Since the unexpected victory of Donald J. Trump in the US presidential election, racially charged incidents have broken out across the country that appear to be have been started by Trump supporters emboldened by his win.
While Trump returned to using Twitter soon after the election, he did not address the incidents until answering questions during a 60 Minutes interview with Lesley Stahl, recorded on Nov. 11 and broadcast on Nov. 13.
In the interview, Stahl asks Trump several times about the incidents (the video below splices together those questions):
Trump at first blames demonstrations across US cities on professional protestors, and reports of harassment mostly on “the press,” but eventually he instructs anyone harassing minorities to knock it off:
LS: There are people, Americans, who are scared, and some of them are demonstrating right now, against you and against your rhetoric.
DT: That’s only because they they don’t know me. I really believe that.
LS: Well they listened to you during the campaign, and that’s—
DT: I just don’t think they know me.
LS: What do you think they are demonstrating against?
DT: Well in some cases you have professional protestors. And we had it… if you look at Wikileaks—
LS: You think those people down there are professionals?
DT: Oh I think some of them will be professionals.
LS: A lot of people are afraid, they’re really afraid. African-Americans think there’s a target on their back. Muslims are terrified.
DT: I think it’s horrible if that’s happening. 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.
LS: Do you want to say anything to those people?
DT: I would say don’t do it, that’s terrible. Because I’m going to bring this country together.
LS: They’re harassing Latinos, Muslims…
DT: I am so saddened to hear that, and I say “Stop it,” if it helps. I will say this, I’ll say it right to the camera (turns to camera) “Stop it.”
Many of the reported incidents have been graffiti of racial slurs and of things like “KKK,” and some reporters and Hillary Clinton supporters have been deluged by anti-Semitic or harassing messages on social media.
A handful of Trump supporters have also reported being harassed and even assaulted after the election. In California, a pro-Trump college student was punched in the face by a fellow student who thought a post she made on social media about the election disparaged Mexicans.
Two days after the interview was taped, Trump named Steve Bannon, the head of an “alt-right” website that targets minorities, feminists, and gays, as his chief strategic advisor.