Al Franken, the comedian, former U.S. senator and dedicated podcaster, has laid out a dire future for the country while revisiting the topic of Donald Trump as president of the United States.
Franken, speaking on The Al Franken Podcast, broached the topic in trademark form, sarcastically looking back at the Trump administration’s early fumbling of the inauguration’s crowd size and Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway’s references to “alternative facts” — before he looked into the future, which he predicts will be bleak.
“And by the way, when you say kids will look up and see Donald Trump’s picture as president, they’ll see Donald Trump, then they’ll see [Joe] Biden, and then they’ll see Donald Trump again,” Franken said. “And he’ll still be president when these kids are in school.
“Because, that’s it. It’s over. It’ll be a dictatorship. It’ll be an authoritarian regime. We won’t have a democratic election. It’ll be like Hungary, and it’ll all be fraud.”
Trump has not committed to running in 2024 but has continued to weigh in on hot-button political issues through statements released to the media (he is banned from Twitter) and in speeches such as Saturday’s, when he defended his praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin while calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “a brave man” amid a stout effort by his country to resist invading Russian forces.
Franken, meanwhile, has not ruled out a return to the U.S. Senate despite his 2017 resignation.
The former Minnesota Democrat and “Saturday Night Live” alum launched his podcast a year after resigning under pressure in December 2017, after several women accused him of inappropriate physical contact, including kisses. Franken has said he regrets the decision to quit, blaming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“I wanted due process, but I had 36 colleagues and a majority leader who wouldn’t give it to me, so it was impossible. But you do have some regrets,” he told The Republican. “It was a very weird, tough situation at that moment … I love the Senate. I love the work that I did.”
Franken has since returned to comedy, including a stand-up tour that attempted to “make a difference satirically,” he said.
“Because I believe comedy and satire is a very valid way — and sometimes almost a more productive way — of affecting public opinion,” Franken said.