Former United States president Donald Trump on Wednesday commanded a stage all to himself at a prime-time Fox News town hall in Iowa, where he was forced to state flat out that he was not "going to be a dictator".
"No, I am not going to be a dictator. I’m going to manage like we did," Trump commented while explaining his recent claim that there would be "bedlam" in the country if his criminal prosecutions continue, according to Daily Mail.
He said that his opponents are trying to win votes by calling him a dictator. He also blamed the media for not emphasising parts of his initial comment when he said he would only be a dictator on energy policy and order.
"This is just a political ploy – Trump is a dictator, he wants to be a dictator," said Trump.
Trump's town hall came a day after his "bedlam" remark, which he made following an appeals court hearing that appeared to lean towards rejecting his claim of presidential immunity.
Last month, while attending another Fox News town hall in Davenport, Iowa, co-host Sean Hannity asked Trump if he "would never abuse power as retribution against anybody?"
"Except for day one," Trump responded. Trump said that on "day one" of his presidency, he would use his presidential powers to close the southern border with Mexico and expand oil drilling.
Trump added: "After that, I’m not a dictator."
The front-runner in the 2024 US presidential elections has a significant lead in Iowa polls, with multiple polls showing him at 50% and leading his rivals by over 30 points.
The 77-year-old ex-president was impeached twice by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives but acquitted due to Senate Republicans.
Trump is set to go on trial on March 4 on charges of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election won by US President Joe Biden.