(Audio: Former President Jimmy Carter saying, “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.”)
THE WHITE HOUSE – That was former President Jimmy Carter speaking today at the Carter Center in Leesburg, Va.
When asked by moderator and historian Jon Meacham if he believed President Donald Trump was then an “illegitimate” president, Carter replied:
(Audio: “Based on what I just said, which I can’t retract.”)
Trump has repeatedly denied and/or sidestepped Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, despite the Mueller report’s statement that “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.” Trump claims he was not aware of their efforts, despite over 100 contacts between campaign officials and the Russians during the election. Trump often proclaims, “No collusion! No obstruction!”
Carter’s comments come shortly after Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Osaka, Japan. When asked by journalists if he would warn Putin not to interfere in our election, a smiling Trump pointed to Putin and said: “Yes, of course, I will. Don’t meddle in the election, please. Don’t meddle in the election.”
Doug Christian, The White House