CNN anchor Jake Tapper tells Steve Malzberg on Newsmax TV that viewers can expect for him to ask “the tough questions” on his new program for the 24-hour news network.
“We are the ones that are supposed to hold them accountable,” Tapper told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Thursday. “We’re there for the citizens — you, your listeners, others.
“We’re there to ask the tough questions — and, so, having nothing to do with this particular press corps or Bush or Obama or Clinton or whoever, I generally think we should be asking more questions, tougher questions and more substantive questions.”
The Malzberg show airs from New York. It premiered on Monday and is broadcast by Newsmax Media Inc. It will be carried live on SiriusXM’s Channel 166 nationwide, and will soon air on major terrestrial radio stations. The show can be seen live on Newsmax’s website.
In December, Tapper left his position as senior White House correspondent for ABC News to host a weekday news program on CNN. He was among new CNN chief Jeff Zucker’s first high-profile hires.
His program is expected to air in the 4 p.m. eastern slot currently filled by “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” — as Zucker, the former chief of NBC Universal, seeks to shore up the beleaguered CNN. The network has struggled for audience share in recent years against Fox News and MSNBC.
Tapper told Malzberg that his new show would premiere within a couple of months.
“It feels good,” Tapper said of his new opportunity. “It’s a new challenge, you always like a new challenge — something else besides what you’ve been comfortable doing — so it’s fun.”
Tapper also wrote the last year’s “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor.” The book has been on The New York Times list of best-sellers. It details the 2009 assault on U.S. forces by the Taliban on the remote Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan.
The attack is considered one of the largest and most vicious battles against American forces in Afghanistan.
“This remote base was built in this horribly vulnerable location at the bottom of three steep mountains just 14 miles from Pakistan,” Tapper told Malzberg. “The outpost, since its inception, has been attacked by insurgents — and everybody knew that there would come a time that there would be a big, horrific attack.”
And that came on Oct. 3, 2009. Four-hundred Taliban attacked at dawn — from the high ground, and battles there “often resulted in death,” Tapper said.
Eight American soldiers died and two dozen were wounded.
One of those who survived the attack, Clinton Romesha, 31, who was an Army staff sergeant, will receive the Medal of Honor on Monday from President Barack Obama at the White House.
Romesha, now retired and living in North Dakota with his wife and three children, will be the fourth living service member to receive the nation’s highest award for valor for service in Afghanistan or Iraq.
Seven other service members have been posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for their service in those wars, The Army Times reports.
Tapper told Romesha’s story in his book — and he profiled him in a story on CNN on Thursday evening.
“Thankfully, Clint made it — and many others survived the attack,” Tapper told Malzberg. “He’s just a great guy.”
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