Biden campaign slams Trump for warning of supporters’ ‘breaking point’ if he’s jailed, put under house arrest

Biden campaign slams Trump for warning of supporters’ ‘breaking point’ if he’s jailed, put under house arrest
Former President Donald Trump sits in the courtroom during his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, May 30, 2024. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden’s campaign on Monday slammed former President Donald Trump for comments he made in a recent Fox News interview where he suggested there could be a “breaking point” for his supporters, saying the public would not “stand for” it if he was put under house arrest as a result of his conviction in his New York criminal trial.

While saying he’d be “OK” with possible house arrest or even jail time as a sentence, Trump said, “I don’t think the public would stand for it. I think it’d be tough for the public to take … At a certain point, there’s a breaking point.”

Biden’s campaign called Trump’s comments “vows of violence.”

“Consumed by his own rage and thirst for revenge, convicted felon Donald Trump is teeing up political violence, threatening the Constitution, and pitting Americans against one another,” Biden-Harris spokesperson James Singer wrote in a statement.

After the 2020 election, Trump promoted a rally in D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021, saying it would be “wild.” The House Select Committee on Jan 6 concluded that Trump’s rhetoric in advance of the rally and on the day of the rally contributed to the storming of the Capitol that day.

The Trump campaign did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

The Fox News interview over the weekend marked Trump’s first sit-down interview since he was found guilty in all 34 felony counts in the New York hush-money payments case last week. During the interview, Trump struggled to say whether he’d pursue revenge against his political opponents in his possible second administration, saying he wants to bring the country together, but also repeatedly calling his political opponents “evil people.”

“It’s a really tough question, in one way, because these are bad people — these people are sick and things that are so destructive,” Trump said, before eventually saying, “My revenge will be success, and I mean that.”

But he immediately added, “But it’s awfully hard when you see what they’ve done. These people are so evil. And at the same time, the country can come together.”

Trump has repeatedly played with the idea of “retribution” throughout his 2024 presidential campaign, at times suggesting he could go after his political opponents if he wins back the White House — stoking alarm among critics that a second Trump term could usher in a wave of authoritarian revenge. Other times, he has walked back on that sentiment, saying he’s “not going to have time for retribution” because his “ultimate retribution is success.”

Earlier this year, Trump faced backlash for downplaying, but not ruling out the possibility of political violence if he loses the November election.

“I think we’re gonna have a big victory and I think there will be no violence,” Trump told Time magazine in a cover story published in April. 

Pressed by the interviewer, “What if you don’t win, sir?” Trump said, “If we don’t win, you know, it depends. It always depends on the fairness of an election.”

During his latest interview with Fox News, Trump repeatedly railed against his guilty verdict, complaining about the prosecution, the judge, the venue and even the jury — saying he had a jury that was from “a certain persuasion” and that it “would have been hard to [win] no matter what.”

Trump has previously been reprimanded by Judge Juan Merchan in the hush-money payment case for making similar comments about the jury — another possible violation of his gag order that bars him from commenting on the jury.

Reliving the moments when he heard his guilty verdict, Trump told Fox News he thought for a time that the trial was going to end with a hung jury.

“It looked like it was a hung jury for a while,” Trump said of the moment, saying it’s “the most you could hope for” as he appeared to complain about how it’s impossible for him to win “in the area.”

Trump also complained about his sentencing date being scheduled on July 11 — just four days before the Republican National Convention. Trump claimed the sentencing date was “part of the game,” even though it was Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche who advocated pushing the date to July while the judge suggested an earlier sentencing date. On social media on Sunday, Trump claimed the United States Supreme Court must weigh in on the sentencing date, saying the sentencing date is unfair.

Still, Trump touted his poll numbers and fundraising success following the guilty verdict, saying he has “set a record beyond all records” in fundraising. The Trump campaign said last week that it raised $53 million in the 24 hours following the verdict.

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