President Donald Trump could be set to continue a tradition that was started by President George W. Bush: the presidential pregame Super Bowl interview. According to the Washington Post, CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus has revealed that they have had discussions with the White House about arranging the interview. He did not disclose any further details, however.
The Super Bowl takes place on February 3 this year and the current partial government shutdown might be over by then. If it isn’t, it will likely dominate the pregame interview with the president, if it happens. During a televised address from the Oval Office on Tuesday, Trump made the case for his border wall promise by painting a dire picture of the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Every day, Customs and Border Protection agents encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country,” he said. “We are out of space to hold them, and we have no way to promptly return them back home to their country. America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation, but all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration.”
The government shutdown started because Congress did not pass a spending bill that included $5 billion for the border wall.
CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said the network has had talks with the White House about interviewing President Donald Trump during the Super Bowl LIII pregame show.https://t.co/0ghVajUdwJ pic.twitter.com/mUU6JwKnBi
— Chicago Sports (@ChicagoSports) January 10, 2019
Unlike his predecessor, Barack Obama, Trump hasn’t done a Super Bowl interview in each year of his presidency. As the Washington Post reports, he skipped it last year when NBC broadcast the game. Before he was elected, Trump was the star of NBC’s Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice shows, programs that elevated his celebrity status. The president never explained why he chose to avoid the interview in 2018, Deadline reports. But in 2017, he launched some scathing attacks against NFL players for kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b*tch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!'” Trump said at a rally in Alabama in September, 2017.
His relationship with the media has also been fraught since his time on the campaign trail. Yesterday, he tweeted disdain for NBC, MSNBC, and CNN.
“NBC and MSNBC are going Crazy. They report stories, purposely, the exact opposite of the facts,” read one part of the tweet. “They are truly the Opposition Party working with the Dems”
The Mainstream Media has NEVER been more dishonest than it is now. NBC and MSNBC are going Crazy. They report stories, purposely, the exact opposite of the facts. They are truly the Opposition Party working with the Dems. May even be worse than Fake News CNN, if that is possible!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 10, 2019
Trump’s last Super Bowl pregame interview aired on Fox in 2017 and he sat down with Bill O’Reilly, who was fired from the network later that year because of sexual harassment allegations.