At a "photo op" on March 26, 2012, President Obama and Russian President Medvedev were finishing a private exchange about NATO missile defense.
According to the Washington Post's source -- "an ABC News producer, who said she viewed a recording of the discussion made by a Russian camera crew" (now in Siberia?) -- the exchange began before the familiar clip of tape above.
Obama: "On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved, but it’s important for him to give me space.” Obama was apparently referring to then-outgoing prime minister/incoming Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
Medvedev: “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you . . .”
Obama: "This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility."
Medvedev: "I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir."
The POTUS had just assured the Russian leadership that Obama's election season posturing was nothing more than that; after the election, he would get down to "flexibility" about Russian sanctions -- I mean, NATO defense.
No NSA surveillance, no leaking was required to bring this hot mic conversation to public attention, where it surely bothered proto-deplorables "out there" but it did not crease the placid surface of Washington swamp life, Mitt Romney's French-cuffed exception notwithstanding. It did not even wrinkle Jake Tapper's brow.
From "Russian reset" (2009) to Skulkovo "investment" (read: dual-use tech transfers), to Get Those Illegals Out of Here Quick (2010), to missile "flexibility" (2012), to Russia's 2013 acquisition of one-fifth of "all uranium production capacity in the US (as $$$$$ came sloshing into Clinton Foundation & don't forget Bill's thank-you-$500K from that Russian bank) -- the Obama years were good years for Putin's Russia, and with no complaints from the Uniparty Establishment.
When was the pivot? When did tout Washington come together to decide that now and forever -- but not at all during the Cold War -- Putin's Russia was "the enemy"?
Was it this test-fire from a Russian general? Was it when "supporting powers to the opposition" in Syria decided they wanted "a Salafist principality in Eastern Syria" to fight Assad? (Heck, who created ISIS anyhow, Iran and Russia, as Hillary Clinton said? US "allies" Saudi Arabia and UAE?) Was it the Russian invasion of Ukraine?
Speaking of Ukraine and Obama "flexibility" about Russia, this is pretty darn interesting.
When Barack Obama was a US Senator, one of the few things he actually did was make a three-day trip to Russia and Eastern Europe in 2005 with Big Globalist Sen. Richard Lugar. Cliff Kincaid describes their "mysterious trip" here. A Daily Mail report in 2014 revisits this staggering piece of information:
As a U.S. senator, Barack Obama won $48 million in federal funding to help Ukraine destroy thousands of tons of guns and ammunition – weapons which are now unavailable to the Ukrainian army as it faces down Russian President Vladimir Putin during his invasion of Crimea.
In August 2005, just seven months after his swearing-in, Obama traveled to Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine with then-Indiana Republican Senator Dick Lugar, touring a conventional weapons site.
The two met in Kiev with President Victor Yushchenko, making the case that an existing Cooperative Threat Reduction Program covering the destruction of nuclear weapons should be expanded to include artillery, small arms, anti-aircraft weapons, and conventional ammunition of all kinds.
After a stopover in London, the senators returned to Washington and declared that the U.S. should devote funds to speed up the destruction of more than 400,000 small arms, 1,000 anti-aircraft missiles, and more than 15,000 tons of ammunition.
Here is more, including the 2005 Lugar-Obama press release.
My, my. There were a lot of tracks to cover on the way out.