Trump Talks Conviction, Sentencing and Calls To ‘Lock Up’ Hillary Clinton In Fox News Interview

Topline

Former President Donald Trump on Sunday falsely claimed he never supported calling for Hillary Clinton to be jailed despite repeated rallying cries of “lock her up” at his 2016 campaign stops, and said he’s accepted the possibility he could face jail or house arrest after being convicted of 34 felony counts Friday—but also warned that he’s “not sure the public would stand for it” if he were to face any harsh penalties.

Key Facts

“Fox & Friends Weekend” aired a 90-minute interview with the former president Sunday, two days after he was convicted in Manhattan criminal court of 34 counts of falsification of business records related to hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election, in which he faced Clinton.

Fox host Brian Kilmeade brought up Trump’s calls of “lock her up” during his 2016 campaign against Clinton—what crimes he wished to see his opponent imprisoned for was never made clear and Clinton was never charged with a crime—but Trump denied he ever joined his followers in repeating the now-famous phrase, despite having done so on multiple occasions.

As supporters chanted the phrase at a rally in October of 2016, Trump responded “‘Lock her up’ is right,” and in January 2020 he repeated the claim at a rally in Toledo—”You should lock her up, I’ll tell you,” Trump said.

In the interview Sunday, Trump said “I could have done it” in regards to jailing Clinton, but added, “I felt it would have been a terrible thing. But then this happened to me.”

Trump is set to be sentenced on his felony counts on July 11—days before the Republican National Convention—and faces a sentence that could range from a fine of up to $5,000 to four years in prison for each of his 34 felony convictions and, while jail time appears unlikely, it is possible.

Trump told Fox News he’s “OK with” the possibility of jail time, but also warned it would be “tough for the public to take” and said a sentence to prison or house arrest could push supporters to a “breaking point.”

Key Background

During her 2016 presidential campaign, Clinton was under investigation for her alleged mishandling of classified materials. A federal investigation found that Clinton used a private email server to conduct government business when she was secretary of state, a violation of records retention law. Dozens of email chains were found to have contained sensitive information and some of those contained “top secret” information. The investigation was a sticking point for Trump and his allies during the campaign, with the future president calling the scandal a “disgrace” and telling Clinton “you ought to be ashamed” during the second presidential debate. In July of 2016, former FBI Director James Comey said the agency found no “clear evidence” that Clinton intentionally violated the law but that she and her team were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.” Clinton was never charged with a crime. Trump is currently under indictment on 40 felony counts in his own classified documents case—he is accused of mishandling White House documents and obstructing the government’s investigation into them. He is charged with the willful retention of national defense information, obstruction, concealing documents and making false statements and representations.

Crucial Quote

“‘I didn’t say ‘lock her up,’ but the people would all say ‘lock her up, lock her up,'” Trump said Sunday. “Then we won and I said, pretty openly, ‘Alright, come on, just relax, let’s go. We gotta make our country great.’ It would have been—think of it—you lock up the wife of a president of the United States?”

Tangent

Trump’s warnings of a “breaking point” surrounding his sentencing were vague, but there have been threats of violence surrounding his conviction. Online, supporters of the former president have called for violence and harassment against the jurors, judge and prosecutors involved in his case, with at least one post including the address of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, while others mentioned the purported addresses of jurors, NBC News reported. The posts reportedly appeared on the same websites Trump supporters used to coordinate the attack on the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, which was spurred by the president’s calls to reject the 2020 election results. Hundreds of people were injured in the attack, including more than 100 police officers, and one person died after being shot by a Capitol Police officer. Four others died within 36 hours—one of a drug overdose and three of natural causes. Hundreds of rioters pleaded guilty, with more than 200 sentenced to jail time, and a House committee blamed Trump for triggering the riots in an 845-page report released in December of 2022.

Further Reading

Fox NewsTrump speaks to Fox News after his guilty conviction: ‘These are bad people’NBC NewsTrump supporters try to dox jurors and post violent threats after his conviction
ForbesTrump Convicted Of All 34 Felonies In Hush Money Trial: Here’s What Happens NextForbesWill Trump Go To Prison? Here’s What Happens Now That He’s Been Found Guilty In Hush Money Case.ForbesTrump Still Faces 54 More Felony Charges After Hush Money Verdict


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