Former President Jimmy Carter pulled no punches against Donald Trump in a recent interview with The New York Times.
The 39th commander in chief told the newspaper by phone on Monday that Mr. Trump’s Republican presidential campaign is fueled by lingering U.S. racism.
Mr. Carter, 91, said in February that the billionaire was his favorite Republican candidate because he is “completely malleable.” The former Democrat president now says Mr. Trump “tapped a waiting reservoir there of inherent racism” to succeed.
“When you single out any particular group of people for secondary citizenship status, that’s a violation of basic human rights,” Mr. Carter said of the Republican’s plan to deport illegal immigrants and temporarily halt Muslim immigration into the U.S.
The newspaper also asked Mr. Carter, who is planning to hold a summit of Baptists in Atlanta, Georgia, later this summer, why Mr. Trump’s support among evangelical Christians is so strong.
“The use of the word ‘evangelical’ is a misnomer. I consider myself an evangelical as well. And obviously, what most of the news reporters thought were evangelicals [over the years] are conservative Republicans,” the former president said.
Mr. Carter created the New Baptist Covenant in 2008 to bring together ministers from across the country. Roughly 15,000 individuals from 30 Baptist organizations attended its founding meeting.
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