Leslie Stahl took issue with some of the answers Donald Trump and Mike Pence gave during their infamous “60 Minutes” interviews from earlier this week. The CBS reporter told Vice President Pence that they were giving her platitudes and rally rhetoric, Politico reported.
“Mr. Vice President, this was not a rally. This was not just a campaign speech to the public. This was supposed to be an interview,” Stahl said to Pence. “And the same with the president. And I feel that you both have insulted ’60 Minutes’ by not answering our questions and by giving set campaign speeches that we’ve heard both of you give at rallies without answering our questions.”
Trump uploaded to Facebook the interviews he and Pence gave to the CBS news show on Thursday. He walked out of the interview with Stahl earlier this week. The president has complained about it on Twitter for days, and he called the interview “biased” and “unfair” at his North Carolina rally.
Trump took issue with Stahl’s questions. She had pressed him on his response to the coronavirus and the economy. Though, the video shows, Trump was upset with the famous reporter before the interview began. He claimed she was harsher on him than his Democratic opponent.
Stahl Asks Mike Pence to Answer for Trump’s Actions
Donald Trump left the interview just before Mike Pence sat down. Though they had agreed to speak together. Stahl wanted Pence to answer for the president walking out.
“President Trump is a man who speaks his mind,” Pence answered. “I think it’s one of the great strengths he’s had as president of the United States is that the American people always know where they stand, and he is always ready to make the case for the American people and the case for the progress we’ve made over the last three years.”
She also pressed Pence on statements Trump made about Dr. Anthony Fauci. The president him “a disaster,” and said his other top public health officials were “idiots”. They’ve butted heads over the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Former Vice President Joe Biden slammed Trump for his comments and accused him of ignoring science.
“There is this kind of anticipation that people in power are held accountable and that they answer questions from the public — not from me, from the public. And I feel that you didn’t do that, and I’m upset,” Stahl said to Pence.
“Lesley, I appreciate the speech you just gave, but I’ve answered all your questions and I’ve spoken about things that the American people care about. The American people want a president who will put the health of America first and open up America’s economy,” Pence answered.
Pence complained about the line of questioning. Stahl replied she had foreign policy questions to ask, someone off-screen said that the interview had concluded, Politico reported.
CBS Plans to Air Interviews Sunday Despite Early Release
CBS released a statement on Thursday that said the network was undeterred by Trump’s release of the interviews.
“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,” CBS said in a statement of Trump’s move. The network defended Stahl and its flagship news magazine program as “widely respected for bringing its hallmark fairness, deep reporting and informative context to viewers each week.”
They still plan to air their election special on Sunday. That episode will include interviews with Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris as well as the White House interviews.