Donald Trump has chosen Washington veteran Reince Priebus to serve as his chief of staff. Earlier, the US president-elect said he would deport 2 to 3 million undocumented immigrants "immediately" upon taking office.
Donald Trump made the first major appointments of his administration on Sunday, selecting Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus as his White House chief of staff, the top employee in the administration.
He also named Stephen Bannon, his campaign CEO and executive of the conservative website "Breitbart," as his chief strategist and senior counselor.
"Steve and Reince are highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory. Now I will have them both with me in the White House as we work to make America great again," Trump said in a statement.
As the head of the Republican National Committee, Priebus is expected to interact with Republicans on Capitol Hill, some of whom have been skeptical of a Trump presidency. Priebus is close to House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Priebus said the top priorities of the Trump administration were "to create an economy that works for everyone, secure our borders, repeal and replace Obamacare and destroy radical Islamic terrorism."
Priebus, Bannon and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who was tasked with heading the transition team, will be the three primarily responsible for choosing Trump's cabinet.
'We're getting them out of the country'
In his first television interview since winning the US presidential election on Tuesday, Trump vowed to see through his hard-line proposals for immigration policy.
Speaking on CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday, Trump said that on entering office in January he will deport as many as 3 million undocumented migrants.
"What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people - probably 2 million, it could be even 3 million - we are getting them out of the country or we are going to incarcerate," Trump said.
"But we're getting them out of the country; they're here illegally."
However, Trump's comments contradicted those made by House Speaker Ryan.
Speaking with CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, Ryan said that mass deportation is not a focus of the Republicans right now.
"I think we should put people's minds at ease" on mass deportation, he said, because the top priority is really border security.
US-Mexico wall to go ahead: Trump
Reiterating his plans to reinforce the border between the US and Mexico, Trump also said in Sunday's interview that his proposed wall may not entirely be built from concrete or bricks and mortar.
"There could be some fencing," Trump said. "But [in] certain areas, a wall is more appropriate. I'm very good at this; it's called construction," he added.
The wall, which was a focal point of Trump's election campaign, would be paid for by Mexico, the president-elect had said in previous statements.
Once the border is "secure," the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement will assess the status of the remaining undocumented immigrants in the country, Trump told CBS.
"After the border is secure and after everything gets normalized, we're going to make a determination on the people that they're talking about who are terrific people. They're terrific people, but we are gonna make a determination at that," he said.
"But before we make that determination ... it's very important, we are going to secure our border."
'Fine with same-sex marriage'
Trump's victory has ignited concern from gays and lesbians that his administration would roll back gay rights won through the courts and state legislation. Easing those concerns, Trump said on "60 Minutes" that he was a supporter of gay marriage, adding that the issue had already been decided by the courts.
"It's law. These cases have been to the Supreme Court. They have been settled. I'm fine with that," he said.
But on the issue of abortion, he said any of his Supreme Court justice nominations would favor restrictions. "The judges will be pro-life," he said, not mentioning whether he would try to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision establishing the right to abortion.
As anti-Trump protests entered their fifth day on Sunday, the president-elect addressed his detractors by saying "don't be afraid."
"We are going to bring our country back," he said.
He also said that reports of an increase in harassment and intimidation of minorities since he was elected troubled him.
"I hate to hear that. I am so saddened to hear that," he said. "If it helps, I will say this, and I will say it right to the cameras: Stop it."
cw, ksb/cmk (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)