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NBC’s Tur to GOP Rep Rooney: ‘I Don’t Know What You’re Referring To’ With Obama Promising Russia ‘More Flexibility’

UPDATE: After the show, Tur addressed the moment on Twitter, saying, “To be fair, I didnt [sic] touch politics in 2012. I almost exclusively covered fires and shootings in NYC area.” She added, “And I’d rather be honest about what I know and don’t know in the moment. Got off air, did the research, then talked about it at 5pm on MTPD.” Tur did reference the “flexibility” comments while hosting “MTP Daily” later in the day.

During an interview with Representative Francis Rooney on Monday’s “MSNBC Live,” host Katy Tur stated that she didn’t know what Rooney was referring to when he referenced (with an incorrect retelling of which Russian Obama was speaking to) President Obama telling Russia, “After my election, I have more flexibility.”

Rooney said that we’ll have to see what President Trump “does, not just what he says.” And that Putin is “a serious character” that “we need to deal forcefully with.” He later predicted that Trump would be “firm” with Russia.

Rooney added that he didn’t know what Trump meant with his comments that the US has killers as well, and “I definitely think we need to protect the Baltics, and some of the talk of moving NATO exercises over to Poland and Estonia, I think’s a real good idea. I think Putin is going to respond to actions.”

Later on, Tur stated that there were people in the Trump administration who have friendlier views of Russia than past administrations. Rooney countered, “Well, I think it was Obama that leaned over to Putin [Note: Obama’s comment that he’d have ‘more flexibility’ after the election was said to Dmitry Medvedev, not Putin. After the interview, Rooney tweeted a correction] and said, I’ll have a little more flexibility to give you what you want after the re-election.”

Tur then stated, “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re referring to, Congressman.”

Rooney said, “Remember when he leaned over at a panel discussion — or a meeting and he said, I’ll have more flexibility after the election. no one ever really pushed the president on what he meant by that, but I can only assume for a thug like Putin, that it would embolden him.”

Rooney tweeted after the interview, “My error, it was Medvedev that Obama whispered to about flexibility. Still projects Obama admin weakness in dealing with Russia.”

(h/t Mediaite)

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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