President Donald Trump on Saturday praised former President Jimmy Carter for saying the news media is uncharacteristically harsh on him.
“Just read the nice remarks by President Jimmy Carter about me and how badly I am treated by the press (Fake News),” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Thank you Mr. President!”
Just under a week ago, Carter expressed some sympathy for the current Oval Office occupant and how he is covered by today’s press.
“I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about,” Carter told to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd . “I think they feel free to claim that Trump is mentally deranged and everything else without hesitation.”
The 39th president’s comments came in an interview with Dowd that largely focused on whether Carter could convince Trump to send the elder statesman to North Korea as a diplomatic envoy to try to cool tensions between the two countries.
Carter was also critical of Trump’s handling of race relations, saying Trump is probably “exacerbating” tensions inside the country, but that the president may not be doing so “deliberately.”
An outsider who won the White House based in part on his peanut farming roots, Carter was the most complimentary of the small group of living former presidents who have spoken recently on the state of the country.
While refusing to criticize him by name, former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush gave speeches on Oct. 19 that appeared to blame Trump for increasing polarization and warned that his skepticism on issues like free trade and embrace of nationalism runs counter to traditional American values.
Before tweeting his praise of Carter, Trump complained that the same media continues to ignore positive economic growth. Trump hailed the “GREAT” GDP numbers released on Friday that showed a 3 percent in the third quarter from July through September. Economic experts had expected growth to dip slightly as a result of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.