Donald Trump has lavished praise on Hillary Clinton in his first television interview since the election, describing the woman he has vowed to throw into prison as “very strong and very smart” and noting her grace.
Mr Trump has spent well over a year attacking “Crooked Hillary,” suggesting she was on drugs, and suggesting she be assassinated – yet in an interview on Friday, to be broadcast on Sunday, he said he was impressed by her decency.
Asked about the moment Mrs Clinton called to concede defeat, Mr Trump said: “So, Hillary called, and it was a lovely call, and it was a tough call for her, I mean, I can imagine.
“I mean, for me, it would have been very, very difficult.”
Flanked by his wife Melania and four oldest children, he praised his defeated rival.
“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.’
“She is very strong and very smart. ”
Mr Trump then said that he spoke to Bill Clinton the following day.
“He couldn’t have been more gracious. He said it was an amazing run. One of the most amazing he’s ever seen. He was very, very, really, very nice.”
Continuing his remarkable reinvention, Mr Trump described Mr Clinton – a man he so despised he summoned his former mistresses to appear seated before him, in public, at a presidential debate – as “a very talented guy.”
He said he may seek out his advice in the future, adding: “I mean, this is a very talented family. Certainly, I would certainly think about that.”
The future leader of the nation has, since Wednesday, been at great pains to present himself as “presidential” – striking a deferential, conciliatory tone when meeting President Barack Obama, who he savaged on the campaign trail.
And he further explained his evolving position on Obamacare – one of Mr Obama’s most prized achievements.
He campaigned on a platform of immediately ripping up Obamacare.
Yet on Friday he indicated that Mr Obama explained the system to him during their White House meeting on Thursday, and there were elements of his system he wished to preserve
“We’re going to do it simultaneously,” he said.
“It’ll be just fine. That’s what I do. I do a good job.
“You know, I mean, I know how to do this stuff.
“We’re going to repeal it and replace it.
“And we’re not going to have, like, a two-day period and we’re not going to have a two-year period where there’s nothing. It will be repealed and replaced.
“I mean, you’ll know. And it’ll be great health care for much less money.”