MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow, left, Lawrence O'Donnell, center, and Chris Matthews take part in a panel discussion at the NBC Universal summer press tour, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

MSNBC Anchor Forgets Obama’s Remark About ‘Flexibility’ with Russia

Say what you want about the mainstream media, but there was a time when journalists and anchors did their homework in preparation for an interview or covering a story. Those days must be in the past, at least for MSNBC’s Katy Tur, who recently revealed either her ignorance or forgetfulness when it comes to Barack Obama’s 2012 promises to Russian president Dmitry Medvedev.

Tur pressed Florida Representative Francis Rooney about the number of Donald Trump advisors with close tie to Russia. “I see a lot of folks within Donald Trump’s administration who have a friendlier view of Russia than maybe past administrations did,” she noted.

“Well, I think it was Obama that leaned over to Putin and said, ‘I’ll have a little more flexibility to give you what you want after the re-election,’” Rooney responded.

Tur paused for a moment. “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re referring to, Congressman,” she said.

“Remember when he leaned over at a panel discussion or in a meeting, and he said, ‘I’ll have more flexibility after the election’?” Rooney asked. “No one pushed the president on what he meant by that, but I can only assume for a thug like Putin that it would embolden him,” which gave Tur pause, again.

Rooney’s recollection is a bit off: Obama spoke to Medvedev rather than directly to Putin, telling the Russian president to tell Putin, “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” The comment was meant to be off the record, but a hot mic caught Obama, and the story made headlines.

Tur took to Twitter to explain herself.

Sorry Katy, I was writing almost exclusively about culture at the time, and I remember the situation all too well. I know plenty of people who weren’t journalists or freelance writers who recall it too.

Could Tur and MSNBC’s desire to go after Trump be coloring her commitment to fair coverage, or did she just fail to prepare for an interview? You be the judge.

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Chris Queen

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