Former president Jimmy Carter says President Barack Obama does not reach out to him for advice, citing tension over his nonprofit organization’s vocal support for Palestinians in the Middle East.
“Unfortunately, the answer is no,” Carter said when asked by NBC’S Andrea Mitchell in an exclusive interview whether the current inhabitant of the White House calls him, adding that former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan asked for his help with diplomacy when dealing with “unsavory characters.”
Saying that it is difficult to explain “with complete candor” why the two men don’t have a closer relationship, he noted that the nonprofit Carter Center’s positions on the Middle East may be the source of the tension.
“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. And I think this was a sensitive area in which the president didn't want to be involved,” he said.
The former Democratic president added that he understands that “sensitivity.”
Andrea Mitchell’s exclusive interview with the 39th president comes before the release of his new book on March 25.
The full interview will air on this week’s “Meet the Press” on NBC News. For more on this Sunday's show including topics and guests, visit MeetThePressNBC.com.
First published March 21 2014, 12:19 PM
Carrie Dann is a national political writer for NBCNews.com. She has worked for NBC and NBCNews.com since 2006. Dann writes about politics and Congress. Dann rejoined the web team after 18 months as a campaign reporter for NBC News, covering presidential and vice presidential candidates during the 2012 election. She also covered the 2007-2008 presidential campaign for NBC, including extensive reporting on the Iowa caucuses.
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Prior to her work at NBCNews.com, Dann was a staff reporter at CongressDaily, where she covered lobbying and government reform.
A Virginia native, she now lives in Washington, D.C.