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When it comes to challenging election results, Trump says to 'follow your heart'

Trump said he had no regrets about raising doubts about the 2020 presidential election, and he played down the Jan. 6 riot compared to the current campus protests.
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Former President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he has no regrets about challenging the 2020 election results and asserted that when it comes to “straightening out elections," it’s important to "follow your heart."

"No, it would have been a terrible thing, because you have to get the election straightened out. You have to have fair and free elections," Trump said when he was asked whether he wished he had accepted Joe Biden's win in 2020 in an interview with NBC affiliate WGAL of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

"And if you don’t, you should always have the right to challenge them," he added. "If you couldn’t challenge elections, you wouldn’t even have a democracy. You wouldn’t have elections anymore. You have to do what’s — you actually have to follow your heart."

Trump frequently airs his election grievances at campaign rallies, and he has continued to wrongly insist that he won the 2020 election. He has championed the cause of his supporters who challenged those election results and stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, saying he will "absolutely" consider pardoning them.

In a recent interview with Time, Trump said he would have trouble hiring anyone who believes Biden won in 2020: “I wouldn’t feel good about it.”

Last week, Trump also wouldn’t commit to accept the coming election results — a stance shared by many of his supporters.

“If everything’s honest, I’ll gladly accept the results. I don’t change on that,” Trump said in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "If it's not, you have to fight for the right of the country."

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, 2021.
Former President Donald Trump has championed the cause of his supporters who stormed the capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.Samuel Corum / Getty Images file

In his remarks to WGAL on Tuesday, Trump also compared the Jan. 6 riot to the pro-Palestinian campus protests — insisting that the riot, where multiple people died and about 140 police officers were injured — was "nothing" compared to the campus protests. Trump said the recent protests showed that Biden "is a threat to democracy."

“Jan. 6 was nothing like this," he said. "They’re ripping down all our schools. They’re ripping down our institutions."

Biden has said he supports people's right to speak out but condemned any violent behavior.

“There’s the right to protest, but not the right to cause chaos,” Biden said last week.