Trump jokes he doesn't have 'despotic tendencies' after musing about lifting presidential term limit

  • President Donald Trump joked Thursday that the US should extend presidents' term limits, allowing him to stay in office longer than eight years.
  • Trump then referenced a dinner in March when he quipped that the US should allow a president to serve for life, like China.
  • "You know the last time I jokingly said that the papers start saying, 'He's got despotic tendencies,'" Trump said.

President Donald Trump joked Thursday that the US should extend presidential term limits before saying that he does not have "despotic tendencies."

During an event touting the recently implemented GOP tax law, Trump said his administration has so far cut more regulations than ever before.

"We're cutting record numbers of regulations — we've cut more regulations in a year and a quarter than any administration whether it's four years, eight years, or in one case 16 years," Trump said. "Should we go back to 16 years? Should we do that? Congressman can we do that?"

Trump appeared to be referring to the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was elected to a fourth term in 1944 but died a few months after that inauguration after serving a little over 12 years.

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President Donald Trump jokes about his hair during speech
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President Donald Trump jokes about his hair during speech
U.S. President Donald Trump pretends to smooth his hair as he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump pretends to smooth his hair as he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump pretends to smooth his hair as he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump pretends to smooth his hair as he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump pretends to smooth his hair as he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump pretends to smooth his hair as he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump pretends to smooth his hair as he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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Trump also joked about extending his presidency beyond the eight-year limit in March, after China did away with their presidential limits, which will allow Xi Jinping to remain in office seemingly indefinitely.

"Maybe we'll give that a shot someday," Trump said of abolishing term limits at a fundraising dinner. 

On Thursday, Trump referenced the concern about his comments.

"You know the last time I jokingly said that the papers start saying, 'He's got despotic tendencies'," Trump said. "No, I'm not looking to do it. Unless you want to do it, that's OK."

The rest of Trump's speech hit on policy highlights, including the positive effects of the tax law, the promise of new infrastructure investments, and negotiations over trade with countries like China and the European Union.

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