Donald Trump warns supporters would reach ‘breaking point’ if he’s jailed

Convicted former US president says he cannot guarantee the American public ‘would stand for’ his jail time.

trump in suit pointing
Donald Trump was spotted at an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) match where he launched a TikTok account two days after his guilty verdict [Frank Franklin II/AP Photo]

Former US President Donald Trump said while he would accept a prison sentence for his criminal conviction, it could prove a “breaking point” for his supporters ahead of United States presidential elections in November.

In an interview aired on Sunday on Fox News, the current Republican White House hopeful acknowledged the possibility of jail time or house arrest following his historic criminal conviction in a hush-money trial.

“I’m OK with it,” Trump said, but added he was “not sure the public would stand for it”.

“I think it would be tough for the public to take. You know at a certain point there’s a breaking point,” he said.

Trump did not elaborate on what he thought might happen if that point is reached. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11, four days before Republicans gather to formally choose their presidential nominee to face Democratic President Joe Biden in this year’s election.

‘Chaos is not conservative’

The warning will resonate in a country already concerned about the prospect of civil unrest and political harassment in the run-up to the November 5 ballot.

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

Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol after he delivered a fiery speech urging the crowd to “fight like hell”.

US House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Trump ally, said any response must be lawful.

“We are the rule of law party – chaos is not a conservative value. We have to fight back and we will with everything in our arsenal. But we do that within the confines of the rule of law,” Johnson told the programme Fox News Sunday.

Trump will now be running as a convicted felon, and he has repeatedly refused to commit to accepting the result should he lose to Biden.

Extremely unlikely

A New York jury on Thursday convicted Trump on all 34 felony charges of falsifying business records in the final stages of the 2016 presidential campaign to cover up a sex scandal involving adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Although each charge carries a possible four-year jail term, experts say it is extremely unlikely the judge will hand down a custodial sentence.

Trump has vowed to appeal his conviction by the New York jury, while the matter is unlikely to be resolved before the presidential election. Opinion polls show a close race and suggest his conviction could hurt him with some Republican voters and independents.

Trump faces three other criminal trials, including one related to efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election he lost to Biden.Donald Trump's criminal cases tracker

Source: News Agencies