Donald Trump Just Made a Questionable Claim About Barack Obama's Treatment of Russia, and the Internet Can't Even

President Donald Trump and Former President Barack Obama (Credit: Olivier Douliery-Pool/ Aurelien Morissard/IP3)

President Donald Trump is still deflecting criticism from what's become a veritable nesting doll of missteps on US-Russia relations.

In an interview for CNBC, President Donald Trump decried former President Barack Obama for his supposed leniency toward Russia.

The president said:

Look at the sanctions I put on, look at the diplomats I threw out...Nobody else did what I've done. Obama didn’t do it. Obama was a patsy for Russia, he was a total patsy.

Trump then referred to a 2012 exchange between then-President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and then-President Obama. Caught on a hot mic, Obama discussed missile defense, telling Medvedev that he would have "more flexibility" on the issue after his election. The exchange occurred months before current Russian President Vladimir Putin took office again, and two years before Russia's invasion of Southeastern Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, and before any evidence of attempts to meddle with United States elections came to light.

According to Trump, no one talks about the incident, yet then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney blasted Obama for the gaffe during the 2012 campaign. It's also been revived as a Republican talking point since Trump's relationship with Putin has faced increased scrutiny.

For Americans on social media, however, the 2012 exchange on a hot mic in Seoul was not enough to obscure Trump's recent comments at a podium with the whole world watching.

Trump's remarks come days after a speech given by Former President Obama at a South African celebration of the late Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday. The speech didn't mention Donald Trump by name, but many took Obama's words to be in reference to the infamous Helsinki summit the day before:

Strongman politics are ascendant suddenly, whereby elections and some pretense of democracy are maintained, the form of it, but those in power seek to undermine every institution or norm that gives democracy meaning.

It's far from the first time the former President has gotten under Trump's skin.

Some have speculated that Obama's roast of Donald Trump at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner motivated Trump to succeed the man who recently polled as the best president of Americans' lifetimes. Coupled with Trump's years-long insistence that Obama wasn't born in America, the current president's unyielding animus toward Barack Obama appears to have damaged Trump himself more than its target.

Trump's seeming inability to relinquish grudges has plagued his presidency. Even at the Helsinki press conference with Putin, the president responded to the burning question of whether he'd condemn Russian election meddling with a diatribe about the DNC server and, of course, Hillary Clinton's emails.

To many, it's the current president who is the patsy, not only to Russia but to his own petty vendettas.


Shortly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that representatives would begin drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy took the podium to defend the President and the Republican party as a whole.

It could've gone better.

Keep reading... Show less
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images // MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

One day after the House Judiciary Committee's hearing on impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) held a press conference announcing that the House would begin drafting articles of impeachment, with a possible floor vote as soon as Christmas.

The press conference signaled the beginning of the end of the impeachment inquiry in the House.

Keep reading... Show less
Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee, in its public impeachment hearing against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, consulted four constitutional scholars for greater insight to the legal implications of the President's Ukraine scandal—and whether they merit impeachment.

Three witnesses, called by Democrats, each made compelling arguments for the articles of impeachment with which Trump could be charged.

George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley—invited by Republicans—was the lone dissenter.

Keep reading... Show less
gbuck_jr/Twitter; National Archives

The Republican Party again raised ire and eyebrows with yet another GOP candidate advocating violence against members of Congress in official campaign materials.

This time it is George Buck Jr. of Florida. The GOP politician is running for the 13th congressional district—a seat currently held by Democrat Charlie Crist.

Keep reading... Show less
Win McNamee/Getty Images // Hogan Gidley/Twitter

President Donald Trump's press team is working overtime to discredit media coverage of the impeachment hearings against their boss.

The House Judiciary Committee began its hearings today, with four constitutional scholars—Pamela Karlan, Michael Gerhardt, Noah Feldman, and Jonathan Turley—tasked with testifying about the constitutionality of impeaching Donald Trump. The former three were invited by Democrats, who hold the majority, while Turley was invited by Republicans.

Keep reading... Show less

The House Intelligence Committee submitted to the House Judiciary Committee its 300 page report of information gleaned from fact witnesses so far in the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

In addition to reiterating the testimony of several witnesses regarding Trump's corrupt dealings with Ukraine, the report also highlighted call records between numerous key players in the Ukraine scandal.

Keep reading... Show less