Donald Trump locks horns with CBS journalist John Dickerson.
Donald Trump locks horns with CBS journalist John Dickerson. Supplied

Donald Trump shuts down interview over wiretapping questions

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has abruptly shut down an interview inside the Oval Office when the questioner veered into awkward territory.

Mr Trump gave CBS This Morning reporter John Dickerson a tour of the White House and discussed a wide range of topics, including how he has grappled with the magnitude of the decisions he has had to make.

But at the end of the interview, Mr Trump was not so forthcoming. Dickerson asked whether he stood by his claim that Barack Obama had ordered the wire-tapping of Trump Tower.

"I don't stand by anything," Mr Trump responded.

Donald Trump locks horns with CBS journalist John Dickerson.
Donald Trump locks horns with CBS journalist John Dickerson. Supplied

Later, Dickerson says: "You're the President of the United States. You said that [Mr Obama] was 'sick' and 'bad' because he had tapped you."

"You can take it anyway you want," Mr Trump replies.

"But I'm asking you because you don't want it to be fake news; I want to hear it from President Trump," Dickerson says.

"You don't have to ask me because I have my own opinions, you can have your own opinions," Mr Trump says.

"But I want to know your opinions. You're the President of the United States," the reporter pushes back.

"That's enough. Thank you," the President says abruptly before waving the reporter away with his hand.

Donald Trump turns his back on the reporter.
Donald Trump turns his back on the reporter. Supplied

Mr Trump then sits down at his desk and fiddles awkwardly with some paper with the camera still trained on him.

Donald Trump fiddles with papers after shutting down the interview.
Donald Trump fiddles with papers after shutting down the interview. Supplied

Before the terse exchange, Mr Trump told Dickerson that Mr Obama was initially very friendly but they had since

"had some difficulties".

"He was very nice to me with words and when I was with him but after that there has been no relationship," the President said.

Mr Trump said his claims of wire-tapping had been "proven very strongly".

"I think that is a very big surveillance of our citizens. I think that'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," he said.

Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey and Senate Intelligence Committee leaders have said publicly that there is no evidence to back up Mr Trump's wire-tapping claim.

Earlier in the interview, Mr Trump said he was awed by the "bigness of the office" and the "bigness of the deals" done inside the White House.

He said life-and-death decisions, such as ordering an air strike on Syria, differed greatly with "going to buy a building".

"Because it's human lives," Mr Trump said.

"You're killing people. And you can kill the wrong people, too.

"You know, those things go off and they end up in a town or they end up in a city and you have another tragedy on your hands.

"So, these decisions are unbelievable - you know, in terms of the importance because it's human. It's killing. I hate it. But things have to be done."

News Corp Australia


Gold and glory for local gin

Gold and glory for local gin

Bottoms up as Brookie's Dry Gin and Slow Gin win gold

Watch out for 'huge' redback spiders under park seats

Watch out for 'huge' redback spiders under park seats

"I was sitting 5cm from two really big ones”

REVIEW: Breath, does it live up to the hype?

REVIEW: Breath, does it live up to the hype?

Simon Baker will present two advance screening in Ballina tomorrow

Local Partners