The president said Friday he would not apologize for his comments about the Confederate flag, and that his critics would have to go to jail.
“I do not want to apologize for the words I said,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
“If they don’t apologize, I will be very, very angry with them, and I think they will pay a heavy price.”
Trump, in an interview with The Washington Post, also said he would consider pardoning a former Alabama chief justice who was convicted of sexual misconduct.
He said that, as president, he would pardon any state or local officials convicted of crimes.
But Trump said he did not want Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore to be the next president.
“It would be a very different thing than the last time we had a person in office who was a bad guy,” Trump said.
“He would be much worse.”
The president also rejected allegations that he called the New York Times “fake news” or a “fraud” in a series of tweets Friday.
Trump said the New Yorker article was “total fabrication” and that the two people who spoke with him, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former adviser Stephen Miller, had been given access to his office to brief him on the report.
“We’re going to have to look into it,” Trump added.
“They were given access.
They were given a lot of information.
They had a lot to say.”
Flynn has denied any wrongdoing and Miller has said he has no recollection of Trump saying the phrase.