Former President Donald Trump is not losing sleep over the prospect that he could end up behind bars, he said in an exclusive interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker.
“I don’t even think about it,” Trump, who has been indicted four times this year, said when asked if he’s concerned about nighttime jail. “I think I’m built a little differently because people would come up to me and say, ‘How do you do it, sir? How do you do it?’ I don’t even think about it.”
Later in the interview, which was taped Thursday at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster and will air Sunday on NBC affiliates, the former president returned to the question.
“When you say, am I losing sleep? I’m sleeping,” he said. ‘I am sleeping. Because I really feel like we’re going to win in the end.”
NBC News also extended an invitation to President Joe Biden to sit down with Welker for an interview.
Trump, who is far ahead of his competitors for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, made his most extensive comments on January 6 about the danger he faces from allegations over his retention of classified documents and failed efforts to overturn the 2020 election were illegal.
He took responsibility for the decision to try to reverse his loss.
“We have a lot of people, and it’s my choice,” he said at one point, later adding, “It was my decision. But I listened to some people.”
He said he didn’t heed the advice of top administration and campaign lawyers who told him he lost the election “because I didn’t respect them as lawyers.”
When Welker noted that he had hired them, Trump portrayed them as defectors — Republicans in name only.
“They turn out to be RINOs, or they turn out not to be that good. In many cases, I didn’t respect them,” he said. “But I did respect others. I respected many others who said the election was rigged.”
Trump went on to say he only needed about 22,000 votes spread across key battleground states to be declared the winner — a figure that would be on target if he were voted for instead of Biden.
“Do you acknowledge that you did not win?” Welker asked.
“I don’t acknowledge it,” he said. ‘No. I say I won the election.”
Trump is being tried in federal court in Washington DC on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding – the certification of electoral votes; obstruction; and a conspiracy to deny the right to vote. These charges stem from a nearly two-month campaign to prevent Biden’s election from being certified, an effort that culminated in the storming of the Capitol by his supporters on January 6, 2021 to prevent the electoral votes from being counted .
He has also been charged in Georgia in connection with his attempt to overturn that state’s results.
He said he has “no” regrets — “none” — about a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call in which he asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger to come up with more votes to restore his defeat in the state.
“I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state,” Trump said on the phone call, which he claims was recorded illegally because he did not give permission to be recorded.
Trump also accused President Joe Biden, who has studiously avoided addressing the allegations, of promoting “indictments against Biden” — despite Attorney General Merrick Garland’s appointment of special counsel to pursue separate charges against Trump, Biden and Biden’s son , Hunter Biden, to investigate. arraigned Thursday on gun-related charges.
In a separate federal lawsuit, Trump has been accused of keeping and hiding classified documents from the federal government.
He said he never ordered anyone to remove security footage from his Mar-a-Lago resort — and said he would testify about it in court.
Calling the accusation “false,” he said, “I will testify.” … So it’s a false accusation. But more importantly, the tires have not been removed. In other words: nothing has been done with it. my tires.”
But Trump’s most immediate legal danger may stem from his actions on January 6. In the interview, he disputed the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, a White House aide, who told the House committee on January 6 that he was so determined to go to the US. the Capitol after a speech near the White House that day in which he attacked and tried to strangle a Secret Service officer to change the direction of his limousine. He also downplayed his role in the riot that followed after he ordered his supporters to march to the Capitol.
“First of all, I had very little to do with January 6,” Trump said. ‘I was asked to speak. And I was the president of the United States. I can do that. But I was asked to speak.”
Welker pressed him on his version of events.
“So I spoke. And then I went back,” Trump said, referring to his return to the White House. “I wanted to go to the Capitol peacefully and patriotically. The Secret Service, for whom I have great respect, said, ‘Sir, it’s better if you don’t do that. It could be unsafe.'”
The officer didn’t say that “because of rioting,” Trump said, referring to the threat to a president. “You know, it takes one man with bad intentions. Okay, so I didn’t argue with them.’
He then took issue with Hutchinson’s testimony.
“You know, there was one person who said I grabbed the guy around the neck,” he said. “I actually wish I was strong enough to do that. These are all tough guys, smart guys.”
Welker asked Trump to confirm that he disputed Hutchinson’s account.
‘Dispute it? Who wouldn’t dispute it? She is – the craziest story I’ve ever heard. You mean I was in ‘The Beast,'” he said, referring to the presidential limousine’s nickname, “and she said, I was in ‘The Beast’ and the Secret Service wouldn’t – so I took a guy who was a had a black belt in karate, grabbed him by the neck and tried to strangle him… How ridiculous.”