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President-elect Donald Trump tackles FBI, Clintons, protests, harassment, marriage & more in first interview

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GOLDEN, CO - OCTOBER 29: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump addresses a campaign rally in the Rodeo Arena at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds October 29, 2016 in Golden, Colorado. The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced Friday it discovered emails pertinent to the closed investigation of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's private email server and are looking to see if they improperly contained classified information. Trump said 'I think it's the biggest story since Watergate.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday told his supporters to stop harassing minorities, in his first televised sit-down interview since becoming president-elect.

“I am so saddened to hear that,” President-elect Trump told CBS’ Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes” when she said Latinos and Muslims are facing harassment. “And I say, ‘Stop it.’ If it — if it helps, I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: ‘Stop it.'”

President-elect Trump directed his comments to his own supporters whom Stahl said have written racist slogans or chanted degrading messages — particularly in schools. It was a powerful appeal to a nation ripped apart by the divisive 2016 campaign. President-elect Trump’s election has left Democrats angry and many minorities fearful about the future.

Yet President-elect Trump also criticized the protests that have broken out in cities across the United States since his defeat of Hillary Clinton on Tuesday.

President-elect Trump said he’s seen “a very small amount” — including “one or two instances” — of racial slurs being directed at minorities, particularly in largely white schools, since his election.

“I would say don’t do it, that’s terrible, because I’m going to bring this country together,” President-elect Trump said.

As for anti-Trump protests, President-elect Trump said, “I think it’s horrible if that’s happening. 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. If I weren’t even around doing this, and they’ll make into an event because that’s the way the press is.”

Here are six topics President-elect Trump addressed the interview:

FBI review

In the wide-ranging interview¬†President-elect Trump also said he’s still deciding whether to ask FBI Director James Comey for his resignation.

President-elect Trump demurred when asked about his plans for Comey — whose decision to end the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server was widely panned by Republicans.

“I think that I would rather not comment on that yet,” President-elect Trump said. “I haven’t made up my mind. I respect him a lot. I respect the FBI a lot. … There’s been a lot of leaking, there’s no question about that. But I would certainly like to talk to him.”

He admitted he isn’t sure about Comey’s future. “I’d want to see, you know, he may have had very good reasons for doing what he did,” President-elect Trump said.

President-elect Trump also balked when asked whether he’d carry out his campaign pledge to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton.

He said Clinton “did some bad things” and that he’s “going to think about it” — but that he is more eager to focus on health care, immigration and other policy matters.

“I don’t want to hurt them,” President-elect Trump said of the Clintons, noting he’d spoken to both Hillary and Bill Clinton since his victory. “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,'” he said.

Hillary Clinton has cited Comey’s late-campaign season disclosures as a reason for her loss. The former secretary of state told donors in a conference call Saturday that Comey delivered a double whammy to her candidacy in the final days of the campaign by taking another look at emails related to Clinton’s private server before abruptly saying he found no wrongdoing.

In the interview, President-elect Trump also discussed lobbyists’ role in his transition, his distaste for the Electoral College and the future of the President-elect Trump business brand. And he waded into how abortion and gun rights would be affected by his Supreme Court nominations.

Same-sex marriage and abortion

President-elect Trump said he’s “fine” with same-sex marriage remaining legal across the country, and wouldn’t appoint Supreme Court judges with the goal of reversing that ruling.

“It’s irrelevant because it was already settled. It’s law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean it’s done,” President-elect Trump said.

He added: “These cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They’ve been settled. And- I’m — I’m fine with that.”

President-elect Trump also pledged to appoint judges who oppose abortion rights and oppose restrictions on Second Amendment gun rights.

If Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, were overturned, President-elect Trump said, decisions on whether to legalize or ban abortion would return to states.

Women seeking abortions whose state has banned them will “perhaps have to go — they’ll have to go to another state,” President-elect Trump said.

“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,” he said.

Draining the swamp

President-elect Trump rallying cry on the campaign trail was that he’d “drain the swamp” in Washington. But so far, President-elect Trump’s transition team is filled with the usual suspects — lobbyists and longtime Washington hands.

President-elect Trump didn’t chafe at that characterization of his transition team. “Everybody’s a lobbyist down there,” he said, referring to Washington.

“That’s the problem with the system — the system. Right now, we’re going to clean it up. We’re having restrictions on foreign money coming in, we’re going to put on term limits, which a lot of people aren’t happy about, but we’re putting on term limits. We’re doing a lot of things to clean up the system. But everybody that works for government, they then leave government and they become a lobbyist, essentially. I mean, the whole place is one big lobbyist,” President-elect Trump said.

He said relying on those lobbyists now while planning to eliminate them later is no contradiction.

“I’m saying that they know the system right now, but we’re going to phase that out. You have to phase it out,” President-elect Trump said.

Fighting ISIS

President-elect Trump stuck by his often-mocked claim that he knows more than American generals about fighting ISIS — despite having no experience in government, the military or elected office before winning Tuesday’s presidential contest.

Asked if he still feels he knows more, President-elect Trump said: “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.”

Ditching the Electoral College

President-elect Trump won more electoral votes than Clinton — but he didn’t win the popular vote.

Still, he says, he favors ditching the Electoral College and handing the presidency to the winner of the popular vote.

“I’m not going to change my mind just because I won. But I would rather see it where you went with simple votes. you know, you get 100 million votes and somebody else gets 90 million votes and you win. There’s a reason for doing this because it brings all the states into play,” President-elect Trump said.

On the Trump brand

President-elect Trump and his children both said they’re not sweating any negative impact on their family’s businesses resulting from a long and contentious campaign — or from backlash to the President-elect.

“I don’t think it matters. This is so much more important, and more serious,” Ivanka Trump said.

Her father added, “I think what Ivanka’s trying to say, ‘Who cares? Who cares?’ This is big league stuff. … We’re going to save our country. I don’t care about hotel occupancy. It’s peanuts compared to what we’re doing.”

President-elect Trump isn’t putting his family’s business in a blind trust — leaving it to his children instead — but does plan to turn down the salary typically paid to presidents.

“I’ve never commented on this, but the answer is no. I think I have to by law take $1, so I’ll take $1 a year. But it’s a — I don’t even know what it is,” President-elect Trump said, before turning to Stahl and asking, “Do you know what the salary is?”

When Stall told President-elect Trump it is $400,000 per year, he said, “No, I’m not going to take the salary. I’m not taking it.”

President-elect Trump also signaled he has no real plans to change his tone — even though it’s seen by many as evidence of a man too combustible for the presidency.

“Well, sometimes you need a certain rhetoric to get people motivated,”¬†President-elect Trump said. “I don’t want to be just a little nice monotone character, and in many cases I will be.”


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