For the past few days, we’ve been treated to the left’s faux outrage over President Trump “joking” with Putin about not meddling in the 2020 presidential election.

The headlines are typical of the perpetually outraged left and its media:

  • NBC News: Smiling Trump tells Putin: ‘Don’t meddle in the election’
  • The AP: Like old pals, Trump, Putin make light of election meddling
  • HuffPo:’Don’t Meddle In The Election’: Trump And Putin Are Openly Joking About It Now
  • WaPo: In Japan, Trump appears to make light of Russian election interference during meeting with Putin
  • The NYTimes: Trump and Putin Share Joke About Election Meddling, Sparking New Furor

As is often the case, I saw the headlines before I saw the video, and the first thing that I thought of was Obama telling Putin “to cut it out” back in December 2016.  How was that different than this?, I wondered as I scrolled through the articles. Where was the mention of an equally dismissive Obama?

My next thought was of the infamous Obama “flexibility” open mic moment prior to the 2012 presidential election.  Remember that one?

Reuters reported at the time:

As he was leaning toward Medvedev in Seoul, Obama was overheard asking for time – “particularly with missile defense” – until he is in a better position politically to resolve such issues.

“I understand your message about space,” replied Medvedev, who will hand over the presidency to Putin in May.

“This is my last election … After my election I have more flexibility,” Obama said, expressing confidence that he would win a second term.

“I will transmit this information to Vladimir,” said Medvedev, Putin’s protégé and long considered number two in Moscow’s power structure.

Can you even begin to imagine the leftist outrage if Trump said something like this?  Remember the memory hole it was quickly punted down when it was Obama cozying up to the Russians?

Obviously, I had to see the video.  After watching numerous clips, I finally found one with some context, and it turns out that Trump’s amusement was likely directed at the naive reporter who shouted out the question: “Mr. President, will you tell Russia not to meddle in the 2020 election?”

The president, bemused, agreed and asked Putin not to meddle.  The incident was comical not because Trump was downplaying election interference but because the butt of the joke was the media—in this case, in the person of a silly reporter asking a truly inane question.

Here’s the clip:

Trump is not an idiot; he knows he can’t just tell former KGB officer and devout communist Putin to “cut it out” and Putin will obey like a puppy. Putin, for his part, is happy to do anything he can to cause division in the U.S. and went along gamely.

Ultimately, though, this was a nothingburger blown out of all proportion by a seriously TDS-addled media that prefers to forget the many passes on Russia they gave to the Obama administration.

 
 
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