’60 Minutes’ anchor pushes back at Trump over ‘greatest economy in history’ claim
President Trump on Thursday released nearly 38 minutes of video footage from a “60 Minutes” interview that he walked out of Tuesday after claiming bias from correspondent Leslie Stahl.
“Look at the bias, hatred and rudeness on behalf of 60 Minutes and CBS. Tonight’s anchor, Kristen Welker, is far worse! #MAGA,” Trump wrote on Twitter, linking to video of the interview. He released the footage hours before the final presidential debate, hosted by Welker of NBC News, in Nashville, Tenn.
The White House video was recorded for archival purposes but it’s unprecedented for a president to release footage of an interview before its television broadcast.
Stahl began the interview asking Trump, “are you ready for some tough questions?” before kicking off the talk asking him why he wants to be president.
Stahl and Trump then tangled over jobs numbers and COVID-19 statistics, with Trump telling her she had a “negative attitude” and that she wouldn’t ask tough questions of Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
The interview spiraled before Trump was supposed to hand over the hot seat to Vice President Mike Pence, who was waiting to be interviewed by Stahl.
“You brought up a lot of subjects that were inappropriately brought up,” Trump told her.
Producers appear to say they are ready for Pence as Trump says instead, “That’s enough, let’s go.”
Piquing Trump’s rage, Stahl attempted to tie him to a foiled plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, citing his harsh criticism of her COVID-19 lockdown policies.
“You want to lock her up,” she said.
“Of course not,” Trump shot back. Stahl insisted, however, that Trump had said so at a recent rally.
“Leslie, such a vicious thing that you just said. I never said lock up the governor of Michigan. I would never say that? Why would I say that?” he said.
President Trump speaks during an interview with “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl.
Stahl also disputed Trump’s assertions on new COVID-19 case statistics and on the economic recovery, with Trump touting recent job gains.
“Excuse me, cases are up in about 40 states… why are you saying they are not up?” she said.
“Yes, cases are up because we’re doing tremendous testing,” Trump responded.
Trump vented about Stahl’s conduct this week and accused her of hypocrisy for not wearing a mask.
“Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes not wearing a mask in the White House after her interview with me. Much more to come,” the president tweeted on Tuesday to his 87 million followers.
The CBS News program on Thursday released a snippet of the interview with Trump that showed the veteran reporter pushing back at the president’s claim that he created the “greatest economy in history.”