Former president Donald Trump has brushed off the investigation into his retention of classified documents, claiming that even a criminal indictment would not prevent him from running for president again. But according to Politico's White House editor, Trump is "not where he wants to be politically."
"On the one hand, he's giving a permission structure, essentially, to his supporters to riot. That's what he was talking about," Sam Stein told MSNBC on Friday regarding Trump's recent remarks.
"On the other hand, [it is] evident to me in the reporting that he believes and he knows that he is under siege politically, that this is not an opportunistic place to be," he continued. "His poll numbers have improved in the context of a Republican primary and, yes, he is fundraising very well off the fact that the FBI seized materials from his Mar-a-Lago home.
"But if you’re Donald Trump, having not just this Mar-a-Lago records probe over your head but the January 6 probe and then probes in New York state involving your business, it's not just a huge distraction, it's a resource suck," Stein said. "You have to devote millions of dollars in attorney fees just to tackle these things. It distracts you politically as well.
"We're very near the time when you'll start to see the formulation of the 2024 presidential campaign. People will start dipping their toes in the water. Trump is going to likely have a lot of these looming legal issues hanging over his head as this process begins. And that’s just not where he wants to be politically."
During an interview with conservative Hugh Hewitt on Thursday, Trump warned there would be "big problems" if he was indicted by the Department of Justice.
"I think if it happened, I think you’d have problems in this country the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen before," Trump said. "I don’t think the people of the United States would stand for it."