President Trump told Lesley Stahl he bashes press 'to demean you and discredit you so ... no one will believe' negative stories about him

  • President Donald Trump said he bashes the press to "demean" and "discredit" reporters so that no one will believe negative stories about him, "60 Minutes" journalist Lesley Stahl said Monday.
  • Stahl's revelation came during a talk before the Deadline Club of New York, a group of journalists.
  • Stahl scored the first television interview with Trump after his 2016 election as president.

President Donald Trump told the veteran journalist Lesley Stahl of the CBS program "60 Minutes" that he bashes the press to "demean" and "discredit" reporters so that the public will not believe "negative stories" about him, Stahl said.

Stahl's disclosure came Monday night during a talk at the Deadline Club of New York's annual journalism awards at the Harvard Club in Manhattan.

The CBS reporter was speaking to the audience along with PBS NewsHour host Judy Woodruff.

Stahl said she and her boss met with Trump at his office in Trump Tower in Manhattan after the 2016 election in advance of a recorded sit-down interview for "60 Minutes.

"At one point, he started to attack the press," Stahl said. "There were no cameras in there."

"I said, 'You know, this is getting tired. Why are you doing it over and over? It's boring and it's time to end that. You know, you've won ... why do you keep hammering at this?'" Stahl recalled.

"And he said: 'You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so that when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.'"

Lesley Stahl
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Lesley Stahl

Stahl paused for a moment after quoting Trump to the assembled journalists.

"He said that," Stahl noted.

"So, put that in your head for a minute. Yeah."