Updated Apr 12, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump says he'd "never drop out" of 2024 race, even if convicted

 Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an event at the Mar-a-Lago Club April 4.

Former President Trump speaking at Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach, Florida, on April 4. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former President Trump made clear Tuesday evening he won't drop out of the 2024 presidential race if convicted of charges related to a 2016 illegal hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Driving the news: Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked Trump if there's anything legal that could make the 2024 Republican presidential candidate drop out of the race. "No, I'd never drop out," Trump said.

  • "That's not my thing. I wouldn't do it," he added.

The big picture: Trump is facing multiple criminal probes and is the first president in U.S. history — sitting or former — to face criminal charges after being indicted in Manhattan earlier this month.

  • Carlson asked Trump during their interview on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" how he would respond in the middle of a presidential campaign if that criminal case goes to trial and he's convicted.
  • Trump responded, "It is so off. Statute of limitations are years off. It's hard to believe. ... They say there's no crime. There's no, there's no anything. Think of it. I've been through seven years of bulls--t investigations."
  • He then railed against various cases against him and his interests, including a tax fraud case for which the Trump Organization was convicted last year, but added: "The rallies are bigger now that the enthusiasm is more now than I've ever seen, than I've ever seen."

Between the lines: There's nothing in the U.S. Constitution that specifies that a candidate who's been charged or convicted cannot seek or take office.

  • James Sampler, a constitutional law professor at Hofstra University, noted to ABC News after Trump was indicted that many states have laws prohibiting people convicted of felonies from voting, "but a president convicted of a felony is still allowed."

Flashback: Socialist Party candidate Eugene Debs was incarcerated when he ran for president in 1920 and garnered nearly 1 million votes.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with additional details throughout.

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