Former President Donald Trump is no stranger to controversy. According to a report by Newsweek on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, his latest inflammatory remarks on potentially becoming a “dictator” should he be re-elected were likely another calculated attempt to provoke his political opponents.
According to Republican strategist Matt Klink, “Donald Trump is very calculated in making statements, particularly those designed to rile up Joe Biden and Democrats.”
Trump’s dictator comments on Fox News were quickly seized upon by Biden’s re-election campaign as evidence of the threat Trump poses to American democracy. Within an hour, Biden’s campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez issued a statement saying “Donald Trump has been telling us exactly what he will do if he’s reelected and tonight he said he will be a dictator on day one.
Americans should believe him.” The campaign also rapidly shared video of Trump’s remarks online to sound the alarm. For Democrats, Trump’s brash rhetoric is a gift, providing the opportunity to energize their base, especially younger voters who may be unenthused about a Biden-Trump rematch given the president‘s age and declining cognition.
“Democrats need statements like Trump’s to hopefully get the base, particularly young voters, engaged and excited about the 2024 election,” said Klink. “At present, a Biden-Trump race does not excite most Democrats in large part because of the president’s age and his visible, declining mental state.”
So while Trump’s dictator tease may have been genuine, it also plays right into the Democratic strategy of casting him as a mortal threat to democracy in need of defeating.
In other legal news, Trump secured a rare win in his New York civil fraud case when the judge, Justice Arthur Engoron, lifted his contempt of court order imposed for failure to comply with a subpoena. The contempt order had barred Trump from filing new lawsuits in New York while in effect.
Trump’s attorney Alina Habba argued that “both sides need to be able to speak and the fact that I, frankly, couldn’t and my client couldn’t speak, for the past however many days, is so unconstitutional.”
With the contempt order lifted, Trump is free to resume his usual litigious behavior. Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., Trump learned this week what alleged “bad acts” prosecutors are using against him in his criminal case over election interference.
The government had to file a notice outlining uncharged crimes and wrongdoings under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b). According to former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance, chief prosecutor Jack Smith likely focused on proving Trump’s state of mind regarding election fraud and his knowledge that claims of a stolen election would lead to violence.