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Why Trump’s 60 Minutes walkout isn’t the most talked about moment of the interview

CBS’ 60 Minutes has been around a while — more than 50 years in fact (per Britannica, the show debuted in 1968). And while 60 Minutes generally runs an election year special, this year’s show promised to be different, thanks to publicity from President Donald Trump, who abruptly ended a solo interview with show host Lesley Stahl, and then tweeted about it. While the White House broke an embargo and released the footage from the interview, those of us who waited it out got to see it first hand tonight — and the show also made use of narration that put the segment and the interview into context. “We had prepared to talk about the many issues and questions facing the president, but in what has become an all-too-public dust-up, the conversation was cut short. It began politely, but ended regrettably, contentiously,” Stahl said to open the show, which aired Sunday night (via Variety).  

To be fair, Stahl had warned Trump, “You know, this is 60 Minutes. And we can’t put on things we can’t verify.” To that end, Stahl used voice-overs to fact check the president’s answers throughout the interview, from his promise of delivering on a comprehensive health plan to replace Obamacare, to comments he has made on the campaign trail, and leading “lock her up” chants against Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer. While we might have already had the opportunity to watch the uncut, unedited White House version of the interview, the 60 Minutes segment still caused a stir, thanks to Stahl’s relentless fact checking and Trump’s demeanor throughout. It turns out his walking out early isn’t the thing viewers are talking about most. 

People are talking about the fact-checking around the 60 Minutes Trump Interview

Viewers had different reasons to take to social media to react to the interview; most saw the president buckle under Leslie Stahl’s questions. One social media user tweeted: “Trump got annihilated on #60Minutes. Lesley Stahl proved everything @RealDonaldTrump says is a lie. She treated him like a lying child. No wonder he had a tantrum & ran out of the room.” Another referenced Trump’s begging suburban woman to like him, saying, “60 Minutes plays the clip of Trump begging suburban women to like him, and then Trump denies saying it, and attacks Leslie Stahl while claiming that he was kidding, as he doubts he’s losing with suburban women.”

Trump supporters who saw the interview tonight have been conflicted, because as one Twitter user pointed out: “My dad is watching the 60 minutes interview with Pence and Trump on tonight, and he’s getting so angry bc the ‘interviewer isn’t asking fair questions’ but says that 60 minutes has historically been extremely fair and factual. pick an opinion and stick with it gd”.

Viewers thought Trump came off as 'whiny'

Twitter users couldn’t get over the president’s attitude, which many charitably compared to that of a whiny young child — and it’s a comparison which may be unfair to young children everywhere. The president’s attitude throughout the interview even overshadowed the walkout, which seemed anticlimactic after all the hoopla surrounding it. One viewer said: “Trump comes off as a whiny loser in this 60 Minutes interview. What a baby.” One social media user said: “Wow Trump is coming off as a whiny baby on @60Minutes He is being so rude to @leslieStahl [sic] and he comes across living in his alternative reality. A third said: “60 minutes interview: A blathering, bombastic, whinging baby and buffoon sat down with a reporter. Three-year-olds show more maturity. Itty bitty trump says ‘I’m rubber and you’re glue. Everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you.'” One social media user referenced the Joe Biden interview with Norah O’Donnell which followed, saying, “Norah O’Donnell was much harder on Biden than Lesley Stahl was on the Giant Whiny Baby. I liked the inclusion of those clips showing what a liar Trump is.”

But another user thinks we might be missing the point still. He points out: “The most important thing is NO US President has ever behaved like this. To run and hide from questions on important topics? Trump wants the bad disappeared. Magically, or by his Secret Police/Barr Squad, or QA, PB’s, Armed Righters. Critics or bad anyone/thing eliminated…”

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