In an interview aired on CBS’s Face the Nation, host John Dickerson backed Donald Trump into a literal corner over his baseless claim that Barack Obama wiretapped him at the Trump Tower. After Trump seemed to realized he would have to produce some hard facts, he cut the interview short and motioned for Dickerson to leave.
Here’s a transcript of the palpably awkward interview, which was prerecorded in the Oval Office and broadcast on Monday:
Dickerson: But you stand by that claim?
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 number one, and we should find out what the hell is going on.
Dickerson: I just wanted to find out though, you’re the president of the United States. You said he was ‘sick and bad’ because he had tapped you.
Trump: You can take it any way you want.
Dickerson: But I’m asking you, because you don’t want it to be fake news. I want to hear it from President Trump.
Trump: You don’t have to ask me.
Dickerson: Why not?
Trump: Because I have my own opinions, you can have your own opinions.
Dickerson: But I want to know your opinions. You’re the president of the United States.
Trump: Okay, it’s enough. Thank you. Thank you very much.
It is remarkably easy to poke holes in Trump’s logic, and equally remarkable that so few journalists bother to do it.