Speaking to The New York Times‘ columnist, Maureen Dowdy, former president of the United States, Jimmy Carter, says the media have been hostile to the current president, Donald Trump.
• Carter’s sentiments
The 93-year-old in a surprise defense for Trump said, “I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about”.
Carter who served one term from 1977 to 1981, added that he thought the media “feel free to claim that Trump is mentally deranged and everything else without hesitation.”
• Russian election meddling and the “America First” mantra
The 39th US President also made reference to the ongoing investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election, saying, “I don’t think there’s any evidence that what the Russians did changed enough votes, or any votes.”
In addition, Carter also doesn’t share the criticism that Trump’s current “America First” strategy is out of step with the larger world, spoiling international relations.
“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”, he said.
• On the North Korea rhetoric
Carter said he’s willing to go to North Korea on a diplomatic mission to wade into the escalating tensions over nuclear weapons.
“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”, he told the Times, calling the North Korean dictator “unpredictable.”
• DACA and immigration policy
Speaking earlier to Emory University students, Carter argued that the “pressures and the publicity that Trump has brought to the immigration issue” could even yield comprehensive immigration law changes that Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama could not achieve.
Blaming both the Republicans and Democrats for an inability to pass any major immigration law overhaul since a 1986 law signed by President Ronald Reagan, Carter said, “I don’t see that as a hopeless cause”, adding that Trump’s critics, including himself, “have to give him credit when he does some things that are not as bad” as they are depicted.