Trump Says He’s “Okay” With Jail or House Arrest

Top Republicans are realizing they might have to nominate an incarcerated man at their July convention, CBS reports.

A black-and-white portrait of Donald Trump as he sits in court. The horizontal photo is cut into six pieces, and the negative spaces in between the slices convey that Trump is behind bars.

Mother Jones; Mark Peterson/Pool/AP

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Following former President Trump’s first criminal conviction—and his rambling against the outcome—he’s claiming that the possibility of being sentenced to house arrest or jail time doesn’t bother him.

“I’m okay with it,” Trump said on Fox & Friends Weekend, in his first interview since a dozen jurors handed down guilty verdicts on 34 of 34 felony charges for falsifying business records on Thursday.

The Fox & Friends hosts said they spent 90 minutes interviewing the former president at his Bedminster, New Jersey estate. In the 11-minute clip that aired Sunday, Trump ranted and repeated many of his complaints about the case and his political opponents: the people trying to hold him accountable are “deranged,” the trial was “a scam,” President Biden “can’t put two sentences together,” Democrats are “a threat to democracy.” Trump also called the guilty verdict, which he plans to appeal, “tougher on my family than it is for me.”

And, ever the martyr, the former president added that he thinks a sentence of jail or house arrest would throw his adoring public into upheaval. “I’m not sure the public would stand for it,” he said. “I think it would be tough for the public to take. You know, at a certain point, there’s a breaking point.”

But that remains to be seen. A CBS News/YouGov poll released today found that while 45 percent of respondents thought Trump should not serve prison time for the conviction, 38 percent think he should, with 17 percent unsure. An ABC/Ipsos poll found that half of Americans agree with the verdict—and nearly as many, 49 percent, think Trump should end his presidential campaign because of it.

Meanwhile, top Republicans are privately bracing for the possibility that their presumptive nominee may be incarcerated when the party officially nominates him at July’s Republican National Convention, according to a report on CBS’ Face the Nation. The former president’s sentencing is set for July 11; the four-day RNC kicks off in Milwaukee on July 15.

Some legal experts think Trump’s chances of jail time are slim given his age, 77, and his lack of a criminal record. He could simply be sentenced to probation. But incarceration is certainly possible, especially given Trump’s repeated violations of a gag order barring him from “threatening, inflammatory, denigrating” remarks about witnesses, jurors, court workers, and their families.

One thing is for sure: Jail time wouldn’t stop his campaign. “He is running for president,” Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, told the BBC on Sunday. “Nothing will change there.”

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