Trump says it’s ‘very unlikely’ he’ll pardon himself if he wins 2024 election

Former President Donald Trump said Thursday that it is “very unlikely” he would issue himself a pardon if elected to the White House in 2024, but he refused to completely rule it out. 

“I think it’s very unlikely. What, what did I do wrong? I didn’t do anything wrong,” Trump, 77, told Kristen Welker, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” when asked about a potential self-pardon. “You mean because I challenge an election, they want to put me in jail?”

Trump, the 2024 Republican presidential primary front-runner, recalled being offered the opportunity to pardon himself before leaving office in 2021, but ultimately decided against it. 

“I could have pardoned myself. Do you know what? I was given an option to pardon myself. I could have pardoned myself when I left,” the former president revealed. 

Donald Trump
Trump declined to completely rule out the possibility of issuing himself a pardon if elected president in 2024.
NBC News

Kristin Welker
Trump revealed that he considered a self-pardon in 2021 but decided against it.
NBC News

“People said, ‘Would you like to pardon yourself?’ I had a couple of attorneys that said, ‘You can do it if you want.’ I had some people that said, ‘It would look bad if you do it’ – because I think it would look terrible,” he added. 

“Let me just say, I said, ‘The last thing I’d ever do is give myself a pardon,’” Trump recalled, arguing that he did “a great job as president.” 

Trump is facing a total of 91 charges across four criminal cases — and up to 712 years and six months behind bars if convicted of all of them.

He has been indicted on federal charges related to his handling of classified documents and his alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

On the state level, he’s been indicted in New York, related to alleged hush-money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels, and in Georgia, stemming from his alleged involvement in a conspiracy to interfere in the state’s 2020 election. 

Presidential pardoning powers are broad by nature, but only in federal cases. That power does not extend to state and local convictions, so it appears that Trump would not have the authority to overturn possible convictions in his first and last criminal indictments this year, in Manhattan and Fulton County, Ga.

“I could have had a pardon done that would have saved me all of these lawyers and all of this — these fake charges, these Biden indictments,” Trump said. 

Trump, however, refused to fully rule out granting himself a pardon if elected president again, when pressed by Welker. 

The former president’s full interview with the network will air Sunday.