tv MSNBC Live With David Gura MSNBC July 8, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
thai officials decide now is the time to rescue that young soccer team trapped inside a cave. part one of the operation is a success. as for the rest of the mission, we will only get that answer in the hours to come. full schedule. president trump preparing to return to washington, preparing for what may be one of the most important weeks of his presidency. what lies ahead as he faces some of our most critical allies, allies he has not been afraid to criticize in recent days. and gangster wrap. secretary of state mike pompeo responding to north korea's claims that his recent meetings there were gangster-like. plus, new name. the person you haven't heard of that's now on top of president trump's list to become the next justice of the u.s. supreme court. we begin this hour with breaking news from the country of thailand, the latest on what was dubbed d-day by the rescue mission leader in an effort to extract 12 boys and their coach out of that flooded underground cave. four boys have been brought out
safely and are currently receiving medical attention while nine others await rescue as operations have been suspended for the time being. according to officials, oxygen tanks used in the mission need to be replenished. bill neely is on the ground in thailand. he's nbc's chief global correspondent. what's the latest? >> reporter: this rescue operation has been suspended for the night. it will resume sometime on monday in the next 10 to 20 hours. that's from the commander, who is already calling this a great success. in fact, he said this is our masterpiece. and the thai navy s.e.a.l.s who have been involved in this diving operation say we can sleep well tonight. four boys have been rescued. they are now at the hospital, receiving medical treatment. one is 13, two are 14 and one is 16. three of them are from the same school. they were the first out. we understand they may be the weakest of all the boys, so eight boys still remain in the
cave, along with their coach. it was an extraordinary operation with the divers, ten of whom were at the cave. they took one boy underneath each one of them, along the two-mile passage out of that cave. at some point, the boys could also walk along a dry cave bed, but it was a perilous, dangerous operation. remember, just a couple of days ago, a thai navy diver died when he ran out of air. so for the eight boys and the coach remaining, it's certainly not over yet. operations will resume just after daybreak. bill neely, nbc news, northern thailand. >> my thanks to bill. we bring in gary shin dell, president of the national speliological society. we know it takes five or six hours to get to where the boys
are. we know this isn't a cave that is well-mapped. what's it like once you're inside there, once you're trying to maneuver, make your way to this corridor where the boys have been trapped? >> i'm sure it's very difficult conditions. most of us experience dry caves. those caves that at least have some air space in them. but there's a significant amount of the cave here that's now been flooded, and i'm sure the diving conditions are horrible with basically limited or no visibility. very tight constrictions that you would go through if the cave was dry, you would probably crawl through without a whole lot of reservation. however, doing it under water with, you know, bulky cave-diving gear on would be extremely difficult. >> i'm looking at these video images and thinking that i would be having a panic attack. i would be made a little nervous by how narrow those corridors are. how real is the threat of disorientation when you're down there in these corridors that are maybe four or five feet wide? you've got limited light, limited visibility.
how hard is it to find your way around, gary? >> well, you know, under normal conditions when the cave, you know, isn't full of water and that, you know, people are, you know, busy in caves like this every day. now, when you have flooded cave passages like this, it's probably equivalent to diving in chocolate milk. there is virtually no visibility. it's very hard to stay oriented -- [ no audio ] >> a little trouble with gary's connection. gary shin dell, joining us with his perspective on what's going on in the cave in thailand. the second part of the rescue effort is slated to begin in these coming hours. we'll have coverage right here on msnbc. i want to turn now to the white house. president trump has a big week ahead, including announcing his supreme court pick tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. eastern time as the week wears on. he'll be meeting with nato allies in brussels at a summit there, whom he continues to blast. the "new york times" reporting that in weighing his options for the highest court, the president is looking at circuit judge,
thomas m. hardiman, a runner up for last year's supreme court vacancy. joining me now is geoff bennett, covers the white house for nbc news. we have been looking at these three other names over the course of the last few days. tom hardiman was on the long list, a runner up for the seat that went to neil gorsuch now justice neil gorsuch. what can you tell us about judge hardiman? >> hey, david. judge hardiman is 52 years old. he was nominated to the federal bench in 2003 by former president george w. bush. and president trump, we're told likes his life story. he was the first in his family to graduate from college, notre dame, as you see there. his father owned a taxicab company. and judge hardiman drove one of those cabs before he went on to law school. hardiman has the strongest record in favor of gun rights. he's voted to restrict challenges from immigrants. and one of the things he hasn't really weighed in on are the big legal controversies of abortion
and affirmative action. that is one of the reasons why senate majority leader mitch mcconnell reportedly has settled on hardiman as one of his favorite picks. he thinks that hardiman would be more easily confirmed than some of the other folks on the top three or top four. so at this point, i'm told the president has been fielding calls while he spends time in bedminster. i'm also told that the vetting has been done and now it's up to the president to settle on his final choice and then make that announcement publicly tomorrow night, david. >> yeah, what's that process been like? the president has sat down with, talked to these finalists for the job. we know that vice president mike pence has done that, as well. this has been kind of shepherded through by don mcgahn, the white house council, along with the federalist society. what do we know about what the president wants to talk about, what he's looking for when he sits down with or talks to these candidates for this job, geoff? >> as i'm told, the top of the list for president is the personal connection, personal rapport. that's very different from the president's selection team, led
by don mcgahn. so they're sorting through the long records of documents. these are all federal appeals court judges, they have issued a lot, with the exception of amy coney barrett, who has served on the bench for less than a year. they have all issued a lot of opinions. so there is a lot of information to mine there. as you mentioned, the president has had these personal conversations, so too has the vice president. so at this point, again, it's really up to the president to make his decision this weekend. >> geoff, let's turn to thine russian investigation. rudy guiliani was on three shows talking about the investigation, about his tack moving forward as the leader of the president's legal team. what stood out to you from the conversations that he had this morning as he looks ahead to the prospect for, limited as they may, a interview between the president and robert mueller? >> apart from guiliani laying down that marker now, setting conditions by which the president would sit voluntarily for an interview with the special counsel, you heard giuliani also say he's not concerned at all, nor is the
president, he says, about what michael cohen might tell federal investigators in his interviews, in his own case. and that's interesting, because we have seen how cohen has taken steps to distance himself. once saying he would take a bullet for the president, now saying he would put his family and country first. cohen scrubbing his twitter feeds saying once he was the president's personal attorney, and also hiring lanny davis, a close friend of hillary and bill clinton, cohen hiring lanny davis as his new legal counsel. at least publicly, rudy guiliani is saying there is nothing that michael cohen could say in his own case that could imperil the president. >> let's pull back and look at that strategy, the one engineered by rudy guiliani. we saw the report in the "new york times" yesterday indicating that the team plans to cast aspersions or doubt on robert mueller's investigation. there was an ap piece that came out, as well, looking at a memo from back in 2017 that centered on james comey, marc kasowitz
formerly of that team, suggesting here that james comey was not somebody who should be regarded well. he was somebody attracting a lot of media attention unnecessarily. i was struck by what rudy guiliani said on "meet the press" this morning in conversation with chuck todd. he talked about robert mueller not being personally biased or corrupt. he was talking about others who were. help us understand where this strategy is going, as you see it. >> rudy guiliani has been fairly transparent that he serves a dual role here. yes, he's the president's outside attorney, but he's also his public defender in the sense that he's his public spokesman. and that rudy guiliani knows that the findings of this special counsel, should it ever lead to impeachment proceedings, he wants to wage a battle for the hearts and minds of the american public to prevent the president from being impeached by the congress, should that ever happen. so it's important to remember, every time you hear rudy guiliani cast aspersions, maybe not directly on robert mueller, but on his investigation, that is his primary political goal.
david. >> geoff, i have been struck by the relative silence from the press and over this weekend. again, he's been up as you said in bedminster, new jersey, at his home there, ahead of the travel he has planned for this week. let's talk about some of the other big news items we haven't covered yet. the trip that secretary of state mike pompeo took to pyongyang. a disappointing trip, i think you could say, in light of the dueling narratives that emerged. mike pompeo making his way to tokyo, to abu dhabi with a stop in hanoi and then to brussels. that's where our attention is going to turn this week. we have heard very little from the president about what we can expect from that meeting in brussels. the nato meeting, the meeting with vladimir putin later in the week. what's the white house saying about what we should expect as the president makes his way to europe? >> interestingly, david, they're saying very little. and so what we're waiting to see is if the nato meeting ends up much like the g-7 meeting, where the president really slams allies. of course, we have seen him make this case over and over again, that he wants nato members to pay more for their own defense. he's not unique in making that
argument. president obama said very much the same thing, although he said it very differently. so there's a question as to whether or not the president will up-end what has been seven decades, really, of world order here with the u.s. really taking a leading role at this meeting. and then as you mentioned, from there he goes and meets with british prime minister theresa may. they have had an uneasy relationship. and then he sits down for this face-to-face with vladimir putin. to bring it back to rudy guiliani, he said today that he has no concerns about the president meeting face-to-face with putin. he says he should do it, given the fact that putin is a world leader. but the question again is whether or not the president will press putin on this issue of election meddling. the president says he will, but, of course, we have also seen how the president has also down played russia's role as the senate intelligence committee now makes clear, to tip the 2016 election in his favor. david. >> geoff, always good to talk to you. geoff bennett, who covers the white house for us here at nbc news. we'll have much more on those new ground rules laid out by
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. welcome back. i'm david gura. back to talk about the major to dos facing president trump this week. from a decision on the new justice in the u.s. supreme court to attending the nato summit with leaders where relationships are already frayed, and still lingering, the russia investigation by special counsel robert mueller. joining me is former assistant u.s. attorney, msnbc legal
contributor. sarah mccann, political reporter at mpr and nancy cook, white house reporter at politico. let me start with what we heard from rudy guiliani about the ground rules we have seen rudy guiliani laying down first in the "new york times" piece yesterday. he added some color to them this morning on the sunday shows. you're a former prosecutor, how reasonable are the demands we're beginning to see from rudy guiliani? >> they're absolutely unreasonable. i mean, there's just no investigation in the world, including one that involves the president, where the person who, you know, has evidence to offer, testimony to give, gets to say, show me -- show me some evidence first, and then i'll come in. and also, you know, i think we really have to take with a grain of salt everything that rudy guiliani says. as geoff said in his piece moments ago, guiliani has admitted everything he's doing right now is to sway public
opinion. this isn't about getting to the truth. this isn't about getting to the bottom of this investigation of how russia, you know, influenced our election. this is about now trying to prevent the president from getting impeached. and so when he says mueller says this, mueller says that, we simply can't take him at his word. he has an agenda. meaning guiliani. >> nancy cook, i want you to weigh in on this. rudy guiliani heads up the president's legal team, but he speaks on any number of issues. you're covering the white house day after day after day. how do you look to him, what he has to say? what credence do you give it? how much is he carrying the message, the official message of this white house? >> i don't think he's carrying the official message of the white house at large. he's definitely very often conveying i think the view of the president. you know, he and the president have their own relationship. they speak by phone. somewhat regularly. and so i think he definitely is doing the president's bidding. but i think part of that bidding is to really sort of create a sense of chaos and so a sense of
confusion about the direction of the mueller probe and what's going on. you know, we have seen guiliani, for instance, weigh in on north korea. like, things way outside of the purview of the investigation. and i think part of that is just to sort of create this nonstop news cycle on it, to distract both the mueller team and also from the american public on sort of what's really going on, and keeping their eye on the ball. and really the question of whether or not the president will cooperate and sit down for an interview. that's really the bottom line. and that's what this summer will really tell us. >> let's spend a little bit more time here in the department of people who talk about things that aren't in their portfolio. alan dershowitz took some time off this week with george instead of oppose list. let's listen to what he had to say about michael cohen. >> if a president pardons, that's it. if a president fires, that's it. you can't go beyond the act and get into his motive or into his intent. >> sara mccann, i want you to
weigh in on what we have learned about michael cohen over the last week. he sat down for an interview with abc. he is as geoff bennett mentioned a few minutes ago, stripped from his twitter and facebook pages that mentions his affiliation to president trump. what's your sense of what he's thinking at this point? >> well, without being able to read his mind, you know, you could look at those signs, again, removing mentions of the president from his twitter had been there for a very long time. i believe taking down some pictures with the president. you could look at that as he's feeling the heat. he's sensing that the investigation is getting closer. we don't know what exactly is making him think that. but it certainly looks like he's taking stock and he has said himself that his family comes first. that would mean that president trump doesn't come first. >> i'm going to read here a tweet from lanny davis. long-time washington hand who is now representing michael cohen. he says, why is my representing michael cohen 212 as attorney of high interest not about me, it's about a nation's yearning for truth, and michael cohen has
said it's time for him to speak the truth and put his family and country first. i am glad to help him. michael cohen paying lan dedanys to do this, of course. what is this change telling you? >> well, i think lanny davis being a little cute there. because, of course, michael cohen could hire anyone. and i don't think, unless i've missed something that we know, in fact, that he is paying lanny davis, it's possible that he is doing this pro bono. but the fact is, he has a criminal lawyer, as far as we know. guy pet littlo. that's the lawyer representing him in the court case. so lanny davis is being hired for more of a pr role, it looks like to me. you know, he's going to -- and the fact that he is so closely allied with hillary clinton, in my mind is just yet another signal that cohen is sending to the president. i view this as his sort of public breakup with the president, if you will. and this is a pretty clear sign of, you know, i'm done with you,
because look who i'm with now. >> lanny davis, i suppose. all right. let's pivot here to talk about the supreme court. nancy cook, i just want to ask you about a democrat strategy going forward here. you had the minority whip, dick durbin, on television this morning, as well. let's take a listen about what he had to say about a timetable for all of this. >> if it was wrong to delay in contribution, is it wrong to delay now? >> well, come on, chuck. get real. senator mcconnell invented this new rule, and wouldn't even consider a meeting with merrick garland. >> i take your point. >> and now saying we've got to hurry through here and get this done before the election. totally inconsistent. >> nancy cook, he's saying there get real. what's your sense of the democrat strategy here. how much does it depend on who the president puts forward or is it the same template, no matter which of the men or woman is put forward monday night? >> i think the democrats' overarching strategy, which we heard senator durbin allude to, is really to try to push the vote on whoever trump's nominee is until after the mid terms
with the hope that perhaps democrats recapture the house and the senate. and in which case, you know, probably would not approve trump's nominee. but then the other strategy i think will have to depend on the nominee, you know, different people have, you know, different records on let's say abortion. i think that overturning roe v. wade could become sort of a key thing that the democrats focus on to energize their base. but, again, that will depend on the justice that's chosen and that person's record on abortion and anti-abortion positions. and then just their record on, you know, all these things. but we'll know soon, in about 36 hours, who the trump nominee is. >> sarah mccann, last question to you. the concern over abortion and precedent that is being dealt with in any number of ways. religion is one of them. two of these folks on the short list are catholics. you've looked at the intersection of politics and religion. this is dominated by majority catholic. what role is religion playing in this process as it all shakes
out? >> yeah, well, you know, ideally, it wouldn't matter at all, right? we have separation of church and state, a good jurist will interpret the law based on what the law says. but the reality is that religion often shapes people's political and ideological views. catholics have dominated the court, according to some law professors i've spoken to, in large part because with some exceptions like sotomayor, sometimes being catholic is a proxy for being anti-abortion rights. and that is an important goal of the president. it's something that he has promised his base. there is one candidate on the list, raymond kethledge, who is an evangelical. that would be a first in a very long time if he is chosen. but religion i think will certainly be part of the conversation. >> thank you very much. my thanks to mimi roca and nancy cook, as well. next, pompeo's response. the secretary of state reacting to north korea's claims that his demands were gangster-like during his trip there last week. when we were dating, we used to get excited about things
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i love that people in this community are willing to come together to make a difference for other people's lives. together, we're building a better california. welcome back. i'm david gura. is there a disconnect between the u.s. and north korea when it comes to diplomacy? secretary of state mike pompeo just wrapped up a two-day visit to pyongyang, calling the conversations he had there
productive. but north korea is accusing secretary pompeo of making gangster-like -- their words -- demands during those nuclear talks. >> we had good faith, productive conversations which will continue in the days and weeks ahead. in the meantime, sanctions remain in place. and we will continue to enforce them with great vigor. if those requests are gangster-like, the world is a gangster, because there was a unanimous decision at the u.n. security council about what needs to be achieved. >> the world is gangster. a quote there from the secretary of state. joining me now is retired four-star army general, barry mccaffrey, arms control negotiator for biological weapons and an msnbc military contributor. great to have you with me here. i have to get your reaction to what unfolded over those 30 hours. seemingly, the secretary of state was confused by what happened there, if you are to read the reports from the reporters traveling with him.
was the problem there was no agenda? he was not in control of the situation? >> i think it's pretty unsurprising in many ways. i have great sympathy for not just secretary pompeo, but also jim mattis at the department of defense and gina has ankle at the cio. they're very astute people and aware of what's going on. the north koreans are not going to denuclearize. for any reason. so the question is, what are our real objectives. and i think the engagement is probably very useful. i might add, david, you know, at the end of the day, by north korean standards, gangster-like is a mild epithet. to include a personal attack at president trump, as a dotard -- right now we're not in the driver's seat. china and north korea are. the economic sanctions are being loosened. we have stopped the military
exercises. president trump has implied that our presence in south korea is provocative. things are going pretty well for the north koreans. >> i want to get your sense of what happens next. you have the secretary of state rather extraordinarily as the point person on this, making this his third trip to pyongyang. i've got to think that's unsustainable. he can't keep making these trips. but you look at the evident frustration he encountered when he was there, trying to hammer this stuff out. who is to say it's going to be any different the next time he goes there or a deputy goes there or ambassador of the philippines who has been detailed on this goes there? are we encountering what we encountered time and time before? that is resistance, slowing down by the north korean regime? >> yeah, of course. i mean, you know, this is their pattern. the third generation of military provocative acts followed by negotiations, followed by reward, followed by new provocative acts. by the way, what concerns me is that we not get diverted by the
return of one or three hostages in north korea. we not get diverted by the return of the remains of these thousands of brave u.s. soldiers, missing in action in korea. so, you know, the north koreans are seeking to lift the economic constraints. and they're achieving their goal. the chinese and russians are now cheating on the economic constraints. the south koreans are being pulled away from their alliance with the united states. japan is nervous about what are we doing. are we going to leave them at risk. so, again, i don't think the chinese and north koreans can believe their good fortune so far. >> i want to get you to explain a little bit more about the return of these remains. if you look at any deliverables the secretary of state is coming out of pyongyang with, i suppose that's one of them. there are going to be these meetings between north korea and the u.s. in that demilitarized
zone. give us the history, if you would, here, why this is so important, and what it tells you about this process more broadly that this is something of such acute focus. >> sure. it's a political tool. by the way, north vietnamese, the vietnamese communist party, has been extremely cooperative in trying to identify and return remains. we had a team in vietnam for decades now. the north koreans, not so much. they frequently give us misidentified remains. they use them as leverage. it works. the u.s. armed forces are keen on recovering soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, missing in action. but, again, it must not -- they died fighting for the united states. so it's important we not trade away their legacy of courage for what is, in fact, an enormous threat from north korea of a nuclear force equipped with icbms. we've got to keep our eye on the
ball. that's what we're doing. >> last question here is sort of what's changed since singapore and what the metrics for success or continued conversations are going forward. there has been this freeze on military exercises in and around the korean peninsula. after this meeting, what transpired there? how the united states walked away from this. how much more patient should this administration have for these talks to continue. how worried does it make you we have paused those military exercises? >> i'm not too worried about the pause in the military exercises. they're reversible. it had more political import than military. but i would suggest going forward that, you know, we're going to have to be very clear-eyed on what we're trying to achieve. the most important outcome is to maintain congressional funding of ballistic missile defense to continue to put technology into the field, to minimize a risk of the united states and our allies. followed by, let's lower the tensions on the korean peninsula. i think singapore did accomplish
that. temporarily, it's all going their way. why would they not lower the threat level. but we've got a very difficult road to hoe. they're just not going to give up their nukes. they see them not just, by the way, as protecting them from u.s. invasion. i don't think the senior people believe that. they want these nukes, because it gives them legitimacy, it's brutal murderous regime, and down the line something they can threaten us if they go after south korea with conventional military forces. so this is one of the major national security challenges facing the united states. in the coming ten years, david, another issue to worry about, they're going to put a nuclear-equipped submarine to sea. and we're going to have to deal with that notion. once they get subs out at sea, we're going to -- an even higher level of threat. so it's a tricky situation. i think we have confidence in secretary pompeo. eyes got long-term ambition.
gina haspel knows what she's doing. but the president has put expectations out there that were fantasy and put his negotiators in a very tricky position. >> our military analyst, retired general barry mccaffrey. thank you very much for the time, as always. >> good to be with you, david. we'll go back live to thailand after the break. four boys have been rescued. what are doctors' biggest worries about those boys after they have been rescued? we'll ask our own doctor, natalie azar, when she joins us, right after this break. to be a decent neighbor to remember the good people who rise with every challenge to remember their strength when you feel tired to serve with grit and grace you made a promise we did too the all-new ram 1500
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to remove the remaining players and coach. janice, as i understand it, you're outside that hospital. a whole floor has been reserved for the survivors who have been removed from that cave. what are doctors telling you? what's the hospital saying about the condition they're in, how they have weathered the rescue effort so far? >> reporter: well, they're being very secretive about the condition of the boys. they want to ensure that they get the privacy that they would need, having emerged after 15 days of darkness, being reunited with their families after these incredibly difficult circumstances. they were met by fully-staffed medical teams that were waiting at the cave entrance. each boy assigned their own team, doctor, nurses, paramedics. they were checked first for their breathing, because the oxygen levels in the cave had been such a concern these past few days. also checked for signs of hypo they we hypothermia and cave disease, a
bacterial infection. they will get their nutrition back on track, making sure that solid food is properly reintroduced to their systems. and there is also, david, the issue of their psychological care, their emotional care. how they're going to be helped through what has been undoubtedly a traumatic experience. and so they certainly want to ensure that they're giving holistic approach to what it is the boys need right now. >> what happens after these next 5, 10, 15 hours. there is this pause in the rescue effort. what are officials doing at this point and what have they said about when they can resume the rescue effort? >> reporter: they say it's going to take at least 10 to 20 hours to prepare for the next phase of the mission. they depleted their oxygen today, so they need to replenish that. they need to plan. we know that the doctor who saw the boys first thing this morning, letting them know the mission was going to go ahead, they made the decision to send
the healthiest ones first. so it can be assumed that maybe the boys who are going to follow are a bit weaker and may take a little longer to get out. >> janis mackey frayer, my colleague in thailand. thank you very much for the reporting. and in studio with me now is dr. natalie azar. and let's divide this in two parts. the psychological and the physical. and let's start with that. what will doctors be looking at as these boys are removed from the cave? janis mentioned they were met by doctors and individual teams upon their removal from the caves. what are they looking for? >> right. so the first line of defense are the basic vital signs. they can glean a lot from that. >> the respiratory rate, heart rate, blood pressure. they can see whether they're stable. and one of two things they're looking for is how well they're oxygenating, obviously, and what their temperature as both high pox even i can't and hypothermia. as i was stating earlier, it takes ten minutes to get from the medical tent to the held i
pad. then they are probably in the meantime also drawing blood, checking what their fluid status is, their electrolyte status. and was mentioned, the refeeding process, which is a whole science unto itself. on the flip side, we have the psychological. and i've also sort of divided it into these two major categories. i think psychologically, the therapists and help will be on hand immediately, but this is not something that will be finished in a matter of days. this is something that will obviously need to be considered for these boys. you know, potentially for their lifetime or certainly in the next weeks to months to come. >> you mentioned hypoxia. i wonder what the consequences of having that are. i was reading in the "new york times" today they were describing what causes it. under normal conditions, they wrote, the air people breathes consists of 27% oxygen, 78%
nitrogen. this has been a big concern, how much oxygen is there to breathe in the cave as these others are still trapped inside. >> right. and they're basically saying once the level was getting to about -- below 16%, that's when you get concerned. and what are the initial signs? certainly they can be short of breath, their respiratory rate will increase. they can become confused and slightly lethargic, will make them less capable of actually maybe following commands or something like that. and also with the hypothermia, risks for that include exhaustion, as well as older age and younger age. younger children, of course. so they're kind of at risk for having the complications from all of these different, you know, physiological permutations. >> dr. azar, thank you very much. and natural selection? president trump may announce his supreme court pick tomorrow night, but it may not be his pick. we'll explain why, next. let's do this. (♪) okay you gotta be kidding me. hold on, don't worry, there's another way. directions to the greek theater. (beep)
prime time tomorrow night, president trump will make his highly publicized, highly anticipated announcement on who he will pick to be his next supreme court justice. but some major issues could be affected by the exit of justice anthony kennedy. issues such as abortion, affirmative action, voting rights and partisan gerrymandering, gay rights and the death penalty, as well. joining me now is linda koberly,
head at winston and strand, and adam feldin, founder of empirical scotus. we have seen tom hardiman, third circuit court judge, rumored to be back on the child support list. what can you tell us about him, what can you tell us about what you observed about the president's approach to picking this next justice? >> well, i think all of the candidates -- >> linda first, if you would, sorry. >> i'm sorry. >> please. >> i think all of the candidates on the short list are candidates that are pretty well within the mainstream. we can expect that anyone nominated by this particular president is going to be conservative, especially on social issues. he's promised that, and i take him at his word on that. but none of them since they have all had some experience and some record that we can use to discern what their views are, i think it's safe to say none of them are extreme picks at this
point. >> adam, i want you to weigh in here. i mentioned some of those issues that could be subject to change. here is the configuration of this court, changes as well. help me understand how a new justice fits into the court, how long it takes for him or for her to change the way the court operates. >> well, if we use justice gorsuch as a gauge of this, it doesn't take very long at all. justice gorsuch joined the court at the end of the term before the past one that just finished. and really, he jumped into it feet-first, and he had some of the closest rulings, 5-4 rulings of the justices this past year in a variety of issues. so chief justice roberts wasn't afraid to delegate to justice gorsuch the writing of opinions in some of the most salient cases the court heard. and i don't think this is an aberration. we very well might see this the next nominee. >> linda, how much has this
process changed? the crucible in which it's happening. there is so much concern here with the politics. you look at tom hardiman, i bring him up again. a compelling reason for the president picking him, he comes from pennsylvania, a state politically important to him when he was a candidate. just give me your perspective on the degree to which politics has intruded into or affected this process. >> well, there's no question that politics has played a much larger role over the last really 10, 20 years, even. in the appointment of judges. and you can tell that from the questioning that you hear. it is now very common for members of congress to ask judges about specific rulings, specific cases, specific political issues when a few decades ago, it was customary to confirm any justice who had unquestionable qualifications to serve on the supreme court. so it's certainly become much more political. and i think you can see that from the clips that you
frequently see from confirmation hearings, which usually show more of the questions than the answers by the nominee. >> i want to spend a few minutes here talking about precedent. and linda, i'll start with you. i wonder what the appetite for changing precedent is when you look at this supreme court. a lot has been written about the roberts court, about john robert, the chief justice's reluctance to make sweeping changes to precedent. and you look at recent decisions and the janice decisions that overturned when it comes to labor unions. how much of an appetite is there when you look at the court as a whole to overturn present. that's going to be the focus here as this goes to capitol hill and talks to these senators about, you know, vaguely here what might be affecting roe vs. wade and other decisions in the past. >> well, the janice decision was a change that was in the works for a long time and it was something that people were talking about for a number of years. as coming down the pike. you also saw the overturn -- the finally overturning of the
korematsu decision, which also was a very long time in coming. in general, though, i think changes are much more incremental and you know that from the roberts -- justice roberts' perspective on things. and also from the presence of judicial conservatives. there is a big difference between a political conservative who might want to grab the first case and overrule roe v. wade at the first opportunity and a judicial conservative, who will want to take a slower time to not make dramatic moves, and to reach and overrule precedent, only if it's really necessary to resolve the case before the court. so i think what remains to be seen is whether justices who are being nominated now and who have recently been appointed, including judge alito and justice gorsuch, will be slow or fast. and we simply haven't seen that yet. >> adam, i want to get your perspective on this, as well. just the appetite for changing precedent and also your sense of the court that this nominee, if
confirmed, will join. we've heard about the center now being held by chief justice john roberts in light of the departure of anthony kennedy. talk a bit about the court as a whole, as it changes here. >> so i think that the court is -- strongly favors supporting precedent. and really even if conservative views prevail, i don't think that precedent necessarily must be struck down. if abortion comes before the court in the next term or in future terms, restrictive abortion laws could very well be upheld without having to overrule case like roe vs. wade. and so i think it's going to be a much more gradual process, like linda mentioned, than the complete overruling of decisions. >> linda, last question to you. upon the departure or announced departure of justice kennedy, a lot of folks talked about how they would tailor their arguments toward him. i wondered if you saw that as
well, and how much that happens. when an advocate is arguing before the supreme court, how much he or she is targeting his argument toward a specific justice, and how that's likely to change in light of this. >> i think there were a lot of advocates who argued specifically to justice kennedy over the last couple of years. just like a few years ago, advocates would tend to address their arguments to justice o'connor and justice kennedy. but to some extent, that's just tea leaf reading. when you are preparing an issue or a petition or an argument before the court, you're doing your best to estimate what will be appealing and operating on very limited information. and so you -- many people would direct their arguments that way. was that important or effective, i'm not sure. and i think we'll continue to see that, although it will certainly be less clear who the swing vote will be. maybe it will be the chief justice. we'll have to see. >> great to speak with both of you, linda and adam both. thank you both very much.
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that does it for me. i'm david guerra. see me here next week saturday and sunday at 2:00 and 3:00 eastern time. the news continues right now with my friend and colleague yasmin vasugian. >> we're a day away from the supreme court announcement. multiple reports breaking this afternoon. a new name may be topping this list. plus, hard ball. rudy guiliani back in the
spotlight with a new ultimatum for bob mueller, and why he says michael cohen should, and i said should, cooperate with authorities. the new special relationship president trump set for a new international trip ahead as we learn new details about just how often he speaks with vladimir putin. but first, everybody, i want to start with the latest on that dramatic and dangerous rescue, an operation in thailand to free the young soccer players and their coach trapped in a flooded cave there. much of the world, as you know, holding their breath today. it is 3:00 a.m. in thailand, as we speak, and divers there are preparing to go back into the cave within hours. it is a very dangerous journey ahead. so dangerous that one professional diver, a s.e.a.l., was killed earlier this week. but this morning, some amazing news. four of these young 12-year-old boys were freed. nbc news chief global correspondent, bill neely, is outside the cave