Earlier today, former President Jimmy Carter called President Donald Trump an “illegitimate” president who “didn’t actually win the election in 2016.”

Carter made the comments at a Carter Center conference in Virginia. USA Today’s Susan Page was the first to report about it, posting several tweets detailing remarks made at the conference. Carter’s Vice President, Walter Mondale, also spoke at the conference and accused Trump of showing “symptoms of psychological problems.”

A transcript of Carter’s comments, via Mediate:

“I think the interference, though not yet quantified, should be fully investigated and would show that Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016, he lost the election,” Carter said.

“He was put into office because the Russians interfered,” he said. Carter was then asked if that meant he believed Trump was illegitimate.

“Based on what I said, which I can’t retract,” Carter responded, prompting laughter from the audience.

Video of the conference is also posted at C-SPAN.

Americans have differing opinions about the scope and impact of Russian interference in the 2016 election, largely based on their partisan allegiances, but one thing that we do not have is evidence of Russians (or any other country, entity, or individual) hacking actual ballots or vote totals. 

People cast ballots across the country in the 2016 presidential election, and more people in enough states voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton to give him more electoral votes. He “actually” did win the election. Therefore, Donald Trump is a “legitimate” president. This is not complicated.

There are plenty of reasons to be critical of Trump and prefer another candidate for president in 2020. Carter has the same free speech rights as the rest of us to voice such opinions and encourage Americans to vote against Trump next year. But peddling in these kinds of delusional conspiracy theories risks becoming a sad footnote on Carter’s final years of life.

The 94-year-old former peanut farmer had some notorious struggles and policy failures during his one term in the White House, but avoided personal scandals and is widely respected for his Christian faith and volunteer service, perhaps most notably for Habitat for Humanity.

Stick with building houses, Mr. President. Tin foil hats aren’t a good look for you.

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Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.