While the Sunday talk shows have been largely focused on debunking Trump’s allegations that Obama hacked the Trump Tower, a somewhat different perspective into Trump’s current state of mind comes from Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy, a close friend of the President, who in an article this morning shares that having spoken to Trump about the wiretapping story, he hasn’t “seen Trump so pissed off in a long time.” Below are some of the highlights from Ruddy’s article posted earlier today:
When I woke up Sunday, I thought the morning news shows would all be talking about the unusual, perhaps dangerous, decision of the Obama administration to wiretap the offices of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. I’ve been watching Chuck Todd’s “Meet the Press” as I write this. There is actually little talk about this unprecedented wire-tapping and even less worry over it. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, usually thoughtful, just told Chuck Todd he found it is “shocking” that Trump disclosed the wiretapping claim on Twitter.
But Friedman offered no shock that such a wiretap might have taken place!
I spoke with the President twice yesterday about the wiretap story. I haven’t seen him this pissed off in a long time. When I mentioned Obama “denials” about the wiretaps, he shot back: “This will be investigated, it will all come out. I will be proven right.”
Ruddy then focuses on the semantic denial by Obama that he had not ordered such a wiretap:
Today on the “Meet the Press” James Clapper, Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, denied any agency that operated under him, including the FBI, ever wiretapped the Trump offices. “To my knowledge,” he added. [Wasn’t Clapper the same man who testified under oath that the NSA never collected phone data on millions of Americans — a fact proven untrue by the Snowden revelations?]
But the most important Clapper revelation from “Meet the Press” was this: He emphatically told Todd the Obama intelligence agencies found “no evidence” of collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russians. Nothing. Nada. If that is true, and Trump is right he was indeed wiretapped, it will only fuel his argument that Obama administration officials improperly eavesdropped on his offices.
In lieu of a follow-up from Trump as this story progresses, here is what Ruddy thinks are the relevant things to consider in the near future:
- No one is denying that the Russians outrageously interfered in the U.S. election. Trump says it’s true too. But remember this “act of war” happened under Obama not Trump. Obama did nothing against Putin and the Russians despite having full knowledge of Russian’s active measures at the time they were happening. This wasn’t Trump’s fault. Another sign of the Obama administration’s weakness.
- The Russian interference, which again I take very seriously, did not change the election result. In fact, an argument could be made it hurt Trump and helped Hillary. Hillary outperformed Obama’s 2012 results in many, many states. For example, she cut Obama’s loss in Texas by half! Hillary’s problem was her campaign did little in the five states that mattered. As Woody Allen once described the secret of success, Trump just “showed up” in those states — and won.
- Despite Clapper and others saying there is no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, the media is continually trying to create such a narrative. For example, stories are proliferating of the Russian ambassador’s contacts with the Trump campaign. But the truth is that campaigns deal all the time with foreign diplomats. There is nothing unusual or illegal here. And considering Trump’s very open declaration he wanted to reset U.S.-Russian relations, these contacts should not be surprising.
- Lastly, Chuck Schumer and other Democrats calling for a special prosecutor are way, way over the top. The Constitution provides for a “special prosecutor” — it’s called Congress. The Senate Intelligence Committee and other Congressional committees will review these matters soon. If they find serious evidence of wrong doing by the Trump campaign, then they can seek a special prosecutor.
As for the markets, the rising concern is that as Trump continues to get weighed down by such domestic policy “smokescreens” as Ruddy calls it, the reality is that the president’s economic plans, be it the repeal of Obamacare or his tax policy, are becoming increasingly unlikely to be implemented in the near, and not so near future, and sooner or later the market will have no choice but to notice.