Entertainment TV Trump changes his tune in 60 Minutes interview
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Trump changes his tune in 60 Minutes interview

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Future First Lady Melania Trump joined her husband in the interview. Photo: 60 Minutes
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President-elect Donald Trump has given his first post-election interview, surprising many with what appeared to be a softened approach to big issues such as immigration, same-sex marriage and criminally prosecuting Hillary Clinton.

Veteran CBS journalist Leslie Stahl spoke to Mr Trump, future First Lady Melania and the Trump brood, pushing the property tycoon on a number of his inflammatory pre-election promises like erecting a wall on the Mexican border and making abortion illegal for women.

Surprisingly, Mr Trump indicated same-sex marriage – legalised just last year in the US – would not be on the chopping block under his presidency.

Mr Trump admitted he had used his notoriously aggressive rhetoric to drum up support from the voting population, but said he would not apologise to the scores of people on the receiving end of the vitriol.

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The Trump kids said they won’t be taking jobs in the White House. Photo: CBS/Chris Albert

Ms Stahl, who interviewed Mr Trump earlier in his campaign, noted a change in the president-elect’s tone.

“I think he wanted the public to know that he understood that he had to shift gears and pay attention to the responsibilities now,” Ms Stahl said of the interview.

‘There could be some fencing’

Mr Trump seemed less resolute in his notorious plan to build a wall on the Mexican border – and have Mexico pay for it.

Ms Stahl asked the president-elect about reports the wall was more likely to be a fence.

“For certain areas I would accept a fence … there could be some fencing,” he said.

On the subject of deportations, Mr Trump maintained he planned to round up and kick out illegal immigrants with criminal records.

“Gang members, drug dealers … we are getting them out of our country or we’re going to incarcerate,” he said, despite softening on illegal immigrants with clean records.

“After the border is secure, we are going to make a determination on [those people] … and they’re terrific people … but before we make that determination we are going to secure our border.”

Trump won’t completely reverse Obamacare:

Asked whether he regretted any of the cruel comments he made during the campaign, such as labelling Mexicans “rapists” and Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman”, Mr Trump said he didn’t.

“I think most of it was necessary to win,” he told Ms Stahl, saying there was no point apologising.

“What good would it do? These are tough people, they’re not babies.”

And on the subject of Mrs Clinton, Mr Trump performed what was perhaps the biggest backflip since his election.

Throughout his campaign, the businessman repeatedly stated he would prosecute and jail the former secretary of state for her use of a private email server should he enter the White House, but he was less forthcoming during the interview.

“I’m going to think about it … I don’t want to hurt them. They’re good people,” he said, noting he and Mrs Clinton had shared an amiable phone call after the result.

‘Hillary called’:

Probed on his oft-repeated pledge to “destroy ISIS”, Mr Trump refused to reveal to Ms Stahl how he planned to take down the terror group.

“I don’t tell you that. I don’t tell you that. Unlike those who announced they were going into Mosul four months ago and it’s now a tough fight,” he said.

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