Mark Meadows lashed out at reporter Lesley Stahl Wednesday for being ‘more like an opinion journalist’ as he claimed after President Donald Trump stormed out of ’60 Minutes’ interview with the CBS News host.
‘He didn’t walk out,’ the White House chief of staff claimed during an interview with Fox Business. ‘I mean, the characterization of that, he spent over 45 minutes with Leslie Stahl, I’ve looked at every single minute of the interview and then some. We have tape of every single minute.’
‘Listen, when you have a ’60 Minutes’ reporter, they should be a reporter, not an opinion journalist. And she came across more like an opinion journalist than a real reporter,’ Meadows said in his interview with Fox’s Maria Bartiromo. ‘Journalism should have standards and we need to get to the bottom of it. So, I think the American people will be able to see it.’
Meadows’ claims came after the president said he was going to release portions of the interview with Stahl ahead of its air date after it devolved.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Wednesday that ’60 Minutes’ host Lesley Stahl is ‘more like an opinion journalist than a real reporter’
The claim from Meadows came after President Trump abruptly ended his interview with Stahl (right) after 45 minutes on Tuesday following a tough line of questioning
‘All right, so then the president will release that interview then before Sunday, when they show it on ’60 Minutes?’ Bartiromo asked Meadows.
‘Yes. There’s a high probability, but more to come,’ he said.
Trump tweeted shortly after prematurely ending the interview that he would release it before it airs on CBS News to expose how ‘fake and biased’ the interview was.
Trump abruptly walked out of his ’60 Minutes’ interview at the White House on Tuesday after 45 minutes because he did not like the topics. He did not return for a planned walk-and-talk with Vice President Mike Pence.
Stahl quizzed him on his response to the coronavirus pandemic and questioned the size of his campaign rally crowds, according to a new report.
Upon deciding to end the interview early, Trump told the network he believed he had given them enough material before accusing them of being biased towards Democratic rival Joe Biden.
Trump went on to tease the television special during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, urging his crowd of supporters to tune in and watch the awkward exchange unfold.
‘You have to watch what we do to 60 Minutes, you’ll get such a kick out of it,’ Trump said. ‘You’re gonna get a kick out of it. Lesley Stahl’s not gonna be happy.’
Trump threatened on Twitter to release footage of the encounter without further elaborating on what went wrong.
‘I am pleased to inform you that, for the sake of accuracy in reporting, I am considering posting my interview with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes, PRIOR TO AIRTIME!’ Trump wrote. ‘This will be done so that everybody can get a glimpse of what a FAKE and BIASED interview is all about.’
‘Everyone should compare this terrible Electoral Intrusion with the recent interviews of Sleepy Joe Biden!’ the president added.
He also tweeted a video of Stahl at the White House, pointing out that she wasn’t wearing a mask.
Trump promoted his upcoming 60 Minutes interview during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, telling them they’ll ‘get a kick out’ what he did to CBS journalist Lesley Stahl
He threatened to release his entire ’60 Minutes’ interview with Lesley Stahl before the show is broadcast on Sunday. Trump called the interview an ‘Electoral Intrusion’
Sources told The Washington Post late Tuesday that Trump cut the interview short because he was unhappy with Stahl’s hardball approach and was worried the discussion would be edited to portray him in an unflattering light.
Stahl had reportedly prefaced the conversation by asking Trump if he was ‘ready for a tough interview’, before grilling him on his administration’s handling of the pandemic and his exchanges with Dr. Anthony Fauci.
She also is said to have confronted him over his rhetoric about Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who authorities say was the intended victim of an alleged kidnapping plot which was foiled by cops last month.
She also brought up the allegations against Joe Biden’s son Hunter, which the president has seized on during his campaign rallies just days before the election, seeking to portray the Bidens as a ‘crime family’.
Stahl during the interview told Trump the claims against Hunter were unverified and also said the Obama administration did not spy on his campaign, insiders told the publication.
About 45 minutes later, Trump told his staff, ‘I think we’re done, do you guys agree?’ before leaving the room to complain to his aides.
Trump reportedly told them that Biden, who was interviewed by the network earlier, had had an easier interview and believed the video footage of his discussion with Stahl was going to be cut to ‘make him look bad.’
He also expressed to his staff that he wanted to go after Stahl in return and began floating ideas around with his aides in the Oval Office, a senior White House official said.
According to sources close to the president, Stahl had reportedly prefaced the discussion by asking Trump if he was ‘ready for a tough interview’, before grilling him on his administration’s handling of the pandemic, his clashes with Dr Anthony Fauci (left) and his remarks about Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (right)
Trump (pictured during a coronavirus press briefing in March) was allegedly not pleased with Stahl’s aggressive approach during the interview and her ‘tough’ questions
Stahl had also told Trump the claims against his Democratic rival’s son Hunter Biden were not verified despite the president repeatedly promoting the allegations as fact during his campaign rallies
‘The interview was not that bad,’ a White House staff member told the Post. ‘It wasn’t a bad interview. She just had a tone he didn’t like.’
The president has fumed that Biden’s pool of reporters asked the Democratic nominee what kind of milkshake he bought during a recent campaign stop.
‘He’s committed crimes and they ask him about a milkshake,’ the president said on his Tuesday morning ‘Fox & Friends’ call-in.
The first indication something had gone awry with Stahl was the six-second video Trump shared that showed the broadcaster bare-faced talking to two masked men holding a bundle of papers, presumably interview notes.
‘Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes not wearing a mask in the White House after her interview with me. Much more to come,’ the president wrote.
Supporters cheer as President Donald Trump departs following a campaign rally at Erie International Airport, Tom Ridge Field in Erie, Pennsylvania on Tuesday
President Donald Trump walked out of a ’60 Minutes’ interview early on Tuesday CNN reported and then tweeted about how interviewer Lesley Stahl was at the White House not wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19
President Donald Trump shared a clip of ’60 Minutes” Lesley Stahl standing around bare-faced at the White House lobbing criticism at her for appearing unmasked. Both Trump and Stahl have already contracted and recovered from COVID-19
Press aide Karoline Leavitt, who has also tested positive and since recovered from the coronavirus, suggested in a tweet after President Donald Trump’s that Lesley Stahl was a hypocrite, saying the ’60 Minutes’ anchor chided her for not wearing a mask at work
The New York Times later reported that Stahl wore a mask up until the interview and the video Trump posted was taken directly afterward.
The Times also noted that Stahl was talking to two CBS News producers in the clip.
Trump and Pence were both interviewed by Stahl Tuesday at the White House.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, were also interviewed by the program, for an episode to be broadcast Sunday.
Trump’s tweet was followed up by a tweet from press aide Karoline Leavitt.
‘This is moments after she criticized me for not wearing a mask while working at my desk,’ Leavitt wrote. ‘Rules for thee but not for me, Lesley?’
The pile-on continued when White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany retweeted Leavitt’s commentary.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany also posted this image of Lesley Stahl holding what McEnany called what President Donald Trump ‘has done for healthcare in the United States’
The Trump campaign’s senior adviser Jason Miller called CNN’s reporting ‘fake news,’ saying that ‘we have the receipts from the interview.’ CNN had reported that President Donald Trump left the sit-down with ’60 Minutes’ abruptly
Leavitt is among the group of White House press aides who tested positive for COVID-19 on the heels of the announcement that the president and first lady Melania Trump had the virus.
McEnany tested positive too.
McEnany later tweeted out an image of Stahl holding a large binder handed to her by the press secretary.
‘Handing Lesley Stahl just a small part of what President Donald Trump has done for healthcare in the United States. She couldn’t believe how HUGE it was and said, ‘I can hardly lift this,” McEnany wrote.
Additionally, Campaign adviser Jason Miller pushed back on CNN’s reporting labeling it ‘fake news.’
‘No drama, interview was not ended abruptly and we have the receipts from the interview – all of them!’ Miller tweeted. ‘Maybe we need to put the whole thing out so people can see for themselves?’
‘Lesley’s a bad example for mask wearing, Kaitlan – don’t follow her lead!!!’ Miller wrote in a tweet directed at CNN’s Collins.
President Donald Trump has been on a media-insulting bender, including calling a Reuters reporter a ‘criminal’ Monday but has continued to engage in interviews and appearances. Here he’s photographed talking to reporters Monday night on a return trip from a campaign swing
In early May, Stahl revealed she had been hospitalized for the coronavirus.
‘After two weeks at home in bed, weak, fighting pneumonia, and really scared, I went to the hospital,’ she said. ‘I found an overworked, nearly overwhelmed staff. Every one of them kind, sympathetic, gentle and caring from the moment I arrived until the moment days later when I was wheeled out through a gauntlet of cheering medical workers.’
‘In the face of so much death, they celebrate their triumphs,’ Stahl said.
A spokesperson for CBS News did not immediately return DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Trump has been famously critical of mask-wearing, chiding Biden for doing so while on the campaign trail, while falsely claiming the Dr. Anthony Fauci initially said masks don’t work.
Fauci was reluctant to endorse widespread mask-wearing in the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic to ensure there wasn’t a shortage for medical and frontline workers.
The president has also been on a media-insulting bender – calling a Reuters White House correspondent Monday a ‘criminal,’ suggesting Thursday night’s debate moderator, NBC’s Kristen Welker, will be ‘unfair’ and sparring on the Las Vegas tarmac with NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell for defending Welker as a legitimate reporter.
Yet he continues to talk to the press daily, speaking to reporters on board Air Force One Monday night, after participating in two gaggles on the ground.
He also agreed to the ’60 Minutes’ segment.
And he headlined a more Trump-friendly Sinclair broadcasting town hall on the White House grounds Tuesday.
Trump did, however, ignore shouted questions Tuesday night after his threat via Twitter to release the ’60 Minutes’ interview early.
Stahl revealed that she spoke off-camera during his 2016 presidential run to Trump about why he frequently attacks the media.
‘He said, ‘You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.’ He said that,’ Stahl said.