Former President Barack Obama is being called out for selective memory after he seemed to spin his version of how his presidency had handled Russia.
Obama was criticized Thursday for what some called a “revisionist history” that he presented in a talk at the ironically named “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy” conference at the University of Chicago.
On the topic of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the former president told The Atlantic editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg and the audience in attendance that he has “been encouraged by the European reaction” to President Vladimir Putin’s aggression. However, Obama noted it wasn’t always this way during his tenure at the White House.
“I will say that, as someone who grappled with the incursion into Crimea and the eastern portions of Ukraine, I have been encouraged by the European reaction,” he said. “Because, in 2014, I often had to drag them kicking and screaming to respond in ways that we would’ve wanted to see, from those of us who describe ourselves as Western democracies.”
Watch Obama’s self-serving revisionist history of how his administration responded the last time Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014: pic.twitter.com/JvqclXnBhi
— Max Abrahms (@MaxAbrahms) April 7, 2022
“Watch Obama’s self-serving revisionist history of how his administration responded the last time Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014,” international security professor at Northeastern University and terrorism expert Max Abrahms wrote on Twitter, exposing the former president.
Other Twitter users also jumped in to blast Obama and his slanted portrayal of events during his presidency, including CNN’s S.E. Cupp.
I mean…this is…revisionist, to be polite. Obama did nothing to stop the Crimean grab and mocked Romney for his concerns about Russia. He also allowed Russia to “seize” Syrian chemical weapons, which they continued to use well after. https://t.co/31o1leJcgi
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) April 7, 2022
RealClearInvestigations writer Mark Hemingway tweeted: “‘grappled’ = did nothing after spending years mocking anyone that thought Russia was threatening and still refused to arm Ukraine.”
“Umm I definitely remember this going a little differently,” conservative Twitter account AGHamilton29 wrote. “What I remember is that after Russian separatists shot down a civilian airliner and Russia invaded a sovereign country, we just passed weak and targeted sanctions. All because Obama wanted Putin’s help [with] Iran deal.”
The former president also noted during the discussion that although he felt Putin had always been “ruthless,” he would not have predicted “five years ago,” that the Russian leader would have invaded Ukraine.
“For him to bet the farm in this way I’m not—I wouldn’t have necessarily predicted from him five years ago,” he said, conveniently ignoring that Russia invaded Ukraine eight years ago in 2014.
Many early remembered when Obama had mocked former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012 for his stance on Russia.
“A few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not al Qaeda,” Obama had said during the third presidential debate. “And the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”
So Obama’s selective memory in light of his dig at Romney was even more glaring.
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) April 7, 2022
“Anybody know if @JeffreyGoldberg asked Obama about his ‘the ‘80s called’ jab at Romney? Would be a good question at a conference about disinformation,” Free Beacon reporter Chuck Ross tweeted.
Other Twitter users also reminded the public how Obama was caught on a hot mic in 2012 telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, “I’ll have more flexibility” after the election.
— Bradley Farkus 🇺🇸 (@MarcusP62428099) April 5, 2022
The criticism continued:
Generally an Obama supporter here, but this is definitely self-serving, revisionist history. I also remember 2014, and our response to Crimea was apallingly wobbly.
Crimea and Syria remain among his administration’s most serious failures.
— Saratoga (@saratoga_fish) April 7, 2022
Snake oil salesman. And really really really good at it. The European leaders at the time can speak up and say he’s full of shit, but no one will believe them.
— mrsmaisel1962 (@yankees20211) April 7, 2022
He had little to no response to the Russian annexation of Crimea. In his eight years he sent blankets and MRE’s to Ukraine but no weapons. He did little to respond to Russian aggression. He’s a liar.
— Doug Bright (@DougBright1) April 7, 2022
It’s good to see he’s just as cocky and arrogant as he’s always been.
— ᴛʜᴇᴏ ᴡɪʟʟɪᴀᴍꜱ (@22Lamb22) April 8, 2022
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