After President Donald Trump spoke on the phone to former President Jimmy Carter on Saturday about his administration’s trade negotiations with China, the White House took the opportunity to release a statement that Trump “always liked” Jimmy Carter.
“The President has always liked President Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter, and extended his best wishes to them on behalf of the American people.”
Per USA Today, Trump and Carter talked following a “beautiful” letter that Carter wrote the president about trade negotiations with China. The two reportedly had a “very good telephone conversation” about China, as well as other topics.
Despite the White House statement, Trump previously called Carter the worst president in United States history and even joked about him being dead in 2014.
Back in a 2016 interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Trump said that Obama bumped Carter for the title of worst president. He also tweeted his feelings back in 2013.
“Former President Jimmy Carter is so happy that he is no longer considered the worst President in the history of the United States!”
Carter is the oldest living former president in American history at 94 years of age. In the past, he has expressed dislike for Trump and once told CBS News that Trump is known to be “careless with the truth. He also spoke to The Washington Post the same month and called Trump a “disaster,” citing his record with human rights and equality.
“I think there’s been an attitude of ignorance toward the truth by President Trump.”
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) April 16, 2019
But Carter appears to have warmed to Trump — in October 2017, he said that Trump faced more media criticism than any other president. Afterward, Trump thanked Carter for the remarks. It’s very likely that this exchange is what set the stage for their recent phone conversation, as Trump isn’t one to ask for advice from past presidents.
Carter revealed his plans to write Trump back in January and said that he wanted to suggest that Trump form an advisory panel of six experts that can help the U.S. foster a more positive relationship with China.
According to Carter, Trump called him to discuss the letter, and he told Trump he believed that China will probably surpass the U.S. as an economic superpower. His reasoning lies in the fact that China has been able to avoid wasting money on the military and draining funds that could be put toward building infrastructure.