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Trump returns to Fox News for interview with Sean Hannity

Former President Donald Trump returned to Fox News Monday night and aired a host of grievances about the investigations he’s facing, mail-in voting and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in his first interview with the network since the legal documents showed that the leaders of the network condemned him in private.

There was no hint of the acrimony detailed in those communications, made public as part of Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against the network. Trump, the Republican presidential frontrunner, spoke for nearly an hour with primetime host Sean Hannity, long one of his most outspoken Fox News supporters.

Trump has found a welcome environment for his attempt to tie a possible impeachment in New York to the myth of the 2020 election rigging that led to his supporters’ attack on the Capitol, defending the rioters who were arrested at the sequel and say that he and DeSantis — his main rival for the GOP presidential nomination — were never friends.

“It’s a new way to cheat in the election,” Trump said when asked about Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s money investigation. “That’s called election interference.”

On March 18, Trump predicted he would be arrested in three days, which turned out to be wrong. But he has shared more impassioned rhetoric about a potential indictment in recent days, including a warning of “potential death and destruction” if charged.

Trump said Monday he was not calling for violence and added that his Truth Social posting of an article featuring a split photo of him holding a baseball bat in front of Bragg was unknowingly written.

“We haven’t seen any pictures. We put together a story that was very exculpatory, a very good story from the standpoint of what we’re talking about,” he said.

He expressed relatively little emotion when asked how he dealt with the risk of arrest, later shifting in his response to a riff involving the supposed emptying of South American prisons and “psychiatric institutions”.

“Well, I’m on it,” he said of a possible indictment. “We are dealing with very dishonest people. We are dealing with thugs. We are dealing with people who I think hate our country.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, Trump promoted the song “Justice for All,” which features a choir of men incarcerated for their roles in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack singing the national anthem, interposed with Trump. reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Trump began his rally on Saturday in Waco, Texas by releasing a video version of the recording, which also featured footage of the insurgency.

“The J6 beats Taylor Swift,” Trump said, noting the song’s success on a variety of music charts. “It’s Donald Trump and the J-Sixers on iTunes and on Amazon and on Billboard, who is the big deal. No. 1, Donald Trump.

“It’s a tribute to the fact that people think the people of J6 have been treated very unfairly,” he added.

Reflecting on some of his personal decisions during his presidency, Trump said he “may have made a mistake” in choosing FBI Director Christopher Wray and added that he “didn’t like” the president of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell.

But Trump saved his harshest criticism for DeSantis.

“Not friends,” Trump said of their relationship before DeSantis became a presidential candidate. “I didn’t know him well.”

Trump has described DeSantis as a “desperate” politician who he says came to him with “tears in his eyes” asking for endorsement in a 2018 primary race for governor against then-Commissioner Adam Putnum. Florida agriculture.

According to Trump, DeSantis owes him his good fortune and is not expected to run against him in 2024.

“I helped a lot of people get elected,” he said, adding, “But I got a few. Ron, I got in. He was losing. There was no No way. It was over. He was dead. He was going to give up. He was gone.

A DeSantis spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. DeSantis is by far the second most favored contender in the GOP field in 2024, but amid intense attacks from Trump, some donors and allies have questioned whether he’s ready for what will be a primary fight. murderer. Trump has become increasingly focused on DeSantis since he incorrectly predicted his arrest date.

The interview was the first Trump has conducted with a primetime Fox News anchor since September.

After the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch said in emails that the network wanted to “make Trump a non-person” and was “pivoting as fast as possible,” revealed recent legal documents in the Dominion lawsuit.

But Trump’s team felt Fox’s coverage this year was an improvement over his coverage in 2016, the last time he faced a seriously contested primary.

“They were openly hostile to him in 2016,” an adviser said this month. “They’re not so openly hostile” now.

nbcnews Gt

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