White House officials: Trump was joking about adding 2 years to his term

White House officials: Trump was joking about adding 2 years to his term
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE's retweet calling to extend his term by two years was made in jest, according to White House officials and other people close to the president. 

White House aides told The Washington Post that the president has not privately discussed extending his term, which would violate the Constitution, and that the tweet was not serious.


Trump on Sunday retweeted Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., who suggested that Trump's term be extended by two years "for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup," alluding to the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's election interference.

Trump also tweeted Sunday that "they have stolen two years of my (our) Presidency (Collusion Delusion) that we will never be able to get back."

The tweets come as Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiKlobuchar shuts down idea a woman can't beat Trump: 'Pelosi does it every day' Budowsky: Trump destroying GOP in 2018, '19, '20 On The Money: Senate scraps plan to force second shutdown vote | Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny | McConnell rips House Dems for holding up trade deal MORE (D-Calif.) said she was worried that Trump would challenge the legitimacy of the 2020 election if he lost the White House.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley responded to the president's tweets by calling out Democrats' reaction to Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrGOP rep predicts watchdog report on alleged FISA abuses will find 'problems' Barr defends Trump's use of executive authority, slams impeachment hearings GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse MORE's conclusions on the Mueller investigation. 

"How hilariously ironic that it’s the Democrats who refuse to accept the results of a free and fair presidential election in 2016, refuse to accept the clear results of a nearly 400-page report that showed no collusion and no obstruction, but now, they have the audacity to question the president ‘accepting results?’ — give me a break," he said, according to the Post. 

When asked about the president's retweet, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: Report on alleged surveillance abuse in 2016 to be released Dec. 9 McConnell hopes Senate impeachment trial 'not too lengthy a process' Hillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack MORE (R-S.C.), a staunch Trump ally in the Senate, laughed and said, “I think y’all people are crazy,” according to the newspaper. 

“When it comes to Trump, people need to dial it back a little bit,” he said, adding that when he facetiously suggested Trump get a third term “people went nuts.”

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynTensions rise in Senate's legislative 'graveyard' Congress feels heat to act on youth vaping Senate passes legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters MORE (R-Texas) told the Post that the retweet exemplified the president's sense of humor and frustration with the Mueller probe. 

"The president has sort of a dry sense of humor,” Cornyn said. “He obviously understands that’s not possible but I take his point that there’s been two years of distractions based on claims that proved not to be substantiated. So again I understand his frustration.” 

Last month, the Justice Department released a redacted version of Mueller's report on Russia's election meddling in 2016.

Before that, Barr released a short summary of the report saying that Mueller's team did not find conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia and that there was not enough evidence to pursue an obstruction of justice charge against the president.

That summary came under scrutiny last week after Senate Democrats published a letter Mueller wrote to Barr accusing him of creating "public confusion" and not grasping the full context in the summary about the probe's results.