Jake Tapper

  • Aired:  11/26/12
  •  | Views: 21,190

Senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper explores the fiscal cliff, the war in Afghanistan, and the Taliban's assault on Combat Outpost Keating. (6:57)

>> WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS ABC'S SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT AND THE AUTHOR OF THE OUTPOST, AN UNTOLD

STORY OF AMERICAN VALOR.

SO HOW DID HE HEAR ABOUT IT?

PLEASE WELCOME JAKE TAPPER.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) JAKE, GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN, THANKS FOR COMING BACK.

ALL RIGHT, JAKE, WE'RE GOING GET TO THE BOOK IN JUST A SECOND HERE BUT FIRST, YOU'RE A NEWSMAN, YOU'RE

LIKE THE PREMIER WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT OF NETWORK TV.

RIGHT NOW.

>> OKAY.

>> Stephen: WHITE HOUSE, PEOPLE THINK TAPPER.

WHAT OTHER STORIES, NOW THAT THE ELECTION IS OVER, WHERE HAS THE NEWS MOVED TO RIGHT

NOW BECAUSE I DID ABOUT TWO MINUTES ON THE FACT THAT THEY ARE NOT CHARGING THEIR

CELL PHONES ON HOMELAND TONIGHT.

>> THAT WAS A GOOD POINT, GOOD POINT.

>> Stephen: WELL, THANK YOU.

THE PEABODY PEOPLE ARE WATCHING I'M READY TO SUBMIT.

WHAT'S EVERYBODY TALKING ABOUT?

>> THE FISCAL CLIFF.

>> Stephen: FISCAL CLIFF, YEAH.

>> TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF SPENDING CUTS AND TAX INCREASES THAT ARE GOING TO

HAPPEN WHEN THE BALL DROPS ON NEW YEAR'S EVE UNLESS PRESIDENT OBAMA AND CONGRESS

COME TO SOME SORT OF COMPROMISE.

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT SO, WE'RE ALL DOOMED.

>> IT'S LIKE THE MOVIE THAW YOU HAVE TO EITHER CUT OFF YOUR ARM OR DIE.

SO THEY WILL COME-- THEY WILL CUT OFF THEIR ARM.

>> Stephen: DO YOU KNOW, DO YOU KNOW WHAT KIND OF RATINGS THE NEWS COULD GET

IF THEY COULD GET POLITICIANS TO CUT OFF THEIR ARMS ON CAMERA?

OKAY.

-- (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: AS I SAID SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT FOR ABC NEWS.

THE ONLY NEWS ANYBODY WATCHES ANY MORE.

>> I THINK THAT'S TRUE.

>> Stephen: AND YOU HAVE GOT EYE NEW BOOK HERE CALLED THE OUTPOST, AN UNTOLD STORY OF

AMERICAN VALOR.

THIS IS ABOUT THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN.

>> IT'S ABOUT ONE COMBAT OUTPOST IN AFGHANISTAN, 14 MILES FROM THE PAKISTAN

BORDER, BUILT AT THE BOTTOM OF THREE VERY STEEP MOUNTAINS, BUILT IN 2006.

AND OVERRUN IN 2009 BY THE TALIBAN.

>> Stephen: LET'S PUT A PICTURE OF THIS SPACE RIGHT HERE.

>> THAT'S IT.

>> Stephen: THE SPACE IS AT THE BOTTOM NOT UP HERE WHERE THIS GUY IS STANDING SAFELY.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

YOU KNOW WHERE WOULD BE A GOOD PLACE TO ATTACK THAT BASE FROM.

>> RIGHT THERE.

>> Stephen: EVERYWHERE.

OKAY, WE'LL GET TO WHY IT IS THAT WAY IN JUST A MOMENT.

>> OKAY.

>> Stephen: WHAT WERE THESE GUYS DOING IN THIS VALLEY?

WHAT WAS THEIR PURPOSE TO BE AT COMMAND OPERATING POST.

>> COMBAT OUTPOST KEATING.

THEY ORIGINALLY WERE PUT THERE TO STOP THE FLOW OF WEAPONS FROM PAKISTAN INTO AFGHANISTAN, TO TRY TO WIN

OVER THE LOCALS.

BUT DESPITE SOME SUCCESSES IN THE THREE AND A HALF YEARS OF THE CAMP, BY THE END IT ITS ONLY PURPOSE

REALLY WAS ITS OWN SELF-DEFENSE.

ONE LIEUTENANT COLONEL WHO WAS TRYING VALIANTLY TO CLOSE IT DOWN DESCRIBED IT AS A SELF-LICKING ICE CREAM CONE.

ITS ONLY PURPOSE WAS TO EXIST UNTO ITSELF.

>> Stephen: SO IT WAS THERE TO DEFEND ITSELF THAT IT WAS THERE.

>> YEAH, AND ULTIMATELY AFTER THE ATTACK AND EIGHT U.S. TROOPS WERE KILLED IN

THIS ATTACK THEY FACED, IT WAS 53 U.S. TROOPS IN THAT CAMP FACE BEING 400 TALIBAN

SURROUNDING THEM.

THEY FOUGHT VALIANTLY, THE AMERICANS AND IT WAS A BLOODY DAY BUT ULTIMATELY THEY BEAT THEM BACK.

ULTIMATELY THE ARMY INVESTIGATED AND SAID THERE WAS NO STRATEGIC PURPOSE FOR THIS CAMP.

>> Stephen: NOW WHY WAS IT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE VALLEY?

>> BECAUSE WELL, THERE ARE A LOT OF REASONS.

BUT TWO OF THE BIGGEST ONES ARE ONES SO THEY COULD BOND WITH THE LOCAL POP LAS BECAUSE THE DISTRICT CENTER

WAS DOWN THE ROAD AND TWO BECAUSE THEY NEEDED TO RESUPPLYMENT AND AT 2 O 006, DURING 2006 MOST OF THE

HELICOPTERS WERE IN IRAQ.

AND SO IN ORDER TO SET UP A CAMP THERE IT NEEDED TO BE BY A ROAD SO THEY COULD RESUPPLY THE CAMP.

AND THEY COULDN'T DO IT BY HELICOPTER BECAUSE THE WAR AT THAT POINT WAS UNDER MANNED AND DIDN'T HAVE

ENOUGH ASSETS.

AMERICA HAS PAID ATTENTION TO AFGHANISTAN AND THEN FORGOTTEN THE WAR AND THEN PAID ATTENTION TO

AFGHANISTAN AND THEN FORGOTTEN THE WAR AGAIN.

WHAT MADE YOU REMEMBER THE WAR AS A JOURNALIST?

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GO OVER THERE.

>> TWO THINGS.

ONE IS I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL ROOM WITH MY NEWLY SON BORN JACK ON OCTOBER 3rd.

AND IN NEWS REPORT CAME OUT OF THE CORNER OF MY EYE SAYING THAT THIS CAMP HAD BEEN OVERRUN, A CAMP I HAD

NEVER HEARD OF.

BUT THE COVERAGE WAS ALL WHY WOULD ANYBODY PUT A CAMP THERE, IT DOESN'T MAKE ANY

SENSE AND I WANTED TO FIND OUT THAT MYSTERY IT DIDN'T MAKE ANY SENSE.

AND NO ONE EVER EXPLAINED IT SO I STARTED RESEARCHING AND ASKING AND FIND OUT WHAT IS

IT LIKE TO BE AT THAT PLACE WITH ALL THE TALIBAN FIGHTERS.

AND IT EVENTUALLY BECAME A BOOK.

AND THE OTHER REASON IS I HAD BEEN COVERING THE WAR FROM THE COMFORT OF THE NORTH LAWN OF THE WHITE HOUSE.

AND I DIDN'T KNOW AS MUCH AS I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT THE WAR.

AND WE WERE BATTING AROUND TROOP NUMBERS WHEN THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT THE SURGE,

10,000, 40,000, SUDDENLY WHEN ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT 8 DEAD AMERICANS, 8 SONS THAT

I WAS LEARNING ABOUT HAD BEEN TAKEN FROM THE AS I WAS HOLDING MY NEW SON T BECAME

A LOT MORE REAL.

THE NUMBER 8 THAN 40,000.

AND SO IT WAS FOR THAT REASON THAT I STARTED RESEARCHING THE BOOK.

>> Stephen: NOW IN THIS LATEST POLITICAL CAMPAIGN THAT WE ALL JUST WENT THREW

AND THANK GOD IT'S OVER.

>> I AGREE.

>> Stephen: AT THIS POINT-- AT THIS POINT-- (APPLAUSE) AT THIS POINT I DON'T EVEN

REMEMBER WHO WON.

THERE WAS NOT A LOT OF TALK ABOUT AFGHANISTAN.

>> NO.

>> Stephen: BESIDES THE FACT THAT ROMNEY DIDN'T EVEN MENTION IT IN IN HIS

CONVENTION SPEECH.

BOTH MEN IN THE DEBATE SAID WE'RE GOING TO BE OUT OF THERE BY 2014.

>> NOT COMPLETELY ACCURATE BY THE WAY.

>> Stephen: OH, REALLY.

HOW FAST WOULD YOU GET OUT?

>> I WAS HAPPY TO LEAVE.

BUT WE'RE GOING TO WITHDRAW THE COMBAT TROOPS BY 2014.

BUT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE SPECIAL FORCES TROOPS THERE FOR A LONG TIME AND JUST JUDGING BY WHAT I SAW IN

TERMS OF-- .

>> Stephen: AREN'T SPECIAL FORCES COMBAT TROOPS?

>> ONE WOULD THINK BUT NOT TECHNICALLY.

TECHNICALLY-- SSES TECHNICALLY THEY'RE GOING TO BE TEACHING ARTS AND CRAFTS?

WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO BE BE DOING, MACRAME.

>> THEY'LL BE DOING COUNTERTERRORIST MISSIONS SO IT WILL BE DIFFERENT, NOT

COMBAT BUT COUNTERTERRORISM.

THEY WILL GO AFTER THE STRONGHOLDS OF INSURGENTS THAT COULD POSE A THREAT THEORETICALLY TEERT AFGHAN

GOVERNMENT OR THE U.S..

>> Stephen: I DON'T KNOW IF THOSE GUYS ARE WATCHING HOMELAND BUT IF YOU ARE'S

GOING AFTER TERRORIST YOU NEED A WELL CHARGED CELL PHONE.

WELL, JAKE, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) THE BOOK IS THE OUTPOST, THE MAN IS JAKE TAPPER, THANK YOU, JAKE.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

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