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: 1011197

Reported Deaths: 16524
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1359292129
Lake666181167
Allen58254802
Hamilton46498467
St. Joseph44559617
Elkhart36044510
Vanderburgh32333481
Tippecanoe28037260
Johnson25196446
Hendricks23960360
Porter22985367
Madison18820410
Clark18609253
Vigo17530303
Monroe15319200
LaPorte15230252
Delaware15127264
Howard14801290
Kosciusko12410149
Hancock11773176
Bartholomew11695180
Warrick11305189
Floyd11138215
Wayne11023253
Grant10131220
Morgan9506177
Boone8965116
Dubois8281131
Henry8252153
Dearborn823493
Noble8064106
Marshall7981135
Cass7556123
Lawrence7479172
Shelby7216119
Jackson700990
Gibson6614115
Harrison651892
Huntington6447100
Knox6427106
DeKalb6363100
Montgomery6293112
Miami595298
Putnam584179
Clinton579271
Whitley568455
Steuben566876
Wabash5363104
Jasper536180
Jefferson513297
Ripley501987
Adams483777
Daviess4684115
Scott439875
Greene427296
Clay426960
Wells426088
White420964
Decatur4177104
Fayette407387
Jennings390262
Posey377544
LaGrange361778
Washington360451
Randolph3476100
Spencer340743
Fountain336160
Sullivan330852
Starke319171
Owen315571
Fulton313468
Orange295064
Jay285546
Franklin266443
Perry265752
Rush263832
Carroll262434
Vermillion259854
Parke232029
Pike229643
Tipton229059
Blackford195042
Pulaski184657
Crawford160125
Newton159848
Benton151217
Brown147047
Martin139319
Switzerland135311
Warren121416
Union107216
Ohio84613
Unassigned0544

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1524169

Reported Deaths: 23955
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1646591696
Cuyahoga1468932459
Hamilton1056051431
Montgomery742551279
Summit620221111
Lucas56539917
Butler51696718
Stark468601064
Lorain35783585
Warren32903377
Mahoning30927693
Clermont28271330
Lake27179448
Delaware24263164
Licking24027294
Trumbull22993561
Fairfield22438247
Greene22414326
Medina22149313
Clark19920354
Richland18643292
Portage18073252
Wood17505224
Allen16054279
Miami15627306
Muskingum14890185
Columbiana14153274
Wayne13852271
Tuscarawas12777311
Marion12016180
Scioto11497162
Pickaway11386142
Erie10951184
Ross10614203
Ashtabula9809204
Lawrence9783153
Hancock9741155
Belmont9333209
Geauga9008157
Jefferson8600199
Huron8427143
Union822259
Washington8114144
Sandusky7875151
Athens779579
Knox7766144
Darke7695158
Seneca7405145
Ashland6993130
Auglaize681799
Shelby6540115
Brown640091
Crawford6292130
Defiance6241105
Mercer617893
Fulton605196
Highland602899
Guernsey596371
Madison595678
Logan594596
Clinton585193
Preble5730125
Putnam5354110
Williams530888
Perry519863
Champaign514273
Jackson512473
Ottawa490586
Coshocton488383
Morrow460558
Pike435067
Fayette430363
Hardin420780
Gallia419367
Adams417995
Van Wert374082
Henry366972
Holmes3653125
Hocking357582
Wyandot325262
Carroll304365
Paulding280747
Meigs267251
Monroe216254
Noble201247
Morgan194333
Harrison182646
Vinton167225
Unassigned05
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After a soggy couple of days, the sunshine returns Tuesday and highs top out in the middle 50s.
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