Fox News host Jesse Watters tried to downplay Donald Trump’s calls to imprison his political opponents as he faces a potential indictment from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office through a grand jury.
Watters, whom Mr Trump has on occasion broadcast at his rallies, said the former president never indicted former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, despite frequent chants to “lock her up”.
“‘Lock her up’ was a joke,” he said. “Trump never indicted crooked. But they’re going after him hard. They never cared what Trump was arrested for. They just wanted him behind bars.”
Watters said Democrats such as District Attorney Alvin Bragg were not prosecuting Mr Trump for a crime but because of who he is.
“Democrats arrest the Republican frontrunner and then bait you into reacting and then arrest you if you do,” he said. “They disenfranchise you and then call you a domestic extremist.”
Throughout much of the 2016 campaign, Mr Trump and his Republican acolytes called for Ms Clinton to be imprisoned for using a private email server to conduct official business as US Secretary of State.
“I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation,” he said to Ms Clinton in the second general election debate in 2016. “Because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it.”
Ms Clinton for her part brushed off the remarks.
“It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” she said.
“Because you would be in jail,” he said.
Similarly, in 2020, he called on his then-attorney general William Barr to indict multiple people.
“DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS, THE BIGGEST OF ALL POLITICAL SCANDALS (IN HISTORY)!!! BIDEN, OBAMA AND CROOKED HILLARY LED THIS TREASONOUS PLOT!!! BIDEN SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED TO RUN - GOT CAUGHT!!!” he had tweeted.