President Trump and Joe Biden gear up for their final debate; reaction and analysis from Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt.
President Trump, in a testy interview with CBS’s Lesley Stahl, chastized the veteran reporter, telling her “that’s no way to talk” when she ribbed him about his ability to take “tough questions” during an interview meant to air Sunday on “60 Minutes.”
Trump broke his agreement with CBS and released an uncut tape of the interview on Thursday via his Facebook page, which begins with Stahl asking him: “You ready for tough questions?”
“Just be fair,” Trump responded.
“Last time you were, like, ‘Bring it on,'” Stahl said.
“No, I’m not looking for that,” Trump said.
Stahl pressed him again: “But you’re OK with some tough questions?”
“No, I’m not,” Trump said.
Buzz about the segment — taped Tuesday at the White House — began almost immediately after Trump abruptly ended the interview after sparring with Stahl over a number of issues ranging from his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, social justice issues and supposed media bias.
“Look at the bias, hatred and rudeness on behalf of 60 Minutes and CBS,” Trump’s Facebook page said under the video he posted Thursday.
At another point in the 37-minute long tape, Trump slams Stahl for her “negative attitude” after she suggested the size of his campaign rallies had dwindled.
“Your first statement was ‘are you ready for tough questions.’ That’s no way to talk,” Trump said to Stahl towards the end of the tape.
“You are president. Don’t you think you should be accountable to the American people?” Stahl countered.
Trump then signaled to someone else in the room and said, “I think we have enough. Let’s go,” before ending the interview.
Trump tweeted a photo of Stahl without wearing a mask following the contentious interview, then followed up with more tweets threatening to expose how “fake and biased” the sitdown was.
Stahl has been a reporter with “60 Minutes” for nearly three decades and has interviewed numerous presidents, foreign leaders and figures of import over the years.
The “60 Minutes” interview with Trump is just one in a series of interviews with Vice President Mike Pence, Democratic nominee Joe Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, to be released in a walk-up special airing before Election Day.
Meanwhile, CBS News issued its own statement about the premature release of the footage, condemning, “The White House’s unprecedented decision to disregard their agreement with CBS News and release their footage.”
It added that the uncut video “will not deter 60 MINUTES from providing its full, fair and contextual reporting which presidents have participated in for decades.”
The network proceeded to defend both Stahl and the programming as “widely respected for bringing its hallmark fairness, deep reporting and informative context to viewers each week.”
“The interview was not that bad,” a White House staff member told The Washington Post. “It wasn’t a bad interview. She just had a tone he didn’t like.”