Trump says he doesn't actually want Whitmer, Biden and Obama to be locked up despite chants

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE in an interview with "60 Minutes" clarified that he does not actually want to lock up former President Obama, Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Federal student loan payment suspension extended another month Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week MORE or Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerAtlas departure from White House cheered by public health officials Michigan restaurant raises K after defying state lockdown measures Ohio governor on impeachment articles filed against him: 'We have to do whatever we can to slow this virus down' MORE (D) despite chants from his supporters to do just that.

The president on Thursday posted raw footage of his interview with veteran journalist Lesley Stahl in which he grows increasingly agitated by her questions before abruptly ending the sit-down.

In one exchange, Stahl presses Trump on the "lock her up" chants directed at Whitmer and others that are a feature of his campaign rallies.


"You encourage it," Stahl said of the chants, referencing how they were at first directed at 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary and Chelsea Clinton to host series based on their book 'Gutsy Women' Democrats see spike in turnout among Asian American, Pacific Islander voters Biden officially announces ex-Obama official Brian Deese as top economic adviser MORE.

"I don’t encourage it. If I mention her name about something, they go crazy," Trump said.

The president typically stands by while his crowds call for his opponents to be jailed, but in recent days he has signaled clearer support.

He told supporters in Florida last week that he agreed "100 percent" with a "lock her up" chant about Clinton, he told campaign staff Biden "should be in jail" and the president added "lock 'em all up" last weekend when the crowd directed the refrain at Whitmer, the target of an alleged kidnapping plot.

"You don’t want to lock up Gov. Whitmer?" Stahl asked.


"When did I say lock her up? ... When did I say lock up the governor?" Trump responded. "I didn’t say lock up the governor. Why would I lock her up?"

"Of course I don’t want to lock her up. Why would I lock her up?" he added shortly after calling her restrictions meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus "disgraceful."

After Trump spent portions of the interview complaining that journalists are not being tough enough on Biden over unproven corruption allegations involving his son Hunter Biden, Stahl asked if Trump wants to "lock up the Bidens."

"No, I don’t want to lock them up, but they certainly should be looked at," Trump said.

Asked about locking up Obama, whom Trump has baselessly accused of treason, the president said, "I don’t want to lock him up, but he spied on my campaign. Obama and Biden spied on my campaign."


"That’s never been verified," Stahl interjected.

"It’s been totally verified," Trump responded.

Democrats, critics and outside experts have frequently raised concerns about Trump's rhetoric toward his opponents. Whitmer's office and Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan Omar'It's not a slogan': Progressives push back on Obama's comments on 'defund the police' movement Meet the three Democrats who could lead foreign affairs in the House Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far MORE (D-Minn.) have said they receive an increase in threats whenever Trump targets them at his rallies.

The president has made little effort to discourage his supporters from calling for his political supporters to be jailed, though, and Trump himself added fuel this week when he urged Attorney General William BarrBill BarrKellyanne Conway acknowledges Biden as apparent winner Trump Pentagon nominee alleged Biden 'coup': report Ex-FBI lawyer who falsified document in Trump-Russia probe seeks to avoid prison MORE to launch an investigation into Hunter Biden just two weeks before Election Day.