Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy said President Donald Trump believed special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe would “go away pretty quickly” because according to Trump there was “no collusion.”
Partial transcript as follows:
STEPHANOPOULOS: And it seems like, Chris Ruddy, that so much is focused on these early days of the administration, a new administration coming in. On the same day, you have George Papadopoulos saying he lied to the FBI. President Trump calls in the FBI director at dinner and says how about some loyalty.
This is the day after he fired Michael Flynn, he calls the FBI director in again and says can you let the Flynn thing go.
This seems on its face to be a big problem.
CHRIS RUDDY, CEO, NEWSMAX: It’s interesting. I have spoken to the president quite a bit about it recently, and he sees this as something that will go away pretty quickly. You have the quote from him earlier. And he says to me, look, there was no collusion. And none of the things we’re really talking about — you have two indictments. You have another two plea agreements, none directly related to collusion. And the president says, look, I wasn’t involved. There was no collusion. And people are saying even if there was it’s not a crime.
You know, at the end of the day, my view is that — Robert Mueller poses an existential threat to the Trump presidency. He’s gotten four major — two convictions, two plea agreements. Lightning speed. I mean, during the Clinton years, it took Ken Starr and Robert Fisk four years.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, and that leads to the other question, are the president’s lawyers — and I want to ask you about this, because we have heard varying views of how the president’s mood behind the scenes — I talked to several people yesterday, you saw him, and said he is in a great mood. You said the same thing over Thanksgiving weekend. Yet, a lot of that seems dependent on the counsel he’s getting from his lawyers saying Flynn — I mean, Mueller is going to be done real, real soon.
RUDDY: Well, I don’t know what they’re smoking.
First of all, look, Mueller put together 16 heavyweight prosecutors, seven of them were donors to both Hillary or Obama’s campaigns. We already know the lead FBI agent in the campaign had to be removed because he was spending — sending out disparaging message about the president.
STEPHANOPOULOS: About the Clinton investigation. And then removed from the Mueller…
RUDDY: Well, no, he cleared Hillary in the email server investigation, and then he’s put in charge of the investigation of the president. And the president was tweeting about this-this morning. You get a picture that this investigation is out to get the president, it’s not a good group of people. And I’m actually concerned, you know, that they’re not going to be fair at the end of the day.
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