During a panel discussion on human rights at the Carter Center in Leesburg, Virginia, former president Jimmy Carter told those in attendance that he believed a full investigation of the 2016 election would show that Donald Trump didn’t actually win in the first place, and was instead essentially “installed” by the power structure in Russia that is now confirmed to have interfered in that election.
The conversation, which took place in June 2019, was a departure for Carter, who has been reticent to criticize Trump despite wide public disapproval, simply because it is not Carter’s nature to denigrate a sitting president. But the facts surrounding the foreign interference that is now known to have taken place have added up into something he can actually point at:
There’s no doubt that the Russians did interfere in the election. And I think the interference, although not yet quantified, if fully investigated, would show that 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.”
In the course of the panel event, Carter called on Trump to not only condemn Russia for their actions but also to “admit that it happened,” something Trump has steadfastly refused to do, even in the face of a full complement of intelligence agency reporting confirming it and the entirety of the Mueller investigation, which culminated in the indictment and conviction of dozens of Russian agents and even former Trump campaign officials who all acted illegally during that campaign and the run-up to the presidency.
Indeed, to this day, Trump still uses the phrase “the Russia hoax” to dismiss out of hand the miles of evidence of disinformation campaigns, data theft, hacking techniques, and overt public support for his campaign that Mueller’s investigation uncovered — and which even a recent bipartisan Senate report confirmed once again, as though America needed further confirmation of something we all at this point understand was a major factor in Trump’s rise to power.
This is far beyond even the travesty of the 2000 election, after which multiple recount models showed that if the Supreme Court hadn’t intervened on George Bush’s behalf and halted legitimate counting of ballots that former Vice President Al Gore would have won.
This is a matter of international interference, something we simply cannot abide and remain a free state.
Featured image via Flickr/The White House