By Alana Abramson
March 27, 2018

Former President Jimmy Carter is speaking out about President Donald Trump’s thorny legal battle with porn star Stormy Daniels – which he believes will have both personal and political repercussions.

Speaking with CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell – who said she was “almost embarrassed to ask the questions” – Carter, 93, said that, legal and political ramifications aside, the perception that Trump was unfaithful to wife Melania would hurt him.

“I think most people want a president who they trust to tell the truth always, and who has some basic moral values, including loyalty to his own wife,” said Carter, although he noted that the allegations would have been significantly more damaging two decades ago.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, alleges that she had an affair with Trump in 2006 – a year after he married Melania – which continued into 2007. She said she signed a non-disclosure agreement before the 2016 election to remain silent about the relationship, and Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen paid her $130,000 through a bank account linked to company called Essential Consultants LLC, which the attorney had set up in Delaware a month before the presidential election. That action is now under scrutiny for possible campaign finance violations.

Daniels sued the president earlier this month alleging that the non-disclosure agreement was void because he never signed it, and expanded her suit on March 26 to include Cohen, who she said defamed her by questioning the veracity of her claims about her affair with Trump.

Trump and the White House have repeatedly denied the affair. A fresh denial came Monday, a day after CBS’ 60 Minutes broadcast an interview with Daniels in which she detailed her allegations.

Carter, who is on a publicity tour for his 32nd book, Faith: A Journey for All, also told USA Today that he think voters’ moral outrage, especially regarding Trump’s poor treatment of Melania, now the first lady, will translate at the polls.

“I think in the long term it will have a deleterious effect on his political standing,” Carter said. “We’ll see the adverse impact of the revelation of immorality and his violation of his sacred oath before God to be loyal to his wife.”

Write to Alana Abramson at Alana.Abramson@time.com.

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