It took some pushing and prodding, but President-elect Donald Trump sent a clear message to the people harassing minorities in his name: “Stop it.”
Trump sat down with 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl on Nov. 11 for his first interview since winning the presidency. In the conversation, which aired Sunday night, Trump suggested that the demonstrations taking place across America were the work of paid professionals and that the reported incidents of harassment were being exaggerated by the media.
“I think it’s horrible if that’s happening,” Trump said. “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 be there if I weren’t even around doing this, and they’ll make it into an event because that’s the way the press is.”
Stahl continued to press Trump on the subject, asking if there was anything he wanted to say to the people harassing Latinos and Muslims, two groups Trump singled out with incendiary rhetoric and policy proposals throughout his campaign.
“I am so saddened to hear that, and I say ‘Stop it,’ if it helps,” he said. “I will say this, I’ll say it right to the camera, ‘Stop it.’”
Here’s an excerpt of the interview.
Trump’s team, however, has suggested that the burden to ease tensions in the wake of the election rests on Democrats.
Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, said on Fox News’ Meet the Press Sunday, “It’s time really for President Obama and Secretary Clinton to say to these protesters: ‘This man is our president,’” she said.