'This Week' Transcript: House Speaker John Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner is interviewed on "This Week."

ByABC News
October 4, 2013, 4:28 PM

Oct. 6, 2013 — -- A rush transcript of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" airing on Sunday morning, October 6, 2013 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Overnight, two daring raids. Under cover of darkness in hostile terrain, U.S. commandos target two of the world's most wanted terrorists, capturing one alive. We've got the latest details on the secret strikes.



BOEHNER: This isn't some damn game.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Six days in, one man stands at the center of the showdown.


SEN. HARRY REID, (D) NEVADA: John Boehner can't take yes for an answer.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: John Boehner won't let the bill get a yes or no vote.


STEPHANOPOULOS: This morning, the speaker responds. His first and only interview since the government shutdown. Is he ready to change course, put his speakership at risk? Or hold firm and put America at risk of default. House Speaker John Boehner live. It's an ABC News exclusive.

Plus, instant analysis and answers from our powerhouse roundtable.

It's all right here this Sunday morning.

ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, This Week with George Stephanopoulos starts now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It is day six of the government shutdown. And House Speaker John Boehner is here live for his first interview. But we begin with the dramatic day in the war on terror -- two raids, two targets, one for the bombings of the U.S.embassies, and one for that deadly attack on the mall attack in Kenya. So many details still coming in. And U.S. officials, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, are claiming mission success.


JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The United States of America will never stop in its effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror and those members of al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, literally can run but they can't hide.


STEPHANOPOULOS: ABC's chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz has been tracking all of the developments. And Martha, officials claiming success, but the target that raid in Somalia, they can't confirm what happened to him.

MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: They cannot confirm the target was dead. We don't know who the target was. But this was SEAL Team 6 going in on a raid in Somalia south of Mogadishu. They came in from the Indian Ocean, they approached the seaside home of this target, an al Shabaab target, opened fire, but they met more much, much resistance than they thought they would, so they had to withdraw, the SEALs withdrew. They didn't know who was in there at that time. They can't confirm it yet. They'll start talking to human intelligence.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And the hope was they were going to capture this target, but they clearly didn't do that.

But meanwhile in Libya, a clean capture.

RADDATZ: A clean capture in an incredible raid, right in downtown Tripoli. They went in, teams of CIA, FBI and American troops, went in and grabbed this man, Abu Anas al Libi. He was considered the mastermind of the Kenya bombing, the U.S. embassy bombing in Kenya.

We've been looking for him for 15 years, $5 million reward on his head.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Meantime, he's going to be brought back to the United States?

RADDATZ: He will be brought back to the United States to face trial. He has actually been indicted, but we believe he's on a navy ship right now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Martha Raddatz, thanks very much.

Let's get more on this now from a man who has been an raids like this, former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens.

And Eric, thank you for joining us this morning.

As I said, you've been on raids to capture al Qaeda leaders. You actually commanded a special operations task force based in Kenya. Take us inside an operation like this.

ERIC GREITENS, FRM. NAVY SEAL: So inside an operation like this, George, there are a couple of elements you have to bring together. The first is really you have to get actionable intelligence. So, when you're following a target like al Libi, when you're looking at al Shabaab, you've actually had intelligence analysts who have been watching them for years.

As your intelligence picture develops, you'll begin to develop scenarios and contingency plans for actually executing an assault. In the days leading up to an assault like this, the assault teams would engage in relentless preparation, rehearsal after rehearsal, doing after-action reviews every time to learn as much as they can.

So that on the day of the operation they're as prepared as possible for the contingencies they might face on the battlefield.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Prepare, but in this operation, as we've just learned, it certainly appears as if they met a little more resistance than they expected, had to call in reinforcements.

GREITENS: Yeah, absolutely.

One of the things that you know is that your intelligence picture, no matter how good it is, is never going to be perfect. And in this case, it sounds like they met more resistance than they expected. It's a very complex, difficult situation, fighting on the ground.

And one of the reasons why you use a SEAL team in a situation like this, is not just because of their tactical proficiency, but you are also looking to have an on the ground commander who can exercise their judgment about the best course of action. And in this case, in the al Shabaab raid, they decided to pull back and reengage another day.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And I would imagine that at some level, they have to be colored by the experience 20 years ago on Blackhawk Down, when so many Americans lost their lives in that raid.

GREITENS: That's exactly right, George. 20 years ago, we had that raid in Mogadishu. And one of the things that goes into every raid, every planning is you assess the risk. You're both assessing the risk that you're going to face on the battlefield, and the commander also wants to be clear about what risks they want to take.

In this case, they wanted to make sure that there were not a lot of civilian casualties. They wanted to make sure that there was not collateral damage. They might not have been sure about the exact intelligence picture.

And so in a situation like this, again very complex, dynamic situation situation, you want the commander on the ground to make an assessment at the moment.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Two raids on the same day. U.S. officials call it a coincidence. Do you buy that?

GREITENS: I think one of the things that's happening in a situation like this is that perhaps coincidental that both of these targets were actionable. But what happens, George, is that you actually want to maintain the element of surprise. By executing both of these operations at the same time, they made sure that either target was not going to know that American forces were active, that they were responding at the time.

So, there's actually a lot of advantages to conducting the raids at the same time.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Eric Greitens, thanks very much.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's turn to the Speaker of the House, John Boehner. He's with us right here live in the studio. And I want to talk about the government shutdown. But first, of course, you've been briefed on these operations. I know you can't release any details, but are you confident this was a success?

BOEHNER: I'm very confident that both of these efforts were successful. I'm going to congratulate all of those in the U.S. intelligence operations, our troops, FBI, all those who were involved.

Listen, the threat of al Qaeda and their affiliates remains. And America has continued to be vigilant. And this is a great example of our dedicated forces on the security side, intelligence side, and our military and their capability to track these people down.

STEPHANOPOULOS; And it happened despite the government shutdown. We're now in day six of the government shutdown, as you know. And Democrats have been saying that you are the man, you are the one man in Washington who has the power to reopen the government. All you have to do is schedule a vote for a clean government funding resolution. Will you do that?

BOEHNER: George, the House has passed four bills to keep the government open and to provide fairness to the American people under Obamacare. And even after the Senate has rejected -- they've rejected all four of them. And even after the four rejections, we asked to sit down with the Senate and have a conversation. They said, no.

Listen, Obamacare is a law that's going to raise the cost of health insurance premiums and make it almost impossible for employers to hire new people. It's a law the American people do not want and cannot afford.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It's also the law of the land, as you've said on many occasions. It's also you've tried many, many times to defund it. It's simply not working. So, I guess the answer to my question is--

BOEHNER: But why wouldn't the president provide fairness to the American people? Giving exemptions and waivers to all kinds of groups and people, but he hasn't given one to the American people, who are going to suffer under this law.

STEPHANOPOULOS: He has not, perhaps, but I take it from your answer that you're not prepared to schedule a clean bill on government funding.

BOEHNER: There are not the votes in the House to pass a clean CR.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you sure that's true? The Democrats say they have 195 Democrats who have already signed a letter saying that they would vote it. 21 Republicans, 21 House Republicans have said they are for it, as well. And Democrats are confident, you add those Republicans to the Democrats, a few more would come along and they have the votes.

BOEHNER: The American people expect in Washington, when we have a crisis like this, that the leaders will sit down and have a conversation. I told my members the other day, there may be a back room somewhere, but there's nobody in it.

We're interested in having a conversation about how we open the government and how we begin to pay our bills. But it begins with a simple conversation.