Jimmy Carter Calls Donald Trump an “Illegitimate” President Who Only Won Because of Russia

“I think a full investigation would show that Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016.”

Former President Jimmy Carter questioned the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s presidency on Friday, adding that a full investigation of the 2016 election would likely prove that Trump only won because of Russia’s assistance.

“There’s no doubt that the Russians did interfere in the election 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 during a panel discussion hosted by the Carter Center. “He lost the election and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf.”

When asked if he believed that Trump was, therefore, an illegitimate president, Carter responded: “Based on what I just said, which I can’t retract.” The extraordinary comments marked some of the harshest language a former US president has ever directed at a sitting president. They came just hours after Trump, who is in Japan for the G20 summit, appeared to once again belittle the threat of foreign interference in US elections.

In this latest instance, filmed on the sidelines of the summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin sat beside Trump.

Carter on Friday also condemned the Trump administration’s actions toward migrants apprehended at the border: “Everyday we send a disgraceful signal around the world, that this is what the present United States government stands for, and that is torture and kidnapping of little children.”

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate