Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is now promising that if he’s elected president in 2024, he’ll pardon Donald Trump if the former president, who is facing 91 felony charges in four indictments, has been convicted.
The Republican presidential candidate, during a stop Friday in Iowa, declared that he “already said that long ago” when questioned about whether he’d pardon the Republican nomination’s front-runner.
“I think we’ve got to move on as a country and, you know, like Ford did to Nixon, because the divisions are not in the country’s interest,” said DeSantis, adding that he “said that months ago” when asked about pardoning the former president.
A DeSantis campaign spokesperson responded simply “Correct” when asked by NBC News on Saturday to clarify if the Florida governor was committing to granting Trump a presidential pardon.
DeSantis’ recent remarks about the former president arrive months after he was asked whether he’d look at potentially pardoning Trump supporters convicted in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol and Trump himself, whose charges include attempting to overturn the 2020 election and mishandling classified documents taken from the White House when he left office.
“On day one, I will have folks that will get together and look at all these cases, who are people, who are victims of weaponization or political targeting, and we will be aggressive at issuing pardons,” he said in May on “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show,” a right-wing talk radio program.
“I would say any example of disfavored treatment based on politics or weaponization would be included in that review, no matter how small or how big,” he said on the radio show.
In July, he said on “The Megyn Kelly Show” that he’s “going to do what’s right for the country,” adding that he didn’t think it’d be “good for the country to have an almost 80-year-old former president go to prison.”
“And I look at, like, you know, Ford pardoned Nixon, took some heat for it, but at the end of the day, it’s like, do we want to move forward as a country?” Gerald Ford, who had been been Nixon’s vice president, pardoned him after Nixon resigned in 1974 amid the Watergate investigation, elevating Ford to the presidency.
Other 2024 Republican candidates have also weighed in on the pardon question, including former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who sided with doing “what’s in the best interest of the country,” and Ohio biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who vowed he would pardon Trump as a first act as president.