MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough claimed President Trump wasn’t joking when he said the U.S. should eliminate presidential term limits the way China has for Chinese President Xi Jinping.
At a private event for GOP donors at Mar-a-Lago, Trump said the U.S. might “give that a shot someday,” which drew laughter from the crowd. However, on Monday, Scarborough claimed that Trump was not joking:
“There are many people who will say, oh, the president was just joking. I could give you a list of a thousand things where they claimed the president was just joking afterwards… but there are statements in the past that Donald Trump has made where he has praised Xi for consolidating power.”
Scarborough said Trump has praised Xi amid his “conscious moves” to become more autocratic over the past year.
“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. And I don’t think they’re fools. I think they know exactly what he’s saying.”
CNN obtained a recording of Trump’s comments at the GOP event and noted that the president made many light-hearted jokes:
“He’s president for life. President for life. No, he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll give that a shot someday.”
Watch the exchange above.