The former president weighs in:
“I know Mubarak quite well,” Carter said. “If Sadat had a message, he would send Mubarak.”
As Mubarak’s 30-year rule has continued, the Egyptian leader has “become more politically corrupt,” Carter said.
“He has perpetuated himself in office,” Carter said.
Carter said he thought the unrest would ease in the next week, but he said his “guess is Mubarak will have to leave.”
“The United States wants Mubarak to stay in power, but the people have decided,” Carter said.
Over the years, Mubarak has been a concern.
“Other U.S. presidents would privately tell Mubarak you have got to have freedom,” Carter said.
The former president pointed to the control of the media.
“As news organizations — television or newspapers — criticized Mubarak, they were put out of power or in prison,” Carter said.
As the unrest raged and escalated, Mubarak appointed Omar Suleiman, the country’s intelligence chief, as vice president.
“He’s an intelligent man whom I like very much,” Carter said.
Carter has maintained a relationship with Suleiman over the years.
“In the last four or five years when I go to Egypt, I don’t go to talk to Mubarak, who talks like a politician,” Carter said. “If I want to know what is going on in the Middle East, I talk to Suleiman. And as far as I know, he has always told me the truth.”
The former president, who performs work throughout the world for fair elections through The Carter Center in Atlanta, said this was not a revolution “orchestrated by extremist Muslims.
“The Muslim brotherhood has stayed out of it,” Carter said.