President Donald Trump walked away from an interview in the Oval Office after a reporter began pressing him for evidence of his claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election cycle (video below).
CBS’ John Dickerson questioned the president’s wiretap claims during a March 29 interview in the White House. CNN reports that Trump still believes Obama wiretapped Trump Tower, tweeting on March 4 “Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory.”
Republicans and Democrats have both disputed the claim, saying there is no evidence to back up the accusation.
“I think our side’s been proven very strongly and everybody’s talking about it and frankly, it should be discussed,” Trump told Dickerson during the interview. “We should find out what the hell is going on.”
But, when Dickerson said there was no evidence and began pressing for concrete proof of illegal surveillance, Trump became visibly flustered.
“You can take it any way — you can take it any way you want,” Trump responded.
Dickerson continued to ask Trump his opinions on the matter, saying he wants to know if he really believes in the wiretapping claims.
“I’m asking you because you don’t want it to be fake news,” he said. “I want to hear it from President Trump.”
Trump told Dickerson that “you don’t have to ask me” because he “has his own opinions and you can have your own opinions.”
Dickerson then insisted, saying that he wanted to hear the president’s opinion.
“But I want to know your opinions. You’re the president of the United States,” said the reporter.
At this point, Trump shut down the interview.
“That’s enough. Thank you. Thank you very much,” he said, walking away from Dickerson and sitting at his Oval Office desk. He then gestured to the door, indicating that the reporter should leave.
The New York Times reports the interview was recorded as part of “CBS This Morning” and was broadcast on May 1. The White House has yet to make a comment on the incident.
After the interview aired, CBS anchor Gayle King asked Dickerson if he was physically escorted from the White House.
“I think it was pretty clear that I was to escort myself out, or I would be escorted out — I would be moved along,” he said, according to CNN. “It was time for our conversation to be over.”
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