President-elect Donald Trump's '60 Minutes' interview: 12 biggest takeaways
LOS ANGELES--Donald J. Trump's first interview as president-elect of the United States aired Sunday, Nov. 13, on CBS' "60 Minutes." He doubled down on several of his campaign promises.
LOS ANGELES-Donald J. Trump's first interview as president-elect of the United States aired Sunday, Nov. 13, on CBS' "60 Minutes." He doubled down on several of his campaign promises.
"It's going to be America first," Trump told "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl in the interview taped on Friday.
The wall: Trump still plans on building a wall across the Mexican border, though he said he was perhaps open to part of it being a fence, rather than a wall. "I'm very good at this. It's called construction," Trump said.
Deporting undocumented immigrants: "What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably 2 million, it could be even 3 million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate," Trump said. Once he considers the country's borders secure, he said there will be a vetting process to allow re-entry.
Taxes: "We're going to substantially simplify and lower the taxes," Trump told Stahl.
Hillary Clinton: Though he called his competitor a "nasty woman" and a "puppet" during the final presidential debate, Trump characterized Clinton's concession phone call as "lovely." "She is very strong and very smart," he said.
But Trump wouldn't rule out appointing a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton over the use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. "They're good people. I don't want to hurt them. And I will give you a very, very good and definitive answer the next time we do '60 Minutes' together," he said.
His meeting with President Barack Obama: On Thursday, Trump met with President Obama, for a meeting that lasted 90 minutes. "We talked about the Middle East, that's tough," Trump told Stahl.
"It's a tough situation. I wanted to get his full view and I got his, you know I got a good part of his view," Trump said of his discussion with the man he once claimed was "the founder of ISIS" in a campaign speech.
His strategy for dealing with ISIS: Trump declined to tell Stahl how he planned to defeat ISIS, saying he wanted to preserve the element of surprise, and that "we have some great generals." Stahl noted that he had previously said he knows more than those very generals. "I'll be honest with you, I probably do because look at the job they've done."
Obamacare: According to Trump, the President did not ask Trump not to repeal Obamacare, but instead explained the up- and downsides to the Affordable Care Act. Trump said his replacement for the Act will also include a provision mandating that insurers cover people with pre-existing conditions, and that parents will still be able to keep children "still living with them" on their insurance.
Draining the swamp: Stahl called Trump out on the presence of lobbyists on his transition team; Trump responded that the only people in D.C. available are lobbyists. "I'm saying that they know the system right now, but we're going to phase that out," he said.
Abortion rights: Trump told Stahl he plans to appoint a Supreme Court Justice who leans pro-life as he does, and that "if" Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, that would mean the states would decide abortion rights issues. When Stahl pointed out that meant some states could ban abortions entirely, leaving women with no choice but to go to another state, he responded, "Yeah, well, they'll perhaps have to go, they'll have to go to another state."
Marriage equality: Trump doesn't see his Supreme Court Justice overturning marriage equality. "These cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They've been settled. And I'm fine with that," he told Stahl.
The Electoral College: While he spent much of his campaign-and even years before-talking about how America's electoral system was rigged, Trump was unfazed by the fact that he won the presidency with the Electoral College but did not win the majority of the public's votes. "I'm not going to change my mind just because I won," he told Stahl. "But I would rather see it where you went with simple votes. You know, you get 100 million votes and somebody else gets 90 million votes and you win."
His tweeting: "If I use it at all, I'm going to do very restrained," he told Stahl on Friday. On Sunday morning, his account posted two tweets casting (inaccurate) aspersions at the New York Times. ( https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/797805407179866112 )
Protests and hate crimes: In part because Trump won the Electoral College but not the popular vote, his election has inspired large protests across the country. But perhaps of more concern are reports of increasing numbers of alleged hate crimes: violent rhetoric directed at ethnic minorities, swastikas spray-painted on cars, hijabs grabbed from Muslim women's heads, and worse.
"I am very surprised to hear that," Trump said when the reports were brought up. "I think it's a very small amount." When pressed by Stahl over whether he had anything to say to the perpetrators of these alleged acts, Trump finally responded with: "Stop it."