Donald Trump leaves contentious '60 Minutes' interview with Lesley Stahl, goes on Twitter attack

David Jackson, USA TODAY
·3-min read

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump cut short a contentious interview with "60 Minutes" on Tuesday, and threatened to protest by posting a tape of the session before the program's scheduled broadcast on Sunday.

"This will be done so that everybody can get a glimpse of what a FAKE and BIASED interview is all about," Trump said in a series of tweets that also attacked "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl.

Trump, who has often criticized coverage of "60 Minutes," did not provide any examples of bias.

Trump abruptly ended the session – he didn't do the traditional "walk-and-talk" with Stahl, and said the "60 Minutes" crew had been given enough time – nor did he return for a joint interview with Vice President Mike Pence, said two people familiar with the incident.

CBS News reported that Trump "cut short" an interview with "60 Minutes" that is part of "Sunday’s special edition of the broadcast featuring both" the president and challenger Joe Biden.

As for Trump's threatened release of a tape, the network said that "the White House had agreed they were taping the interview for archival purposes only."

After the interview, the president also sent out an attack tweet about Stahl, posting a six-second video of her not wearing a mask at the White House just a few weeks after COVID-19 raced through the building.

Even though he avoids masks himself, Trump tweeted that "Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes not wearing a mask in the White House after her interview with me."

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Muskegon County Airport on Oct. 17 in Norton Shores, Mich.
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Muskegon County Airport on Oct. 17 in Norton Shores, Mich.

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Trump added, cryptically, "much more to come."

Stahl did wear a mask at the White House in and around her talks with Trump and Pence, said a person familiar with the interviews, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a private matter.

The brief video Trump tweeted out was taken right after his interview, the person said. Stahl is speaking with members of her crew, all of whom tested negative for COVID-19.

"Lesley had a mask on leading into the interviews as appropriate," the person said.

Trump brought up the incident during a rally Tuesday night in Erie, Pa., telling supporters: "You have to watch what we do to '60 Minutes ... You're gonna get a kick out of it. Lesley Stahl's not gonna be happy."

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany also tweeted about Stahl, posting a picture of the CBS correspondent holding a book listing the administration's health care policies.

"She couldn’t believe how HUGE it was and said, “I can hardly lift this," McEnany said of Stahl.

The Trump interview is scheduled to be part of a "60 Minutes" program on the election to air Sunday.

The CBS program will broadcast taped interviews with all four national candidates: Trump and Pence, as well as Biden and running mate Kamala Harris.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Lesley Stahl: Donald Trump leaves contentious '60 Minutes' interview