“The White House’s unprecedented decision to disregard its agreement with CBS News and publish its footage will not stop ’60 Minutes’ from delivering full, fair, and contextual coverage that Presidents have participated in for decades,” said CBS News in a statement.
CBS News said the White House recorded the interview alongside the network but agreed to use the footage for archival purposes only. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the agreement.
The president claimed in his Facebook post on Thursday that the full video revealed “bias, hatred and rudeness” from Stahl’s side. However, the footage revealed nothing of the kind, just showing that Stahl was asking firm questions about the coronavirus and other issues.
CBS News stated in its statement that “60 Minutes” is “widely recognized for providing viewers with fairness, extensive coverage and informative context each week.”
“Few journalists have the experience of the presidential interview Lesley Stahl did in her decades as one of America’s foremost correspondents, and we look forward to hearing her third interview with President Trump and the subsequent interview with Vice President this weekend Pence sees, “added the network.
The interview began with Stahl asking the President if he was “ready for tough questions”. Trump replied that he just wanted her to be “fair”.
“But are you okay with some tough questions?” Asked Stahl.
“No, I am not,” replied Trump.
From then on, Trump spent much of the interview accusing Stahl of being biased and “negative” with her questions.
Towards the end of the interview, Trump became even more frustrated, complaining that he was asking more difficult questions than his Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
The president also told Stahl that starting the interview with the question of whether he was ready for “tough questions” was “no opportunity to speak”.
Towards the end of the video, an off-camera person told Trump that Vice President Mike Pence would soon be ready for a joint interview with Stahl, which Stahl would conduct after the one-on-one interview was completed.
“Well, I think we’ve had enough,” said Trump. “I think we’ve had enough of an interview here. OK? That’s enough. Let’s go, let’s go.”
Trump’s displeasure with the course of the interview was immediately made clear to the public. The president mocked Stahl on Tuesday by posting a video of her without a mask on Twitter.
A person familiar with the situation told CNN at the time that the picture from the tweet showed Stahl with their producers immediately after Trump ended the interview. Stahl hadn’t gone back to get her personal belongings to put on her mask. She was wearing a mask when she entered the White House and just before the interview started.
The Trump and Pence interviews will air on 60 Minutes on Sunday, along with interviews with Biden and his runner-up, Kamala Harris. The news magazine has a long tradition of interviewing candidates before elections.