Here’s what led up to President Trump walking out of his contentious CBS ’60 Minutes’ interview with Lesley Stahl.
In a wide-ranging “60 Minutes” interview, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke to correspondent Lesley Stahl about President Donald Trump, the rioting at the U.S. Capitol and the possibility of taking Trump out of office.
Pelosi, who described Trump as a “deranged, unhinged, dangerous president,” said “he has done something so serious that there should be prosecution against him.”
In terms of consequences, she said nothing, including the 25th Amendment, is “off the table.”
“I like the 25th Amendment because it gets rid of him. He’s out of office,” she said. “But there is strong support in the Congress for impeaching the president a second time. This president is guilty of inciting insurrection. He has to pay a price for that.”
Not only did Pelosi’s comments gain attention, so did Stahl’s questioning, which some viewers criticized as tough.
“So unimpressed with this interview. Ms Stahl was tougher on speaker Pelosi than Trump,” user @YWeelden tweeted.
“@LesleyRStahl I know your job is asking the hard questions, but all due respect, you propagated Republican propaganda about @SpeakerPelosi, & you were rude. She’s an icon who deserves respect, and is the only politician to get us through these hellish 4 years,” user @sfor4th tweeted.
“@LesleyRStahl needs to retire. That was the worst interview I have ever seen her do. The questions were designed to be combative rather than informative,” user @suncode7 tweeted.
Others found the interview to be powerful, especially when Pelosi retraced the events at the Capitol with Stahl.
“I’m stunned after watching this #60Minutes interview with @SpeakerPelosi thinking about the fact that her young staff knew to kill the lights, barricade the door, and hide under the table after growing up doing those drills in their classrooms,” user @Miss_Mausie tweeted.
“Watching the @60Minutes interview with the visibly furious @SpeakerPelosi, seeing where her staffers had to hide under a table in the dark while these violent insurrectionists desecrated the office & left them wondering if their lives were over, I’m furious all over again,” user @StevenBeschloss tweeted.
In an image provided by CBS News and “60 Minutes,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, right, is interviewed by correspondent Leslie Stahl on Jan. 8, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington. (Photo: AP)
Stahl also asked Pelosi about what would happen if Trump pardons himself.
“What if he pardons these people who are terrorists on the Capitol? What if he does that?” Pelosi said. “He can only pardon himself from federal offenses. He cannot pardon himself from state offenses and that’s where he’s being investigated in the state of New York.”
Stahl added, “There is a possibility that after all of this, there’s no punishment, no consequence, and he could run again for president.”
“And that’s one of the motivations that people have for advocating for impeachment,” Pelosi said.
Another part of the interview that garnered attention – in addition to Stahl’s eye, which appeared bloodshot – had to do with what Stahl prefaced as “the A-word”: age.
“You’re 80,” Stahl said. “Your No. 2, Steny Hoyer, is 81. Your No. 3, Jim Clyburn, is 80. Why haven’t you brought young people into the leadership? We’ve – “
“Because we have. You perhaps don’t know,” Pelosi said.
“Why does AOC (Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.) complain that you have not been grooming younger people for leadership?” Stahl asked.
“I don’t know. You’ll have to ask her – because we are,” Pelosi responded.
Stahl described her response as “kind of sharp, kinda dismissing her.”
To which Pelosi said, “I’m not dismissing her. I respect her. I think she’s very effective as are other – many other members in our caucus that the press doesn’t pay attention to. But they are there and they are building support for what comes next.”
More viewers criticized this segment.
“This is the worst interview I’ve ever seen. Leslie was incredibly hostile to Speaker Pelosi. Her questions were irrelevant to the situation we are in. I don’t expect handholding but comments about Pelosi’s age and about AOC? Really irrelevant,” user @kjansen13 tweeted.
“What an abysmal interview of @SpeakerPelosi,” user @woodysgal3 tweeted. “This kind of smarmy & poisonous interview Might have worked (might!) prior to Wednesday but the tone and questions from Lesley Stahl was abhorrent. The question on her Age? Give us a break. Lesley is her age. Do better.”
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