Trump firm on agenda, says Americans have nothing to fear
NEW YORKNov 15, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
Nov 15, 2016 12:00 am
President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to move aggressively on a conservative agenda in filling Supreme Court vacancies, cracking down on immigration and cutting taxes, but also sought to reassure worried Americans they have nothing to fear from his presidency.
Setting aside the strident tone of his campaign, the 70-year-old assumed a gentler manner in his first television interview since his shock election, saying he was "saddened" by reports of the harassment of Muslims and Hispanics, and telling the perpetrators: "Stop It."
The interview with CBS's "60 Minutes," which was taped Friday and aired in full Sunday, offered Trump an opportunity to reintroduce himself after an ugly, name-calling campaign and surprise victory that sparked protests in cities across the United States. Told that many Americans are scared of his presidency, Trump said: "Don't be afraid. We are going to bring our country back." Millions were expected to tune in to Trump's interview for clues on how the billionaire will govern, and to what degree he intends to convert his slogans into policy.
Trump earlier Sunday named anti-establishment firebrand Steve Bannon his top strategist and senior Republican Reince Priebus his White House chief of staff, blending pragmatism with a rabble-rousing edge in the first appointments of his new administration.
On the issues, however, Trump made it clear he intends to aggressively push a right-wing agenda, pledging to name justices to the Supreme Court who are against abortion and for gun rights.
On immigration, Trump reaffirmed his signature campaign pledge to build a wall on the border with Mexico, although he conceded parts of it may be just a fence. And he said as many as 3 million undocumented immigrants with criminal records would be deported or incarcerated. Immigration, he said, was one of three top legislative priorities he has discussed with House Speaker Paul Ryan, the others being action to undo Obama's signature health care reform and a bill to cut taxes and simplify the tax code.
Trump had previously indicated he would keep some aspects of Obamacare, including a ban on insurance companies denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. He signaled that he would not seek to overturn the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States. "It's law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean it's done," Trump said when asked if he supports marriage equality. "And I'm - I'm fine with that," he added. He also confirmed he would forgo the $400,000 salary that comes with the office of U.S. president. "I'm not going to take the salary. I'm not taking it," he said. "I think I have to by law take $1, so I'll take $1 a year," he added.