A town hall event hosted by Fox News’s Sean Hannity was attended by the former president on Tuesday. Hannity asked the former president questions on a wide range of subjects.
The event occurred a few weeks before the Iowa caucus on January 15, 2024, the first in the nation caucuses and in the state where Trump is leading his primary GOP competitors by a significant margin based on recent polls.
Trump boycotted the fourth Republican debate, as well as the previous three. Donald Trump has not attended any debates, but that didn’t compromise his lead over the other candidates.
So, let us look into the important takeaways from Trump’s town hall with Sean Hannity.
Takeaways from Trump’s town hall with Sean Hannity
Trump’s response to the “Dictator Comment”
Hannity’s first queries to the former president Donald Trump concerned media allegations that surfaced over the weekend, portraying a potential second term as a dictatorship.
Regarding the media claims, Hannity remarked, “They want to call you a dictator.”
Hannity added, “To be clear, do you in any way have any plans whatsoever, if reelected president, to abuse power, to break the law, to use the government to go after people?”
Trump first replied, “You mean like they’re using right now,” then changed the subject.
Hannity asked the same question again: “Under no circumstances. You are promising America tonight. You would never abuse power as retribution against anybody?”
Trump retorted, “Except for day one.”
“Meaning?” Hannity queried.
Trump retorted, “I want to drill, drill, drill, and I want to close the border.” Hannity asserted, “That’s not retribution.”
Trump declared to the Fox News host, “I love this guy, he says, ‘You’re not going to be a dictator, are you?’ I said no, no, no, other than day one.
We’re closing the border, and we’re drilling, drilling, drilling. After that, I’m not a dictator,”
According to Trump, he won’t be a dictator if elected, ‘except for Day One’ to close all the borders.
President Biden’s reelection campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) swiftly took offense at the statements. Just after the town hall ended, the Biden campaign sent out an email with the subject line, “Donald Trump: Day One Dictator,” to its supporters.
A jab at Biden’s “cognitive state” by Trump
When asked about the current president’s “cognitive state,” Biden came under attack from Trump. As the oldest serving president in American history at 81 years old, Biden will turn 86 at the end of his second term, raising questions about his health and eligibility for reelection.
Trump is 77 years old, just a few years younger. Trump, when asked about Biden’s campaigning for reelection for a fourth term, age, and health.
Trump first responded by saying, “not for me to say,” But then continued by implying that Biden “doesn’t know he’s alive” and asserting that he doesn’t believe the president can “physically” serve out another term.
Hannity questioned Trump if he believed the incumbent would be the Democrats’ nominee in 2024 after pointing out that Biden has received criticism from various Democrats.
Trump remarked, “I personally don’t think he makes it physically. Mentally, I would say he’s equally as bad and maybe worse.”
Likening himself to Al Capone, Trump
Regarding the numerous criminal accusations he faces at the federal and state levels, the former president compared himself to notorious gangster Al Capone.
Trump stated, “I’ve often said, Al Capone, he was one of the greatest of all time if you like criminals. He was a mob boss, the likes of which — Scarface, they call him. And he got indicted once. I got indicted four times,”
He added, “I wonder what my father and mother would say looking down.”
The indictments cover several offenses, including possible mishandling of classified documents, Trump’s attempts to rig the 2020 election in Georgia, a federal lawsuit about his actions and the riots at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and falsifying financial records in connection with a hush-money case in New York.
All 91 allegations against him have been met with a not-guilty plea. His legal issues have only made his commanding lead over his rivals in the Republican primary greater so far.
Key concerns: Foreign policy and Energy
When discussing his priorities and course of action for a second term in the White House, Trump focused mostly on Energy and foreign policy.
Hannity questioned Trump on whether he would “abuse power as retribution” or act as a “dictator” if elected to another term. He replied that he would only do it on day one to close the border and drill for oil.
Trump stated, “We will close the border. Day one: the border gets closed. Day one and a half: we drill,”
He added, “And probably on day two, we will get rid of this ridiculous electric car mandate.”
Regarding foreign policy, Trump emphasized his worries regarding the southern border and highlighted the controversial travel ban that went into effect under his administration, which targeted several nations with a majority of Muslims.
Trump stated, “Remember, I had the travel ban. I said, ‘I don’t want people coming from countries that want to blow us up.’ And we put a travel ban and some people thought I was discriminating, but think about it. I went four years with no problem,”
About the 9/11 terror attacks in New York City, he continued, “We didn’t have buildings being knocked down. We didn’t have World Trade Centres.”
With two significant wins in Iowa from his last two campaigns in 2016 and 2020, Trump anticipates winning even more in 2024.
As Trump delivered remarks all over Iowa, He stated that he intended to “blitz” Iowa in the weeks before the caucus.
Trump stated, “I love you very much. You’ve been so incredible to me. I’m gonna be around for the next, you know, five weeks now. And we’ll be coming here a little bit, and then the last couple of weeks, we’ll be blitzing because we don’t want to take—we’re up, I guess, by like 30 or 40 points, but we’re not taking any chances. We don’t want to take any chances,”
During his closing remarks, Trump stated, “Iowa represents this country more than any place, and it also represents tradition. When you think of Iowa, you think of farms and politics. And we’re going to keep it that way, OK?”
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