President Trump Plays Nice in Pre-Super Bowl Interview With CBS News

Trump on Face the Nation - Publicity - H 2019
CBS News

The president was interviewed by 'Face the Nation' anchor Margaret Brennan.

President Donald Trump was respectful and diplomatic during a pre-Super Bowl interview conducted by Face the Nation anchor Margaret Brennan, which was broadcast before the big game Sunday on CBS.

The interview was light on news but also short on the combativeness that has become a regular feature of the president's battles with his interrogators, which rarely include broadcast news personalities. After sitting out the ritual last year, when the Super Bowl was broadcast on NBC, Trump decided to take part this year in what had been an annual tradition — even when former President Barack Obama sat down with one of his biggest opponents, former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly.

The president was perhaps most measured and thoughtful when asked if he would let his young son, Barron, play football, which he called a "tough question."

"If he wanted to? Yes. Would I steer him that way? No, I wouldn't," Trump responded.

The interview did not make any news on the border security front, though the president used the opportunity to further telegraph a planned declaration of a national emergency that would allow him to build a wall without congressional legislation.

"There have been plenty national emergencies called," Trump said. "And, this really is an invasion of our country by human traffickers. These are people that are horrible people bringing in women mostly, but bringing in women and children into our country."

The president also said he would maintain a base in Iraq to be able to "watch" Iran. "All I want to do is be able to watch," he said, when asked by Brennan if he is weighing a military strike against the nation. "We have an unbelievable and expensive military base built in Iraq. It's perfectly situated for looking at all over different parts of the troubled Middle East."

Trump did not use the interview to attack the media, though he called a report about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talking to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about a possible run for Kentucky Senate "fake news."

Concluding the interview, Brennan said, "Sir, I hear your helicopters. I'm being told to wrap. I appreciate you being generous with your time."