In a telephone town hall meeting in February, Congressman Barry Loudermilk of Georgia’s 11th District said that in 1980, then-President Jimmy Carter asked the Russians for help in his campaign against Ronald Reagan.
Earlier we ran an article about an interview in which Loudermilk defended President Trump’s performance in his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. In that interview, the congressman said in a passing remark that Carter had asked the Russians for help.
In the February 2 telephone town hall meeting, Loudermilk gave a lengthier version of that assertion. He said,
Well, let me tell you, Russia’s been meddling in elections for decades. If you go back and you look at the first known instance that we have of the Russians meddling in elections back to the Carter campaign. I believe it was Mondale and Carter who were running in a primary .. if I get my history right. I was a young person back then.
I found out recently that Jimmy Carter actually invited the Russians … asked the Russians to engage in the campaign. Or actually, it was Kennedy who originally reached out to them. Not John F. Kennedy, but his brother Ted Kennedy.
Then as Reagan was challenging Carter for the presidency, Carter reached out to the Russians to ask if they would get involved, because, you know, his reasoning was that Reagan would be a warmonger and drive us closer to a nuclear war. And so they invited the Russians to get involved.
Loudermilk didn’t elaborate on the source of his statement, but Michael Reagan, the son of Ronald Reagan, made a similar assertion involving Ted Kennedy and the Carter campaign in an opinion piece on the conservative news site NewsMax in December of 2016 when allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election were in their early stages.
The Courier is reaching out to the Loudermilk campaign for clarification, and we’ll update the story when we hear from them.
The link to Loudermilk’s comment about Carter from the February town hall meeting is here.