• Trump condemns harassment of minorities in first televised interview
SBS World News Radio: United States President-elect Donald Trump appears to have pulled away from some of his toughest campaign talk in his first post-election interview for US broadcaster CBS, saying he appreciates and respects the enormity of the task ahead now. 
15 Nov 2016 - 8:00 PM 

United States president-elect Donald Trump appears to have pulled away from some of his toughest campaign talk in his first post-election interview for US broadcaster CBS, saying he appreciates and respects the enormity of the task ahead now.

 

Facing viewers in the United States via national television, President-elect Donald Trump was quietly spoken, humbled somewhat by the task ahead.

"It's enormous. I've done a lot of big things, I've never done anything like this. It is ... it is so big."

Mr Trump will take over from President Barack Obama on Inauguration Day, January the 20th next year.

But he says life has already changed.

"This is a whole different life for me now."

Interviewer Lesley Stahl asked him about his historic election victory last week.

(Stahl:) "Are you, in any way, intimidated, scared, about this enormous burden, the gravity of what you're taking on?"

(Trump:) "No."

(Stahl:) "Not at all?"

(Trump:) "I respect it, but I'm not scared by it."

Mr Trump admits it could have been a different style of campaign against the Democrats' Hillary Clinton.

His tough, unrestrained approach prevailed throughout the Republican primaries and the campaign against Ms Clinton, and he suggests some regret.

"I wish it were softer. I wish it were nicer. I wish maybe even it was more on policy."

One of Mr Trump's main campaign promises was to pursue Ms Clinton in the courts over her personal emails that he made a key issue.

Lesley Stahl asked him about his next move.

(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?"

(Trump:) "Well, I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to think about it. I feel that I want to focus on jobs."

Mr Trump has already conceded Obamacare may be amended rather than repealed, as he had insisted during the campaign.

In the interview, he has also backed off on his promise to build what he called "a big, beautiful wall" along the US-Mexico border.

(Stahl:) "Would you accept a fence?"

(Trump:) "Uh, for certain areas, I would. But certain areas, a wall is more appropriate. I'm very good at this -- this is called construction."

(Stahl:) "So part wall, part fence?"

(Trump:) "Yeah, it could be some fencing."

But the 70-year-old president-elect remained firm on his promise to deport those he infamously labelled "bad hombres."

"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're going to incarcerate. But we're getting them out of our country. They're here illegally."

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan was trying to cool off expectations on that issue even in the hours before the interview went to air.

"We are not planning on erecting a deportation force. Donald Trump's not planning on that."

When the interviewer asked him about reports of racially motivated attacks on the streets of US cities following the election, Mr Trump appealed to his supporters on air.

"If it helps, I will say this -- and I'll say it right to the camera -- 'Stop it.'"

Melania Trump joined her husband for the interview and revealed her focus as First Lady will be to tackle cyberbullying.

"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."

It was an ironic choice, given Mr Trump's use of social media to taunt his opponents during the campaign.

Even today, he was criticising The New York Times for losing what he called thousand of subscribers as a result of its election coverage.

The newspaper tweeted back that, actually, it had received a huge "surge in news subscriptions."

Lesley Stahl asked Melania Trump if she tried to rein in her husband's attacks.

(Stahl:) "If he does something that you think crossed a line, will you tell him?"

(M Trump:) "Yes, I tell him all the time."

(Stahl:) "All the time?"

(M Trump:) "All the time."

(Stahl:) "And does he listen?"

(M Trump:) "I think he hears me. But he will do what he wants to do in the end. He's an adult."

And Mr Trump apparently will do what he wants about releasing his tax returns, too.

"Obviously, the public didn't care, because I won the election very easily. So, they don't care. I never thought they did care."