President Trump on Saturday lashed out at former President Jimmy Carter for suggesting Trump’s administration is illegitimate.
“Look, he was a nice man. He was a terrible president,” Trump told reporters in Japan during the Group of 20 summit.
“He’s a Democrat. And it’s a typical talking point. He’s loyal to the Democrats. And I guess you should be … as everybody now understands, I won not because of Russia, not because of anybody but myself,” he added, according to The Associated Press.
Trump spoke out on Saturday saying that he won the election because he worked harder than Clinton. He said that he “felt badly” for Carter because of how he had “been trashed within his own party.”
“He’s been badly trashed,” Trump said, according to the AP. “He’s like the forgotten president. And I understand why they say that. He was not a good president.”
On Friday, Former President Carter said “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 continued, “He lost the election and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf,” Carter said. He was then asked if he thinks Trump is an illegitimate president, and Carter said: “Based on what I just said, which I can’t retract.”
Former special counsel Robert Mueller found Russia did interfere in the 2016 election to help Trump win over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. But neither Mueller nor the U.S. intelligence community has indicated that Russia’s efforts, which included hacking Democratic organizations and a disinformation campaign, contributed directly to Trump’s victory.
Mueller did not find sufficient evidence to charge any members or associates of Trump’s campaign with conspiring with Russian interference efforts, though Mueller declined to exonerate the president.
Trump has continued to express his innocence in alleged conspiracy with Russia, repeatedly casting doubt on the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the election in order to help his candidacy.