Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy on Tuesday hammered MSNBC for "wild accusations" of President Donald Trump being "a Russian mole" and a "Russian asset."
In an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, Ruddy, a longtime friend of the president, chastised the liberal-leaning network for "so many misleading statements that are constantly made."
"For example, somebody earlier said that the president was an intelligence asset of the Russians," Ruddy pointed out.
Ruddy said these accusations, the basis of first the FBI investigation into the president and later the one by special counsel Robert Mueller, was precipitated by the so-called "dossier" which was paid for the by DNC during the 2016 election.
"Why accuse the president of being a Russian mole, a Russian asset, you know, and I keep hearing this on your network?" he asked. "I'm not saying you do it. I think you're a fair journalist. But I keep hearing it,and it's very frustrating.
"I'm a friend of the president but I criticize the president."
Ruddy asserted "there's no proof that the president or his campaign worked with the Russians," and decried "this insinuation that the [former acting] FBI Director [Andrew] McCabe felt that the firing of [Director James] Comey was the cause of another investigation into the president."
"The president has never tried to stop the Russia probe," Ruddy declared. "There's no evidence he ever tried . . . In fact, rather than exercising his rights as president not to allow interviews and document transfers, he turned everything over to the special counsel, which probably was a mistake, but he did it because he's been acting in a way, I think anybody that looks at this fairly— and I know it's probably a shock to some of your viewers to hear this point of view — but it's vexing to, I'm sure, him and certainly people like myself when we don't have a balance in the media on some of the accusation, that are the wild accusations, that are being made."
Ruddy added that at one time, it was the Democrats who pilloried Comey because he reopened the FBI's Hillary Clinton email probe just days before the 2016 election.
"But now the president is the bad guy for firing him," he said. "And everybody is insinuating this and that, but there's never any evidence that [Trump] did anything wrong or that it was inappropriate."
Ruddy also explained his Monday night remarks to CNN there might be a "change of leadership" ahead for Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
Ruddy told Mitchell although he spoke to Trump last weekend, "We didn't talk about this particular issue."
"I cited on CNN several White House sources and people in the national security arena, current and former, who are telling me there's a widespread view that the Director of National Intelligence overstepped his bounds and really undercut the president with his testimony," he said.
"I'll tell you a conversation we had this weekend. He talked about prescription drug programs. He's outraged that Canada pays 50 percent less for prescription drugs from the same drug companies, for the same drugs that Americans have to pay."
Trump has a "great detailed knowledge" about the policy implications of prescription pricing," Ruddy said. "This is the type of thing the president is concerned about. He's about making America stronger, better, and protecting our taxpayers and consumers."
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