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Footage of US president Donald Trump abruptly walking out of a CBS 60 Minutes interview has been released by the network, in a row that has been rumbling since the interview was taped on Tuesday.
Trump had already posted clips on his own social media, in an effort to show how he had been mistreated by interviewer Lesley Stahl. He had called the segment “fake” and “biased” in advance.
Trump had told Stahl “you brought up a lot of subjects that were inappropriately brought up”. She replied: “Well, I said, I’m going to ask you tough questions.”
It was after a question about whether his use of social media and name-calling was “turning people off” that Trump bought the recording to an end.
He answered: “No, I think I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have social media. The media is fake. And frankly, if I didn’t have social media, I’d have no way of getting out my voice.”
A few moments later, he told aide Hope Hicks: “I think we have enough of an interview here, Hope. OK? That’s enough. Let’s go.”
Trump also tweeted during the week complaining that Stahl had not been wearing a mask in the White House. CBS said that Stahl wore a mask at all times except during and for a few moments after the interview, and had tested negative for the coronavirus before arriving to interview the president.
For many, though, the clips did not give the impression that Trump was trying to convey – that he had been treated unfairly by CBS.
Jon Favreau, former speechwriter for Barack Obama, said that Trump came across as “weak and pathetic” and “a whiny, aggrieved baby”.
“He’s no longer even pretending to fight for his supporters against liberals, immigrants, the media, elites, the establishment. Donald Trump is fighting for Donald Trump. That’s it.”
And Amy Siskind, who wrote a book on Trump’s first year in office, said: “All he did was lie and obfuscate, and when he was called on it he got up and sulked out.”
There was also criticism in some quarters that Stahl had in fact avoided some of the more difficult questions she could have asked the president about his finances, the treatment of immigrant children separated from their parents at the US border by his administration, and the number of people involved in his campaign who have subsequently been charged with crimes.
A CNN fact check of the president’s contribution showed he made at least 16 false or misleading claims during the course of the interview.
In another segment of the CBS 60 Minutes special ahead of the election, Democratic vice president nominee Kamala Harris went on record to say that she believes Trump is racist. Asked “Do you think the president is racist?” by host Norah O’Donnell, the California senator replied:
Yes, I do, You can look at a pattern that goes back to him questioning the identity of the first Black president of the United States. You can look at Charlottesville, when there were peaceful protesters, And on the other side, neo-Nazis and he talks about fine people on either side. Calling Mexicans rapists and criminals. His first order of business was to institute a Muslim ban. It all speaks for itself.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Democrats hold Senate floor overnight to protest Amy Coney Barrett confirmation – live | US news