Former Democrat President Jimmy Carter slammed President Trump, calling him “illegitimate.”
Fox News reported that former President Jimmy Carter questioned Friday whether President Trump legitimately won the 2016 election over Hillary Clinton, arguing Trump is only in office because “the Russians interfered.”
The 94-year-old Democrat was speaking at a Virginia forum moderated by presidential biographer Jon Meacham, who asked how the U.S. should “deal with Russia” interfering in the country’s ability to have “free and fair elections.”
Carter answered by calling on Trump to acknowledge the interference and “condemn it”
“I think a full investigation would show that Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016. He lost the election, and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf,” he said at the Carter Center event.
Watch the video:
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.
The White House did not immediately comment on Carter’s remarks.
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.
[More Politics] Senate rejects move to limit Trump’s power to attack Iran »
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.