President Trump made some off color remarks about Chinese President Xi Jinping's attempt to abolish term limits. At his Mar-a-Lago residence Saturday, Trump praised Jinping as a "gentleman," before suggesting we give his power grab "a shot" here in the States too.
His comment garnered chuckles from the audience.
The media wasn't laughing though. Several pundits interpreted his remarks as matter-of-fact statements, including MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough.
“There are many people who will say, oh, the president was just joking…But there are statements in the past that Donald Trump has made where he has praised Xi for consolidating power” host Joe Scarborough said. “China has become more and more autocratic over the past six months to a year. He’s made conscious moves to become more and more autocratic.”
“When Republicans ignore the fact that this man is talking about being president for life, if they think that Donald Trump is joking, then they’re fools,” Scarborough added. “And I don’t think they’re fools. I think they know exactly what he’s saying.” (Mediaite)
Scarborough went on to compare Trump to Mr. Magoo.
Presidential term limits were put in place in China in 1982 to prevent another Mao Zedong-like regime.
Asked at a recent White House press briefing about the Chinese president's potential long-term rule, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that while Trump supports term limits in the U.S., any change in Chinese politics should be left up to the Chinese.
Ben Shapiro shared an opinion many could agree with - Trump probably should not compare himself to dictators. But, c'mon, it was a joke.
Trump's statement on China's Xi Jinping is idiotic for its praise of a repressive dictator, but he's obviously joking about becoming president for life. The audience is laughing, and Trump responds to the crowd, as always.— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) March 4, 2018