GOP official quits over Trump-Putin summit

A longtime Ohio GOP official abruptly resigned over President Donald Trump's comments during a news conference in Helsinki at a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying "something snapped" during the conference.

Posted: Jul 19, 2018 6:44 PM
Updated: Jul 19, 2018 6:49 PM

A longtime Ohio GOP official abruptly resigned Monday over President Donald Trump's comments during a news conference in Helsinki at a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying "something snapped" during the conference.

"There just cannot be any confusion when the President, who has a sworn duty to protect and defend the United States, is there on foreign soil, 3 feet from Vladimir Putin, and he is openly taking the position of the Russian President over our intel community, and it was a point at which ... something snapped," Chris Gagin, formerly the chair of the Belmont County, Ohio, GOP, told CNN's Brooke Baldwin on "Newsroom."

Belmont County is in the heart of Ohio's coal industry and is considered emblematic of Trump's political base.

"I thought that my only recourse, my duty as my conscience told me, was that I needed to simply resign because I could not in effect be the front man for the President here in Belmont County," Gagin said Wednesday.

Gagin added that he is still a Republican and has no plans to leave the party, and he discouraged others who are dissatisfied with Trump from leaving the party and backing Democrats, as some prominent conservatives have done recently.

"I honestly don't think that's the right thing to do," he said, "because it's important for the Republicans to have that larger conversation within the family."

Gagin also cautioned that Trump should be wary of alienating conservatives who are not part of his core base.

"I don't have any illusions that my resignation's going to change the base. It's not," he said. "What I think national Republicans have to think about is if you have moderate to establishment Republicans, and certainly those on the independent side that have conservative views, if the President starts to lose us, and I'm not saying that's where it is at the moment ... then the base alone's not going to be enough to carry him through."

Gagin said he does not regret voting for Trump in 2016 -- citing the President's Supreme Court nominees, Neal Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, as highlights -- but that he may not vote for him in 2020.

"I think we're going to have to see how the rest of this plays out, quite honestly," Gagin said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 613228

Reported Deaths: 9728
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion846851338
Lake45676687
Allen32980552
Hamilton29649315
St. Joseph27531382
Elkhart24478345
Vanderburgh19610250
Tippecanoe18108141
Johnson15191295
Porter14944169
Hendricks14485250
Madison11044222
Clark10811144
Vigo10795181
Monroe9458113
Delaware9170134
LaPorte9145164
Howard8292144
Kosciusko810183
Warrick680299
Hancock6782104
Bartholomew6640100
Floyd6507110
Wayne6177162
Grant6027116
Dubois558680
Boone556468
Morgan548695
Henry511464
Marshall506984
Cass486964
Dearborn486545
Noble475659
Jackson427747
Shelby420781
Lawrence393780
Clinton375044
Gibson374459
Harrison353045
DeKalb349864
Montgomery347654
Knox336239
Miami324544
Steuben315046
Whitley311126
Wabash305851
Adams302836
Ripley300546
Putnam298950
Huntington294860
Jasper291734
White275143
Daviess271774
Jefferson266238
Decatur249583
Fayette248648
Greene242262
Posey241028
Wells236951
LaGrange230062
Scott226839
Clay224332
Randolph215248
Jennings200636
Sullivan193533
Spencer193022
Washington188023
Fountain184927
Starke176444
Jay168623
Owen167637
Fulton164830
Orange160935
Carroll159715
Rush156318
Perry155929
Vermillion149734
Franklin149333
Tipton133133
Parke13088
Pike118526
Blackford111822
Pulaski97837
Newton92021
Brown88335
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin74913
Warren6857
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4977
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 868656

Reported Deaths: 10768
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102154707
Cuyahoga865201153
Hamilton64744448
Montgomery43516419
Summit35250762
Lucas31663631
Butler31268232
Stark26096443
Warren19830142
Lorain19296229
Mahoning17471339
Lake16250154
Clermont16128112
Delaware1453680
Licking13326137
Fairfield1294981
Trumbull12920317
Greene12174141
Medina11732168
Clark11058265
Wood10457158
Allen9988127
Portage9454111
Miami924473
Richland9236118
Marion7486113
Tuscarawas7440183
Columbiana7409124
Pickaway732150
Wayne7111172
Muskingum710342
Erie6221130
Ross5558100
Hancock555292
Scioto542764
Geauga515955
Darke473492
Lawrence460658
Union456928
Ashtabula456473
Sandusky439562
Mercer435089
Seneca433866
Huron432841
Auglaize424164
Shelby422522
Jefferson422469
Belmont421145
Washington394240
Athens38389
Putnam378075
Madison358129
Knox356122
Ashland349038
Fulton340443
Defiance334486
Crawford325774
Preble322737
Brown315821
Logan312132
Ottawa296543
Clinton291543
Williams280367
Highland279018
Jackson265845
Guernsey257126
Champaign253428
Fayette239530
Morrow23464
Perry233718
Holmes226774
Henry221953
Hardin215533
Coshocton206922
Van Wert203445
Gallia199826
Wyandot196751
Pike178017
Adams177715
Hocking173224
Carroll157616
Paulding145321
Noble121040
Meigs109724
Monroe102232
Harrison89921
Morgan83931
Vinton71314
Unassigned00
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