Former President Donald Trump said Sunday he didn’t “respect” his attorneys and that it was his decision to challenge the results of the 2020 election he lost to Joe Biden in a new interview with NBC News.
“The most senior lawyers in your own administration and on your campaign told you that after you lost more than 60 legal challenges that it was over,” “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker said during the program. “Why did you ignore them and decide to listen to a new outside group of attorneys?”
“Because I didn’t respect them,” Trump replied. When Welker noted that he hired them to be his legal counsel, Trump shot back: “You hire them, you never met these people.”
“You get a recommendation. They turn out to be RINOs, or they turn out to be not so good,” he said, using an acronym for Republican In Name Only. “In many cases, I didn’t respect them. But I did respect others. I respected many others that said the election was rigged.”
WATCH: Kristen Welker asks former President Trump to clarify if he was listening to his lawyers’ advice or his own instincts after he lost the 2020 election.
Trump: “It was my decision.” pic.twitter.com/ib4D5rKfqN
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) September 17, 2023
The former president went on to say he listened to himself and those who supported his false claims of electoral fraud as he “saw what happened” during the 2020 race.
“My instincts are a big part of it. That’s been the thing that’s gotten me to where I am, my instincts,” he said.
“Were you calling the shots, though, Mr. President, ultimately?” Welker asked.
“As to whether or not I believed it was rigged? Oh, sure,” Trump said. “...It was my decision. But I listened to some people. Some people said that.”
Trump has been indicted in two cases linked to his effort to remain in power. Special counsel Jack Smith charged the president with multiple federal crimes described as an overarching criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruct an official proceeding. The former president was also indicted in Georgia on more than a dozen felonies in a sweeping racketeering case that also named 18 other defendants.
Welker went on to ask if Trump was concerned about the whirlwind of investigations into his behavior, which also include state charges in New York over hush money payments to a porn star and federal charges over his handling of classified documents.
“When you go to bed at night, do you worry about going to jail?” she asked.
“No, I don’t really. I don’t even think about it,” Trump replied. “I’m built a little differently, I guess.”