- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 22, 2020

President Trump on Thursday posted a video of his contentious interview with Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes” ahead of its scheduled broadcast, to show what he called her “bias” against him.

“Look at the bias, hatred and rudeness on behalf of 60 Minutes and CBS,” Mr. Trump said on his Facebook page. He said the anchor for Thursday night’s presidential debate with Democrat Joseph R. Biden, Kristen Welker of NBC News, “is far worse!”

In the interview, Ms. Stahl told the president that CBS would not air his comments about Democrats spying on his 2016 campaign, saying “there’s no real evidence of that.” She also said she would not report on his accusations of corruption against Joe and Hunter Biden, saying the claims were “discredited.”

The president took the unprecedented step of airing his 37-minute copy of the exclusive network interview before its scheduled broadcast on Sunday night.

“Are you ready for tough questions?” Ms. Stahl asks before they begin the formal portion of the interview.

“I’m looking for fairness, that’s all,” Mr. Trump said.

Ms. Stahl assured him that he would get fairness, and asked, “But you’re OK with some tough questions?”

“No,” the president replied, and she laughed.

“You don’t ask Biden tough questions,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s terrible.”

Early in the interview, the president told Ms. Stahl, “We created the greatest economy in the history of our country.”

“You know that’s not true,” she replied.

“It is totally true — best unemployment numbers, best employment numbers, 160 million people working, highest stock market price,” the president said. “You wouldn’t say that to Biden, what you just said to me, if he had it [the best economic figures]. You would never say that to Biden.”

CBS News said in a statement that the show will go on regardless on Sunday night.

“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 network said 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.”

At one point in the interview, Ms. Stahl presses the president on why more people don’t wear masks at his outdoor campaign rallies.

The president said his campaign hands out masks to all attendees.

“You just come in here with a negative attitude,” Mr. Trump chided her.

The president said Ms. Stahl and her network were showing favoritism toward Mr. Biden. Mr. Trump said Mr. Biden “is in the midst of a scandal,” referring to accusations of son Hunter Biden profiteering off of his father’s position.

“He’s not,” Ms. Stahl replied. “No. Come on.”

“Of course he is. You’re like Big Tech,” Mr. Trump said. “You’re protecting him.”

When the president discussed Democrats spying on his campaign in 2016, Ms. Stahl replied, “There’s no real evidence of that. This is ‘60 Minutes.’ We can’t put on things we can’t verify.”

“You won’t put it on because it’s bad for Biden,” the president said. “It’s been totally verified. They spied on my campaign, and they got caught.”

“No, as a matter of fact I don’t know that,” she said.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York quickly tweeted a video clip from the interview in which the president says he hopes the Supreme Court ends Obamacare in a pending legal challenge.

“I hope that they end it,” the president said. “It’ll be so good if they end it.”

Mr. Schumer tweeted, “Make sure every single person you know sees this … This is President Trump on 60 Minutes telling [nominee] Judge Amy Coney Barrett and the Supreme Court to rip away health care from millions.”

Mr. Trump has said he wants to replace Obamacare with a better health care plan, although he has yet to unveil one.

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