Former President Donald Trump said Thursday that it is “very unlikely” that a pardon will be granted if he is elected to the White House in 2024, but he refused to rule it out entirely.
“I think it is very unlikely. What, what did I do wrong? I didn’t do anything wrong,” Trump, 77, told Kristen Welker, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” when she was asked about a possible self-pardon. “Do you mean that because I contest an election they want to imprison me?”
Trump, the front-runner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, recalled that he was offered the chance to pardon himself before leaving office in 2021, but ultimately decided against it.
“I could have forgiven myself. Did you know? I was given the option to forgive myself. “I could have forgiven myself when I left,” the former president revealed.
Trump refused to completely rule out the possibility of granting himself a pardon if he is elected president in 2024.NBC News
“People said, ‘Would you like to forgive yourself?’ I had a couple of lawyers tell me, ‘You can do it if you want.’ “Some people told me, ‘It would look bad if you did it,’ because I think it would look terrible,” he added.
“Let me tell you, I said, ‘The last thing I would do is forgive myself,’” Trump recalled, arguing that he did “a great job as president.”
Trump faces a total of 91 charges in four criminal cases, and up to 712 years and six months behind bars if convicted of all of them.
He has been indicted on federal charges related to his handling of classified documents and his alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Trump revealed that he considered a self-pardon in 2021 but decided against it.NBC News
At the state level, he has been indicted in New York in connection with alleged hush payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, and in Georgia for his alleged involvement in a conspiracy to interfere in the 2020 state election. .
Presidential pardon powers are broad in nature, but only in federal cases. That power does not extend to state and local convictions, so it appears Trump would not have the authority to overturn potential convictions in his first and final criminal indictments this year, in Manhattan and Fulton County, Georgia.
“I could have gotten a pardon that would have saved me from all these lawyers and all this — these false charges, these accusations from Biden,” Trump said.
Trump, however, refused to completely rule out granting himself a pardon if he were elected president again, when pressed by Welker.
The former president’s full interview with the network will air on Sunday.