The *real* reason Donald Trump walked out of that '60 Minutes' interview

President Donald Trump abruptly ended a solo interview with CBS News' "60 Minutes" and did not return for an appearance he was supposed to tape with Vice President Mike Pence, according to multiple sources familiar with what happened.

Posted: Oct 21, 2020 6:01 PM
Updated: Oct 21, 2020 6:01 PM

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump abruptly ended an interview with Lesley Stahl of "60 Minutes" and refused to return for a second interview alongside Vice President Mike Pence.

Why? CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Khalil Abdallah explain: "Trump walked out of the interview because he was frustrated with Stahl's line of questioning, one source said. Another person said the bulk of the interview was focused on coronavirus."

Which makes perfect sense given what we know about the President.

This is a President who has, throughout his life, lived in a self-created bubble. He keeps a very tight inner circle, which he populates, primarily, with family members and "yes" men and women. Anyone who veers from the preferred storyline -- which is, always, "you're great, Mr. President" -- is either pushed out of his inner circle or fired.

(Note: Ivanka Trump said Monday that her father "actually wants to hear from people who vehemently disagree with him." Which is a very funny joke. Except I think she was serious.)

This bubble extends, typically, to the media interviews the President chooses to grant. On Tuesday morning, Trump called into "Fox & Friends," the morning show on the conservative cable network that effectively functions as a cheerleading squad for the President and all of his policies. On Wednesday night, he will appear in an hour-long town hall hosted by Eric Bolling of Sinclair Broadcast Group, another conservative TV outlet.

According to CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller, Trump has given 10 times as many interviews to Fox as he has to any outlet since he became president. Here's Knoller's count:

Fox News (all platforms): 115

Wall Street Journal: 10

NBC/CNBC: 9

Washington Post: 8

Reuters: 8

New York Times: 8

ABC: 7

CBS: 7 (including Tuesday's "60 Minutes" interview)

Associated Press: 2

CNN: 0

As the 2020 election has grown closer -- and poll after poll suggests that Trump is a clear underdog against former Vice President Joe Biden -- the President has retreated deeper and deeper into the comfy confines of the conservative media world -- where he is still portrayed as a winner fighting for America and Democrats and the media are deeply corrupted forces, covering up various illegal activities. Or something.

But occasionally, Trump is forced to break out of that bubble in hopes of reaching voters outside of his hardcore base. And that's when the trouble arises. Because actual journalists outside of Trump's self-affirming bubble ask real and tough questions. Questions about his mishandling of the coronavirus. Questions about his trouble with telling the truth. Questions about his questionable Twitter habits.

Last week, Trump sat down for a primetime town hall with NBC's Savannah Guthrie. And, predictably, it didn't go well for Trump. Mostly because Guthrie refused to let him just say things that were untrue or filibuster on things he didn't want to answer. Trump made news -- not the good kind -- with his refusal to disavow QAnon, an Internet conspiracy theory that the FBI labeled as a potential domestic terror threat, and his rambling but revealing answers on his own tax returns.

Trump, with his bubble pricked, responded as he always does -- with personal attacks.

"Everybody thought it was so inappropriate," Trump said of Guthrie at a campaign stop the day after the town hall. "Savannah -- it was like her face, the anger, the craziness." He also suggested that Guthrie had "disappeared" after the town hall. "Nobody can find her. She's not too popular right now." Guthrie, it's worth noting, was hosting the "Today" show -- like she always does -- the morning Trump claimed she had "disappeared."

Which brings me to Trump's 60 Minutes walkout.

Trump, being Trump, immediately sought to spin it in his favor. He tweeted out a snippet of video of Stahl not wearing a mask as evidence of the alleged hypocrisy in the media. A person familiar with the situation told CNN that the video tweeted by Trump came in the immediate aftermath of Trump ending the interview.

As Collins and Abdallah noted: "Stahl had not yet gone back to get her personal belongings to put her mask back on. She had a mask on from the time she entered the White House and just before the interview began."

Trump also threatened, via Twitter, 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 that everybody can get a glimpse of what a FAKE and BIASED interview is all about."

Which he might do! But the interview will almost certainly not show any sort of bias. Rather, it will show Stahl asking hard (and fair!) questions about Trump's handling of Covid-19, which has sickened more than 8 million Americans and killed more than 221,000.

Because Trump rarely is forced out of his fantasy bubble, he can't take the heat when real reporters ask him real questions. So he took his ball and went home.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 306538

Reported Deaths: 5435
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion41953849
Lake26872453
Allen17621295
Elkhart16905219
St. Joseph16524223
Hamilton12696167
Vanderburgh9552115
Tippecanoe844927
Porter813785
Johnson6231165
Vigo597979
Hendricks5944156
Monroe530349
Clark504077
Madison4858121
Delaware4820103
LaPorte457194
Kosciusko455739
Howard334975
Warrick319572
Floyd311477
Bartholomew308462
Wayne301367
Cass295831
Marshall293744
Grant262949
Noble249846
Hancock246551
Boone240254
Henry240237
Dubois234631
Dearborn215730
Jackson212633
Morgan204443
Gibson181725
Knox181419
Shelby178254
Clinton177821
Lawrence174047
DeKalb172829
Adams166422
Wabash158020
Miami157814
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Putnam123027
Randolph120719
Wells120428
White120321
Clay119822
Posey119616
Jefferson116216
Scott103219
Greene101353
Jay96413
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Fulton83518
Jennings83214
Spencer8198
Perry81521
Fountain7738
Washington7417
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Carroll67913
Orange66628
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Owen5987
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Newton55312
Tipton55226
Rush5317
Blackford51912
Pike50318
Pulaski37710
Martin3515
Benton3362
Brown3353
Crawford2881
Union2671
Switzerland2555
Warren2382
Ohio2307
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 371840

Reported Deaths: 6100
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin50231667
Cuyahoga36047741
Hamilton29931372
Montgomery20065228
Butler14769146
Lucas14317414
Summit13388316
Stark8792197
Warren819175
Mahoning7276299
Lake682666
Lorain643499
Clermont577248
Delaware556436
Licking549276
Fairfield538464
Trumbull5305147
Greene522364
Clark511464
Allen465485
Marion465251
Wood4491107
Medina447756
Miami425867
Pickaway399348
Columbiana347297
Portage344872
Tuscarawas328658
Wayne318793
Richland316638
Mercer289945
Hancock241337
Ross240759
Muskingum240210
Auglaize231031
Putnam224749
Erie224266
Darke223559
Ashtabula223253
Geauga203351
Scioto195915
Union19118
Shelby190615
Lawrence189438
Athens18864
Seneca180018
Belmont164929
Madison158918
Sandusky154229
Preble152621
Huron152318
Defiance139522
Holmes139139
Logan127816
Knox126318
Fulton124525
Washington121927
Crawford121516
Ottawa121130
Clinton106714
Williams10579
Ashland105222
Highland101317
Jefferson10124
Henry100023
Brown9925
Champaign9475
Jackson93112
Hardin91019
Fayette90317
Van Wert8976
Morrow8882
Guernsey83914
Coshocton82613
Perry78712
Adams78313
Pike7451
Gallia73513
Wyandot71216
Paulding64611
Hocking62616
Noble60223
Carroll45710
Meigs39012
Monroe31821
Morgan2575
Vinton2195
Harrison2023
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