Trump Denies Ever Saying ‘Lock Her Up.’ He Did … Several Times

In an interview on Fox & Friends, filmed 48 hours after he was convicted on 34 counts of falsifying business records, Donald Trump attempted to rewrite history. Now that he is facing legal consequences for paying hush money to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, the former president is denying he ever said “Lock her up” about Hillary Clinton, his 2016 opponent.

“You famously said regarding Hillary Clinton, ‘Lock her up.’ You declined to do that as president,” said Fox host Will Cain, implying that the president has control over who is prosecuted.

“I beat her,” Trump replied. “It’s easier when you win. They always said, ‘Lock her up.’ And I could have done it, but I felt it would have been a terrible thing. And then this happened to me, so I may feel differently about it. I can’t tell you, I’m not sure I can answer the question.”

He continued, “Hillary Clinton — I didn’t say, ‘Lock her up,’ but the people would all say, ‘Lock her up, lock her up.’ OK. Then we won, and I said pretty openly, I’d say, ‘All right, come on, just relax. Let’s go. We gotta make our country great.'”

That is, of course, a lie. Trump not only beamed and nodded from the podium as his rally crowds chanted, “Lock her up,” he also said it himself, multiple times. He said it on Oct. 14, 2016, at a rally in Greensboro, N.C. As the crowd chanted the line, Trump said, “For what she’s done, they should lock her up.”

In fact, he said it numerous times on the 2016 campaign trail, and he carried the line forward during his presidency. He even said it of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in October 2020. When the crowd chanted, “Lock her up!” about Whitmer, Trump responded with, “Lock them all up.” And that same month, he told a crowd of the Bidens, “You should lock them up. Lock up the Bidens, lock up Hillary.”

When a crowd chanted, “Lock her up!” about Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford, the professor who accused Supreme Court Justice Bret Kavanaugh of assaulting her when both were teens, Trump gave the crowd enthusiastic nods and a thumbs-up.

As recently as last August, Trump hinted he might attempt to lock up his opponents. In an interview with Glenn Beck, the host asked, “Do you regret not ‘locking her up.’ And if you’re president again, will you lock people up?”

“The answer is you have no choice, because they’re doing it to us,” Trump responded.

Even with his conviction, it is unlikely that Trump himself will be “locked up” for any period of time. He will almost certainly appeal, and a prison sentence is unlikely for someone convicted of falsifying business records. But even though he faces a vanishingly small chance of time behind bars, Trump is all of a sudden painting himself as soft on crime.

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