President-elect Trump speaks to a divided country on 60 Minutes
The following script is from “The 45th President,” which aired on Nov. 13, 2016. Lesley Stahl is the correspondent. Rich Bonin and Ruth Streeter, producers.
During what seemed an interminable campaign, a divided country found all kinds of ways to describe Donald Trump: visionary businessman, vulgar self-promoter, political neophyte.
But after Tuesday, for all Americans, there’s only one description that counts: president-elect.
Since the election, demonstrations against him have broken out in over a dozen cities across the country. And people on both sides are on edge.
What we discovered in Mr. Trump’s first television interview as president-elect, was that some of his signature issues at the heart of his campaign were not meant to be taken literally, but as opening bids for negotiation.
Tonight, you will also hear from his family about whether they’ll play roles in a Trump presidency.
But we begin with President-elect Trump, whom we interviewed Friday in his penthouse home in the Trump Tower.
Lesley Stahl: Well, congratulations, Mr. Trump.
Donald Trump: Thank you.
Lesley Stahl: You’re president-elect.
Donald Trump: Thank you.
Lesley Stahl: How surprised were you?
Donald Trump: Well, I really felt we were doing well. I was on a string of about 21 straight days of speeches, sometimes many a day and the last two days I really– I really had a pretty wild time. I did six speeches and then I did seven and–
Lesley Stahl: But everyone thought you were going to lose.
Donald Trump: I know, I did my final speech in Michigan at 1:00 in the morning and we had 31,000 people, many people outside of the arena. And I felt– when I left, I said, “How are we gonna lose?” We set it up a day before. And we had all of these people. And it was literally at 1:00 in the morning and I said, “This doesn’t look like second place.” So we were really happy, I mean, it was– these are great people.
Lesley Stahl: On election night, I heard you went completely silent. Was it a sort of realization of the enormity of this thing for you?
Donald Trump: I think so, it’s enormous. I’ve done a lotta big things, I’ve never done anything like this. It is so big, it is so– it’s so enormous, it’s so amazing.
Lesley Stahl: It kind of just took your breath away? Couldn’t talk?
Donald Trump: A li– a little bit, a little bit. And I think– I realized that this is a whole different life for me now.
Lesley Stahl: Hillary called you. Tell us about that phone call.
Donald Trump: So Hillary called and it was a lovely call and it was a tough call for her, I mean, I can imagine. Tougher for her than it would have been for me. And for me, it would have been very, very difficult. She couldn’t have been nicer. She just said, “Congratulations, Donald, well done.” And I said, “I want to thank you very much, you were a great competitor.” She is very strong and very smart.
Lesley Stahl: What about Bill Clinton? Did you talk to him?
Donald Trump: He did, he called the next day.
Lesley Stahl: Really? What did he say?
Donald Trump: He actually called last night.
Lesley Stahl: What did he say?
Donald Trump: And he– he couldn’t have been more gracious. He said it was an amazing run. One of the most amazing he’s ever seen.
Lesley Stahl: He said that.
Donald Trump: He was very, very– really, very nice.
Lesley Stahl: It was a pretty nasty campaign. Do you regret any of the things you said about her?
Donald Trump: Well, it was a double-side nasty.
Donald Trump: I mean they were tough and I was tough and– do I regret? I mean, I’m sitting here with you now and we’re gonna do a great job for the country. We’re going to make America great again, I mean, that’s what– it– it began with that and that’s where we are right now. There are so many–
Lesley Stahl: So no– no regrets about–
Donald Trump: I can’t regret. No– I wish it were softer, I wish it were nicer, I wish maybe even it was more on policy, or whatever you want to say. But– but I will say that– it really– it really is something that I’m very proud of I mean it was a tremendous campaign.
Lesley Stahl: Can we talk about yesterday with President Obama?
Donald Trump: Sure.
Lesley Stahl: 90 minutes. You were scheduled for what? 15?
Donald Trump: 15 max.
[Barack Obama: We talked about foreign policy, we talked about domestic policy.]
Donald Trump: This was just going to be a quick little chat and it lasted close to an hour and a half. And it could have gone on for four hours. I mean it was– just– in fact, it was almost hard breaking it up because we had so many things to say. And he told me– the good things and the bad things, there are things that are tough right now–
Lesley Stahl: Like what?
Donald Trump: Well…
Lesley Stahl: Give us some meat.
Donald Trump: Well, look I don’t want to divulge, but we talked about the Middle East, that’s tough. It’s a tough situation. I wanted to get his full view and I got his, you know I got a good part of his view.
Lesley Stahl: Uh-huh.
Donald Trump: And I like having that because I’m going to be inheriting that in a short period of time. I found him to be terrific. I found him to be– very smart and very nice. Great sense of humor, as much as you can have a sense of humor talking about tough subjects, but we were talking about some pretty tough subjects.
Donald Trump:–and we were talking about some victories, also, some things that– that he feels very good about. But–
Lesley Stahl: Like–
Donald Trump: Well, what I really wanted to focus on was– the Middle East, North Korea, Obamacare is tough. You know, healthcare is a tough situation.
Lesley Stahl: Oh, I bet he asked you not to undo it.
Donald Trump: Well, he didn’t ask me, no, he told me– you know, the merits and the difficulties. And we understand that.
Lesley Stahl: You looked pretty sober sitting there in the Oval Office, did something wash over you or–
Donald Trump: No, I think I’m a sober person. I think the press tries to make you into something a little bit different. In my case, a little bit of a wild man. I’m not. I’m actually not. I’m a very sober person. But it was respect for the office, it was respect for the president. Again, I never met him before, but we had– we had a very good chemistry going. And– and I really found—it might not be that I agree with him, but I really found the conversation unbelievably interesting.
[Barack Obama: I want to emphasize to you, Mr. President-elect, that we now are gonna want to do everything we can to help you succeed, because if you succeed then the country succeeds.]
Lesley Stahl: Was it at all awkward, at all, given what you’ve said about each other? You said he was not born in this country, he said things about you, he said you’re– unqualified–
Donald Trump: You know what, it was a very– it was a very interesting thing because– I mean, few people have asked me from my family, what was that first period of time like?
Lesley Stahl: Yeah.
Donald Trump: We never discussed what was said about each other. I said terrible things about him, he said terrible things about me. We never ever discussed what we said about each other—
Lesley Stahl: There was no awkwardness?
Donald Trump: I’ll be honest, from my standpoint zero, zero. And that’s strange. I’m actually surprised to tell you that. It’s– you know, a little bit strange.
[Donald Trump: Thank you, sir.]
Lesley Stahl: Do you think that– that your election is a repudiation of his presidency?
Donald Trump: No, I think it’s a moment in time where politicians for a long period of time have let people down. They’ve let ‘em down on the job front. They’ve even let ‘em down in terms of the war front. You know, we’ve been fighting this war for 15 years–
Lesley Stahl: This was the message of your campaign.
Donald Trump: We’ve spent $6 trillion in the Middle East, $6 trillion, we could have rebuilt our country twice. And you look at our roads and our bridges and our tunnels and all of the– and our airports are, like, obsolete. And I think it was just a repudiation of what’s been taking place over a longer period of time than that.
Lesley Stahl: You know, you surprised everyone by winning the primaries, beating 17 other Republicans or 16, whatever– people are really surprised that you won this election. Are people going to be surprised about how you conduct yourself as president?
Donald Trump: You know, I’ll conduct myself– in a very good manner, but depends on what the situation is, sometimes you have to be rougher. When I look at– when I look at the world and you look at how various places are taking advantage of our country, and I say it, and I say it very proudly, it’s going to be America first. It’s not going to be what we’re doing—we, we’ve lost– we’re losing this country. We’re losing this country. That’s why I won the election. And by the way, won it easily, I mean I won easily. That was big, big.
Lesley Stahl: Are you going to sometimes have that same rhetoric that you had on the stump? Or are you going to reign it in?
Donald Trump: Well, sometimes you need a certain rhetoric to get people motivated. I don’t want to be just a little nice monotone character and in many cases I will be.
Lesley Stahl: Can you be?
Donald Trump: Sure I can. I can be easily, that’s easier. Honestly to do that, it’s easier.
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.
Lesley Stahl: What about the pledge to deport millions and millions of undocumented immigrants?
Donald Trump: 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 two million, it could be even three million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate. But we’re getting them out of our country, they’re here illegally. After the border is secured and after everything gets normalized, we’re going to make a determination on the people that you’re talking about who are terrific people, they’re terrific people but we are gonna make a determination at that– But before we make that determination– Lesley, it’s very important, we want to secure our border.
[Paul Ryan: We had a fantastic, productive meeting.]
Lesley Stahl: So you were with Paul Ryan, you met with the Republican leadership, what was the– one thing that you all agreed you want to get done right away?
Donald Trump: Well, I would say there was more than one thing, there were three things, it was healthcare, there was immigration and there was a major tax bill lowering taxes in this country. We’re going to substantially simplify and lower the taxes–
Lesley Stahl: And you’ve got both Houses?
Donald Trump: And I have both Houses and we have the presidency, so we can do things–
Lesley Stahl: You can do things lickety-split.
Donald Trump: It’s been a long time since it’s happened.
Donald Trump: And they gave me a lot of credit. Don’t forget, I was abused four or five weeks ago, they said I was going to– instead of having all three, we would lose all three. So that was good. But those are the three things that we really discussed.
Lesley Stahl: You said that lobbyists owned politicians because they give them money.
Donald Trump: Yeah.
Lesley Stahl: You admitted you used to do it yourself. You have a transition team—
Donald Trump: And when you say lobbyists, lobbyists and special interests.
Lesley Stahl: And you want to get rid of all of that?
Donald Trump: I don’t like it, no.
Lesley Stahl: You don’t like it, but your own transition team, it’s filled with lobbyists.
Donald Trump: That’s the only people you have down there.
Lesley Stahl: You have lobbyists from Verizon, you have lobbyists from the oil gas industry, you have food lobby.
Donald Trump: Sure. Everybody’s a lobbyist down there–
Lesley Stahl: Well, wait
Donald Trump: That’s what they are. They’re lobbyists or special interests—
Lesley Stahl: On your own transition team.
Donald Trump:–we are trying to clean up Washington. Look–
Lesley Stahl: How can you claim–
Donald Trump: Everything, everything down there– there are no people– there are all people that work — 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.
Lesley Stahl: But you’re, but you’re basically saying you have to rely on them, even though you want to get rid of them?
Donald Trump: I’m saying that they know the system right now, but we’re going to phase that out. You have to phase it out.
Lesley Stahl: Let’s talk about your cabinet.
Donald Trump: OK.
Lesley Stahl: Have you made any decisions?
Donald Trump: Yes.
Lesley Stahl: Tell us.
Donald Trump: Well, I can’t tell you that, but I have made–
Lesley Stahl: Oh, come on—
Donald Trump: You know the amazing thing to show you the incredible nature of our country. First of all, every major leader and probably less than major le- has called me, I’ve spoken to many of them and I’ll call the rest of them, but and I said, “Boy, this really shows you how powerful our country is.” France and U.K. and I mean everybody, all over Asia—and very, just to congratulate. But it really shows the power of our country.
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.
Lesley Stahl: Are you in any way intimidated, scared about this enormous burden, the gravity of what you’re taking on?
Donald Trump: No.
Lesley Stahl: Not at all?
Donald Trump: I respect it. But I’m not scared by it.
Lesley Stahl: Now you’re not scared, but there are people, Americans, who are scared and some of them are demonstrating right now, demonstrating against you, against your rhetoric–
Donald Trump: That’s only because they don’t know me. I really believe that’s only because–
Lesley Stahl: Well, they listened to you in the campaign and that’s–
Donald Trump: I just don’t think they know me.
Lesley Stahl: Well, what do you think they’re demonstrating against?
Donald Trump: Well, I think in some cases, you have professional protesters. And we had it– if you look at WikiLeaks, we had–
Lesley Stahl: You think those people down there are—
Donald Trump: Well Lesley—
Lesley Stahl: are professional?
Donald Trump: Oh, I think some of them will be professional, yeah–
Lesley Stahl: OK, but what about – they’re in every city.
Lesley Stahl: When they demonstrate against you and there are signs out there, I mean, don’t you say to yourself, I guess you don’t, you know, do I have to worry about this? Do I have to go out and assuage them? Do I have to tell them not to be afraid? They’re afraid.
Donald Trump: I would tell them don’t be afraid, absolutely.
Lesley Stahl: But that’s not what you’re saying, I said it-
Donald Trump: Oh, I think, no, no, I think– I am saying it, I’ve been saying it.
Lesley Stahl: OK.
Donald Trump: Don’t be afraid. We are going to bring our country back. But certainly, don’t be afraid. You know, we just had an election and sort of like you have to be given a little time. I mean, people are protesting. If Hillary had won and if my people went out and protested, everybody would say, “Oh, that’s a terrible thing.” And it would have been a much different attitude. There is a different attitude. You know, there is a double standard here.
It has been five full days since the election and anti-Trump demonstrations, driven in part by Hillary Clinton’s edge in the popular vote, have been significant.
When we interviewed him on Friday afternoon Mr. Trump said he had not heard about some of the acts of violence that are popping up in his name… or against his supporters.
Nor he said had he heard about reports of racial slurs and personal threats against African Americans, Latinos and gays by some of his supporters.
Donald Trump: I am very surprised to hear that– I hate to hear that, I mean I hate to hear that–
Lesley Stahl: But you do hear it?
Donald Trump: I don’t hear it—I saw, I saw one or two instances…
Lesley Stahl: On social media?
Donald Trump: But I think it’s a very small amount. Again, I think it’s–
Lesley Stahl: Do you want to say anything to those people?
Donald Trump: I would say don’t do it, that’s terrible, ‘cause I’m gonna bring this country together.
Lesley Stahl: They’re harassing Latinos, Muslims–
Donald Trump: I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, “Stop it.” If it– if it helps. I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it.
During the campaign Mr. Trump said he would appoint a special prosecutor to look into Hillary Clinton’s email issue.
So we asked him if he plans to carry that out.
That part of the interview and a discussion with the next first lady, Melania Trump, when we come back.
The first lady
On Friday, Donald Trump announced that he was changing the head of his transition team. Governor Chris Christie was replaced by Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Mr. Trump also added his three older children to the transition team.
Between now and Inauguration Day, the team must fill the new administration with 4,000 political appointees. That’s 4,000 new hires in just nine weeks.
When we talked to Donald Trump on Friday, the enormity and gravity of his new role was just sinking in. He was subdued. We wondered if as president he planned to temper his rhetoric, lower the flame.
Lesley Stahl: I want to ask you about the tweet that you put out, I think it was last night or the night before, about these demonstrators.
Donald Trump: Yeah.
Lesley Stahl: You said that they were professionals—and you said it was unfair.
Donald Trump: I said some of them. Some of them are —
Lesley Stahl: But are you going to be tweeting and whatever you’re upset about just put out there when you’re president?
Donald Trump: So it’s a modern form of communication, between Face– you know, Facebook and Twitter and I guess Instagram, I have 28 million people. 28 million people–
Lesley Stahl: So you are going to keep it up?
Donald Trump: It’s a great form of communication. Now, do I say I’ll give it up entirely and throw out, that’s a tremendous form– I pick up– I’m picking up now, I think I picked up yesterday 100,000 people. I’m not saying I love it, but it does get the word out. When you give me a bad story or when you give me an inaccurate story or when somebody other than you and another network, or whatever, ‘cause of course, CBS would never do a thing like that right? I have a method of fighting back. That’s very tough–
Lesley Stahl: But you’re going to do that as president?
Donald Trump: I’m going to do very restrained, if I use it at all, I’m going to do very restrained. I find it tremendous. It’s a modern form of communication. There should be nothing you should be ashamed of. It’s– it’s where it’s at. I– I do believe this, I really believe that, um– the fact that I have such power in terms of numbers with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et cetera, I think it helped me win all of these races where they’re spending much more money than I spent. You know, I spent my money. A lot of my money. And I won. I think that social media has more power than the money they spent, and I think maybe to a certain extent, I proved that.
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.
[Donald Trump: You look great, honey.]
We were joined by the next first lady, Melania Trump. She’ll be only the second foreign-born first lady. She’s from Slovenia. John Quincy Adams’ wife Louisa was the first.
Lesley Stahl: You know, I asked your husband if he was at all intimidated and scared about what lies ahead. The enormity. You’re about to be first lady. Are you a little nervous about it? Little tense? A little–
Melania Trump: Well, there is a lot of responsibilities. And it’s– a lot of work needs to be done. And– it’s– your– stuff on your shoulders. And– we will take care of it– day by day. I will stay true to myself. I’m very strong and um– tough and confident. And I will listen myself and I will do what is right and what feels to my heart.
Lesley Stahl: What kind of a first lady do you think she’s going to be?
Donald Trump: She will be terrific. She is very strong and very confident, but she’s very warm. And I think she’ll have a platform where she’ll really be able to do a lot of good. And that’s what she wants to do.
Lesley Stahl: You know, first ladies usually have a cause. And you’ve already said you’re interested in speaking out against bullying on social media.
Melania Trump: 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, how to treat each other and to, to be able to connect with each other on the right way.
It’s an ironic choice since her own husband sent out a stream of pretty nasty tweets during the campaign.
Lesley Stahl: What about your husband’s tweeting?
Melania Trump: Well, sometimes he– it got him in trouble. But it helped a lot as well. He had unbelievable following.
Lesley Stahl: So you never say to him, “Come on”?
Melania Trump: I did.
Donald Trump: She does–
Melania Trump: I–
Melania Trump: You know, of course, I did many times, from the beginning of the campaign. But…
Lesley Stahl: Does he listen to you?
Melania Trump: Sometimes he listens, sometimes he doesn’t–
Donald Trump: I’m not a big tweeter. I mean, I don’t do too many, but they hit home. And they have to get a point across.
Lesley Stahl: If he does something that you think crossed a line, will you tell him?
Melania Trump: Yes, I tell him all the time.
Lesley Stahl: All the time?
Melania Trump: All the time.
Lesley Stahl: And does–
Melania Trump: And–
Lesley Stahl: –he listen? Does he–
Melania Trump: I think he hears me. But he will do what he wants to do on the end. He’s an adult. He knows the consequences. And I give him my opinion. And he could do whatever he likes with it.
Lesley Stahl: Did you ask Melania sort of, for permission, in a way, to run for president? Did you get her approval?
Donald Trump: Well, I actually sat down with Melania and my whole family and we talked about it. Don, Ivanka, Eric, Tiffany. Barron to a lesser extent, but Barron too. Um, because in a way he’s affected every bit as much. Maybe more.
Lesley Stahl: Maybe more.
Donald Trump: And so we all had a dinner and I said, “I would like to do this. I think I can do a great job.” And I wanted to get, number one, a consensus and number two, ideally, their permission. And they all agreed.
Lesley Stahl: Your son Barron, what is he, 10?
Melania Trump: 10.
Lesley Stahl: 10. He was on camera the whole time you were giving your acceptance speech. Does he get it? Does he know?
Melania Trump: He knows. He knows–
Lesley Stahl: He knows?
Melania Trump: –what’s going on. And, he’s very proud of his dad.
Lesley Stahl: Now– you met with Michelle Obama yesterday. Was there any awkwardness, given–
Melania Trump: No.
Lesley Stahl: –what everybody was saying about everybody in the campaign?
Melania Trump: No. I didn’t feel it.
Lesley Stahl: Not at all?
Melania Trump: No.
Lesley Stahl: Tell us about the meeting.
Melania Trump: Yes, she was a gracious host. We had a great time and we talk about raising children in the White House. She was very warm and very nice.
Lesley Stahl: You know, she raised the two kids in the White House. But she had her mother living there. That’s an enormous help. Your parents are here, right?
Melania Trump: They’re here.
Lesley Stahl: Will they go to Washington with you?
Melania Trump: They might. We will see. We will discuss that.
Lesley Stahl: Are you prepared, both of you, for the lack of privacy and the intense scrutiny? And you know, first ladies are really criticized if one little hair’s out of place. Are you both prepared for this?
Melania Trump: We are used to it.
Donald Trump: I will say, it is on a different scale now, ‘cause I’ve had a lot. But I’ve never had anything like this.
Lesley Stahl: You won’t be able to walk down the street–
Melania Trump: I didn’t do that for two years already, so you know, it will just continue. It’s another level, but it will continue.
At that point, the discussion turned back to some of the thornier issues Mr. Trump faces.
Lesley Stahl: FBI director James Comey. Are you going to ask for his resignation?
Donald Trump: I think that I would rather not comment on that yet. I don’t– I haven’t made up my mind. I respect him a lot. I respect the FBI a lot. I think —
Lesley Stahl: Even though they leak so much?
Donald Trump: Well, there’s been a lotta leaking, there’s no question about that. But I would certainly like to talk to him. And see him. This is a tough time for him. And I would like to talk to him before I’d answer a question like that.
Lesley Stahl: Sounds like you’re not sure.
Donald Trump: Well, sure, I’m not sure. I’d wanna see, you know, he may have had very good reasons for doing what he did.
Lesley Stahl: Are you gonna release your tax returns?
Donald Trump: At the appropriate time, I will release them. But right now I’m under routine audit. Nobody cares. The only one who cares is, you know, you and a few people that asked that question. Obviously, the public didn’t care because I won the election very easily. So they don’t care. I never thought they did care.
Lesley Stahl: Now, for months, you were running around saying that the system is rigged, the whole thing was rigged. You tweeted once that the Electoral College is a disaster for democracy.
Donald Trump: I do.
Lesley Stahl: So do you still think it’s rigged?
Donald Trump: Well, I think the electoral ca– look, I won with the Electoral College.
Lesley Stahl: Exactly.But do you think–
Donald Trump: You know, it’s–
Lesley Stahl: –it’s rigged?
Donald Trump: Yeah, some of the election locations are. Some of the system is. I hated–
Lesley Stahl: Even though you won you’re saying that–
Donald Trump: I hated– well, you know, 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. Electoral College and there’s something very good about that. But this is a different system. But I respect it. I do respect the system.
Lesley Stahl: What about vacations? You’re not going to take any vacations? You’ve said that.
Donald Trump: We have so much work. There’s so much work to be done. And I want to get it done for the people. I want to get it done. We’re lowering taxes, we’re taking care of health care. I mean, there’s just so much to be done. So I don’t think we’ll be very big on vacations, no.
Lesley Stahl: Are you gonna take the salary, the president’s salary?
Donald Trump: Well, 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.
Donald Trump: Do you know what the salary is?
Lesley Stahl: $400,000 you’re giving up.
Donald Trump: No, I’m not gonna take the salary. I’m not taking it.
In a moment, the Trump children join us and we will ask the president-elect where he stands on gay marriage, Obamacare, and ISIS.
The Trump family
On Tuesday, Donald Trump reached deep into America’s ranks of the discouraged and neglected, a largely white constituency. They feel their America hasn’t been great for a long time. And they accepted a promise to make it great again.
But Mr. Trump’s appeal wasn’t just to the disaffected. A map on election night was a sea of red, as he won support across the traditionally Republican South, but also deep into what used to be the blue wall of the Midwest.
Hillary Clinton came up short among her own supporters in large cities and affluent suburbs, among minorities and especially women. Just 51 percent of college-educated white women voted to make her the first female president. Her base didn’t come with the enthusiasm and the turnout she needed to fend off Donald Trump’s new and energized coalition.
On Friday Mr. Trump’s four older children – Tiffany, Donald, Jr., Eric And Ivanka — joined us to talk about their father’s surprising victory.
Lesley Stahl: Set the scene. It’s election night. Your father– no one’s expecting him to win and it begins to dawn on you. Tell us about being in that room.
Eric Trump: You start to see the states falling. You start seeing Florida come in and he was declared the winner. And then you saw Ohio, you saw North Carolina. You saw Pennsylvania. You saw Wisconsin. I mean, you saw all these great states – they’re all falling. And I think it was when we got Pennsylvania that we knew. And it was amazing. We were high fiving and we were all hugging as a family. And I actually think our father was the calmest of all of us even though he was really obviously the center of attention. So–
Lesley Stahl: He went quiet is what I heard.
Eric Trump: –it’s– it’s–
Lesley Stahl: –is what I heard.
Eric Trump: –it’s a moment I’ll never forget, I can tell you that. I mean, the team was around and everybody’s cheering. And it was just– it was– it was a beautiful night.
Ivanka Trump: It is hard to put into words the experience or the emotion when your father becomes president of the United States of America. We had enormous pride, joy. It’s incredibly exciting. And we’re very grateful for the opportunity. And we take that opportunity very seriously.
Lesley Stahl: Tiffany?
Tiffany Trump: I mean I don’t think we can really prepare for our father becoming president. But we were all there together with everyone that’s worked so hard. And my dad has worked so hard. And it’s just – it’s really awe-inspiring.
At some point that night and into the next day, calls from well-wishers started pouring in – including, Mr. Trump told us, from both ex-presidents Bush. Neither of whom supported him in the campaign.
Lesley Stahl: What did the b=Bushes say when they called you?
Donald Trump: Well, it was very interesting. I got a call from Father Bush, who is a wonderful man. And he just said, “Congratulations. It was an amazing campaign.” And then I got a call from George and he said– “Congratulations. It was great.” And, you know, look, it’s– it’s a tough situation. I went to war with Jeb. And Jeb’s a nice guy, but it was a nasty campaign. It was a nasty campaign. And, I mean, I’m disappointed in one thing. He signed a pledge and I don’t know how you sign a pledge and then you don’t honor it. It was a rough primary. It’s a rough primary. Although I think the general was probably just as tough. Probably as a combination, it was the roughest ever.
Lesley Stahl: Ivanka, you said that your father’s changed in the campaign. How has he changed?
Ivanka Trump: I think it’s impossible to go through this journey and not change for the better. You meet– and in my father’s case, literally millions of Americans, and they speak to you with a candor about their struggles, their challenges. They share with you their most intimate stories. So you connect with people in a different way. And you grow.
Lesley Stahl: Do you think your father’s changed?
Eric Trump: I think as a family, we’ve changed, to tell you the truth. I mean, how big this platform is, is incredible. And I have to say, one of the most rewarding things of my life, and I can speak on behalf of really all of us, it’s fighting by our father’s side every single day as you’ve gone through a grueling, grueling process like this.
Lesley Stahl: Don, did you discover something about your father that you didn’t know before?
Donald Trump, Jr.: You know– we– we know him pretty well. And we’ve got to, you know, be by his side for many years, both as a father and in business. So, you know– the tenacity that he’s always shown– was just there. But it was just so much more. When I was watching him working 20-hour days, doing seven major speeches to tens of thousands of people and just saying, “Well, it wasn’t triage. Which state are we gonna do today,” it’s, “We’re just gonna do ‘em all. We’re gonna speak to all of these people.” And I think people saw that energy. They fed off that energy. That energy was so much of the movement– that he was able to create. And, you know– it– it only furthered what I already knew.
Lesley Stahl: I want to ask you all about something that’s going on right now around the country. A lot of people are afraid. They’re really afraid. African Americans think there’s a target on their back. Muslims are terrified.
Donald Trump: 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.
Lesley Stahl: Do any of you want to say anything about this fear that’s out there?
Donald Trump, Jr.: I– I think the fears, you know, while they may be there, some fabricated, some not– are totally unfounded.
Lesley Stahl: One of the groups that’s expressing fear are the LGBTQ group. You–
Donald Trump: And yet I mentioned them at the Republican National Convention. And–
Lesley Stahl: You did.
Donald Trump: Everybody said, “That was so great.” I have been, you know, I’ve been-a supporter.
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.
Lesley Stahl: One of the issues that has come up in the campaign is your father’s temperament. And he has himself has said, “If someone insults me or says something unkind about me, I’m gonna strike back.” And now people are saying, “Well, maybe he should kinda soften that, control that a little.” What– how do you think he’s going to comport himself as president?
Eric Trump: I think very presidential. At the same time, my father, if he needs to be a fighter, he can be a fighter. And I think this country, quite frankly, needs a fighter. And I think that’s what this country elected.
Donald Trump: They spent $1 billion against me on the word “Temperament.” It was given by Madison Avenue. And they thought that, by temperament, they could maybe, you know, win the election. Obviously, it didn’t work because we’re here and they’re not. And I think my strongest asset is my temperament because I have a temperament where we win and we’re going to start winning again. We’re going to win on trade, we’re going to win at the borders, we’re going to knock out 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.
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.
Lesley Stahl: Roles during the administration. Any of you want a job in your father’s administration?
Eric Trump: So we have an amazing company. You know, one of, I think, the fortunate things for my father and our father is that he was able to step out of the company to run for commander-in-chief. And I think he’s going to rely on us more than ever. And–
Lesley Stahl: So you’ll stay up here?
Eric Trump: So we’ll– we’ll– we’ll be in New York and we’ll take care of the business. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun doing it. And we’re going to make him very proud.
Lesley Stahl: People think that you’re going to be part of the administration, Ivanka.
Ivanka Trump: I’m– no. I’m going to be a daughter. But I’ve– I’ve said throughout the campaign that I am very passionate about certain issues. And that I want to fight for them.
Lesley Stahl: But you won’t be inside–
Ivanka Trump: Wage equality, childcare. These are things that are very important for me. I’m very passionate about education. Really promoting more opportunities for women. So you know, there’re a lot of things that I feel deeply, strongly about. But not in a formal administrative capacity.
Lesley Stahl: Let me ask whether any of you think that the campaign has hurt the Trump brand.
Ivanka Trump: I don’t think it matters. This is so much more important. And more serious. And– so th– I– I– you know, that’s the focus.
Donald Trump: I think what Ivanka trying to say, “Who cares? Who cares?” This is big league stuff. This is– this is our country. Our country is going bad. We’re going to save our country. I don’t care about hotel occupancy. It’s peanuts compared to what we’re doing. Health care, making people better. It’s unfair what’s happened to the people of our country and we’re going to change it. As simple as that.