Trump joked he would rule like a 'dictator' only on 'day one'

December 7, 2023

During a town hall with Sean Hannity, Donald Trump said he would not rule as a "dictator" except on "day one" to fix the mess President Biden left.

The quip became fresh fodder for the mainstream media and the Biden campaign, which have spent days frothing about Trump's alleged nefarious plans for the country.

Trump's "day one" plans

Trump told Hannity he has no plans to rule with an iron fist, except to close the border and "drill, drill, drill" to bring the price of energy down.

"Under no circumstances, you are promising America tonight you would never abuse power as retribution against anybody," Hannity said.

"Except for day one," Trump joked. "I want to close the border, and I want to drill, drill, drill."

"After that," Trump added, "I'm not a dictator."

Illegal immigration has hit an all-time high under Biden, and energy inflation is crushing the middle class. But Biden has sought to make 2024 a referendum on Trump and the alleged threat he represents to "our democracy."

Trump has turned the accusation on its head, saying Biden has set a new precedent by using law enforcement to harass Trump, Biden's main political foe.

Trump is facing a raft of criminal indictments that Trump calls politically motivated. Despite the charges, Trump is edging out Biden in the polls, fueling fresh fears of a Trump comeback.

When asked by Hannity whether he would promise not to weaponize the justice system, Trump fired back, "You mean like they're using right now?"

Trump looms at primary

Trump's remarks also came up at the Republican primary debate Wednesday night, where Trump loomed largely despite his absence.

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie called Trump a "bully" and a "dictator," but the other candidates mostly held their tongue about the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

"There’s no bigger issue in this race than Donald Trump,” Christie said. “This is an angry, bitter man who now wants to be back as president because he wants to exact retribution on anyone who has disagreed with him.”

Some Republicans, like Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH), have defended Trump, saying those freaking out about his remarks are humorless.

"Trump's super power is that he's the most quick witted leader in a generation. Every grown man hyperventilating about this clip needs to find a sense of humor," he said.

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