White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Wednesday appeared to hype the ominous hit job that President Trump teased the day before when he abruptly stormed out of a solo interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes.”
CNN, which first reported on the incident, reported on Tuesday that the President refused to return for a taped walk-and-talk session with Vice President Mike Pence. Trump sat down with “60 Minutes” host Lesley Stahl for about 45 minutes before abruptly cutting off the interview. The President reportedly told CBS that he believed they had enough material to use.
The New York Times reported separately that Trump abruptly ditched the interview because he was unhappy with Stahl’s questioning,
CBS confirmed later Tuesday that the White House agreed only to record the interview for its archives.
Minutes before CNN published its report on Tuesday afternoon, Trump posted an ominous tweet featuring a short video clip of Stahl not wearing a mask while visiting the White House and wrote “more to come.” Hours later, the President threatened to post his “60 Minutes” interview ahead of its scheduled airtime on Sunday.
…Everyone should compare this terrible Electoral Intrusion with the recent interviews of Sleepy Joe Biden!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2020
A CBS spokesperson told TPM on Wednesday morning that Stahl wore a mask as she entered the White House and greeted the President. Stahl removed her mask when socially distanced right before conducting her interview with Trump.
According to CBS, Trump’s tweet on Tuesday evening featuring a video clip of Stahl was filmed after the interview wrapped. In the video, Stahl is seen speaking with her producers, all of whom had tested negative for COVID-19 earlier that day.
During an interview on Fox Business Network the next morning, Meadows insisted that Trump “didn’t walk out.”
“I mean, the characterization of that – he spent over 45 minutes with Lesley Stahl,” Meadows said. “I’ve looked at every single minute of the interview and then some. We have tape of every single minute.”
Meadows went on to accuse Stahl of being an “opinion journalist” before lecturing about what he thinks journalism should be.
“Listen, when you have a ’60 Minutes’ reporter, they should be a reporter, not an opinion journalist. And she came across more like an opinion journalist than a real reporter,” Meadows said. “Journalism should have standards and we need to get to the bottom of it. So I think the American people will be able to see it.”
When asked if the President would release the video before its scheduled airtime on Sunday, Meadows echoed Trump by saying that “there’s a high probability, but more to come.”
Later Wednesday during a press gaggle, Meadows was pressed again by CNN’s Joe Johns about what happened during the “60 Minutes” interview. The White House chief of staff said “you’ll get to see it.”
Watch Meadows’ remarks below:
Meadows says "60 Minutes" anchor Lesley Stahl "came across more like an opinion journalist than a real reporter" pic.twitter.com/b2xDKc6JFR
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) October 21, 2020