Donald Trump spoke at a rally in Gastonia, North Carolina, on Wednesday, giving a little peek at the infamous 60 Minutes interview.
An interview with CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl and the president took place in the White House on Tuesday. News quickly got around that Trump left the interview early, not returning for a “walk and talk” segment with Mike Pence. President Trump then took to Twitter following the recording to slam Lesley Stahl and her “fake and biased” interview.
Now, he gives the Gastonia crowd a little peek into what caused the uproar and immediate conclusion of Tuesday’s interview. Trump explains he felt “Fake 60 Minutes” was acting with complete bias, unable to understand his “sarcasm.”
“I won’t name the anchor. You know the anchor,” Trump says to the rally’s crowd. “So, she said, “Well you were begging women to love you,” I said, ‘That was sarcastic!”
He goes on to reference the 2016 election and another time he says his sarcasm was in full force: Asking Russia for Hillary Clinton’s emails. “Remember, I said Russia, Russia, Russia, please give us, whatever it was, Hillary’s emails or whatever,” he says. “But the people cut me off just before and said ‘He’s asking Russia for help!'”
President Trump did not give timing for a potential release of footage or specifications of the interview ending, but he did give an ominous warning to the show.
“You’ll see, we have a little surprise for ’60 minutes'” he told the crowd.
Donald Trump now posts to Twitter saying he will make a “first in television history,” by releasing the interview footage. “Watch her constant interruptions and anger,” he says.
Controversy Surrounds Trump’s 60 Minutes Interview
Of course, both political sides now share what may have occurred during the interview to lead to a sudden conclusion. Thankfully, footage exists and America will be able to view it for themselves at some point. Though it remains unclear whether that will be CBS’s planned air time on Sunday or an early release by the president. Until then, here is what reports around the matter are saying:
“Trump walked out of the interview because he was frustrated with Stahl’s line of questioning, one source said. Another person said the bulk of the interview was focused on coronavirus,” CNN reports. The site adds he left after 45 minutes, telling “the network he believed they had enough material to use.”
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Fox Business that Stahl came across more of an “opinion journalist” than a “real reporter.”
Meadows also references a common thread in the White House dialogue: that of “fake news” and skepticism of media. “Journalism should have standards, and we need to get to the bottom of it, so I think the American people will be able to see it,” he told Fox Business’s Mornings with Maria.
“He didn’t walk out. … He spent over 45 minutes with Lesley Stahl,” he adds. On the other hand, a CBS spokesperson told Fox News that the interview was indeed cut short. Similar to CNN’s report, they say he left the interview early, canceling the “walk and talk” with Pence.
Fox News reports that a CBS News spokesperson confirms “the White House had agreed to tape the interview for archival purposes only,” though Meadows says there is a “high probability” the footage is released early as Donald Trump alluded.