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    Friday, July 19, 2024

    Trump claims he never called for Hillary Clinton to be locked up

    Hillary Clinton attends the "Suffs" Broadway opening night performance at the Music Box Theatre on Thursday, April 18, 2024, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Former President Donald Trump, who now awaits sentencing after being convicted on Thursday on 34 charges in his hush money trial, told Fox News that he never called for his 2016 presidential campaign rival, Hillary Clinton, to be sent to jail.

    During an interview, portions of which aired Sunday on “Fox & Friends Weekend,” Trump was asked about a call often heard at his campaign rallies: “Lock her up.”

    The chant is perhaps one of the most popular among Trump supporters, and it refers to demands by his voters to imprison Clinton over her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

    “You famously said, regarding Hillary Clinton, ‘Lock her up.’ You declined to do that as president,” Fox co-host Will Cain told Trump.

    “I beat her,” Trump replied. “It’s easier when you win. And they always said lock her up, and I felt - and I could have done it, but I felt it would have been a terrible thing. And then this happened to me.”

    Trump then asserted that he never called for Clinton’s jailing.

    “I didn’t say ‘lock her up,’ but the people said lock her up, lock her up,” Trump said. “Then, we won. And I say - and I said pretty openly, I said, all right, come on, just relax, let’s go, we’ve got to make our country great.”

    However, there are several instances in which Trump did agree with calls for Clinton’s jailing.

    In July 2016, for example, Trump said he would not be “Mr. Nice Guy” when it came to Clinton, during a Colorado rally where the crowd was calling for Clinton to be locked up.

    “Every time I mention her, everyone screams, ‘Lock her up, lock her up,’” Trump told the crowd. “You know what, I’m starting to agree with you.”

    In the weeks before the 2016 election, Trump even said he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton and seek to put her in jail for her use of the private email server.

    But after his election, on Nov. 9, 2016, Trump did not lash out at Clinton when, during a post-election rally, a crowd began a loud chant of “Lock her up!”

    “Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country,” Trump said then. “I mean that very seriously. Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division. … I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.”

    But the chants didn’t stop, even four years later when Trump was running against a different Democratic presidential nominee. In September 2020, Trump said “I agree” during chants to lock up Clinton.

    After his conviction in New York, Trump faces uncertainty about whether he could be sentenced to prison. His legal team has vowed to appeal the guilty verdict, and New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan has scheduled his sentencing for July 11. Merchan, who oversaw Trump’s trial, will also decide his punishment. Potential sentences include up to four years in prison, home confinement, probation or a fine.

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