- Well, welcome to the 700 Club.
Let's go over to the CBNNewsroom for today's top stories.
- President Trumppredicts a home run Monday
when he announces hisSupreme Court nominee.
But liberals are spreadingfears abortion could be outlawed
by one of his candidates and it's unclear
if the President will choosea less controversial candidate
as a result.
Ben Kennedy reports now from Washington.
- After wrapping upinterviews, President Trump
only has the weekend tolock down a final decision.
- I'm just so excited from my perspective
'cause boy, you have so many great picks.
- [Ben] It now appears the listof seven initial contenders
to replace retiringJustice Anthony Kennedy,
is down to two or three.
A source close to theprocess telling CBN News,
that it seems BrettKavanaugh is the top choice,
with Amy Coney Barrett insecond but things could change.
- Do you feel this could be signed, sealed
and delivered by September?
- Absolutely, I mean ...
- [Ben] Carrie Severino ofJudicial Crisis Network says
that the nominee willclearly face intense scrutiny
before even getting a voteto join the high court.
- A set of democrats crosseda very dangerous line,
questioning the religiousbeliefs of the nominees,
how can this be exposed?
- Well, I think it's
so Judge Amy ComeyBarrett's nomination hearing
is what you're talking about
when we had Diane Feinstein saying
the dogma lives loudly within you.
Well I'm not even surewhatever that means,
it clearly means she seems to not want
someone who had deeply held beliefs.
And that's somethingthat's unconstitutional
to have a religious test for office
but the good news is a lot ofpeople even on the left said,
whoa, wait a minute,that is a step too far.
- [Ben] Heritage Foundation'sJohn Malcolm adds
that anti-abortion groups hoping
for a sudden change in thelaw might have to wait.
- I don't see Roe versusWade getting overturned
anytime soon but of course,
that doesn't fit with thedemocratic talking points
that the right to have anabortion is now in peril
by this next pick.
- The prime time event is set for Monday
and President Trump can expecta huge audience awaiting
to hear his choice.
Ben Kennedy CBN News, Washington.
- CBN News Chief PoliticalCorrespondent, David Brody
joins us now with more.
David, what are you hearing on the latest
in terms of these top contenders?
- Well, Efrem a few things,first of all, the same names
we heard about a week agoare still the same names,
top three or four or so.
So you've got Brett Kavanaugh,you've got Amy Coney Barrett,
that's a tongue twister, by the way,
say that five times fast,
along with Raymond Kethledgeand Thomas Hardiman.
Those seem to be the top four
and that really has remained unchanged,
(mumbles), Brett Kavanaugh coming under
some of the toughest criticism
right now within theconservative movement.
- Alright, so let's talk more about this,
in terms of, what he is facing
from the conservative movement,share a little bit more.
- Well, first of all, theybelieve, when I say they,
we're talking aboutmovement conservatives here,
folks that aren't necessarily
the establishmentconservative wing of the party
but more movement conservatism.
They believe that he hasfound in opinions before,
especially, one specificallyI know, a right for Obamacare
or that Obamacare is not unconstitutional.
I think that's part of their concern.
Now remember he never, he'snever said those words,
Obamacare is constitutional or has said
it's not unconstitutionalbut the bottom line is
some of his opinions,especially, one specifically
at the D.C. Court of Appeals,Circuit Court of Appeals,
has suggested that and Ithink that's been a problem.
So you've got Rand Paul and Ted Cruz
and a few other senators callingup President Trump saying,
well let's put the brakeson Brett Kavanaugh.
- [Efrem] Well, let's talkabout Amy Coney Barrett
who's also come undercriticism from liberals though,
for being very outspoken about her faith.
- Right, so in evangelical world,
as we've reported here before on CBN News,
she would be the home run pick,
however, for liberals,she's a major concern
on the Roe v. Wade question,the abortion question,
whether or not Roe v. Wadewould eventually be overturned
by the Supreme Court.
She technically hasnever, necessarily weighed
into that officially, butshe has given indications
that obviously, she sides onthe pro-life side of things,
if you will and she's beenvery outspoken about her faith.
And so obviously, liberalsare gonna target the Judge
on that, however, it's notso much liberals as it is,
Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski,
the two pro-choice senatorson the republican side
because Donald Trumpneeds all 51 senators,
or in at least 50 of them
to get the Supreme Court nominee confirmed
and outside that, that's the issue
how much will Murkowskiand Collins be persuaded
or dissuaded from AmyConey Barrett, I said it.
- Certainly be watching that,
what about some of theothers like, Thomas Hardiman
and Raymond Kethledge?
- Well, first of all, onThomas Hardiman, you know,
he made the short list last time,
as a matter of fact, we understand
he was like second in line,
it was Neil Gorsuch and thenHardiman was right there
and Hardiman is again right there, why?
Blue collar guy, a first in hisfamily to ever go to college
and Donald Trump had agreat rapport with him,
of course, we know with Donald Trump,
rapport is a very important thing
and of course, the opticsare very important so.
So that could bode wellfor Thomas Hardiman,
so I think that's part of it.
And Raymond Kethledge,of course, has also,
he's more a sleeper pick,
he's on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
and so I think he's in the mix as well.
But Thomas Hardiman watch outfor him as an actual sleeper,
a real sleeper pick, hecould be the guy here
if Amy Coney Barrett is too toxic
and Brett Kavanaugh getskind of thrown out there,
thrown out the window, if you will,
by movement conservatives.
I think it's anybody's guess right now.
I don't think the President even knows
and if he does he's nottipping his hand quite yet.
- No, we'll watching,David Brody, thank you.
One of President Trump's mosttenacious cabinet members,
has resigned amid ethics concerns.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt
aggressively carried outthe President's agenda
to the delight of many conservatives.
But as Jennifer Wishonreports growing questions
about his behavior proved to be too much.
- [Jennifer] Facing anarray of ethical questions,
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt
is leaving the Trump administration,
telling the President in a letter,
"unrelenting attacks onme personally, my family,
are unprecedented andhave taken a sizable toll
on all of us."
Pruitt drew ethics investigationsfor expensive travel,
often flying first class.
Installing a $43,000phone booth in his office,
even using his influence to try
and secure a Chic-fil-Afranchise for his wife.
- My wife is an entrepreneur herself.
I love, she loves, we loveChic-fil-A as a franchise
of faith and it's one ofthe best in the country.
- [Jennifer] President Trumppraised him until the end,
tweeting, "within theagency Scott has done
an outstanding job and Iwill always be thankful
to him for this."
In Pruitt's place thePresident is appointing,
Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler
who is poised to pick upwhere Pruitt left off.
He's a former coal industry lobbyist
who fault government regulations.
Before that, he worked on Capitol Hill
and like Pruitt, he'sa target for liberals
who see him as a champion of polluters
and climate change deniers.
Even without a blemish, Pruitthad a target on his back
from the start because hethreatened the liberal religion
In fact, he insisted he neededextra privacy on flights
because he was confrontedangrily in public.
Like this confrontation at a restaurant
where a woman appears to read off notes.
- So I would urge you to resign
before your scandals push you out.
- [Jennifer] Despite his short tenor,
Pruitt is leaving his mark.
He was a major player inthe President's decision
to pull out of the Paris climate deal.
He ended PresidentObama's clean power plan
and aggressively cut government red tape.
In an interview with CBN News,
Pruitt explained his motivation.
- There's never been moreof a threat to liberty,
you know, to what weknow as the protections
that are inherit in our Constitution
than what we live today.
- [Jennifer] As an evangelical Christian,
he approached his jobfrom a Biblical worldview,
writing the President, "Ibelieve you are serving
as President today becauseof God's providence.
I believe that same providence
brought me into your service."
Andrew Wheeler takes overthe agency on Monday.
Jennifer Wishon CBN News, Washington.
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeohas arrived in North Korea
to continue talks about denuclearization.
Pompeo is looking tonail down some specifics
on the regime's commitments.
Doubts over North Korea'sintentions have grown
amid reports it may actually be expanding
it's nuclear program.
This is Pompeo's first trip there
since President Donald Trump'ssummit with Kim Jong Un
just last month.
A former Thai Navy SEAL hasdied working to deliver supplies
to the boys soccer team trapped
in a flooded cave in Thailand.
The death of the experienceddiver shows how challenging
it may be for the 12 boysand their coach to get out.
The group is currentlyreceiving scuba diving lessons.
Emergency teams are stilltrying to pump water
from the flooded caves as morerain looms in the forecast.