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As Trump rages over '60 Minutes' debacle, White House seeks to limit the damage

By Dave Goldiner, New York Daily News on

Published in News & Features

President Donald Trump's chief of staff wants you to know he didn't "walk out" on Lesley Stahl, after all.

Hours after the president abruptly ended an interview with the legendary "60 Minutes" journalist, Mark Meadows insisted Wednesday that his boss actually finished the sit-down as scheduled.

"He didn't walk out ... he spent over 45 minutes with Lesley Stahl," Meadows told Fox News. "She came across more like an opinion journalist than a real reporter."

Meadows also repeated Trump's threat to post the interview before its scheduled airing on Sunday night. It's not clear what that would accomplish politically, since it would presumably give an even broader reach to the disputed interview.

The president reportedly refused to walk and chat with Stahl and Vice President Mike Pence around the White House as planned for the marquee interview.

He further claimed a White House tape of the entire interview would let "everybody get a glimpse of what a FAKE and BIASED interview is all about."

 

The interviews with Trump and Pence were part of a major preelection package on the widely watched news magazine show on CBS.

Democrat Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, also did interviews for the show, which would be one of the last major platforms for candidates to reach large numbers of still-undecided voters.

Trump's outburst comes as the last debate with Biden looms on Thursday.

Polls say Trump turned off voters by repeatedly interrupting his opponent in the first debate, which is typically the most influential. He also flubbed a chance to launch a campaign comeback by sparring with NBC's Savannah Guthrie during last week's dueling town halls.

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