know.

MOORE: And also -- you know, so the bottom line is that you look at what they've done in the past, you look at positions they've taken. You look at law review articles that they've written and cases and opinions that they've decided and written and you make a decision about whether or not they stand by that and whether or not they stand by the precedent.

What you don't want to have is a judge where there's a shifting sand of precedent when you get out there because it suits the needs of the day or the political party of the day that they move. And that's what I think can cause some discomfort for people who are -- like Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski and some red-state Democrats, and that is what can you count on at the end of the day?

And it's important to remember that he was an author of the Ken Starr report. I mean, he helped write --

ROMANS: Right.

MOORE: -- that section. So his feeling about presidential -- the need to focus on the job certainly didn't revolve around a blue dress. I mean, rather, we wrote about -- he wrote about 11 things that the president could be impeached on.

He didn't say oh, I understand the president's got a lot to do. He needs to be focused on Osama Bin Laden so we're going to leave him alone until he gets out of office. No, we went through a rather lengthy impeachment process and investigation.

Well now, we're facing where we've been -- we've got the Mueller investigation going on and this is going to be a topic. Whichever side you're on you just have to acknowledge this is going to be fodder for the confirmation process --

BRIGGS: Right.

ROMANS: You know --

MOORE: -- and that's going to be woven into the reproductive rights issue.

ROMANS: The president is tweeting this morning but not about his Supreme Court nominee.

BRIGGS: No. You would think he would tout Brett Kavanaugh. Instead, he's on the board with this to NATO.

"Getting ready to leave for Europe -- first meeting. The U.S. is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them. Not fair to the U.S. taxpayer.

MOORE: Sure.

BRIGGS: On top of that, we lost $151 billion on trade with the European Union."

[05:40:03] MOORE: But that -- let me --

BRIGGS: Philip --

MOORE: Let me suggest this to you.


MOORE: He wants -- the president may want this to drag out closer to the midterms. I mean, Kavanaugh's got a beautiful family. He's the picture of what you want to have when you're standing there if you're the president.


MOORE: You put forth this beautiful family.

He may want this to be his fight so he may -- he may have outfoxed us all and he is now going to say I know this is going to draw to a lengthy battle -- this is great. This is the guy who's going to drag it out so that I can go around the country during the midterms and campaign on why we don't need a House controlled by the --


MOORE: -- Democrats and why we don't need to lose Senate seats.

So that's maybe --

BRIGGS: This we agree on. This is a very, very tough spot --

MOORE: Right.

BRIGGS: -- for Democrats.

Thank you both. We've got to move on to this breaking news out of Thailand, though. We appreciate you both being here this morning.

That breaking news this morning, another boy has been removed from the cave where his soccer teammates have been trapped for 18 days, so that makes it two out today. Rescue teams working right now to bring out two more boys and the coach who remain in the cave.

Let's go to Ivan Watson in Northern Thailand with the latest -- Ivan.


That's right, we can report that an eyewitness who is part of the rescue operation tells CNN that a 10th boy has emerged from the cave complex and is now being checked up -- being treated at the field hospital that has been erected outside the entrance of the cave.

The rescue operations resumed at 10:00 a.m. local time. That's approaching seven hours ago, Dave and Christine. And since then we've gotten reports of two boys being rescued today.

This comes on top of the eight boys who were rescued in groups of four on Sunday and Monday and are now being treated at a hospital at the Provincial capital of Chiang Rai.

When these boys are brought out the details of the rescue are that they are dressed in wetsuits to try to keep them warm as they spend possibly hours submerged or partially submerged in rain and water- filled tunnels for the tricky and dangerous trip out from their cave which is located a depth of some two and a half miles -- two and a half miles in that mountain behind me there on the Thai-Myanmar border.

They're also wearing air masks -- full-face air masks because they're submerged. They need air during that trip.

And according to some of the diving teams that we have been in touch with, this is some of the most dangerous diving they've ever done. There are sharp rocks, there are tight corners that they have to navigate. And in areas where the water is actually lower and more shallow, they say that it's even harder because the current is stronger and all of this is being done in the darkness as well.

But we can report that a 10th boy has been rescued in the last couple of hours. There remain two boys and an adult soccer coach who are still be rescued, as well as three Thai Navy SEAL divers and a doctor. Those four -- that quartet -- have been with the trapped group ever since the authorities were able to reach them, trying to maintain their health and ensure that they survive this terrible ordeal -- Dave and Christine.


So, Ivan, just quickly, the boys that have been admitted to the hospital -- the other eight -- these two now are probably en route at this point. Their condition is OK? I mean, they're really being cautious with them, right?

WATSON: Very careful, but we're told by the Thai medical authorities that they're in pretty good physical health, pretty good mental and emotional health.

Some of them suffered from inflamed lungs -- possible -- some kind of infection of the lungs. One of them had a scratch on his foot. All of them suffering from malnutrition and some of them also exposure, basically. Their body temperatures were lower despite the fact that they had wetsuits on during the journey out.

But they're taking no changes. They're under a strict quarantine. Their parents aren't even being allowed to hug and kiss them, though Monday night some of the parents were able to see the first group of four who emerged Sunday through a glass -- through a window at the hospital.

Thailand has invested an enormous amount. This is an international rescue effort and they don't want to take any chances in these first hours and days after the boys emerge.

They're not being given solid foods just yet because, of course, they've been suffering from malnutrition and haven't had solid foods for more than two weeks.

So extreme caution taken but some positive developments in what has been a remarkable couple of days of rescues after an ordeal that has lasted for more than two weeks deep underground -- Dave and Christine.

[05:45:07] ROMANS: All right. Thanks, Ivan. We'll let you get back to reporting from the scene.

I know we have two more boys, the coach, and those Navy SEALs, and the doctor to get out still.

BRIGGS: So, two in and their coach; two headed to Matt Rivers who is live for us outside the hospital in Thailand. Matt, what's the latest?

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we're seeing here is the repeat -- the repeating of a pattern over the last couple of days where boys are brought out sequentially. They're traveling in that cave in a group, as Ivan was just reporting. And if this happens the same way as it has over the past couple of

days -- and I say if there because this is a very fluid situation, guys. We don't know the condition of the boys outside of that cave. How much work needs to be done on them before they're able to be transported here to the hospital.

But if it follows the pattern that we saw yesterday and the day before, then they'll be driven from an ambulance to a military helicopter. They will land that helicopter south of where we are and then they will be brought, the last bit, here to the hospital. Down this road just to my left to the hospital just behind me where they will be brought inside for treatment.

Ivan talked a little bit about it but what has happened up there on the eighth floor of that building is an isolation unit specifically set up for these boys earlier this week in preparation for this eventuality where these boys are going to be in there.

There's a concern that their immune systems have been weakened to the point where they could be susceptible to infection, and so they don't want to take any chances.

Ivan also talked about the parents of these boys being able to see these kids. We know that the first four boys that were brought out on Sunday -- their parents were able to come here yesterday evening -- that's Monday evening here in Thailand -- and lay eyes on their children for the first time in well over two weeks.

But they couldn't touch them, they couldn't hug them. They actually stood on the other side of a glass wall and we're told they could only wave at their kids.

So you can imagine at the same time for those parents the feelings of jubilation and relief that their children are OK, but at the same time the frustration they must be feeling that they can't go in and give their boys the hug that they've probably been dreaming about giving them since they first went missing.

ROMANS: And they want Thai basil and beef, too.

BRIGGS: Yes, they want solid food.

ROMANS: They want a hug and they want to eat real food. Oh, those boys.

All right. Matt Rivers, thanks so much for that. Keep us posted when you get new information.

All right.

In Thailand, reunited kids with their families. Here, today is the deadline to reunite kids under five separated from their families at the border. Guess what? The United States government is not going to make that deadline.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [05:51:41] BRIGGS: Breaking overnight, a federal judge says the Justice Department cannot change rules that limit how long immigrant children can be detained. The DOJ wanted the change so it could detain families together long-term.

Of course, all this happening because the president implemented a zero tolerance policy that led to the separation of families at the border. The judge calling the DOJ's request quote "wholly without merit."

The Justice Department releasing a statement highlighting a single section of the ruling in the government's favor which says quote, "The court does appear to acknowledge that parents who cross the border will not be released and must choose between remaining in family custody or requesting separation from their children."

ROMANS: Today is the court-ordered deadline for children under five to be reunited with their parents. It is a deadline the United States government will not meet. So far, only 54 of 102 toddlers will be reunified by today.

At another court hearing on Monday, the federal judge who set the deadline said he was encouraged by the progress. The government still has thousands more children five and older who have to be reunited with their parents by July 26th.

BRIGGS: President Trump kicks off a high-stakes long -- a week-long European tour when he flies to Belgium later this morning for the NATO summit.

The president has been pressuring America's longtime allies to spend more on defense. Past administrations have done the same thing but this president's willingness to follow through on trade threats fracturing the Western alliance.

The president up early and tweeting on this. "The U.S. is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them. Not fair to the U.S. taxpayer."

More now from CNN's Kaitlan Collins in Brussels.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine and Dave, President Trump is expected to depart the White House here in a few hours, headed for Brussels for what is expected to a very tense and divisive NATO summit.

As you saw from the president's tweets yesterday, he is going after NATO, trashing them and singly out Germany specifically for not doing enough on their defense spending.

These leaders fear that when the president comes he's going to really throw whether or not the United States is truly committed to NATO into question more so than he already has. But they are also worried about the long-term effects. As the president wraps up his week in Europe he is going to be sitting down with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time, a summit that many European leaders fear is going to be friendlier than when he is here meeting with them in Brussels.

That is something that they fear that could result -- those talks with the Kremlin, it could result in less U.S. military in Europe and maybe stopping of military exercises as was the result of that summit in Singapore with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Those are their fears.

They are preparing for a showdown here with President Trump this year, wondering what the president is going to say even though aides say the president will have a unifying message when he does meet with those leaders. They aren't so sure and want to hear from President Trump himself -- Christine and Dave.


ROMANS: All right. Kaitlan Collins for us in Brussels.

Breaking news from Italy. George Clooney involved in an accident. A police officer in Sardinia confirms the actor was involved in a mishap. We know -- we know he's already out of the hospital.

It looks as though a Mercedes collided with Clooney's scooter, the actor ending up on the hood of the vehicle.

Nothing was broken although he will need 20 days of observation outside of the hospital. We're told the hospital ran a C.T. scan on him and nothing severe showed up. He left the hospital about an hour -- almost two hours ago.

[05:55:08] So, Clooney fans, we are happy to report he is out of trouble until he goes home and Amal is mad at him for riding his scooter.

BRIGGS: Yes, and you wonder if his beautiful and brilliant wife --


BRIGGS: -- says no more of that. It's his second motorcycle accident.

ROMANS: All right.

BRIGGS: The last one was is 2007.

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on "CNN Money" this morning.

Global stocks mostly higher today. In the U.S., the Dow and the S&P 500 both had their best day in a month.

Wall Street brushing off fears over a trade war, at least for now, focusing instead on earnings seasons kicking off this week. Investors expect another strong quarter. Look at -- wow -- S&P 500 profits should be 20 percent higher than last year. That is remarkable.

Some of the largest U.S. banks will be the first to report, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo.

States are investigating fast food hiring practices to keep workers from switching jobs, and that keeps a lid on wages. Ten states are asking eight restaurant chains about something called "no poach" rules. Those are rules that if franchisees have deals that stop them from hiring workers away from one another.

The states say this limits their ability to improve their earning potential and may explain why wage growth is so slow for fast food workers. The median pay for restaurant workers if $9.81 an hour.

Starbucks is going strawless by the year 2020, the latest big company to stop using single-serve plastic straws. Yesterday, both Hyatt Hotels and Starbucks promised to eliminate plastic straws, Hyatt by the end of the year.

Starbucks plans to replace those straws with flat plastic lids that critics say look like sippy cups. You can see it right here. It'll serve Frappuccinos with straws made from paper or compostable plastic.

This is in response to consumer demand. Many people say plastic packaging isn't worth the environmental damage.

Are you going to drink a coffee out of that?

BRIGGS: Absolutely, the iced coffee. No guy looks cool rocking a straw so a sippy cup, I actually welcome that.

ROMANS: No guy looks cool rocking a straw.

BRIGGS: I'm not going to do it. I already did it earlier.

ROMAN: This guy was rocking a straw.

BRIGGS: No, I generally do this off-camera. But the Frappuccinos, that's good news. You have the paper straws, right?

ROMANS: Yes. I think paper straws are good and I think --

BRIGGS: You still need some sort of straw for Frappuccinos.

ROMANS: It's just remarkable how many of these are in the environment. You use it just one time.

And one critic from -- environmentalist -- is that why wait until 2020? Other companies are doing it much more quickly.

BRIGGS: It just takes a long time to get this all in motion. McDonald's doing the same thing as well so good news for the environment.

All right, another -- OK, "NEW DAY" is coming up right now. They're going to have the latest on that Thai cave rescue. Two have been taken out today. That leaves just two kids in the cave and their 25-year-old coach, so some great news there from Thailand.

ROMANS: And the president on his way to Brussels in just a couple of hours. "NEW DAY" has got it for us.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, July 10th, 6:00 here in New York.

And we go begin with breaking news for you because divers in Thailand have just rescued two more boys from that flooded cave. It's great to be able to start with some good news right now.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Indeed. That means two boys and their soccer coach still waiting to be rescued after being trapped underground for 18 days. This is a race against the clock to get everyone out to safety.

CNN's Ivan Watson live in Northern Thailand with all the breaking details. Ivan, two out, three to go.

WATSON: That's right. Good news so far but we have to be careful because we don't know about the medical state of the two boys who have just been rescued, Alisyn and John.

But the rescue operation resumed at 10:00 a.m. local time, hours ahead of schedule. It's been underway for about seven hours and we can report that eyewitnesses have seen two boys emerge from the cave complex and they are then taken to a field hospital at the entrance of the cave complex for review from doctors.

They are being pulled out from depths in the mountains behind me here of about two and a half miles. And it is a dangerous journey that they are taking, one that has been deadly, sadly, with one professional former Navy SEAL diver who died along the journey last week trying to ferry supplies to the stranded soccer team.

We've learned from some of the rescue divers who have been assisting with this that it gets harder when the actual -- the depth of the water gets shallower, that the current gets stronger. There are razor-sharp rocks and really tight corners that people have to go around and I believe it takes hours to get the kids out one way.

They are dressed in wetsuits for this journey, as well as full-face air masks for them to breathe when they're submerged. But even so, the doctors say they're coming out with lower body temperatures -- you can just imagine. Not only are they suffering from malnutrition and dehydration, but then they're also submerged underwater for long periods of time.

This is dangerous work. There are still two boys left, there's still a 25-year-old soccer coach left, and there is the doctor -- the Thai doctor and three Navy SEAL officers --