Former President Donald Trump revealed Thursday that he would "very seriously" consider pardoning supporters who were arrested during the Jan. 6, 2021, unrest at the Capitol — if he becomes president again.
While speaking with conservative broadcaster Wendy Bell, Trump openly discussed his pardoning thought process for the White House, perhaps as early as January 2025.
"I will tell you, I will look very, very favorably about full pardons. If I decide to run and if I win, I will be looking very, very strongly about pardons. Full pardons," Trump said to Bell, while adding, "We'll be looking very, very seriously at full pardons because we can't let that happen ... and I mean full pardons with an apology to many."
In addition to possible Jan. 6 pardons, Trump said he has offered financial support to some of those charged in the Capitol rally, including former police officers and inactive service members of the United States military.
"I met with and I'm financially supporting people that are incredible," said Trump. "They were in my office two days ago. It's very much on my mind."
According to reports, more than 900 people have been charged with crimes in the Jan. 6 incident, and nearly 250 have already been sentenced.
Trump has yet to officially declare his candidacy for the 2024 presidency, but two factors may make that announcement seem like a formality.
The former president has been wildly successful with endorsing House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates for the upcoming November midterms. And Trump is also the tracking-poll favorite to secure the 2024 Republican nomination.
During his interview with Bell, Trump also expressed disappointment with how local, state, and federal officials oversaw the 2020 election.
"The election was a disgrace. We won the election by a lot. You understand it. Everybody understands it, except people who don't want to say it, especially Democrats. They cheated, and it was a horrible thing. We ran the election like a Third-World country," said Trump.
The specter of Trump running for president again was the central theme of President Joe Biden's prime-time address from Thursday.
While speaking in Philadelphia, amid a backdrop that appeared ominous for some in the television audience, Biden characterized Make America Great Again supporters as a "threat" to the nation's democracy.
"MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people. They refuse to accept the results of a free election," said Biden. "And they're working right now, as I speak, in state after state, to give power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself."
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