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‘Dictator’ Trump and Allies Forewarns Retaliatory Measures Against Media, Others in Potential Second Term

“We’re closing the border and we’re drilling, drilling, drilling,” Trump proclaimed. “After that, I’m not a dictator.”

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By Stacy M. Brown

On the far-right wing Steve Bannon’s podcast, a former Donald Trump ally, Kash Patel, who served in the Justice Department and held key positions in the Defense Department and National Security Council, made it clear that if the former president secures another term, his administration will take legal action against individuals in the media—both criminally and civilly.
During the podcast interview, Patel conveyed the intention of the prospective administration to target alleged conspirators within both government and media circles concerning the 2020 election, which Trump lost to President Joe Biden. The statement aligns with Trump’s persistent claims of election fraud, despite widespread refutations from federal and local officials, numerous courts, former campaign staff, and even his own attorney general.
In a subsequent Fox News Channel Town Hall on the same day, the twice-impeached former president, who faces 91 criminal charges that mainly stem from his alleged attempts to fraudulently overturn his loss to Biden, evaded a direct commitment to abstain from potential retribution in a second White House term, responding to a question with an accusation against the Biden administration of abusing power. “We’re closing the border, and we’re drilling, drilling, drilling,” Trump proclaimed. “After that, I’m not a dictator.”
In the Bannon interview, Patel, who works for the Center for Renewing America, a conservative think tank connected to a network of groups hoping Trump will come back, made it clear that Trump would go after media figures who allegedly spread false information about the 2020 election.
Trump, whom a judge also found to have committed massive business fraud, was ordered to pay the writer E. Jean Carroll $5 million this year after a civil jury concluded that he sexually assaulted her.
“We’re putting you all on notice,” Trump threatened in his Fox News appearance.
Trump’s history of targeting the media, labeling them as “Fake News” and the “Enemy of the People,” has been a consistent theme throughout his political career. In a September post on his Truth Social network, Trump reiterated his intention to investigate NBC News and MSNBC for “country-threatening treason” and limit their access to airwaves, accusing them of threatening democracy.
In the same interview, Bannon hinted at Patel’s potential role as the director of the CIA in a hypothetical second term for Trump. Meanwhile, at a recent fundraising event, Biden expressed that he may not have sought reelection if Trump were not in the race. The president said democracy is “more at risk in 2024” and suggested that Trump and his allies aim to “destroy” democratic institutions.
Biden emphasized the urgency of preventing a Trump victory, portraying the former president as the embodiment of retribution for his supporters and someone committed to rooting out perceived “vermin in the country.”

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