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H.R. McMaster Says Terrorism, Climate Change Among Top Threats To U.S. In '60 Minutes' Interview With Scott Pelley

(CBS Local)-- "60 Minutes" has been the gold standard for newsmagazine television programs since its inception in 1968. On Sunday, September 20 the show premieres its 53rd season. Correspondent Scott Pelley has been with CBS News since 1989 and has traveled the world as a reporter for "60 Minutes" for the last two decades.

RELATED: Scott Pelley Touts Power Of Media In 'Truth Worth Telling': 'There's No Democracy Without Journalism'

Last week, Pelley's interviewed journalist and author Bob Woodward about his new book "Rage" and his conversations with President Trump and this week Pelley chats with former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster about his career and time in the Trump administration. Pelley's interview with McMaster will provide details about the former National Security Advisor's battle with President Trump over pulling troops out of Afghanistan, his thoughts on climate change and the war against cyber security threats.

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"It's the most successful show in television history and I'm honored to be a part of it," said Pelley in an interview with CBS Local's DJ Sixsmith. "McMaster is a fascinating character. He was a Lieutenant General, a three star general and spent 33 years in the U.S. Army. When Donald Trump asked him to be National Security Advisor, this was in 2017 and he was Trump's second National Security Advisor. He's a bit of an iconoclast and that's the way he was as National Security Advisor. The first thing he did when he went in as National Security Advisor is change the president's mind about Afghanistan. The president wanted out of Afghanistan and McMaster thought it was important that we maintain troops there. One of the things that we talk about in the story is how the president made this commitment to McMaster, made this commitment in public and then reneged a little over a year later."

In his "60 Minutes interview," McMaster will address things he things were terrific about the Trump administration and other things he thought were tragic. Pelley's conversation with McMaster will highlight McMaster's thoughts on the President Trump's relationship with China and terrorism in the United States.

"He [McMaster] believes that the threat of terrorism here in the United States is far greater today than it was on 9/11," said Pelley. "One of the things you might not expect the National Security Advisor to talk about is climate change. McMaster believes it is an enormous threat to the security of the world and to the security of the United States. He talks about things like water scarcity and food scarcity in the world and how that is going to be an enormously disruptive thing as countries compete around the world for dwindling resources. President Trump is of course famous for calling climate change a hoax, but McMaster says it is not a hoax, the evidence is in and climate change will be one of the most significant threats to U.S. national security going forward."

Pelley says one of the biggest challenges of covering the Trump administration is getting people to talk to him and the 60 Minutes team on camera. The CBS News veteran has seen fear prevent current and former White House employees from speaking out and telling the truth.

"Many agencies in previous administrations would tell you what they found," said Pelley. "In this administration, it's more typical I find that the agency will go to the White House and say what should we say. That's not the way democratic societies work. It's not the way the truth is told to the people who actually hold the power in this country."

Watch "60 Minutes" Sunday, September 20 at 7 p.m. EST.

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