Former President Jimmy Carter asserted Friday that President Donald Trump is an illegitimate president, and that a full investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election would show that he did not actually defeat Hillary Clinton.
“I think that the interference, though not yet quantified, if fully investigated, it would show that Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016. He lost the election and he was put in office because the Russians interfered on his behalf,” Carter said at an event hosted by the Carter Center in Leesburg, Virginia.
Carter also indicated that he believed that Trump was illegitimately elected. After moderator Jon Meacham asked Carter whether he believes Trump is an illegitimate president, the Democrat replied: “Based on what I just said, which I can’t retract, I would say yes.”
Former President Jimmy Carter: If fully investigated, it would show that Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016. He lost the election and he was put in office because the Russians interfered …on his behalf.
???? https://t.co/CYSBIK3qHF pic.twitter.com/o71Z4InVxB
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 28, 2019
The remarks are something of a surprise since Trump and Carter have maintained a cordial relationship despite their ideological differences. Carter praised Trump on June 24 over his decision not to authorize military strikes against Iran.
“I agree with President Trump on his decision not to take military action against Iran,” Carter said at his church in Georgia. “I had a lot of problems with Iran when I was in office.”
Carter also said on May 22, 2018 that he would endorse Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize if his negotiations with North Korea are successful.
Carter, 94, has also defended Trump against attacks from the press, saying that the media has been rougher on the Republican than any other commander-in-chief. (RELATED: Jimmy Carter Defends Trump Against Media Attacks)
“I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about,” Carter said on Oct. 22, 2017. “I think they feel free to claim that Trump is mentally deranged and everything else without hesitation.”
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