Trump ‘dictator’ comment reignites criticism his camp has tried to curb

Donald Trump’s comments that he wanted to be a “dictator” at a press conference Wednesday have reignited criticism that the president and his team have been trying to curb in recent months.

The president’s comment came during a televised exchange with reporters when he was asked why he “hasn’t spoken out more forcefully” on the police officers involved in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Trump replied: “I would’ve been a dictator if I wanted to. I could’ve done a number on them, but I decided not to do it.”

The comment was a startling reminder of the president’s tendency to make controversial remarks at times, and it immediately caused an uproar as opponents of Trump accused him of “endorsing authoritarianism.” Critics on both the left and right argued that his comment ran counter to the democratic values of the United States and was corrosive to the country’s political system.

The president’s comment also highlighted the often-overlooked authoritarian aspects of his presidential style. Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for authoritarian leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has also taken a hard line approach to immigration, with the enforcement of hardline policies that have been heavily criticized by civil rights groups.

Trump’s comment was also seen as a rebuke to the efforts his administration has made to control the narrative and craft a more “normal” image for the president, with White House aides attempting to distance the president from his divisive comments and rhetoric. Trump’s Director of Communications, Alyssa Farah, expressed her dismay over the comments, saying, “This is not the kind of language that a president should use.”

Trump’s “dictator” comment is sure to add fuel to the fire of the ongoing criticism of the president and his leadership. It also provides another reminder that, despite the attempts of his team to control the narrative, Trump still has a tendency to slip up and make potentially damaging remarks.