As Media Attacks Trump Over Putin Call, Conservatives Remind Obama Did Same Thing


President Donald Trump has been roundly criticized by the mainstream media for congratulating Russian President Vladimir Putin for winning re-election. However, in 2012, then-President Barack Obama did the same thing.

The Washington Post and CNN were two of the media outlets reporting, based on leaked information, that Trump had been specifically advised by his national security staff not to congratulate Putin.

These outlets and others emphasized that international observers believed this year’s election was illegitimate, due to alleged fraud and voter suppression, but the same was true in 2012.

Foreign Policy reported in March of that year: “The Russian people and international observers may not see last Sunday’s presidential election in Russia as legitimate, but President Barack Obama has now officially endorsed the return of Russian past and future President Vladimir Putin.”

Obama waited until late Friday afternoon following Putin’s election to make the call, which Foreign Policy characterized as a “news dump.”

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“President Obama called Russian President-elect and Prime Minister Putin to congratulate him on his recent victory in the Russian Presidential election,” a White House statement read.

“President Obama highlighted achievements in U.S.-Russia relations over the past three years with President Medvedev, including cooperation on Afghanistan, the conclusion and ratification of the START agreement, Russia’s recent invitation to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) and cooperation on Iran,” the statement added.

“President Obama and President-Elect Putin agreed that the successful reset in relations should be built upon during the coming years.”

Obama told Putin that he looked forward to Putin’s visit to the U.S. scheduled for May of that year during the G-8 Summit.

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Putin later canceled the meeting over Russia’s objection to the United States’ planned deployment of radars and missile interceptors in Romania and Poland, Fox News reported.

What followed was Obama’s famous hot mic moment with outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in March 2012 during which the American leader said regarding missile defense, “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”

“I understand. I transmit this information to Vladimir,” Medvedev responded.

In the fall of 2012, Obama went on to mock Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during a presidential debate for calling Russia “our No. 1 geopolitical foe,” saying, “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.”

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In March 2013 following his own re-election, Obama canceled the part of the missile defense shield that Russia opposed, according to The New York Times.

Putin then proceeded to invade and annex Crimea and launch and intervene in the Syrian Civil War during Obama’s second term.

Trump tweeted about his congratulatory phone call to Putin on Wednesday, writing that the “Fake News Media is crazed because they wanted me to excoriate him.”

The president added that he needs to be able to work with Russia on a range of issues including North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, the Islamic state group and Iran.

Trump noted that George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Obama all dealt with Putin and failed, but believes he can do better. He then quoted Ronald Reagan’s adage for dealing with Russia: “Peach through strength!”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith