After an intentionally private comment that President Barack Obama made to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was heared, many have charged the President with keeping secrets from the American people. Obama came forward Tuesday to clarify his comments.
Monday night, as reporters entered in at the end of a private, three-hour discussion with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, an incidental remark by the president was caught on television microphones.
"This is my last election. After my election I'll have more flexibility," Obama stated, ending his conversation with a pat on Medvedev's arm.
The remark stirred severe controversy and some began to charge that Obama was disclosing private information to other countries that he was unwilling to share with Americans. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich both weighed in heavily on the issue.
"This is a president who is amazingly destructive of American interests, something by the way of which we were reminded of today, when he didn't know there was an open microphone," Gingrich said to a meeting of local Republican groups. "He promises the Russian president as soon as he gets the election out of the way, he'll sell out the American missile defense system."
"When the president of the United States is speaking with the leader of Russia saying he can be more flexible after the election, that is an alarming and troubling development," Romney also contributed Monday night. "This is no time for our president to be pulling his punches with the American people.
Obama, however, has insisted that he has no secret agenda.
"This is not a matter of hiding the ball," Obama told reporters at a nuclear security summit in Seoul on Tuesday. "The only way I get this stuff done is if I'm consulting with the Pentagon, with Congress, if I've got bipartisan support and frankly, the current environment is not conducive to those kinds of thoughtful consultations."
Obama also stated that his U.S. defense plans were already on the record.