County Party Chair Resigns After Trump-Putin Summit, But Says He's Still A Proud Conservative

Jul 19, 2018
Originally published on July 18, 2018 5:03 pm

A county Republican Party leader is getting a lot of state and national attention for his decision to resign after watching President Trump’s press conference with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. But unlike Trump, he’s not walking back or changing what he said.

Chris Gagin says “something just snapped” as he says he watched Trump appear to emphatically choose the version of events that Putin told him over what the US intelligence community was saying.  “I just didn’t feel that my conscience would allow me to continue to serve in that leadership role,” said Gagin.

So he resigned as the chair of the Republican Party of Belmont County, a West Virginia border county that Trump won by nearly 40 points. “I fully expect that I’ll be ostracized, in a sense, from the party because of this action. But this really is not meant to destroy the party.”

Gagin says negative reaction has shown him some of the tribalism within the GOP, but says he’s a proud conservative and still supports the Ohio Republican Party and its ticket this fall.

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