President Trump on Christine Blasey Ford, his relationships with Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un and more

Lesley Stahl speaks with President Trump about a wide range of topics in his first 60 Minutes interview since taking office

When Americans vote in next month's midterm elections, it's likely President Trump and his agenda will be motivating them as much as any candidate or local issue on the ballot.

Almost two years ago when we last interviewed then-President-Elect Trump, he seemed surprised he had won. Not that he'd ever admit that to us.

President Trump with correspondent Lesley Stahl at the White House

CBS News

Well, when we sat down with him this past Thursday in the White House, we found him confident and boastful, as he told us he's learned on the job. He was eager to joust over the issues of the day: the economy, China and Russia and of course "fake news." But we started with very real news. The suspected murder of a Saudi journalist and the catastrophe of Hurricane Michael. Which has devastated parts of the Florida Panhandle. Claiming at least 19 lives and leaving hundreds of thousands without power across the Southeast. Michael comes on the heels of a series of super storms: Florence in the Carolinas, Maria in Puerto Rico, Harvey in Texas.

Lesley Stahl: Do you still think that climate change is a hoax?

President Donald Trump: I think something's happening. Something's changing and it'll change back again. I don't think it's a hoax, I think there's probably a difference. But I don't know that it's manmade. I will say this. I don't wanna give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don't wanna lose millions and millions of jobs. I don't wanna be put at a disadvantage.

Lesley Stahl: I wish you could go to Greenland, watch these huge chunks of ice just falling into the ocean, raising the sea levels.

President Donald Trump: And you don't know whether or not that would have happened with or without man. You don't know.

Lesley Stahl: Well, your scientists, your scientists–

President Donald Trump: No, we have–

Lesley Stahl: At NOAA and NASA–

President Donald Trump: We have scientists that disagree with that.

Lesley Stahl: You know, I– I was thinking what if he said, "No, I've seen the hurricane situations, I've changed my mind. There really is climate change." And I thought, "Wow, what an impact."

President Donald Trump: Well– I'm not denying.

Lesley Stahl: What an impact that would make.

President Donald Trump: I'm not denying climate change. But it could very well go back. You know, we're talkin' about over a millions–

Lesley Stahl: But that's denying it.

President Donald Trump: –of years. They say that we had hurricanes that were far worse than what we just had with Michael.

Lesley Stahl: Who says that? "They say"?

President Donald Trump: People say. People say that in the–

Lesley Stahl: Yeah, but what about the scientists who say it's worse than ever?

President Donald Trump: You'd have to show me the scientists because they have a very big political agenda, Lesley.

Lesley Stahl: I can't bring them in.

President Donald Trump: Look, scientists also have a political agenda.

President Trump vows "severe punishment" if Saudi Arabia is behind disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi

Lesley Stahl: Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist–

President Donald Trump: Yes. Yes.

Lesley Stahl: the Saudi journalist, was he murdered by the Saudis? And did the prince give the order to kill him?

President Donald Trump: Nobody knows yet, but we'll probably be able to find out. It's being investigated. It's being looked at very, very strongly. And we would be very upset and angry if that were the case. As of this moment, they deny it. And den– deny it vehemently. Could it be them? Yes.

Lesley Stahl: Jared, your son-in-law. Got on the phone and asked the prince. Did he deny it? Did he–

President Donald Trump: They deny it. They deny it every way you can imagine. In the not-too-distant future, I think we'll know an answer.

Lesley Stahl: What are you options? Let's say they did. What are your options? Would you consider imposing sanctions, as a bipartisan group of senators have proposed?

President Donald Trump: Well, it depends on what the sanction is. I'll give ya an example. They are ordering military equipment. Everybody in the world wanted that order. Russia wanted it, China wanted it, we wanted it. We got it.

Lesley Stahl: So would you cut that off–

President Donald Trump: I tell you what I don't wanna do. Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon, all these com– I don't wanna hurt jobs. I don't wanna lose an order like that. There are other ways of– punishing, to use a word that's a pretty harsh word, but it's true.

Lesley Stahl: Tell everybody what's at stake here. You know—

President Donald Trump: Well, there's a lot at stake. There's a lot at stake. And maybe especially so because this man was a reporter. There's something– you'll be surprised to hear me say that. There's something really terrible and disgusting about that, if that were the case. So we're gonna have to see. We're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment.


Lesley Stahl: You've had a string of wins lately. Let's see, the economy, the d– the trade deal-

President Donald Trump: Right.

Lesley Stahl: With Canada and Mexico, Kavanaugh–

President Donald Trump: And South Korea.

Lesley Stahl: And South Korea. And Kavanaugh, the confirmation.

President Donald Trump: There has been no administration in the history of our country, and I say this openly and proudly, that in its first two years–

Lesley Stahl: Say, this is modesty.

President Donald Trump: Well, it's not even that, it's a fact Tax cuts, regulation cuts, the biggest regulations cuts in history.

President Trump explains his relationship with Kim Jong Un

Lesley Stahl: What about North Korea? Talking about accom–

President Donald Trump: Well, I consider it a, so far, great achievement. Look, we–

Lesley Stahl: You say "so far"?

President Donald Trump: It's always so far, til everything's done. I– I– you know, deals are deals, okay? Whether it's a real estate deal or a retail deal, it doesn't matter. But I will say this. The day before I came in, we were goin' to war with North Korea. I sat with President Obama–

Lesley Stahl: We were goin' to war?

President Donald Trump: –and– we were gonna–I think it was going to end up in war. And my impression is– and even in my first few months, I mean, that rhetoric was as tough as it could possibly get. Doesn't get any tougher than that. Nobody's ever heard rhetoric that tough. We were going to war with North Korea. Now, you don't hear that. You don't hear any talk of it. And he doesn't wanna go to war, and we don't wanna go to war, and he understands denuclearization and he's agreed to it. And you see that, he's agreed to it. No missiles.

Lesley Stahl: Do you trust him?

President Donald Trump: I do trust him, yeah, I trust him. That doesn't mean I can't be proven wrong —

Lesley Stahl: Why would–

President Donald Trump: about it?

Lesley Stahl: you trust him?

President Donald Trump: Well, first of all, if I didn't trust him, I wouldn't say that to you. Wouldn't I be foolish to tell you right here, on 60 Minutes–

Lesley Stahl: Well, remember what Reagan said. "Trust, but verify."

President Donald Trump: Sure. I know. It's– it's very true. But the fact is, I do trust him. But we'll see what happens.

Lesley Stahl: But is it true that they haven't gotten rid of a single weapon, and they may actually be building more missiles-

President Donald Trump: They want to–

Lesley Stahl: With nuclear–

President Donald Trump: And I will tell you that they're closing up sites.

Lesley Stahl: But–

President Donald Trump: Setting it up.

Lesley Stahl: Is what I said true, that they haven't? Gotten–

President Donald Trump: Well, nobody really knows. I mean, people are saying that. I've actually said that.

Lesley Stahl: What? That they're still building missiles, more missiles?

President Donald Trump: We don't really know, Lesley. We really don't know. But I assume–

Lesley Stahl: Suspect that?

President Donald Trump: Let's say the answer is yes, okay? In the meantime, they haven't tested a missile. They haven't tested a rocket. They definitely haven't done a nuclear test because you know about them real fast. It sort of moves the earth. And we have a relationship now.

Trump, Kim -- U.S.-North Korea summit

In this handout photograph provided by The Strait Times, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with President Trump during their historic U.S.-DPRK summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island on June 12, 2018 in Singapore.


Lesley Stahl: One of the things that Kim has asked for is for you to ease the sanctions.

President Donald Trump: We haven't done that.

Lesley Stahl: Are you prepared to do that? What– what does he have to do–

President Donald Trump: No, No. I–

Lesley Stahl: Before you're–

President Donald Trump: No I'm not doing it. This isn't the Obama administration. I haven't eased the sanctions. I haven't done anything. I haven't done anything. We're meeting. I believe he likes me. I like him. We have a good relationship. It's very important.

President Trump at rally: "And then we fell in love, okay. No really. He wrote me beautiful letters. And they're great letters. We fell in love."

Lesley Stahl: I wanna read you his resume, okay? He presides over a cruel kingdom of repression, gulags, starvation– reports that he had his half-brother assassinated, slave labor, public executions. This is a guy you love?

President Donald Trump: Sure. I know all these things. I mean– I'm not a baby. I know these things.

Lesley Stahl: I know, but why do you love that guy?

President Donald Trump: Look, look. I– I– I like– I get along with him, okay?

Lesley Stahl: But you love him.

President Donald Trump: Okay. That's just a figure of speech.

Lesley Stahl: No, it's like an embrace.

President Donald Trump: It well, let it be an embrace. Let it be whatever it is to get the job done.

Lesley Stahl: He's a bad guy.

President Donald Trump: Look. Let it be whatever it is. I get along with him really well. I have a good energy with him. I have a good chemistry with him. Look at the horrible threats that were made. No more threats. No more threats.

Lesley Stahl: China.

President Donald Trump: I get along with him. It's very important. China, let's go.

Lesley Stahl: I'm skipping across the world here. You've slapped a lot of tariffs–

President Donald Trump: $250 billion.

Lesley Stahl: Gonna do more?

President Donald Trump: Might. Might.

Lesley Stahl: Round three?

President Donald Trump: They wanna negotiate, Lesley. They wanna negotiate.

Lesley Stahl: Are you ready?

President Donald Trump: Look.

Lesley Stahl: Are you ready to–

President Donald Trump: I have a great chemistry also with President Xi of China. I don't know that that's necessarily going to continue. I told President Xi we cannot continue to have China take $500 billion a year out of the United States in the form of trade and others things.

Lesley Stahl: And how– how–

President Donald Trump: And I said we can't do that, and we're not gonna do that anymore.

Lesley Stahl: How much squeezing of them are you prepared to do when American products are gonna be more expensive for American consumers in the end of all this?

President Donald Trump: Okay. Okay. So, so far, that hasn't turned out to be the case.

Lesley Stahl: Some–

President Donald Trump: –if you think about it, so far, I put 25% tariffs on steel dumping, and aluminum dumping 10%.

Lesley Stahl: But they've–

President Donald Trump: –again.

Lesley Stahl: –retaliated. That's what I'm asking.

President Donald Trump: They can retaliate, but they can't– they don't have enough ammunition to retaliate. We do $100 billion with them. They do $531 billion with us.

Lesley Stahl: Are you trying to sort of push them into a depression?

President Donald Trump: No no, although they're down 32 percent in four months, which is 1929.

Lesley Stahl: Well that's what I'm asking.

President Donald Trump: I don't want that. No, I don't want that. I want them to negotiate a fair deal with us. I want them to open their markets like our– our markets are open.

Lesley Stahl: But you're in a–

President Donald Trump: And it will be a fair deal–

Lesley Stahl: –trade war right now. Trade war.

President Donald Trump: You call it war, I don't call–

Lesley Stahl: You– you–

President Donald Trump: –it–

Lesley Stahl: –you did today.

President Donald Trump: I called it a skirmish.

Lesley Stahl: I heard you, you called it a war.

President Donald Trump: I called it, actually I called it a battle. But, actually, I'm gonna lower that. I consider it a skirmish. And we're gonna win.

Lesley Stahl: You have also slapped some tariffs on our allies.

President Donald Trump: I mean, what's an ally? We have wonderful relationships with a lot of people. But nobody treats us much worse than the European Union. The European Union was formed in order to take advantage of us on trade, and that's what they've done.

Lesley Stahl: But this is hostile.

President Donald Trump: And yet, they– it's not hostile.

Lesley Stahl: It sounds hostile.

President Donald Trump: You know what's hostile? The way they treat us. We're not hostile.

Lesley Stahl: No, but can't you deal with–

President Donald Trump: We've been– we've been–

Lesley Stahl: –them without–

President Donald Trump: –the stupid country for so many years.

Lesley Stahl: Are you willing to get rid of that Western alliance?

President Donald Trump: Now, I like NATO, NATO's fine. But you know what? We shouldn't be paying almost the entire cost of NATO to protect Europe. And then on top of that, they take advantage of us on trade. They're not going to do it anymore. They understand that.

Lesley Stahl: Okay, but are, it does seem this, are you willing to disrupt the Western Alliance? It's been going for 70 years. It's kept the peace for 70 years.

President Donald Trump: You don't know that. You don't know that.

Lesley Stahl: I don't know what?

President Donald Trump: You don't know that.

Lesley Stahl: Is it true General Mattis said to you, "The reason for NATO and the reason for all these alliances is to prevent World War III?"

President Donald Trump: No, it's not true.

Lesley Stahl: What's not true?

President Donald Trump: Frankly, I like General Mattis. I think I know more about it than he does. And I know more about it from the standpoint of fairness, that I can tell you.

Lesley Stahl: I'm gonna try one more time. Okay.

President Donald Trump: I know– and, Lesley, you don't have to try again. I know exactly what you're saying–

Lesley Stahl: Well, answer my question.

President Donald Trump: The answer is this. I will always be there with NATO, but they have to pay their way. I'm fully in favor of NATO, but I don't wanna be taken advantage of.

President Trump says Putin is "probably" involved in assassinations

Lesley Stahl: Putin.

President Donald Trump: Yeah.

Lesley Stahl: Okay, people don't understand why you never have a harsh word for Vladimir Putin.

President Donald Trump: Okay, you ready?

Lesley Stahl: I don't understand it.

President Donald Trump: I have been– you don't know what I talked about with Putin in the meeting prior to the press conference–

Lesley Stahl: No, I mean publicly. You never say anything harsh about him–

President Donald Trump: Excuse me.

Lesley Stahl: –publicly.

President Donald Trump: I didn't? I'm the one that gave Ukraine offensive weapons and tank killers. Obama didn't. You know what he sent? He sent pillows and blankets. I'm the one– and he's the one that gave away a part of Ukraine where Russia now has this–

Lesley Stahl: Well, I mean him personally Vladimir Putin–

President Donald Trump: I think I'm very tough with him personally. I had a meeting with him. The two of us. It was a very tough meeting and it was a very good meeting.

Lesley Stahl: Do you agree that Vladimir Putin is involved in assassinations? In poisonings?

President Donald Trump: Probably he is, yeah. Probably. I mean, I don't–

Lesley Stahl: Probably?

President Donald Trump: But I rely on them, it's not in our country.

Lesley Stahl: Why not– they shouldn't do it. This is a terrible thing.

President Donald Trump: Of course they shouldn't do it-

Lesley Stahl: Instead do you believe–

President Donald Trump: That's your (UNINTEL)–

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin

President Donald Trump throws a soccer ball Russian President Vladimir Putin gave him during a joint press conference after their summit on July 16, 2018, in Helsinki, Finland.


Lesley Stahl: –do you believe that the Russians interfered in the 2016 campaign election? Our election-

President Donald Trump: They– they meddled. But I think China meddled too.

Lesley Stahl: But why do you–

President Donald Trump: And I think other countries–

Lesley Stahl: –say China meddled too?

President Donald Trump: And you wanna know something?

Lesley Stahl: Why do you say Chi– why don't you just say–

President Donald Trump: Well, let me ask you–

Lesley Stahl: –the Russians meddled?

President Donald Trump: Because I think China meddled also. And I think, frankly, China–

Lesley Stahl: This is amazing.

President Donald Trump: –is a bigger problem.

Lesley Stahl: You are diverting the whole Russia thing.

President Donald Trump: I'm not doing anything.

Lesley Stahl: You are, you are

President Donald Trump: I'm saying Russia, but I'm also saying China.

But it's the investigation of Russia's intervention in the 2016 election that hangs over his presidency and caused a rift with his Attorney General Jeff Sessions, because he recused himself from the inquiry.

Lesley Stahl: What about the attorney general, Jeff Sessions?

President Donald Trump: Well, we'll see what happens come midterms. But–

Lesley Stahl: But everybody thinks, given the things you've said–

President Donald Trump: I was disappointed that he recused himself and many people think I was right on that. I was very disappointed. Why should he have recused himself? So I was very–

Lesley Stahl: So–

President Donald Trump: –disappointed but–

Lesley Stahl: So can I assume–

President Donald Trump: –we'll see what happens.

Lesley Stahl: Can I assume he's gone?

President Donald Trump: No. No. You can't assume that.

Lesley Stahl: Will you. Will you pledge– pledge that you will not shut down the Mueller investigation?

President Donald Trump: Well, I– I don't pledge anything. But I will tell you, I have no intention of doing that. I think it's a very unfair investigation because there was no collusion of any kind.

Lesley Stahl: But you won't pledge–

President Donald Trump: There is no collusion. I don't wanna pledge. Why should I pledge to you? If I pledge, I'll pledge. I don't have to pledge to you. But I have-

Lesley Stahl: Well–

President Donald Trump: I have no intention of doing that.

To date, 32 people have been charged or pled guilty in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. President Trump's campaign chairman, top campaign aide, former national security advisor and longtime personal attorney are all cooperating in the inquiry the president calls a witch hunt.

President Donald Trump: Do you really think I'd call Russia to help me with an election? Give me a break. They wouldn't be able to help me at all. Call Russia. It's so ridiculous.


One thing the president loves to talk about, and for good reason, is the economy. Consumer confidence is higher than it's been in nearly two decades and unemployment, at 3.7 percent, is the lowest in nearly 50 years. And yet, there's an ugly mood in the air. We are a country torn by angry, bitter partisan divisions. And there are many who say the president isn't helping. We talked with the president about that, the contentious Kavanaugh hearings, questions of chaos in his administration. And his record so far.

Lesley Stahl: So you've been president for almost two years. Is there anything that you wish you hadn't said, anything you wish you hadn't done? Do you have any regrets?

President Donald Trump: So when I won the presidency, I th– I– I– the press treats me terribly. I thought very strongly that, you know, the one great thing will happen is the press will start treating me great. Lesley, they treat me worse. They got worse instead of better. Very dishonest.

Lesley Stahl: Okay, this– you're– but you regret?

President Donald Trump: I regret that the press treats me so badly–

Lesley Stahl: I'm– I'm really asking (UNINTEL)–

President Donald Trump: And despite that, my poll numbers are very good, so.

Lesley Stahl: Have you made any mistakes? That's my question.

President Donald Trump: Everybody makes mistakes.

Lesley Stahl: And what have been yours?

President Donald Trump: I could have been– earlier with terminating the NAFTA deal. The problem was, I was getting to know the leaders. I was getting to know countries. I didn't wanna do it right outta the box. So I waited a little while, but I could have done trade a little bit earlier.

Lesley Stahl: What about the forced separation of children from their– migrant children–

President Donald Trump: Yeah. Well, that was–

Lesley Stahl: from the–

President Donald Trump: the same as the Obama law. You know, Obama had the same thing.

Lesley Stahl: It was on the books, but he didn't enforce it. You–enforced it. You launched that– the zero tolerance policy– to deter families with children coming–

President Donald Trump: No, but then everybody decided and the courts don't want separation. And frankly, when you don't do separa– when you allow the parents to stay together, okay, when you allow that, then what happens is people are gonna pour into our country.

Lesley Stahl: So are you gonna go back to that?

President Donald Trump: Well, we're looking at a lot of things. Really what we wanna do is change the immigration laws, 'cause they were– they were a laughing stock all over the world.

Lesley Stahl: Are you willing though– I think that you're saying you're– it's under consideration.

President Donald Trump: No, I want all the laws changed.

Lesley Stahl: But the children specifically–

President Donald Trump: there have to be consequences, Lesley, for coming into our country illegally. And part of the r– I mean, part of the reason, I have to blame myself, the economy is so strong that everybody wants to come into the United States.

Lesley Stahl: Can I just ask this simple question, yes or no.

President Donald Trump: Go ahead.

Lesley Stahl: Are you willing to reinstitute that policy? You said, "We're looking at everything."

President Donald Trump: I will–

Lesley Stahl: Yes or no.

President Donald Trump: I will only– I can't– you can't say yes or no. What I can say is this: There are consequences from coming into a country, namely our country, illegally.

Lesley Stahl: I'm not gonna ask it again–

President Donald Trump: You don't have to.

Lesley Stahl: 'cause I know you won't– it–

President Donald Trump: But it's the same as Obama.

President Trump on politics: It is vicious, it's full of lies, deceit and deception

Lesley Stahl: Okay. Changing subjects again– you are the first president of the United States who never had a political post before, nor never served in the military. You come up here, you've been here for almost two years, what's the biggest surprise and what have you learned since you've been president?

President Donald Trump: Okay. So I always used to say the toughest people are Manhattan real estate guys and blah, blah. Now I say they're babies.

Lesley Stahl: Who's the toughest?

President Donald Trump: They're babies, the political people. This is the most deceptive, vicious world. It is vicious, it's full of lies, deceit and deception. You make a deal with somebody and it's like making a deal with– that table.

Lesley Stahl: Give me an example.

President Donald Trump: Well, I don't wanna give you an example. I'm not lookin' to– in the meantime, nobody's been able to do what I've been able to do. Remember that. When you look at taxes, you look at regulations, you look at– making deals with other countries. Nobody's been able to do anything like this. Actually, most people didn't even try because they knew they didn't have the ability to do it. But it's a very deceptive world. The other thing I've really learned is I never knew how dishonest the media was. I– I– and I really mean it. I'm not saying that as a sound bite. I never–

Lesley Stahl: I'd like to–

President Donald Trump: Knew how dishonest–

Lesley Stahl: I'm– I'm gonna change the subject again.

President Donald Trump: Well, no, even the way you asked me a question, like, about separation. When I say Obama did it, you don't wanna talk about it.

Lesley Stahl: No, I'm gonna run your–

President Donald Trump: When I say I did it, let's make a big deal of it.

Lesley Stahl: I'm gonna run your answer, but you did it four times, so.

President Donald Trump: I'm just telling you that you treated me much differently on the subject.

Lesley Stahl: I disagree, but I don't wanna have that fight with you.

President Donald Trump: Hey, it's okay–

Lesley Stahl: All right, I'll get in another fight with you–

President Donald Trump: Lesley, it's okay. In the meantime, I'm president–and you're not.

It's a presidency like no other: he's redefined the office, with a governing style that's more freewheeling in-your-face New York than buttoned-up Washington.

He's not shy about trumpeting his victories, but some have come with a cost.

Lesley Stahl: This country is divided, polarized. Within families, there aren't even people who can talk to each other. What does this say about where we are as a country right now, all this division and strife and–

President Donald Trump: Yeah– I think that–

Lesley Stahl: –anger?

President Donald Trump: –what's going to happen– I think the economy's bringing people together. It was very polarized under President Obama, unbelievably polarized under President Obama. I can see the country uniting. I can see it. We have people, Democrats, who behaved horribly during the Judge Kavanaugh– you– know what I'm saying.

Lesley Stahl: But when you won that.

President Donald Trump: –during the hearings for the Supreme Court, we had senators that behaved horribly.

Lesley Stahl: But when you won, you won. No– no one is gonna argue with that.

President Donald Trump: I won–

Lesley Stahl: You won. And then after you won, instead of saying, "Oh, let's all come together, this is wonderful. Let's heal all of this," you come out and bash the Democrats.

President Donald Trump: Well, I bashed their attitude. I bashed their statements–

Lesley Stahl: But why not try to–

President Donald Trump: Because they were–

Lesley Stahl: –bring us together?

President Donald Trump: –so unfair to Judge Kavanaugh. I've never–

Lesley Stahl: But why not–

President Donald Trump: seen anything like it.

Lesley Stahl: –why not try and– we need to be healed. We need–

President Donald Trump: I don't think they want to heal yet, I'll be honest.

Lesley Stahl: Well, you don't wanna–

President Donald Trump: I think–

Lesley Stahl: heal yet.

President Trump on his treatment of Christine Blasey Ford at rally: "It doesn't matter. We won."

President Donald Trump: I– I– I saw Hillary Clinton made a really nasty statement. I don't think they wanna be healed. I do wanna heal.

Lesley Stahl: I'm n– I'm not talking about Democrat– I'm talking about the country. You go out and you go to Mississippi.

President Donald Trump: The famous Mississippi speech?

President Trump at rally in Mississippi: I had one beer. Well, you think it was, nope! It was one beer. Oh good. How did you get home? I don't remember. How did you get there? I don't remember. Where is the place? I don't remember. How many years ago was it? I don't know. I don't know… I don't know…

Lesley Stahl: And you mimicked Professor Blasey Ford. You mimicked her.

President Donald Trump: Had I not made that speech, we would not have won. I was just saying she didn't seem to know anything.

Lesley Stahl: No (UNINTEL)–

President Donald Trump: And you're trying to destroy a life of a man who has been extraordinary.

Lesley Stahl: Why did you have to make fun of her?

President Donald Trump: I didn't really make fun of her.

Lesley Stahl: Well, they were laughing.

President Donald Trump: What I said the person that we're talking about didn't know the year, the time, the place.

Lesley Stahl: Professor Blasey Ford got before the Senate and– and was asked what's the worst moment. And she said, "When the two boys laughed at me, at my expense."

President Donald Trump: Ok, fine.

Lesley Stahl: And then I watched you mimic her and thousands of people were laughing at her.

President Donald Trump: They can do what they– I– I will tell you this. The way now Justice Kavanaugh was treated has become a big factor in the midterms. Have you seen what's gone on with the polls?

Lesley Stahl: But did you have to–

President Donald Trump: Well, I think she was treated with great respect, I'll– I'll–

Lesley Stahl: And– but–

President Donald Trump: be honest with you.

Lesley Stahl: but do you think—you treated her with–

President Donald Trump: There are those that think she shouldn't have–

Lesley Stahl: Do you think you treated her with respect?

President Donald Trump: I think so, yeah. I did.

Lesley Stahl: But you seem to be saying that she lied.

President Donald Trump: W– you know what? I'm not gonna get into it because we won. It doesn't matter. We won.

Ever since the Mississippi speech, he's been out campaigning, rallying his supporters for the midterm elections. But back in Washington, he's had to deal with reports of internal strife in his administration.

Lesley Stahl: The anonymous column that ran in "The New York Times." The author, we don't know who it is. Whoever it is.

President Donald Trump: Whoever it is. Maybe it was "The New York Times" too.

Lesley Stahl: Paints a picture.

President Donald Trump: No, no, it's –By the way, you don't know how dishonest "The New York Times" is. It could've been "The New York Times." I doubt it. But it could've been.

Lesley Stahl: Okay. I doubt it too.

President Donald Trump: It also could've been any– w– well, don't count on it. It also could've been any one of 3,000 people.

The anonymous op-ed column told of a "resistance" within the Trump Administration, who've questioned his fitness for office.

President Trump says reports of chaos in his administration are "fake news"

Lesley Stahl: You have said that this administration is like a smooth-running machine. And yet, we keep hearing that the White House is in chaos.

President Donald Trump: It's– wrong, it's so false. It's fake news. I'm changing things around. And I'm entitled to. I have people now on standby that will be phenomenal. They'll come into the administration, they'll be phenomenal.

Lesley Stahl: More people gonna go?

President Donald Trump: Yeah, other people will go, sure.

Lesley Stahl: 'Cause so many people, you have kind of a record of –on turnover.

President Donald Trump: I think I have a great Cabinet. There're some people that I'm not happy with.

Lesley Stahl: Who are you not happy with?

President Donald Trump: No, I don't wanna say that but

Lesley Stahl: Come on.

President Donald Trump: Not I don't want to say that.

But I have some people that I'm not thrilled with. And I have other people that I'm beyond thrilled with.

Lesley Stahl: What about General Mattis? Is he going to leave?

President Donald Trump: Well, I don't know. He hasn't told me that. I have–

Lesley Stahl: Do you want him to–

President Donald Trump: –a very good relationship with him. It could be that he is. I think he's sort of a Democrat, if you wanna know the truth. But General Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That's Washington.

Lesley Stahl: The first lady, Melania. She said that there are still people in the White House that she doesn't trust and that you shouldn't trust.

President Donald Trump: I feel the same way. I don't trust everybody in the White House, I'll be honest with you.

Lesley Stahl: You go to a meeting, do you have to wonder, "Is he wearing a wire–"

President Donald Trump: I'm usually —

Lesley Stahl:–or whatever?

President Donald Trump: Not so much a wire. I'm usually guarded. And I think I'm guarded anyway. But I'm not saying I trust everybody in the White House. I'm not a baby. It's a tough business. This is a r– this is a vicious place. Washington DC is a vicious, vicious place. The attacks, the– the bad mouthing, the speaking behind your back. –but– you know, and in my way, I feel very comfortable here.

Lesley Stahl: It takes a president a while to find his sea legs.

President Donald Trump: I think so. I mean, I felt comfortable at the beginning, other than it was a little surreal to say I'm the president of the United States, but I think that's true with everybody.

Lesley Stahl: POTUS.

President Donald Trump: Now I very much feel like POTUS. I do. I feel like the president. You know, for a little while, it's like– "Mr. President, sir." It's– even my friends, they call me, they– they don't call me Donald– they call me Mr. President. And I say, "Will you please loosen up?" I've learned on the job. I have.

Lesley Stahl: And you feel comfortable?

President Donald Trump: I feel very comfortable, yeah.

Produced by Richard Bonin, Graham Messick and Ruth Streeter. Associate producers, Ayesha Siddiqi, Kaylee Tully and Jack Weingart

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