An open mic incident between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and President Obama is adding fuel to the fire for the president's critics.
At the nuclear summit in Korea, Obama was talking with the Russian president about the missile defense shield. Both were unaware that his mic was on.
Russia wants the United States to drop its plans for a missile defense shield. President Obama said the issue can be solved if incoming Russian President Vladimr Putin will just wait till after the U.S. election.
President Obama: "This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility."
President Medvedev: "I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir."
Some Republicans say the incident shows the president's plans for the missile shield would be politically unpopular, and that he's putting his re-election ahead of national security.
Obama tried to put the controversy to rest Tuesday, saying he is not trying to cover up negotiations with Russia.
"And so this is not a matter of hiding the ball," Obama told reporters. "I'm on record."
"I don't think it's any surprise that you can't start that a few months before presidential and congressional elections in the United States," he said. "And at a time when they just completed elections in Russia, and they're in the process of a presidential transition."