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Trump uses Facebook, Twitter to publish 60 Minutes interview days before air date

Today's technology lets high-profile figures sidestep news organizations.

President Donald Trump speaks during a 60 Minutes interview recorded and published by the White House.
President Donald Trump speaks during the 60 Minutes interview published early by the White House.
Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

President Donald Trump posted a White House video of a 60 Minutes interview on Facebook and touted it on Twitter on Thursday, days before CBS was scheduled to air the episode. CBS News journalist Lesley Stahl conducted the interview for broadcast Sunday, but the White House footage jumped ahead of the news program.

It's a new example of how easily high-profile people can bypass the news media, using the internet and social media and connecting directly with interested people.

60 Minutes producer CBS News expressed displeasure with the White House move. "The White House's unprecedented decision to disregard their agreement with CBS News and release their footage will not deter 60 Minutes from providing its full, fair and contextual reporting which presidents have participated in for decades," CBS News said in a statement on Twitter.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The video, just under 38 minutes long, is a combative back-and-forth addressing issues like the coronavirus pandemic, Trump's health care plan and his polling numbers as the presidential campaign winds down.

CBS News is owned by ViacomCBS, which also publishes CNET.