President Trump covered a lot of ground, but didn’t give any in a contentious “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday night, railing against the “dishonest media,” defending his relationships with Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un, expressing mistrust in unnamed aides and pointing out to Lesley Stahl that “I’m president and you’re not,” FOX NEWS reports.
News veteran Stahl tried to pin Trump down with a pledge not to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is in the second year of an investigation into alleged collusion between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia.
When asked about the Russian meddling in the campaign, the President was direct:
“They meddled, But I think China meddled, too. And I think, frankly, China is a bigger problem.” ~ President Trump
The president had surprising words for Defense Secretary James Mattis, who he said was “sort of a Democrat,” and hinted may not be on the job much longer.
“He may leave, I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That’s Washington.”
Some of the frustrations that Mattis has discussed in the past are Trump’s demand for a space force, a ban on transgender troops, a military parade, a National Guard deployment at the border and other global moves that Mattis feels are not the top priorities.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis set out to transform the U.S. military into a superior-equipped, deadlier force that would stop wasting finances, deepen alliances around globally and evolve to counter what he believes are the greatest threats to the United States, Russia and China.
Questions about Mattis’s future arose most pointedly following the publication of a book by Bob Woodward that said Mattis compared Trump to a “fifth- or sixth-grader.” Mattis has described Woodward’s reporting as “fiction” and dismissed speculation that he would leave the Pentagon.
Stahl sought to stop the attack, saying, “I’m going to change the subject again.” But Trump charged on,and directed his criticism at his interviewer.
“Well, no, even the way you asked me a question, like, about [family] separation [of illegal immigrants at the border]. When I say, ‘Obama did it,’ you don’t want to talk about it.”
“I disagree, but I don’t want to have that fight with you,” Stahl said.
“Lesley, it’s okay,” Trump replied. “In the meantime, I’m president and you’re not.”
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.
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