“I’m president, and you’re not.”
Photo: Screengrab ‘60 Minutes’
President Trump was the headliner on 60 Minutes Sunday night, sitting down with Lesley Stahl for a 26-minute interview that was as familiar as it was depressing. Trump lied. He questioned the credibility of climate scientists and heaped praise on Kim Jong-un. He brought up Hillary Clinton, he defended his mockery of Christine Blasey Ford, and he insisted, twice, that he’s “not a baby.”
Stahl pushed Trump more than most interviewers, which might be why he snapped at her: “I’m president, and you’re not.” Here are the other notable moments from Trump’s 60 Minutes appearance.
On climate change
Asked if he still thinks climate change is a hoax, something he’s previously tweeted, Trump said he does not. That doesn’t mean he believes man has anything to do with the planet’s warming though. “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 man-made,” he said.
When Stahl mentioned the frequency and severity of hurricanes hitting the U.S., Trump said, “They say that we had hurricanes that were far worse than what we just had with Michael.” She asked him who the “they” in his statement refered to. “People say that,” Trump said. Then he called out the “very big political agenda” of scientists who believe in man-made climate change.
On Kim Jong-un
When Stahl moved to the topic of North Korea, Trump began with the lie that President Obama had the U.S. on the verge of war with Kim. He then credited himself for cooling off the tension that he created with the North Korean madman.
Asked about Kim as a person, and reminded that his resume includes such cruelties as “slave labor” and “public executions,” Trump replied: “I know all these things. I’m not a baby.” He added: “I have a good energy with him. I have a good chemistry with him.”
On knowing more about NATO than his Defense Secretary
“I like General Mattis. I think I know more about it than he does,” Trump said.
Later in the interview, Trump said Mattis is “sort of a Democrat,” which sure makes it sound as if the Mad Dog should start polishing his resume.
On the Mueller probe
Stahl asked Trump if he would pledge not to shut down Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. He would not. “I don’t pledge anything. But I will tell you, I have no intention of doing that. I think it’s a very unfair investigation because there was no collusion of any kind. There is no collusion. I don’t want to pledge. Why should I pledge to you? If I pledge, I’ll pledge. I don’t have to pledge to you.”
On his regrets
Trump proved yet again that he is incapable of self-reflection when he responded to a question about his regrets by trashing the media. When Stahl pressed him for a real answer, all he could muster was, “I could have been earlier in terminating the NAFTA deal.” What about the family separation policy, she asked? Trump didn’t answer.
On mocking Christine Blasey Ford
Not only did Trump defend his mockery of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford at a rally in Mississippi, he said Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh would have never been confirmed without it. “Had I not made that speech, we would not have won,” Trump said.
On the walls of the White House
This ridiculous painting.