Donald Trump’s first official interview since the most controversial election in recent history had a couple of surprises for both friends and foes.
Trump sat down with Leslie Stahl to discuss the promises that won him the electoral college, if not the popular vote (that went to Hillary Clinton). And while he has softened his stance on LGBTQ issues and the possibility of a criminal investigation on Clinton, women and minorities did not fare nearly as well.
During the second debate, Trump promised to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton for vague, yet supposedly nefarious reasons linked to scandals the Republican party has been trying to tie her to for decades. When asked if this was still a priority, Trump softened his stance considerably.
“I’m going to think about it,” he said. “I want to focus on all these things we’re talking about and make it a great country. She did some bad things. … I don’t want to hurt [the Clintons]. They’re good people. I don’t want to hurt them, and I will give you a very, very good, definitive answer the next time we do 60 Minutes together.”
Trump also said that his personal feelings on marriage equality are “irrelevant because it was already settled. It’s law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean, it’s done. … And I’m fine with that.”
However, that respect for past Supreme Court decisions does not extend to women’s health care.
“Look, here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to — I’m pro-life. The judges will be pro-life,” Trump said when asked about appointing Supreme Court judges. “But having to do with abortion, if it ever were overturned, it would go back to the states… [Women would] perhaps have to go, they’ll have to go to another state.”
Just as grim was Trump’s statement that he is willing to either deport or incarcerate 2 to 3 million people who he claims are in the country illegally and “are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers.” This is at odds with what House Speaker Paul Ryan told CNN Sunday, that mass deportation is not a focus of Republicans.
And that wall? Trump still insists it will be built, although he would accept a fence in some locations. “I’m very good at this, it’s called construction,” he said.
Trump said he was blissfully unaware of the multitude of vicious hate crimes that continue to be committed in his name since the election. When Stahl pressed him on the point, he denounced such actions.
“That’s terrible because I’m going to bring this country together… 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.”
But actions speak louder than words, and a major announcement made by Trump today outside of the interview speaks volumes. He has appointed Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist — a man closely associated with the white nationalist “alt-right” movement and the former executive chairman of Breitbart News. Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart published stories that proclaimed rape culture is an integral part of Islam and called for Confederate flags to be hoisted “with pride” just two weeks after the Charleston massacre, and heavily pushed “black crime” and “globalism” stories, as revealed by the Southern Poverty Law Center in a series of tweets today.
Actions speak louder than words.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.