President-elect Donald Trump said on Sunday his administration will move immediately to deport or incarcerate millions of undocumented immigrants who have criminal records.
In an interview to be broadcast Sunday, Trump estimated there are “probably 2 million, but there could be 3 million” gang members, drug dealers and other people with criminal records who are illegally in the country.
“We are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate them,” he told CBS news less than a week after winning the US presidential election.
Trump said after those people are out of the country and the border is secure, his administration will make a determination on the status of the remaining millions of undocumented immigrants in the country, who he said are “terrific people.”
Trump also said he would keep his promise to build a wall along the US border with Mexico, but said part of it could be a fence, as some members of Congress have suggested.
“There could be some fencing,” he said in the interview, but in other areas “a wall is more appropriate.”
Trump also said he would make “very restrained” use of social media as head of state, after relying on Twitter it heavily during the campaign to voice his opinion.
The comments came as the president-elect tweeted several times on Sunday complaining to the New York Times about the “highly inaccurate coverage of the ‘Trump phenomena.’”
His criticism made note of a letter from New York Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr pledging to subscribers that the newspaper would “report America and the world honestly, without fear or favour” as Trump takes office.
The president-elect tweeted that the paper “sent a letter to their subscribers apologizing for their BAD coverage of me.”
Trump called Twitter “a great form of communication,” in particular as a means of fighting negative coverage from the media, which he often accuses of being biased.
“When you [the press] give me a bad story … I have a method of fighting back,” Trump told CBS in what was his first extensive interview since winning the election on Tuesday.
Trump was known throughout the campaign for his aggressive and spontaneous late-night tweets.
“I’m not saying I love it, but it does get the word out,” Trump said. The Republican president-elect has 14.9 million followers in Twitter, 3.9 million more than his Democrat rival, Hillary Clinton.
Trump also tweeted that Jeb Bush, George W Bush, George HW Bush, John Kasich and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had called to congratulate him.