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Police Chase Suit; Gold-Rush Coin Mystery; Paralympian Tackles New Challenge; Interview with Paul Ryan

Aired March 5, 2014 - 08:30   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Five things you need to know for your new day.

Number one, Secretary of State John Kerry expected to meet with Russia's foreign minister in just over two hours trying to finds a way to end this crisis in Ukraine.

President Obama is taking his push for a higher minimum wage to Connecticut today. He'll be joined by four regional governors as he pushes for a bump up to $10.10.

Day three of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial now wrapped up. The blade runner's legal team grilled a neighbor trying to show that some witnesses have tailored their testimony to match up with others.

A House committee hearing today on the IRS targeting scandal. The big question, will Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of the investigation, testify or will she take the fifth?

Finally, a newly discovered asteroid will pass close by the earth today. This happens sometime after 4:00 p.m. It is expected to come closer to us than the moon. But experts say it poses no threat. Let's hope.

We're always updating the five things you need to know for your day, so go to for the latest.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, John, thank you very much.

Reckless and dangerous. That's how Supreme Court justices described the motorist in this incredible dash cam video. The high-speed chases ended in two deaths. But the family of the deceased driver sued the officers. CNN's Pamela Brown is in Washington with more.



According to a recent study, more than 300 people die every year in the U.S. as a result of police chases. So when should law enforcement be allowed to use deadly force to put a stop to high-speed pursuits? It's an issue the Supreme Court took up once again on Tuesday. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN (voice-over): We've seen it many times, high-speed police pursuits taking a tragic turn. Police dash cam video from 2004 shows how a simple traffic stop for a busted headlight ends in death. Officers in West Memphis, Arkansas, weaved through traffic as Donald Rickard and his passenger, Kelly Allen, lead them on a high-speed chase through two states. Officers finally corner the Honda, but Rickard backs up, almost hitting one of the officers. Police open fire, shooting into the car three times, and then another 12 times as it speeds away. Two minutes later, the Honda crashes into a house. Rickard and Allen both die. Rickard's family sued claiming the officers used excessive force.

GARY SMITH, ATTORNEY FOR DONALD D. RICKARD'S FAMILY: There is a line that you do not cross and deadly force is that line unless it's justified.

BROWN (on camera): In this case you don't think it's justified?

SMITH: Absolutely not.

BROWN (voice-over): But the officers argue they have immunity when protecting the public in dangerous situations requiring split second decisions.

MICHAEL MOSLEY, ATTORNEY FOR POLICE OFFICERS: They were reasonably in danger because it was up in the air what would occur next and certainly the public is in danger any time somebody careens down the road at 100 miles an hour or more.

BROWN: The case made its way to the highest court in the land, which is focusing on whether the officers used excessive force and if laws at the time of the crash would have prohibited that.

JON SHANE, ASST. PROF., DEPT. OF LAW, POLICE SCIENCE AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION (ph): They are absolutely a use of force that must be measured against the Fourth Amendment's reasonableness standard.


BROWN: And during tense oral arguments in court on Tuesday, every justice who spoke appeared to support the Arkansas officers. Precedent set by the high court in 2007 favors police, generally protecting them from civil liability in fast-moving situations like this. And now this case gives the justice a chance to revisit that decision, testing the limits of police discretion and using deadly force.

Chris and Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Pamela, thanks so much for that.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, what can you do with a nearly $4 trillion budget proposal? The president says he's trying to narrow the income inequality gap, but not everyone thinks this is the right way to do it. We're going to be joined by Republican congressman, the chair of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan, to discuss that and much more.

CUOMO: Speaking of millions or billion, remember the couple that found those millions in buried rare coins? Well, now, will they get to keep them? It's a question. It turns out those coins have a story and maybe even an owner. We're going to tell you about it, next.


BOLDUAN: Look at all that gold. Welcome back.

New questions this morning about a stash of mystery gold rush era coins discovered by a California couple. The 1,500 gold coins dating back - dating from the late 1800s are estimated to be worth $10 million. There are reports they were part of a U.S. Mint theft over a century ago. Here's CNN's Dan Simon, who took a closer look.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It may be the greatest buried treasure ever found in the United States. Coin after coin, more than 1,400, all of them pure gold, found by some lucky couple on their California property. Estimated worth, $10 million.

SIMON (on camera): How did they find these coins?

DON KAGIN, COUPLES COIN DEALER: They were out walking their dog on their property, like they'd done for years, and they spied something metal and they went to investigate. They thought it was full of paint.

SIMON (voice-over): The couple wants to remain anonymous, but that hasn't stopped some people from trying to figure out who they are and how the riches wound up on their property.

The latest theory is that it's part of an early 20th century heist at the San Francisco Mint. This newspaper article from 1901 makes reference to the sum of $30,000 in gold coin stolen from the vault of the cashier. The face value of the buried treasure was nearly the same amount. The thief? A man named Walter Demic (ph) was eventually busted, but the gold was never found. Could this be the long lost loot? And if it is, could it also spell bad news for those who found it? Yes, according to legal experts.

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: In a case where you can clearly identify the owner and clearly identify the crime, the finder's right to the treasure certainly diminishes.

SIMON: But don't start feeling sorry for them. Apparently in this case, it really is finders keepers. The Mint says it doesn't have any information linking the coins to any thefts at any U.S. Mint facility. Perhaps the most likely scenario, it was just a guy hiding his money.

KAGIN: Back then they didn't always trust the banks, you know.

SIMON: The lucky couple is trusting these men to be their coin dealers. Filthy and covered with 120 years of dirt, they brought them back to their original luster. SIMON (on camera): You think your odds are better of winning the lottery or finding gold buried in your yard?

DAVID MCCARTHY, COUPLES COIN DEALER: Winning the lottery. No doubt about it.

SIMON: The treasure unearthed, but the secret behind it remains buried.

Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.


CUOMO: A great story and one more reason to play the lottery.

All right, time now for "The Human Factor." The Winter Paralympic games are now just two days away and this year an American athlete, who is one of the fastest wheelchair racers in the world, is taking on a new challenge. Here's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Overcoming obstacles is nothing new for Tatyana McFadden. You see she was born with spina bifida. That's a birth defect that prevents the spinal cord from properly closing while a baby is still in the womb. As an unwanted disabled child in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tatyana was immediately sent to an orphanage after her surgery.

TATYANA MCFADDEN, 2014 U.S. PARALYMPIAN: I didn't have a wheelchair, so my legs were (INAUDIBLE) behind my back and I walked around on my hands all the time.

GUPTA: Six years later, a chance visit by an American to the orphanage changed her life.

MCFADDEN: I immediately knew that she was my mom.

GUPTA: Adoption gave Tatyana an instant family. Her mom pushed Tatyana to participate in sports.

MCFADDEN: Getting involved with sports, you know, saved my life. So I wrote down my goals and I said, I really want to be a Paralympic athlete, be a medalist someday.

GUPTA: The 15-year-old became the youngest member of the USA track and field team at the Athens Paralympic games. McFadden won four more medals in Beijing. And in London, she finally won gold. In 2013, McFadden won the grand slam title for marathon wheelchair racing and then traded her wheelchair for a sit-ski (ph). Now, McFadden's back in Russia where she's competing in the Sochi Paralympic cross country Nordic skiing event.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CUOMO: Wow, best of luck to her. But clearly she is a champion already.

Coming up on NEW DAY, President Obama unveils his new budget. Will it even get through Congress? Congressman Paul Ryan joins us live. He's going to tell you why he is calling the budget a disappointment. Stay tuned.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

President Obama unveiled his 2015 budget proposal Tuesday, which includes tax breaks for working families and fax increases for wealthier Americans. But it's a big document and there's a whole lot in it. The proposal's largely viewed as a wish list of Democratic priorities ahead of the midterm elections. But not surprisingly, it is also facing harsh criticism from Republicans, and top Republicans.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

President Obama unveiled his 2015 budget proposal Tuesday which includes tax breaks for working families and tax increases for wealthier Americans. But it's a big document and there's a whole lot in it. The proposal is largely viewed as a wish list of Democratic priorities ahead of the midterm elections.

But not surprisingly it is also facing harsh criticism from Republicans and top Republicans. Joining us now to discuss this, from Capitol Hill, Republican Congressman and House Budget Committee Chair, Paul Ryan; Congressman it's great to see you.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Good morning, Kate, how are you doing?

BOLDUAN: I'm doing really well, thank you.

RYAN: Good.

BOLDUAN: I want to get to the budget.

But first I do want to ask you about the news that really is developing that we're following closely here, this happening overseas -- what's going on in Ukraine. You had said in one interview, I believe it was maybe just yesterday or it was this week that this is what happens -- when we're looking at Russia going into Ukraine -- this is what happens when the U.S. projects weakness abroad.

Then I want to ask you, Senator Lindsey Graham, fellow Republican he said that he thinks this all started in Benghazi. Do you agree with Senator Graham?

RYAN: Oh, I don't know about that. Look, the point I'm making is -- look, first of all, who is to blame for this? Vladimir Putin. I mean the Russians invaded the sovereignty of the Ukraine. So let's put the blame where it belongs. My argument in that interview as I will make now is that this Russian reset has been a total failure; that we have projected weakness in our foreign policy and now in our defense policy with our military budget that the President's proposing.

I think giving away missile defense was a big mistake. I think there are a lot of moves that this administration has made in the area of foreign policy with respect to the Russians, Syria, missile defense, that I think has projected weakness.

And I think when you have the world superpower having a foreign policy that, in my opinion, is weak and a defense policy now that shows weakness, I think it invites aggression. I think that it create as vacuum that's filled by these types of actions.

But let's be really clear. Who is to blame for this? Vladimir Putin is to blame for this. And I think the administration is making the proper responses. I just want to make sure we have follow-through. I think we should do more to, say, produce natural gas exports for year. We should be working on sanctions and loan guarantees and things like this.

I'm glad that John Kerry went to Kiev yesterday but I think where we are right now is a world where they see a weak U.S. And this is not the time, in my opinion be trying to reap a peace dividend by cutting our military when we really don't have peace in the world.

BOLDUAN: When you say that our foreign policy invites aggression, I mean I think the President's supporters they make the point to say well, say back in 2008 when Russia invaded Georgia that happened under President Bush who was widely seen as not someone who's weak on foreign policy.

RYAN: That's what I'm saying -- Vladimir Putin.

BOLDUAN: So how is this inviting aggression from Vladimir Putin?

RYAN: That's my criticism of the reset. And right after Georgia we had this reset relations with Russia and we gave away missile defense soon thereafter. And so I just don't think the kind of responses we've made have been appropriate foreign policy responses and so let's put the onus her on Putin and Russia for their expansionism for what they're doing. Let's not take the focus off of that.

But I do believe this Russian policy, this reset policy, has been a total failure and I think we need to wise up to the fact that it's been a failure and adjust our policy accordingly.

BOLDUAN: I think it seems that the reset seems dead at the moment to say the very least.

RYAN: Right.

BOLDUAN: What can Congress do? The President, the administration considering sanctions that they can do without an act of Congress but what can Congress do realistically?

RYAN: Well, I think we should move forward on natural gas exports very quickly. I think we should approve an L&G terminal on the East Coast to go to Europe. I think we should approve the Keystone Pipeline. I think we should show that the U.S. is going to be moving forward on becoming energy independent and supplying energy to Europeans --

BOLDUAN: Moving forward with the Keystone Pipeline --

RYAN: Absolutely.

BOLDUAN: -- that development would take years though to actually make that happen.

RYAN: Kate the signal that America is open for energy business and America is going to be helping our allies with energy resources so that they can be less dependent on Russian energy resources. The signal is very, very important. And I think showing that this is going to make us move in that direction helps give our allies the kind of resources they need and reduces Russia's grip on this.

The other thing I think is the sanctions which the administration's working. They also were talking about loan guarantees and things like that.

BOLDUAN: In the long run, what do you think, what price do you think Russia should pay for this type of aggression?

RYAN: I think they should be ostracized in the world. I think they should -- they should not be rewarded for this. I think that Russia if they act in this kind of aggressive way, violating the sovereignty of another country, should be stigmatized for this in the world. And I think sanctions and all of those things that we're just not talking about should be applied so that they realize that this is not a cost free exercise.


RYAN: We should probably -- we should also be talking to the Baltics, we should talk to the Poles -- there are a lot of other countries that are very worried when they see this as possibly a dangerous precedent. I think we need to be bolstering NATO and I think we need to be talking to our other allies in this region to make sure that all that is being done to make sure that this doesn't spread.

BOLDUAN: Congressman, from what you're hearing, how do you think this is going to play out? Do you envision this de-escalating or do you think --


RYAN: I don't want to predict that.

BOLDUAN: -- it's going to get worse before it gets better.

RYAN: I'm not even going to try and speculate on that. I just don't know how this is going to -- this is an unpredictable leader. The only thing you can predict is that he's going to be aggressive and I do believe that we need to take a serious stance. I worry about Europe's resolve and European's issues with respect to having a concerted strategy going forward. But I'm not going to try and speculate this.

BOLDUAN: It would be difficult, I guess you could say.

RYAN: Yes, exactly.

BOLDUAN: This is so confusing all around. Do you fall into the camp as the former secretary of state Madeline Albright said to me yesterday on the show that Vladimir Putin is delusional?

RYAN: Yes, I think he's -- sure. I think he wants to restore what he believes is Soviet greatness. I think he wants to expand his country's reach in that region. And try and reconnect, you know, former Soviet states in some way or fashion to his regime. These are sovereign countries that are independent that should be able to chart their own destinies. They want freedom, they want democracy, they want economic rule and prosperity and more engaging with the West will help them do that and he's trying to frustrate that process.

BOLDUAN: Now, Congressman let's take a hard left turn to talk about the budget and domestic policy. We could spend 20 minutes talking about this and I know you would love that. But let's talk about it as much as we can on a high level.

John Boehner called it the most irresponsible budget yet, you called it a campaign brochure. It's no surprise that this budget proposal is not going to pass Congress, especially in an election year. They rarely pass through Congress. Are there any areas in here that are different from last that you think you can agree on with Democrats and the President?

RYAN: I haven't found any yet. As you mentioned, this is a hard left turn. And I think you mentioned this is an election year. So I think this is more of a campaign brochure. He moved farther to the left of this budget. In past budgets he would put proposals that were trying to I think narrow the difference between Republicans and Democrats -- work towards common ground. There's no illusions of that here.

So this is nothing but a big tax increase, massive increase in our debt. It's a budget that never balances, adds $8.3 trillion to the debt, $1.8 trillion in new taxes half of which goes to more spending. He does gut the -- he cuts the military greatly in my opinion not for deficit reduction but for more domestic spending. And so it just shows that the priorities have moved farther to the left.

And the point I'm trying to make here is we have three years left of this administration and we have divided government. Normally in a situation like that you would try to find common ground, work toward common ground. He's moving away from that and he's tacked hard to the left. And yes you could say that's because we're in an election year and that may be why. It's happening nevertheless.

I don't really know what the reasons are only the fact that he's moving to the left and that makes it really hard to bridge this gap.

BOLDUAN: Democrats will say they have tried to extend a hand and they have not been reciprocated again. You reciprocated --

RYAN: (inaudible) had a budget agreement. We have a budget agreement in place right.

BOLDUAN: You did pull off the impossible.

RYAN: That was bipartisan. And so I would love to see us build on that success and this doesn't help.

BOLDUAN: Give me a preview of what the Paul Ryan budget is going to look like. In years past a lot of the savings have come from overhauling Medicare and Medicaid. Are those proposals included in the Paul Ryan 2015 budget?

RYAN: Yes, because those programs are going bankrupt and they need to be restored, they need to be solvent. And so yes, we believe that these entitlement programs which are going bankrupt which are not going to serve future retirees need to be restored to fiscal health so that we can save so people can plan on them. So absolutely.

I mean we think we should balance the budget. That's the difference of opinion we have with the President. He proposes to never ever balance the budget. We do propose to balance the budget. And that's probably the biggest difference.

Also we don't think we should keep taking taxes from hard-working Americans to spend money here in Washington. We don't want to raise taxes. We want to get this deficit under control because we do not want to give the next generation a mountain of debt that they can't survive from.

We're going to give the next generation a diminished future if we don't watch it. We want to tackle these problems before they get out of control before they tackle us. And so that's what you're going to see us produce in the budget committee.

BOLDUAN: Congressman, I know this is your favorite question. But hearing you talk about Ukraine and hearing you talk about priorities in an election year makes me wonder is there any good reason why Paul Ryan should not be running for president in 2016?

RYAN: I'll get to that stuff later. Right now we're in the majority -- BOLDUAN: Where are you in your process?

RYAN: -- I'm keeping my options over. And I have decided after this election, we're in the majority here I have responsibilities in the House of Representatives. I'll focus on those responsibilities and after this session then Janna and I are going to sit down and give a really good long hard look at this because we are keeping our options open. I'll figure that out later.

But right now I have things to do. I have a job to do and I'm going to focus on that.

BOLDUAN: First and foremost, you got to get that big budget out.

Paul Ryan, it's always great to see you. Thanks so much. Come back on the show more often please.

RYAN: You too, Kate. Thanks.

BOLDUAN: Thanks -- Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right Kate. We're going to take a little break here.

When we come back the latest that is unfolding around the crisis in Ukraine -- what will come out of the meeting today between Secretary of State Kerry and his Russian counterpart? Looking for an answer to that question.


CUOMO: Good song. Time for "The Good Stuff".

In Minnesota right now there are 45 public schools that will turn a student away from the lunch counter hungry if their account is empty. They're going to pull them out of the line, they may even stamp their hands. Well, one local man wasn't going stand for that any more.


DAVE AXELL, STARTED OTTER ANGELS: A hungry mind is good but a hungry stomach and a hungry mind at the same time is going to be bad. I just didn't like it, I sent my money in right away. It's just something that incensed me so bad I just couldn't sit back.


CUOMO: Not about being filthy rich for Dave Axell, it's about caring. He start a fund to pay for lunch for those students who can't. The best part it's all done through the cash register. If a kid's account is empty, the fund just kicks in automatically and anonymously. And even better than that, Dave is getting other members of the community to kick in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) AXELL: They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, this is a perfect situation. There's plenty of people around here that can help out and should help out.


CUOMO: Dave is right and that is "The Good Stuff" but it's the kind of good stuff we never want to bring you because Dave is right about something else.


CUOMO: In this country no school kid should ever go hungry.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: And no school kid should suffer the stigma of others looking at him or her when they're at the line and they aren't getting food.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: The anonymous part is happening.

BOLDUAN: Way too much.

That's "The Good Stuff". The unfortunate good stuff, I guess we can say, right?

That's it for us. A lot of news happening. We're continuing to follow all the developments from the Ukraine. And for that it's time for "NEWSROOM" with Jake Tapper.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey guys, how are you doing? "NEWSROOM" starts right now.

Good morning and thanks for joining me for this special edition of "CNN NEWSROOM" right now.