He once wrote a book linking Bill and Hillary Clinton to an alleged cover up in the death of a White House lawyer, but judging by conservative newsman Christopher Ruddy’s recent pledge of $1 million to the once and potentially future first couple’s foundation, his opinion seems to have softened.
Ruddy, the founder of the conservative website Newsmax, and author of the 1997 book, “The Strange Death of Vincent Foster,” pledged the seven-figure sum over a five-year period, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reported that Ruddy has been friends with the Clintons since 2007.
A political analyst told FoxNews.com that the relationship between Ruddy, who considers himself a Reagan Republican, and the Clintons, may have improved because of the Clintons’ friendship with the late Richard Mellon Scaife, a billionaire who invested in Newsmax.com. The former president spoke at the memorial service for Scaife, 82, in 2014, according to NewsMax.com, saying he had developed a ‘counterintuitive friendship’ with Scaife that proved to be an “invaluable experience.”
"[Hillary Clinton would] make a great presidential candidate.”
- Newsmax founder Chistopher Ruddy
The online news source quoted Bill Clinton’s eulogy to about 150 people at the private memorial service in southwestern Pennsylvania: "Our political differences, our philosophical differences, our religious differences, our racial and ethnic differences, they're important. They help us to define who we are. But they don't have to keep us at arm's length from others."
Last year, Ruddy launched “NewsmaxTV," a 24-hour cable news channel that had previously streamed online.
Public records show Ruddy already donated $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation. According to The Washington Post, Ruddy traveled with the former president to Africa, and in an interview, “hailed Clinton’s work as “good for the world and America.”
Ruddy did not return an email to FoxNews.com seeking comment. The Clinton Foundation did not return requests for comment on the donation.
Ruddy told The Wall Street Journal through a spokesman that, although he felt Hillary Clinton would “make a great presidential candidate,” the donation to The Clinton Foundation was not a political endorsement.
According to the campaign contribution records filed with the Federal Election Commission, Ruddy did not donate funds to any of the Clintons’ political campaigns.
However, Ruddy has made 142 personal contributions to politicians in recent years for a total of $483,010.
Of the 142 records, 120 are identified as contributions to Republicans, 15 contributions to PACs, and 7 contributions to Democrats.
The $1 million from NewsMax.com is just a tiny fraction of the $2 billion the foundation has raised since its inception in 2001.
The Clintons were in the news Feb. 18 after The Wall Street Journal highlighted some of those donations as being from foreign sources including donors in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Oman, and Canada’s foreign affairs department, despite Hillary Clinton’s pledged the practice would end.
The Journal reported the Foundation “defended its practice of accepting donations from overseas governments, amid concerns from some ethics experts that such contributions are inappropriate at a time when Hillary Clinton is preparing to run for president.”