Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said Sunday that President Donald Trump drew on his 50-year experience in business, where “words are not so much important as concrete actions,” in his summit with Vladimir Putin, and likely got “huge concessions” from the Russian leader.
In an interview on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” with Brian Stelter, Ruddy, a longtime friend of Trump, lamented the relentless criticism by the mainstream media of a president who is “new at his job.”
“I think the president made missteps, he admitted he misspoke,” Ruddy said of Trump’s controversial remarks about Russian meddling during a joint news conference with Putin. “But the idea I've heard on your program for the past 40 minutes, [columnist] Max Boot saying [Trump] was colluding in open daylight, he's engaging in treason, this is beyond belief.”
Trump’s a “relatively new president” who for 50 years has “been a business guy.”
“As a business guy, words are not so much as important as the concrete actions of the deal,” Ruddy said. He added that although he didn’t speak to Trump about his one-on-one Putin meeting, “my guess is [Trump] got huge concessions, the meeting went better than anyone expected. He thought ‘I’m going to be overly nice to this guy.’”
Ruddy noted “we'll see in the next coming months” if his guess is correct, but declared that Trump “didn’t want to go into meetings having a weak nuclear arsenal,” and before the summit, got NATO to increase military spending and has increased U.S. military spending.
“This is not a friend of Russia,” Ruddy said.
And when pressed why he seemed to talk like a friend, Ruddy explained it was because of his “negotiating style.”
“Go beyond the words and look at his concrete actions,” Ruddy said, asking: “Why would he put people like [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo, [national security adviser] John Bolton, and [Defense Secretary] James Mattis, who are all Russia hawks, in key positions?”
The Newsmax chief also said the media was focusing on the Helsinki story because it wanted to avoid talking about the president’s economic achievements, noting that Trump has driven GDP growth up by nearly 300 percent in less than two years, which Ruddy described as “without precedent.”
Ruddy also asserted there was no evidence Trump inserted himself in FCC actions relating to Sinclair, a TV group that had sought to buy Tribune television.
“You know the [FCC is] an independent agency,” Ruddy said, adding FCC Chairman Ajit Pai acted with independence and integrity by rejecting “the deal not because he dislikes Sinclair” but because Sinclair failed to comply with his agency’s requirements.
“The FCC acted as it was supposed to act, which is an independent regulatory agency,” Ruddy said. “And I think it's a credit to the unanimous decision, bipartisan, it's a template about how government works when the Democrats and Republicans agree on things. “
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