POLITICS
02/12/2017 02:59 pm ET

Newsmax CEO And Trump Friend Blames Reince Priebus For Rocky Start

"He clearly doesn’t know how the federal agencies work."

Chris Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax and friend of President Donald Trump, says that White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is to blame for the administration’s rocky start.

In a Sunday interview on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” Ruddy said the former Republican National Committee chair “clearly doesn’t know how the federal agencies work.”

“The White House is showing not the amount of order that we need to see. I think there’s a lot of weakness coming out of the chief of staff,” he said.

“I think Reince Priebus, good guy, well-intentioned ― but he clearly doesn’t know how the federal agencies work. He doesn’t have a really good system. He doesn’t know how the communications flow,” he said, adding that White House press secretary Sean Spicer was doing a “very good job under difficult circumstances.”

“I do think the president’s not getting the backup he needs in the operation of the White House and sometimes the pushback that he needs to have with a stronger White House chief of staff,” he said.

Ruddy may have shared his thoughts with the commander in chief on Friday night, when he sat down with Trump for 30 minutes at his private golf club in Florida after the president dined with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The president has a “good grip on things,” he added on Twitter.

Trump has racked up a series of defeats during his first three weeks in office. A federal appeals court unanimously refused to reinstate his travel ban targeting Muslims, and the administration has not yet announced whether it will pursue further legal action or rewrite the executive order entirely. The Washington Post reported that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn did discuss the subject of sanctions with the Russians prior to Trump’s inauguration, contrary to his initial denial. And White House counselor Kellyanne Conway appeared to violate the law by urging Fox News viewers to buy Ivanka Trump products.

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