NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — President-elect Donald Trump said on “60 Minutes” Sunday that he would be willing to keep some provisions of Obamacare, and said he would focus on people with criminal records when it came to deportation.
Trump spoke with Lesley Stahl at Trump Tower in the interview that aired Sunday evening. He also said he remained committed to building a wall on the Mexican border.
Stahl asked Trump if he planned to deport “millions and millions” of undocumented immigrants.
“What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, we have a lot of these people, probably 2 million, it could be even 3 million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate,” Trump said.
Trump said once “the border is secured,” a determination would be made about other undocumented immigrants in the U.S. – whom he called “terrific people.”
Trump also said while he still plans to build a wall, he would accept a fence for some areas.
“For certain areas I would, but certain areas, a wall is more appropriate,” Trump said. “I’m very good at this, it’s called construction.”
Trump had campaigned on a vow to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. He also had insisted he will deport all 11 million people in the country illegally, with exceptions.
Trump also talked in the “60 Minutes” interview about the call he received from Democratic rival Hillary Clinton as she conceded the election early this past Wednesday morning, as well as his meeting on Thursday with President Barack Obama at the White House. He spoke kindly of both Clinton and Obama.
“So Hillary called and it was a lovely call and it was a tough call for her, I mean, I can imagine. Tougher for her than it would have been for me,” Trump said. “And for me, it would have been very, very difficult. She couldn’t have been nicer.”
As CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported, Trump also admitted that the campaign had been bitterly divisive.
“I wish it were softer. I wish it were nicer,” he said. “I wish maybe even it was more on policy.”
Trump also backed away from his possible plan to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton’s emails.
Of his meeting with Obama, Trump said it had been scheduled to last a maximum of 15 minutes, but ended up going on for 90 minutes.
“And it could have gone on for four hours. I mean it was – just — in fact, it was almost hard breaking it up because we had so many things to say,” Trump said. “And he told me– the good things and the bad things, there are things that are tough right now.”
He said they talked with Obama about Middle East policy, as well as Obamacare, which he called “a tough situation.”
Trump also discussed the demonstrations that have followed his election. He repeated a claim that some of the protesters are “professional,” but he said they should not be afraid of him or his administration.
“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,” he said.
Trump also said if Clinton had won and his supporters had protested, “everybody would say, ‘Oh, that’s a terrible thing.’”
Trump said he had not heard about reports of racial slurs and personal threats of African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims, and the LGBT community by some of his supporters.
“I am very surprised to hear that,” he said. “I hate to hear that, I mean I hate to hear that.”
Trump later said he saw “one or two instances” of such actions. He said it was not acceptable.
“I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, ‘Stop it,’ if it helps,” Trump said. “I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras — stop it!”
Trump’s wife, Melania, also appeared in the interview. She talked about her campaign against bullying on social media.
“I think it’s very important because a lot of children and teenagers are getting hurt. And we need to teach them how to talk to each other, how to treat each other and to, to be able to connect with each other on the right way,” Melania Trump said.
When Stahl mentioned the content of some of President-elect Trump’s tweets, Melania Trump said his tweets had sometimes gotten him “in trouble.” She said when her husband crosses a line, “I tell him all the time.”
Later, joined by his four oldest children – Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka and Tiffany – Trump again addressed the question of people who are afraid of what might happen in his presidency – including some African-Americans and Muslims.
“I think it’s horrible if that’s happening,” Trump said. “I think it’s built up by the press because, frankly, they’ll take every single little incident that they can find in this country, which could’ve been there before,” Trump said. “If I weren’t even around doing this, and they’ll make into an event because that’s the way the press is.”
Donald Trump Jr., added, “I think the fears, you know, while they may be there, some fabricated, some not– are totally unfounded.”
Stahl noted that many in the LGBTQ community are expressing fears. He would not say whether he supports marriage equality, but he did say, “(I)t was already settled. It’s law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean it’s done.”
When it comes to Supreme Court nominees, Trump said they would be “pro-life.”
On Obamacare, Trump stood by his campaign promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act as it now exists. He said he would make sure people with preexisting conditions are still covered, “because it happens to be one of the strongest assets.”
Trump also said he would keep a provision for allowing “children living with their parents for an extended period” to remain on their parents’ health care.
He also vowed to only take the minimum $1 required of the $400,000 a year presidential salary, and said he would be more restrained. He also said he doesn’t plan to take many vacations during his time in office, if any.
“There’s just so much to be done,” he said. “So I don’t think we’ll be very big on vacations, no.”
Trump would not divulge any information about his plan to “destroy ISIS.”
And as to whether the campaign had damaged his brand, Trump said it was irrelevant.
“This is big league stuff. This is– this is our country. Our country is going bad. We’re going to save our country,” he said. “I don’t care about hotel occupancy. It’s peanuts compared to what we’re doing.”
Stahl said Trump seemed more subdued and serious when talking about the challenges ahead.