'It's very possible': Trump floats imprisoning his political opponents

Scott Olson

Fresh off last week's historic guilty verdict, former President Donald Trump had a warning for his political opponents on Tuesday.

In an interview with the conservative outlet Newsmax, Trump seemed to float the possibility of imprisoning his political opponents if he becomes president again.

"So, you know, it’s a terrible, terrible path that they’re leading us to, and it’s very possible that it’s going to have to happen to them," Trump said when discussing his guilty verdict.

"Does that mean the next president does it to them? That’s really the question," he added.

Talk about going after his political enemies has been a consistent talking point during his campaign that has started to re-emerge since the verdict.

At the start of his re-election campaign, Trump frequently raised prosecuting President Joe Biden.

“I will appoint a real special prosecutor to go after the most corrupt president in the history of America, Joe Biden, and go after the Biden crime family,” Trump said in June at his Bedminster, New Jersey, residence, just hours after being arraigned at a federal courthouse in Miami on charges related to his handling of classified documents after he left the White House.

Trump also discussed his 2016 opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, and how he did not imprison her. "Lock her up" was a frequent chant at Trump's campaign rallies — often fueled by Trump himself — during that election cycle.

But Trump credited himself for not going after Clinton, compared to what is now being done to him.

“Some people said I should have done it, but, you know, could have, would have been very easy to do it, but I thought it would be a terrible precedent for our country,” Trump said. “And now, whoever it may be, you’re going to have to view it very much differently. This is a bad, bad road that they’re leading us down to as a country."

A spokesman for Clinton did not immediately return a request for comment.

In a Sunday interview with Fox News, Trump said that his revenge would be his "success."

“And I mean that, but it’s awfully hard when you see what they’ve done. These people are so evil,” Trump said.

He also suggested there would be a "breaking point" for the public if he ends up serving jail time or imprisoned on house arrest after being found guilty in his hush money trial.

On Thursday, a New York jury found Trump guilty on all 34 felony counts in his hush money case, related to covering up payments to an adult film star in order to help 2016 campaign.

In the Newsmax interview, Trump complained about the jury in his trial, saying he "never saw a glimmer of a smile" from them and added that he wasn’t given a fair trial.

Judge Juan Merchan, who oversaw the hush money case, placed a gag order on Trump barring him from talking about jurors, potential witnesses and individual prosecutors that he has not lifted since the trial ended. During the trial, Merchan fined Trump $10,000 for violating the gag order.

Trump also lashed out at writer E. Jean Carroll, who said Trump raped her in a department store in the 1990s.

“I’ve never met this woman,” he said of Carroll. “I don’t know this woman. And I’m supposed to pay a ridiculous amount of money for a fictional story.”

Last May, a New York jury found Trump liable for sexually abusing and defaming Carroll and ordered him to pay her $5 million. In January, after he continued to deny Carroll’s claims and attack her publicly, he was ordered to pay her an additional $83 million for defamation.