60 Minutes calls Trump's decision to release early footage of Lesley Stahl interview 'unprecedented'
60 Minutes called President Donald Trump's decision to release footage today from his recent interview with CBS News journalist Lesley Stahl as "unprecedented" and added it will not "deter" them from "providing its full, fair and contextual reporting which presidents have participated in for decades."
Following through with threats that he made on Twitter, Trump posted a nearly 38-minute outtake of the interview that was recently conducted at the White House. It begins with Stahl asking the president whether he's ready for tough questions, and him responding with "No, I'm not looking for that." It also shows how Trump left the interview five minutes early — news of which was leaked on social media and ultimately prompted the president's threats to preempt the interview with his own footage.
"The White House’s unprecedented decision to disregard their agreement with CBS News and release their footage will not deter 60 Minutes from providing its full, fair and contextual reporting which presidents have participated in for decades," the CBS News program said in a tweet. "60 Minutes, the most-watched news program on television, is widely respected for bringing its hallmark fairness, deep reporting and informative context to viewers each week. Few journalists have the presidential interview experience Lesley Stahl has delivered over her decades as one of the premier correspondents in America… and we look forward to audiences seeing her third interview with President Trump and subsequent interview with Vice President Pence this weekend."
Even Trump acknowledged via Twitter his unprecedented decision to post the video early. He quotes himself in the tweet by calling his answers to Stahl "magnificently brilliant."
Trump has heavily promoted the interview on his Twitter feed over the last week. One of his tweets shows his Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany giving Stahl a book on their healthcare plan — even though one of the pages appears empty.
60 Minutes will air the interview with Trump, as well as a separate interview with Joe Biden, in this Sunday's edition.
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