Former President Jimmy Carter said during an event Friday morning at the Carter Center with historian John Meacham that he believes Donald Trump's presidency is illegitimate and "he didn’t actually win the election in 2016." USA Today's Susan Page first reported Carter's comments with a tweet from the audience:
NEW: Former president Jimmy Carter says a full investigation “would show that Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016….He was put into office because the Russians interfered.” Does that mean he’s an illegitimate president? “Based on what I said, which I can’t retract.” pic.twitter.com/Y3UFUBIIDy— Susan Page (@SusanPage) June 28, 2019
JOHN MEACHAM: What would a Carter/Mondale administration -- how would the administration have reacted to the murder by Saudi Arabia of Jamal Khashoggi?
JIMMY CARTER: I believe we would have demanded a complete accounting about how high up the orders came from concerning the direct murder of Khashoggi. As you know, they sent about 15 people to the embassy where he was destined to be, scheduled to be, and they apparently they killed him and cut them up in little pieces and buried him in some unknown place. And that could only have been done under the orders from some of the highest people in any government. I would demand an accounting for that.
We tried when I was president, we tried to put human rights as a measuring stick in every incident. We didn't always succeed but that's what our effort was.
MEACHAM: One more off the top of the news and then we will dive in. Russia has been proven by our intelligence community to have interfered with one of our human rights which is the right of free and fair elections. What is your reaction? How should we deal with that?
CARTER: The president himself should condemn it and admit it happened, which 16 intelligence agencies have already agreed to and there is don't doubt that the Russians did interfere in the election. I think the interference, although not yet quantified, when fully investigated would show it's from the election in 2016. He lost the election and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf.
MEACHAM: You say you believe President Trump is an illegitimate president?
CARTER: Based on what I just said which I can't retract.
MEACHAM: Having made news -- let's talk about Eleanor Roosevelt.