Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said Tuesday that President Donald Trump should have fired FBI Director James Comey sooner.
"If the president did anything wrong here was waiting so long," Ruddy told Don Lemon on CNN. "When he was inaugurated, he should have asked for Comey's resignation.
"He had lost the confidence of both Democrats and Republicans.
"Not only the Hillary Clinton email press conference but a lot of Democrats, which is the basis of the Rosenstein letter, but going back, the Democrats — they were calling for Comey to resign because of the investigation he launched into Hillary Clinton in the closing days."
Comey first disclosed the results of the FBI's investigation into Clinton's private email use in July — only to reopen the probe on Oct. 28, less than two weeks before the November election.
He noted that Comey's actions were outlined in a memo by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who served in the Bill Clinton White House.
The document was passed on to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who then presented it to President Trump.
Rosenstein said that "what he did as FBI director was not consistent with the neutrality of the bureau," Ruddy said.
Several of Comey's predecessors — William Sessions, Louis Freeh and Robert Mueller among them — never faced such criticism.
"Nobody accused them of the degree of partisanship that we're seeing here, where he clearly liked to talk about open investigations like he did about Hillary's emails," Ruddy said.
"It just seemed inappropriate, and Rosenstein laid that out in his memo."
The Newsmax CEO beat back questions that the timing of the dismissal seemed suspicious because of the Russia probe.
"I don't think it's wrong," that Trump fired Comey on Tuesday, Ruddy told Lemon. "I think it would have been better served" if he had been dismissed in January.
He also slammed Democratic charges that President Trump was seeking to halt the FBI's Moscow probe.
"The truth is three times the director of the FBI told the president there's no evidence," he said, adding that former DNI Director James Clapper "has said there's no evidence.
"Other officials have testified of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians," Ruddy said. "There's no evidence of any wrongdoing.
"There's no investigation that's being stopped. He's not acting to thwart anything, so why is there anything suspicious?
"If he was saying to the FBI, 'close down your Russia investigation,' I think that would raise serious concerns, but he's not saying that," Ruddy said.
President Trump's selection of Comey's successor will be "the proof of the pudding," he added, "and I think he will pick somebody who is very bipartisan and respected.
"The House and Senate committees are investigating this. There's an independent investigation going on out of the Justice Department on this.
"I don't think we have anything to worry about."
Lemon asked: "Do you think this administration feels that they are above the law?"
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