WASHINGTON — Scholars around the world say term limits are an essential hallmark of a functional democracy, a tool to check corruption and promote accountability. But on Saturday, President Trump hinted that he may have other ideas.
In a freewheeling speech to Republican donors at his Florida estate, Trump praised Chinese President Xi Jinping for ditching term limits, according to a recording of the speech obtained by CNN.
‘‘Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day,’’ Trump said.
Xi’s Communist Party recently proposed scrapping the part of the Chinese Constitution that limits presidents to no more than two terms.
Trump joked about the move in his speech, saying Xi is now ‘‘president for life.”
“No, he’s great,’’ Trump said. “And, look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great.’’ Trump has repeatedly praised Xi, while saying little about human rights issues in China.