(CNSNews.com) - The New York Times is now reporting that Russia tried to influence the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump by leaking hacked information that was damaging only to Democrats.
But four years ago, The New York Times reported on Sept. 6, 2012 that: "President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia sauntered into American presidential politics...praising President Barack Obama as 'a very honest man' and chastising the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, for describing Russia as 'without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe.'"
A Sept. 27, 2012 commentary published in The Moscow Times opined: "This comment was widely viewed as Putin's most direct endorsement of Obama in the presidential race."
In his September 2012 interview with the Russian-controlled RT television network, Putin said if Obama were re-elected, it might be possible to reach a compromise on the U.S. missile defense system that Russia strongly opposes.
"Is it possible to find a solution to the problem, if current President Obama is re-elected for a second term? Theoretically, yes," Putin said, according to an official transcript posted on the Kremlin's Website.
"But this isn't just about president Obama. For all I know, his desire to work out a solution is quite sincere. I met him recently on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico where we had a chance to talk," Putin continued. "And though we talked mostly about Syria, I could still take stock of my counterpart.
"My feeling is that he is a very honest man and that he sincerely wants to make many good changes. But can he do it, will they let him do it? I mean that there is also the military lobby, and the Department of State, which is quite conservative." (Hillary Clinton was then the secretary of state.)
The RT interviewer told Putin, "OK. So we think you can work with Barack Obama if he gets in. What about if Mitt Romney gets in. Look, I've got some quotes here from just a month or two ago. This is the man that if he makes it to the White House, said: 'Russia is without question our number one geopolitical foe. They fight every cause for the world's worst.' And he (Romney) went on to say, 'Russia is not a friendly character on the world stage.' Could you work with him, Sir?" Putin was asked.
"Yes, we can," Putin replied. "We'll work with whichever president gets elected by the American people. But our effort will only be as efficient as our partners will want it to be.
"As for Mr Romney's position, we understand that this is to a certain extent motivated by the election race and election rhetoric, but I also think that he was obviously wrong..."