Trump: Xi ‘president for life. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day.’
He also called Xi “the most powerful president in 100 years… you know, person… in 100 years, in China.”
“He’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great,” Trump said in remarks delivered at a private luncheon with Republican party donors at his Mar-a-Lago estate, according to CNN. “And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day.”
When the CCP announced last month that it would excise a clause from the state constitution limiting the presidency to two consecutive terms, some experts speculated that the prospect of Xi’s indefinite rule might make Trump jealous. His administration’s official posture was one of neutral deference, however, with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders calling it “a decision for China to make about what’s best for their country.”
Trump suggested on Saturday that, presented with a similar opportunity, he might choose to follow in Xi’s wake, though his remarks, as reported by CNN, were “peppered with jokes and laughter.”
In Trump’s eyes, Xi — whom he also called “the most powerful president in 100 years… you know, person… in 100 years, in China” — appears to outstrip even Mao in terms of stature. “And he treated us tremendously well when I went over there,” he added in an effusive aside referring to his state visit to China last October.