Trump jokes about being 'dictator on day one' in 2024 run

Written by Jeppe W

Dec.06 - 2023 1:01 PM CET


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Donald Trump, the Republican presidential frontrunner for the 2024 election, made a controversial remark about authoritarianism during a Fox News interview hosted by Sean Hannity in Davenport, Iowa.

Trump joked about being a dictator, saying he would assume such a role only on "day one," after which he plans to focus on closing the border and promoting drilling.

His comment, though made in jest, did not address the more serious accusations of authoritarian tendencies. Trump declined to discuss his previous statements about seeking "retribution" against political opponents, including potential investigations into President Joe Biden and others who have criticized him.

This statement has sparked reactions from various political figures. Julie Chavez Rodriguez, the Biden-Harris campaign manager, responded by saying, "Donald Trump has been telling us exactly what he will do if he’s reelected and tonight he said he will be a dictator on day one. Americans should believe him.”

The issue of Trump's approach to democracy is expected to be a significant topic in the upcoming 2024 election. His opponents, including Biden and some Republicans, have previously described him as a threat to democratic values. In his Fox News appearance, Trump criticized Biden and claimed that his opponents were orchestrating the four criminal trials pending against him.

Former U.S. Representative Liz Cheney, a critic of Trump, warned in a CBS News interview that the nation is "sleepwalking into dictatorship."

Mark Esper, Trump's former defense secretary, echoed similar concerns on MSNBC, stating that a re-elected Trump could enact policies of revenge and retribution, posing a danger to democracy.

Trump also took the opportunity to mock Biden's age and questioned his likelihood of being the Democratic nominee for 2024. "I personally don't think he makes it," Trump commented.

Interestingly, the event was billed as a "town hall," but the audience, which was favorable to Trump, did not get the opportunity to ask questions. The former president has faced legal challenges, including two indictments related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election and other cases involving hush money payments and mishandling of classified documents.

As the 2024 presidential race heats up, Trump's remarks and the reaction they garner underscore the deep political divisions and the contentious nature of the upcoming election.