Jimmy Carter is often thought of for his humanitarian work after he became president. But he’s also been known over the years for not being shy to be somewhat critical of Presidents in office.
That’s why a New York Times interview with Maureen Dowd where he discusses President Donald Trump might make one pause, wondering what Carter might say.
But actually, what he says is rather astonishing and proves once again that he’s not a party line guy because he definitely didn’t get the Democratic memo on criticism of Trump. Or at least he’s not adhering to it.
And on many levels, his intervie remarks are supportive of Trump. And not at all kind to former President Barack Obama.
First, he revealed that he offered to help and go to North Korea. He said talked with Trump’s national security adviser, H. R. McMaster, about it but they turned him down. Carter said he was available if ever they need him. Carter helped out prior to the 1994 Clinton deal with North Korea which didn’t stop them from continuing to develop nuclear weapons.
Second, Carter weighed in on the national anthem controversy with a surprising comment. “I think they ought to find a different way to object, to demonstrate,” he said. ” I would rather see all the players stand during the American anthem.”
Carter then weighed in with a very critical assessment of not Trump, but of Barack Obama, especially his failure to sufficiently address North Korea, saying he didn’t live up to his “wonderful statements.”
Carter criticized several of President Barack Obama’s actions on foreign policy.
The former president said Obama “refused to talk to North Korea more” and lamented the US drone attacks in Yemen, according to Dowd.
“He made some very wonderful statements, in my opinion, when he first got in office, and then he reneged on that,” he said about Obama’s action on the Middle East.
Carter defended Trump multiple times and said the media had been harder on Trump than any other President he knew about.
Carter said Trump’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t bother him.
“At the Carter Center,” he told the Times, “we deal with Putin and the Russians quite frequently concerning Syria.”
He praised Trump for taking the initiative to reach out to Saudi Arabia and said the President has been under a stricter spotlight than his predecessors.
“I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about,” Carter replied. “I think they feel free to claim that Trump is mentally deranged and everything else without hesitation.”
But he said that Trump was deepening racial divisions in the US.
“Yes, I think he is exacerbating it,” he said. “But maybe not deliberately.”
He sticks a stake right through the heart of establishment Democrats, when he reiterates that he didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton in the election but that he voted for Bernie Sanders.
And he discounted the Russians stole the election story Hillary was pushing, saying, “I don’t think there’s any evidence that what the Russians did changed enough votes, or any votes.”