President Donald Trump has agreed to sit down with CBS News for a pregame interview before the Super Bowl, a tradition he skipped last year when the game aired on NBC.
“Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan will tape the interview ― Trump’s first network television sit-down since the partial government shutdown ended last week ― on Friday, CBS News announced Monday. It is scheduled to air Sunday morning and again that afternoon before the evening game.
Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama popularized the annual tradition of giving an on-air interview to a journalist from the network airing that year’s Super Bowl.
Trump, who regularly attacks the media, has given few television interviews. He has typically chosen to speak with networks that tend to give him more generous coverage, such as Fox News.
Trump taped an interview with then-Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly before the 2017 Super Bowl, and it aired on Fox’s broadcast network as part of its telecast of the game. But last year, White House officials turned down the invitation from NBC, which Trump has frequently attacked.
NBC News had last conducted a sit-down interview with Trump in May 2017, after his abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey. Trump famously told anchor Lester Holt that he had considered “this Russia thing” prior to making the decision. The interview raised questions about whether Trump had obstructed justice by firing Comey amid the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia.
Trump has turned the game into red meat for his base by creating friction with the NFL, as he has regularly lashed out against players who have protested racism and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem at games. Colin Kaepernick started the gesture in 2016, while he was with the San Francisco 49ers.
Trump famously said at a 2017 rally that NFL owners should “get that son of a bitch off the field,” referring to players who protest, and called on NFL fans to boycott games.
Obama participated in the pregame interview each year of his presidency, answering rapid-fire questions about the game and his family’s Super Bowl traditions, as well as topics in the news. Obama was interviewed by O’Reilly in 2011 and 2014, with the latter exchange getting particularly heated.