A variety of subjects came up: climate change; defense of the Trump immigration policy including hints about the future of the defense secretary; and a type of mimicking that drew acomment: “far from being presidential.”
Trump’s insisted that the cause of climate change was unknown. Although he vigorously defended his immigration policy, it wasn’t the focus of the interview.
What was very noticeable was how the president “passed up” the opportunity to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s leader.
Trump proudly stated how he’s “tough” with Putin “in private.”
One of Trump’s claims was how he has “good chemistry” with Kim Jong Un whom he described as “a good friend.”
Although the president did not wish to call climate change a “hoax,” as he has consistently branded the same subject, he speculated how climate would “change back.”
Speaking further about developments in his administration, Trump was asked whether Defense Secretary James Mattis would be leaving his position and he said: “He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves.”
In the recent past, Trump used to “affectionately” refer to the retired four-star general by his known nickname “Mad Dog,” but reportedly, he converted the former name to calling Mattis, “Moderate Dog.”
He remarked to his interviewer what he thought of Mattis.
“I think he’s sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth.”
Trump confirmed that the White House “is considering reinstating the policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border.”
Strengthening his statements on the border policy, Trump told Stahl, “I’m president, and you’re not.”
One aspect of the interview was how Trump mimicked Christine Blasey Ford, Ph.D., the accuser of Brett Kavanaugh, the latest appointee to the Supreme Court as associate justice.
Explaining his response at a rally, Trump indicated his strong opinion about the September 27th hearing: “Whether Blasey Ford was telling the truth was no longer important.”
“It doesn’t matter. We won,” was the point he underscored.
The interview was definitely combative in nature. As he has been observed strongly in his campaigns, Trump was described as having “converted 60 Minutes into a brief rally.”
There was an instance when Trump described U.S. security commitments “grave dangers to the national interest” than the actions of Russia and North Korea.
He accepted that Putin “probably” engages in “assassinations around the world.” Then Trump qualified the latter statement as: “It’s not in our country.”
CBS reported that at least 11 million tuned in.
There was an instant comment about the Trump interview: “It was about a president who refused to take responsibility for his divisive behavior.”
CBS’ Leslie Stahl remarked: “He is truly president. And you felt it.”