President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden appeared in back-to-back interviews on CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” presenting contrasting views on which country is the biggest threat to the United States.
Asked by Lesley Stahl who the country’s biggest adversary is, Trump named China, blaming the Communist Party-run country of mishandling the coronavirus and putting the world at risk.
“They’re a foe in many ways, but they’re an adversary. I think what happened was disgraceful, should never have happened. They should never have allowed this plague to get out of China and go throughout the world. 188 countries. Should never have happened,” the president said in the interview that aired Sunday evening.
Norah O’Donnell questioned Biden on which country poses the biggest threat to the US.
“I think the biggest threat to America right now in terms of breaking up our – our security and our alliances is Russia. Secondly, I think that the biggest competitor is China. And depending on how we handle that will determine whether we’re competitors or we end up being in a more serious competition relating to force,” he said.
Earlier in the interview, Biden was fact-checked by O’Donnell when he talked about the trade deficit with China during a question about his plan to raise taxes on those making more than $400,000 a year.
“The president says that’s going to end up sending jobs overseas,” O’Donnell asked.
“He’s sending them overseas already. Take a look at what’s happened. We have a trade deficit that’s larger with China than when we were there,” Biden responded.
But O’Donnell corrected the record: “Actually, that depends on how you calculate it. The overall trade deficit with China was slightly lower in 2019 than it was during the last three years of the Obama administration.”
Washington has introduced a number of tariffs on Chinese goods during the Trump administration to counter what the president points out to be Beijing’s use of unfair business practices to benefit China and hamper US companies.
Trump has also repeatedly condemned China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late December, saying the country failed to alert the rest of the world of the seriousness of the threat and mislead the World Health Organization about the pandemic.
The president released 38 minutes of raw footage of the interview last Thursday after he walked out during the taping on Tuesday following clashes with Stahl.
“Look at the bias, hatred and rudeness on behalf of 60 Minutes and CBS. Tonight’s anchor, Kristen Welker, is far worse! #MAGA,” Trump wrote on Twitter, linking to video of the interview.
The video was released hours before the final presidential debate, hosted by Welker of NBC News.