In his first official interview since being elected, Donald Trump has finally addressed the horrible acts of violence that have taken place across the country since he was announced as the 45th President-Elect. And he’s urging his supporters to “stop it” with their harassment.
Trump was interviewed on 60 Minutes by CBS’s Lesly Stahl this past Sunday, claiming he was “surprised” to hear his supporters were attacking minorities under his name. He claimed that he hadn’t heard of more than “one or two instances” of hate crimes since Election Day, but that he thinks it’s “terrible.” Stahl then told him how his supporters were “harassing Latinos, Muslims,” and asked whether Trump had anything to say to them.
“I would say don’t do it, that’s terrible,” Trump said during the interview, “because I’m gonna bring this country together.” He answered Stahl, “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.”
Trump explicitly asking this of his supporters appears to be a step in the right direction, especially given that his entire campaign involved racism, xenophobia, misogyny and homophobia. He at least is not condoning violence against the American people, or appearing to not do so. However, because of his campaign strategy, simply asking his followers to “stop” might not be enough.
Later in the interview, he goes on to criticize the anti-Trump protests that have been taking place across the nation. “I think it’s horrible if that’s happening,” he explained to Sthal. “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.”
This is more typical of Trump – arguing back against anything that might oppose him. Earlier this week, Trump dubbed the protests against him “very unfair,” on Twitter and accused the media of hiring “professional protestors” to spark them. Less than 12 hours later, he completely did a 180 by praising protestors for their “passion.”
But right now, Trump is definitely against his followers who are perpetuating violence on minority groups, which is a start. So, in the words of the new President-Elect, “stop it.”