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“60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl says President Trump once told her that he attacks the press so no one will believe the negative stories written about him.

Stahl said at the Deadline Club awards dinner on Tuesday that she met with the then-president-elect at Trump Tower ahead of his first post-election interview on “60 Minutes.”

The article goes on to state the following:

“And at one point he started to attack the press, and it’s just me and my boss and him … he’s attacking the press and there were no cameras, there was nothing going on,” Stahl said.

“And I said, ‘You know that is getting tired, why are you doing this? You are doing it over and over, it’s boring, it’s time to end that. You won the nomination, why do you keep hammering at this?’ ”

“And he said, ‘You know why I do it? I do it to demean you all and discredit you all, so that when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you,’ ” Stahl said.

As an opinion piece in the Washington Examiner points out:

If Trump said this, there’s no defending it. It’d be a despicable act of manipulation. If Trump said this, it would show just how cynical he really is.

But that’s a big “if.” Do we have any reasons not to believe it? Sure. For example, why is she only telling this story now, 17 months after the conversation allegedly took place? And does she have the rest of this interview?

Can she authenticate any of this story? It’s not that far-fetched a thing for Trump to say (well, the “demean” part is a bit much), but we need something more than hearsay for a claim of this size.

At least, you’d hope reporters would ask for some sort of proof. Many didn’t Tuesday.

Examples of the hysterical reaction to Stahl’s statement, as well as a video of the interview, may be seen below.

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