Jimmy Carter told The New York Times that President Donald Trump faces a harsher media environment than preceding presidents. The former president and peanut farmer from Georgia said of the current Commander in Chief: “I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about.” Carter said that media reports on Trump’s supposed mental instability are a sign that the media is going too far. “I think they feel free to claim that Trump is mentally deranged and everything else without hesitation,” Carter continued.

Despite notices from the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association warning professionals against issuing psychiatric diagnoses on people they have not examined, thousands of psychiatrists and psychologists signed a petition earlier this year that declared “Trump is mentally ill and must be removed.”

Politicians have gotten into the act, as well. For example, Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee said recently that “the White House has become an adult day care center” while taking aim at Trump’s mental acuity by saying that the president is leading the U.S. “on the path of World War III.” Last August, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) introduced a resolution calling on the president to undergo a physical and mental health exam.

The article at The New York Times was penned by Maureen Dowd and titled 'Jimmy Carter lusts for a Trump posting.'

Five points from Dowd's interview with Carter:

1. In the interview, Carter told Dowd that he wants to serve under Trump as an ambassador to North Korea, saying “I would go, yes.” Carter said that he spoke recently with Lgt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser about the offer, but was given “a negative 
response.” He said, "I told him that I was available if they ever need me." 

In years past, Carter has served the president on issues relating to North Korea. In 2010, for instance, he secured the release of an American from the communist republic. He also negotiated a deal with North Korea in 1994 to give up its nuclear arsenal: a deal that has been criticized by Trump himself. Telling Dowd that the current leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, is more worrisome that his father, the late Kim Jong-il. "I think he's now got advanced nuclear weaponry," he said.

2.  Players should “stand during the American anthem,” said Carter. “think they ought to find a different way to object, to demonstrate," he said. " I would rather see all the players stand during the American anthem." Trump has also criticized the NFL and players for failing to show reverence to the national anthem and flag. 

3. Criticizing a number of Barack Obama’s foreign policy initiatives, Carter said that Obama did not live up to his “wonderful statements.” For example, Carter said that Obama “refused to talk to North Korea more," and resorted to deadly U.S. drone attacks in Yemen. "He made some very wonderful statements, in my opinion, when he first got in office, and then he reneged on that," he said about Obama's policies toward the Middle East.

4. Carter was apparently untroubled by Trump's relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "At the Carter Center," he told NYT, "we deal with Putin and the Russians quite frequently concerning Syria." He also lauded Trump for reaching out to Saudi Arabia.

5. Evidencing the divisions plaguing the Democrats, Carter revealed who got his vote in 2016.  “We voted for Sanders,” said Trump, proving that he runs athwart both Hillary Clinton and Obama. With regard to allegations that Russian operatives threw the presidential election away from Hillary Clinton, Carter said he was disagreed with his wife. “ don't think there's any evidence that what the Russians did changed enough votes, or any votes," he said. 
 

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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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