Trump ABC interview with Stephanopoulos finishes third in time slot

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' MORE’s interview with ABC News chief anchor George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosElection meddling has become the new normal of US diplomacy Sunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate Cruz on reported Kavanaugh allegations: There's nobody Democrats don't want to impeach MORE generated just 3.91 million viewers on Sunday night to finish third in its time slot, according to  

The heavily-promoted "20/20" special called "President Trump - 30 hours," which the president touted on his Twitter feed to his more than 61 million followers, was the product of Stephanopoulos spending more than 30 hours with the president over a two-day stretch. 


In the 8 p.m. EDT hour on Sunday, it finished behind the U.S. Open on Fox, which netted more than 7.29 million total viewers, and CBS's "60 Minutes," which had 4.67 million.

For context, ratings for ABC's Trump special were considerably lower than for the program that normally airs in the time slot, "Celebrity Family Feud," which generated 6.1 million viewers the previous Sunday. 

The Trump ABC interview also lost some of its lead-in audience from a repeat of "America's Funniest Home Videos," which took in 3.5 million viewers. 

The interview produced several newsworthy moments, including when Trump pushed back at Stephanopoulos, calling him "a little wise guy."

The viral moment came when Stephanopoulos was pressing the president on not answering questions in person from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE's team.

"Wait a minute. I did answer questions. I answered them in writing," Trump said

"Not on obstruction," Stephanopoulos replied.

"George, you're being a little wise guy, OK, which is, you know, typical for you," Trump hit back.

A portion of the same interview, released as a teaser earlier in the week, sparked a furor after Trump told Stephanopoulos he would listen if a foreign power offered him damaging information on a political opponent. 

Despite the blowback, Trump defended the interview on Sunday.

"Think I will do many more Network Interviews, as I did in 2016, in order to get the word out that no President has done what I have in the first 2 1/2 years of his Presidency, including the fact that we have one of the best Economies in the history of our Country," he tweeted. "It is called Earned Media. In any event, enjoy the show!"

Stephanopoulos, 58, was a White House communications director and senior adviser for policy and strategy for former President Clinton.