Updated Apr 30, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump’s most revealing quotes yet on what he’ll do if he wins in 2024

Former U.S. President Donald Trump appears in court during his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments at Manhattan Criminal Court on April 26, 2024 in New York City.

Former President Trump appears in court at Manhattan Criminal Court on April 26 in New York City. Photo: Mark Peterson-Pool/Getty Images

Former President Trump suggested in an interview out Tuesday that he would ignore a law forbidding the use of military force on civilians as part of his plan to target undocumented immigrants.

Why it matters: Trump has previously floated using the military in unprecedented ways, but his extensive interview with TIME reveals other ways a second Trump administration would challenge longstanding U.S. norms and laws.

1. Immigration: Trump said he is open to using the National Guard to deport undocumented migrants nationwide during a second term. "If they weren't able to, then I'd use [other parts of] the military."

  • In response to a question over whether he would override the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids the use of the military against civilians, Trump said of undocumented immigrants: "Well, these aren't civilians. These are people that aren't legally in our country."
  • Reality check: "Any person in the U.S., regardless of their immigration status, may be entitled to many of the same constitutional rights as U.S. citizens, including the right to due process and equal protection," TIME writes in a fact check of the interview.

2. The 2024 election: "If we don't win, you know, it depends," Trump said of the possibility of violence following the presidential election.

  • "It always depends on the fairness of the election."

3. Department of Justice: The former president said that he may fire U.S. Attorneys who buck his directives to prosecute someone.

  • "It would depend on the situation," Trump said.

4. Abortion: Trump told TIME that it is up to the states if they decide to monitor women's pregnancies so they know if they receive an abortion.

  • "I think they might do that," he said.
  • Trump also said that it is up to the states if they decide to prosecute women for getting abortions.
  • "The states are going to say. It's irrelevant whether I'm comfortable or not. It's totally irrelevant, because the states are going to make those decisions."

5. South Korea: Trump floated the retreat of U.S. forces from U.S. ally South Korea.

  • "We have 40,000 troops that are in a precarious position," Trump told TIME, which noted that there are 28,500 U.S. troops.
  • "Which doesn't make any sense. Why would we defend somebody? And we're talking about a very wealthy country."

6. Israel: Trump said that if Israel and Iran get into a war, the U.S. should get involved. "If they attack Israel, yes, we would be there."

  • "There was a time when I thought two-state could work," Trump said of the possibility of Israel and a Palestinian state existing peacefully side by side. "Now I think two-state is going to be very, very tough."

7. The 2020 election: "I wouldn't feel good about it," Trump said of hiring anybody who believes that President Biden won the 2020 election.

8. Jan. 6: Trump would "absolutely" consider pardoning the Jan. 6 defendants, he told TIME.

The other side: The Biden campaign in a statement said that the election "will determine whether women in the United States have reproductive freedom, or whether Trump's new government will continue its assault to control women's health care decisions."

  • Biden-Harris campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez said that the interview left "little doubt" that Trump would "sign a national abortion ban, allow women who have an abortion to be prosecuted and punished, allow the government to invade women's privacy ... and put IVF and contraception in jeopardy nationwide."

Trump, who has repeatedly taken credit for appointing the three conservative justices who overturned Roe v. Wade, has claimed he plans to leave the issue of reproductive rights to the states if he's elected.

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Editor's note: This story has been updated with a statement from the Biden campaign.

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