Former President Donald Trump said Thursday that it is "very unlikely" he would pardon himself if he wins another term in 2024, adding in an exclusive interview with NBC "Meet the Press" moderator Kristen Welker that he believes he did nothing wrong.
"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?"
The interview, Welker’s first as moderator of “Meet the Press,” will air Sunday on NBC affiliates across the country. NBC News has also extended an invitation to President Joe Biden to sit down with Welker for an interview.
Tune into “Meet the Press with Kristen Welker” this Sunday for more from Welker’s exclusive interview with former President Donald Trump. Check local listings.
Trump, who is the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has been indicted four times — in federal court in Washington, D.C., and Florida and in state courts in Georgia and New York. The charges stem from his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, his retention of classified documents after his defeat and hush-money payments made to porn actress Stormy Daniels.
In the interview, conducted at his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey, Trump recounted the debate around the pardon question during the close of his first term.
"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, "I 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."
But Trump declined to fully rule out a self-pardon when Welker pressed him about whether he might grant himself one "even if you were re-elected in this moment."
At the same time, Trump said Thursday's indictment of Hunter Biden, the president's son, does nothing to undercut his contention that there are two systems of justice — one for him and one for President Joe Biden's allies.
"There's no question about it," Trump said. "He had a plea deal that was the deal of the century. The art of the deal — you could write a book on it."
Hunter Biden was indicted on federal charges that he obtained a gun by falsely attesting that he was not using drugs. A plea deal he had negotiated with prosecutors fell apart this year.
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