Updated Jun 29, 2019

Jimmy Carter says Trump can thank Russian interference for his 2016 win

Jimmy Carter. Photo: NurPhoto/Contributor/Getty Images

Former President Jimmy Carter said Friday that a thorough investigation into the 2016 presidential election would reveal that President Trump would not have won the presidency without the help of Russian interference, the Washington Post reports.

What he's saying: "There's no doubt that 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 said at a Carter Center conference in Virginia. He also indicated that he considers Trump to be an "illegitimate president."

  • Carter, the oldest living president, described Trump's immigration policies as "a disgrace to the United States."
  • In evaluating the Trump administration's response to Saudi Arabia's murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, he said that his administration "would have demanded a complete accounting about how high up the orders came from."

The other side: Trump responded to Carter's comments at a press conference in Japan, calling him a "nice man" but a "terrible president. The president insisted he won in 2016 "not because of Russia, not because of anybody but myself."

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The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

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Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.