Tuesday on the “CBS Evening News,” anchor Scott Pelley previewed a forthcoming interview with GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump set to air on his network’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday.
In the preview clip of that interview, Pelley pushed Trump on his reaction to a questioner about the country’s “problem” with Muslims and Trump reaction, which was to not “slap down” the questioner. Trump insisted it wasn’t his job to defend President Barack Obama and that his view was consistent with what a lot of Americans think after Sept. 11, 2001.
Transcript as follows:
PELLEY: We were with you in New Hampshire when that man stood up and said, “We have a problem in this country and it’s Muslims.” You the that pass, and I wonder what that tells us about you.
TRUMP: Well, he said much more than that. That was part of the statement. He then went on to say other things.
PELLEY: But the bigotry part.
TRUMP: Look, he said mostly about Obama, that whole question — I don’t have to defend president Obama. He’s not going to defend me. So whether you agree with the man or you don’t agree– and there were people in that audience, as you probably noticed, that did agree with him.
PELLEY: It was a testing moment for a man running for president.
TRUMP: I don’t think so.
PELLEY: Here you had a bigot.
TRUMP: You don’t know that.
PELLEY: Who you could slap down.
TRUMP: You don’t know that. He asked a question. You don’t know he’s a bigot.
PELLEY: “A problem in this country and it’s Muslims.”
TRUMP: Well, let me ask you — so he said, “There are problems in this country and it’s Muslims.” I love the Muslims. I have many, many friends, people living in this building, Muslims, they’re phenomenal people. But like everything else, you have people where there are problems. We can say there are no problems with the Muslims. There is no terrorism. There isn’t anything. They didn’t knock down the World Trade Center. To the best of my knowledge, the people who knocked down the World Trade Center – they didn’t fly back to Sweden.
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