President Donald Trump posted a full-length video of his “60 Minutes” interview with CBS News’s Lesley Stahl on Thursday, following through on a promise he made the day before.
“Look at the bias, hatred and rudeness on behalf of 60 Minutes and CBS,” Trump wrote in a tweet, sharing a link to a post of the video on his Facebook account.
Within the video, which Trump purported to demonstrate bias on Stahl’s part, the president appears combative toward the interviewer, and frequently lashes out at the veteran journalist over her asking at the onset of the interview whether he’s ready for “tough questions” or not. Trump responded to that query by saying that’s “no way to talk” to him.
Don’t miss a beat
Get the latest news and thought-provoking analysis from Truthout.
Toward the beginning of their back-and-forth, Stahl asks Trump to discuss his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which a majority of Americans have given him bad grades on.
“I think we have done a great job with COVID,” Trump told Stahl.
“Sir, excuse me. Cases are up in about 40 states,” Stahl replied.
Trump then said that the only reason that’s true is because testing rates are going up — a claim that has been debunked many times by a number of fact-checking websites.
“Because we do so much testing, the fake news media loves to say, cases are up,” Trump falsely asserted. “The fact is we have done a very good job.”
The president tried to deflect questions at many points in the interview, asking her at one point why she wouldn’t ask tough questions of his opponent in the presidential race, former Vice President Joe Biden. He brought up unfounded allegations about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China, and also questioned why Stahl or others at CBS News wouldn’t discuss how former President Barack Obama, whose administration Biden served in, had allegedly spied on Trump’s campaign in 2016 — another claim that has zero merit to it.
“We can’t put on things we can’t verify,” Stahl said in response.
At the end of the video, Trump once again protests against Stahl for what she had said at the beginning of the interview about “tough questions.”
After beleaguering the point for several minutes, someone off-screen asked if Trump and Stahl are ready for Vice President Mike Pence to join them in five minutes for the next segment. The president indicated he would not be returning.
“Well, I think we have enough…. I think we have enough of the interview here, okay?” he said. “That’s enough. Let’s go.”
In response to Trump’s posting of the full interview, CBS News issued a statement, calling the action “unprecedented” and in “disregard” to an agreement the White House had made with the network. The company also defended Stahl’s professionalism and her line of questioning to the president.
“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 statement read.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 22, 2020
The president has indicated through social media that he would be making attempts to embarrass Stahl after their interview had ended. Earlier in the week, Trump shared other details of Stahl’s time on the White House grounds, including a video of her not wearing a mask, purportedly accusing her of hypocrisy due to her questions about the coronavirus.
“Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes not wearing a mask in the White House after her interview with me,” Trump wrote in a tweet.
In fact, Stahl had reportedly worn her mask when it was appropriate. The video that had been shared by Trump was filmed immediately after he abruptly said he would not return to do the next segment.