Two views of President Trump: near and far

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President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews outside D.C. before traveling to New Jersey for the weekend. Photo by Yuri Gripas/Reuters

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews outside D.C. before traveling to New Jersey for the weekend. Photo by Yuri Gripas/Reuters

In the past day, NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff interviewed two men with important perspectives on President Donald Trump. And, we noticed, particularly contrasting perspectives. One macro, the other micro. One from across the globe, the other from relatively nearby. One embracing the president’s decisions, the other ending a long career in order to separate from them.

First, the micro. The friend.

Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy made news by indicating both that the president may be considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller and that he was once considering Mueller to return as FBI director.

Christopher Ruddy of Newsmax Media joins Judy Woodruff to discuss how the Russia investigation and testimony from former FBI Director James Comey is affecting the White House.

“That hasn’t been published, but it’s true,” Ruddy said. “And I think it would be strange that he would have a confidential conversation and then a few days later become the prosecutor of the person he may be investigating,” he added.

Then consider David Rank.

The former charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing resigned his position earlier this month following the president’s announcement that he intends to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

Four days after President Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, the top American official in China, David Rank, tendered his resignation, citing the president’s decision. Rank, who served 27 years in the foreign service, sits down with Judy Woodruff in his first interview since stepping down.

“I couldn’t in good conscience be party to the U.S. withdrawal,” he said. “You either agree to implement the president’s policy or you step aside.” Rank, viewing the president from afar, ultimately withheld judgement on the Trump’s use of foreign policy, including his relationship with China and the importance of directly handling North Korea.

“I think we’re early in the Trump administration,” Rank said. “I think it’s a positive thing that the president and his senior advisers have made it clear that it’s an important issue, that we have to grapple with North Korea.”

READ MORE: Trump confidant: ‘I think he’s considering perhaps terminating the special counsel’

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