President Donald Trump will brave an interview with CBS for Super Bowl Sunday, after bailing on the tradition last year when he could not strike a deal with NBC News.
Trump will sit down for a rare interview non-Fox News interview; the pre-taped Q&A will appear on CBS’s Sunday Beltway show Face the Nation on February 3. He will be interviewed by program host Margaret Brennan, portions of which will be saved to air later in the day, in game walk-up programming.
The interview will come two days before Trump is expected to deliver his postponed State of the Union Address. That’s the new date for which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has invited him to deliver SOTU, anyway.
NBC took the high road, extending an open invitation to Trump in case he changed his mind. He did not.
Presidential pre-Big Game interviews have become an American tradition. CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz first interviewed then-President George W. Bush, before the Super Bowl kicked off in 2004.
Obama did one every year of his presidency, and he did them live, not pre-taped.
Navel lint gazing as to why Trump might have turned down last year’s opportunity on NBC, pundits specualted it might be that he did not want a repeat of previous year’s interview – the first of Trump’s administration – with pal and Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly, which clocked a so-so 12.2 million viewers – significantly fewer than Obama’s interviews. Other pundits speculated at the time that maybe Trump had not wanted to take any uncomfortable questions about his relationship with Stormy Daniels, DACA, his having called Haiti and countries in Africa “sh*tholes,” etc.
And, Trump was sure to have taken a question or two about his leadership of the anti-NFL movement, having launched an attack against players who kneeled in protest during the national anthem. At a rally, Trump had asked his base, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’”
The pre-Super Bowl interview will mark Trump’s first sit-down with Face the Nation since the interview he did with John Dickerson to mark his 100th day in the White House.