Jimmy Carter: Obama Doesn't Call Me, NSA Spies on Me, Too

Sunday, 23 Mar 2014 11:10 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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President Barack Obama is the first president who has not solicited advice from former President Jimmy Carter since he left office, Carter told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

“President Clinton did and President George W. Bush and H.W. Bush and even Ronald Reagan used to call on us to go into sensitive areas,” Carter told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell Sunday.

It is difficult to explain with "complete candor" why he and Obama do not have a closer relationship, Carter said, but he thinks it has something to do with his center at Emory University. He believes the Carter Center's views of equal treatment when it comes to the Middle East's countries may have caused tension between him and Obama.

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"I think the problem was that — in dealing with the issue of peace in between Israel and Egypt — the Carter Center has taken a very strong and public position of equal treatment between the Palestinians and the Israelis," said Carter. "And I think this was a sensitive area in which the president didn't want to be involved."

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Carter also told Mitchell that he left the Southern Baptist Convention last year after it passed rules at its annual meeting "to require that women be subservient to their husbands, and women could no longer serve as a pastoral priest or as a deacon."

The former president had been part of the SBC for years before he left the church, serving as a deacon and Sunday School teacher for six decades, reports The Huffington Post.

Carter also commented on the problem of sexual abuse in the military and on the nation's college and university campuses.

"Presidents of universities and colleges and commanding officers don't want to admit that under their leadership, sexual abuse is taking place, so rapists prevail," Carter said.

Carter also commented on the situation in Ukraine. In 1980, he banned U.S. athletes from participating in the Moscow Olympics after the then-Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan, and said where the Ukraine is concerned, "there has to be a concerted international prohibition against Putin going any further than Crimea."

Carter also discussed, shortly, the scandal concerning the National Security Agency and its surveillance practices.

"I have felt that my own communications were probably monitored," said Carter. "When I want to communicate with a foreign leader privately, I type or write the letter myself, put it in the mailbox and mail it... I believe if I send an email it will be monitored."

Carter's interview was done just days before the release of his new book, "A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power."

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