Donald Trump gave his first television interview as president-elect to 60 Minutes on Sunday, giving America its first glimpse of what a Donald Trump presidency might mean for the country.
First, the good news. It appears that Trump, at least for the time being, is sticking with the “real friend” to the LGBT community persona that he adopted during the election. When asked about the Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage nationwide, Trump said that he wouldn’t challenge it. “It’s irrelevant, because it’s already settled. It’s done. I’m fine with that,” he said. That’s a welcome surprise for America’s gays and lesbians, but a stance that is sure to put him in opposition to many of his supporters, and even his own party’s platform.
Speaking of disappointing his supporters, one major theme of the interview was Trump’s willingness — dare we say eagerness? — to walk back some of his campaign’s most-touted promises.
For example, the wall. Trump has yet to back down on his assertion that Mexico will foot the bill for a wall on its northern border, but at least now he’s making it much more affordable for them. Trump admitted that a wall for the entire border simply didn’t make very much sense, and that a fence would surely suffice in places — though surely it will be a big, beautiful fence. Lest you think that Trump is going soft on immigration, he still promised to deport all undocumented immigrants with criminal records, which he figures — and by “figures” we mean “has made up” — is between 2 and 3 million people.
Trump also back-pedaled on his campaign’s other defining promise: to lock Hillary Clinton up. When asked about the Clintons, Trump changed his tune. “I don’t want to hurt them, I don’t want to hurt them,” he said, adding, “They’re good people.”
When pushed on the whole special-prosecutor thing, Trump had the perfect response ready: “I will give you a very, very good and definitive answer the next time we do 60 Minutes together.”
On abortion, Trump was more in-line with his conservative base. The future president insisted that he was still pro-life and reiterated his promise to appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court. Though he did have what he seemed to think would be reassuring words for American women. “Well, we’ll see what happens. It’s got a long way to go,” he explained, “just so you understand. That has a long, long way to go.” And anyway, he said, when Roe. v. Wade is eventually overturned it will just go back to the states, so if you want an abortion all you will have to do is “go to another state.” Simple.
Donald Trump was perhaps most clear in addressing the spike in hate crimes that has been reported since he was elected. After claiming that he hadn’t heard of any hate crimes, he said that even if he had, he’s sure that it’s a “very small amount.”
Trump did tell his followers that, when it came to hate crimes, “Don’t do it.”
“That’s terrible,” he explained, “’cause I’m gonna bring this country together.”
Trump looked right into the camera and spoke directly to his supporters, telling them: “Stop it.”