Trump’s Plan

The media has written for months that Trump is privately plotting loyalty tests and policy proposals to vastly expand presidential power and punish critics. Now Trump himself explained his authoritarian plans in two interviews with TIME magazine totaling more than 80 minutes. Time magazine published a cover story by Eric Cortellessa about what Trump is planning for a second term. He is clearly unwell. Transcript of the interviews.

Asked bythe magazine about his statement on Fox News in December that he’d be a dictator just for Day 1 of his presidency, Trump was confused and said:

“I think a lot of people like it.”

He is willing to permit Republican-dominated states to monitor pregnancies and prosecute people who violate abortion bans. On whether states should monitor women’s pregnancies so they can know if they’ve gotten an abortion:

“I think they might do that.”

He would like to bring the Department of Justice under his own control, pardoning those convicted of attacking the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and ending the U.S. system of an independent judiciary. On whether he might fire a U.S. attorney who didn’t prosecute someone on his orders:

“It would depend on the situation. Yeah.”

He will shape the laws by refusing to release funds appropriated by Congress (as he did in 2019 to try to get Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky to smear Hunter Biden).

On allegedanti-white racism protections: “I think there is a definite anti-white feeling in this country, and that can’t be allowed.”

Trump would, Cortelessa wrote, “gut the U.S. civil service, deploy the National Guard to American cities as he sees fit, close the White House pandemic-preparedness office, and staff his Administration with acolytes who back his false assertion that the 2020 election was stolen.”

He plans to use the military to round up, put in camps, and deport more than 11 million people including Dreamers.

In a second Trump presidency, the U.S. might not come to the aid of a European or Asian ally that Trump believes is disloyal to him or thinks isn’t paying enough for its own defense.