Former President of the United States Donald Trump has said he would not withdraw from the presidential race even if convicted of a felony.
Trump said during his first major interview since he was arrested and fingerprinted last week, and also arraigned, AFP said.
The 76-year-old Republican faces 34 felony counts in New York over alleged hush money paid to an audit film actress.
Trump, having been criminally charged, said on Tuesday to “never drop out” of the 2024 race for the White House, and maintained the 80-year-old President Joe Biden is not suitable to contest again.
In the interview with Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, the ex-president said that nothing would prevent him from running, even a conviction.
“I’d never drop out,” Trump said. “It’s not my thing. I wouldn’t do it. I don’t see how it’s possible. It’s not an age thing…I don’t think he can. I just don’t see Biden doing it from a physical or a mental standpoint. I don’t see it.”
Trump and other senior Republicans have repeatedly doubted Biden’s mental insight and apparent feebleness.
The interview, part two of which is expected to be broadcast on Wednesday, comes weeks after texts emerged showing Carlson speaking disparagingly about Trump after his election loss.
AFP said the messages were exposed as part of a $1.6 billion lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems against the Rupert Murdoch-run Fox News over its coverage of Trump and his allies’ unfounded claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election.
“We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I truly can’t wait,” says one Carlson text message sent two days before a Trump-supporting mob — inspired by the then president’s false claims of a “stolen election” — invaded the US Capitol in Washington.
“I hate him passionately,” says another.