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As promised, President Trump has released footage from a recent 60 Minutes interview that he walked out of and has said was “FAKE and BIASED.”
The president released 37 minutes of the interview on his Facebook page on Thursday, mere hours after CBS released its own clips of the 60 Minutes interviews with Trump and Biden. “Look at the bias, hatred and rudeness on behalf of 60 Minutes and CBS. Tonight’s anchor, Kristen Welker, is far worse! #MAGA,” he wrote. (Lesley Stahl conducted Trump’s 60 Minutes interview.)
In a statement about Trump’s release of the footage, CBS said, “The White House’s unprecedented decision to disregard their agreement with CBS News and release their footage will not deter 60 MINUTES from providing its full, fair and contextual reporting which presidents have participated in for decades. 60 MINUTES, the most-watched news program on television, is widely respected for bringing its hallmark fairness, deep reporting and informative context to viewers each week. Few journalists have the presidential interview experience Lesley Stahl has delivered over her decades as one of the premier correspondents in America and we look forward to audiences seeing her third interview with President Trump and subsequent interview with Vice President Pence this weekend.”
The video shows Stahl asking before the interview begins, “Are you ready for tough questions?”
Trump told Stahl, “Just be fair.”
Stahl replied, “But last time I remember you saying to me, ‘Bring it on, bring it on.'”
“No, I’m not looking for that, I’m looking for fairness,” Trump said.
Stahl then told him, “You’re going to get fairness.” She later questioned why he wasn’t amenable to tough questions, and Trump countered that she “wouldn’t ask Biden tough questions.” The interview then officially commenced.
The interview grew testy at several points. Early on, Stahl questioned why the president wouldn’t admit to COVID-19 cases increasing in the U.S.; Trump said case numbers are high because “we do more testing” than other countries. Trump later admitted, “cases are up.”
At another point, Stahl addressed Trump’s appeal to suburban women and Trump objected to her tone. “That’s so misleading,” he said of her question. He added, “The way you said that is why people think of you and everyone else as fake news.” He said he wasn’t “begging” but was “kidding.” They then sparred on unemployment in America, with Trump arguing that the U.S. had just “picked up” 11.4 million jobs and Stahl asking why unemployment claims were rising.
When it came to their discussion on Trump’s healthcare plan, Trump insisted that people with preexisting conditions will be “protected” by the plan with Stahl asking, repeatedly, “How?”
As Stahl asked another question, Trump interrupted her, saying, “I wish you would interview Joe Biden like you interview me. It would be so good,” arguing that Biden was in the midst of a “scandal,” which Stahl objected to.
Later, Stahl claimed that Trump once told her that he calls news stories “fake news” to “discredit” journalists publishing negative stories about his administration. Throughout the interview, Trump said Stahl was “discrediting herself” with her journalism.
At the very end of the interview, Trump said Stahl had asked a lot of questions that were “inappropriately brought up, right from the beginning.” He added, “Your first statement to me: ‘This is going to be tough questions. But when you set up the interview, you didn’t say that.” When a crew member brought up that Stahl and Trump had five minutes until the vice president would tape an appearance, Trump said, “I think we have enough of an interview here. That’s enough. Let’s go” and left.
After walking out of the CBS interview on Oct. 20, Trump threatened to release footage from the interview, a claim that White House chief of staff Mark Meadows echoed.
Early on Tuesday morning, 60 Minutes released a clip of the interview that showed Trump talking about America’s domestic priorities and economy, with Stahl challenging Trump’s argument that the Trump White House “created the greatest economy in the history of our country.”
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