Former President Jimmy Carter said Sunday he believes the National Security Agency is monitoring his e-mails, so when he wants to communicate with a foreign leader, he sends an old-fashioned letter via snail mail.
Asked by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell about the debate surrounding the spy agency and the conflict between privacy and national security, Carter said the surveillance practices have “been extremely liberalized and I think abused by our own intelligence agencies.”
“As a matter of fact, you know, I have felt that my own communications were probably monitored, and when I want to communicate with a foreign leader privately, I type or write the letter myself, put it in the post office and mail it,” Carter said.
Regarding the crisis in Ukraine, Carter said there must be a “concerted international” effort to keep Russian President Vladimir Putin from going beyond Crimea.
But, he added, President Barack Obama doesn’t ask for his advice on the matter – or any foreign policy issues.
“President Obama doesn’t, but previously presidents have called on me,” he said, adding that differences over policy in the Middle East may have put distance between the two.
“I think the problem was that – in dealing with the issue of peace in between Israel and Egypt – the Carter Center has taken a very strong and public position of equal treatment between the Palestinians and the Israelis,” he said
“And I think this was a sensitive area in which the President didn’t want to be involved.”