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Obama: "There Will Be Consequences If People Step Over The Line" In Ukraine; "Wolf Of Wall Street" Studio Sued; Bush Hosts Summit On Military Vet Needs; Military Vet Surprised With New Family Home
Aired February 19, 2014 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: So again, we are watching for that tape coming in from the president so you can hear precisely what Obama said. But really at the heart of this whole thing, the people who just want a say in how their country is run. Here now is a glimpse into a nation divided.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: If the police come, what will happen here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am afraid thinking about this because these people are not going back.
OLEKSANDR TURCHYNOV, UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION POLITICIAN (through translation): Moreover, despite the fact that they blocked the metro and the roads leading in. Residents are still coming.
BLACK: This is effectively the frontline. What you could see here is a line of people who are holding shields (inaudible) prepared themselves between the crowd and the police, which we believe are on the other side.
VITALI KLITSCHKO, UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION LEADER: I'm happy because there was no discussion and the president don't want to listen. President Yanukovych has the opportunity to make a choice to protect the people that he serves and all of the people, and a choice for compromise and dialogue versus violence and mayhem.
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We are appalled by the violence that was already taking place in downtown Kiev. We continue to condemn street violence and excessive use of force by either side. It will not resolve the crisis.
BALDWIN: OK, Ukraine deeply divided by language and by history and politics. Russia used to rule Ukraine. Half the country still speaks Russian. The geography here is pretty significant. Many folks in Ukraine, they have had enough. They are now fighting against the government they say is selling out to Russia. A government they say is deeply corrupt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am a Ukrainian, native of Kiev. Now I am on the central part of my city. I ask you now to help us. This freedom is held inside our hearts. We have this freedom in our minds. Now I ask you to build this freedom in our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Let's explain what is happening really and how it sounds like history is sort of repeating itself. Jim Clancy knows the region well. We were talking before about the Orange Revolution, which we can get to because I think the history is fascinating.
But really here you have when you look at the map. You have the Ukraine, the west and then Russia. It is really sitting right there in the middle and it's been a tug of war for a while.
JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The Russian-speaking population in the eastern part of the country when you look at that map, and then in the western part, you have people that are looking towards Europe. They see their future in Europe. Whereas the people in eastern regions and President Yanukovych see the future still tied with Russia. Mr. Putin has led Russia down a more authoritarian path. These people have been nervous.
So earlier this year, just three months ago last year, November, when Yanukovych decided that he would toss aside a trade deal with the E.U. and instead pursue closer ties with Russia and get some loan guarantees, get some money. It would help their economy. People just went out in the streets and protested. They said you are taking us in the direction we don't want to go.
But this is a country very divided, a country in flames tonight. Look at these pictures, beautiful buildings have been occupied and destroyed. The whole central square that they called a "maidan" is lying in ruins and being torn up for brick bats to throw at police.
BALDWIN: So going back to ten or so years ago, you have this Orange Revolution, similar situation where you have this opposition group and this leader and they are clashing. Ultimately, the leader leaves and the opposition gets their guy in charge, right?
CLANCY: And he does a very poor Yanukovych was ousted so to speak.
BALDWIN: Not Yanukovych, the previous.
CLANCY: Well, Yanukovych was in that race against the other victor. Now I just told you his name and now I am forgetting it. The point is when the Orange Revolution got into power, they botched the job. They didn't save the economy. Not the last election, but the before that, Yanukovych regained power. He learned to speak Ukrainian in the interim.
BALDWIN: Why does Russia care so much about Ukraine? What's the significance? CLANCY: It's tied to the country historically. It is seen as a part of their sphere of influence after the collapse of communism. The Russians have few things to hold on to. Ukraine is one of them. It's a very important country strategically. That's why this battle is being thought out. It's liberally over the future of their country that the protesters were out in the square and that the government is fighting so hard. Giving them everything and conceding and not giving them what they want. What they want is for the direction of the country to be towards Europe and not toward Moscow.
BALDWIN: Jim Clancy, thank you. Thank you. Thank you for that perspective. Again, we are waiting for those remarks from the president of the United States on what's happening in Ukraine. He talked about that matter just a little while ago. As I mentioned a second ago, we are waiting for the tape. The president is on this one-day-trip to Mexico. He touched down just about an hour ago with a summit with his counterparts both from Mexico and Canada.
The big topic there, a Pacific trade zone, 12 nations, here we have them highlighted in yellow, these are the 12 nations that is 40 percent of the global economy. One problem, powerful leaders in the president's own party don't like the idea one bit.
Gloria Borger is with us now from Washington. She is our chief political analyst. Gloria, let's talk about really strange bed fellows because it's sort of like you have Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, you know, now on one side with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid against them. Why?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, It's interesting, Brooke, because the president gave his "State of the Union" speech back in January for this free trade agreement. The next day Harry Reid, the leader of Democrats in the Senate came out and said I'm not for it, the very next day. Now the reason Democrats are opposed to it is because of labor.
Labor unions believe this is eventually going to cost Democratic workers, American workers jobs. I think that's a big problem for Democrats. They had into the midterm elections. They don't want to be seen as supporting anything that could cost American jobs.
Also there is an issue here with whether this takeaway any authority from the Congress, and they don't like that. Because this agreement would not allow congressional amendments to any trade packs. They kind of like to put restrictions on trade packs and so Democrats are not in favor of it for that reason also.
BALDWIN: OK. Other big issues whether the president is fighting his own party. He has Democrats pushing the new sanctions against Iran, which we know he is opposed to that and possible changes in Social Security in the president's upcoming budget proposal. We know that the Democrats don't like that and the Keystone pipeline and the president gives the green light there. He will anger members of his party even more. Is this enough to make the White House a little concerned? BORGER: Yes, I mean, yes. What you are seeing is a moment is a moment in time and it happened as you head into the sixth year of a presidency when the congressional party decides it has to go its own way from the executive branch and from the White House because congressional Democrats want to keep control of the Senate, for example, and there are times they are going to split with the White House.
Now I would argue on the pipeline, for example, there is a split within the Democratic Party on that. There are some red state senators who would like to see the approval of that pipeline like Mary Landrieu in Louisiana or Mark Bagetch in Alaska. That would actually help them because they can make the case that it would create jobs among their constituents.
But the president has an issue here, and he's told Democrats this time and time again. If you wanted me to campaign with you, I will be with you. If you don't, I won't. This is a moment when everybody has to kind of go his own way because they are looking at that mid-term election.
BALDWIN: Gloria Borger, thank you very much.
BALDWIN: In Washington as always. Coming up, we rarely hear speaking of presidents from George W. Bush. Today he is speaking out and his speech in his presidential library where he talked about our veterans who suffer from PTSD and what his institute is planning to do to help them. That story is coming up.
Also next the alleged inspiration for one of the characters in the film "Wolf of Wall Street," well, guess what, he is suing Paramount Pictures for the way he says he was portrayed in the film. Did you see this? This is the guy nicknamed "Wig Wam." Remember him? Do you think he will have a case here? We'll talk about that next.
BALDWIN: Producers of the Oscar-nominated "Wolf of Wall Street" are getting hit with a $25 million lawsuit. The lawsuit takes issue with a character named Nicky Rugrat Koskof and jokes about his toupee. Rugrat is played by this actor. This is PJ Burn, former employee and he believes his life inspired the Rugrat character and he said he was wrongly portrayed as a criminal, a drug user and a toupee wearer.
So Drew Findling, let me bring you in, criminal defense attorney to talk about whether this has legs as we say. I think particularly this guy is irked because the movie mocks the fact that he is wearing this toupee. Not the fact that he had a toupee, but it's mocking this toupee.
DREW FINDLING, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: What's interesting is they have to be able to show that this was actually a portrayal of him and what he is saying is that they did have a nickname for him, I believe, "Wig Wam," because he wore a wig and that ties it in. But you know my question is, no one would even know it's this guy, but for this lawsuit and all of the stories like your own that are now going to tie him into the story. That's the movie itself.
BALDWIN: So you're saying he is now calling attention to it therefore we now know who he is. Does that even have merit? Can toupee mocking be a legal thing?
FINDLING: Well, I do not think so, and find this very questionable. He was an investment banker. He lived in California. Not practicing law. He is apparently moving his law practice or what law practice they didn't have to New York, waiting to get sworn in and now files the suit in New York. He is going to get all this publicity.
He is not going to go anywhere with this suit. We all know that. They are not going to hand over the film like they want him -- he wants him to do. But he is going to sure get a lot of publicity when he hangs out of his door outside of his office, his name outside of his door.
BALDWIN: What about just in general, Drew, when films are based upon I believe this is based upon Jordan Belfort memoire. Whose permission do they really need to get to tell stories like these? Jordan Belfort and all characters involved. I imagine not.
FINDLING: No, they do not. You have to think that with a company of this magnitude, making this film, they are consulting lawyers. When they watch that, you actually see the lawyers' names now. So they are making sure that they are dotting their I's and crossing their T's. They made sure they didn't use his name. They didn't have his likeness. They did everything they needed to do and he is doing what he needs to do right now, which is promote himself.
BALDWIN: Lawyers' names in the credit top. Drew Findling, thank you very much.
Coming up next, some rare remarks from George W. Bush today, he is speaking out about PTSD and our veterans who are suffering from that. You'll hear his candid comments. How he would like to help.
Plus, some special guests joining me in studio to tell their stories, some cute girls here, do not miss this family.
Also ahead, President Obama as we mentioned just spoke out about this really out of control violence in the capital city in Ukraine. He is placing blame directly on the government there. We will share that sound with you, next.
BALDWIN: Former President George W. Bush is pushing for more employers to hire our U.S. veterans. He hosted a warrior summit at his Presidential Library today to introduce what he is calling the military service initiative. The program will coordinate support for post 9/11 military veterans helping them transition into the civilian life with resources for their families and helping them get jobs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: What matters most are qualities like character and values, work ethic and responsibility, and that's what our veterans bring. The resume said the United States military. That means you can count on the applicant to be loyal. We have good leadership and teamwork skills and discipline. That should mean a lot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: President Bush also said the initiative will work to end the stigma and the misconception surrounding PTSD and hopefully help our veterans get the help they need. And so one American soldier sitting next to me, who champions efforts to help military vets, is Sergeant Perry Haley, he is an Iraq war vet, severely injured in the arm while retrieving a military truck back in 2007.
He has endured multiple surgeries. He is permanently disabled. Sgt. Haley has learned he developed brain tumors and with the support of his lovely family, his wife, Autumn, and several of their children here. Sgt. Haley is trying to manage his health the very best he can. I am lucky enough to have him sitting with me in studio.
This is the Haley family. It's nice to have you all here and thank you so much for your service to this country. Truly appreciate it. Let me begin with asking you, Sergeant. Ultimately when you can get back out into the work force, I mean, on your national TV, how would you and all your colleagues given your time on the battlefield speaking of, you know, getting work, how would you pitch yourself to an employer back here?
SGT. PERRY HALEY, VETERAN: It can be complicated because the lingo is completely different. How you say and phrase things, luckily with the military --
BALDWIN: That's your daddy on TV.
HALEY: Luckily enough, the military now, they are starting to -- yes. They are starting to teach us how to communicate with employers thanks to people like President Bush and other senators. It's a step in the right direction anyway.
BALDWIN: Take me back and kids, I want to hear you from and mom in a minute. Take me back to what happened as best as you can, December of 2007. You were a vehicle mechanic and you were out responding to a call.
HALEY: Yes, I was the only one in my unit that was like qualified at that time.
BALDWIN: You want to come sit next to me, Hannah. No, she's like no, thank you. Keep going.
HALEY: I was on site qualified at the time and it was my job to pick up downed vehicles and I was responding as usual it was all pretty fast. So grab the chains and hauled them as fast as I could. BALDWIN: And then what happened? What was it your right shoulders?
HALEY: My right shoulder pulling the chains to hook up to the other vehicle. They could be quite large sometimes.
BALDWIN: Fast forward to a bit of time. You start to develop what, nosebleeds?
HALEY: Yes, I started getting migraines. At first, I thought it was just because of the sinuses maybe and then that just kind of fades with ibuprofen. They give you an MRI real quick. He said well, you got two brain tumors, one is in a manageable place, but the other one not such in a good place.
BALDWIN: So Autumn, you are by your husband's side through the whole way, through the surgeries. While this is happening, this is happening. You have a family. You go to the doctor.
AUTUMN HALEY, SGT. PERRY HALEY'S WIFE: Yes.
BALDWIN: What did you find out?
AUTUMN HALEY: That I had cancer. I had been having pain prior, but everything with charity, I put myself on the back burner. I am the rock of the family and I have to make sure we are together. Finally when we had passed his brain tumors and surgery, I finally went to the doctor to find out what was going on. That's when I was diagnosed with cancer.
BALDWIN: Wow. So all of this is happening in your family and while I appreciate you sitting here and telling me your story, this is the highlight of my week because this is not all. This is not why you came to CNN. If I can bring in two very special people, hang tight, you guys. We have Dan Wallrath and Casey Hill. You all can stand over here. Hop on over. Dan. Casey, begin with you. Why are you all here?
CASEY HILL, PULTE GROUP GEORGIA DIVISION PRESIDENT: Well, on behalf of Pulte Group and all its employees, we are eternally grateful for all service men and women who have given up so much to protect our freedom. Our easiest way to give back is to do what we do best, which is built homes. So in conjunction with "Operation Finally Home" and on behalf of Pulte Group employees and our participating suppliers, and trade partners, I'm very honored and privileged to announce that we will be building you and your family a brand new mortgage-free home.
BALDWIN: You get a home, guys. You want a new home?
AUTOMN HALEY: Thank you so much. That means the world to us.
BALDWIN: What's your question?
AUTUMN HALEY: She said we were picked?
BALDWIN: You were picked. Why did you pick them? DAN WALLRATH, FOUNDER, "OPERATION FINALLY HOME": The question is better, why not? All the things that the family has gone through in the last few years and his sacrifice and supporting they have gone through a lot. We had an "Operation Finally Home" and that's when we do. We help these families move forward and they want to go back to school and hopefully this will enable them to do that.
BALDWIN: Dan and Casey, thank you. How old are you, Georgia?
UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Twelve.
BALDWIN: How does a new home sound?
UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Good.
BALDWIN: Really good, kind of awesome? Final thought for these two?
AUTUMN HALEY: You know, I don't know how to thank you. This means the world to us coming out of the military we had no guidance on where to go, nobody to help us out and we were thrown here you go. Here's the civilian life now. So thank you so much.
SGT. PERRY HALEY: The military is great about preparing you to get out. They teach you how to write a resume. That's about all you get.
AUTUMN HALEY: OK, bye. We are like what do we do now?
BALDWIN: Now you are getting help. It's amazing. Well, we will have hugs happening on the commercial break. Let me switch gears and play that sound as we promised from President Obama. He is down in Mexico, but he is speaking specifically about the violence that's happening in the Ukraine. Roll it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: With the president, let me say one last thing about the situation in the Ukraine. That obviously has captured the attention of the entire world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: The United States condemns in strongest terms the violence that is taking place there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: We have been deeply engaged with our European partners as well as both the Ukrainian government and the opposition to try to assure that violence ends.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: We hold the Ukrainian government primarily responsible for making sure it is dealing with peaceful protesters in an appropriate way. That the Ukrainian people speak freely about their interests without fear of repression. I want to be clear that as we work through the next several days in Ukraine, we will be watching carefully and we expect the government to show restraint and not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protesters.
We have said that we also expect peaceful protesters to remain peaceful. We will be monitoring very carefully the situation and recognizing that along with our European partners and the international community, there will be consequences if people step over the line.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible)