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: 666516

Reported Deaths: 12726
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion912711659
Lake48687890
Allen36102644
Hamilton32445398
St. Joseph30306514
Elkhart25510420
Vanderburgh21326382
Tippecanoe20220205
Johnson16466363
Porter16068281
Hendricks15944302
Clark12060182
Madison11799323
Vigo11685234
Monroe10419164
Delaware9891179
LaPorte9831199
Howard9112201
Kosciusko8597111
Bartholomew7522147
Hancock7462134
Warrick7451153
Floyd7263173
Wayne6661192
Grant6462158
Boone616691
Morgan6129128
Dubois5936112
Dearborn551270
Cass5485100
Marshall5451105
Henry542995
Noble513178
Jackson465567
Shelby463391
Lawrence4195113
Gibson405185
Harrison403265
Clinton397553
Montgomery391684
DeKalb387478
Miami358263
Knox357885
Whitley351238
Huntington349477
Steuben340055
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Wabash333176
Ripley327962
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White298152
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Scott251850
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Clay241644
Randolph226077
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Jennings216744
Washington213027
Sullivan203739
Fountain202842
Starke189951
Owen183654
Fulton179737
Jay178728
Carroll176919
Perry174036
Orange171451
Rush165622
Vermillion161543
Franklin159935
Tipton149541
Parke140216
Pike128533
Blackford120627
Pulaski107644
Newton96832
Brown95340
Benton92413
Crawford92213
Martin80314
Warren75914
Switzerland7558
Union67510
Ohio54211
Unassigned0427

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 977736

Reported Deaths: 17501
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1129551251
Cuyahoga968561881
Hamilton738821067
Montgomery47506923
Summit40668831
Butler35827531
Lucas35779720
Stark29581826
Warren22574275
Lorain22190424
Mahoning19578551
Lake18545332
Clermont18519205
Delaware16597121
Licking15089194
Fairfield14644188
Trumbull14423424
Greene13659221
Medina13517237
Clark12376256
Wood11656170
Portage11127172
Allen10820216
Richland10372188
Miami10059194
Muskingum8238117
Columbiana8168210
Pickaway8094111
Tuscarawas8075232
Marion8020127
Wayne7933199
Erie6961146
Ross6173132
Geauga6114142
Hancock6030121
Scioto600488
Ashtabula5998154
Lawrence527586
Union516341
Darke5052116
Belmont4999137
Huron4859108
Jefferson4836137
Sandusky4798112
Washington474396
Seneca4734111
Athens466149
Mercer459781
Auglaize456582
Shelby442679
Knox4054105
Putnam400593
Madison395455
Fulton383161
Ashland382683
Brown374852
Defiance373788
Crawford360098
Logan357373
Preble353987
Clinton342455
Highland328451
Ottawa325371
Williams303568
Jackson291846
Champaign290949
Guernsey288845
Perry271148
Fayette269943
Morrow261437
Henry247861
Hardin247359
Holmes244497
Coshocton240756
Van Wert230157
Gallia223938
Adams218239
Pike217228
Wyandot212450
Hocking195054
Carroll182143
Paulding161034
Meigs136031
Noble129233
Monroe117237
Morgan102120
Harrison100731
Vinton76613
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