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Trump Tells Dr. Phil ‘Sometimes Revenge Can Be Justified’

U.S.Trump Tells Dr. Phil ‘Sometimes Revenge Can Be Justified’

Former President Donald J. Trump has in recent days been escalating his suggestions that he could prosecute his political enemies if elected in November.

In interviews broadcast on Thursday and earlier this week, Mr. Trump’s remarks demonstrated how he was trying to put his legal troubles on the ballot as a referendum on the American justice system and the rule of law. His allies in the Republican Party have also joined his calls for revenge prosecutions and other retaliatory measures against Democrats in response to his felony convictions by a jury in a New York court on 34 charges.

Mr. Trump was offered several opportunities by sympathetic interviewers in recent days — including an appearance with Dr. Phil McGraw, the television host — to clarify or walk back his previous statements. Mr. Trump instead defended his position, saying at points that “I don’t want to look naïve” and that “sometimes revenge can be justified.”

Dr. McGraw brought up the former president’s previous statements in an interview that ran on Thursday and gave him an opportunity to say, as Dr. McGraw put it: “Enough is enough. Too much is too much. This is a race to the bottom, and it stops here. It stops now.”

Mr. Trump initially responded, “I’m OK with that,” but then added, “Sometimes, I’m sure in certain moments I wouldn’t be, you know, when you go through what I’ve been through.”

Then, when Dr. McGraw said that revenge and retribution were unhealthy for the country and that Mr. Trump did not have time to “get even,” the former president replied: “Revenge does take time. I will say that. And sometimes revenge can be justified Phil, I have to be honest — sometimes it can.”

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