Trump warns jail time could be 'breaking point' for supporters

AFP , Sunday 2 Jun 2024

Donald Trump has warned that sending him to prison could prove a "breaking point" for his supporters - remarks that will fuel concerns of political violence around the US presidential election on November 5.

Former President Donald Trump walks to make comments to media after being found guilty on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree at Manhattan Criminal Court. AP


In an interview aired Sunday on Fox News, the former president and current Republican White House hopeful acknowledged the possibility of jail time or house arrest following his historic criminal conviction in a hush money trial.

"I'm ok with it," Trump said, but added he was "not sure the public would stand for it."

"I think it would be tough for the public to take. You know at a certain point there's a breaking point," he added.

The warning will resonate in a country already concerned about the prospect of civil unrest and political harassment in the run-up to the November ballot.

Trump will now be running as a convicted felon, and he has repeatedly made it clear he will not accept the result should he lose to President Joe Biden.

A New York jury on Thursday convicted Trump on all 34 felony charges of falsifying business records in the final stages of the 2016 presidential campaign to cover up a sex scandal involving porn star Stormy Daniels.

It was the first criminal conviction of a former president in US history, and sentencing has been set for July 11 -- just days before the Republican convention that will formally anoint Trump as the party's presidential nominee.

Although each charge carries a possible four-year jail term, experts say it is extremely unlikely that the judge will hand down a custodial sentence.

Trump faces three other criminal trials, including one related to efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election he lost to Biden.

Trump's supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 after he delivered a fiery speech urging the crowd to "fight like hell."

Speaking to Fox, Trump repeated his assertions that the hush money trial was a "scam" and that his political opponents had "weaponized" the justice system to keep him from returning to the White House.

Biden has called Trump's attacks on the judiciary and his trial judge reckless, irresponsible and "dangerous."


Breaking her silence following Trump's conviction, Stormy Daniels said the former president should be put in prison.

"I think he should be sentenced to jail and some community service working for the less fortunate, or being the volunteer punching bag at a women's shelter," Daniels said in an interview with the British tabloid The Mirror published late Saturday.

After years of exchanging insults with Trump on social media, Daniels now says she finally has been "vindicated," although she admitted she was "shocked" at how quickly the jury rendered its verdict.

Daniels also accused the White House hopeful of being "completely and utterly out of touch with reality" and compared him to a child at one point in the interview.

The former adult film actor and director helped bring Trump down in court with her gripping testimony, which included graphic descriptions of what she says was a casual sexual encounter in 2006.

"Being in court was so intimidating with the jurors looking at you," she said in the interview, adding that she was glad it was proved that she had been "telling the truth the entire time."

"It's not over for me. It's never going to be over for me. Trump may be guilty, but I still have to live with the legacy."

Trump has continued to deny the sexual encounter, which prosecutors at his trial said had taken place shortly after his wife Melania had given birth.

In his interview with Fox News, Trump said the criminal trial had taken a toll on his wife, who was notably absent as other close family members attended the court proceedings in support.

"She's fine, but I think it's very hard for her," Trump said. "She has to read all this crap."

Melania Trump has barely engaged with her husband's current White House campaign, failing to appear at a single Trump rally, and rarely joins him in public.

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