During a portion of an interview with the Fox News Channel that took place on Monday and was aired on Tuesday’s broadcast of “Special Report,” 2024 Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump argued that giving the death penalty to drug dealers is “the only way” to stop drug problems, and that Alice Johnson, a drug dealer he gave clemency to, “was treated very unfairly. She got 48 years,” despite not being “much of” a dealer. Trump also stated that his death penalty proposal “would depend on the severity.” But Johnson wouldn’t get the death penalty under his plan because it wouldn’t be retroactive, and “she wouldn’t have done it” if dealers got the death penalty.
Host Bret Baier asked, “You have said you would be in favor of the death penalty for drug dealers. Still the case?”
Trump responded, “Yeah, that’s the only way you’re going to stop it.”
Baier then asked about Trump’s advocacy for the First Step Act and criticisms of the law that some of those released under the act — including drug dealers — have gone on to re-offend. Trump responded, “But I focused on non-violent crime.” Trump then cited the case of Alice Johnson and stated that “she was on a telephone call, and they were involved in selling marijuana, mostly marijuana. And she got like 50 years in jail.”
Baier then said, “But she’d be killed under your plan.”
Trump responded, “Huh?”
Baier then clarified that since Johnson was a dealer, she’d get the death penalty under Trump’s plan.
Trump responded, “No, no, no under my — oh, under that? Uh, it would depend on the severity.”
Baier then cut in to say, “She’s technically a former drug dealer. She had a multi-million-dollar cocaine ring.”
Trump then said, “Any drug dealer –.”
Baier then cut in to ask, “So, even Alice Johnson in that ad?”
Trump responded, “She can’t do it okay? By the way, if that was there, no, she wouldn’t be killed. It would start as of now. So, you wouldn’t go to the past.”
Baier then said, “No, I know. But your policy.”
Trump continued, “Starting now, yeah. But she wouldn’t have done it if it was death penalty. In other words, if it was death penalty, she wouldn’t have been on that phone call. She wouldn’t have been a dealer. Now, she wasn’t much of a dealer, because she was sort of like — honestly, she got treated terribly. She was treated sort of like I get treated. But, Bret, she was treated very unfairly. She got 48 years, and that was bad. Now, today, if I did what I say that you have to do — and again, I’m not sure the country’s ready for it.”
After Trump turned to China’s drug policy, Baier asked about Trump pardoning drug dealers. Trump responded that he denied most of the recommendations for pardons.
Trump concluded, “Bret, one thing, if you want to stop drugs, there’s only one way you’re going to stop them: The death penalty for dealers.”
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