Newsmax publisher Christopher Ruddy, a longtime personal friend of Donald Trump who once described Trump and his family as “American royalty,” appeared on CNN Sunday morning to issue a dire warning to Trump about the upcoming impeachment proceedings against him in the House of Representatives.
The 54-year-old Ruddy continues to support Trump, telling CNN interviewer Brian Stetler that he sees “no evidence of a crime” in Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, and that Trump has compiled “a darn good record” in the Oval Office.
Nonetheless, Ruddy — who is so close to Trump that he has been described as “the Trump Whisperer” — warned that the impeachment inquiry announced on Tuesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi poses “a mortal threat” to Trump’s hold on the White House, as quoted by the media watchdog site MediaIte.
Pelosi announced that the impeachment inquiry into Trump’s possible violations of his oath of office will center on his dealings with Ukraine. As The Inquisitr reported, in the July 25 call, Trump appeared to strong-arm Zelensky, using an implied threat that the United States would withhold badly needed military aid to force Ukraine into staging a bogus “investigation” of Trump’s potential 2020 election rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
But in an earlier interview, speaking to National Public Radio on Thursday, Ruddy also warned Trump that he may not know what he is getting into with a fight against Pelosi, saying that he is uncertain that Trump “understands the implications” of the impeachment inquiry, because Trump so far has been “dismissive” of it.
“Nancy Pelosi is the smartest person in Washington right now,” Ruddy told NPR. “She didn’t pull the trigger on this without knowing that she had more ammunition in her guns.”
Nonetheless, Ruddy told CNN that in the many years he has been friends with Trump, he has never seen the former Apprentice star “even hint” at performing a criminal act, and that there remains “no evidence” of criminality in Trump’s interactions with Zelensky and the Ukraine government. But if there were evidence, Ruddy said, he would support Trump’s impeachment.
“If the president committed a crime, he should be impeached whether he’s my friend or not,” the Newsmax publisher told Stetler.
Though Ruddy says that he has never seen Trump “hint” at committing a crime, the report by special counsel Robert Mueller on his two-year investigation — a report that remains accessible online via The New York Times — listed 10 acts of potentially criminal obstruction of justice by Trump, though Mueller said that he could not charge Trump due to standing Justice Department legal policy against indicting a president while in office.