“The White House’s unprecedented decision to disregard their deal with CBS News and publish their footage will not deter” 60 Minutes “from providing its comprehensive, fair and contextual reporting in which presidents have been participating for decades,” CBS News said in a statement.
Trump posted the 38-minute interview on Facebook after spending days threatening to do so and lashing out at correspondent Lesley Stahl, who conducted the interview at the White House on Tuesday. He also later posted Stahl’s interview with Vice President Mike Pence.
CBS News said the White House recorded the interview alongside the network, but agreed to use the footage only for archival purposes. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the deal.
The president claimed in his Facebook post Thursday that the full video revealed “prejudice, hatred and rudeness” on Stahl’s part. But the pictures did not reveal any such thing, only showing Stahl asking firm questions about the coronavirus and other topics.
CBS News noted in its statement that “60 Minutes” is “widely respected for bringing its signature fairness, in-depth reporting and informative context each week.”
“Few journalists have the presidential interview experience Lesley Stahl has delivered in his decades as one of America’s top correspondents and we look forward to the public seeing his third interview with President Trump and his subsequent interview with Vice President Pence this weekend, ”the network added. .
The interview began with Stahl asking the president if he was “ready for tough questions.” Trump replied that he only wanted it to be “fair.”
“But do you agree with some difficult questions?” Stahl asked.
“No, I’m not,” Trump replied.
From there, Trump spent much of the interview accusing Stahl of being biased and “negative” with his questioning.
Towards the end of the interview, Trump became even more frustrated, complaining that he asked more difficult questions than his Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
The president also told Stahl that starting the interview by asking him if he was ready for “tough questions” was “no way to talk.”
Towards the end of the video, an off-camera person then told Trump that Vice President Pence would soon be ready for a joint interview with him that Stahl was due to conduct after the solo interview ended.
“Well I think we’ve had enough,” Trump said. “I think we’ve had enough of an interview here. OK? That’s enough. Let’s go, let’s go. ”
Trump’s dissatisfaction with the way the interview went was immediately revealed to the public. The president taunted Stahl on Tuesday by posting a video of her on Twitter without a mask.
A person familiar with the situation told CNN at the time that the image of the tweet showed Stahl with his producers immediately after Trump’s interview ended. Stahl had not yet returned to fetch his personal effects to put on his mask. She had been wearing a mask from the time she entered the White House and just before the interview began.
The talks with Trump and Pence will air Sunday on “60 Minutes” alongside interviews with Biden and running mate Kamala Harris. The newsmagazine program has a long history of interviewing candidates before elections.