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Jimmy Carter believes U.S. is spying on him

'I believe if I send an email, it will be monitored'

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
Yahoo News

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Former President Jimmy Carter believes U.S. intelligence agencies are spying on him — so much so, he eschews email to avoid government spies.

"You know, I have felt that my own communications are probably monitored," Carter told NBC's Andrea Mitchell in an interview broadcast Sunday. "And when I want to communicate with a foreign leader privately, I type or write a letter myself, put it in the post office and mail it.

"I believe if I send an email, it will be monitored," Carter continued.

The 89-year-old said the National Security Agency and others have abused the argument that gathering intelligence is critical to homeland security.

"That has been extremely liberalized and, I think, abused by our own intelligence agencies," Carter said.

The 39th president, however, stopped short of criticizing No. 44 over the handling of the NSA scandal, the crisis in Ukraine or anything else.

"I don't have any criticism of him," Carter said of President Barack Obama.

He was asked if the the president ever asks him for advice.

"Unfortunately, the answer is no," Carter said. "President Obama doesn't. But previous presidents have called on me and the Carter Center to take action."

Why not Obama?

"That's a hard question for me to answer, you know, with complete candor," he said. "I think the problem was that in dealing with the issue of peace between Israel and Egypt, the Carter Center [took] 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."

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