Jimmy Carter says President Trump is only in the White House thanks to Russian interference.
The aging ex-president broke with tradition to assert that Trump’s election was illegitimate and that he “didn’t really win” the 2016 contest.
“He lost the election and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf,” Carter said at a panel discussion in Virginia.
Carter, 94, stressed that he believes Trump is an “illegitimate” president and said he will not “retract” the assertion.
Carter, who is recovering after a recent fall, also said Trump should “condemn” Russian interference and “admit that it happened” at the panel on human rights sponsored by the Carter Center think tank.
“Jimmy Carter, he’s a nice man but he was a terrible president,” Trump said. “He’s like the forgotten president … it’s a democrat talking point” he said, brushing the insult off.
“I won not because of Russia not because of anybody but myself … this had noting to do with anybody but the fact that I worked harder and I worked smarter than Hillary Clinton.” – President Donald J. Trump
Up to now, Carter appeared to enjoy a somewhat better relationship with Trump than the other two living past presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, both of whom are frequent targets of his ire.
Trump has often been triggered by any suggestion that his electoral college victory was tainted by Russia’s campaign to help him.
Trump has sought to minimize Russian election interference and jokingly warned Russian President Vladimir Putin not to interfere during a chummy appearance on Friday at the G20 Summit.
Special counsel Robert Mueller documented extensive Russian interference and said it was ordered by Putin. However, he did not claim as Carter did that the Kremlin help swung the election to Trump.
Traditionally, former presidents have refrained from criticizing the current commander-in-chief.
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