Glenn talks to one of the few good journalists left in Washington, DC: Jake Tapper

On this morning's radio show, Glenn invited veteran reporter Jake Tapper onto the show. Regarded by many as one of the few good reporters in Washington, Tapper is often one of the only ones to ask the tough questions that matter regardless of who is in office. He talked to Glenn about his experience in Washington as well as his new book The Outpost: A Tale of Uncommon American Valor.

 

Transcript of interview is below:

GLENN: I remember I was working at CNN the day that we found out that Tim Russert had died and I was struck by the conversation in the newsroom because the CNN journalists were saying, "Well, they don't make him like anymore, they sure don't make them like Tim Russert." And I thought to myself, well, A, there's no printing press where people are ‑‑ you know, where somebody's making good journalists. It's up to the journalists to become good journalists. And their conversation wasn't just that he was a decent guy but he was fair and he was ‑‑ he was honest in his approach.

The way I can always tell a good journalist is they piss me off about half the time. They ask the tough questions and they'll ask it consistently no matter who it is. So a good journalist like Tim Russert will say the things and you're never really sure because he will ask the really tough questions and you're never sure is he ‑‑ is he a liberal or is he conservative? Which way does he go? Because he's just asking the question that should be asked. And as Tim Russert used to do, he will ask the tough questions that will make you cheer and then the next ‑‑ he will follow up with the next question and you're like, "Oh, come on, that's unbelievable."

We were talking the other day before the election. We were joking that, well, Jake Tapper's going to start pissing us off because Mitt Romney's going to win and he's perceived to be our guy and so now he'll ask the tough questions and we'll be like, oh, jeez, don't call on Jake Tapper. But that's the sign of a good journalist, one that asks the tough questions no matter who is in office. I believe Jake Tapper is the only one close to Tim Russert and I believe he is probably the best, most honest journalist out there and I think he probably despises me. But that's okay.

Jake Tapper is a senior White House correspondent and author of a new book called The Outpost: The Untold Story of American Valor and he's on program with us now, surprisingly. Hello, Jake, how are you, sir?

TAPPER: Well, let me just first of all thank you for having me on. I do not despise you, Glenn.

GLENN: I don't know. I just assumed that anybody who was in ‑‑

TAPPER: No. No, no, my ‑‑ I have limited reservoir of loathing and you do not earn any of it.

GLENN: All right. Well, that's a smart man. So Jake, I want to talk about ‑‑ I want to talk a little bit about your book because I think you have unique insight to many things, but one of them is what's happening in Afghanistan. And your book is called The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor. Tell us about the story and why you wrote it.

TAPPER: I was in the hospital room, the recovery room with my wife and my newborn son Jack. This is October 3rd, 2009. Jack was a day old. And out of the corner of my eye, I caught a news report on, I think it was CNN, maybe Fox, of an outpost I had never heard of, combat outpost Keating that had been overrun by the Taliban that day. And I was holding my son and hearing about eight other sons taken from this world. And there was something about that moment that just captured me. I don't know if it was, you know, the Ecclesiastes nature of something being born while others are being killed or what it was, but the mystery of the outpost, of why it was put in the vulnerable place it was put, at the bottom of three steep mountains 14 miles from the Pakistan border, I waited for reports about why it was put there. And I wanted to hear about the soldiers who fought that day, 53 U.S. troops facing up to 400 Taliban. So outnumbered 7 or 8 to 1. And I never heard. I never heard. No one ever told me. The people covering the war had other things to cover. There were certainly no shortage of battles and things to cover in Afghanistan. So I'm not begrudging war reporters, but the media never provided the information for me and it just gnawed at me and I wanted to know more. I wanted to know who these men were who died, I wanted to know why the outpost was there. That became a mystery that I needed to solve. Ultimately ‑‑

GLENN: So explain why it was because I mean, here ‑‑ this is a camp where our troops are sitting ducks.

TAPPER: Yeah, they were.

GLENN: Why was it put there?

TAPPER: Well, when the outpost ‑‑ the book traces the whole history of the outpost from 2006 through 2009. And when it was first put there, the idea was to put a lot of these little remote outposts all over Eastern Afghanistan for a lot of reasons, one of which was to stop insurgents from flowing across the border from the country that dare not speak its name, Pakistan, with bushels of weapons to kill U.S. troops. Another reason was to connect the locals with the Afghan government even though the locals in this part of the country didn't know there was such a thing as the Afghan government. And ultimately one of the reasons it was put in this spot was because this is a very mountainous part of Afghanistan, the base of the Hindu Kush mountain range and it needed to be near the road. And if you're going to be near a road, then you're going to be at the bottom of a mountain. The reason it needed to be near the road, not just to be close to the locals and also to monitor insurgents coming, using those roads was because most of the helicopters were in Iraq. So the only way to resupply the camp was on the road in a convoy and so that's why it was put there. And it was put there at a time when insurgent activity in that area was not that strong. Was ‑‑ you know, it was certainly something, nothing that you or I would like but certainly nothing like what was to come.

So it was a decision that was questionable in retrospect but more importantly the decision to keep it there, to keep that outpost there became increasingly questionable as the years went on.

GLENN: Do you even know why we're over in Afghanistan anymore?

TAPPER: The mission now ‑‑

GLENN: Not as a journalist. Not as a journalist. As an American. As a dad.

TAPPER: Yes. I do, I think, which is we are over there for two reasons. And this is ‑‑ one of them is a direct answer and one of them is more of a theoretical answer. The direct answer is we're there to train the Afghan forces so that they can take control when our troops leave. The theoretical answer is that we're there because we've been there for are so long, we need to make sure that when we leave, it wasn't all for naught. I think that's part of it.

GLENN: Do you believe ‑‑ I mean, Jake, I don't know how much, you know, you know about me really besides, you know, YouTube clips and everything else. But I'm a guy who has been questioning us in Afghanistan with great vigor since Bush was in office.

TAPPER: I know. I know.

GLENN: Nobody in the Bush administration was a fan of mine, either. So this isn't about, you know, parties. This is just about wars that just don't make sense. It just doesn't ‑‑ we're not ‑‑ it's, you know, this idea that we can sacrifice our own to try to give something to a people that don't even begin to understand freedom the way we do and try to, you know, "Here, here's a gift," they don't, many of them don't want it or don't understand it and couldn't protect it. How do you suppose this ends?

TAPPER: That's a great question, Glenn. I think, I think it ends, first of all, it's not going to end in 2014 as you know even though Vice President Biden said, you know, count on it: We're going to leave by 2014. That's not really honest in terms of our true presence because we will have troops there after that. They won't be quote/unquote combat troops. They will be counterterrorist troops. They'll be elite forces of Green Berets and Navy SEALs ready to engage in, you know, counterterrorist missions.

I think it ends over several years. I think it ends with U.S. troops coming home, you know, most of U.S. troops coming home in 2014. I think it ends with a lot of fighting in Afghanistan and there will be I think setbacks and there will be some, some good news, not all bad news, and I think the U.S. will be there for some time. In the same way that, you know, Iraq is what it is but it's not ‑‑ you know, I wouldn't ‑‑ you know, I don't think you and I are planning any vacations there anytime soon.

GLENN: No, that's not exactly a paradise.

TAPPER: Right. But I mean, I think it's going to be long and drawn out before things settle down there, if they ever do.

GLENN: We're talking to Jake Tapper. Jake, you don't have to go very far in this book. You make it to Page 82 and you tell a master story, as a master storyteller. Tell the story about how the death of one soldier reaches his wife.

TAPPER: Do you want me to read it or ‑‑

GLENN: That's up to you.

TAPPER: I'll tell it.

GLENN: Yeah.

TAPPER: Joe Fenty is a character in the book. He was a lieutenant‑colonel and he and his wife, he was a career military. He and his wife Kristin had gone, they were college sweethearts and they had not had a child. Kristin had had some health issues but then she finally got pregnant and she was 40 and Joe Fenty, lieutenant‑colonel Fenty was commander of 371 cav pushing in order into this part of Afghanistan. And their baby was born, Lauren, in just a few weeks before this one mission that Joe Fenty went on when he was extracting his troops from these mountain ranges. One of the things I think a lot of people don't understand about Afghanistan, probably because we in the media don't cover it well enough, is that one of the things that's so dangerous over there is not just the Taliban. It's the land. The mountains are difficult. The roads are narrow and weak. And they're not ‑‑ our combat equipment is not designed for this mountainous terrain.

So Joe Fenty ultimately on this mission, which he did not have to be on but he wanted to be there to command and control from the helicopter as they were extracting U.S. troops from these mountains if killed in a helicopter crash. Ten American soldiers are killed that day, it's May 2006. And in fact, you may recently have heard just a few days ago, and maybe it was even yesterday, there was a suicide attack by Taliban soldiers at forward operating base Fenty, named after Joe Fenty in Jalalabad.

So a major, Timmons, Rich Timmons gets permission from his boss and lieutenant‑colonel Fenty's boss, colonel Nicholson, Mick Nicholson, who's now a general, to go up on top of a mountain and using his satellite phone call his wife to make sure that she, who is on vacation with their kids in Disney World and I guess at that point in Pennsylvania racing back to Fort Drum in New York so that she, Gretchen Timmons, can be by Kristin Fenty's side. Kristin Fenty has a three‑ or four‑week‑old baby Lauren and her college sweetheart has just been killed in a helicopter crash and he wanted to make sure that she had support around her. That's against army protocols but Colonel Nicholson let Major Timmons do that. He reaches his wife, she gets in her car with her mother‑in‑law and kids and races back to Fort Drum. She races up to Kristin Fenty's home, you know, to be there for her. Kristin Fenty opens the door, smiling, happy, holding Baby Lauren. Oh, my God, Gretchen Timmons says to herself. She doesn't know yet. Gretchen Timmons makes small talk to Kristin Fenty, comes inside, they spend the day hanging out, watching TV. Gretchen Timmons watches Kristin Fenty pack a care package for the husband who will never get this care package. A news report comes on TV about this helicopter crash. They knew that there are only 20,000 troops in Afghanistan and the tenth mountain division is a major part of that. Probably somebody they know was killed in that crash. But Kristin Fenty is not told. The reason it takes so long is because the bodies were so badly burned on that mountainside, it took a long time to identify each one of the ten. In any case Gretchen Timmons ends the night at Kristin Fenty's. Kristin Fenty still doesn't know. Gretchen Timmons goes back to her house at Fort Drum and tells her mother‑in‑law Kristin still doesn't know. And it was one of the worst and most surreal days of Gretchen Timmons' life.

The next day she goes back, you know, before 7:00 in the morning, which is not so unusual for Army wives, and Kristin Fenty still doesn't know. Invites her in but now she's starting to suspect something's up because Gretchen Timmons makes up a ridiculous excuse about not having coffee and Gretchen Timmons is the kind of person who always has coffee. And then eventually there's a sound at the door. Kristin Fenty hears it and she thinks maybe that's just the wind. At this point she knows but she's lying to herself. Maybe that's just the wind at the door. But then she goes to the door and she sees Lieutenant‑colonel Mike Howard from across the street and a chaplain and she hands her baby to Gretchen Timmons and starts crying. And that's the end of that scene.

GLENN: The name of the book, The Outpost: The Untold Story of American Valor well worth the read by one of the only real functioning journalists I think in America that is left, Jake Tapper. Jake, let me switch gears here. You going up against Jay Carney and Robert Gibbs, pretty legendary. You're the only guy that seems to keep going in and keep questioning and using common sense and logic. The conservatives will say the press is either in bed, refuses to look at common sense and logic, or they're afraid of the administration. Why do you think you stand alone so often?

TAPPER: Well, you know, obviously I hear a lot of good questions from my colleagues. I ‑‑ it may be that I was early on asking tougher questions than others since a few others maybe. I don't know. You know, I do hear tough questions asked from my colleagues. So I mean ‑‑

GLENN: But it's not ‑‑ I will tell you this, that it's unusual and they're not the kind of questions that would have been asked by any other ‑‑ to any other administration. And if there are tough questions, they usually don't press them. They will say, "Well, that's because we have magic bunny rabbits in the backyard that are making more eggs." And you're like, "Oh, okay. No followup questions." Why is it, does it seem at least, or defend that it's not, why does it seem that there's just really, there's not a lot of pressure on this administration?

PAT: When it certainly seemed like there was pressure on Bush?

GLENN: Or anybody else, anybody else?

TAPPER: I mean, I think, you know, there is an argument to be made that the media didn't ‑‑ first of all let me just say there's no upside in my answering that question.

PAT: Yeah, that's ‑‑ either way that's what I was afraid of.

TAPPER: But I will say I think one of the things that informs how I ask the questions ‑‑ well, there are two things. One is substantive and one is stylistic. Substantively I don't think the media asks enough tough questions about WMD in the buildup to war in Iraq. I just, you know, I just think that is a matter of fact that the media at‑large failed in challenging intelligence assumptions leading up to the war in Iraq. So that informs everything I do because that's a responsibility that I feel the press didn't meet. Stylistically I'll just say that, like, I think early on ‑‑ see, when Gibbs was doing it, Gibbs and I, you know, we would spar all the time but nobody was filming it. So the first couple of times we did it and then I realized that there were TV cameras on us I think got some notice. And then I realized, you know, you can actually be more effective by asking tougher questions in a lower key voice.

GLENN: I have to tell you, I have to tell you, Jake, this ‑‑ I can't believe I'm saying this to you but I'm out of time. I would love to have you on another time because I really have profound respect for you. All of us do. Even though we may come from ‑‑ I have no idea and I don't really care, different political viewpoints, please keep going. Please keep doing your job and we'd love to talk to you again, sir.

TAPPER: Thanks, Glenn. Anytime. Sounds great. Happy holidays. Merry Christmas.

The Senate Judiciary Committee was set to vote on subpoenas to compel Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify on alleged censorship and bias across their platforms. But that all changed when Republican committee members "expressed reservation about the maneuver," Politico reports.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who chairs Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution, was definitely not one of the committee members with cold feet. On the radio program Tuesday, he told Glenn Beck that he's fighting "vociferously" to ensure Dorsey and others testify before the November 3rd election.

"Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg are both going to testify. They're are going to testify in person. They're going to testify before Election Day. That's what I think should happen," Cruz said. "That's what I'm fighting vociferously to happen. Right now, the companies are negotiating with the chairman's office to discuss terms to come voluntarily. I don't give a damn whether they come voluntarily or under subpoena. They need to testify in person and answer questions for the American people about why they are trying to steal this election, to suppress the free speech, and to censor the press."

The subpoenas would require Big Tech leaders to testify on the alleged "suppression and/or censorship" of two consecutive blockbuster stories from the New York Post. The first story was about emails that allegedly came from Hunter Biden's computer which are currently being investigated by the FBI, and the second was based on additional emails that allegedly showed communist China directly offering millions of dollars to then-Vice President Joe Biden.

"Big Tech stepped in, and they've done something they've never done before," Cruz explained. "We know that Big Tech has been censoring individual conservatives, trying to suppress conservative speech. But the step they took here is, they blocked if any individual user tried to share either of the New York Post stories, [they] were blocked ... Sharing a news story, from a major media outlet is part of democracy, part of free speech. And not only that, they blocked the New York Post itself. Right now, today, the New York Post is not being allowed to post its own damn stories on corruption. This is ridiculous. It's a threshold that's never been crossed before, of Silicon Valley oligarchs declaring the authority to determine what the press is allowed to report, and who is allowed to see it."

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If we learned nothing from the media over the past 4 years it's that colluding with a foreign entity to either win an election or for personal gain is absolutely grotesque. Well, that depends on whether you have a (D) or (R) before your name anyway. President Trump was impeached on rumor and innuendo yet Joe Biden has all but skated on his corruption up to this point.

Below is a timeline that shows the level of corruption and the lengths the Biden's went to in order to build that family's wealth and influence internationally.

2009

In 2009, Joe Biden was the brand-new Vice President and John Kerry was a U.S. Senator. Just five months after Joe was sworn in, his son Hunter, and Kerry's stepson, Christopher Heinz, formed an international private equity firm called Rosemont Capital. It had several different branches, including one called Rosemont Seneca Partners.

2010

Just nine months after Rosemont Seneca opened its doors, Hunter Biden went to China for meetings with executives from China's biggest banks, and its sovereign wealth and social security funds. That's unheard-of access for a brand-new firm. Was it just coincidence that at the same time Hunter was meeting these Chinese bigwigs, his dad was meeting with China's then-president Hu Jintao in Washington DC at a nuclear security summit?

2011

In May 2011, Joe Biden met with Chinese officials for the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue conference in Washington. Just two weeks later, Hunter Biden went to Taiwan for meetings with the same Chinese financial giants he'd met in China in 2010, plus some new ones.

2013

By December 2013, Joe Biden was enjoying his second term as VP, and John Kerry was now Secretary of State. That's when Joe traveled to Beijing on an extended official trip and Hunter traveled with him on Air Force Two.

During their stay, Vice President Biden met with President Xi and Hunter was mostly out of sight. We don't know exactly what he was up to, but the deal finalized between Rosemont Seneca and the Bank of China just ten days after the Bidens' trip pretty much gives it away. The most powerful financial institution in China formed a joint venture with tiny Rosemont Seneca to create a giant new investment firm called Bohai Harvest RST – the "RS" stands for Rosemont Seneca.

The firm is often called "BHR" for short.

Hunter Biden was a member of the Board. Remember, the Bank of China is government-owned, which means its business is completely intertwined with the goals of the Chinese Communist Party. BHR also got the freedom to operate in the newly created Shanghai Free-Trade Zone where, over the next six years, it would use $2.5 billion of Chinese government money to invest in China, as well as in other countries, including the U.S.

During their Beijing trip, Hunter also introduced Jonathan Li to his dad. Li is Hunter's business partner – he's CEO and Director of BHR.

Hunter arranged for Joe to meet Li in the lobby of the hotel where they stayed during their Beijing trip.

2014

In 2014, one of BHR's first major investments was in the China General Nuclear Power Corporation.

CGN is a Chinese government-owned nuclear power company that sold off a stake of the company to outside investors. Problem is, CGN was under FBI investigation for paying informants in the U.S. to steal nuclear secrets.

In 2016, the FBI arrested the ringleader of this nuclear espionage, a man named Allen Ho.

When they arrested Ho, he was using a random code generator to access funds being provided to him from – where else? – the Bank of China.

Yet while this FBI probe was going on, the son of the Vice President owned a stake in the company being investigated. And even after arrests were made, Rosemont Seneca did not alter its relationship with BHR, nor did it divest from CGN, even though it was stealing U.S. nuclear secrets.

2015

In 2015, BHR partnered with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to buy an American company called Henniges for $600 million.

AVIC is a gigantic military contractor in China – think Lockheed Martin – that makes fighter jets, bombers and drones. BHR bought 49% of Henniges and AVIC bought 51%.

Henniges is a precision parts manufacturer specializing in anti-vibration technology. The stuff they make is known as "dual use" by the U.S. State Department, which means the technology can also have a military application.

Because of that, the deal had to be approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) since it could have national security implications. The thing is, the American side of BHR – meaning Hunter Biden and his pals – had to know there were serious national security implications with AVIC.

The year before they formed a partnership with AVIC, the Wall Street Journal reported how AVIC stole technology related to the U.S. Air Force's F-35 stealth fighter and used it in its own stealth fighter for the Chinese.

How the Committee on Foreign Investment approved that deal remains a mystery. CFIUS does not publicly disclose any information regarding its decisions. Their findings are not publicly announced.

Interesting that China accounted for the largest share – with 74 transactions – approved by CFIUS during Obama's second term (2013-2015).

Under the umbrella of Rosemont Capital was a real estate company called Rosemont Realty. In 2015, a Chinese company called Gemini Investments bought a 75% stake in Rosemont Realty. The company was renamed Gemini Rosemont

Gemini brought $3 billion to the partnership with Rosemont, with the aim of buying "Class A institutional-quality commercial office properties in U.S. markets."

Red flag (literally) – Gemini Investments is a subsidiary of the China Ocean Shipping Company, a.k.a., "COSCO."

COSCO is a Chinese government-owned company. Its headquarters in Beijing is actually next to the headquarters of the Bank of China. COSCO is well-known for its close military ties. It's essentially a branch of the Chinese Navy.

2017

In 2017, BHR invested in Face++. That's the facial recognition phone app built by a Chinese company that is incorporated in a separate app built by the Chinese government. Police in the Xinjiang [Sin-jong] region of China use that app to keep tabs on citizens, and track and detain Uiguhr [Wee-ger] Muslims.

The app allows police easy access to data about Chinese Muslims including things like religious activity, blood type, and even the amount of electricity they use.

2018

In March 2018, a spokesman (Chris Bastardi) for Christopher Heinz (John Kerry's stepson) emailed The Hill to say that Heinz had "no operating role" in Rosemont Seneca, and that he was not involved in any of Rosemont's deals in China (which contradicts Schweizer's report in his book Secret Empires).

Chris Heinz was involved in Rosemont Capital. Rosemont Seneca was established under the same GP as Rosemont Capital, but Chris Heinz had no operating role in it. Chris and his family have no financial interest or investment in Bohai Harvest RST, he has never traveled to China, and he has never met with the firm's Chinese management team or investors.

2019

In October 2019, Hunter Biden's lawyer, George Mesires, said Hunter did not conduct any business on that 2013 trip to Beijing with his Dad.

Mesires said the timing of BHR's business license getting approved was purely coincidental because the paperwork had been submitted months before the Bidens' China trip.

According to Hunter's lawyer, the approval " was not related in any way, shape or form to Hunter's visit."

Hunter Biden finally stepped down from the BHR board last October (2019), but he DID NOT give up his 10% stake in the company.

When Bevan Cooney — the former "junior" business partner to Hunter Biden and Devon Archer — went to jail in 2019, investigative reporter and New York Times bestselling author Peter Schweizer thought he'd never gain access to the damning emails Cooney had promised. That all changed three weeks ago when Schweizer was given complete access to Cooney's gmail account.

Schweizer joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to describe just some of the business deals revealed within these emails — like Hunter working with an alleged Russian criminal and with Chinese communists to secure their assets, or to secure one-on-one time with his dad, then-Vice President Joe Biden. And all of this new information is completely separate from the emails allegedly discovered on Hunter Biden's laptop recently reported by the New York Post.

"So, I want to make this clear. This [Cooney's emails] has nothing to do with what's on the laptop … It didn't come from [Rudy] Giuliani. It didn't come from anybody else, right?" Glenn asked Schweizer.

"That's absolutely correct," Schweizer confirmed.

He briefly explained how Cooney, a former Los Angeles nightclub owner, is currently serving a prison sentence for his involvement in a fraudulent business bond scheme with Biden and Archer. From prison, Cooney gave Schweizer written permission to access his Gmail account.

"This is really important," he noted. "We're not looking at printouts. Not looking at PDFs. We're actually in his Gmail accounts themselves, sifting through these emails. And there's a shocking amount of information about deals involving China, involving Russia, involving all sorts of things they were trying to pull off."

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The king of "No Spin" and bestselling author of "Killing Crazy Horse," Bill O'Reilly joined Glenn Beck on this week's podcast to talk about the latest developments in Joe Biden's Ukraine and China corruption scandal. Now that some of the details are finally coming out in the open, does the average Democrat care? Maybe, but the Left doesn't seem to.

O'Reilly argued there's more hatred for President Donald Trump now than in 2016, and that some people hate President Trump so much that they'd rather vote for the "senile, corrupt" Joe Biden.

"Hunter got tens of millions of dollars from Ukraine, from Russia, from China because his father was vice president. I have no doubt in my mind," O'Reilly said. "But the hatred for Donald Trump overrides that in the minds of millions of viewers. They're saying, 'You know, we'd rather have the senile corrupt guy than Trump.'"

Asked by Glenn if any other Republican running for president would be met with the same level of vitriol, O'Reilly answered, "The Left is the Left. They don't like America. The want to redo the Constitution. They want to take some of our freedoms, like the Second Amendment and the First Amendment, and change them. And they want to destroy capitalism and replace it with a big centralized government in Washington that controls the economy … but I'm talking about the folks. I have liberal friends and I say to them, 'Do you not understand that when you vote for Biden, you're voting against your own self interest?'"

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