President Donald Trump on Thursday released what appeared to be the full, unedited interview that he did with “60 Minutes” earlier this week that he abruptly walked out of because he said that it showed the media’s bias against him.
Trump released a video of the interview — segments of which CBS was set to air on Sunday — that lasted nearly 38 minutes and showed only the angle of a White House camera that faced him, which White House officials and the network agreed would be used for only archival purposes.
The interview was contentious, with correspondent Leslie Stahl asking Trump a wide range of questions that touched on his top domestic priorities, Covid-19 cases rising in the U.S., why he doesn’t encourage people to wear masks, and how Trump would protect people with preexisting conditions if the Supreme Court knocks down the Affordable Care Act.
“Are you ready for some tough questions?” Stahl asked Trump at the beginning of the clip. In response, Trump said that he was “looking for fairness.”
Throughout the interview, the president expressed frustration that the questions posed by Stahl would not be asked of former Vice President Joe Biden, his Democratic challenger.
“You wouldn’t say that to Biden, what you just said to me. If he had it, if he had it, you would never say that to Biden,” Trump said after Stahl said his claims of having the biggest economy in the history of the country were not true.
Stahl brought up several of Trump’s recent comments that Trump either denied making altogether or said that he was being sarcastic.
“That is such a misleading question,” Trump said after Stahl asked why Trump appeared to beg suburban women to like him.
“I said that in a joking way,” he said.
Stahl mentioned that Trump called Dr. Anthony Fauci an “idiot” this week. Trump replied “Where did I call him an idiot?” But during a conference call with his campaign staff earlier this week, Trump said “People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots — these people, these people that have gotten it wrong.”
The president then kept trying to talk about alleged Hunter Biden emails that federal investigators are examining to see if they were linked to a foreign intelligence operation.
“Can I say something? This is ‘60 Minutes,’” Stahl said. “We can’t put on things we can’t verify.”
Trump said the matter is the “biggest scandal out there” and said that Stahl “discredited herself” by refusing to ask him questions about it.
Toward the end of the interview, Trump said that Stahl brought up subjects “inappropriately” from the beginning.
“Your first statement to me is this is going to be tough questions,” said Trump, who tried to mock Stahl’s question. “But when you set up the interview, you said ‘Oh, let’s have a lovely interview.”
“I see Joe Biden getting softball after softball. I’ve never seen him get asked a question that was hard,” Trump said.
An official then said that they needed to wrap the interview in five minutes.
“I think we have enough. Really, we have enough. I think we have enough of an interview here, okay?” said Trump, who appeared to be very tense. “Let’s go, let’s go.”
CBS News ripped Trump in a statement Thursday for his “unprecedented decision” to release the interview himself and indicated that it still planned to air it, saying “their footage will not deter 60 MINUTES from providing its full, fair and contextual reporting which presidents have participated in for decades.”