“60 Minutes” aired footage on Sunday of President Donald Trump abruptly ending an interview with the network after host Lesley Stahl asked a series of questions about his response to the COVID-19 pandemic and his use of social media to govern by tweet and attack his political opponents.
The release of the interview concluded an ongoing spat between CBS and the White House that grew last week after Trump said he had left a sit-down with Stahl he called “fake” and “biased.” He later threatened to release the footage himself, turning the interview into a headline-grabbing event before it even aired.
Stahl opened the segment asking the president if he was ready for “some tough questions,” going on to ask about rising rates of coronavirus infections in the United States, the loss of millions of jobs and his ongoing criticism of mask-wearing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The final question, however, prompted Trump to end the interview early.
Stahl: Do you think that your tweets and your name-calling are turning people off?
Trump: No, I think I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have social media. The media is fake. And frankly, if I didn’t have social media, I’d have no way of getting out my voice.
A few moments later, a producer interjects to note how much time remained in the interview. The president then said he was done.
“I think we have enough of an interview here, Hope,” Trump said, appearing to speak to aide Hope Hicks. “Okay? That’s enough. Let’s go.”
Asked whether his tweets or name-calling turn people off, President Trump says: “I think I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have social media.”
Moments later, he abruptly ended the interview. https://t.co/I6zv8qogcFpic.twitter.com/JYfPYOWGym
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) October 26, 2020
Throughout the segment, Trump told Stahl she was being “so negative” and accused “60 Minutes” of throwing Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden “softball after...