Americans have nothing to fear, assures Trump
PRESIDENT-elect Donald Trump vowed to move aggressively on a conservative agenda in filling Supreme Court vacancies, cracking down on immigration and cutting taxes, but also sought to reassure worried Americans they have nothing to fear from his presidency.
Setting aside the strident tone of his campaign, the 70-year-old Mr Trump assumed a gentler manner in his first television interview since his shock election, saying he was “saddened” by reports of harassment of Muslims and Hispanics, and telling the perpetrators: “Stop It.”
The interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes,” offered Mr Trump an opportunity to reintroduce himself after an ugly, name-calling campaign and surprise victory that sparked protests in cities across the United States.
“I just don’t think they know me,” the billionaire real estate mogul said of the thousands of protesters who have massed in streets below his Trump Tower headquarters with signs that read “Not our president.”
On the issues, Mr Trump made it clear he intends to aggressively push a right-wing agenda, pledging to name justices to the Supreme Court who are anti-abortion and pro-gun.
“The judges will be pro-life,” Trump told CBS. “In terms of the whole gun situation,” he added, “they’re going to be very pro-Second Amendment.”
He will have an immediate opportunity to fill a vacancy on the court left by the death of arch conservative justice Antonin Scalia. President Barack Obama’s attempt to fill the seat was blocked by the Republican-controlled Senate.
On immigration, Mr Trump reaffirmed his signature campaign pledge to build a wall on the border with Mexico, although he conceded parts of it may be just a fence.
And he said as many as three million undocumented immigrants with criminal records would be deported or incarcerated.
He left the door open, however, on the fate of the millions of other hardworking immigrants who are in the country illegally.
Immigration, he said, was one of three top legislative priorities he has discussed with House Speaker Paul Ryan, the others being action to undo Mr Obama’s signature health care reform and a bill to cut taxes and simplify the tax code.
He however signalled that he would not seek to overturn the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the United States.
He also confirmed he would forego the US$400,000 salary that comes with the office of US president.
“I’m not going to take the salary. I’m not taking it,” he said. “I think I have to by law take $1, so I’ll take $1 a year,” he added.
In the “60 Minutes” interview, Mr Trump made no promises to tone down his own rhetoric as president.
“I don’t want to be just a little nice monotone character,” he said. – US President-elect Donald Trump made the first top appointments of his new administration, naming Reince Priebus his White House chief and Steve Bannon as his chief strategist and senior counselor.
“I am thrilled to have my very successful team continue with me in leading our country,” Mr Trump said in a statement.
“Steve and Reince are highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory. Now I will have them both with me in the White House as we work to make America great again.”
Mr Priebus, the head of the Republican National Committee, is a AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sought to allay concerns yesterday that a deal to send refugees from remote Pacific camps to the US could be scuppered by President-elect Donald Trump.
Canberra had announced a “oneoff ” arrangement that would see an unspecified number of the 1600 boatpeople held in offshore centres on Nauru and in Papua New Guinea settled in the US.
But with the political novice, who campaigned to ban Muslim migration, due to take office on January 20, the head of a prominent US anti-immigration think-tank warned: “This is the kind of thing the Trump administration will nix on Day 1.
“I don’t expect any Republicans will defend it. I can’t see Democrats defending it either,” Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Centre for Immigration Studies said. seasoned political operative who can build bridges to a skittish Republican leadership, particularly House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Mr Bannon is a rabble-rousing social media entrepreneur who led Mr Trump’s presidential campaign.
“We had a very successful partnership on the campaign, one that led to victory. We will have that same partnership in working to help President-elect Trump achieve his agenda,” Mr Bannon said.
Mr Priebus set the priorities as being “to create an economy that works for everyone, secure our borders, repeal and replace Obamacare and destroy radical Islamic terrorism. –
Canberra sends asylum-seekers who try to reach Australia by boat to detention facilities on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island and Nauru. They are blocked from resettling in Australia even if found to be refugees.
The arrangement came after Mr Turnbull said he was ready to take more refugees from Central America in return.
Officials from the US Department of Homeland Security will head to Nauru to determine who will be eligible for the US move.
While Mr Turnbull spoke to Mr Trump by phone soon after the shock election win last week, he said he did not bring up the issue.
Asked if he was confident a president who wants to put up a wall between Mexico and the US to keep people out would honour the commitment, Mr Turnbull was noncommittal. –