When President Donald Trump recently stated that he could become a dictator if he wanted to, the remarks were met with a wave of public criticism. The President’s remarks come after his camp has attempted to soften the President’s public profile in recent weeks in order to increase his favorability.
The President made the comments during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, in which he was asked if he could run a better country as a dictator. He replied, “I’ll tell you what – if I ever ran as a dictator, I’d get elected by a landslide”.
The White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, released a statement shortly afterward, saying, “The President of the United States was clearly joking with his statement and not making a serious remark”.
However, this has done little to lessen the public backlash to the remark. Various politicians from Democratic and Republican factions, as well as individuals and members of the media, have publicly criticized the President for the remarks, saying that such a comment was inappropriate for a US President.
The President’s comments come in the wake of his camp’s attempts to de-escalate tensions between the US and North Korea. In recent weeks, North Korean state media reported that the president had suggseted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to consider stepping down from his position. Trump has since clarified that he did not offer such a suggestion, but rather suggested that Kim had the potential to pursue a “great” and “powerful” future for North Korea.
Trump’s comments create a confusing duality, as his camp has worked hard to prevent the president from making any such “dictator” comments, while the commander-in-chief himself suggests that he has the power to do so. This has caused further public outrage, as critics of the President argue that he should not be allowed to suggest such a thing.
While Trump’s remarks reignite criticism of his leadership, some suggest that the President was simply making a joke and not actually suggesting that he could become a dictator. However, this particular quip may have been a bridge too far for many Americans who feel that the President should not be allowed to make any such statements.