Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said Friday that President Donald Trump was "moving in the right direction" in his dealings with members of his Cabinet and Congress, as evidenced by bipartisan meetings with Democrats on the DACA program and other issues.
"The president is moving in the right direction," Ruddy told CNN's Brooke Baldwin. "Instead of focusing on something that happened in an Oval Office meeting six months ago, let's start thinking about how to work together."
Ruddy was referring to a report Thursday in The New York Times that President Trump slammed Attorney General Jeff Sessions — calling him an "idiot" in front of other top advisers in a White House meeting — after learning that Robert Mueller has been named to head the Russia investigation.
"Donald Trump is not a pretend guy to say he likes something when he doesn't," Ruddy told Baldwin, nothing that the media was "so used to the politically-correct speak that comes out of so many politicians.
"So, I'm not really surprised about it," he added.
Ruddy also noted that "this was a private conversation" between Trump and Sessions.
"And, unlike previous administrations where private conversations were not leaked to The New York Times, I think that's what we're seeing that is very unusual here.
"Jeff Sessions wasn't so angry about it," the Newsmax CEO noted. "He is still in his post. He kept his position.
"If it was so bad, why is he still there?
"Usually, there's a lot of exaggeration," he said of the news reports. "They are trying to make the president out to be a caricature."
Ruddy pointed to the DACA issue with top Democrats Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California as evidence of Trump's efforts toward bipartisanship.
The president met with the leaders Wednesday at the White House — and the Democrats announced a deal to protect the 800,000 illegals under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that did not include a provision for a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.
The White House disputed the claim — and Trump said Thursday he was "fairly close" to a deal on DACA but later insisted, "If we don't have a wall, we're doing nothing."
"We saw the first eight months where things were not working well," Ruddy told Baldwin. "Approval numbers were trending down. He was not getting any major legislation through.
"I think he felt … he needed a new strategy, new approach.
"This DACA thing was a huge win for him in so many ways because he's getting the Democrats to sign off on massive border funding.
"This is the first step," Ruddy said. "Americans across the board are demanding border security.
"They are really frightened anyone can walk across the border in the age of 9/11. And, the fact that he's taking steps toward that is really positive and good."
Ruddy dismissed reports that Trump was now favoring Schumer and Pelosi over the two top Republicans on Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who represents Wisconsin.
"Donald Trump has a personality he can basically get along with anyone," Ruddy said. "He's very charming in person. Very charismatic.
"I don't believe the stories he doesn't get along with Mitch McConnell or Paul Ryan.
"If there are issues they disagree on, there are ways in the directions and approaches, and we're seeing that.
"The president has been very frustrated with the way the healthcare bill was done, the Obamacare repeal," Ruddy said, adding that Trump currently is "in a bit of a honeymoon with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.
"I don't think it necessarily means he doesn't get along with this one or that one.
Ruddy noted the press has been trying to create a "soap opera out of so many of these things," adding, "I don't think it is really there."
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