President-elect Donald Trump — yes, it’s still strange to say that — sat down with CBS’ 60 Minutes on Sunday to discuss what he plans to accomplish when he takes office in January. And some of his comments were nearly as surprising as his campaign’s victory.
In an in-depth conversation with 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl in Trump Tower on Friday, a noticeably subdued Trump addressed which of his campaign promises he intended to keep, his post-election conversations with Hillary Clinton and President Obama, and his reaction to the acts of racially charged violence being carried out in his name across the country.
Here, the ten most surprising revelations from Donald Trump’s 60 Minutes interview:
1. He’s already made nice with many of his opponents.
This presidential campaign was one of the most bitter we’ve ever seen, but Trump struck a conciliatory note with the candidates he battled against. He said of Hillary Clinton’s phone call to concede: “She couldn’t have been nicer. She’s a great competitor. Very strong. Very smart.” He noted that Bill Clinton and both President Bushes called to congratulate him. And he described his meeting with President Obama in cordial terms: “I found him to be terrific. I found him to be very smart and very nice. Great sense of humor.”
2. The “Wall” may be more like a fence.
Stahl asked Trump directly about his campaign promise to build a wall along the U.S./Mexico border, adding that some have said it’ll really be more like a fence. Would he accept that, she asked? “For certain areas, I would,” he responded, adding, “I’m very good at this. It’s called construction.” But he doubled down on his plan to deport millions of undocumented immigrants: “The people with criminal records, we’re getting them out of our country, or we’re going to incarcerate.” He did note, though, that some of those immigrants are “terrific people.”
3. He’s already working with lobbyists… but he doesn’t like it.
Trump railed against the lobbyists and special-interest groups that dominate Washington during his campaign, but Stahl noted that he’s already added a number of lobbyists to his transition team. Trump copped to this, saying “I don’t like it, no,” but they’re “the only people you have down there. That’s the problem with the system. We’re gonna clean it up. They know the system right now, but we’re gonna phase that out.”
4. He wants any of his supporters attacking minorities to “stop it.”
Trump feigned ignorance when Stahl asked him about the rash of racially charged attacks on minorities since his election: “I’m very surprised to hear that. I hate to hear it.” (He added, “I think it’s a very small amount.”) What would he say to Trump supporters taunting and attacking minorities? “I say stop it. If it helps. I’ll say it right to the camera: Stop it.” He later added, “I think it’s horrible, if it’s happening.” But he cautioned: “I think it’s built up by the press.”