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Sunday
Dec032017

Trump friend: Special counsel 'poses an existential threat' to Trump's presidency

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- President Donald Trump's friend Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax Media, said Special Counsel Robert Mueller "poses an existential threat to the Trump presidency."

Ruddy, who spoke as part of a roundtable on ABC News' This Week Sunday, said he has talked to the president about the federal probe of Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion by Trump associates.

"I've spoken to the president quite a bit about it recently," Ruddy said. "He sees this as, you know, something that is going to go away pretty quickly. He says to me, 'Look, there was no collusion.’"

Ruddy said that of the two indictments and two plea agreements that Mueller has so far netted in the probe, "none directly relate to collusion."

But the media executive and friend of the president noted that the special counsel is moving quickly.

Mueller has gotten those two convictions and two plea agreements at "lightning speed," Ruddy said. "At the end of the day, my view is Robert Mueller poses an existential threat to the Trump presidency."

He also cast doubt on any notion of the special counsel winding up his probe quickly.

ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos asked about the president's attitude toward the Russia investigation and "the counsel he is getting from his lawyers" that "Mueller is going to be done real, real soon."

"Well, I don't know what they're smoking," Ruddy replied.

Stephanopoulos also asked another roundtable participant, Republican strategist Alex Castellanos, if he agreed with Ruddy that the Russia probe may be an "existential threat."

Castellanos said he doesn't see that yet.

But he said there are "two converging currents -- the Mueller investigation looking for that obstruction of justice charge; and then Alabama, Roy Moore, coming to the Senate possibly in a week."

Moore, if elected, "becomes the face of the Republican Party for the next year when we're already in danger of losing the House," Castellanos said. "It's likely we'll do that without him, lose the House. Trump gets impeached. We're closer to impeachment now, I think, than we think."

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