FOX NEWS FIRST: Trump vows Supreme pick will be 'exceptional'; Rescue mission for trapped boys, coach in Phase 2

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Developing now, Monday, July 9, 2018

  • President Trump is set to announce his nominee for the Supreme Court in a primetime address Monday. On Sunday, the president said he 'was close to making a decision,' and sources say four appeals court judges are in final consideration
  • Phase 2 of the effort to rescue a soccer team and coach trapped in a flooded Thailand cave are underway, a day after four boys were pulled out safely
  • Trump's trip to Europe this week, with the NATO summit and a closely-watched sit-down with Vladimir Putin, could test strained relationships with U.S. allies
  • The U.S. Embassy in Haiti has urged Americans to stay inside following two days of violent protests and looting over the government's attempt to raise fuel prices

THE LEAD STORY -  SUPREME ANTICIPATION: President Trump said Sunday that he was "close to making a decision" about who he would nominate to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy a little more than 24 hours before he was scheduled to announce his choice in a primetime address Monday ... When asked how many people were being considered, the president said: "Let's say it's the four people ... they're excellent, every one. You can't go wrong." Trump added that he would make his final decision "tonight or tomorrow sometime by 12 o'clock and we're all gonna be meeting at nine o'clock." Later Sunday, Trump tweeted that he was "[l]ooking forward to announcing my final decision on the United States Supreme Court Justice at 9:00pmE tomorrow night at the @WhiteHouse. An exceptional person will be chosen!"

The Trump administration has been preparing information materials on four potential nominees: appeals court judges Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett, and Thomas Hardiman. Sources who talked to Trump Sunday morning tell Fox News that the president's top two choices are Kavanaugh and Hardiman, though a GOP source said late Sunday that Barrett still has a good chance of being the pick. Hardiman was the runner-up when Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia last year. He also has a personal connection to the president, having served with Trump's sister on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

SECOND PHASE OF RESCUE MISSION BEGINS: Rescuers in Thailand on Monday began their second attempt to free the remaining boys and their coach still trapped inside a cave, but warned that heavy rains have soaked the area and they are now in a race with “water and time" ... Thai navy SEALs said they successfully retrieved four members of the youth soccer team out from the cave where they had been trapped for more than two weeks. The boys who were removed were considered the weakest, reports said. It was originally reported that the strongest would be extracted first.

The same divers who took part in Sunday's rescue of four boys trapped in a flooded cave will also conduct the next operation as they know the cave conditions.

TRUMP TAKES THE WORLD STAGE: President Trump's weeklong trip to Europe will test already strained bonds with some of the United States' closest allies as he comes face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid a long, ongoing Russian collusion investigation ... Trump departs Tuesday on a four-nation tour. Two main issues will hover over his trip: Disputes over trade and military spending with fellow Western democracies and speculation about whether he will rebuke or embrace the Russian leader. On this trip, after meeting with NATO leaders in Brussels, he'll travel to the United Kingdom, where widespread protests are expected, before he heads to one of his Scottish golf resorts for the weekend. He meets with Putin in Helsinki on July 16 in the finale of the trip.

'SHELTER IN PLACE': The U.S. embassy in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince told American citizens to remain inside until further notice Sunday as the city continues to be gripped by violent protests ... Looters pillaged burned and vandalized shops in Haiti's capital Sunday following two days of violent protests over the government's attempt to raise fuel prices. "Do not travel to the airport unless you confirmed your flight is departing,” the State Department cautioned. "Flights are canceled today [Sunday] and the airport has limited food and water available.

An estimated 120 Americans were believed to be staying at a Port-au-Prince hotel targeted by protesters, who attempted to bypass security and set the building ablaze. Youth groups and missionaries from an array of U.S churches are also stranded in the Caribbean nation, unable to make it safely to the airport for departure.

AS SEEN ON FOX NEWS WEEKEND

DEAFENING FEMINIST SILENCE: "Where is the Left on this? Where are the feminists that are about female empowerment, 'Time's Up,' 'Me Too'? Where are their voices in this because I don't see them coming out to defend conservative women, as they should? ... Where are the feminists?" – Tomi Lahren, on "Justice with Judge Jeanine," questioning why feminists have not been speaking out against the Left's attacks against those on the right, particularly conservative women. WATCH

CAVE RESCUE MISSION'S DANGER, EXPLAINED: "People don't understand how much gear these guys have. They’re not just swimming the whole time. They're climbing rocks, they're getting out and walking. ... There's a whole lot of stages to this mission just like climbing Mount Everest." – Jake Zweig, a former Navy SEAL and combat swimmer, on "FOX & Friends," comparing the danger of rescuing a soccer team trapped in a flooded Thailand cave to climbing the tallest mountain in the world. WATCH

TRENDING

Howard Kurtz: How Michael Cohen decided to send Trump a carefully calibrated message.

'I'm alone': Haunting words of mom who lost four daughters, husband in crash.

WATCH: Pistol-packing waitress defends co-worker during attack.

Fight at AAU basketball game caught on camera, goes viral.

JetBlue crew saves French bulldog with oxygen mask during flight.

THE UNHINGED LEFT

Former Clinton aide shares contact information of bookstore where Steve Bannon was accosted.

Mitch McConnell confronted by 'Abolish ICE' protesters, video shows.

Scott Pruitt confronted by teacher at Washington restaurant.

Founder of movement against liberalism denied service at camera store.

THE SWAMP

Political giant killers like Ocasio-Cortez will face real test once on Capitol Hill.

ICE funding showdown expected amid calls by Dems to abolish agency.

Trump should reconsider decision to stop military drills with South Korea, Senator Blunt says.

ICYMI

Japan says death toll from floods climbs to 100.

UK woman poisoned by same nerve agent as Russian spy dies, police say.

Is Hillary Clinton secretly planning to run in 2020?

ACROSS THE NATION

U.S. soldier killed in 'apparent insider attack' in Afghanistan ID'd.

California cops use first-person tweets in bid to solve decades-old cold case.

Man proposes again with rings found in ashes of destroyed home.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS

Trump travels, bank earnings, inflation reports all in the week ahead.

Trump freezes Affordable Care Act payments.

Trump's economic gamble: Solid job gains vs. risky trade war.

This was the average American's 401(k) balance last year. How do you compare?

The serious consequences of defaulting on your student loans.

FOX NEWS OPINION

James D. Miller: Trump and Mexico’s next president can build the wall -- together.

Kyle Smith: Newly radical Kirsten Gillibrand had a better chance of being president 10 years ago.

Tom Kilgannon: America needs young people who are fit and willing to serve -- how can we inspire more of them?

HOLLYWOOD SQUARED

'Ant-Man and the Wasp' is the latest Marvel movie to sweep the box office with $76 million.

Keri Russell in talks for 'Star Wars: Episode IX': report

Gal Gadot dresses as Wonder Woman to surprise kids at children's hospital.

DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS?

Man who spent $159M on home renovations refused to pay contractor: lawsuit.

Tourist sentenced to eight years in prison for Facebook post.

Man slammed by internet for eating Kit Kat 'wrong' proposes to girlfriend with Kit Kat-shaped box.

STAY TUNED

On FOX News: 

FOX & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: A closer look at potential Supreme Court nominees as President Trump prepares for his primetime announcement. Meet GOP congressional candidate for Tennessee, Jason Emert. Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin speaks out about threats against his campaign volunteer. Plus, a look at cars that are great for summer road trips.

Hannity, 9 p.m. ET: Sean Hannity will cover President Trump's announcement of his pick to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy live, with special guests Sen. Ted Cruz, Jay Sekulow and more!

FOX News @ Night, 11 p.m. ET: Fallout from President Trump's Supreme Court announcement will include reaction from Sen. Ben Sasse and more.

On FOX Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: Robert Jordan, former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Varney & Co., 9 a.m. ET: Herman Cain; Los Alamitos, Calif. Mayor Troy Edgar.

Cavuto: Coast to Coast, Noon ET: Ed Whelan, former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.

Countdown to the Closing Bell, 3 p.m. ET: Rep. Dan Kildee; Frank Lavin, former Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade; Ilya Shapiro, Cato Supreme Court Review editor-in-chief.

On FOX News Radio:

The FOX News Rundown podcastBoth large and small businesses are keeping a close eye on the trade battles between the United States, China and U.S. allies as both sides escalate the fight. FOX Business Network’s Nicole Petallides gives insight. Plus, commentary by FOX News' Juan Williams.

Want the FOX News Rundown sent straight to your mobile device? Subscribe through Apple PodcastsGoogle Play, and Stitcher.

The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin on whether Hillary Clinton is secretly planning another presidential campaign for 2020. Steve Hayes and Bret Baier on President Trump's highly-anticipated Supreme Court announcement. Former intelligence officer Dan Hoffman takes a closer look at the upcoming Trump-Putin summit and Amb. Daniel Fried takes on the latest with North Korea and Trump's trip to the NATO summit this week.

#OnThisDay

2008: Citing new DNA tests, prosecutors clear JonBenet Ramsey's parents and brother in the 1996 killing of the 6-year-old beauty queen in Boulder, Colo.

1995: Jerry Garcia performs for the final time as frontman of the Grateful Dead during a concert at Chicago's Soldier Field (Garcia would die a month later).

1776: The Declaration of Independence is read aloud to Gen. George Washington's troops in New York.

Fox News First is compiled by Fox News' Bryan Robinson. Thank you for joining us! Enjoy your day! We'll see you in your inbox first thing Tuesday morning.