President Trump abruptly walks out of interview with television journalist Leslie Stahl
During interviews with television journalists, politicians often take measures to appear as poised and relatable as possible.
And President Donald Trump, no stranger to the challenge of televised interviews, is widely believed to have developed exceptional skill in guiding the direction of these sorts of conversations and using humor or shock to deflect the interview away from topics he finds undesirable.
But on Tuesday (Oct. 20), instead of using the previously mentioned techniques, the President abruptly ended an interview with television journalist Leslie Stahl while it was being taped at the White House.
After this, President Trump took to Twitter, where he posted a clip of Stahl at the White House, noting that she was not wearing a mask, and then, in a second tweet, suggested he might make available a tape of his exchange with Stahl before her interview airs on television.
Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes not wearing a mask in the White House after her interview with me. Much more to come. pic.twitter.com/0plZG6a4fH— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2020
Sources told Variety The White House had previously agreed its tape of the interview would be used for archival purposes only. Variety says a representative for Stahl's network declined to make producers available for immediate comment.
Interestingly, this wasn't Stahl's first interview with the President. She spoke with him immediately after he was elected to office and again during his presidency, on both occasions for “60 Minutes.”
Both interviews appeared to proceed without a hitch.
But their Tuesday evening conversation was markedly different. After walking out on Stahl, President Trump did not show for a secondary interview he'd been scheduled to participate in alongside Vice-President Mike Pence, Variety reports.
Later in the day, at a rally in Erie, Penn., Mr. Trump said of Stahl and the program she represents, “Oh, and you have to watch, you have to watch what we do to 60 Minutes. You’ll get such a kick out of it. You’re gonna get a kick out of it. Lesley Stahl’s not gonna be happy.”
Stahl, a journalist who has spent most of career with CBS, has been reporting for the network's "60 Minutes" show since 1991.