Published: Tue, October 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Zurawik: Here's what really matters about Trump's '60 Minutes' interview

Zurawik: Here's what really matters about Trump's '60 Minutes' interview

In an excerpt from a "60 Minutes" interview that will air in full Sunday on CBS, Trump talked about the level of turnover in his administration after nearly two years, and suggested there could be more to come.

By telling "60 Minutes" that he suspected Mattis is "sort of a Democrat", Trump seemed to suggest that he thinks Mattis is too moderate in his politics, although he did not say so directly or cite any area of disagreement with Mattis.

Reporter Leslie Stahl confronted Trump with allegations that Mattis is almost ready to submit his resignation, but the president remained adamant that Mattis hasn't told him about any plans to leave.

"So when I won the presidency - the press treats me terribly - I thought very strongly that, you know, the one great thing will happen is the press will start treating me great". I had lunch with him two days ago. It could be that he is. "And I think, frankly, China is a bigger problem", said the president. I mean- I'm not a baby. "Everybody. People leave", the President said. "I think something's happening".

Trump said the turnover was likely to continue. "I've never registered for any political party", he said. "But I will tell you, I have no intention of doing that".

"Why did you have to make fun of her?" asked Stahl. "We're going to do whatever we can do to get it slowed down". When I was 18, I joined the Marine Corps, and in the USA military we are proudly apolitical.

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The president has already cast off many of his original top-level picks, including former secretary of state Rex Tillerson and Lieutenant General HR McMaster, who had been national security advisor. (The surprise is that politicians are "vicious", and the President went on.) Trump relentlessly talked over the follow-ups to a further question - why he didn't bring the country together in the wake of the Kavanaugh hearings, seeking a moment of unity.

What matters about Trump's first interview in nearly two years on what is by far the largest forum in TV news is the performance.

The president was "very respectful" during the discussion, Conway said, and added that Trump doesn't "fear the media".

"Trump is a refreshing reminder that the guy that's in the White House is another human being", says Louis Rossetto, the co-founder of Wired and author of the new book Change Is Good: A Story of the Heroic Era of the Internet.

"There are some people that I'm not happy with".

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