It’s not clear if he meant that statement to be a promise, a quip or a threat.
Donald Trump said Tuesday he will not be a dictator “except for day one” if he returns to office in 2025.
In a town hall with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, the former president was pressed on whether he would disavow taking retributive action against all his enemies if he reentered the Oval Office. He initially shied away from responding, but when asked a second time said he would only be a dictator on the first day of his second term. He emphasized that it would be for two specific issues.
“I want to close the border and I want to drill, drill, drill,” Trump said. “Other than that, I am not a dictator.”
The remarks may have been an attempt to defuse an issue that has bubbled up in recent weeks, with various news outlets spotlighting an authoritarian bent of Trump’s proposed second-term approach. But they were also quickly spotlighted by President Joe Biden’s campaign, suggesting that they felt Trump had provided them with ample fodder of his intentions.
“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,” Biden-Harris campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a statement.
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