Trump Oddly Questions Re-Election: 'You Never Know, Er, What Happens with Health and Other Things'
The next presidential election is two years, three months and 18 days from now, and President Donald Trump isn’t entirely confident he’ll be a two-termer.
Speaking with Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan last week during Trump’s stacked U.K. trip, the president was asked whether he’ll run for re-election.
“Well, I fully intend to,” Trump — now 72 after becoming the oldest U.S. president ever elected at 70 — told Morgan in the televised interview, which aired Monday in the U.K. “It seems like everyone wants me to.”
But earlier in the conversation, Trump seemed to oddly admit he might not be on the ballot.
“Well, you never know, er, what happens with health and other things. I mean, you know, let’s face it…” said Trump before Morgan interjected.
“You fit? You look fit,” Morgan told Trump.
“I feel good,” replied Trump, who reportedly made changes to his diet in May following his years-long, well-documented love affair with fast food.
Candidate Trump famously once ordered a 2,530-calorie McDonald’s dinner on the 2016 campaign trail, according to Let Trump Be Trump, the book by the now-president’s ex-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and another ex-top aide, David Bossie.
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The president had a complete physical in January, after which former White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson — who faced shocking allegations of misconduct in April after Trump nominated him for Veterans Affairs secretary — said Trump was “currently very healthy,” but “would benefit from a diet that is lower in fat and carbohydrates, and from a routine exercise regimen.” The now-embattled physician also said Trump’s cholesterol is slightly elevated, but he was prescribed Crestor to address that, and otherwise “his cardiac health is excellent.”
Trump also told Morgan he doesn’t feel threatened by potential Democrat opponents.
“I know ’em all,” he said. “I don’t see anybody.”
The president later added, “So far, they do not have the right candidate.”
As for his chances of re-election, an average of the latest polls calculated by pollster Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight puts Trump’s approval rating at 42 percent, though pollster Mark Penn pointed out to The Hill last week that Trump’s approval rating has been ticking up as the nation gears up for the 2018 midterm elections. What’s more, CNN reported Friday that “Trump is more popular among Republicans now than President Barack Obama was among Democrats at this point in his presidency.” Historically, though, the odds are not in Trump’s favor: Of the first 43 American presidents, just 15 — including the last three — have won a consecutive term.
Trump’s previous statements have also prompted speculation about whether he actually wants to run for re-election.
“I loved my previous life,” he told Reuters in April 2017. “I had so many things going … this is more work than in my previous life.”
Commenting on the demands of the job, Trump said, “I thought it would be easier.”
“I’m a details oriented person. I think you would say that, but I do miss my old life,” Trump explained to Reuters. “I like to work, so that’s not a problem, but this is actually more work.”
He added: “And while I had very little privacy in my old life, because you know I’ve been famous for a long time … this is much less privacy than I’ve ever seen before.”
Ivana Trump, Trump’s ex-wife and the mother to three of his five children, echoed the sentiment that November.
“I think he’s missing a little bit of his old life,” she said on The Ray D’Arcy Show in Ireland. “You know he was in Trump Tower, and he would go to Mar-a-Lago, he would go to play golf on Westchester, and things like that. Now from 8 o’clock in the morning to midnight, he’s working, working, working and everybody shoves at him the problem of the country.”
She got laughs from the audience when she added: “I don’t envy him, I think he must be freaking exhausted.”
The president’s interview with Morgan is the latest headline to come from his trip to the U.K., where he has faced mass protests while meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May about U.S.-Great Britain trade policy and criticism for awkwardly blocking Queen Elizabeth during their first-ever meeting.
On Saturday, Trump fit in a round of golf at his Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland, where a group of nearby protestors chanted, “No Trump, no KKK, no racist USA.”
In a video shared on social media by Frankie McCamley, a reporter for the BBC, Trump could be seen waving and walking near the protestors to acknowledge them before turning back to resume his game.
On Monday, Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, for a one-on-one meeting to discuss relations between the U.S. and Russia. The meeting comes days after special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russians for hacking the Democratic Party and interfering in the 2016 election.
In a tweet prior to the meeting, Trump blamed the tense relations between the two nations on the U.S., writing, “Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!”
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