NEW YORK — Donald Trump loves being unpredictable — it’s a valuable card in any good negotiator’s hands, he insists.
But now the presumptive Republican nominee is seemingly joking about the latest political speculation that a victory in November doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll take the oath of office to become president of the United States.
“I’ll let you know how I feel about it after it happens,” Trump told The New York Times in a story published Thursday while flashing what the newspaper described as a “mischievous smile.” The paper said Trump was responding in an interview when presented with the scenario that he may win and not serve.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN.
Trump’s comment — in keeping with his tradition of keeping the public guessing — was seemingly uttered in tongue-in-cheek fashion, but it’s not the first time Trump has remarked about abandoning his quest for the Oval Office seat.
After billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban suggested Trump would drop out of the race for $5 billion, Trump joked, “I guess we’d have to think about it.”
Critics of Trump’s campaign suggested early in the race that the billionaire was only in the contest to boost his business and his brand and was not serious about actually becoming president.
And some have continued to insist that Trump is more interested in winning — now by defeating presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton — than in actually serving as president of the United States and commander-in-chief, with all its tremendous power and responsibility.
Trump has scoffed at criticism that he is not serious about becoming president, suggesting that his businesses have not benefited from his controversial presidential campaign and that he is truly in the race to “make America great again.”