tv State of the Union With Jake Tapper CNN July 8, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PDT
hello, i'm dana bash in for jake tapper in washington where the state of our union is on pins and needles. we're getting word of rescues from that flooded cave in thailand. the thai navy s.e.a.l.s confirmed that four boys have been evacuated. our cnn affiliate saw at least one boy flown to the hospital by helicopter. now, the 12 children between the ages of 11 and 16, plus their coach, had been stuck for two weeks.
we're standing by any minute for a news conference from thailand. but meanwhile let's go straight to david mckenzie for the latest. david, i know you have new information on these rescues. what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, that's what we're hearing, that those four boys from the thai navy s.e.a.l.s, dana, the official statement coming out, have exited the cave. an extraordinary moment in this incredible story where you saw this team stuck in this cave for more than 15 days. they've been hoping, praying out in the communities surrounding me that the specialized team of international divers, including a u u.s. military divers, would get them out. they warned earlier today that this could be many, many hours before we got any news, and they feared what the news would be. but now that is the latest, that you have these four boys out. they've been transported by ambulances. an ambulance actually just
passed by here a few moments ago, by helicopter, we believe, to a nearby hospital, and that is just incredible news given the torturous journey, dana, they had to go through given the darkening cave behind me with divers using a specialized system to get them through these channels to a medical team that would take them on stretchers to the waiting transportation. it's far from over, dana. >> far from over, but you're absolutely right. it's more than a glimmer of good news and something that certainly should be cheered. you were talking about the divers and this extraordinary effort that is underway. five thai navy s.e.a.l.s, 13 international divers. before this mission, it was estimated, you reported that it could take five hours just to reach the boys and another six
hours to bring them back. is that what we're seeing now, or are things a bit different as we're seeing these boys emerge? >> reporter: well, if you make the calculations, it seems they're running a little bit ahead of schedule from what they had assessed earlier today. but still, it's going to be hours trying to get those boys out of those caves. one of the key factors, as the rain lightly falls on my head, is the fact they've managed to draw out a great deal of that water. 24 hours a day over the last four or fooi daive days, dana, reduce the water levels in that cave. that means chamber 3, which we've been talking about, on wards to the exit, they should be able to go with breathing assistance. the estimates, they still have to dive with face masks, young boys that have been stuck in this cave for all of these days, they're tired and hungry. you look at the touching letters they've written back and forth
with their parents over the last 24 hours, saying they want to get out, have a meal, watch the soccer world cup. these are the needs of these young boys. but until every single one of those boys and their coach are out, i'm sure the rescue teams will not rest. dana? >> no question, and you talked about these four boys. we don't know which ones they are yet, what ages they are, but do we have any word about the others, about the other boys and the coach that are still in the cave? >> reporter: no word yet. and you know the communications inside to the outside world has been incredibly difficult. several times they tried to get a phone line, a simple old school phone line into the depths of that cave so they could talk to their parents. there is a lot of activity on the road behind me. there are police lining the road. they are using helicopters or ambulances to get the boys to the hospital, which is around an
hour away from where i'm standing. you cannot see it now because darkness has fallen, but that mountain behind me was just drenched with rain earlier today. it's the beginning of the monsoon period here. that means that the window is still there, but it could clos . if sustained rains happen. you could see the boys inundated by water again. that might be the reason also that they're working as quickly as possible to get them out. not just to let them hug and see their parents, but there is a real window that will be closing in the coming hours. they've got to get it done before it shuts down for good. >> the urgency, you can feel it. it's palpable. stand by because i want to go to allison chinchar to that point david was just making about the rains. it is monsoon season. that's why these boys are in this horrible situation in the first place, because of the heavy rains. you saw the rain start coming
down over david. he talked about it. how urgent is it, really, in terms of the radar? >> right, the heavy rain is yet to come. the rain has already begun. it actually began last night, but now we're starting to see those heavier bands that will slowly start to push their way through in the coming days. here's thailand for rempference. this is where the cave is, the northern region of thailand. look for the oranges and reds on the screen. that is what's showing you that heavy moisture that's there, the heavy rain, the torrential downpours, the potential is there. we got lucky. from july 2nd to july 7th, we had a break. that's what allowed them to get the majority of that water out of the cave. but rain has started back up again, and as we continue the forecast, you'll start to see those rain chances increase, especially as we get to next week. but monday, tuesday, wednesday, all three of those days have an 80 to 90% chance of rain.
really, when you look at the long term forecast, it really extends the next 7 to 10 days. here's a look at that. every single one of these days has a chance for rain. they say maybe half an inch of rain. dana, that may not sound like much, but you have to understand some of those pathways in the cave are very narrow. it may take only a half inch to an inch of heavy rain to really fill that up quickly. >> absolutely. it is really remarkable when you look at it like that and think about it like that. if you're trapped in a cave and you have about an inch between your mouth and the water, that really matters, that little bit of rain, and they're expecting a whole lot more than that. allison chinchar, thank you very much for that update. i want to go to dr. carol lieberman. she is a scuba diver as well as a psychiatrist. doctor, thank you so much for joining me. as you see and hear the great news of these four boys coming
out of the cave, and obviously we're awaiting news on the others, what is going through your mind as a medical professional, both physical and emotional? >> just how amazing and difficult it was. i mean, to hear that four boys have already made it is just astounding. because some of the things -- of course the physical things that thai gone through for all of these days, but psychologically, ptsd, they have to have some degree of ptsd. we heard about some of them who were hearing roosters and dogs and all of that, which could well be hallucinations, maybe it's true. and oxygen, maybe decreasing, buttocks general does amazing things to the body and the psyche. it makes people feel less alert, some describe it makes you feel
drunk, and it also decreases your mood. the boys left in this cave need to know that the first four made it. that would be such a boost for their kfconfidence. because the thing is, in scuba diving, the most dangerous thing is psychologically that if you become anxious or you have a panic attack and you start to use up too much oxygen, or you take off your mask because you think, oh, i can't breathe, i have to take off my mask, those are the kinds of things that can happen. of course, it was really helped by the fact that some of the water has gone down and there isn't as much mileage in terms of -- that the children are going to have to be under the water. but still, this is an amazing feat for them, some of whom didn't even know how to swim. >> absolutely. and what about the fact that, according to the local governor, the boys -- these are boys between the ages of 11 and 16 -- they were to decide who was to
be rescued first? what does that say to you? >> it's a little surprising to hear that. perhaps it's because the coach did it in the same way that they pick who is going to do what in the game, in the soccer game. who is going to go first, who is going to play this position or that position. but if everybody doesn't get out, and of course we're all hoping that they do, but the ones who did get out in that process will have more survivor guilt. you know, again, we don't really know how they chose it, but that was kind of -- that can add to the psychological problems they'll have after. >> and so much of this is really overwhelming when you think about it, and in part it's been brought home by the fact that these children have been writing letters, somehow getting letters out to -- or notes, messages, out to their parents. i know you've read some of them. the desire for fried chicken and to watch the world cup, but what
does that say to you? >> well, you know, it can say -- on the one hand it can show that they're hopeful, that these are normal sorts of wishes. on the other hand, it might mean that they -- i don't know, it can be some denial about just how dangerous it is, in which case that would be a healthy sort of thing that they are looking forward to it. it could also be that they're trying to -- really, they're trying to make their parents not worry, you know, by expressing this kind of hope. so it's probably a combination of all of those things. >> dr. carol biebeeb lieberman,o too far. we'll get back to you soon. i want to go now to matt rivers who is near the hospital in thailand where the boys are being taken. matt rivers, what do you know? >> reporter: yeah, we're right on the street outside of the road that they've blocked off to the hospital. we just arrived here, and we believe ahead of the first ambulances that are going to be bringing the boys.
the way this is going to work is they're going to come down that road right there behind me. we're about an hour or so south of where that cave entrance is, where those boys were taken out of. the ambulances are going to come down here. they're going to move these cones when the ambulances arrive -- brad, walk with me a little bit -- and down that road is where they're going to go. that building, if you want to tilt up a little bit, that building is the hospital and that's where we are expecting these boys to come when they get here. earlier today they didn't actually have this road blocked off so we could get closer, and a gurney has been laid next to the emergency room. this is where the boys are coming to. they're expecting their arrival. teams inside the hospital are making sure they're geared up, ready for anything illnesswise that these boys might be facing. another thing we should note is that the boys are being brought out at night, which is a good thing. you can think about how they have to adjust their eyesight
after being underground for so long. it will help that it's nighttime and not daytime. but yes, we expect the ambulances to come here. they could be arriving in the next half hour, if not sooner, and they hope to bring that to you live. >> we'll watch for that. generally when you're looking at and dealing with a trauma center, it's instantaneous or you have minutes to prepare after some devastating situation. if there is good news here, and i'm stretching a little bit, it's that they have had time to prepare. our understanding is that they have had 13 ambulances, one for each of the trapped -- you know, the 12 boys and the coach standing by, and of course, as you mentioned, inside that hospital they are ready to go with whatever they're faced with. >> reporter: yeah, that's exactly right. 12 hours ago we were live outside the cave entrance where we saw those ambulances arriving one after the next after the next. and i guess the only good thing,
as you put it, they've had so much time to plan for this ev t eventuality. really, it was, how are we going to get these boys out? medical teams have had time to plan for this. don't forget, the boys have been in there for 15 days now. we've known they were alive since monday, so the medical teams have had time to plan. the thai authorities have really gotten everything in place knowing the boys are coming out. even though they were able to bring supplies in, even though doctors were near that cave, you can imagine mentally and physically what these kids have gone through. they are prepared for that, and any moment we'll see ambulances come down the road and hopefully this situation will end in a positive way. >> matt, do we have any indication of the condition of the four boys on their way to you at the hospital? >> reporter: as of now, we haven't gotten any official word
on their condition. what we have learned from previous reporting is it will be the doctor inside that will make the call and generally speaking we'll send the healthiest kids out first, the ones who are the strongest. that's what our reporting said earlier in the day. we don't really know that until the boys come out, but that's what we were told, at least initially. >> thank you so much for that reporting. i want to get back to the scene. david mckenzie has new information from there. david? >> reporter: that's right, dana. our teams in the u.s. saying that a u.s. official corroborates that four of the boys have managed to exit that cave safely. but perhaps more significantly, they say that the rescue operations are done for the day, for the night here in thailand, that they will take a decision on tomorrow. all 12 of the rescue divers returned safely from their operations. what that immediately says to me from this u.s. source is that those boys that remain will have to wait longer, even longer in
that cave before that search continues to rescue them out. but that means that it could be that those four lucky boys who are out, depending on their health status as matt reported, going to that hospital will be, in fact, the only four for tonight, according to that u.s. official. dana? >> do you have any indication of why? is it the conditions? is it just the time spent in the cave and the time necessary to get in and rescue? do you know why? >> reporter: well, there are two factors possibly. now, the one would be that there are only a handful of those divers, at least from the teams that i've been speaking to, who have the truly specialist skills that they would trust to get those boys out. they want to have the very best of the best, as one israeli diver told me today who is helping with those operations to do this. that could be a major reason.
there could also be some issue with the overall rescue operation. i don't want to speculate. but what we do know from that source is that it could be done for the night, and they will resume tomorrow. but this is still on a finite timeline. it's likely raining on our head. earlier there was a big dump of rain on the mountain behind me. that's a catchall area of this zone. if a significant amount of water falls down there, and as we've been reporting, looking like it will be in the coming days, that time frame might be narrowing. i'm sure they have a very good reason for it, but it appears there may be a pause in this rescue operation at this time, at least according to that one u.s. official. >> david, that's exactly what i was just thinking looking at allison chinchar's radar and the amount of rain expected. this is risky to kind of roll the dice against mother nature
when we know from science, from radar, what is coming in terms of more rain. >> reporter: this has never been an easy operation, and it's been risky from the get-go, dana. >> true. >> reporter: they've had to make calls, brave calls, to get these boys out. the original assessment was perhaps they could leave the kids in there for the entire rainy season if they were safe and they had food and water and medical and psychological support, perhaps it would be okay to leave them in there. you remember the chilean miners were there some years ago in their space for a very long time. but the experts say because of that rain coming in and because of the oxygen levels in that cave system that at times were perilously low, they said they needed to move now. now, this pause means that the other boys could wait and the coach could wait a little while longer before they attempt this rescue again. and i think a key factor will be
to find out what the health status is of these boys that got out at this stage, because that could also be contributing to how they decide to move forward. >> no question, no question. there will be a lot more information they can get from these boys. and you said it, it has been risky from the start and there is bravery, astounding bravery, all around and bewe'll continueo watch it and learn from you as development continue. thank you so much, david. again, four children safely out of the cave in thailand. we are still waiting for a press conference. stay with us. we do whatever it takes to fight cancer.
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talk to your rheumatologist. right here. right now. humira. we're following the breaking news and the ongoing cave rescue effort in thailand. the thai navy s.e.a.l.s confirmed four boys have been evacuated. our cnn affiliate saw at least one boy flown to the hospital by helicopter. we are waiting for a press conference from thai officials. moments ago president trump tweeted this. he tweeted, the u.s. is working very closely with the government of thailand to help get all of the children out of the cave and to safety. very brave and talented people. let's go back to cnn's matt
rivers. he is near the hospital where the boys are being taken. matt, what are you seeing and hearing there now? >> reporter: yeah, there is definitely a sense here that these ambulances are on their way. this is the road behind me right here that actually goes south there towards the hospital to my left. and that's where the boys are are going to be going, along with their coach, when they are brought out of that cave. there is a sense that they are going to be arriving here relatively soon. we're not exactly sure when, but police on scene are certainly gearing up for their arrival. we know that the hospital has prepared for this for a long time now. earlier today cnn saw gurneys that were actually set up outside awaiting their arrival. what has happened since then is thai authorities have really clamped down on media access, not only at the site itself where the cave entrance was. 12 hours ago i was there and we were forced to leave by thai authorities. but the same thing happened here at the hospital. earlier today you could walk down there, now authorities
really clamping down. that shows you the arrival is imminent and they want to give the boys the privacy they deserve. not only is this road closed, but at the emergency entrance they erected green netting to make sure no prying eyes can see the boys taken in that emergency room. what we can expect inside that hospital is doctors, nurses, ready to go, ready to deal with what they have to when it comes to what these boys will exhibit symptomwise. they've been down in that cave for a long time. yes, doctors were with them, yes, they were given food and blanket, but you can only imagine the mental exhaustion, including any illnesses they may have contracted while being down there. i've been here for a couple days, and the fact that we are talking about the boys arriving safe to the hospital is a
miraculous thing. we were talking about how dangerous this could be and now they're on their way to the hospital. it's a very good sign and something far from guaranteed. >> you can feel the electricity here, and i'm halfway around the globe from where you are. it's hard to imagine what it feels like to be there on the ground on the scene near the hospital. any update on the condition of the boys who are headed your way, the four boys? >> reporter: chnot yet, and thas the questions we're really trying to get answered from authorities in terms of how these boys are being brought out. we know from reporting earlier in the day, they would bring the healthiest boys out first, but again, it's the decision of the people down inside that cave who will come out first. we know apparently the coach will be coming out last, as you imagine he would, but some of these boys are as young as 11 years old, and we spoke to that boy's father yesterday during the day before this rescue started, and he said he hopes his boy is strong enough to make
this trip. no official update on the condition, but that's what we're pushing for, that information, to try and find out after this horrific ordeal they've been through how they've managed to keep their health up enough. clearly some of them have made it out and that's an arduous journey. if they're able to do that, you have to figure they're doing at least somewhat okay. >> hours and hours to get from the cave to the outside world and hopefully to where you are. they are obviously doing just that. matt rivers, thank you so much. i want to go now to the phone and dr. john kristoff is here with us. he is a sports medicine specialist who designed a training program to help those trapped chilean land miners back in 2010. thanks so much for joining me. talk about what you did then and how it might apply to what you're seeing, obviously, on the television as we speak.
>> okay, the chilean miners, we had time on our side, because we had to wait to drill to get down to them. there was no possible way out by themselve themselves. they will be forced to get by and forced to wait. the time we had to wait for them to be accessed by the drills and so that's why we planned the special training, to deal with all the possible complications you might face when you're getting compressed in a capsule,
the breathing complications. we're kind of in a rush. there is no training available because the time frame that was open is basically controlled by the rain and the water levels inside the cave, plus the oxygen deficit they were experiencing. so the rescue started now because probably the monsoon rains would be coming along again and they would fill up the cave. and we were getting near a point of no return as the oxygen levels dropped down 16%, which was the actual percentage, and they might not recover. >> so it's similar, in that sense, to what we're seeing now. doctor, stay with us. i want to -- certainly we're going to follow this and we're going to get your expertise as
the morning progresses. we are going to stay on top of all of it, but i actually now want to turn back to the united states and major news here in washington, and that is the president's legal team setting new conditions for any special counsel interview of president trump. robert mueller's team would have to show evidence of trump wrongdoing and show that his testimony is essential to completing the investigation. i want to go straight to president trump's lawyer, rudy giuliani. mayor giuliani, thanks so much for joining me this morning. >> thank you, dana. >> thank you. these new terms particularly that robert mueller must show proof of trump wrongdoing to agree to an interview, you actually have said that you don't think mueller would even agree to it. so why do this dance? why not just tell the special counsel, sorry, no interview? >> well, we'd like to know if there is any factual basis for the investigation originally or they've developed one, because we can't find one. nor can anyone else, nor have
they with all the leaking they've done even leaked one, which i think would have happened immediately because they want to justify themselves. i should correct it. i didn't say they have to prove a crime. >> right. >> what i said was they have to give us a factual basis, meaning some suspicion of a crime. for example, i can't initiate an investigation of my neighbor just because i don't like him or he's politically different from me, which is really what happened here. >> so they need to prove that they have more than suspicion that the president did something. i want to push back on you, though. of course there is a basis for this investigation. the whole investigation started back before the special counsel was even appointed based on information that the fbi and justice department got from sources dealing with a whole bunch of people related to the trump campaign. so it's not -- it's a little bit of a red herring to say there is no basis and no evidence for
this investigation. >> the fact is that that investigation is highly suspect. it's under investigation right now by horowitz. he has suggested that it was influenced initially by bias. the same guy that did that, who has said horrendous things about trump, never vetted by mueller, became a head of mueller's team. >> horowitz has talked about the clinton investigation. >> wait, wait, let me finish. but then the guy who ran it was made in charge of this investigation and has unbelievable bias against president trump. now, how you can say that that's a legitimate investigation, well, then there are no illegitimate investigations. the reality is there is no evidence of wrongdoing by the president, no evidence of collusion. people can chave some evidence f russian this, russian that, but not a single bit of evidence. they've been through 4 million
pieces of documents -- >> if that's the case, why doesn't the president just fire robert muellermueller? >> because if he did it, everyone would say he is guilty. look what happened with comey. now he's vindicated of firing comey. records would say if he didn't do that, he would be derelict in his duties. comey has become the biggest in this piece. >> let's focus on one thing that you said, that there is no evidence -- you say that the special counsel hasn't produced evidence, but they haven't said they have no evidence. you say there have been leaks. they have been remarkably tight-lipped besides having to do with dimindictments and such. >> no, they haven't. they've leaked meetings, they're leaking on manafort right now, they leaked cohen when it happened. >> but this is an ongoing
investigation. we don't really know what they have and what they don't have. that's fair, right? >> i have a pretty good idea because we've seen all the documents that they have of the we've debriefed all their witnesses. >> you debriefed all their witnesses? >> i think so, the once in the defense agreement which constitutes the critical ones. they have nothing, dana. they wouldn't be pressing for this interview if they had anything. if they had evidence of a crime, they would write a report. they can't write their report because on collusion they have nothing. on obstruction they have constitutionally suspect theory that you can charge a president with some kind of crime for exercising his duties as a president and removing the worst fbi director in history that hillary clinton would have removed. >> well, we're going to wait and see what evidence they have, but on this question of the interview. you well know that robert
mueller, if he really wants an interview, he could issue a subpoena. but are you banking on the fact, putting these new guidelines on, these new conditions on an interview, are you banking on the fact that robert mueller just won't take that step, won't subpoena the president? >> i have not. i have no idea what he's going to do. i think if he does, we could have the subpoena quashed. never done in history. there is very strong law that the president cannot be subjected to criminal process. there is a good argument that governing mueller said that, but certainly constitutional law may say it. the reality is we have a very strong argument that they haven't made the case for an interview. they don't show what's called particularized need, even more lesser officials like the espy case, which says you can't just subpoena a public official. you have to show some particularized need.
if you can get the evidence elsewhere. for example, on obstruction, all the evidence they need, they can get from the lester holt interview. nbc plays an a bridbridged versf it and leaves out the end which exonerates the president. the president says i fired him for the good of the people, even knowing it would extend the investigation. that's a complete defense to obstruction. >> what if the special counsel presents you with things he wants to ask the president which he can't get elsewhere, which has been the standard for a presidential interview. will the president then comply with the interview? >> as long as he gave us the basis for his investigation and his continuing it. you talk about the counter-intelligence investigation. we know it happened. we know it's highly suspect because the people doing it were extremely biased. we know they came over to this investigation. what we don't know is, did they find anything? honestly, they didn't. i think we also have to realize
as a legal challenge -- >> we don't know that yet. i just need to say that on the record. that's your suspicion but we don't know that yet. >> i'm willing to say that based on my analysis of this and sekulow's and even john dowd back in the beginning, i've never seen a situation in which we pressed them for, what do you have, you want him to testify, tell us what you have, and they go mum on us. usually that means they have nothing. i wanted to get a witness to testify. i gave him at least one good fact that would shake their day. >> i want to ask you about something that is new this weekend, and that is the special counsel apparently wants to interview white house chief of staff john kelly. and that, too, is up in the air. what is the mueller team saying to your team about what they want to discuss with kelly? >> they're not. they're dealing with emmitt on that, emmitt flood, the president's special counsel for this investigation, as is the right thing to do. i'm glad to see that emmitt is
using a high standard, because after all, we've given them everything they asked. 32 witnesses, no invocation of privilege. 104,000 documents, no evidence. we have nothing to hide. >> most former presidents that were asked to talk to the special counsel have complied. this is new saying no. >> i think this is new saying no after the horowitz report, after -- hey, i would like to see texts from all the people working for mueller. he never looked at the text that he had to fire, like peter strzok. what about the people that supported hillary clinton, gave her $36,000, cried at her victory or funeral party? what about their texts? did they write similarly very prejudice things about the president so they shouldn't be vo
involved in this investigation? mueller didn't find that out. it had to be forced on him. >> are you trying to delay the conclusion of this investigation until after the midterms? until after the midterms, would you rather at this point -- >> no. i don't let political considerations enter into this. >> really? >> absolutely. i'm defending a man who is being wrongly accused, probably more than any other. we may very well have a constitutional proceeding. i recommend dershowitz's new book on that which makes a strong case about impeaching president trump on the grounds it's unconstitutional as it's being applied by mueller. >> if he's doing nothing wrong, why are you discussing impeachment? >> because the democrats discuss it, because everyone else discusses it, and it's the only thing that can result. mueller can't indict. so what is he doing? and he's got all hillary partisans, 13 angry democrats working for him.
what the heck do you think they're doing? you have people like maxine waters, and i would have to be an idiot not to hear what they're saying. she basically wrote off the constitution saying high crime and misdemeanors, treason and bribery. >> to be clear, and you know this, the leaders of the democratic party right now are saying, we aren't going there. but let's move on from that. >> i have to listen to all the people in the democratic party, not just the leaders. and they could be lying. they could be lying because they don't want it as a campaign issue. you don't think nancy pelosi wants to impeach him? give me a break. >> last week michael cohen gave an interview and said family and country, not president trump, is his first loyalty. and last week he scrapped all mentions of donald trump from his twitter bio. you said in the past you don't think michael cohen will flip. do you still believe that? >> i don't know what he has to flip over. what i do know is, there is no evidence of wrongdoing with
president trump. so we're very comfortable. if he believes it's in his best interest to cooperate, god bless him. he should cooperate. i think the man has been horribly treated by the people he's going to cooperate with, but sometimes you have no other choice. i do not expect michael cohen is going to lie. i think he's going to tell the truth as best he can given his recollection. if he does that, we're home free. >> and you aren't worried about anything that is negative or even worse for president trump? >> i'm very confident of that, and i think we all should be, because mueller would not have given it away if he had any hope of producing evidence against the president. he didn't want to go beyond his mandate. >> you mentioned a joint defense agreement that your team has with some of the witnesses. michael cohen has been one. does the trump team still join in their defense with michael cohen's team, meaning do you still have this joint defense agreement? >> you know, dana, i'm not sure
i'm allowed to comment on that. those are attorney-client privilege and it involves a lot of other people. yes, there is a joint defense agreement, but i don't think i can identify all the people who are in it, people who are out of it. if someone gets indicted they're basically out of it. i can't go much further than that. >> thank you so much, rudy giuliani. i appreciate it. thank you for your time, and we are continuing to follow the breaking news from thailand. four children safely out of the cave, but efforts to rescue the others are still ongoing. we are waiting for a news conference from thailand. we also have an update on the u.s. involvement in the rescue effort. stay with us.
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we're following breaking news in the ongoing cave rescue effort in thailand. a u.s. official confirms four boys have been evacuated from the flooded cave in thailand. as we await a news conference there, we want to go to cnn's pentagon reporter ryan brown with us on the phone. and ryan, you are getting more information about u.s. involvement in this rescue effort. what are you hearing? >> that's right, dana. we know that a significant number of u.s. military and civilian personnel are there on-site in an attempt to aid this rescue effort. we know there are about 36 u.s. military personnel, most of it from the pacific command, which is the command that oversees u.s. forces in the region, and that includes 12 research and rescue divers. we are told the u.s. divers were not directly participating in the initial stages of this rescue effort. we are being told that was led by thai divers. but we do know that u.s. divers
and other u.s. officials helped brief this really risky rescue plan to thai officials when it was first proposed. this is kind of a buddy dive that some more experienced divers would go into the cave and take the boys with them as they swam out. it was considered risky but the best option given the challenges of the cave. u.s. divers did not participate but they were in a support advisory role, and we do know there is a significant u.s. presence. it remains to be seen whether they will participate in future dives as they seek to evacuate the other children in addition to the four that have already been rescued. >> ryan brown, thank you for that update. i want to go directly to thailand, the press conference. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: in the rescue team with an extra five navy
it was a very smooth operation today, so i'm very grateful for everyone involved, all the teams. we've been listening to this press conference from thailand giving us a little bit of information an an update on what has happened and when it happened with these four boys rescued, saying that the boys were wearing full face masks, they had rescue teams carrying them out with them on the passa passageways. the first boy, first of four, was rescued about three hours ago along with the three others, and also talking about the fact that there is still a very important, very dangerous situation in the cave for the boys who are still there trying to keep the oxygen going to them while they wait for the rescue mission, which has now stopped,
to resume. i want to get now to matt rivers who is at or near the hospital in thailand where these four boys are -- i'm just being hold, matt rivers, that the boys just came into the hospital. what do you know, matt? >> reporter: yeah, that's correct. right behind me there the ambulances came down the road behind the camera just within the last two minutes. three different ambulances. three different ambulances carrying three different boys. they went right through those gates right there. that building right over my left shoulder there, that's the hospital. we know that this hospital has been preparing for these boys for a long time now and so we've got three different ambulances, they were part of a police escort, there were military vehicles, there was police involved. this was during the press conference that we were just carrying live within the last five minutes those ambulances have come here, so we know that three of the boys so far have arrived in this hospital and we cannot overstate how unbelievable that is.
i mean, consider what we were talking about 12, 15 hours ago, that that was far from guaranteed that this rescue mission was not only going to be attempted but at least so far has been successful. it is truly miraculous, we don't know the boys' condition at this point, they are being treated. we know the hospital was ready for them earlier today, cnn saw at this hospital before the road was closed off gurneys being prepared, doctors and nurses prepping for any eventuality that might come their way, but the fact that those three boys are in the hospital right now, just a miraculous accomplishment at this point and now we can just hope for the best, that the rest of that team and their coach can do exactly what those three boys just did. >> no question. the fact that you've seen the ambulances carrying three boys enter the hospital, three boys, four total, of course, who have been rescued, who were not only trapped in this cave with little to no food for more than two weeks, and then had to endure
this treacherous, treacherous rescue, going for hours with a mask with a rescue diver, it's really hard to imagine. we are talking about young boys. we don't know, speaking of young boys, we don't know yet, matt, who these boys are yet, right? their identity and the ages of those who have now entered the hospital? >> reporter: yeah, as of right now there is a lot of conflicting reports in media here in thailand as to who the boys are that got brought out. right now cnn is staying away from reporting any names until we can independently confirm not only the boys' names but the condition that they are in. we do know that our initial reporting suggested that they would send out the healthier kids first, to even create a sort of sense of morale amongst the kids that might remain, that they knew that their teammates would be able to make it out successfully and they have been able to do that. now, again, we should note that it was the doctor that was inside the cave that was going
to make the final call as to who was going to be sent out first and so we don't know exactly the order, but we know the initial reporting suggested that it would be the healthier children that would be sent out first, the weaker children and then, as you would probably imagine, the 25-year-old coach of these boys, he would come out last. >> matt rivers, thank you so much. i want to go now back to david mckenzie who is on the scene. david, i'm sure you heard at least some or part of the press conference that we were listening to. talking about the boys and the coach who are still trapped in that cave and the preparations that they are making to try to pump -- somehow pump more oxygen in so that they will be okay until the rescue mission resumes, presumably at daylight. what are you hearing on the ground there? >> reporter: well, that's right. the oxygen both for the boys, which can get to critically low levels, and for the rescue divers all through the day
yesterday and into this morning they've been having those air compressors chugging away continuously in the mountain that is in the darkness behind me getting the amount of kit placed within key parts of that cave system, dana, to pull off this extraordinarily lonlist cal feat. the governor there saying there are 90 people at least involved in this -- directly involved in this operation, 50 of them foreigners, 40 thais led by the thai navy. as we've been reporting a substantial military presence here in thailand to advise and assist. time and again i've been told, though, that the key members, if you can talk about the key members of so many key people, are the british divers, the civilian divers who first found those boys against all odds all those days ago, but spare a thought for the young boys and their coach right in that mountain behind me. we have to wait overnight here in thailand again for many hours, not necessarily getting
the information they need. they might not even know that that initial operation was successful. the calms between that staging ground and the cave and those boys has been very difficult. they say they will take a pause, a rest, a reset and begin again tomorrow. >> david mckenzie thank you so much. we are staying on this story. i want to go now to fareed zakaria. thanks for watching. this is gps, the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria. coming to you live from new york. there's a lot of news to tackle on today's show, president trump is about to embark on a trip that will take him to a nato summit, to a visit with the queen, and a sit-down with vladimir putin. there's also a trade war escalating with china. now, because of the breaking news i won't have a take this week, instead we will go right to the dramatic rescue of