President Donald Trump uses Twitter to dictate the conversation. But his interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos is a vivid reminder that Trump's tweeting can be overshadowed.
ABC News has doled out the interview in recent days, finally sharing on Saturday the president's views on UFOs. The president says he doesn't particularly believe in them, but he has been briefed on sightings.
Driving most of the conversation has been Trump's views on how his campaign should react if foreigners offer information on his political opponents.
Stephanopoulos mentioned Russia and China, then asked: "Should they [the campaign] accept it or should they call the FBI?"
"I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen," Trump replied. "There's nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, 'We have information on your opponent.' Oh, I think I'd want to hear it."
Trump added that he didn't consider the information to be interference in the election. "I think I'd take it," he said. "If I thought there was something wrong, I'd go maybe to the FBI. If I thought there was something wrong."
Trump has tried to clarify the comments in recent days. Yet the footage with Stephanopoulos is more riveting — and devastating — than the president's clean-up efforts, his fiery tweets or his friendly chats on "Fox & Friends."
A May 2017 interview with NBC's Lester Holt was similarly disastrous for the president. The standard TV interview remains dangerous for Trump because he can meander, brag, obfuscate or lash out. Holt and Stephanopoulos simply asked questions, then the president made headlines.
When Stephanopoulos noted that Trump hadn't answered the special counsel's questions on obstruction in the Russia investigation, the president replied: "George, you're being a little wise guy, OK, which is, you know, typical for you."
A lot of this won't matter to Trump's most ardent supporters, but the president's combative style may turn off undecided voters.
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg assessed the Trump manner in an interview this weekend on CBS' "Face the Nation."
"Most Americans are with us [Democrats] on the issues, which is exactly why this president functions by getting us talking not about Americans' lives, but rather about him and whatever outrage of the day he has perpetrated in person or on Twitter in order to get us all focused on nothing but the White House," the South Bend, Ind., mayor told Margaret Brennan.
Buttigieg had a quick response to Trump's comments on election interference.
"Just call the FBI. It's not hard. It's not complicated," the mayor told Brennan. "The FEC chair, I think, felt shocked that she had to remind everybody of this. But if you think there's a foreign effort to tamper with an American election, and you're an American who cares about America, you call the FBI. This shouldn't be hard.."
The 2020 re-election could be hard for Trump. He won't be able to campaign by tweet alone.