Trump again suggests he would take revenge on his political enemies if re-elected

Donald Trump has again suggested he would take revenge on his political enemies if he is re-elected as President.

In an interview with conservative outlet Newsmax, the former president claimed “it’s very possible” that his political opponents could face prosecution after he became the first US president to be criminally convicted last week.

“So, you know, it’s a terrible, terrible path that they’re leading us to, and it’s very possible that it’s going to have to happen to them,” Trump said when discussing his guilty verdict.

“Does that mean the next president does it to them? That’s really the question,” he added.

It comes as MAGA allies are pushing Trump to investigate, prosecute — and even try to imprison —those involved in bringing four criminal cases against him.

Leading MAGA figure Steve Bannon told Axios on Wednesday that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who brought the hush money charges against Donald Trump, should be jailed.

“Of course [Bragg] should be — and will be — jailed,” he said. He went on to say that he wants “investigations to include [Democrats’] media allies.”

Donald Trump has again suggested he would take revenge on his political enemies if he is re-elected as President (Getty Images)
Donald Trump has again suggested he would take revenge on his political enemies if he is re-elected as President (Getty Images)

In recent days, other Trump allies, including House Republicans, have also threatened to go after Bragg and other prosecutors targeting the de facto leader of their party.

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan on Monday told Fox News that he’s preparing an appropriations package that would “defund the lawfare activities” of state and federal prosecutors leading “politically sensitive investigations,” including Bragg, special counsel Jack Smith and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. He added that he is going to “look at Special Counsel Jack Smith,” who is prosecuting Trump for his alleged mishandling of classified documents. “We have the funding streams. We have mechanisms to try to get control of that,” he said.

Jordan called last week for Bragg and one of his courtroom prosecutors, Matthew Colangelo, to testify on 13 June before the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.

The former president has floated the idea of prosecuting his political opponents on multiple occasions in the past.

At the start of his re-election campaign, Trump frequently raised the idea of prosecuting President Joe Biden.

“I will appoint a real special prosecutor to go after the most corrupt president in the history of America, Joe Biden, and go after the Biden crime family,” Trump said in June at his Bedminster, New Jersey, residence, just hours after being arraigned at a federal courthouse in Miami on charges related to his handling of classified documents after he left the White House.

Meanwhile, “Lock her up” was a frequent chant at Trump’s campaign rallies in 2016 when he ran against Hilary Clinton.

However, Trump credited himself for not going after Clinton, saying it would have been “a terrible precedent for our country.”

“Some people said I should have done it, but, you know, could have, would have been very easy to do it, but I thought it would be a terrible precedent for our country,” Trump said. “And now, whoever it may be, you’re going to have to view it very much differently. This is a bad, bad road that they’re leading us down to as a country.”

More recently, Trump has continued to make threats against his opponents, writing: “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” in an August 2023 Truth Social post.

Watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew) also released a report last month analysing more than 13,000 messages published by Trump on his Truth Social platform and found him vowing revenge, retaliation and retribution against his foes.

According to the report, the presumptive Republican nominee has threatened to use the federal government to go after Biden during a second Trump administration 25 times since the start of 2023. These threats include FBI raids, investigations, indictments and even jail time.

He has also threatened or suggested that the FBI and justice department should take action against senators, judges, members of Biden’s family and even non-governmental organisations, as well as threatening people connected to the four criminal cases against him.

In one post about the special counsel Jack Smith, who is prosecuting Trump in cases including his alleged mishandling of classified documents, he warned that there will be “repercussions far greater than anything that Biden or his Thugs could understand” and, if the investigations continue, it will open a “Pandora’s Box” of retribution.

In another, Trump wrote that his federal indictments are “setting a BAD precedent for yourself, Joe. The same can happen to you.”

“He is promising to go after what he perceives to be his political enemies,” Robert Maguire, vice-president for research and data at Crew, said of Trump. “He is promising to essentially weaponise the government against anyone he sees as not sufficiently loyal or who is openly opposed to him.

“He has constantly seeded this idea that the numerous charges against him are trumped-up charges and it seems almost to have given him licence to openly say, ‘You’ve done this to me, so I’m going to do it to you.’”

Trump was found guilty last week of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in a five-week trial in New York.

He repeatedly claimed that the trial was “rigged” and baselessly accused President Biden of directing the prosecution brought by the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg.

Joe Biden on Tuesday described Trump’s claims as “reckless and dangerous.”