The Slatest

“I Don’t Stand by Anything,” Trump Says Before Kicking Reporter Out of Oval Office


Donald Trump abruptly cut off an Oval Office interview with CBS Washington correspondent (and Slate podcast co-host) John Dickerson when Dickerson pressed him about his bogus claim that Barack Obama had ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower. You can read the whole high-quality exchange here; here’s how it started:


Dickerson: Did President Obama give you any advice that was helpful? That you think, wow, he really was—

Trump: Well, he was very nice to me. But after that, we’ve had some difficulties. So it doesn’t matter. You know, words are less important to me than deeds. And you—you saw what happened with surveillance. And everybody saw what happened with surveillance—

Dickerson: Difficulties how?

Trump: —and I thought that—well, you saw what happened with surveillance. And I think that was inappropriate, but that’s the way—


Dickerson: What does that mean, sir?

Trump: You can figure that out yourself.

Dickerson: Well, I—the reason I ask is you said he was—you called him “sick and bad.”

Trump: Look, you can figure it out yourself. He was very nice to me with words, but—and when I was with him—but after that, there has been no relationship.

Dickerson: But you stand by that claim about him?

Trump: I don’t stand by anything. I just—you can take it the way you want. I think our side’s been proven very strongly. And everybody’s talking about it. And frankly it should be discussed. I think that is a very big surveillance of our citizens. I think it’s a very big topic. And it’s a topic that should be No. 1. And we should find out what the hell is going on.