Charlie Rose was back in the anchor chair of “CBS This Morning” today talking about how he landed that wide-ranging interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. As we reported yesterday, Rose and CBS News chairman Jeff Fager, Rose’s producer for the interview, traveled to the region late last week and secured the interview Sunday morning.
“I must say that Jeff and I found them, once we got there, they didn’t make any effort to change content, there was nothing off the record. There was no sense of, you can’t talk about this. None. I said, “This is going to be a very tough interview.” And they said “The president would like you to be that way.”
Rose says they crossed several check-points driving from Beirut to Damascus and had bullet-proof vests, but did not wear them. “But we didn’t have armed guards and all those kinds of things,” he told colleagues Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell.
> Update: An earlier version of this story quoted Rose as saying “we did have armed guards…” After listening more closely, Rose says he and his drew didn’t have armed guards with them.