Donald Trump appeared on 60 Minutes Sunday night with CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl and decided to just go off, rambling about climate change, Secretary of Defense James Mattis being a Democrat, China, Russia, North Korea, Christine Blasey Ford—you name it.
In short, Trump got to do all the things he usually does on TV (mostly lying), which was great for him, and probably for CBS too. The White House has been on a media blitz recently, seemingly set off by the fact that Fox decided it would no longer televise every Trump rally in full. The past week has seen Trump
To her credit, Stahl pressed Trump on several points—this wasn’t a softball call-in to Fox & Friends where they pretty much agree with him until he decides to hang up—but it doesn’t appear that the president has changed his mind on any key issues.
Stahl started things off with climate change, asking the President whether he still thought it was a hoax. In short, no, but also... yes.
Per the full transcript of the interview:
Lesley Stahl: Do you still think that climate change is a hoax?
President Donald Trump: I think something’s happening. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again. I don’t think it’s a hoax, I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s manmade. I will say this. I don’t wanna give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t wanna lose millions and millions of jobs. I don’t wanna be put at a disadvantage.
Lesley Stahl: You know, I— I was thinking what if he said, “No, I’ve seen the hurricane situations, I’ve changed my mind. There really is climate change.” And I thought, “Wow, what an impact.”
President Donald Trump: Well— I’m not denying.
Lesley Stahl: What an impact that would make.
President Donald Trump: I’m not denying climate change. But it could very well go back. You know, we’re talkin’ about over a millions—
Lesley Stahl: But that’s denying it.
President Donald Trump: —of years. They say that we had hurricanes that were far worse than what we just had with Michael.
Lesley Stahl: Who says that? “They say”?
President Donald Trump: People say. People say that in the—
Lesley Stahl: Yeah, but what about the scientists who say it’s worse than ever?
President Donald Trump: You’d have to show me the scientists because they have a very big political agenda, Lesley.
Lesley Stahl: I can’t bring them in.
President Donald Trump: Look, scientists also have a political agenda.
Great, glad we’re up to speed on that one. Asked about Jamal Khashoggi, Trump repeated that the Saudis denied killing him, then talked about preserving jobs at all of the defense contractors that sell things to the Saudis so they can continue massacring people in Yemen.
Here’s Stahl probing trump on whether or not he’s going to shut down the Mueller investigation:
Here’s Stahl saying that Trump “enjoyed the sparring.” He probably did! It was good TV, the only thing that Trump truly loves.
Again, Kudos to Stahl for being a tougher interviewer than Trump usually faces. This exchange is pretty good, in which Trump says “I’m not a baby” and that he has “good chemistry” and “good energy” with Kim Jong Un:
The interview goes on. Trump says that he knows more about NATO than Secretary of Defense James Mattis, which is ridiculous. He pops off about Russia and the election (China meddled too Honestly, there are probably a dozen different quotes that you will undoubtedly see as headlines over the next day or so, but none of them stray particularly far from Republican talking points. But again—it’s great TV!
We’ll find out if the ratings were better than Stormy Daniels’ interview with Anderson Cooper tomorrow.