President Trump bristles at the suggestion that the Russians played any role in helping him win in 2016, which is why new comments by one of his predecessors will surely not sit well. “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,” Jimmy Carter said Friday during a forum in Leesburg, Va. “He lost the election and he was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf,” said Carter, per the Hill. Given all that, moderator Jon Meacham then asked Carter if he felt Trump was an "illegitimate president," notes Politico.
Carter paused, then said, "Based on what I just said, which I can't retract, (another pause) I would say yes," per NBC News. The last words are difficult to hear amid audience laughter, and CSPAN has a short video of the exchange here. No immediate response from Trump or the White House, but the president insisted in late May, after Robert Mueller made public comments about his investigation, that "Russia did not help me get elected. ... I got me elected." (Read more Jimmy Carter stories.)