Former President Donald Trump made his first public comments about the effort to bar him from the ballot under the 14th Amendment on Thursday, describing it as “nonsense” and “election interference.”
“This is like a banana republic,” Trump said in an interview with conservative radio host Dan Bongino. “And what they’re doing is, it’s called election interference. … Now the 14th Amendment is just a continuation of that. It’s nonsense.”
The issue centers on a clause in the 14th Amendment that says no person shall hold elected office who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the U.S.
Already, New Hampshire, Arizona, Michigan and, most recently, Colorado have faced or are preparing for such challenges to Trump’s eligibility to be on the 2024 presidential ballot.
Trump said it was a continuation of election interference in the radio interview.
Trump — who still insists he won in 2020 and tried to get his own vice president to deny Joe Biden victory — also played down the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, saying the real “insurrectionists” were “the people that insurrected on the election and rigged the election.”
Trump also posted Monday on his Truth Social account that “almost all legal scholars have voiced opinions that the 14th Amendment has no legal basis or standing relative to the upcoming 2024 Presidential Election.”
Asked on a second radio show interview Thursday — with conservative host Howie Carr — why the 14th Amendment might be applied to remove him from state ballots, Trump responded, “Because they know they’re not going to beat me.”
“Look, I beat them twice,” he said. “OK, I did better the second time than I did the first time, but we had Covid. They cheated like hell.”
Although Trump dismisses the effort, some legal scholars, including some conservative ones, have said the effort may have some validity.