CNN’s Don Lemon got into a tiff with Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy Wednesday night over President Donald Trump’s belief that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice committed a crime by unmasking the identities of Trump transition officials for political purposes.
Ruddy, who is a close friend of the president, believes that Trump’s now infamous claim that Trump Tower was wiretapped during the election has not yet been discredited.
Lemon took issue with that stance. “We shouldn’t just put talking points out there, or put information out there that hasn’t been proven, or an assertion just because someone said it,” the CNN host proclaimed.
Lemon has claimed the allegations against Rice are a “diversion,” and that there is “no evidence whatsoever that the Trump team was spied on illegally.”
Reporting on the story would be a “disservice to the American public,” according to the CNN host.
The Newsmax CEO responded by pointing to when transcripts of private conversations between Trump and the leaders of Australia and Mexico were leaked to the press hours after the conversations took place.
“Don, do you agree when the president’s private conversation with the Mexican president, and the Australian prime minister, classified documents were leaked within several hours of those conversations?” Ruddy asked.
“Do you agree that that was a violation?”
Lemon refused to answer. “Well what if it’s Mexico or Australia who leaked,” he said. “You’re assuming that someone with a high-ranking position in the United States leaked that.”
Ruddy showed his disbelief as the CNN host attempted to avoid the question.
“Don…are you drinking Kool-Aid tonight? I mean, come on, really?” he quipped. “You think the Mexicans leaked the conversations to the Washington Post?”
Ruddy then took it upon himself to remind the Lemon that reports following the incident indicated that the source of the leaks came from within the United States.
“The press reports indicated that they were U.S. transcriptions of that,” Ruddy said. “I think that’s very serious, but again, CNN doesn’t discuss that serious violation.”