Trump says if he is jailed that could be ‘breaking point’ for Americans

By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Donald Trump said he would accept home confinement or jail time after his historic conviction by a New York jury last week but that it would be “tough” for the public to accept.

“I’m not sure the public would stand for it,” the Republican presidential candidate told Fox News in an interview that aired on Sunday. “I think it’d be tough for the public to take. You know, at a certain point, there’s a breaking point.”

Trump did not elaborate on what he thought might happen if that point is reached.

Asked what Trump supporters should do if he were jailed, Republic National Committee Co-Chair Lara Trump told CNN: “Well, they’re gonna do what they’ve done from the beginning, which is remain calm and protest at the ballot box on November 5. There’s nothing to do other than make your voices heard loud and clear and speak out against this.”

Trump has used his conviction to step up his fundraising efforts but has not otherwise sought to mobilize his supporters, in contrast to his comments protesting his 2020 loss to Biden that were followed by an attack by his supporters on Jan. 6, 2021 on the U.S. Capitol.

The RNC and the Trump campaign raised $70 million in the 48 hours after the verdict, Lara Trump said, a figure that Reuters was not able to independently verify.

Trump has vowed to appeal his conviction by the New York jury, which found him guilty of 34 felony counts over falsifying documents to cover up a payment to silence a porn star ahead of the 2016 election.

But the matter is unlikely to be resolved before the November presidential election, when he will seek to take back the White House from Democratic President Joe Biden. Opinion polls show a close race between the two men and suggest that his conviction could hurt him with some Republican voters and independents.

Trump still faces three other criminal cases, although they are not likely to come to trial before the election. He denies wrongdoing in all the cases and has called the charges a Democratic conspiracy to prevent him from competing.

Biden, meanwhile, has sought to defend the nation’s justice system, saying it is “reckless” and “dangerous” to call the verdict “rigged.” The U.S. Justice Department denies any political interference. 

Trump attorney Will Scharf told ABC News’ “This Week” that he does not expect Trump to “end up being subject to any sentence whatsoever” and planned to take the case to the Supreme Court.

U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Trump ally, told “Fox News Sunday” he knows the court’s justices and “they are deeply concerned, as we are, about maintaining our system of justice.”

(Reporting by Susan Heavey, Jasper Ward and Moira Warburton; additional reporting by Nathan Layne, editing by Ross Colvin and Nick Zieminski)