The tone is set. Donald Trump promises that he will not be a dictator if he is re-elected in 2024... except on the first day of his re-election. The former president of the United States refused to rule out an abuse of power during an interview broadcast on Fox News Channel on Tuesday, December 5. The host, Sean Hannity, asked him to respond to growing Democratic criticism of his authoritarian rhetoric.
Donald Trump has once again entered the race for the White House and is emerging as the clear favourite in the Republican primaries. His programme, detailed in the "2025 Project", is also more radical than that of his first term. Because the billionaire's priority is to "get revenge". In particular, he foresees a massive purge of the Federal Administration, which, according to him, has slowed down his reforms. And intends to strengthen the prerogatives of the executive. The action plan drew the ire of Democrats, whom Trump called "vermin."
Oil & Immigration
In response to Democratic criticism, Trump supporter Sean Hannity twice asked him to deny that he would abuse his power to take revenge on his political opponents, if re-elected. "Under no circumstances do you promise America tonight that you will never abuse your power in retaliation against anyone?" the anchor asked during the interview in Iowa.
Except on the first day," the ex-president replied, before laughing. "I want to close the border and I want to drill, drill, drill," he continued, to applause from the audience. Donald Trump is referring to the border with Mexico and his desire to expand oil drilling.
And the Republican candidate reiterated his words. "I love this guy," he said of the Fox News host, before continuing his monologue: "He's like, 'You're not going to be a dictator, are you?' I say, "No, no, no, except for the first day. We close the border and we drill, drill, drill. After that, I'm not a dictator."»
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'Americans should believe it'
These remarks provoked a reaction from Democratic elected officials close to Joe Biden. The US president's campaign manager, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, said in a statement: "Donald Trump has told us exactly what he would do if he is re-elected and tonight [...] Americans should believe that." The chairman of the Democratic National Committee tweeted: "Donald Trump's admission that he will be dictator from day one absolutely disqualifies him from being president.»
Since his defeat in 2020, Donald Trump has been spreading false claims that the election was stolen from him. A conspiracy that fueled the deadly insurrection of his supporters at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Joe Biden has repeatedly warned that Trump is a "threat to democracy" and that a second term for the billionaire could usher in a dangerous era of American autocracy. "We can't let him win," the 81-year-old president said on Tuesday, Dec. 5, after announcing: "If Trump wasn't a candidate, I'm not sure I would.»
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Trump, meanwhile, tried to turn the tide by claiming in a speech in Iowa on Saturday that Joe Biden is the real "destroyer of American democracy," The Guardian reports. The Republican nominee also reiterated his long-held, "and totally baseless" claim that the four criminal indictments against him show that Biden is abusing the federal justice system to harm him.