‘CBS This Morning’s’ Gayle King Recently Scored Another Exclusive Interview
Gayle King, lead anchor of CBS This Morning, is on a journalistic high. Still receiving kudos for her groundbreaking interview with R. Kelly, the singer accused of multiple counts of sexual assault, King also recently interviewed music icon Tina Turner, and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
She’s not stopping there, having just grabbed an exclusive with four of the most talked-about political figures of today.
Last week, King met with four congresswomen who have been a major point of interest in the daily news cycle. Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, known as ‘The Squad,’ sat down with King for the highly coveted interview.
King spoke with the network’s online anchors at CBSN, Anne-Marie Green and Vladimir Duthiers, afterwards about her takeaways from the sit-down, and the composure of the four politicians. “There is no tension between ‘The Squad.’ These four women are so connected and so on the same page about what they want to do,” King commented.
When King brought up to the congresswomen that some people may feel they need to get more experience before forging ahead with their progressive ideas, she said they didn’t see it that way. “Some people feel that, you know, get going and get the lay of the land, see how things are done,” King told Green and Duthiers of her comments to the four. “And they’re saying, ‘Look, Washington is broken, we want to do something about it, we want to fix it.’ I love how Congressman Omar said that ‘broken’ means getting rid of oppression, getting rid of the status quo.”
The journalist noted the group’s dedication and motivation, saying, “What struck me is how passionate they feel about the job they want to do. They are very dedicated to their constituents, they said that they were brought there for a reason, and they intend to carry that out. And maybe there’s something that everybody can learn working together.”
Questions on controversy
Never one to shy away from tough questions, King covered some topics that have brought backlash to the group, including their rumored splintered relationship with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. King said the four did not see an issue on their rapport with the speaker.
“I think that just as there were members of Congress that did not vote for the speaker on the House floor the day of our swearing in, just as there are members who challenge her conclusions who disagree with her, so do we from time to time. But that does not mean that there is a fundamental fracture or a dehumanizing going on within our caucus,” Ocasio-Cortez told King in the interview.
This wasn’t the reply King expected. “I was surprised when they said that there’s not a fracture with Nancy Pelosi,” King commented. “It looks like a big ‘ol fracture to me. They’re saying no fracture.”
King also brought up a certain expletive that was used by Tlaib about the President, and was again surprised by the response she received. “I was struck how unapologetic they were,” King told the anchors. “Even with Rashida (Tlaib) who called the President a (expletive)… I said, ‘Do you think that’s ok? You’re talking about the President of the United States, regardless of how you feel about him. Forget about the President… calling anybody that. She goes, ‘Well I wasn’t on the House floor, I curse, a lot of people curse, and that’s just who I am.’ No apologies whatsoever. I was sort of expecting ‘Well, you know, I got caught up in the heat of the moment. If I thought about it, maybe I would’ve chosen my words carefully…’ None of that.”
When the CBS anchor asked Omar about accusations of her being anti-semetic for making comments that implied some politicians’ support for Israel was directly related to money, King gave Omar the opportunity to clear the air. “Would you like to make it clear that you are not anti-semetic?” King asked. Omar replied, “Nothing I said, at least to me, was meant for that purpose.”
‘Not at all what I expected … ‘
Despite being a seasoned journalist who has interviewed her share of powerful people, King commented that was surprised at many of the answers from ‘The Squad’ to her questions. “Midstream in the interview, I thought, ‘This is not at all what I expected. Not at all what I expected, because I thought they’d say, ‘Yeah, you know, we’re learning… you know, it’s been difficult. I wish we’d handled things differently.’ None of that,” King said of the four congresswomen, also noting the unity among the group. “They stand solid. They stand as a unit.”
King mentioned to Green and Duthiers that arranging the interview was tough due to everyone’s varying agendas. “It’s very tough to wrangle four schedules,” she said. “That was a lot of jujitsu moves… trying to get that. But in the end, it all worked out and they got to sit down… I was glad we got them for the time that we got them.”
What powerhouse will King interview next? Viewers can’t wait to find out!