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As Jimmy Carter Discusses Cancer Diagnosis, Former Aide Praises Him as Honest, Noble Man

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Former President Jimmy Carter revealed today cancer had spread to his brain and that he would begin radiation treatment later in the day. He made the comment during his first public remarks about his cancer. We ask Gary Sick about his former boss. Sick served on the National Security Council under Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. He was the principal White House aide for Iran during the Iranian Revolution and the hostage crisis.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, on a different issue, you worked with Jimmy Carter. You worked under President Jimmy Carter. Today he’ll be holding a news conference—

GARY SICK: Yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: —announcing his diagnosis with cancer.

GARY SICK: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: Your thoughts, Gary Sick?

GARY SICK: Well, you know, Jimmy Carter, he was a man that I must say I look back at my work with him and knowing him and all—how many people can say in a job at that level, at the White House level, that you spent five years in constant crisis, and the president never asked you to do something that in any way violated your values, your—the way you feel about your own country? He was a noble man—is a noble man, actually. And the fact that he, you know, even while he has been diagnosed with cancer, he’s been out building more houses for Habitat for Humanity, says something about the guy. I mean, he’s a real person, and he actually believes what he says. Sometimes that got him in real trouble, that—people expect their politicians to lie and cheat and sneak around and be devious, and basically, Jimmy Carter didn’t do that. And it may have hurt him, actually. He would have been better off in some cases if he had behaved that way. But it’s just not his style. So, the fact that he’s out in the open, he’s discussing this publicly, is, again, very characteristic of him. And I simply wish him the very best.

AMY GOODMAN: Gary Sick, thanks so much for being with us. Professor Gary Sick, scholar at Columbia University, served on the National Security Council under Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, principal White House aide for Iran during the Iranian Revolution and the hostage crisis. We’ll link to his article at Politico, “The Danger of a Failed Iran Deal.”

This is Democracy Now! When we come back, leading Islamic scholars sign a major declaration on climate change. Stay with us.

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