Um, I beleive the one who doesn’t lie to us at every opportunity.
ATLANTA (Reuters) – Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter denied on Wednesday that the State Department warned him not to meet with leaders of the Islamist group Hamas before he made a recent trip to the Middle East.
The State Department has said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State David Welch, the top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East, urged Carter not to meet with Hamas, a position restated by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, but Carter denied this.
“No one in the State Department or any other department of the U.S. government ever asked him (Carter) to refrain from his recent visit to the Middle East or even suggested that he not meet with Syrian President (Bashar) Assad or leaders of Hamas,” said a statement released by the Atlanta-based Carter Center, which speaks on the former president’s behalf.
The Carter Center statement said the former president attempted to call Rice before making the trip and a deputy returned his call since Rice was in Europe.
“They had a very pleasant discussion for about 15 minutes, during which he never made any of the negative or cautionary comments described above. He never talked to anyone else,” the Carter Center statement said.
“President Carter has the greatest respect for … Rice and believes her to be a truthful person. However, perhaps inadvertently, she is continuing to make a statement that is not true,” the statement said.