Defending himself against accusations that Russian President Vladimir Putin is challenging American leadership, President Obama erroneously told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that when he took office Ukraine was ruled by a Putin “stooge.”

Questioning the premise that Putin’s foreign policy was succeeding, Obama cited the situations in Ukraine and Syria.

“When I came into office, Ukraine was governed by a corrupt ruler who was a stooge of Mr. Putin,” he told interviewer Steve Kroft. “Syria was Russia’s only ally in the region.”

Today, Putin is no longer able to count on those allies’ support, Obama continued, adding that the Russian leader instead was having to deploy his military “just to barely hold together by a thread his sole ally” – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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