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CNN NEWSROOM

Four Boys and Coach Still in Cave in Thailand; May in Turmoil as Trump Is About to Visit United Kingdom; Trump Selects Court Pick to Be Revealed Tonight; Puerto Rico to Be Hit by Storm Darryl. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired July 9, 2018 - 15:30   ET

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


GLENN KIRSCHNER, FORMER ASSISTANT US ATTORNEY: When it comes to what statements the president actually made to Comey, words matter. Presidential words certainly used to matter. And what we have is when you have a president who is the chief law enforcement officer of the country telling the director of the FBI I want you to back off, those are dramatic and it sure sounds like words that could support an interference in the investigation.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Glenn and Gloria, thank you both so much. Read glorious reporting, she mentioned CNN.com for that.

Coming up next, could the British Prime Minister Theresa May's job be in jeopardy? She's under pressure as two senior cabinet members resigned over Brexit. This just days ahead of President Trump's highly anticipated visit to the United Kingdom. Stay tuned.

[15:035:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: After more than two weeks of fear and worry in Thailand, a sense of hope is beginning to emerge. Eight of those 12 soccer players who have been trapped inside that cave have been rescued. Evacuations started Sunday. Four boys were safely pulled out at first and today four more made it out. A-OK. Plans to rescue the remaining four boys and the coach will happen tomorrow. The better news about this whole rescue effort is the weather has cooperated. Water levels have remained low, which helped divers cut several hours off the operation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NARONGSAK OSOTTANAKORN, commander of the joint administration center, (through translator): The four boys rescued today now are hospitalize used or are in good health condition. I do pray for the rain gods to have some mercy for us. Actually, I did for three days without rain. I don't want to ask for more than that. That would be considered greedy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Officials said the divers rescued the healthiest boys first. Remember, some of these boys can't swim. So, let's bring in a dive team trainer and head of the Utah Department of Public Safety. Thank you for coming on. We saw you talking about the challenges of navigating a cave such as this. But on the note of getting the healthiest boys out first, put yourself in the boots of these rescuers, who do you think the strategy is behind that?

SGT. WENDELL NOPE, DIVE TEAM TRAINER AND HEAD OF THE UTAH DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: To make sure that the boys coming out first had optimal ability to make the journey more as a test case to make sure that they can actually follow the plan that has been set up.

BALDWIN: Now, it's monsoon season and everyone is worried about this cave getting flooded. If it hasn't happened so far, knock on wood. If the heavy rains move in before the other boys were able to get out, tell me how that affects the rescue technically speaking, especially considering the weaker boys remain.

NOPE: Of course, it makes it makes it more technically challenging. However, the fact that the first eight boys came out so well and so much ahead of time of the original plan, it just makes it all the more possible that the remaining boys will have an excellent chance of making their way through.

BALDWIN: A lot of people following this so closely are wondering why don't they hurry up and get the rest of them? How I understand it is that we're being told divers need this chunk of time. They need 20 hours to prepare in between rescue operations. Do you know what's happening in those 20-hour chunks?

NOPE: It's my understanding that the scuba cylinders that they are filling with breathing gas are being refilled because this type of dive to this extent requires a lot of breathing gas and so the scuba tanks what they have on scene is all they have. It just takes time to refill them.

BALDWIN: Four boys and a 25-year-old coach to go. All thinking positive thoughts for all of them. Sergeant, thank you for joining me here on CNN.

I want to move on to this turmoil in the UK days before President Trump's arrival, the prime minister there Theresa May's government is in chaos right now after a stunning turn of events in the last 24 hours, which saw not just one, but two key cabinet members abruptly resign over May's blueprint for Britain's exit from the European Union. BREXIT.

You remember that Britain voted to leave the EU in a 2016 referendum. At the time Theresa May supported Britain staying in the EU. We want to bring in Richard Quest, CNN international business correspondent. Richard Quest, Boris Johnson, the high profile foreign minister, David Davis, the top Brexit negotiator left. What's happening?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It was an inevitability at some point the whole thing was going to come down crashing around her ears. Simply because they would be putting sticking plasters over the disagreements. The very real and fundamental disagreements that still exist at the top of the British government between those who want the a hard Brexit. [15:40:00] Get out say good-bye to Europe, don't look back, they will like it or lump it. And those believe we have to be more careful and stay in a bit and keep friends. That finally blew up and ruptured over the weekend.

But this is pretty catastrophic for the prime minister, who loses two major cabinet ministers at a time when she's just about to put her final offer on the table. When the Europeans are playing the hardest ball, they know how to play. And Britain remains split.

BALDWIN: So much of this is to do with immigration. We saw side note what's happening with Angela Merkel in Germany. You have the U.S. president coming to the UK at the end of the week. Is this his moment where I remember back during the campaign he talked about Brexit and you have Theresa May who would be more of a soft Brexit fan? Is this Trump his opportunity to say I told you so?

QUEST: It would be most unwelcome if he chose to be that undiplomatic. However, let's face it. When he arrives in Britain, there will be massive demonstrations against the U.S. president. The police are saying they are not sure how they are going to cope with the sheer numbers who will be objecting in England and Scotland. And do not forget every time Donald Trump has managed to talk to Angela Merkel or Emmanuel Macron, he seemed to manage to make a bad situation worse for them domestically, when he held Theresa May's hand on her first visit to the White House, that went down badly in Britain. I promise you this. An element of diplomacy is required if he's not to make her political position at home from disastrous to catastrophic to calamitous.

BALDWIN: We'll be watching Friday. Richard Quest, thank you.

Breaking news. CNN confirms President Trump has officially made his decision on who will be his Supreme Court pick. Mitch McConnell is expected to speak moments now on Capitol Hill. We'll take that live. Back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MITCH MCCONNELL, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: -- the name of the federal judge? Anthony Kennedy. After President Reagan nominated then Judge Kennedy to the court in 1987, these far-left special interest groups impinged his character.

[15:45:00] They cooked up apocalyptic warnings about the terrible things that would happen to Americans if he were confirmed to the court. Of course, the American people didn't buy it and a majority of senators saw through the hyperbole and hysteria and confirmed that qualified nominee. And believe it or not, Mr. President, the sky didn't fall. It didn't fall. But decades later our Democratic colleagues still haven't tired of crying wolf whenever a Republican president nominates anyone, anyone to the Supreme Court.

We have seen the same movie time after time after time. Less that be three years after Justice Kennedy's confirmation, President Bush nominated David Suter to the supreme court. Get what left groups said about him? That's right, the very same things you're hearing today. The same things you have heard from the same corners about every Supreme Court nominee named by a Republican president. One organization proclaimed that Justice Suter might undo the advances made by women, minorities and other disadvantaged groups. That was about Justice Suter.

And they assailed the nomination of John Paul Stevens. They said he liked impartiality and imposed women's rights. That was said about John Paul Stevens. So, these far-left groups have been at the same scare tactics for over 40 years. The consistency is quite amazing. Decade after decade, nominee after nominee, the far-left script hardly changes at all. Anyone and everyone, a Republican president nominates is some kind of threat to the Republic. According to the hysterical press releases that inevitably follow.

No matter their qualifications, no matter their record, no matter their representation, it's the same hyperbole, the same accusations, the same old story. Tonight, President Trump will announce his nominee to fill the current supreme court vacancy. We don't know who he will name, but we already know exactly what unfair tactics the nominee will face. It won't be new, and they won't be warranted. We can expect to hear how they will destroy equal rights or demolish American health care or ruin our country in some other fictional way.

Justice Kennedy's resignation letter barely arrived in the president's hands before several Democratic colleagues began declaring their blanket. Opposition to anyone at all that the president might name. One Democratic senator stated she would resist any attempt to confirm any nominee this year, quote, it doesn't matter who he's putting forward. It doesn't matter who. Earlier today, another Democratic senator issued a press release declaring preemptively that he plans to oppose whomever the president nominates tonight, no matter who they are.

Another of our Democratic colleagues offered this assessment. We're looking at the destruction of the Constitution of the United States as far as I can tell. It's hard to keep a straight face when you hear stuff like that. There's not even a nominee yet. Justice Kennedy just announced his retirement and they are talking about the destruction of the constitution? Please give the American people some credit. This far left rhetoric comes out every single time.

[15:50:00] But the apocalypse never comes. Americans see beyond the mongering. This kind of fear mongering they tried over and over again for 40 years. Senators should do the same. We should evaluate this president's nominee fairly based on his or her qualifications. We should treat the process with the respect and dignity that it deserves. The judiciary committee under the able leadership of Senator Grassley will hold hearings and the nomination will come to the full Senate for our consideration. One more round, one more round

BALDWIN: All right. So, as this is all about who the president chooses to be his next nominee, ultimately pending confirmation, the next justice of the Supreme Court, just in -- to think about legacy building not just for the president but the man you saw speaking there, the senate majority leader because he kept Merritt Garland, President Obama's choice, before he left office to be that pick. He kept him from being -- any of the hearings to happen and that, therefore, led to president Trump, led to Neil Gorsuch, the justice, which led to, for example, most recent decision on the supreme court, the upholding of the Trump travel ban. Keep that in mind, too. 9:00 eastern tonight the announcement from the east room of the White House. Quick break. We'll back here in just a moment.

[15:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Puerto Rico still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria bracing for what's left of a storm called Darryl, losing strength but forecasters warn it still has enough wind and rain to pose a flooding threat to the fragile island. Nearly 13,000 people currently without power. Some of whom haven't had power since last year. And Maria. Let's go to live to Leyla Santiago, she is live in Puerto Rico.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As people here were bracing for first the hurricane and then a tropical storm and now remnants of Darryl, a little bit of a sigh of relief. Yes, there is water, Darryl did bring several inches of rain, continues to do so in parts of the island. This is minimal compared to what they saw during hurricane Maria. The main concern here, a lot of the homes with tarps. We were in a home with a family, a couple we were with them as water started dripping into their home. Listen to what our conversation was like.

He's saying this tarp is for 30, 60 days and they have had it on the roof now for 9 months so that's his concern as he hears the thunder, as he sees the rain coming down. He's saying he's scared because if this roof does not hold the rain will come down and it'll ruin the little that they have left. The little that Maria left them. Ten months ago. And you can take a look. The ocean is pretty calm right now. But again, the concern was flooding. That's been minimal in this area and still 60,000 homes according to the governor with blue tarps on the homes right now. And on top of that, there's also the power situation. Right now, as you mentioned, Brooke, there are 13,000, nearly 13,000 customers without power right now. And on top of that, there was a peak of about 47,000 clients without power when the remnants of barrel started coming in. Ten months after hurricane Maria.

BALDWIN: That is crazy that those tarps are still on people's homes and the least of it for the people of Puerto Rico. Leyla Santiago, thank you so much.

Moving on, just learning of a subpoena involving one of the former FBI officials who sent anti-Trump text messages. Those details next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:00:00] BALDWIN: Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page will be questioned by investigators behind closed doors over the anti-Trump text messages she exchanged with FBI agent Peter Strzok. The president said Strzok rigged the Russia investigation and is out to get him after text messages surfaced showing Strzok not only criticized Trump but even said, quote, "we'll stop him from becoming president." A source tells CNN Page has now been subpoenaed, and will face the House judiciary and oversight committees on Wednesday. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thanks so much for being with me. We'll send things to Washington. "The Lead" with Jake Tapper starts right now.