WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump reportedly praised his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, for recently moving to consolidate his grip on power by abolishing term limits, in a speech to Republican donors in Florida on Saturday.
“He’s now president for life. President for life. And he’s great,” Trump said according to broadcaster CNN, which said it had obtained a recording of the closed-door remarks made at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
“And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll give that a shot some day,” Trump continued, prompting laughter from the audience.
China’s ruling Communist Party last month proposed removing a two-term limit on presidential terms, a suggestion almost sure to be adopted by the country’s rubber-stamp parliament during its annual session starting March 5.
Trump was widely criticized for failing to condemn the authoritarian move at the time.
During his Saturday remarks he reportedly also complained about U.S. law enforcement’s decision not to investigate his 2016 presidential rival Hillary Clinton over actions including the use of a private email server when she was secretary of State.
He also slammed former Republican President George W Bush and U.S. intelligence agencies for the decision to invade Iraq in 2003, after incorrect intelligence indicated it had weapons of mass destruction.
“Here we are, like the dummies of the world, because we had bad politicians running our country for a long time,” he said.
The Iraq invasion was “the single worst decision ever made” and was like “throwing a big fat brick into a hornet’s nest,” Trump reportedly said.
“That was Bush. Another real genius. That was Bush,” Trump said sarcastically, according to CNN. “That turned out to be wonderful intelligence. Great intelligence agency there.”
Trump has repeatedly criticized U.S. intelligence agencies for allegedly being biased against him in their investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.
Tribune News Service