Former President Donald Trump engaged in a confrontational exchange that lasted over an hour with new ‘Meet the Press’ moderator Kristen Welker at his Bedminster, New Jersey residence.
Their discussion covered a wide range of topics, including his legal troubles, involvement in the events of January 6th, and propagation of falsehoods related to the 2020 election.
Throughout the interview, Trump repeatedly attempted to maintain flexibility on crucial matters such as abortion, the conflict in Ukraine, interest rates, and even his assessment of his party’s endeavors to impeach President Joe Biden.
In its entirety, Trump’s conversation with NBC News underscored that he remains as confrontational as ever in the face of a relentless onslaught of prosecutions that could ultimately lead to the former president’s imprisonment by his political enemies.
“When you go to bed at night, do you worry about going to jail?” Welker asked.
“No, I don’t really. I don’t even think about it,” Trump responded. “I’m built a little differently, I guess, because I have had people come up to me and say, ‘how do you do it, sir? How do you do it?’ I don’t even think about it.”
“These are corrupt people that I’m dealing with,” he continued. “They’re destroying our country. I don’t even think about it. All I think about is making the country great, making America great. Look, these are political. These are Banana Republic indictments. These are Third World indictments.”
“The President of the United States sees how we’re doing,” Trump went on. “We have a movement, the likes of which has never happened in this country before, and you see it with the polls. I mean, I’m up on these people by 60 points and 59 points. I don’t mean I’m at 59, I’m leading them by 59. You almost say like, why are they campaigning? Asa Hutchinson, he’s at zero. Christie’s at two. Other ones are at one. Desanctimonious [Ron DeSantis] is at nine. I just see a poll coming. I mean, I’m leading him by 60 points. And you say, ‘why are they doing it?’ But here’s what they did. They saw this happening and he went to the Attorney General of the United States and he told them, indict Trump.”
“There’s just no evidence of that, Mr. President,” Welker objected.
Trump then went into President Biden’s litany of lies.
“Look at all the lies he’s told,” Trump said. “Could I say one thing? Look at all the lies he’s told over the last couple of weeks. He said he was at the World Trade Center and he wasn’t. He said he flew airplanes, right? He didn’t. He said he drove trucks and he didn’t. Everything he says is like a lie. It’s terrible.”
Trump also said he opted not to issue a preemptive self-pardon before leaving office in January 2021.
However, when Welker inquired whether he might consider pardoning himself if he secures victory in this election, Trump declined to definitively rule it out.
“I think it’s very unlikely. What, what did I do wrong? I didn’t do anything wrong,” Trump said. “You mean because I challenge an election, they want to put me in jail?”
He also mentioned receiving advice from both sides of the issue in 2021, shortly before his departure from office, and recollected providing a clear and firm response: “Let me just tell you. I said, ‘The last thing I’d ever do is give myself a pardon.’”
At one point, Trump highlighted the closeness of the election, along with the additional votes, distributed across multiple states, he needed to secure victory in the electoral college.
“Are you acknowledging you didn’t win?” Welker asked.
“I’m not acknowledging,” he said. “No. I say I won the election.”
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