President-elect Donald Trump, in his first television interview since his surprise election victory, repeated his vows to build a wall across America’s southern border, deport criminal illegal aliens, and repeal and replace ObamaCare.
But Trump also appeared to back off from commiting to build a solid wall, telling CBS’ “60 Minutes” the barrier might look more like a fence in spots.
“Certain areas, a wall is more appropriate,” Trump told interviewer Lesley Stahl. “I’m very good at this, it’s called construction.”
Trump emphasized that securing the border is his very first immigration priority, but he also promised to deport people living in the country illegally who had committed crimes beyond their immigration offenses.
“What we are going to do is get the people that are [criminals] and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers,” Trump said. “We have a lot of these people. Probably two million, it could be even three million. We are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate.
After the border is secured and after everything gets normalized,” Trump added, “we’re going to make a determination on [other undocumented immigrants] … But before we make that determination … we want to secure our border.
Early in the GOP primaries, Trump had vowed to immediately deport all 11 million people living in the country illegally. But his comments Sunday echoed House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who told CNN that the Republican administration was “not looking for mass deportations.”
“We are not going to do that,” Ryan emphasized in the interview that aired earlier Sunday.
The real estate mogul also echoed remarks he made to the Wall Street Journal earlier this week, in which he said he favors keeping the prohibition against insurers denying coverage because of patients’ existing conditions, and a provision that allows parents to provide years of additional coverage for children on their insurance policies.
“It’ll be just fine. We’re not going to have, like, a two day period and we’re not going to have– a two-year period where there’s nothing,” Trump said.
Trump also appeared to back away from his promise to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, over her use of a private email server. Trump made such a promise during the second presidential debate against Clinton during a rhetorical duel that ended with Trump saying if he was president, “you’d be in jail.”
“She did some bad things, I mean she did some bad things,” Trump said, to which Stahl responded, “I know, but a special prosecutor?”
“I don’t want to hurt them, I don’t want to hurt them,” Trump said. “They’re, they’re good people. I don’t want to hurt them.”
Regarding another of his campaign promises, Trump vowed to nominate a Supreme Court justice that would be pro-life and pro-Second Amendment. However, the president-elect showed no interest in re-litigating last year’s Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marraige, an issue of departure between him and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
“It’s irrelevant because it was already settled. It’s law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean it’s done,” Trump said, later adding, “I’m fine with that.”
Trump touched on the protests that have broken out across the nation since his election, complaning that the coverage represented a “double standard.”
“If Hillary had won and if my people went out and protested, everybody would say, ‘Oh, that’s a terrible thing,'” he said. “And it would have been a much different attitude. There is a different attitude.”
However the president-elect said that he was “saddened” by reports that some of his supporters had harassed minorities since Tuesday’s vote.
“And I say, ‘Stop it.’ … I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it.”
Trump also told “60 Minutes” he would eschew the $400,000 annual salary for the president, taking only $1 a year.
(via: Fox News)