Former President Donald Trump made the highly believable claim Thursday that it’s “very unlikely” he would pardon himself if he wins a second term in the White House.
“I think it’s very unlikely,” Trump told NBC News’ new “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker in an interview that will air in full on Sunday. “What, what did I do wrong? I didn’t do anything wrong. You mean because I challenge an election, they want to put me in jail?”
Trump, who’s currently leading the polls for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is facing 91 counts across four criminal cases in Washington D.C., New York, Florida and Georgia— two of which are federal. The former president’s indictments stem from his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, hoarding classified documents in his Florida estate Mar-a-Lago and allegedly falsifying business records while trying to cover up the hush money payments he made to porn star Stormy Daniels.
During the previously recorded interview, Trump also recalled conversations he had with allies and lawyers around the pardon question when he was still in office.
“People said, ‘Would you like to pardon yourself?’ I had a couple of attorneys that said, ‘You can do it if you want,’” Trump said. “I had some people that said, ‘It would look bad if you do it, because I think it would look terrible.’”
Trump recalled giving a decisive response at the time, in 2021: “Let me just tell you. I said, ‘The last thing I’d ever do is give myself a pardon.’”
He added that on his last day in office he “could have had a pardon done that would have saved me all of these lawyers and all of this — these fake charges, these Biden indictments.”
While this may be what Trump is claiming publicly, the former president reportedly told advisers in the days after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that he was considering pardoning himself before he officially left office.