EXCLUSIVE: Trump says he is joking about serving more than two terms

President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE said Monday that he is joking when he suggests he might serve more than eight years in the White House, comments that have riled critics who worry there might not be a peaceful transition of power if he loses his reelection race.

Asked during an exclusive interview with The Hill how his legacy will be remembered, Trump again floated the idea of staying in office for more than two terms.

“Well, we have to go through the six years or whatever it may be when — when you know, would I like to get a ride out of some of your compatriots, say, go through the six, 10, 14, maybe 18 years, whatever it may be,” Trump said.

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The president then referenced his tweet from Friday featuring a mock cover of Time magazine with a line of Trump campaign signs for each of the next four years until 2048, saying it “drove people crazy 'cause they don’t think it’s kidding.”

Asked if he is joking, Trump replied: “Of course. But it drives them crazy.”

Trump has repeatedly quipped about remaining president beyond the Constitution’s two-term limit.

He tweeted last week that his supporters might “demand that I stay longer” and on the April day when special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG MORE’s report was released, he said he might serve as president “at least for 10 or 14 years.”

After receiving blowback last year over similar comments, Trump suggested he was not being serious about exceeding his term limits.

“You know, the last time I jokingly said that, the papers started saying, ‘He's got despotic tendencies.’ No, I'm not looking to do it. Unless you want to do it. That's OK,” he told a group of lawmakers at an April 2018 White House event celebrating his tax-cut law.