On '60 Minutes,' Trump Talks About A Variety Of Issues

President Trump discussed his view on climate change, North Korea, NATO and the disappearance of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi on CBS' 60 MinutesSunday Night.

With Meghna Chakrabarti

Top journalists open their notebooks and look ahead to the week’s news at home and abroad.


Ayesha Rascoe, NPR White House correspondent. (@ayesharascoe)

Adam Smith, political editor for the Tampa Bay Times. (@adamsmithtimes)

Naftali Bendavid, Washington editor for the Wall Street Journal. (@NaftaliBendavid)

From The Reading List

CNN: "Hurricane Michael aftermath: Thousands join recovery efforts as man..." — "As residents pick up the pieces after Hurricane Michael, and teams comb through rubble in search of survivors, authorities say it could be weeks or months before a sense of normalcy returns to storm-ravaged Florida.

"In the meantime, residents are doing what they can to restore it. Hiland Park Baptist Church in Panama City sustained some damage in the storm, so the church held its Sunday morning service outside.

"'For the last couple of days I've just been walking down the streets, going from house to house,' Senior Pastor Steven Kyle told CNN. 'And one of the first things that everybody has said is, "Are we going to have church? Can we have church?" '

"'They just wanted the community,' he said.

"The widespread destruction has left many people living in dire conditions. Residents have been waiting in long lines to collect bottle water and ready-to-eat meals (MREs) at several distribution centers. Helicopters are also airdropping food and water to remote areas."

Washington Post: "The Latest: Trump campaign plans more rallies for midterms" — "President Donald Trump’s campaign says he will rally for GOP candidates in several critical Western states late next week.

"The campaign says Trump will campaign Thursday in Missoula, Montana; on Friday in Mesa, Arizona, and on Saturday in Elko, Nevada. The swing is part of an aggressive fall campaign push by the 72-year-old president to energize Republicans and encourage them to vote on Nov. 6 to keep Republicans in control of both houses of Congress.

"The latest campaign swing was announced Saturday night as Trump was midway through a campaign rally in Richmond, Kentucky — his fourth rally of the week."

Politico: "Saudi Arabia warns against threats over missing journalist" — "Saudi Arabia warned Sunday it will respond to any 'threats' against it as its stock market plunged following President Donald Trump’s warning of “severe punishment” over the disappearance of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.

"Trump made a point of visiting the kingdom on his first overseas trip as president and has touted arms sales to Saudi Arabia. But both the White House and the kingdom are under mounting pressure as concern grows over the fate of the veteran journalist, who hasn’t been seen since he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

"Already, international business leaders are pulling out of the kingdom’s upcoming investment forum, a high-profile event known as 'Davos in the Desert.' "

This program aired on October 15, 2018.

Saudis Vow To Retaliate With 'Greater Action' If Hit With Sanctions

The shadow of a security guard rests atop the front door of the Saudi consulate Friday in Istanbul. Journalist Jamal Khashoggi vanished after visiting the building earlier this month, and simmering international suspicion puts the Saudi government behind his murder.  Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 11:54 p.m. ET

Nearly two weeks since Jamal Khashoggi vanished in Istanbul, the shadow of the Saudi journalist's disappearance continues to loom ever larger. Now, President Trump is threatening "severe punishment" for Saudi Arabia if suspicions of Khashoggi's murder are confirmed — and Saudis have vowed to retaliate in kind.

"The Kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action," Saudi Arabia's state-run news agency said Sunday, ominously noting that the country plays "an influential and vital role in the global economy."

Citing an "official source," the Saudi Press Agency added that Riyadh "affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it." Rather, if Saudis face "political pressures" such as accusations or sanctions, "the outcome of these weak endeavors, like their predecessors, is a demise."

The Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., later sought to "clarify" those threats on Twitter, noting that "the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia extends it appreciation to all, including the US administration, for refraining from jumping to conclusions on the ongoing investigation."

The comments Sunday follow Trump's toughest comments yet about the simmering international controversy. Speaking with CBS's 60 Minutes, the president said that "nobody knows yet" whether the Saudi government ordered the killing of Khashoggi, a frequent critic, as Turkish officials reportedly allege.

"It's being investigated, it's being looked at very, very strongly," Trump said. "And we would be very upset and angry if that were the case."

Still, he was careful to hedge his language — as he has been largely since Khashoggi vanished after the journalist's visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. His administration has been on friendly terms with the Gulf regional power since taking office, supporting the Saudi-led airstrike campaign in Yemen and brokering an arms deal that could be worth $110 billion over the next decade.

During a news conference in the Oval Office on Saturday, Trump responded to a question about his response to the Khashoggi controversy by touting the economic benefits of the weapons sale.

"If they don't buy it from us, they're going to buy it from Russia or they're going to buy it from China or they're going to buy it from other countries," he said. "From the standpoint of jobs, economic development, a lot of other reasons, I would like to do something where we could maybe look at other things [than canceling the deal]."

Nevertheless, the Saudi Stock Exchange plummeted about 7 percent at one point Sunday on fears of economic fallout from the diplomatic dispute, before recovering some of its losses later in the day.

Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkol Karman (center) joins a demonstration outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier earlier this month.  Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images

So far, administration officials have also expressed reluctance to canceling participation in Saudi Arabia's signature economic forum, the Future Investment Initiative. A wide array of global business leaders — including World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and Virgin founder Richard Branson — has pulled out of the conferencelater the month. At the moment Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plans to keep his own plans to attend — though Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says they're evaluating the situation closely.

U.S. lawmakers, for their part, have come out more strongly. A bipartisan group of nearly two dozen senators have called for an investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance, and some have suggested they would be willing to block the Saudi arms deal if more damaging details come to light.

"I don't think that we should continue with business as usual until we know exactly what happened here, because what we do know is this: He walked into that consulate and he never came out," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told CNN on Sunday. "So the only two things that could have happened is, he's alive and somehow still in there, or he's dead and the Saudis are the ones who did it. There's no other explanation for it."

And Rubio said that no U.S. government officials should be attending the Saudi conference until they get some official answers about what happened.

"No matter how important they may be to our Iranian strategy," he added, "our ability to be a voice for human rights — and to go after regimes like [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, like what China does, like what [President Nicolas] Maduro does in Venezuela — all of that is undermined and compromised if we are not willing to confront something as atrocious as what's allegedly happened here."

European leaders followed in demanding answers from the Saudi government, in a joint statement on Sunday. Three foreign ministers from the U.K., France and Germany called for "a credible investigation to establish the truth about what happened [to Khashoggi]," and for those responsible for his disappearance to be held accountable.

"We encourage joint Saudi-Turkish efforts in that regard, and expect the Saudi Government to provide a complete and detailed response," said British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas — a message they said they issued directly to Saudi officials.

NPR's Emma Bowman contributed to this story.

On '60 Minutes,' Trump Talks Possible Mattis Exit, Climate Change And Kim Jong Un

President Trump, shown in the Oval Office at the White House earlier this month, appeared on Sunday's 60 MinutesPablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis "could" be considering a departure, Saudis can expect "severe punishment" for any involvement in the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, and climate change is probably real, but not caused by man, President Trump said in an interview aired Sunday on CBS' 60 Minutes.

The wide-ranging discussion with the network's Lesley Stahl touched on Trump's opinion of politicians ("deceptive, vicious"), Chinese tariffs and Christine Blasey Ford, among other things. The show interviewed him in the White House last Thursday; the interview aired on CBS on Sunday night. The president was previously interviewed by Stahl for 60 Minutes in Trump Tower with his family in 2016, days after the election.

Stahl has interviewed Trump as a candidate, as president-elect and now as president. "In terms of the three interviews, he was completely different," she said. "He's so much more confident. He is truly president. And you felt it. I felt it in this interview."

Trump often pushed back at the journalist when she asked him to elaborate. "In the meantime I'm the president and you're not," he said after one exchange about the press.

On Defense Secretary Jim Mattis

Mattis is visiting Vietnam this week, as China continues its growing military assertiveness in the South China Sea.

Trump, perhaps opening the door to Mattis' exit, told Stahl that the defense secretary "could" be considering a departure from the Cabinet. She asked the president if Mattis was going to leave.

President Trump: Well, I don't know. He hasn't told me that. I have —

Stahl: Do you want him to —

President Trump: — a very good relationship with him. It could be that he is. I think he's sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth. But General Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That's Washington.

The president also decried claims of chaos in his administration as "fake news."

"I have people now on standby that will be phenomenal," Trump said.


On disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Other world leaders are grappling with the Turkish government's allegations that Khashoggi was killed by Saudi officials in Istanbul this month. Trump threatened "severe punishment" if the allegations are true.

The president said the Saudis have denied involvement and that he expects to know why Khashoggi disappeared "in the not-too-distant future."

"Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon," he said, referring to U.S. defense contractors with business in Saudi Arabia. "I don't want to hurt jobs. I don't want to lose an order like that. There are other ways of — punishing, to use a word that's a pretty harsh word, but it's true."

"There's a lot at stake. And maybe especially so because this man was a reporter," the president said. "You'll be surprised to hear me say that. ... We're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment" if he was murdered.

The Saudis say they will retaliate against any attempt to punish them over the incident.

On climate change

Stahl sparred with Trump in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, citing the recent trend of powerful storms. Trump has called climate change a hoax perpetuated by China in the past, but in the interview, seemed to partly reverse his position.

"I think something's happening," Trump said.

"Something's changing and it'll change back again. I don't think it's a hoax," he told Stahl.

"But I don't know that it's man-made. I will say this. I don't want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don't want to lose millions and millions of jobs. I don't want to be put at a disadvantage," he said.

"Look, scientists also have a political agenda," he added.

On Kim Jong Un

The president's remarks about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have frequently made headlines. At a rally in West Virginia last month, Trump told the crowd about the "love" he has developed for Kim.

"He wrote me beautiful letters. And they're great letters. We fell in love," he said. Just a year earlier, Trump had mocked Kim as "Little Rocket Man" while Kim returned the insult, calling the president a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard."

Stahl pressed Trump on those September comments.

Stahl: I want to read you his resume, okay? He presides over a cruel kingdom of repressiongulagsstarvation — reports that he had his half-brother assassinatedslave laborpublic executions. This is a guy you love?

President Trump: Sure. I know all these things. I mean — I'm not a baby. I know these things.

Stahl: I know, but why do you love that guy?

President Trump: Look, look. I — I — I like — I get along with him, okay?

Stahl: But you love him.

President Trump: Okay. That's just a figure of speech.

Stahl: No, it's like an embrace.

President Trump: It well, let it be an embrace. Let it be whatever it is to get the job done.

On Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford

At a rally in Mississippi earlier this month, the president mocked Ford, who has accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

Stahl's question was simple: "Why did you have to make fun of her?"

"I'm not gonna get into it because we won," Trump eventually answered. "It doesn't matter. We won."

On trade with China

The U.S. has already imposed about $250 billion in tariffs on China, and there "might" be more on the way, the president said. He's not trying to push China into a depression, he said. "I want them to negotiate a fair deal with us. I want them to open their markets like ... our markets are open."

Chinese officials have said in the past they are prepared to retaliate with higher tariffs of their own.

"They want to negotiate," the president said. "I have a great chemistry also with President Xi of China. I don't know that that's necessarily going to continue. I told President Xi we cannot continue to have China take $500 billion a year out of the United States in the form of trade and others things."

For Republicans, There's More At Stake Than Just A Midterm Victory

Both parties have a lot at stake this November. Democrats say their survival is on the line. While for President Trump and his GOP allies in Congress, the prize is to stay in power and stay relevant.

Views: 57

Comment by alsoknownas on October 16, 2018 at 5:54am

This is his complete essence, a world and personal view wrapped up in one, devoid of any compassion or insight :

  "It doesn't matter. We won."

Comment by Robert B. James on October 16, 2018 at 6:45am

   I see it all in there...the greed, the anger, and delusion. I try to imagine how it got there in that mind...and I know. The poor little rich know, the one with the nazi father? All the time and money in the world could not buy him a decent friend...until he got sucked up by the Soviets, who bought him cheap. By then he had his own family to strangle with purse strings, but the seething hatred of all those who rejected him...and his father never left.  The lonely, despised, rich man boy...with no thought of anyone or any place, consumed with showing us all how it’s going to wash the stink off his past with the blood of those who hurt his fragile man boy feelings...this is what I see. 

Comment by J.P. Hart on October 16, 2018 at 9:45am

Dave Matthews Band - All Along The Watchtower (Live in ... - YouTube

~be active be very active~

Thank you Mary Gravitt!

Comment by koshersalaami on October 17, 2018 at 8:10am

My comment about the title is We hold this truth to be self-evident. The sky is blue and Trump will fuck the world for money. 

This was the biggest lie of his campaign: “I’m too rich to be bought.” 

Comment by mary gravitt on October 17, 2018 at 11:59am

We need to reread the prophets and holy books: Brave New World; 1984; and now 21 Lessons for the 21st Century to be prepared for Trump/Trumpism Act Two.  Trump like his model dictators, yes dictators, Congress is impudent, he and his methodology will list 12 years.  He has already ruled two.  No matter how the midterms turn out and how he has sold the US out in the name of monetary advantage and jobs, WE will overcome.  I hope we get to walk out of the ashes of what was once a great social experiment with a little dignity.

The Revolution begins in the voting booth, and I hope it ends there.  Somehow we have ended up beyond WWI in history back to 1862 on the verge of the Civil War.


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