>> It’s named after a tried and true member of the greatest generation and that spirit will permeate this ship so long as it sails on the seas, as well as the U.S. Navy spirit, of we have just begun to fight. And Mr. President, you’ll send this ship in harm’s way and they will happily sail in harm’s way for you. Leland: And with that, welcome back to Norfolk. That was defense secretary James Mattis earlier today talking about the U.S.S. Gerald Ford and the brave sailors who will stand at the helm, often in harm’s way. Freshman congressman Scott Taylor knows a thing or two about harm’s way, a former Navy seal, tours of duty in Baghdad and Ramadi. And represents this area in Congress. Nice to see you.
>> Good to be with you, Leland.
Leland: It was shocking to say this this district we’re in as the highest percentage of active military and percentage of veterans in the country. And I suspect the attitude toward the president has changed with the president here?
>> There’s no doubt about it.You’re standing on the largest naval base, the biggest advanced aircraft carrier there. We have a proud tradition, more military and veterans in the nation. And they’re happy for the administration to come in and put the strength back in the military. To do the proper spending. To get our readiness on point. And invest in the men and women fighting for us every day. We’re very happy.
Leland: You talk about the spending in the military, this thing costs $13 billion, roughly 113 million a foot, horribly over budget. A number of other Navy projects, a new destroyer, horrifically over budget and major problems once it’s put to sea. How much responsibility does Congress have, yes, in appropriating the money, but making sure it’s money well spent?
>> I think they have a lot of responsibility. Leland: Are they living up to this?
>> For this project, there’s a lot of lessons learned and to use taxpayer dollars efficiently and many’ confident we’ve learned a lot of lessons. It’s a 12 carrier world and right now it’s the 11th one. We have to invest in our military. Congress should stand up and repeal sequestration, we’ve hurt our military readiness and deployments extended hurts our family and our training. But at the same time we have to get a handle on out of control costs and army will say 30% over infrastructure, to the tune of $500 million a year. You have to have the leadership and the courage to stand up and say, we have to get a handle on that and close things that you don’t need. I think we owe the taxpayers that. Leland: We’ll be interesting— I know you’re a freshman congressman and you’re on appropriations. It will be interesting to see what you come back with that need to be cut. As a man who spent a lot of time in combat. President Trump tweeted this out this morning before flying down here. The failing New York Times foiled U.S. Attempt to kill the single most wanted terrorist, Al baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. They are sick agenda over national security. That’s the tweet and thises what the president was talking about, an interview with a U.S. General ahead of special operations command by our own Katherine Herridge.
>> A treasure trove where she had been with baghdadi in raqqa, days, if not within days prior so that was a very good lead. Unfortunately it was leaked in a prominent newspaper a week later and that lead went dead. That’s the challenge that we have in terms of where and how our tactics and proceeds are discussed openly. There’s a great need to inform the American public what we’re up to. There’s also a great need to recognize things that will undercut our ability to do our job. Leland: Now, the New York Times has come back and said that up until now there had never been any pushback from the Pentagon, never asked to hold the story and sometimes it’s done in national security situations. The question is this: For as. Anger as we’ve heard this president talk about leakers, where does the responsibility lie for the people who hold the information and leak or with the newspapers not to publish it?
>> I think a little bit of both. No question about it the source of the leak first and foremost, you’re talking about and seen it under the administration, criminal acts quite frankly, people maybe don’t agree with the president’s agenda, that does nothing to alleviate your responsibility to deal with classified information, that could put people in harm’s way and get people killed. There’s responsibility for the person to protect that information. At the same time, sure, there’s a stewardship for the media to do the same to make sure they’re not hindering operations or putting lives at risk as well. Leland: Congressman, appreciate your time. Like I said, as the appropriation world continues on, you have more bills and come back and talk to issues you know that near and dear.
>> Go Navy. Leland: It didn’t work so well on the army-navy game.
>> We’ll work on that.