At a time when President Trump is criticized, albeit thinly-veiled, by another Republican president, George W. Bush, a Democratic president is rallying to Trump’s defense.
In a stunning interview with the New York Times, which was archly reported by the Times‘ opinion columnist Maureen Dowd on October 21, 2017, former President Jimmy Carter, now 93 years old, broke ranks with the Democratic Party on a number of issues.
(1) Russia and the 2016 Election
Carter dismisses his party’s and the MSM’s insistent claims, despite a lack of any evidence after 9 months of investigation, that Russia had colluded with President Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
Asked if the Russians had “purloined” the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton, Carter replied, referring to his wife Rosalyn who “looked over archly,” that “Rosie and I have a difference of opinion on that.” Carter then said:
“I don’t think there’s any evidence that what the Russians did changed enough votes, or any votes.”
Carter is also not as bothered as some by Trump’s alleged bromance with Russian President Vladimir Putin: “At the Carter Center, we deal with Putin and the Russians quite frequently concerning Syria.”
(2) The Media
Carter criticizes the media for their biased coverage of President Trump:
“I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about. I think they feel free to claim that Trump is mentally deranged and everything else without hesitation.”
(3) President Trump
(a) Asked whether Trump is “souring” America’s image in the world, Carter replied:
“Well, he might be escalating it but I think that precedes Trump. The United States has been the dominant character in the whole world and now we’re not anymore. And we’re not going to be. Russia’s coming back and India and China are coming forward.”
(b) Carter likes Trump’s initiative reaching out to Saudi Arabia, and thinks Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner could succeed where others have failed because “I’ve seen in the Arab world, including the Palestinian world, the high esteem that they pay to a member of one’s own family.”
(c) Asked whether Trump is deepening racial divisions via his stance on NFL players’ refusal to stand for the National Anthem, Carter said, “Yes, I think he is exacerbating it. But maybe not deliberately.” Carter also objects to the NFL’s take-a-knee protests: “I think they ought to find a different way to object, to demonstrate. I would rather see all the players stand during the American anthem.”
(4) Barack Obama
Carter is critical of Obama’s record in foreign policy:
- On the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Carter thinks there’s not much hope now that Israelis will ever permit a two-state solution because Obama “made some very wonderful statements, in my opinion, when he first got in office, and then he reneged on that.”
- On North Korea, Carter blames Obama for refusing to talk to North Korea more.
- On Yemen, Carter laments the fact that Obama joined in the bombing of Yemen, which Carter says is the most interesting place he’s ever been.
(5) Hillary Clinton
(a) Carter implicitly criticized both Obama and the Clintons for the money they rake in for speeches (Obama makes$400,000 a speech):
“I don’t care if he [Obama] gets rich or Clinton gets rich or whatever. I don’t want to get into a bragging position; I’m not trying to do that. But I announced when I was defeated I was not going to be on corporate boards, I was not going to try to enrich myself with speeches. I was patterning my policy after Harry Truman.”
(b) Carter also implicitly criticizes the Clintons for their corrupt Clinton Foundation, saying, “Rosie and I put money in the Carter Center. We never take any out.”
(c) Carter offered the information that he had voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary! (Nevertheless, Jimmy Carter did endorse Hillary Clinton, who advocates late-term abortion, when she became the Democratic Party’s nominee.)
Lastly, Carter volunteers for a diplomatic mission to North Korea on behalf of the United States because the “unpredictable” Kim Jong-un makes him more nervous than his father, Kim Jong-il. Carter believes that if Kim Jr. thinks Trump will act against him, he could do something pre-emptive:
“I’m afraid, too, of a situation. I don’t know what they’ll do. Because they want to save their regime. And we greatly overestimate China’s influence on North Korea. Particularly to Kim Jong-un. He’s never, so far as I know, been to China. And they have no relationship. Kim Jong-il did go to China and was very close to them. I think he’s now got advanced nuclear weaponry that can destroy the Korean Peninsula and Japan, and some of our outlying territories in the Pacific, maybe even our mainland.”
H/t Will Shanley
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