Jimmy Carter, the famous American politician who served as the country’s 39th president, has shown admiration for Donald Trump’s leadership, and there are speculations that the former might have endeared himself to the billionaire president after an interview with The New York Times.
Joining the presidents’ club has never been easier than finding an ally within.
The new spark between Mr. Carter and President Trump looks very unusual for some reasons. One would have thought that a cordial relationship between Democrats and Republicans exists only in utopia – they share lots of different political views.
Speaking in an interview with Maureen Dowd, an op-ed columnist with Times, Carter said he’s ready to offer services that would broker peace between North Korea and the United States. He volunteered to serve at the embassy on behalf of Mr. Trump’s government.
Remarkably, the 93-year-old was part of the representatives who negotiated with DPRK in 2010 for the release of an American prisoner.
“I would go, yes,” he said. “I told him that I was available if they ever need me.”
The former Democratic leader also talked about the not-so-friendly relationship between Trump and Putin, and expressed disappointment with Barack Obama’s poor contributions to the Middle East crisis.
Image: Barack Obama
“He made some very wonderful statements, in my opinion, when he first got in office, and then he reneged on that,” Carter said of Obama.
“[On Putin-Trump relationship] At the Carter Center, we deal with Putin and the Russians quite frequently concerning Syria.”
Mr. Carter also said the media have been hostile to Mr. President but admitted that his new friend is deepening racial divisions in the US, and somehow contradicted his earlier statement by adding that those actions may not be deliberate.
The chat with Times isn’t his first time to defend the president. Last September, he supported Mr. Trump’s executive actions on immigration law, saying such actions “might actually be able to achieve movement on the issue.”
Trump deserves credit where credit is due, he said at that time.
Mr. Carter, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his work with Carter Center, praised the president for his courage in reaching out to Saudi Arabia for negotiations. However, he expressed sympathy that despite the initiatives, Trump has been criticized in the media unlike every other president before him.
Image: Donald Trump
“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.”
“[On racial divisions in the US] Yes, I think he is exacerbating it,” he said. “But maybe not deliberately.”
Mr. Carter told the news outlet that he and his wife Rosalynn did not cast their votes for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic primary elections.
“We voted for Sanders,” he reiterated.
When asked if he thinks the Russians did deny Ms. Clinton victory at the polls, he explained that his wife shares a different opinion on the controversial issue. Rosalynn Carter argues that the Russians “obviously” tampered with the final results while her husband said, “I don’t think there’s any evidence that what the Russians did changed enough votes, or any votes.”