Donald Trump hung up on a national US radio network halfway through a scheduled interview on Tuesday, after the former president was confronted about his election lies.
Trump, who has continued to falsely claim he won the 2020 presidential election instead of Joe Biden, was heard becoming increasingly irritated through the interview with National Public Radio before abruptly signing off.
The ending meant NPR, which had been promised a 15-minute interview, had to make do with just nine minutes, much of it consisting of a vexed Trump talking over host Steve Inskeep.
The segment, which aired on Wednesday, ended with Inskeep asking Trump if Republicans must repeat Trump’s increasingly unhinged allegations of election fraud in order to win his endorsement.
“They are going to do whatever they want to do – whatever they have to do, they’re going to do,” Trump said.
Never one to remain on topic, Trump added: “But the ones that are smart – the ones that know, you take a look at. Again, you take a look at how Kari Lake is doing, running for [Arizona] governor. She’s very big on this issue. She’s leading by a lot.
“People have no idea how big this issue is, and they don’t want it to happen again. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen, and they don’t want it to happen again.”
Inskeep attempted to move the conversation on, but Trump further added: “And the only way it’s not going to happen again is you have to solve the problem of the presidential rigged election of 2020.”
Inskeep again tried to interject, only for Trump to sign himself off.
“So Steve, thank you very much. I appreciate it.”
It left Inskeep, who said he had been attempting to interview Trump for six years, and who had begun asking a further question, hanging on the line, before the NPR host accepted: “He’s gone. OK.”
As is his wont, Trump had used the interview to repeat a slew of lies and conspiracy theories about the last presidential election.
But with Trump used to friendly conversations with rightwing organizations such as Fox News, it appears he was upset at receiving pushback from NPR, which receives some of its funding from the federal government and is one of the most trusted news organizations in the US.
Interviewers, at least those from conservative outlets, have previously struggled to get Trump off the phone rather than keep him on it.
In April 2018, Trump called in to Fox News for an interview, and spent 30 minutes railing against Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of collusion between the Trump 2016 election campaign and Russia and subsequent obstruction, and other topics, until Brian Kilmeade had to gently edge Trump off the phone.
“We could talk to you all day, but it looks like you have a million things to do,” Kilmeade said.
“He got the president off the phone like an annoying relative,” Stephen Colbert quipped.