15 key things we learned from Donald Trump’s first TV interview as president-elect

15 key things we learned from Donald Trump’s first TV interview as president-elect

Donald Trump gave his first televised interview since being elected the president of the US.

15 key things we learned from Donald Trump’s first TV interview as president-elect

The 70-year-old sat down with CBS’s Lesley Stahl for 60 Minutes, which was filmed at his penthouse apartment inside Trump Tower, and touched on a range of subjects that included his plans to build a wall on the Mexican border, Obamacare and abortion.

Trump’s interview offers a glimpse into what his presidency might look like and here are they key things you need to know:

1. On building a wall around Mexico

When asked about whether he would actually build a wall, Trump answered with a definite “yes”.

When Stahl probed futher about the possibility of a “fence” instead of a wall, Trump replied: “For certain areas I would. But for certain areas a wall is more appropriate.”

He added: “I’m very good at this, it’s called construction.”

2. On immigration

The president-elect said the first move in his immigration policy would be to deport or incarcerate undocumented immigrants who have criminal records.

“What we are going to do is get people that are criminals and have criminal records – gang members, drug dealers,” Trump said. “We have a lot of these people, probably two million, maybe three million. We will get them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate.”

But he appeared undecided about his plans for undocumented immigrants who do not have a criminal record.

“After the border is secure and after everything gets normalised, we’re going to make a determination on the people that you’re talking about who are terrific people,” he said.

3. On Obamacare

During his campaign, Trump was very vocal about scrapping Obamacare – a policy that extended health insurance coverage to include those who received no coverage from their employers and are not covered by US health programmes.

In his interview, Trump said he would keep some parts of Obamacare, such as the measure that protects people with pre-existing conditions, which he described as “one of the strongest assets” of the law.

“People with pre-existing conditions will still be covered,” Trump said. “Also children living with parents for an extended period will get it.”

But he added that over time, Obamacare would be replaced, saying: “It’ll be just fine. We are not going to have like a two-day period and we’re not going to have a two-year period where there’s nothing.

“It will be repealed and replaced. And we’ll know. And it’ll be great healthcare for much less money.”

4. On abortion

When asked about whether he would overturn Roe v Wade – the 1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal across the US, overriding state laws restricting access to the procedure – Trump said: “I am pro-life. The judges will be pro-life.”

This means if the decision is ultimately overturned during the Trump presidency, abortion rights issue would become subject to the laws of individual states.

When Stahl asked whether this meant some women wouldn’t be able to have an abortion in the future, Trump said: “They’ll perhaps have to go, they’ll have to go to another state.”

When pressed further, he added: “Well, we’ll see what happens. It’s got a long way to go, just so you understand. That has a long, long way to go.”

5. On people being “afraid” of him

Trump says some people only fear him because they don’t know him.

When Stahl asked what he would say to those protesting against him, Trump replied: “Don’t be afraid. We are going to bring our country back. But certainly, don’t be afraid.

“You know, we just had an election and you have to be given a little time.

“If Hillary had won and if my people went out and protested, everybody would say, ‘Oh, that’s a terrible thing’. And it would have been a much different attitude. There is a different attitude. You know, there is a double standard here.”

6. On Isis

Trump refused to go into detail on how he will tackle Isis – the Islamic militant group in Iraq and Syria that has become notorious for mass killings, abductions and beheadings.

When asked about his plans, Trump said: “I don’t tell you that. I don’t tell you that.”

He also claimed he knew more about the terror group than the generals in the US military, saying: “I probably say I do because look at the job they have done. All I can tell you is that we will get rid of Isis.”

7. On his presidential campaign and political rival Hillary Clinton

Stahl asked Trump about the “rhetoric” in his campaign where words such as “nasty woman” and “crooked Hillary” were used to describe his Democrat rival.

Trump said he does not regret his choice of words but wishes the approach was softer.

“It was a double-side nasty,” he said. “They were tough and I was tough. Do I regret it? I mean I am sitting here with you and we are doing a great job. We are going to do a great job for the country. We are going to make America great again.

“I can’t regret, no. I wish it were softer, I wish it were nicer, I wish it were more in policy or whatever you want to say.”

Trump also described Clinton as “very strong and very smart”.

8. On his soon-to-be predecessor Barack Obama

Both Trump and Obama launched heated attacks at each other during the election campaign.

Stahl asked whether the meeting with Obama was awkward and Trump said that they “never discussed what was said about each other” while adding there had been “zero” awkwardness from his standpoint.

Their conversation was supposed to last only 15 minutes but the two men spoke for an hour and a half.

Trump said: “I do not want to divulge but we talked about the Middle East, tough situation. I got his full view. I liked having that because I am going to be inheriting that in a short period of time.

Trump also described Obama as “terrific”, saying: “I found him to be very smart. Very great sense of humour.”

9. On some supporters who may be involved in acts of violence

When asked about the spate of violence and abuse that has occurred in the wake of his election victory, Trump said he was “very surprised” to find out about the accusations and that he “hated” to hear them.

Stahl asked if he wanted to say anything to his supporters accused of violence and Trump replied: “I would say don’t do it, that’s terrible, because I’m going to bring this country together.”

Later Trump added: “I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, ‘Stop it’. If it – if it helps. I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it.”

10. On investigating Clinton

During his campaign, Trump pledged to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton’s use of a private server. But in his interview, Trump didn’t answer the question about whether this prosecutor would be put in place saying: “I’m going to think about it.”

He added: “I don’t want to hurt them (the Clintons). 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.”

11. On lobbyists and special interest groups

Trump also repeatedly pledged to drain the establishment’s swamp during his campaign. But in his interview, he said lobbyists were the only people available for hire when asked about their presence in this transition team.

He said: “Sure, everybody is a lobbyist down there. That’s the problem with the system. We are going to clean it up.

“But everybody that works for government, they then leave government and they become a lobbyist, essentially. I mean, the whole place is one big lobbyist.

“I’m saying that they know the system right now, but we’re going to phase that out. You have to phase it out.”

12. On LGBT issues

When asked about his stance on LGBTQ issues, Trump said he mentioned them at the Republican National Convention.

He said he was “fine” with same-sex marriage as the law has already been settled by the Supreme Court and it’s “irrelevant” to question his stand on the matter.

He said: “It’s done. These cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They’ve been settled. And I’m fine with that.”

13. On his social media usage

Trump said he will conduct himself “in a very good manner but it depends on what the situation is”.

He added: “Sometimes you need a certain rhetoric to get people motivated. Sometimes I want to be a little nice monotone character. Honestly, doing that is easier.”

He also blamed the media for portraying a “wild” picture of him, saying: “I think I am a very sober person. The press tries to make you something into a little bit different. In my case a little bit of a wild man. Clearly not, I am not a very sober person.”

Later he added: “I’m going to do very restrained, if I do it at all.”

14. On his White House salary and holiday

When asked if he’d accept the president’s salary (400,000 dollars), Trump said he would stand by his claim that he would be forgoing the salary.

“I think I have to, by law, take one dollar, so I’ll take one dollar,” Trump said. He also said he would, in “appropriate time”, release his tax returns, adding the public “didn’t care” about it, because “I won the election very easily”.

He added that he wouldn’t be “very big on vacations” because there is “so much work to be done”.

Trump said: “There’s so much work to be done. And I want to get it done for the people. I want to get it done.”

15. On the Electoral College

Stahl pressed Trump on his views about whether the Electoral College is “rigged”, given that the president-elect once described it as “a disaster for democracy” and ironically, it was the Electoral College that helped him win.

Trump acknowledged he won with the Electoral College, while adding he still believes “some of the election locations” are rigged.

“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. There’s a reason for doing this because it brings all the states into play.

“But I respect it. I do respect the system.”

Reporting: Press Association

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