In the segment from his sit-down with “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker filmed Thursday, Trump hesitated to give her a straight answer when she asked him about the possibility. The first time she asked, he responded by insisting he could have preemptively pardoned himself before leaving office in 2021 but chose not to ― even though such a power was untested and questioned by legal scholars.
“Don’t ask me about what I would do,” Trump said. “I could have ― the last day, I could have had a pardon done. That would have saved me all of these lawyers and all of this these fake charges.”
In recent months, Trump has been indicted in four cases and faces 91 felony charges connected to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, hush money payments to a porn star and his mishandling of highly classified documents.
“I was given the option. I could have done a pardon of myself,” Trump continued. “You know what I said? I have no interest in even thinking about it. I never even wanted to think about it. And I could have done it.”
Trump claimed a total of six times in his response that he could have pardoned himself before leaving office.
When Welker asked him again, emphasizing whether he’d do it “even if [he] were reelected,” Trump suggested he would not ― because he wouldn’t need to.
“I think it’s very unlikely,” Trump said in the final moments of the clip. “What what did I do wrong? I didn’t do anything wrong. You mean because I challenged an election, they want to put me in jail?”
The full interview is scheduled to air Sunday.