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Two More Boys Rescued from Flooded Cave; Confirmation Fight Begins for Trump's Supreme Court Pick; 11th Boy Rescued from Cave. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired July 10, 2018 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
[05:57:59] 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 10, 6 a.m. here in New York. And we do 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.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Indeed. 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.
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Good news so far, though 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 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 2.5 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've been assisting with this that it gets harder when the actual depth of the water gets shallower. The current gets stronger. There are razor-sharp rocks, 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 wet suits for this journey, as well as full face air masks for them to breathe when they're submerged underwater for long periods of time. 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, 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 who have been with the team since the authorities were able to reach them.
And the commander of this operation, he anticipates, he's announced that all of them will be pulled out today, in a remarkably optimistic message. So we'll keep you posted as soon as we learn anything more about the ongoing rescue efforts here.
BERMAN: Ivan, you just said all of them.
WATSON: Sorry, Alisyn and John.
BERMAN: No problem, Ivan. Ivan, all of them will be pulled out today. I was going to ask about that. Because the math here, the first two days there were four kids pulled out of the cave each day, and today there were five people left at the beginning of the day. Do they have the resources, they think, to get all five out?
WATSON: They were remarkably optimistic, announcing, declaring that this would happen. You know, there was even a Facebook post from the Thai navy SEALs, who are playing such a critical role in this, saying that this is going to be the longest day yet, but they hope to celebrate with everybody when it's done. And then they concluded with a flourish, "Hooyah."
So they must sound optimistic, but it is tough, dangerous, and it has been, in that one tragic case, deadly work. Not only do you have the divers who have to bring these kids out, it's in some cases who can't swim, but you have to have people who provide air tanks along the way that have to get swapped out. It is some of those workers that CNN has spoken with who describe how difficult these conditions are.
Let me just stress again: professional divers, John and Alisyn, who have made the journey to the cave, two and a half miles in and back out, that has taken them 10, 11 hours to do, OK? This is hard work that has claimed the life of one professional diver. And then you're trying to take -- bring out children who have been trapped and are weak after more than two weeks underground. So weak that when they come out, they have to be blindfolded, because they haven't been exposed to natural light.
CAMEROTA: Ivan, the world -- I mean, the world has been on tenterhooks, waiting for these boys to be rescued alive. And, you know, we're just so close. And so everyone is hoping that it can happen in the next few hours.
Ivan, thank you for being there. And please, get back to us as soon as you have any breaking news whatsoever.
So let's talk about the boy's medical condition. Because as Ivan was just saying, they're in a precarious state. The boys who have already been rescued are being kept in quarantine, as we understand, at the hospital. CNN's Matt Rivers is live at that hospital where they are recovering.
So what is their medical condition? Do we know, Matt?
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We are getting more details, Alisyn, about the condition of the eight boys in that isolation unit in that hospital behind me.
A Thai public health official actually came out with some good news earlier today in a press conference, saying that the boys are in relatively good shape. They're in good spirits. They're asking for chocolate. They're asking for fried chicken.
But they're not out of the woods yet. They're going to be kept in that isolation unit for seven days, which means they can't see -- well, they can see but they can't touch their parents. They aren't hug their parents.
And they're also looking to make sure that their recovery continues. We know that five of the eight boys that have been brought out so far came out with significantly lower -- lowered body temperatures. As you heard Ivan talk about there, a result of being in the cave for a long time and also going through that cold water for such a long time.
And we know that two of the first four boys that came out actually had lung issues. We're told it's a lung infection that two of those boys had, but they are responding positively to treatment. And doctors are very optimistic that they're going to make it out of the woods. But still, what you're seeing with Thai health officials here is taking an abundance of caution with these boys.
Now, in terms of getting to see their parents, we know the first four boys that were brought out, their parents made their way to the hospital on Monday evening, but they were not able to go hug their kid. They had to stay behind a glass partition there. And they could only wave. And so on the one hand, you have to imagine they're thrilled to see their children for the first time in well over two weeks. But they can't give them that hug that they really want to.
BERMAN: All right. Matt Rivers standing by outside the hospital there. Matt, please keep us posted. Again, this is wonderful news. Two more kids taken from the cave. Still two kids inside and the coach. We're watching very, very closely.
The other big story we're following this morning, the battle to confirm President Trump's Supreme Court nominee still under way. Brett Kavanaugh's judicial record on key issues already being scrutinized as critics point to his writings on whether a sitting president is above the law.
CNN's Abby Phillip live at the White House with the very latest. The morning after the rollout, Abby.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, John.
The decision has been made. The nominee has been announced, but now it's onto the confirmation process. The White House is hoping that Brett Kavanaugh will be seated on the court by October. That's when the next Supreme Court session begins.
[06:05:07] But Kavanaugh has a long history of judicial writings and a long paper trail. And as of this moment, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Chuck Grassley, hasn't committed to that time line and holding hearings by September, which will allow them to meet it.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is my honor and privilege to announce that I will nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.
PHILLIP (voice-over): President Trump's nomination of D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh setting the stage for a bitter confirmation fight over the stalwart conservative who could reshape the high court for decades.
JUDGE BRETT KAVANAUGH, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: If confirmed by the Senate, I will keep an open mind in every case.
PHILLIP: The 53-year-old Yale Law School graduate was a former clerk for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. He served in both Bush administrations and helped write Ken Starr's report outlining grounds for Bill Clinton's impeachment.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling Kavanaugh a superb choice, despite CNN learning that McConnell advised the president to choose a nominee with less obstacles to be confirmed.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer declaring, "I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh's nomination with everything I have," as opponents express concern that Kavanaugh will vote to overturn rulings protecting minorities.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Are you ready for a fight? Are you ready to defend Roe v. Wade?
PHILLIP: Kavanaugh has not outrightly opposed Roe v. Wade or same-sex marriage, but he sided with the Trump administration last year to block an abortion for a pregnant immigrant teenager, citing the government's permissible interest in favoring fetal life. Kavanaugh addressed the landmark abortion ruling during his confirmation to the D.C. circuit.
KAVANAUGH: If confirmed to the D.C. Circuit, I would follow Roe v. Wade faithfully and fully. That would be binding precedent.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: What is your opinion? You're not on the bench yet. You've talked about these issues in the past to other people, I'm sure.
KAVANAUGH: The Supreme Court has held repeatedly, Senator, and I don't think it would be appropriate for me to give a personal view on that. SCHUMER: OK. Not going to answer the question.
PHILLIP: Kavanaugh's nomination could also have major implications for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia information. Kavanaugh is a strong proponent of broad executive powers, writing in 2009, "The indictment and trial of a sitting president would cripple the federal government, rendering it unable to function with credibility in either international or domestic arenas."
Some social conservatives expressing disappointment that the president chose the establishment favorite.
RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It just seems like Trump in this case just bowed to the elite in Washington. And I think that's going to rub a lot of people the wrong way.
PHILLIP: But sources tell CNN that the president was hardened that key conservative voices like Ann Coulter and writers at Breitbart have recently come to Kavanaugh's defense.
As the confirmation battle begins, the White House is eyeing four red- state Democrats, three who voted for the president's first justice, Neil Gorsuch. Key Republican moderates Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, who both support abortion rights, also likely to be the target of fierce lobbying efforts. Collins, who voted for Kavanaugh as a federal judge, promising to conduct a careful and thorough vetting of the president's nominee.
PHILLIP: Well, this morning Brett Kavanaugh heads to Capitol Hill. He's going to be meeting with Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The battle for his confirmation has already begun. Millions of dollars heading out to the airwaves already this morning.
Meanwhile, here at the White House, President Trump is expected to head over to Brussels for that NATO summit. He will be leaving the White House in just a few minutes, Alisyn and John.
Abby, thank you very much for giving us all that information.
Joining us to discuss it, we have CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and CNN political analyst David Gregory.
So Jeffrey Toobin, not a surprise. I mean, Brett Kavanaugh's name was at the top of the list for a long time. It sounds like the possible deal breaker for those senators who are still on the fence are -- is how he will deal with Roe v. Wade. And so we saw in Abby's piece that he's already been asked about that. And when he says that he believes it is binding precedent and that he would follow it fully and faithfully, should that give them comfort?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Not in the slightest. That is a very different setting than the one he will be in shortly. When he was a nominee to the Court of Appeals, he had no right, indeed
he had the obligation to follow Supreme Court precedent. Circuit court judges can't overturn Supreme Court precedence. So the fact that he said, "It's binding precedent on me, a lower court judge," of course that's true. There's nothing -- there's no other way to answer that question.
[06:10:04] The question of whether a Supreme Court justice can overturn a Supreme Court precedent is a completely different one. Supreme Court justices, with some regularity -- they did it just a few weeks ago -- can overturn old precedents.
So the fact that he committed to it as a lower court judge has no bearing on whether he will honor it as a Supreme Court justice.
BERMAN: And in fact, if you listen to his answer carefully there, he's speaking in that legalese terminology, so he did not preclude the possibility that later on, perhaps, he could have a different view or a more nuanced view.
David Gregory, if you look at the list of senators in play here, you know, the Republicans Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. Then you have the Democrats, including the ones who voted for Neil Gorsuch, hone in on Susan Collins right there, because she did vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh for the appeals court back in 2006.
It seems to me that this pick is, at least in part, designed to make it very difficult for Susan Collins to severely rock the boat here.
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. She hasn't opposed a Supreme Court nominee thus far. And she did support Judge Kavanaugh.
That is one of the advantages for any president to name someone who's on the D.C. circuit, because it's a high-profile job. It's a feeder for the Supreme Court. And so they become well-known.
In Judge Kavanaugh, you have someone who, yes, has an extensive paper trail and extensive experience in Washington. And, you know, it's striking to me that here is a president, a populist, completely outside the political mainstream, who won a very narrow election and has become president and has now done, in his Supreme Court selections, what any conservative president would do.
For all of his impulsivity and unpredictability in other areas, President Trump has recognized that he can unite the conservative base of the Republican Party with these selections. And he has stayed true to the movement conservatives who have and will reshape the court, and will change the court's direction to become more conservative.
And in Kavanaugh, he has someone also who will energize Democrats, not just because of his views on presidential power but because of healthcare. Democrats want to make healthcare a big issue in the midterm race. And as a judge in the D.C. circuit, he's weighed in on this. And this will help to energize Democrats.
But it's going to be very difficult to defeat Kavanaugh, somebody who is as well-known and as qualified as he is and within, you know, the space of being a movement conservative, very much in the same vain that Barack Obama stuck to as president in choosing reliable progressives to be on the court in Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I think what's important to keep in mind is that, while Democrats will feel the impulse to rush to the ramparts, over understandable anger about Merrick Garland, this is not a nod to the populist base.
This is an establishment Republican, staff secretary to President George W. Bush, someone very well-regarded in those circles, someone who name checked Kennedy and Kagan in the speech last night and is probably closer on the ideological judicial spectrum to Kennedy than to a Scalia.
So while there will and should be very tough questions, not only about Roe v. Wade but also rulings he made on the EPA and other issues, and real digging into his views on presidential power and prerogative, which may be why Trump overrode his impulse to be anti-Bush in all things, this is not as far-right a pick as president could have made. And if Democrats seek to tar him with that, they could lose some of their credibility.
There's a fascinating op-ed in "The New York Times" today by a Yale Law professor --
CAMEROTA: He is a Yale Law professor.
AVLON: So is Kavanaugh, that's right. But a liberal case for Kavanaugh. So this is not as polarizing a pick. And I think pretending it is on the Democrats' side could backfire politically.
TOOBIN: I don't see that. I don't see that at all.
AVLON: OK, let's go.
TOOBIN: I think if you look at the -- if you look at the issues on which the Democrats want to make this fight, should -- should, you know, Roe v. Wade be overturned, should the courts overturn what's left of Obamacare, you know, should gay people be allowed to be excluded from restaurants and bakeries because they are gay --
AVLON: Jeff, you keep -- you keep saying that. And I hear that. But what in Kavanaugh's you now just profile and jurisprudence to date makes you think he's that much of an ideological right-wing warrior?
TOOBIN: How did he get on the Federalist Society list? The prescreening of the Federalist Society? Why did Donald Trump say in the campaign, "I will appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court who will overturn Roe v. Wade"? Why did he say that? Because he meant it.
AVLON: Do you conceded -- look, he clearly checks the box of the Federalist Society, but do you concede that Donald Trump picked the establishment pick, not someone who's far right, especially out of that final four?
TOOBIN: Well, I mean, yes, he's not as -- he's not as far right as Amy Coney Barrett, but I don't think he has any -- that he is -- he is more centrist than Kethledge or -- or Hardiman. I mean, I don't think he is some sort -- I mean, the idea that he is closer to Kennedy than to Clarence Thomas, I think, is completely wrong.
[06:15:21] AVLON: But I think it's really important that we point out that any Republican would have made this selection. I think it's a total red herring that they -- people talk about it being outsourced to the Federalist Society, and President Trump had this list during the campaign. That's all fine.
I mean, any Republican would have worked off of this template of judges. There has been a movement for decades to elevate conservatives to be in this position. And it's obviously the same case on the Democratic side. There's no difference here. The reality is that elections have consequences. These are the consequences for Democrats. There's a Republican president who has stuck very -- by the way --
BERMAN: Well, hang on, guys. Hang on. There could be consequences directly for President Trump here in this investigation. And there is one area that a lot of people are pointing to right now, where Kavanaugh has a keen and, you know, record interest here --
BERMAN: -- which is the issue of an investigation.
CAMEROTA: So here's what he's written, and this was for "The Minnesota Law Review." This was in 2009. "Having seen firsthand" -- all right, different. "Having seen first-hand how complex and difficult that job is, I believe it is vital" -- he's talking about the presidency. "I believe it is vital that the president be able to focus on his never-ending tasks with as few distractions as possible. The point is not to put the president above the law or to eliminate checks on the president, but simply to defer litigations until he is out of office. If he does something dastardly, the impeachment process is available."
So Jeffrey, I mean, that's where he is speaking directly to whether or not an investigation of a president, a la what happened to Bill Clinton under Ken Starr, is so onerous that it would get in the way of presidential duties, and he thinks that it does.
TOOBIN: And who is one of the people responsible for that onerous investigation of Bill Clinton? Brett Kavanaugh. So suddenly, when he's in a position to be elevated by a president to the Supreme Court, he discovers, "Oh, you know, those investigations, they're not --"
CAMEROTA: This was 2009. This writing is from 2009.
TOOBIN: I understand that.
CAMEROTA: This was in 2009. That's not sudden. TOOBIN: But he is -- he is on the circuit court by that point. So he has only one constituency, which is president to the United States, if he wants to get on the Supreme Court. So the Brett Kavanaugh of 1998 and the Brett Kavanaugh of --
AVLON: Jeff --
TOOBIN: -- I think they have very different views.
AVLON: No question. They have diametrically opposed views. And the question is whether the impulse is as cynical as you just stated or whether his views evolved from when he was on the Starr Commission and said that the president has no right to avoid a subpoena or whether his experience in the White House working for W. helped him evolve genuinely and sincerely as reflected in this "Minnesota Law Review" article.
TOOBIN: I think that is exactly the question and I wonder what the answer is.
AVLON: Stay tuned.
GREGORY: But let's also remember from his writings that he said that a president should be accountable for lying to the public, when he was -- that part of the Starr Report. So that will be used. This will certainly be fodder for the confirmation hearing, there's no doubt.
BERMAN: That was -- that was the 1990s version of Brett Kavanaugh, not the 2009 version.
AVLON: Deep cuts. Yes.
GREGORY: But we should -- we should also point out that one of the reasons why this will be cheered by conservatives and will be -- will make it difficult for red-state Democrats is what he's done on the D.C. Circuit to uphold restrictions on the government's ability to intervene in the economy. And in that way, again, the president has done a lot to unite his base.
BERMAN: All right, gentlemen, thanks very much.
Coming up, I do want to say on NEW DAY, we're going to speak to Raj Shah, the deputy White House press secretary, who is handling the confirmation process.
CAMEROTA: OK. We also have breaking news: the 11th boy has been rescued. OK, so there is so much happening right now. This rescue is under way. The 11th boy from that cave in Thailand has been rescued. We don't know what his medical condition is, but that means that there is one more boy and the coach of the Wild Boars that are left to get out, and it looks like it might happen on our watch. We have all the details for you next.
[06:22:56] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news. BERMAN: And we do have more breaking news this morning. And it is good news. The 11th boy just rescued from the flooded cave in Thailand. Three rescues so far today. And efforts continue to save the remaining boy and the soccer coach still inside that cave.
Here now to discuss, CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta; and Tim Taylor. He's an underwater explorer and expert in underwater technology.
And Tim, we've seen three boys pulled out today, four each of the previous days. They seem to have this system in place. I just think it has run, I just think, incredibly smoothly so far. Still, though, two to go.
TIM TAYLOR, CEO, TIBURON SUBSEA: Yes. And getting this as a routine has a little bit of danger in itself, because always -- there's always something that can come out of left field that you haven't run in the last four times or three times. And so you've got to be really vigilant for, you know, something happening, a gear failure or something just out of the blue that hasn't happened before.
CAMEROTA: This is new video that we got in about, you know, the process. And this part -- I mean, it's misleading, right? Because this looks like, "Oh, we could all do this. They're only wading up to their knees." But they can't shoot the stuff where it's just blackout conditions --
CAMEROTA: -- and they're having to go under the water, and there's still portions of that, too. I mean, even this, obviously, looks treacherous, but there are much worse things that they have to get the kids out.
But still, the fact that they've done it now, you're hopeful that these last two will go well?
TAYLOR: Yes, yes. This could easily be the terrestrial Apollo 13 of our age, so -- where the world is watching. Everybody wants it to end well. And we're -- you know, there's a whole group effort to make this happen.
BERMAN: And so many things had to go right. So many things had to go right in a row, and they had to think so carefully and plan so thoroughly. That's what is impressive.
Sanjay, the health of these children. What do we know so far from the kids who have been pulled out? I understand that, what, two have tested -- shown positive signs of that cave disease that you were concerned about?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, they say that there's some sort of lung infection for two of the boys. They also describe the boys as being generally healthy as a starting point. That lung infection can be a lot of things. Infections because their immune system's down. Bacteria, viruses. [06:25:05] But there is a thing known as cave disease, which is
actually a fungal disease. And it comes from the droppings of birds and bats in the caves. And you get exposed to that. That gets into the air. People breathe it in. That can cause an infection. People know it as histoplasmosis. And that's something that can take a few days to develop symptoms but is treatable. It is not contagious. So the healthcare workers, the families really shouldn't be at risk. And this is something people know how to treat.
CAMEROTA: But the boys were also quarantined. I mean, look, one of the -- part of the -- one of the elements of this story is their parents waiting for them. Their parents not knowing that they were going to be alive and their parents waiting for them.
And even now, it sounds like these boys are quarantined and that their parents aren't allowed to go into the room. They can look at them through a glass. I mean, all of the waiting and not being able to get to your child is so heart-wrenching, you know?
GUPTA: I can't imagine what that would be like if it were me. But in this case, I think, what's happening aside from those lung infections, is that being in this sort of situation, a cave like this, you do run the risk of weakening your immune system. Your body starts to behave differently. It doesn't have response to natural light. There's all sorts of things that your body starts to shut down and amp up. And your immune system may be one of them.
So the concern is, could someone else now infect these boys during this crucial period? So that's the quarantine, even more so than the lung infection.
And right now they're saying seven days. I think that's a bit of an arbitrary number. If there's really no signs whatsoever and their immune systems are improving over the next couple of days, my guess is that that timetable could be accelerated.
BERMAN: I've got to say, I'm hypnotized by the video we were looking at before, the video we hadn't seen yet of the rescue itself, of the divers and the workers walking through the cave and the tunnel.
And as Alisyn was saying, Tim, this part where you're walking doesn't look so difficult. I have to say, I'm not sure I would want to do it, but what is the part we're not seeing, Tim? What is the truly hardest part of this effort?
TAYLOR: Well, really, think of the time. This is a nine-hour journey. This is -- you're watching seconds on television, and you're watching some of the easier parts to film, as you said. But nine hours. I would assume they're staging it, so it's not totally nine hours under water. There are sections they walk, the sections they dive. But in between checking their health, trying to get them warmer. You know, resupplying the gas, because you want to make sure that all your --
CAMEROTA: The air, you mean?
TAYLOR: The air.
CAMEROTA: Those are positioned -- as we understand it, those are positioned along the route. There are tanks positioned along the route, is that how you understand it?
TAYLOR: Yes. I would imagine if I was doing this, there would be systems to resupply for the divers, because when you're breathing underwater it's gas. Because it's not always air. It could be oxygen. It could be a mixture of oxygen and -- mostly, this is probably air. So it is -- that they're breathing.
But when they say they bringing oxygen in there, they're probably oxygen -- pure oxygen to flush the tank, flush the cave area that they're in. I mean, you've got to think of the environment that they've been living in for close to two weeks, with sanitation and the gas they're breaking in and all that. So there's different gases involved. And some of them can be deadly, so if you breathe in the wrong way underwater, it depends.
So I don't think it's that deep. I think this is shallow enough water that they don't have to deal with that kind of thing.
BERMAN: All right. Tim, Sanjay, stand by. Again, 11 people rescued so far. We're still waiting on one player and the coach. We're going to watch this all morning. You guys, don't go far.
Other news developing over the last 24 hours, political upheaval in Great Britain. The prime minister losing key members of her cabinet. What does her future hold? And remember, President Trump going to London in just two days.