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Trump Offers Alarming Details on How He’d Govern If Elected President Again

When asked if his loyalists would enact violence if he loses, Trump said “it depends.”

Former President Donald Trump speaks with reporters as he greets construction workers and union members at the construction site for the new JPMorgan Chase headquarters in midtown Manhattan before going to Manhattan criminal court in New York on April 25, 2024.

A new report details how former President Donald Trump would continue to flout democratic norms and descend deeper into authoritarianism if given a second chance to serve in the White House.

According to a newly published Time magazine article, the former president intends to institute an “imperial presidency that would reshape America and its role in the world” if he’s elected again this fall in his rematch against President Joe Biden.

Time’s Eric Cortellessa bases that assessment on two direct interviews with Trump and conversations with dozens of people within his orbit. Corellessa describes how the GOP presidential nominee intends to enact several draconian policies if he’s elected, with or without Congress’s approval, including:

  • Deporting 11 million immigrants currently living in the U.S., and potentially “build[ing] migrant detention camps” and “deploy[ing] the U.S. military” to round people up;
  • Potentially withholding government funds, including those appropriated by Congress, “at his personal discretion,” to block the funding of programs he’s opposed to;
  • Firing U.S. Attorneys who refuse to follow his orders to prosecute his political enemies, and potentially using the Justice Department to prosecute those he feels have wronged him;
  • Considering pardoning hundreds of his loyalists who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, to disrupt the certification of his election loss;
  • Gutting the U.S. civil service program, allowing him and his potential administration to micromanage hires so that only his loyalists can serve in government positions, including nonpolitical posts;
  • And deploying the National Guard to cities across the country “as he sees fit.”

Trump also made several outlandish claims in his interviews with Cortellessa, including stating that there is a “definite anti-white” bias in the U.S. and falsely asserting that the criminal trials he faces are being orchestrated behind the scenes by the Biden administration.

Trump refused to say that he wouldn’t contest election results in 2024 if he loses, and all but promised violence from his supporters again should Biden win another term to the White House.

Asked if violence would be enacted in his name, Trump said:

If we don’t win, you know, it depends. It always depends on the fairness of the election.

Cortellessa also asked for clarification regarding Trump’s statement on Truth Social that a supposedly stolen election justified the suspension of rules. Trump denied that he had ever made such a statement.

That denial is an outright lie. In December 2022, for example, two years after his election loss and fresh off a midterm election that had disappointed Republicans looking for a “red wave” (which many in his own party blamed on him), Trump called for the Constitution to be temporarily upended so that an illegal special election could be held to put him back in power.

“A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” Trump said at the time, falsely claiming, once again, that fraud had affected the outcome of an election.

Trump’s comments to Time also confirm his recent statements that he plans to become an authoritarian chief executive, at least temporarily, if he wins office again.

In a Fox News town hall late last year, Trump said that he would be a dictator for at least “day one” of a new presidency in order to enact racist immigration laws and open up oil drilling sites across the country. “After that, I’m not a dictator,” Trump claimed.

Notably, the proposals Trump says he’d need to be dictator for would require more than a day to enact, meaning that his vow that such a move would be “temporary” would likely be broken — and history is rife with examples of authoritarian leaders calling for temporary dictatorial powers only to refuse to relinquish them.