As if tensions weren't already high enough on Super Bowl Sunday, politics is now in the mix. On Monday, CBS News announced that Face the Nation anchor Margaret Brennan would do an interview with the president, to be aired immediately prior to Super Bowl LIII. The announcement was first reported by CNN, noting that "portions" of the interview would play.
The Super Bowl often turns out to have the highest TV ratings of the year by a wide margin. While the broadcast leading up to the game is not a guaranteed win, many TVs will already be on, allowing the president to reach many more Americans than he might usually get to.
The pre-Super Bowl presidential interview was a loose tradition for many years. In 2017, President Trump upheld it by sitting down with former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly before the game. However, last year he skipped the interview when the Super Bowl was hosted on NBC. Many speculated that it was because of his disdain for the network, which he has disparaged before.
In the past, President Barack Obama sat down with reporters before the games, including two interviews with O'Reilly, one of his harshest critics. Many see the Super Bowl interview as a way for the president to casually side-step partisanship while grounding themselves as an average American.
CBS claims that the interview with President Trump this year will be "wide-ranging." Naturally, there are many topics he is expected to address, including the government shutdown and border security. The president recently signed off on a plan to temporarily re-open the federal government, allowing federal workers to get paid. However, he is still demanding billions of dollars for his proposed border wall project.
"This was in no way a concession," the president promised on Twitter, shortly after an agreement was reached.0comments
Brennan may also ask the president about the special counsel investigation, as more and more former Trump administration staffers and associates are indicted by Robert Mueller. The president continues to deny any connections with the Russian government.
No matter what they discuss, the interview is certain to raise tensions even higher before the the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams take the field. Super Bowl LIII airs on Sunday, Feb. 3 on CBS.