EXCLUSIVE: Newsmax Misled Mike Lee On Interview Topics Before Cutting Out Ukraine Criticism, Texts Show

Screenshot/Youtube/Newsmax/Mike Lee

Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
Font Size:

Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee accused Newsmax of editing out part of a segment of his Tuesday interview related to the Ukraine aid vote, which was actually the set topic for the interview, according to text messages obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller.

The obtained text messages show that a booker reached out to Lee’s staffer to get the senator on Eric Bolling’s show Monday night to discuss the recently passed foreign aid bill, which Lee has strongly opposed. In the texts, Lee’s staffer specifically said that the senator would be willing to do the interview if the topic was specifically about the funding bill, to which the Newsmax booker responded in full agreement.

After the interview went live, Lee noticed that his interview was edited, and the only part that was edited out was related to the topic he agreed to speak about, Ukraine.

“Newsmax cut an entire segment of my interview last night. No mention of Ukraine—even though part of the interview focused specifically on the supplemental. I’ve never had this happen with any news network, not like this,” Lee posted to Twitter.

“Good morning, this is (redacted). Is the Senator available to tape with Eric Bolling today, or later this week, sometime between 5:15 – 6:15pm Eastern Time? Thank you!” the booker texted Lee’s staffer.

Lee’s staffer responded, “Sen. Lee is available today if the topic is to discuss the supplemental. Let me know! Thanks!”

The booker then said, “Perfect timing! I am just about to do an 11:30 meeting with the show team … Double checking – Ukraine supplemental?” (RELATED: Mike Lee Accuses Newsmax Of Cutting Off Segment About Ukraine Aid Vote)

“I saw his bartiromo interview,” the booker added, in reference to an interview he did with Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo on the topic Sunday.

“Yes. That and packaging Israel, Taiwan, and Ukraine together,” Lee’s staffer replied.

“Perfect, that works great for us! Would a 5:15pm ET taping time work for you? And do you prefer Russell or Zoom/Skype?” the booker asked.

“Yes! Let’s plan on Russell,” Lee’s staffer responded.

“Perfect, I’ll set it up. We’re excited!” the booker said.




The Republican senator tagged Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy in the post, asking what happened to the piece, along with linking the interview that was aired on the show.

Newsmax representative Bill Daddi stated in an email to the Caller that the cut was based purely on time with no “intention for censorship.”

“Sen. Lee was invited on the Eric Bolling show to discuss Pres. Trump’s legal issues. Our recorded interview went for 11 minutes when typically such interviews last no longer than five minutes. We edited the last part of the segment for program timing reasons and there was never an intention for censorship,” Daddi stated.

Other than the text messages, multiple sources who spoke with the Caller had a different story.

“There has been a top-down policy at Newsmax to censor opposition to Ukraine aid or skepticism about America’s interests in prolonging the war,” one source familiar with the cutting of Lee’s segment told the Caller.

Another source with knowledge of the situation suggested editorial decisions of this nature come from the very top of the organization.

The Caller reached out to Ruddy for comment but did not receive a response.

“Earlier this week, Senator Lee agreed to be interviewed on Newsmax to discuss his opposition to the $95 billion foreign aid bill. For some reason, Newsmax chose to cut this exact segment, while airing the rest of the interview,” Lee’s communications director Billy Gribbon told the Caller.” While we do not think that Eric Bolling was responsible for that decision, the prospect of others in Newsmax management censoring opposition to this disastrous bill is very concerning.”

“We’re disappointed that the Daily Caller sees this as an important story for its readers, but you should know we gave Sen. Lee nine minutes of air time, more than double the time we usually give guests — and we have had on many guests critical of Ukraine aid, and will continue to do so,” Daddi said in an additional statement. “Newsmax has aired and will continue to air criticism of Ukraine aid, though the network strongly supports Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s unprovoked attack on it.”

Hailey Gomez contributed to this report.