U.S. President Donald Trump pushed back Saturday against former President Jimmy Carter’s comments questioning the legitimacy of the 2016 election, saying: “He’s like the forgotten president.”
Mr Trump said this of Mr Carter, 94, who a day earlier suggested that Trump only got the White House with help from Russia.
“Russia. Russia. Russia. Isn’t it crazy?” Trump said, speaking at a news conference at the close of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. “I was surprised that he would make a statement.”
Mr Trump called it a “typical talking point” among Democrats and said he won the election because he worked harder than his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton in key battleground states that typically vote for Democrats.
Trump called Carter a “nice man” but said he was a terrible president who has been “trashed within his own party.”
Mr Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1981, said Friday that a full investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Election would show that Mr Trump didn’t win the presidency.
“He lost the election and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf,” Mr Carter said, speaking in Leesburg, Virginia.
Asked if he believes Mr Trump is an illegitimate president, Mr Carter paused and said, “Based on what I just said, which I can’t retract.”
In Mr Trump’s response to Carter’s statement, he referred to the Iranian seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and the ensuing hostage crisis that lasted until the end of Carter’s term in office.
“That was a disaster. What Iran did to him – they tied him up in knots,” Mr Trump said.