It looks like CBS Face the Nation host John Dickerson knew he was at the end of his time with President Trump and figured he would do a little showboating and drop all pretense of respect for the presidency.
In an interview that was broadcast Monday on CBS This Morning, Dickerson can be seen basically trying to get Trump to say something nasty about Barack Obama, which of course would be an exciting thing for CBS News. Trump doesn’t take the bait, although he does politely say that Obama is full of shit.
“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,” Trump said.
Obama indeed tried to portray himself during the transition as a benevolent leader putting the country first by conducting a smooth and polite transfer of power. But meantime, it looks like his aides were busy “unmasking” the classified identities of Trump transition officials caught up in surveillance of foreign targets.
And as Obama ostensibly “goes high,” in Mrs. Obama’s formulation, he’s done nothing to stop his former aides from “going low” and attacking the new administration, doing the dirty work for him. No doubt Obama will soon be involved himself.
Here’s Dickerson’s exchange with Trump. After any official, let alone the president of the United States, indicates five times that they are not going to answer the question, you might want to back off. And look how often he interrupts the president. Rude young man. Trump was patient. I’d have thrown him out sooner.
JOHN DICKERSON: How do you learn that skill? Who do you call to say what’s it like to —
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: There’s nobody you can call.
JOHN DICKERSON: Did President Obama give you any advice that was helpful? That you think, wow, he really was–
DONALD 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–
JOHN DICKERSON: Difficulties how?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: — and I thought that — well, you saw what happened with surveillance. And I think that was inappropriate, but that’s the way–
JOHN DICKERSON: What does that mean, sir?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You can figure that out yourself.
JOHN DICKERSON: Well, I– the reason I ask is you said he was– you called him “sick and bad”.
PRESIDENT DONALD 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.
JOHN DICKERSON: But you stand by that claim about him?
PRESIDENT DONALD 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.
JOHN DICKERSON: I just wanted to find out, though. You’re– you’re the President of the United States. You said he was “sick and bad” because he had tapped you– I’m just–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You can take– any way. You can take it any way you want.
JOHN DICKERSON: But I’m asking you. Because you don’t want it to be–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You don’t–
JOHN DICKERSON: –fake news. I want to hear it from–
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You don’t have to–
JOHN DICKERSON: –President Trump.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: –ask me. You don’t have to ask me.
JOHN DICKERSON: Why not?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Because I have my own opinions. You can have your own opinions.
JOHN DICKERSON: But I want to know your opinions. You’re the President of the United States.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Okay, it’s enough. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Maybe Dickerson was angry about this. Look how furious he seems that Trump, who also told him he calls his show “Deface the Nation,” says that he has learned as president that the media are dishonest.