President Donald Trump has long railed against the mainstream media for refusing to give him a fair shake and largely offering wall-to-wall negative coverage. Now, it appears that former President Jimmy Carter agrees with that assessment.
“I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about,” Carter said in an interview with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. “I think they feel free to claim that Trump is mentally deranged and everything else without hesitation.”
Far from a one-off remark in favor of the sitting president, though, Carter continued to rebuke Trump’s critics. On foreign policy, Carter opined that the mainstream media is unfairly alarmist when it comes to suggesting that the Trump administration is damaging the reputation of the United States on the international stage.
“Well, he might be escalating it but I think that precedes Trump,” Carter said. “The United States has been the dominant character in the whole world and now we’re not anymore. And we’re not going to be. Russia’s coming back and India and China are coming forward.”
The 93-year-old former president, a Democrat, even went on to offer his clout to the Trump administration in order to tackle the long-simmering problems in North Korea.
“I told him that I was available if they ever need me,” Carter said in reference to a conversation he had with Trump national security adviser H.R. McMaster.
Of the other living former presidents, Carter appeared to distance himself from Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s post-presidential approaches to self-enrichment.
“I don’t care if [Obama] gets rich or Clinton gets rich or whatever,” he said. “I don’t want to get into a bragging position; I’m not trying to do that. But I announced when I was defeated I was not going to be on corporate boards, I was not going to try to enrich myself with speeches. I was patterning my policy after Harry Truman.”