Newsmax Media CEO Chris Ruddy says 'there's a lot of smoke' regarding allegations of impropriety against the Clinton Foundation and its donors, but no evidence that any of them are true.
"I'm one who believes that just because you have smoke doesn't mean there's a real fire — certainly in this case," Ruddy told Ed Berliner on "MidPoint" on Newsmax TV
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"When you look at all the allegations that have been made so far that have been in this book called 'Clinton Cash' by Peter Schweizer, there's not any evidence in the book that they've actually done anything wrong," he explained.
Ruddy detailed his defense of the Clinton Foundation in an opinion piece on Newsmax.com
in which he said Schweizer's book and a Fox News special detailing the allegations are filled with "numerous unsubstantiated, unconnected, and baseless allegations."
"I know it's a contrarian view for a conservative like myself and for any conservative to start saying something nice about the Clintons. It's rare, but the Clinton Foundation has done tremendous work," Ruddy said.
"Most post-presidents, they go to the corporate boardrooms, the board of directors, the golf course, travel the world as the former American leader," he said.
"Bill Clinton has chosen another path, and we have to admire and respect that. He's made an enormous contribution to the goodwill of America around the world," he added.
Joining Ruddy on MidPoint, former Rep. Michael Patrick Flanagan said that "the Clintons have helped Mr. Ruddy and others get sucked into the vortex of their argument," which he described as "'prove to me where I've done something wrong, and if you can't prove it, then everything I've done is right.'"
The Illinois Republican contended that "we have to look at the intentions" of some of the entities that have given large amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation, such as "the Saudi princes . . . who don't give money generally to make the world a better place."
Flanagan contends that "they actually are peddling influence." Even if they aren't "influence peddling . . . these guys still came with that expectation."
Ruddy argues that donations from such governments have more to do with Clinton's stature and influence in the world.
"Imagine the influence of an American president as popular as Bill Clinton, the number of individuals that would like to be associated with him and his work," the Newsmax CEO explained. "I don't want to question their motive in why they donated."
Part of the argument against the Clinton Foundation is that the money was donated during former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's tenure at the State Department, in hope that she would use her position "as secretary of state to benefit the donors."
But Ruddy says that "she couldn't have."
"In the case of the uranium mines," when the U.S. government signed off on an agreement to allow Russian-owned Uranium One to control 20 percent of U.S. uranium mines, "she needed nine federal agencies and the White House to sign off on it, and it would be just unbelievable to think that she was able to get the Obama administration to do something to help the Clinton Foundation," he added.
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