During President-elect Donald Trump’s interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl which was broadcast Sunday on “60 Minutes,” CBS and company discovered that some of Trump’s signature issues at the heart of his campaign were not meant to be taken literally, but as opening bids for negotiation. I’m not sure why that is surprising, but that’s a topic for some analytical articles. Here are the main takeaways from the interview:
The Wall: During the interview, Trump said that “for certain areas” along the border “I would” accept “some fencing,” but in “certain areas, a wall is more appropriate.” Trump added, “I’m very good at this. It’s called construction”:
Lesley Stahl: So let’s go through very quickly some of the promises you made and tell us if you’re going to do what you said or you’re going to change it in any way. Are you really going to build a wall?
Donald Trump: Yes.
Lesley Stahl: They’re talking about a fence in the Republican Congress, would you accept a fence?
Donald Trump: For certain areas I would, but certain areas, a wall is more appropriate. I’m very good at this, it’s called construction.
Lesley Stahl: So part wall, part fence?
Donald Trump: Yeah, it could be – it could be some fencing.
Trump’s Contract With the American Voter — his plan for the first hundred days of his presidency — includes working with Congress to introduce and fighting to pass the End Illegal Immigration Act. That legislation would, among things, fully-fund the construction of a wall on our southern border with the understanding that Mexico will reimburse the United States for the full cost of the wall.
ObamaCare: Trump said the Affordable Care Act will be repealed and replaced simultaneously. Trump also said that he wants the replacement for ObamaCare to keep the requirement that pre-existing conditions be covered and continue to allow children up to age 26 living with their parents to receive coverage under their parents’ plans:
Lesley Stahl: Let me ask you about Obamacare, which you say you’re going to repeal and replace. When you replace it, are you going to make sure that people with pre-conditions are still covered?
Donald Trump: Yes. Because it happens to be one of the strongest assets.
Lesley Stahl: You’re going to keep that?
Donald Trump: Also, with the children living with their parents for an extended period, we’re gonna–
Lesley Stahl: You’re gonna keep that–
Donald Trump: Very much try and keep that. Adds cost, but it’s very much something we’re going to try and keep.
Lesley Stahl: And there’s going to be a period if you repeal it and before you replace it, when millions of people could lose -– no?
Donald Trump: No, we’re going to do it simultaneously. It’ll be just fine. We’re not going to have, like, a two-day period and we’re not going to have a two-year period where there’s nothing. It will be repealed and replaced. And we’ll know. And it’ll be great health care for much less money. So it’ll be better health care, much better, for less money. Not a bad combination.
Supreme Court Nominee: Trump pledged his Supreme Court nominee will be “very pro-life” and “very pro-Second Amendment.” Trump said that if the court overturns Roe v. Wade, abortion “would go back to the states.” He added, “We’ll see what happens. It’s got a long way to go, just so you understand. That has a long, long way to go“:
Lesley Stahl: One of the things you’re going to obviously get an opportunity to do, is name someone to the Supreme Court. And I assume you’ll do that quickly?
Donald Trump: Yes. Very important.
Lesley Stahl: During the campaign, you said that you would appoint justices who were against abortion rights. Will you appoint– are you looking to appoint a justice who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade?
Donald Trump: So look, here’s what’s going to happen– I’m going to– I’m pro-life. The judges will be pro-life. They’ll be very—
Lesley Stahl: But what about overturning this law–
Donald Trump: Well, there are a couple of things. They’ll be pro-life, they’ll be– in terms of the whole gun situation, we know the Second Amendment and everybody’s talking about the Second Amendment and they’re trying to dice it up and change it, they’re going to be very pro-Second Amendment. But having to do with abortion if it ever were overturned, it would go back to the states. So it would go back to the states and–
Lesley Stahl: Yeah, but then some women won’t be able to get an abortion?
Donald Trump: No, it’ll go back to the states.
Lesley Stahl: By state—no some —
Donald Trump: Yeah.
Donald Trump: Yeah, well, they’ll perhaps have to go, they’ll have to go to another state.
Lesley Stahl: And that’s OK?
Donald Trump: Well, we’ll see what happens. It’s got a long way to go, just so you understand. That has a long, long way to go.
Marriage Equality: Trump said that whether he supports marriage equality is “irrelevant because it was already settled.” Trump added, “It’s law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean it’s done”:
Lesley Stahl: Well, I guess the issue for them is marriage equality. Do you support marriage equality?
Donald Trump: It– it’s irrelevant because it was already settled. It’s law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean it’s done.
Lesley Stahl: So even if you appoint a judge that–
Donald Trump: It’s done. It– you have– these cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They’ve been settled. And, I’m fine with that.
Anti-ISIS Plans: Trump said he will not disclose that information. Trump said, “I’m not like the people going in right now and fighting in Mosul. They announced it four months before they went into Mosul and everybody knows…it’s a tough fight because, number one, the…leaders of ISIS have left. … Why do I have to tell you that?” When asked if he will use ground troops against ISIS, Trump said, “I’m not going to say anything.” Trump also responded to a question about his previous statements that he knows more than generals fighting ISIS by saying, “I’ll be honest with you, I probably do because look at the job they’ve done.” Trump added, “They haven’t done the job. Now, maybe it’s leadership, maybe it’s something else. Who knows? All I can tell you is we’re going to get rid of ISIS.”
Lesley Stahl: You have said that you’re gonna destroy ISIS. Now, how are you going to?
Donald Trump: I don’t tell you that. I don’t tell you that.
Lesley Stahl: Yeah, but what can —
Donald Trump: I’m not like the people going in right now and fighting Mosul and they announced it four months before they went into Mosul and everybody now is — it’s a tough fight because, number one, the people from the –leaders of ISIS have left. What do you– why do I have to tell you that?
Lesley Stahl: Troops on the ground?
Donald Trump: I’m not gonna say anything. I don’t want to tell them anything. I don’t want to tell anybody anything.
Lesley Stahl: Yeah, but what about—the American people.
Donald Trump: I wanna do the job. We have some great generals. We have great generals.
Lesley Stahl: You said you knew more than the generals about ISIS
Donald Trump: Well, I’ll be honest with you, I probably do because look at the job they’ve done. OK, look at the job they’ve done. They haven’t done the job. Now, maybe it’s leadership, maybe it’s something else. Who knows? All I can tell you is we’re going to get rid of ISIS.
Special Prosecutor To Investigate Hillary Clinton: Trump said he is still thinking about it. Trump acknowledged Hillary Clinton “did some bad things,” but he said that “I don’t want to hurt” the Clintons, as “they’re good people.” Trump added, “I want to focus on jobs, I want to focus on healthcare, I want to focus on the border and immigration and doing a really great immigration bill. We want to have a great immigration bill. And I want to focus on all of these other things that we’ve been talking about”:
Lesley Stahl: Are you going to ask for a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton over her emails? And are you, as you had said to her face, going to try and put her in jail?
Donald Trump: Well, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do, I’m going to think about it. Um, I feel that I want to focus on jobs, I want to focus on healthcare, I want to focus on the border and immigration and doing a really great immigration bill. We want to have a great immigration bill. And I want to focus on all of these other things that we’ve been talking about.
Lesley Stahl: You– you know, you–
Donald Trump: And get the country straightened away.
Lesley Stahl: You called her “crooked Hillary,” said you wanted to get in jail, your people in your audiences kept saying, “Lock em’ up.”
Donald Trump: Yeah. She did–
Lesley Stahl: Do you—
Donald Trump: She did some bad things, I mean she did some bad things–
Lesley Stahl: I know, but a special prosecutor? You think you might…
Donald Trump: I don’t want to hurt them. I don’t want to hurt them. They’re, they’re good people. I don’t want to hurt them. And I will give you a very, very good and definitive answer the next time we do 60 Minutes together.