Trump’s veiled threat: I’m not afraid of jail time ‘but it would be tough for public to accept’

Donald Trump says he would accept home confinement or jail time after his historic conviction by a New York jury last week but that it would be “tough” for the public to accept.

Jun 03, 2024, updated Jun 03, 2024
Former President Donald J. Trump is leading the nation into deeply uncharged territory which many believe may damage the US democracy.  (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Former President Donald J. Trump is leading the nation into deeply uncharged territory which many believe may damage the US democracy. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

“I’m not sure the public would stand for it,” the Republican presidential candidate told Fox News in an interview that aired on Sunday.

“I think it’d be tough for the public to take. You know, at a certain point, there’s a breaking point.”

He is scheduled to be sentenced July 11, four days before Republicans gather to formally choose their presidential nominee to face Democratic President Joe Biden in November’s election.

Asked what Trump supporters should do if he were jailed, Republican National Committee co-chair Lara Trump told CNN: “Well, they’re going to do what they’ve done from the beginning, which is remain calm and protest at the ballot box on November 5. There’s nothing to do other than make your voices heard loud and clear and speak out against this.”

Trump has used his conviction to step up his fundraising efforts but has not otherwise sought to mobilise his supporters, in contrast to his comments protesting his 2020 loss to Biden at a rally on January 6, 2021 that was followed by an attack by some of his supporters on the US Capitol.

The RNC and the Trump campaign raised $US70 million ($A105 million) in the 48 hours after the verdict, Lara Trump said, a figure that Reuters was not able to independently verify.

Trump has vowed to appeal his conviction by the New York jury, which found him guilty of 34 felony counts over falsifying documents to cover up a payment to silence a porn star ahead of the 2016 election.

But the matter is unlikely to be resolved before the November presidential election, when he will seek to take back the White House from Democratic Biden.

Trump still faces three other criminal cases, although they are not likely to come to trial before the election.

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He denies wrongdoing in all the cases and has called the charges a Democratic conspiracy to prevent him from competing.

Biden, meanwhile, has sought to defend the US justice system, saying it is “reckless” and “dangerous” to call the verdict “rigged”.

The US Justice Department denies any political interference.

Trump lawyer Will Scharf told US broadcaster ABC News that he does not expect Trump to “end up being subject to any sentence whatsoever” and planned to take the case to the Supreme Court.

US House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Trump ally, told Fox News Sunday he knows the court’s justices and “they are deeply concerned, as we are, about maintaining our system of justice”.

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