What Trump Said During Wide-Ranging Interview

PHOTO: Donald Trump walks through the lobby of the New York Times following a meeting with editors at the paper, Nov. 22, 2016, in New York. PlaySpencer Platt/Getty Images
WATCH What Does Trump's New York Times Interview Tell Us?

President-elect Donald Trump met with the New York Times -- a publication he has repeatedly lambasted as "failing" -- this afternoon in one of his first interviews since winning the election earlier this month.

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Just hours before the summit took place, Trump blasted the paper in a series of tweets and said the publication "continue[s] to cover me inaccurately and with a nasty tone!"

During the meeting, Trump appeared to walk back two of his biggest campaign promises -- to investigate and prosecute Hillary Clinton for her private email scandal and now says he has an open mind on climate change.

Trump appeared to change his stance on other topics such as President Obama, the Republican Party, the Electoral College...and the New York Times, which he called a "world jewel."

Here are some of the highlights:

ON ALT-RIGHT CONFERENCE - 'I DISAVOW & CONDEMN THEM'

Over the weekend, the alt-right National Policy Institute, condemned for its racism and anti-Semitic views, held its annual conference in Washington D.C. At the event, Richard Spencer, leader of the think tank, led the crowd in what appeared to be a Nazi salute and chant of “Hail Trump!” While the alt-right movement has gained attention during Trump’s campaign, today he said he disavowed the conference and dismissed the group’s support of his presidency.

ON REPUBLICAN PARTY - 'THEY LOVE ME'

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a New Hampshire Republican who previously said she wouldn’t want her daughter in the same room as Trump, was floated last week as a possible contender for secretary of defense. However, Trump made clear he is not interested in having her as part of his cabinet while meeting with The New York Times, according to those on the publication's staff.

Ayotte initially called Trump a role model for her daughter, then changed her view after hearing Trump make vulgar comments about women on an "Access Hollywood" tape from 2005. She said she would write in Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, and later lost her reelection bid.

During the election, House Speaker Paul Ryan expressed doubt about Trump when he was named the Republican nominee and was slow to endorse him for president. Ryan was also critical of a number of Trump's remarks as were numerous Republicans, especially about the "Access Hollywood" tape.

Trump boasted today that the Republican leadership in Congress is “in love” with him.

ON OBAMA MEETING - 'LIKE HIM A LOT'

On the campaign trail -- and beforehand -- Trump regularly took aim at President Obama, calling into question whether he was born in the United States, calling him one of the founders of ISIS and questioning his leadership.

The White House today confirmed that the president and Trump have spoken since their Oval Office meeting on Nov. 10. Obama had invited his successor to Washington in order to facilitate a successful transition between the presidencies. At their sit-down meeting, which lasted about an hour and a half, Obama said the two spoke about organizational issues, as well as foreign and domestic policy.

ON WORLD VIEWS/SYRIA - 'HAVE TO END THAT CRAZINESS'

It is likely too early to lay out Trump’s foreign policy, but his remarks that the U.S. should stop backing rebels in Syria, whose president is an ally of Tehran, indicates there may be some changes. On the trail, Trump said explicitly that the only enemy in Syria was ISIS and that he would withdraw support from Syria’s rebels.

ON BANNON - NOT A RACIST, 'HE'S HAVING A HARD TIME WITH IT'

Trump defended his chief strategist Steve Bannon, who’s accused of being complicit with racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric through Breitbart news, a website he oversaw from 2012 to August 2016. The president-elect said during the Times interview if he “thought [Bannon] was a racist, or alt-right…I wouldn’t even think about hiring him." In an August interview with Mother Jones, Bannon declared Breitbart as a “platform for the alt-right,” but denied that the alt-right movement is inherently racist.

Trump has repeatedly denied being a racist and disavowed support from Supremacist groups. Bannon also said he is not a white nationalist in a recent interview.

ON RELATIONSHIP WITH MEDIA - OLIVE BRANCH TO THE NEW YORK TIMES?

Trump tore into the media at virtually every turn, especially late in the campaign, at times calling journalists "scum." And at times during his campaign, Trump even revoked press credentials for The Washington Post and about a dozen others after deeming their coverage unfair.

While it is nothing new for politicians to bemoan press coverage, Trump has made some nervous about what he plans on doing when it comes to libel laws, which he said he would "open up" libel laws to make it easier for plaintiffs to win in civil lawsuits.

ON THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

During the interview, Trump took time to elaborate on his Election Day victory. In the race for the White House, Trump was victorious in the Electoral College while his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, leads the popular vote by more than 1.5 million ballots and counting.

Trump has both called the electoral college a "disaster" (after Mitt Romney lost in 2012) and "genius" (after he won in 2016) at various points over the last several years.