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Stahl: More questions to ask a president who never returned

The CBS program ’60 Minutes’ made headlines last week after the president walked out on host Lesley Stahl

President Donald Trump spoke during an interview conducted by Lesley Stahl in the White House.
President Donald Trump spoke during an interview conducted by Lesley Stahl in the White House.Associated Press

Lesley Stahl had more questions for President Donald Trump when he walked out during an interview with the ‘60 Minutes’ host.

The CBS program, which aired Sunday night, made headlines last week after Trump abruptly ended the interview after accusing Stahl of treating him unfairly. Trump later taunted Stahl on Twitter and posted a 38-minute clip of the interview on Facebook, hours before the final presidential debate.

“Look at the bias, hatred and rudeness on behalf of 60 Minutes and CBS,” Trump wrote in the post.

Sunday’s 7:30 p.m. broadcast featured interviews with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence as well as former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris, in keeping with the program’s tradition of interviewing major presidential candidates during election years.

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During the first half of the segment, Stahl pushed the president to discuss his health care plan, the nation’s response to the coronavirus, and his thoughts about division in the country.

The interview became more tense as Stahl addressed Trump’s accusations that the Biden family received millions of dollars in corrupt payments from Russian and Chinese agents. Trump complained that Stahl has given Biden only “softball” questions.

“Ok but forget him for a minute,” Stahl tells Trump. “You’re president.”

“Excuse me, Lesley," Trump responds. "You started with me. Your first statement was ‘Are you ready for tough questions?’ That’s no way to talk.”

Five minutes before the end of the interview, the president stood, saying “I think we’ve had enough.”

According to Stahl, she was scheduled to ask the president more questions during a walk around the White House grounds. Instead, a Trump aide presented her with a large book detailing the president’s health care plan, which included many documents but “no comprehensive plan,” she said.

Last Tuesday Trump called the interview “FAKE and BIASED” on Twitter and threatened to release the clip before airtime. He wrote to followers again two days later after posting the segment.

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“Watch her constant interruptions and anger,” he wrote in the tweet. “Compare my full, flowing and ‘magnificently brilliant’ answers to their ‘Q’s’.”

In the second half of the program, correspondent Norah O’Donnell pressed Biden and Harris on the accusation among Republicans that their administration would be run by democrats with more liberal policies than the ones included in their platform.

“He would love to run against them, wouldn’t he?” Biden responded, referring to more liberal Democrats like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

In response to questions about whether he would expand the Supreme Court, Biden explained his plan to establish a bipartisan commission of scholars to study the possibility of reforming court system.

“The last thing we need to do is turn the Surpreme Court into just a political football,” he said.








Abigail Feldman can be reached at abigail.feldman@globe.com.