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All Rescued from Thai Cave; Confirmer Fight for Kavanaugh; Trump Heads to NATO Summit; Prosecuting a President. Aired 8:30-9:00a ET

Aired July 10, 2018 - 08:30   ET



[08:29:36] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We do have breaking news. If you're just tuning in, all 12 boys and their coach from the Wild Boar soccer team in Thailand who have been trapped from nearly three weeks. They have been rescued from that flooded cave in Thailand.

We are happy to report CNN's Ivan Watson has been live on the scene for us and he has all of the breaking details. Ivan, what's the latest?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Alisyn, I want to read a post from the Thai navy SEAL FaceBook page, this one in English, that I think sums this up pretty well. Quote, we are not sure if this is a miracle, a science or what. All 13 wild boars are now out of the cave.

In other previous posts, they did say, yes, we've gotten the kids out, we've gotten their coach out after more than two weeks underground at a depth of two and a half miles, four kilometers in the mountain behind me in these waning hours of the day here and also sent messages calling for support to the four support staff who spent more than a week in that cramped cavern in that air pocket helping take care of the kids. That's a doctor and three navy SEAL officers, saying, hey, let's also send support to them to make sure that they get safely out. And the Thai navy SEALs know this better than anybody because they lost one of their own in this very dangerous, multinational effort to try to get the soccer players out. A former Thai navy SEAL diver who lost his life in the very perilous tunnels trying to ferry supplies back and forth last week.

The effort is difficult. It has been hard. Some of the divers who spoke to CNN said there are razor-sharp rocks in the narrow tunnels that you have to get through. The boys had to be dressed in wet suits to try to keep from suffering from hypothermia because it's believe that they've spent hours underwater in cold, rushing water there in the dark. They have full face masks.

The prime minister of Thailand says that they're even given kind of anti-anxiety pills, some kind of anti-histamine, he described it, for that procedure because you can just imagine how claustrophobic it is. Also, many of the boys don't even know how to swim. Certainly they've never scuba-dived before. But amid -- amidst all of these odds, a remarkable multi-national effort that had clearly the support of a great deal of people in the Thai kingdom and a lot of hopes and prayers from around the world that have helped -- been behind the effort to get these boys and their coach out.

We're still waiting to hear about the medical condition of the five who were rescued today. But the previous eight, who were pulled from beneath the mountain on Sunday and Monday, doctors say they're in pretty good medical condition. We'll bring you the latest on the health conditions of these last five and their navy SEAL supporters just as soon as we get them.

John and Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Ivan, we so appreciate your reporting and you bringing to us such good news as it breaks. Thank you so much.

I liked what Ivan read from the navy SEAL -- the Thai SEALs. He said, they didn't know whether to thank God or science, but, obviously, we all know we can thank the global team of SEALs that did this.

BERMAN: We can thank everybody.

JOHN AVLON, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, God, science and the global team of SEALs. This just joyful, miraculous story.

BERMAN: I have to say, I mean one -- this weekend -- heading into this weekend, did not think it was possible. I woke up Sunday morning, saw that they started to pull the kids out. A remarkable process for the first day, for the second, five today.

CAMEROTA: I know. It's just herculean. I mean -- I mean all of us I think were emotionally trying to prepare for what if this had gone horribly, horribly wrong. And watching this unfold in real time, it has gripped the entire world. And there could not be a better outcome.

BERMAN: During the World Cup, the most popular soccer team on earth just came out of the cave in Thailand.

AVLON: Wild boars.

BERMAN: Wild boars.

All right, the confirmation battle ahead for the president's Supreme Court pick. How will Democrats deal with Brett Kavanaugh? A key member of the Senate joins us next.


[08:37:50] CAMEROTA: OK, so the confirmation fight is underway for President Trump's Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh. He heads to Capitol Hill in just hours to begin meeting with lawmakers.

Joining us now is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii.

Senator, thanks so much for being with us. SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D), HAWAII: Thank you. Good morning.

CAMEROTA: As of this morning, everything you've heard about Brett Kavanaugh and his scholarship and his intellect, will you vote for him?

HIRONO: Well, the burden of proof is on him to show me that he can be a fair and objective justice because this is a person who has been vetted by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, two organizations whose missions include repealing the Affordable Care Act, health care, and overturning Roe v. Wade, not to mention that he has a record of 300 opinions, a record with both of the Bushs, his participation in the Starr investigation. And, at a time when this president pushes his executive powers to the limit, he has also written about the extent of executive powers and any immunity protections that a sitting president should have.


HIRONO: So the burden of proof is on him to show me he can do that. So that's --

CAMEROTA: Yes, but what -- I mean what could he ever say or do to convince you to vote for him?

HIRONO: Well, that's what I mean, he bears the burden of proof. So let us see what -- whether he can meet that burden.

CAMEROTA: So as of right now, from what you've seen, you would vote no?

HIRONO: The burden of proof is on him, which means that I am leaning no but, you know, maybe he can convince me to vote for him.


HIRONO: That's the -- this is a big burden on him to show me he can be fair and objective.


So what can Democrats -- look, I know that you are still understandably quite upset about what Mitch McConnell did in blocking Judge Merrick Garland, right?

HIRONO: Certainly.

CAMEROTA: So you are not inclined to give Republicans their way on this and that is completely understandable. However, what tricks do Democrats have up their sleeve? How could you ever block this?

HIRONO: It's not tricks. We have the constitutional responsibility to provide advice and consent. And that's exactly what I'm going to do. I'm going to do my job, as I see fit, to make sure that this person can indeed be fair and objective. [08:40:07] You know, the president has the power to nominate. We have

the power and responsibility to confirm this person. But with that responsibility comes, as far as I'm concerned, the Senate hearing, the one on one meeting that I will have with him. And, because of his record and the fact that he's been vetted by two highly conservative groups that want to overturn Roe v. Wade and repeal the Affordable Care Act, among other things, that he bears the burden of proof to show me that he can meet that burden.

CAMEROTA: So in the confirmation hearing, what is your most burning question for him?

HIRONO: Of course it has to do with the reach of executive power because he has written that he thinks that Congress should pass specific legislation to insulate the president from either criminal or civil processes while in office. Now the Congress has -- the Congress has not so acted, I want to know whether if Congress doesn't act, does the president still have this kind of protection. So that's a series of questions that I will have for him.

And, of course, regarding Roe v. Wade. You know, I -- even if this court, should he be confirmed, does not overturn Roe v. Wade, I believe that this court, especially with Neil Gorsuch there, they will sustain the hundreds and hundreds of laws that have been enacted by over a dozen states so far that limits a woman's right to choose and her freedoms. So they will sustain all those laws to basically in effect overturn Roe v. Wade without actually overturning Roe v. Wade. And it's going to be really tough for women going forward to have access to abortion the way Roe v. Wade intended.

So, you know, to put all of this on the states means that at least 19 states have already enacted dozens of laws that limit a woman's freedom for choice. And so this is going to be an incentive should he get on the court for even more of these kinds of limiting abortion laws to be put on the books.

And I know whereof I speak because I served in the state legislature in Hawaii where there were all these efforts to limit a woman's right to choose. And these kinds of efforts have been enacted in over a dozen states, 19 states at least, all across our country.


I want to ask you before we let you go about the president's trip with NATO, meeting with our allies. We just heard him on the South Lawn before he departed talk about how basically they have been taking advantage of the United States in terms of who financially supports NATO. And he thinks that the U.S. has gotten a raw deal. And if you look at the numbers, the U.S. does pay the lion's share of the monies to NATO. So, how do you think this is going to go?

HIRONO: I don't think it's going to go over very well with our European allies. And this is another example of the president slamming our allies and embracing our -- basically our enemies, such as Russia, such as Erdogan. You know, it's very clear that the president really likes and admires

dictators. So his relationship with Putin, I have great concerns about his one-on-one meeting with Putin without any staff. I have no idea what he's going to promise. This is not a president who thinks through his positions.

But it's very clear that he likes dictators and he continues to slam our allies. That is not the kind of president who should be -- that we should have. You know, we should support our allies and our allies should be able to look to us as a dependable partner. And right now I think that's questionable.

CAMEROTA: Senator Mazie Hirono, thank you for sharing your perspective on NEW DAY.

HIRONO: Thank you.


BERMAN: We do have some breaking George Clooney news. He was involved in a motorcycle crash in Italy. We have exclusive details on how he's doing, next.


[08:48:04] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRETT KAVANAUGH, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE NOMINEE: 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.


BERMAN: That was President Trump's Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. His record on key issues will be crucial in his Senate confirmation battle.

Joining us now is Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz. His new book out this week is called "The Case Against Impeaching Trump."

Professor, thanks so much for being with us.


BERMAN: You had a chance to speak to the president about this. You're not going to tell us what you talked about on the Supreme Court nomination process, but what do you make of his ultimate decision?

DERSHOWITZ: Well, I think he decided this was the right nominee for this position. I think he thinks he's going to fill a lot of positions. And I don't think he's excluded any of the other people on the list from being nominated in the future. BERMAN: Brett Kavanaugh has written extensively about investigating

and prosecuting a president in an article in "The Minnesota Law Review" in 2009. One of the things he says is the indictment and trial of a sitting president would cripple the federal government, rendering it unable to function with credibility in either the international or domestic arenas.

DERSHOWITZ: He's right. He's absolutely right about that. And in my book, "The Case Against Impeaching Trump," I make the argument that the Constitution forbids the prosecution of a sitting president because it says you can only prosecute a president after he's been impeached and after he's left office. The Constitution really made it very hard to prosecute or get rid of a president because we didn't want the English system where parliament could just vote a president out.

BERMAN: Does it say anything about investigating a president or those connected to a president or those involved with a president?

DERSHOWITZ: Well, surly you can investigate people involved with the president, people close to the president. We're talking about the president.

BERMAN: Well, but the Mueller investigation is investigating the people close to the president, involved with the president.

DERSHOWITZ: I -- I'm not -- look, I have no problem with investigating those people. It would have been better to do it through the Southern District of New York. But I have no problem with that.

[08:50:06] But the Constitution specifies the president. For example, when you impeach a president, only the president, the chief justice must preside over that. So the Constitution singled out the president. Of course he's not above the law, neither are senators or judges, but they get special immunity, as well as the president.

BERMAN: The process by which you deal with the president is impeachment. That is spelled out in the Constitution.

DERSHOWITZ: Absolutely.

BERMAN: It says, treason, it says bribery, it says high crimes and misdemeanors.

DERSHOWITZ: Right. And that means it. It means it when it says that.

BERMAN: What does it mean when it says high crimes and misdemeanors.

DERSHOWITZ: It says it has to be an actual crime. But the framers --

BERMAN: Does it -- does it say it has -- does it say it has to be an actual crime?

DERSHOWITZ: What do all these things have in common, bribery, treason, high crimes and misdemeanors? They're all crimes. The framers rejected an explicit proposal to make maladministration an impeachable offense, saying we don't want to get the British system where the president serves at the pleasure of Congress. The president should be a strong, independent branch of government.

BERMAN: Yet -- yet while the chief justice from the judicial branch presides, it is the legislative branch, those who make laws, those who make political judgements, who actually run the trial itself.

DERSHOWITZ: But they're bound by the Constitution. They take a special oath when they sit as a court of impeachment and the oath is to apply the Constitution and the Constitution says crimes and it means it. All of my colleagues who say --

BERMAN: But you know -- but you know --


BERMAN: You say that --


BERMAN: And you know that is disputed comment (ph).

DERSHOWITZ: Very disputed.

BERMAN: There are people who say that the House can impeach for whatever reason it wants.

DERSHOWITZ: Absolutely. President Ford said that when he was minority leader. Congresswoman Waters. They are dead wrong.

BERMAN: According --

DERSHOWITZ: And my academic colleagues who say it are dead wrong. And when you read my book, you'll see why they're dead wrong.

BERMAN: I -- I did read it and I appreciate the argument.

Brett Kavanaugh, who's been in the news lately, as the president's nominee to the Supreme Court, he says, if the president does something dastardly --

DERSHOWITZ: He's wrong.

BERMAN: The impeachment process is available.

DERSHOWITZ: He's dead wrong. He should go back --

BERMAN: He's about to be a Supreme Court justice.

DERSHOWITZ: He should read the Constitution. And I think when he does read the Constitution and when he reads my book, and I will send him a copy of it, he will see I'm right and he's wrong.

Dastardly is not a criteria for impeachment. If you allow dastardly to be a criteria for impeachment, then you really create a lawless process. What does dastardly mean? Who defines that? BERMAN: In order to prove -- and in order to prove something is illegal, though, in the Dershowitz standard of impeachment here --

DERSHOWITZ: Right. Right.

BERMAN: There does need to be an investigation?

DERSHOWITZ: Of course. The investigation by Congress. That's who's supposed to do the investigating.

BERMAN: Just by -- just by Congress?

DERSHOWITZ: Well, they're the authorized group to impeach. The --

BERMAN: Should you --

DERSHOWITZ: The House is the grand jury.

BERMAN: But the independent counsel law, they let the independent counsel law expire. So there's no actual law by which Congress can investigate right now. The special prosecutor, you know, statute, in so far as it exists, is the one that exists. The special prosecutor, appointed by the attorney general. So what's wrong with the process happening right now?

DERSHOWITZ: Well, what's wrong with it is we don't need a special counsel. We have U.S. attorneys offices. We have the inspector general. We have people who are civil servants who have served for 30 years (INAUDIBLE) investigate --

BERMAN: But it was the determination of the Justice Department that there was a conflict of interest.

DERSHOWITZ: And people make mistakes. And I think that was a mistake.

Look, reasonable people disagree about this. But I have been opposed -- look, if I were making this argument about President Hillary Clinton, people on Martha's Vineyard would be throwing their arms around me. I'd be the biggest hero. And every liberal would be saying, he's absolutely right. I'm making the identical argument, but I'm making it about Donald Trump and so I'm wrong.

BERMAN: The argument you seem to be making, though, is, he can't be impeached, that there's really no reason to investigate him, that the special prosecutor shouldn't be investigating him. So even if he did something wrong --

DERSHOWITZ: You vote against him. That's the remedy. That's --

BERMAN: That's the remedy? So you just wait? You just wait? You wait?

DERSHOWITZ: No, you vote against -- you vote against his congressional candidates.

BERMAN: What if he meddled in the election? What if he -- what if he had colluded with Russia? DERSHOWITZ: That's a good question. If he actually committed a crime


BERMAN: All my questions are good, but thank you for pointing that out.

DERSHOWITZ: They're all good.

If a president commits a crime that helps him get elected president, I think -- in my book I argue that's a close question and I think reasonable people could say that's an impeachable offense. It's a crime.

BERMAN: Professor Alan Dershowitz, we thank you for coming here in studio. Hope they let you back on Martha's Vineyard.

DERSHOWITZ: Thank you. They will.

CAMEROTA: OK, we have more breaking news. Hollywood superstar George Clooney was in a car accident in Italy earlier today. He was on a motorbike and was hit head on. He survived and our John Avlon reached out to him to find out how he's doing.

What does he say, John?

AVLON: I checked in on him. He wants folks to know he's out of the hospital, banged up but doing fine.

He's what happened. He was on his motorbike in Sardinia and a car turned into him. He hit him head on. Smashed the windshield with his head. Was thrown 30 feet from the accident. So lucky to be alive. But, as he said, it's good to be alive today. It's good to be alive.

CAMEROTA: There's a lot of stories of miracles that we've been reporting on this morning. That is a miraculous survival.

AVLON: It's a -- it's a -- that's a theme of today's show.

BERMAN: Is he dreamy still? He hit -- he hit the windshield with his head. It did not impact the dreaminess at all?

AVLON: I think he's banged but that quality I assume is intact.

[08:55:00] CAMEROTA: I pray he was wearing a helmet.


CAMEROTA: It sounds like he was.

AVLON: I believe he was, but folks certainly should.

CAMEROTA: Well, John, thank you very much for (INAUDIBLE).

AVLON: It's good to hear (INAUDIBLE).

CAMEROTA: Yes, absolutely. BERMAN: A reservoir of good news --


BERMAN: Including the breaking news, which you alluded to before, the 12 members of the Thai soccer team and their coach rescued from the cave. Who would have thunk it? Who would have thunk it a few days ago?

CAMEROTA: It has been a miraculous day here.

So, CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow will pick up on all of this miraculous news after this very quick break.

We'll see you tomorrow.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone, I'm Poppy Harlow.

And we do begin with breaking news.

They are safe. All 12 boys and their soccer coach rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand. It has been 18 days since they last saw sunlight. Guided by their rescuers, they braved strong currents, tight squeezes past razor sharp rocks for hours on end and they swam through waters so muddy they could not see past their own hands. Four of those rescuers, though, are still inside the cave at this hour.

[08:59:59] Let's go to our Ivan Watson, our senior international correspondent, who has been there covering throughout and then we will take you to the hospital where these boys are.

But, Ivan, I was watching as you broke the news just about an hour ago that it happened. It's rare to get to cover something so miraculous.