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Jimmy Carter teaches first Sunday school class since hip surgery

Jimmy Carter Health
Former President Jimmy Carter seen Sunday, June 9, 2019. AP

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter talked about his recent health setback and his conversation with President Trump, as he returned to teaching Sunday school in Georgia for the first time since breaking his hip. Mr. Carter thanked those present for their prayers and good wishes.

He told people gathered at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains that he and his wife, Rosalynn, have nursing care at home and are doing fine.

The 94-year-old broke his hip last month at his home when he fell while leaving to go turkey hunting. He subsequently had hip replacement surgery.

The former first lady also was hospitalized around the same time for what Carter said was initially thought to be a stroke, but turned out to be less serious. "Rosalyn broke her hip because of osteoporosis three weeks before I did," Mr. Carter said.

Mr. Carter also discussed a phone conversation he had with Mr. Trump after writing to him to explain how the Carter administration had tried to address economic friction with Japan.

"He was very gracious," Mr. Carter said, adding Mr. Trump expressed his appreciation for the letter as well as admiration for the former president.

"The main purpose of his call was to say very frankly to me on a private line that the Chinese were getting way ahead of the United States in many ways," Mr. Carter said.

He said he told Mr. Trump the U.S. has been in constant war for years, spending trillions of dollars, while China has invested in projects such as high speed rail that benefit its people.

In March, Mr. Carter became the longest-living chief executive in U.S. history, exceeding the lifespan of former President George H.W. Bush, who died Nov. 30 at the age of 94 years, 171 days.

The milestone came despite a cancer diagnosis more than three years earlier. Mr. Carter disclosed in 2015 that he had melanoma that had spread to his liver and brain. He received treatment for seven months until scans showed no sign of the disease.

From 2006: Jimmy Carter on life after the White House