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CBS: Egypt wants us to scrap '60 Minutes' interview with country's president


Network says the episode will run Sunday, despite ambassador calling to request it not be aired

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sis (Image source: '60 Minutes' YouTube screenshot)

Egypt's government doesn't want President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's interview with "60 Minutes" to be aired, according to CBS News.

The network released excerpts from the sit-down Thursday, announcing that the episode will run as scheduled on Sunday — despite protests from the country's ambassador to the U.S.

What are the details?

On its website, "60 Minutes" reported that shortly after el-Sisi answered questions on camera for journalist Scott Pelley, the team received a phone call from the Egyptian ambassador telling them not to broadcast the footage. CBS went on to release excerpts from the interview.

So, what did el-Sisi say?

When asked if he was responsible for the deaths of more than 900 Muslim Brotherhood supporters when he led a successful coup against then-president Mohammad Morsi in 2013 (while he was serving as defense minister), el-Sisi replied, "There were thousands of armed people in the sit-in for more than 40 days. We tried every peaceful means to disperse them."

Egypt banned the Muslim Brotherhood from the country the following year under el-Sisi's rule, after he vowed to have the group wiped out.

Answering a question about Egypt's cooperation with Israel to fight ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula, el-Sisi confirmed, "That is correct. ... We have a wide range of cooperation with the Israelis."

El-Sisi was also asked about the accuracy of Human Rights Watch's estimate that 60,000 political prisoners are being held in his country.

"I don't know where they got that figure," the president responded. "I said there are no political prisoners in Egypt. Whenever there is a minority trying to impose their extremist ideology we have to intervene regardless of their numbers."

Anything else?

The Jewish Press wrote, "Now here's a question we can mull over Shabbat: did el-Sisi really think CBS would bow before his demand to kill the interview, or was that his clever way of making sure every television in America be tuned to CBS on Sunday evening?"

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