In a subsequent missive, the commander-in-chief threatened to spoil CBS News’ big scoop by sharing the footage before it airs on Sunday evening, calling the sit-down “fake and biased.”
He later tweeted: “I am pleased to inform you that, for the sake of accuracy in reporting, I am considering posting my interview with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes, PRIOR TO AIRTIME! This will be done so everybody can get a glimpse of what a FAKE and BIASED interview is all about… Everyone should compare this terrible Electoral Intrusion with the recent interviews of Sleepy Joe Biden!”
In the six-second clip shared by Trump, Stahl can be seen smiling and speaking with two unidentified masked men while holding a stack of papers and notes in front of her chest. It’s unclear if Stahl knew she was being filmed or who took the video.
According to a CNN report, the commander-in-chief abruptly stormed out of the interview with Stahl after about 45 minutes of questioning.
The president was also meant to appear with Vice President Mike Pence but did not return to the room when his veep arrived, the report said.
The crisis grew when White House Assistant Press Secretary Karoline Leavitt publicly accused Stahl of criticizing her for not wearing a mask in the West Wing.
“This is moments after she criticized me for not wearing a mask while working at my desk. Rules for thee but not for me, Lesley?” Leavitt wrote in a tweet sharing the video.
A New York Times report published Tuesday evening said that the president cut the interview short when he became irritated with Stahl’s questioning, citing two people familiar with the situation.
Trump also ended the interview when it ran longer than his aides expected it to, the report said.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany also weighed-in on the anticipated “60 Minutes” interview, sharing a photo on Twitter of her handing an enormous book to Stahl which reportedly contained the president’s health care achievements.
“She couldn’t believe how HUGE it was and said, “I can hardly lift this!!” McEnany wrote, sharing a picture of a stunned Stahl holding the book.
Both Democratic nominee Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris were also interviewed by “60 Minutes,” with all of the sit-downs meant to air on Sunday — just nine days ahead of the presidential election on Nov. 3.
Reporters granted interviews with Trump and Pence are tested for the coronavirus before they are allowed to be in the same room as them as part of the White House’s COVID-19 containment measures.
In a clip promoting the upcoming interviews, the veteran broadcaster promised “revealing, provocative conversations” with both candidates.
The pair last met for a contentious interview in 2018 where the “60 Minutes” anchor pressed Trump on his views on climate change and Russian interference in the 2016 election but the president finished the interview.