In 2012 President Obama told Russian President Medvedev he would be much more flexible after the election. Obama thought his remarks were private but he was speaking into an open mic in front of tv cameras.
Lucky for him, there was no Republican narrative of Russian election hacking in 2012. It might have seemed plausible, considering the fact that Obama repeatedly mocked Romney for insisting that Russia was our number one enemy. Also, in 2009, Obama halted a missile defense system in Poland and The Czech Republic. Romney described that act as “a gift to Russia.”
If the Russians had any incentive to hack a U.S. election, 2012 would seem to have been the one. After that election they felt comfortable enough to invade Crimea without fear of U.S. sanctions. Obama only got tough with Russia on his way out the door in December 2016. He imposed sanctions after Hillary lost and the Russians were accused of hacking John Podesta’s emails. Which, btw, is the only reason we know Donna Brazile fed debate questions to Hillary.
Those sanctions are the ones Michael Flynn is accused of discussing in December with the Russian ambassador. We know about that, not through an open mic, but from leaked classified U.S. intelligence.