Donald Trump envisioned an America in which women would have to travel to a different state to get an abortion in his first televised interview as president-elect.
CBS’ 60 Minutes host Lesley Stahl grilled him about potential Supreme Court appointees, accusations that his supporters have harassed African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims and gay people, and whether he would appoint a special prosecutor to go after the Clintons like he has pledged.
During the interview, which aired in full on Sunday, Trump confirmed his intention to build a wall on the border with Mexico – although he conceded it might be a fence in some places – and pledged to deport two to three millions undocumented immigrants whom he believes have criminal records.
The one-hour conversation, taped at his penthouse apartment inside Trump Tower, touched on a wide range of topics giving a first glimpse of what Trump’s presidency might look like. Please ENJOY!
Stahl asked whether Trump would appoint a Supreme Court justice who would overturn Roe v Wade, the 1973 decision that made abortion legal across the United States and invalidated state laws restricting access to the procedure.
Trump pledged to appoint pro-life justices and said he was himself pro-life. He then predicted that, should Roe v Wade be overturned, abortion would become a states’ rights issue again.
This means women would be able to get abortions in certain states, but would be prevented from doing so in other states – as has not been the case in 43 years.
‘But then some women won’t be able to get an abortion?’ Stahl asked.
‘Yeah, well, they’ll perhaps have to go, they’ll have to go to another state,’ Trump replied.
When Stahl pressed him further, asking whether this status quo was okay, 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.’
Trump will have to appoint at least one Supreme Court justice, Antonin Scalia’s replacement. Given
the ages of the current justices, he could have to appoint four in total during his presidency.
ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
The president-elect said he was ‘fine’ with same-sex marriage remaining as the law of the land and insisted the issue had already been settled by the Supreme Court.
Trump wouldn’t say whether he supported marriage equality but said it was irrelevant to question his stance because same-sex marriage has already been entered into law.
‘It’s done. It – you have – these cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They’ve been settled. And I’m – I’m fine with that,’ he said.
ON APPOINTING A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR
Trump dodged a question about whether he would actually appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server – a promise he made during his campaign.
He said he didn’t want to hurt the Clintons and called them ‘good people’. Trump said he wanted to focus on healthcare and immigration instead of narrowing down on his former opponent – even though thousands of his supporters had called for him to ‘lock her up’.
The president-elect declined to say if he would fulfill that promise but said he would give a ‘very, very good and definitive answer’ on his next 60 Minutes interview with Stahl.
ON TELLING HIS SUPPORTERS TO STOP HARASSING PEOPLE
Stahl confronted Trump with allegations made against his supporters.
They have been accused of harassing African Americans, Latinos, Muslims, gay people and of using racial slurs in several instances against the country.
Trump first said he was ‘very surprised’ to find out about the accusations and that he ‘hated’ to hear them.
When Stahl asked if he wanted to say anything to his accused supporters, Trump replied: ‘I would say don’t do it, that’s terrible, because I’m going to bring this country together.
She brought up accusations that supporters have harassed Latinos and Muslims and 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.’
ON HIS SECRET PLAN TO DEFEAT ISIS
Trump refused to say how he intends to get rid of ISIS. He has repeatedly declined to clarify his strategy and during Sunday’s interview, as he did during most of his campaign, simply repeated that he and his administration would ‘destroy’ the terror group.
‘You have said that you’re going to destroy ISIS. Now, how – how are you going to?’ Stahl asked.
‘I don’t tell you that. I don’t tell you that,’ Trump replied.
Stahl pressed him, after which he added: ‘I’m not going to say anything. I don’t want to tell them anything. I don’t want to tell anybody anything.’
ON HIRING LOBBYISTS
The president-elect responded to criticism about hiring lobbyists to take care of his transition after pledging repeatedly to drain what was seen as the establishment’s swamp.
Trump swore lobbyists were the only people available for hire, adding: ‘Everybody’s a lobbyist down there.’
‘Everything, everything down there– there are no people– there are all people that work — that’s the problem with the system, the system,’ he continued.
He pledged to ‘clean up the system’, adding: ‘I mean, the whole place is one big lobbyist.’
ON REPEALING OBAMACARE
Trump said he would keep some parts of Obamacare, such as the measure that protects people with pre-existing conditions, which the president-elect called ‘one of the strongest assets’ of the law.
He then pledged to simultaneously repeal and replace Obamacare.
‘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,’ he said.
‘It will be repealed and replaced. And we’ll know. And it’ll be great health care for much less money.’
ON TONING DOWN HIS TWITTER ACCOUNT
Trump promised that his Twitter account would change now that he is the next president.
‘I’m going to do very restrained, if I use it at all, I’m going to do very restrained,’ he said.
He praised social media for helping his campaign.
‘I think it helped me win all of these races where they’re spending much more money than I spent,’ Trump said.
‘I think that social media has more power than the money they spent, and I think maybe to a certain extent, I proved that.’
ON NOT TAKING VACATIONS AND NOT ACCEPTING THE SALARY
Trump predicted he and his administration wouldn’t be ‘very big on vacations because there was ‘so much work to be done’.
He said he wouldn’t take the $400,000 presidential salary. I think I have to by law take $1, so I’ll take $1 a year,’ Trump added.
ON PEOPLE BEING AFRAID OF HIM
Trump believes those who are afraid of him are only afraid because they don’t know him. He said some protesters were professionals – a claim he also made on Twitter Friday, the day the interview was taped.
When Stahl asked what he would say to those demonstrating 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 sort of like you have to be given a little time.
‘I mean, people are protesting. 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.’