Trump Says China’s Xi Is “President For Life” — And Maybe America Should Try It

Trump Says China’s Xi Is “President For Life” — And Maybe America Should Try It

Chinese President Xi Jingping is changing the country’s constitution to allow him to stay in power indefinitely. American President Donald Trump joked on Saturday he might do the same.

In closed-door remarks at his Mar-a-Lago golf club on Saturday, Trump praised the Chinese president’s recent power grab and said he wouldn’t mind trying it himself, according to CNN, which managed to obtain a recording. “He’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great,” Trump said. “And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day.”

The remarks were delivered during a fundraising lunch and were probably a joke. That said, an American president jesting about staying in power for life obviously caused a bit of consternation — especially one who has a history of admiring dictators.

Trump has a history of admiring dictators and strongmen

During a Monday afternoon meeting with US governors, Trump said he had “great respect” for Xi and a “very good relationship” with him. When asked about the White House’s reaction to the term limit issue in China, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday said it’s “a decision for China to make about what’s best for their country.” She said the president supports term limits in the United States but seemed to imply he is fine with what’s happening in China.

President Xi isn’t the only authoritarian figure Trump has complimented. He has repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, for example, saying he gets an “A” in leadership and admiring his approval numbers in separate interviews in late 2015. He has also touted his “great friendship” with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Trump has also been friendly with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, in May 2017 telling him he was doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem.” Duterte has killed thousands of people in his drug war. Axios reporter Jonathan Swan reported in February that the president has outright admired countries such as Singapore, where drug dealers get the death penalty, and wished he could do the same in the United States.




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