Washington, Dec 11 (IANS): Former Republican Liz Cheney (from Wyoming) warned the US that all of former President Donald Trump's remarks at an event last week that he would be a "dictator" only on "day one" of a second term should be taken "literally and seriously".
"We have to take everything that Donald Trump says literally and seriously," Cheney said in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week".
Trump mocked questions about authoritarianism at an event billed as a "town hall" with Fox News host Sean Hannity last week. The former President said he would be a dictator only on "day one".
"After that I'm not a dictator OK?" Trump remarked.
Trump's comments come as his rhetoric invites closer scrutiny since his reference to political opponents as "vermin", a term many politicians across the aisle feel echoes authoritarian and fascist leaders such as Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, media reports said.
Cheney, ousted by House Republicans for her criticism of Trump, pointed to the former President's efforts to overturn his loss in the 2020 election while arguing that Trump's dictator comments should not be taken as a joke.
"People need to remember that when Donald Trump woke up on the morning of January 6, he thought he was going to remain as President. And we saw the extent to which he was willing to attempt to seize powers when he lost an election," Cheney said.
Cheney added that a second Trump presidency would be "worse" than his first "because he has had practice and because those people who were around him who actually did stop the worst he was trying to do would not be around him again". USA TODAY said quoting Liz as having said to some agencies.
"Our institutions don't protect themselves. It's the people who do," she added.
Cheney told USA TODAY in an interview last week that she has not ruled out running for President in 2024 and joining a bipartisan ticket, such as one proposed by the group 'No Labels'. However, she said she wouldn't run if it would help Trump's re-election chances and siphon votes away from President Joe Biden.