CBS News’s Lesley Stahl has claimed that the book given to her by President Donald Trump that he said contained his healthcare policies, did not contain a “comprehensive” plan.
President Trump was interviewed by Stahl for a 60 Minutes primetime special last Thursday, but stormed out 38 minutes in after being asked tough questions by the journalist.
After he cut the interview short, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany walked over to Stahl and presented her with what the president later described as the Trump administration’s healthcare plan.
Ms McEnany warned Stahl that the book was a bit heavy, and during the interview that aired on Sunday the journalist could be heard saying “I can't lift it”.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2020
In a post on Twitter following the filming of the interview, President Trump bragged about Ms McEnany gifting the huge book to Stahl.
He tweeted: “Kayleigh McEnany presenting Lesley Stahl (@60Minutes) with some of the many things we’ve done for Healthcare. Lesley had no idea!”
However, in a voiceover from Stahl during the 60 Minutes episode on Sunday, she said that the book did not contain a comprehensive healthcare plan.
“President Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, gave us a heavy book that she described as the president’s health care plan.
“It was filled with executive orders and congressional initiatives, but no comprehensive healthcare plan,” Stahl said.
In an interview with Forbes, Stahl added that all the items presented in the book were already in the public domain but were just “compiled in one place in this book.”
Shortly after President Trump tweeted about the exchange, journalists mocked him after noticing that the page Stahl opened it to appeared to be blank.
“Lol Lesley Stahl is clearly looking at a blank sheet of paper here,” Vox journalist Aaron Rupar tweeted.
“The photo Trump posted of Stahl opening the book of healthcare achievements shows her looking at what appears to be a blank page,” NBC News Political reporter Allan Smith added.
Although an edited version of Mr Trump’s interview aired on Sunday, the president had already released the unedited version of the sit-down on his Facebook page on Friday.
After 38 minutes, Mr Trump abruptly left the interview and told Stahl: “You brought up a lot of subjects that were inappropriately brought up.
“They were inappropriately brought up right from the beginning.”
However, Fact-checkers at CNN reported that the president made 16 misleading claims in the full 38 minutes he posted, with 10 of them related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.