Former president Jimmy Carter emerged as an unlikely Donald Trump ally on Sunday, saying that the current commander-in-chief gets a raw deal from the media.
Carter, speaking to The New York Times, also said he doesn't believe Russia swayed "any votes" in the 2016 election, despite its best efforts to interfere with America's democratic process.
Times columnist Maureen Dowd interviewed Carter at his home in Georgia, and heard one other surprising thought process in the Democrat's mind: The 93-year-old who was president from 1977 to 1981 would be willing to be Trump's envoy to North Korea, according to Daily Mail.
But Carter's view of how Trump has taken a beating in the press is the column's biggest revelation.
"I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I've known about," he said.
"I think they feel free to claim that Trump is mentally deranged and everything else without hesitation."
As if on cue, Trump tweeted Sunday morning about last week's Politico/Morning Consult poll that found nearly half of Americans think reporters are creating anti-Trump stories out of whole cloth.
"It is finally sinking through," Trump tweeted, before shifting gears into all-caps: "46% OF PEOPLE BELIEVE MAJOR NATIONAL NEWS ORGS FABRICATE STORIES ABOUT ME. FAKE NEWS, even worse! Lost cred[ibility]."
Trump has been attacking "fake news" reports since early in his presidential run, and has claimed that some anonymous sources cited in articles don't exist.
Many of the president's loudest media tantrums have come in response to stories suggesting that he and his aides colluded with the Russian government to swing the election in his favor.
Despite a consensus from several U.S. intelligence agencies that Moscow tried to interfere with the election, Carter dismissed Russia's effectiveness.
"I don't think there's any evidence that what the Russians did changed enough votes, or any votes," he said,
Former first lady Rosalynn Carter disagreed, however.
"They obviously did," she said, citing a Moscow-induced "drip-drip-drip about Hillary" Clinton.
On the North Korea question, Carter said he has offered to go to North Korea on behalf of the White House to try to allay rising tensions, but has not been asked.
"I would go, yes," he told the Times.
Carter said he had told the Republican president's National Security Advisor HR McMaster that he "was available if they ever need me."
In 1994 Carter traveled to Pyongyang to negotiate with Kim Il-Sung, the current dictator's grandfather, over the North's nuclear program.
In recent months President Trump has engaged in an escalating war of words with current despot Kim Jong-Un, trading personal insults and threatening to "totally destroy" North Korea if it threatens the United States.
Asked about the verbal attacks, Carter told the Times he is "afraid, too, of a situation."
"I don't know what they'll do," he said of the North Koreans. "Because they want to save their regime."
Calling Kim Jong-Un "unpredictable," Carter said he worried the young leader could take preemptive action.
"I think he's now got advanced nuclear weaponry that can destroy the Korean Peninsula and Japan, and some of our outlying territories in the Pacific, maybe even our mainland," Carter said.