President Donald Trump published the unedited “60 Minutes” interview with CBS’s Lesley Stahl Thursday before it could be taken to air on Sunday. It was not a dramatic walk-out as many claimed.
After 20 minutes of sparring with the interviewer, Trump began voicing his frustration at a combative Stahl.
“I wish you would interview Joe Biden like you interview me,” Trump said, complaining that while his November opponent undergoes a massive scandal implicating corrupt ties to Chinese businessmen, the news media asks former Vice President Joe Biden what kind of ice cream was purchased during a campaign stop.
“He’s in the midst of a scandal,” Trump continued, before being cut off by Stahl.
“He’s not,” Stahl interrupted. “He’s not. No.”
“You’re like Big Tech. You’re protecting him,” Trump said, going on to outline several of the questionable transactions recently revealed by Senate investigators and the New York Post in recent weeks to a defiant Stahl. “Do you think it’s okay for the mayor of Moscow’s wife to give him millions and millions of dollars? … Do you think it’s OK for Hunter Biden to say we’re giving the ”Big Guy’ 10 percent of this massive amount of money?”
Trump was making reference to a finding in the Senate report last month chronicling the Biden family’s conflicts of interest where Hunter Biden accepted $3.5 million from an ex-Moscow mayor’s wife. The president also referred to emails published by the New York Post last week showing Joe Biden stood to rake in millions from Chinese businessmen with deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party funneled through Hunter.
“The biggest scandal,” Trump said however, “was when they spied on my campaign.”
Stahl dismissed the claim.
“There’s no real evidence of that,” Stahl responded, telling the president that the network would not be airing anything it “can’t verify.”
“You won’t put it on because it’s bad for Biden,” Trump said.
What Stahl does not mention: Carter Page, George Papadoupoulos, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, 'Azra Turk,' Stefan Halper, the 8/30/2016 FBI briefing, the 1/6/17 ICA briefing, and more. Taken all together, by any reasonable definition, that's spying. 3/3 End.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) October 22, 2020
Stahl later brought up earlier comments from the president on why he continued to condemn the mainstream media as “fake.”
“You said to me, ‘I say that, because I need to discredit you so that when you say negative things about me, no one will believe you,'” Stahl said.
“I don’t have to discredit you,” Trump responded. “You’ve discredited yourself.”
The conversation then turned to Hunter Biden’s suspected laptop retrieved from a Delaware repair shop. Stahl once again claimed it couldn’t be verified. Notably, the Biden campaign has not denied its authenticity.
TRUMP: "What can't be verified?"
STAHL: "The laptop!"
TRUMP: "Why do you say that?"
STAHL: "Because it can't be verified."
TRUMP: "The family, on the laptop — He's gone into hiding for five days."
STAHL: "Well he's preparing for your debate." pic.twitter.com/sfOj8AgyMx
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 22, 2020
Fox News reported Wednesday night, a full day after the interview was taped that the laptop in question was seized by the FBI as part of a federal money laundering investigation.
Stahl also accused the president of encouraging his supporters to engage in violence including the recent plot that was thwarted to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“I don’t encourage them,” Trump told Stahl when asked about “lock her up” chants at rallies. “It was out Justice Department is the one that’s helping [Whitmer]… People aren’t liking her so much because she’s got everyone locked down.”
“Do you want to lock her up?” Stahl asked.
“Of course not,” the president said.
Several moments later, Stahl asked again.
“So you don’t want to lock up Governor Whitmer.”
“When did I say ‘lock her up’?” Trump asked. “Of course I don’t want to lock her up … I never said it.”
“So you don’t want to lock up the governor,” Stahl repeated.
“Lesley, it’s such a viscous thing you just said.”