A war of words between two United States presidents continued over the weekend.
After former President Jimmy Carter asserted last week that Trump’s presidency is illegitimate, President Donald Trump fired back by saying the 94-year-old was a “terrible president.”
Carter goes after Trump
Things got underway on Friday at an event in Leesburg, Virginia — a suburb of Washington, D.C. — where Carter revealed that he’d joined other Dems in believing that Trump is only president because of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“There’s no doubt that the Russians did interfere in the elections, and I think the interference, although not yet quantified, if fully investigated would show that Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016,” Carter said. “He lost the election and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf.”
The moderator followed that statement up by asking Carter if he meant to say that Trump is an illegitimate president.
The former commander-in-chief responded: “Based on what I just said, which I can’t retract.”
In Japan for the G20 Summit on Saturday, President Trump responded to Carter through reporters.
“Look, he was a nice man. He was a terrible president,” Trump said. “He’s a Democrat. And it’s a typical talking point. He’s loyal to the Democrats. And I guess you should be.”
President Trump went on to rebut the idea that he is only president because of Russia.
“As everybody now understands,” he said, “I won not because of Russia, not because of anybody but myself.”
Trump added that it was not the Kremlin, but his “hard work” that earned him the presidency.
A restrained Trump
It has to be said that President Trump’s response to Carter was relatively mild, at least by his standards. This may have to do with the fact that Trump says that he “felt badly” for Carter.
“He’s been badly trashed,” Trump explained. “He’s like the forgotten president. And I understand why they say that. He was not a good president.”
But despite what Carter and others believe, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation did not conclude that Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election directly led to Hillary Clinton’s defeat.
Looks like Trump can add another win to his books.