Jimmy Carter defends Trump in a wide-ranging New York Times interview

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Jimmy Carter
Jimmy
Carter.

AP Photo/John
Bazemore


In one of his first major interviews since President Donald Trump
took office, former President Jimmy Carter
opened up
about his views on politics and cultural
clashes in the Trump era.

Speaking with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd in a piece
titled “Jimmy Carter Lusts for a Trump Posting”, Carter opined on
a number of political topics:

  • The former president
    said he would serve as a liaison to North Korea
    , and that
    he offered his services to Trump’s national security adviser
    H.R. McMaster at the funeral of Zbigniew Brzezinski, an adviser
    who helped shape Carter’s foreign policy agenda.
  • Carter said the US is no longer “the dominant character in
    the whole world,” and “we’re not going to be,” adding that
    “Russia’s coming back and India and China are coming forward.”
  • He knocked former President Barack Obama’s decision to bomb
    Yemen, as well as his refusal to hold more serious discussions
    with North Korea.
  • On NFL players protesting racial injustice and bias in law
    enforcement by kneeling during the national anthem, Carter said
    players “ought to find a different way to object, to
    demonstrate,” saying he wished players would stand during the
    anthem.

And although the former president said Trump was exacerbating
racial tensions, Carter also repeatedly defended the current
president:

  • He said although Trump may be contributing to the souring of
    America’s image in the world, the declining image of America
    “precedes Trump.”
  • Carter was not as bothered by Trump’s relationship with
    Russian President Vladimir Putin, and disagreed with his wife
    about the impact of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election,
    saying “I don’t think there’s any evidence that what the Russians
    did changed enough votes, or any votes.”
  • Carter claimed that the “media have been harder on Trump than
    any other president certainly that I’ve known about,” saying that
    reporters felt “free to claim that Trump is mentally deranged and
    everything else without hesitation.”

Some political pundits on the Sunday morning talk shows
speculated whether Carter was positioning himself for a job in
Trump’s administration by complimenting the president in the
press.


carter bush clinton obama
Former
Presidents from right, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W.
Bush, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter place their hands on
their chest for the national anthem on stage at the opening of a
hurricanes relief concert in College Station, Texas on Oct. 21,
2017.


AP
Photo/LM Otero



Carter has regularly made his opinions on politics known since
leaving office, even if they have gone against the grain of the
leaders of both parties.

He clashed with former President Bill Clinton (who
blamed
Carter for his gubernatorial reelection loss) and
though he supported Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election, the
39th president voted for opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders during the
Democratic primary.

He also famously irked former President George H.W. Bush by

loudly
opposing the Gulf War.

In recent years, Carter has
lamented
the influence of money in politics, criticizing
Democrats and Republicans for taking campaign contributions from
wealthy interests.

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