In what appears to be the continuing reinvention of Donald Trump, the president-elect used his first TV interview since the election to display a more moderate side, speaking fondly of Hillary Clinton and discussing retaining parts of Obamacare.
Upon reading reports of the things each candidate was feeling after polls closed, many were left wondering what the mysterious congratulatory phone call from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump sounded like. No shortage of expletives and comments about character and ability had been used by the two polar opposites during the most heated presidential race in decades.
The bitter rivalry provided enough drama and entertainment for several elections to come.According to conservative author Ed Klein, who spoke to Newsmax TV, Hillary was so downtrodden after the loss, she was “inconsolable.”
He described the former Secretary of State calling an old friend early in the morning, who reportedly said “it was even hard to understand what she was saying, she was crying so hard.”
But according to Trump, things were rather civil between the two during the call that signaled the end of the road for Clinton.
“Hillary called and it was a lovely call,” the President-elect told CBS’ 60 Minutes. “And it was a tough call for her, I mean – I can imagine. Tougher for her than it would’ve been for me – and for me it would’ve been very, very difficult,” he added. “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,’” he went on.
“She is very strong. And very smart.”
This is coming from the man who had previously threatened to jail the “nasty woman,” said she had “tremendous hate in her heart,” while also referring to her as “the devil.”
That same warm disposition was now also being directed at Bill Clinton, who Trump says had called him separately, and “couldn’t have been more gracious.”
“He said it was an amazing run, one of the most amazing he’s ever seen. He was really very nice.”
As with Bill’s wife Hillary, Trump had previously held nothing back when speaking of Bill and his sexual adventures, while defending against his own sexual assault allegations. Nothing could be further from that attitude when he spoke about Bill and Hillary in the CBS interview.
“Well, he’s a very talented guy – both of them. I mean, this is a very talented family,” Trump said when asked if he was just as likely to call Clinton for professional guidance as he had recently said he would do with Obama.
The other big issue everyone expects to hear more about when the interview airs is Obamacare – one of the main targets of the Trump campaign, and an issue that continues to polarize the nation.
In the interview, the president-elect stated that health-care will be his administration’s top priority.“Real change begins with immediately repealing and replacing Obamacare,” Donald Trump recently proclaimed to a cheering crowd. This hardline stance was flipped on its head in the interview.This came as a surprise to many spectators, who remember Trump building his entire campaign on categorical promises, which also included building a 3,000km wall on the Mexico border.
Would people with pre-existing conditions receive coverage, he was asked.
“Yes,” Trump replied enthusiastically. “Because it happens to be one of the strongest assets – also the children living with their parents for an extended period, we’re going to keep that… It adds cost, but it’s very much something we’re going to try and keep.”
These are two of the most crucial provisions in the Affordable Care Act: one would allow children to remain part of their parents’ health-care plan until they turn 26, and the other would prevent insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
A recent congressional probe revealed 400 conditions that insurers could previously use to deny a person coverage.
Trump also reassured viewers that the transition period during which Obamacare is repealed and replaced will not deprive anyone of much needed care. “We’re going to do it simultaneously, it’ll be just fine. That’s what I do, I do a good job. I mean, I know how to do this stuff,” he added.“We’re not going to have a 2-day period, or a 2-year period where there’s nothing… It will be great health-care for much less money.”
The full interview will air on Sunday.
Trump Tower, meanwhile, continues to be a fortress amid unabating protests. As swaths of the country are in disarray over Hillary Clinton’s unexpected defeat, police and security are trying to maintain a tight barrier around the 50-story skyscraper in downtown New York. More than 100 NYPD officers and several Secret Service agents are keeping constant guard, with cement trucks and barricades outside. The building is a challenge to guard inside as well – the downstairs lobby is a public space. This is a far cry from the White House, and until Trump moves in to it, a whole slew of security measures need to be implemented at Trump Tower – including protecting the building from the air with a two-mile radius no-fly zone.