Former president Jimmy Carter took aim at sitting president Donald Trump Friday morning, suggesting his presidency is illegitimate and that he did not actually win the 2016 election.
Presidential historian Jon Meacham interviewed the Georgia Democrat at a Carter Center panel on human rights hosted at Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Virginia.
"Russia has been proven by our intelligence community to have interfered with one of our human rights, which is the right of free and fair elections," Meacham asked. "What is your reaction? How should we deal with Russia?"
Carter responded that Trump should personally "condemn it and admit that it happened, which I think sixteen of the intelligence agencies have already agreed to say."
"There is no doubt that the Russians did interfere in the election," he continued, "and I think the interference, although not yet quantified, if fully investigated would show Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016. He lost the election, and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf."
"So do you believe President Trump is an illegitimate president?" asked Meecham.
Carter hesitated to answer the question, causing the audience to laugh. "Based on what I just said, which I can’t retract," he eventually said, to more laughter.
The former president's criticism comes less than a week after Carter praised Trump's handling of recent hostilities from Iran. "I agree with President Trump on his decision not to take military action against Iran," he told Sunday-school children at his hometown church in Plains, Georgia. "I had a lot of problems with Iran when I was in office."