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Trump still loved in Florida retirement village

In a right-leaning retirement village in Florida, many Republicans say they still support the President despite his recent performance with Putin.

Posted: Jul 22, 2018 12:22 PM
Updated: Jul 22, 2018 12:53 PM

If President Donald Trump sparked a widespread backlash over his news conference beside Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland on Monday, one wouldn't have known it from the buoyant tone among Republican Party officials this week.

At the Republican National Committee's summer meeting in Austin, the controversy enshrouding the President was largely shrugged off or rejected -- with party officials instead applauding Trump's foreign policy work, including his public show of deference this week toward Putin and Russia.

RELATED: Pompeo says a second Trump-Putin meeting is 'all to the good'

"I am in full support of the President," said Demetra DeMonte, a national committeewoman from Illinois, when asked about Trump's stance on Russia. "He has been an incredible President, and I look forward to another two years and a second term."

Nor were Republican Party officials who spoke with CNN bothered by the President publicly questioning the work of his own intelligence officials, who have concluded that Putin had directed Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 US election and to boost Trump over Hillary Clinton.

Instead, some RNC members agreed with the President's suggestion that the intelligence community has sought to undermine him and his presidency, including special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

"To have agencies going after an American President, to create an illusion of collusion that doesn't exist, it looks like they're trying to undermine the President of the United States," said Lori Klein Corbin, a national committeewoman from Arizona. "Not the Russians, but our own people. That is troubling to the American people, and Trump just happens to be brutally honest and he tells it the way he sees it."

"He's not in Putin's pocket," she added.

The President continued to defend his performance in Helsinki on Friday, tweeting: "I got severely criticized by the Fake News Media for being too nice to President Putin. In the Old Days they would call it Diplomacy. If I was loud & vicious, I would have been criticized for being too tough. Remember when they said I was too tough with Chairman Kim? Hypocrites!"

In remarks to RNC members, Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel cheered the President's "historic summit" last month with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as "an unprecedented step toward peace in the region." She also touted Trump's efforts to extract greater defense spending from NATO countries, but she made no mention of his meeting with Putin.

Appearing on Fox News earlier in the week, McDaniel had offered her support for the President's appearance with Putin and his policy toward Russia generally. "The President doesn't underestimate Russia in any way, shape or form," McDaniel said then. "He knows exactly what type of foe they are, but he will continue to work with them on the issues where we do have national security interests combined."

The support for Trump from McDaniel and the RNC's membership jibes with the feelings of Republican voters generally. A CBS News poll this week found that 68% of Republicans approve of Trump's handling of his summit with Putin.

Nevertheless, some Republican lawmakers expressed concern and alarm in light of the President's remarks. Rep. Will Hurd, a Texas Republican who's a former CIA officer and sits on the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN's Jake Tapper, "I've seen Russian intelligence manipulate many people in my career, and I never thought the US President would be one of them."

And even some of the President's own administration officials were surprised to learn he is inviting Putin to visit Washington this fall. "OK, that's going to be special," Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said when he was informed of the possible visit during an interview Thursday.

The timing of the visit would coincide with the lead-up to Election Day, with the balance of power in Washington at stake. But Republican Party officials in Austin said they trusted the President's judgment in extending the invite.

"I'm sure that the White House and (Trump's) advisers will make sure that America comes first," said Terry Lathan, chairwoman of the Alabama Republican Party. "If they feel like that's the best timing for us, that's fine."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 256827

Reported Deaths: 5638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17331186
Hinds16373328
Harrison13731199
Rankin10854217
Jackson10557187
Lee8922141
Madison8335166
Jones6483112
Forrest6038120
Lauderdale5965187
Lowndes5425118
Lafayette503193
Lamar490865
Washington4826124
Bolivar4024109
Oktibbeha397681
Panola374680
Pontotoc369855
Monroe3591105
Warren3569100
Union348063
Marshall347769
Neshoba3413152
Pearl River3329103
Leflore3059107
Lincoln299386
Sunflower288271
Hancock282559
Tate274362
Alcorn267454
Itawamba265260
Pike264679
Scott250847
Prentiss248252
Yazoo247356
Tippah244450
Copiah243949
Coahoma242254
Simpson238368
Leake232966
Grenada220671
Covington215072
Marion215073
Adams207870
Wayne203232
Winston202667
George201939
Newton195044
Attala194659
Tishomingo191661
Chickasaw185744
Jasper174438
Holmes169168
Clay161335
Tallahatchie148235
Stone145921
Clarke141762
Calhoun137621
Smith122725
Yalobusha119134
Walthall112836
Noxubee111423
Greene111029
Montgomery110136
Carroll105321
Lawrence103217
Perry102831
Amite98826
Webster93924
Tunica87421
Claiborne86625
Jefferson Davis85827
Benton83323
Humphreys83324
Kemper78420
Quitman6969
Franklin67115
Choctaw61213
Wilkinson58825
Jefferson55419
Sharkey44017
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 429655

Reported Deaths: 6283
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63040956
Mobile30794557
Madison27486201
Tuscaloosa20996268
Montgomery19352315
Shelby18833120
Baldwin16653184
Lee12749102
Morgan12389119
Etowah11861176
Calhoun11292201
Marshall10290113
Houston8746156
Limestone813276
Cullman8125106
Elmore7999104
DeKalb776599
Lauderdale768698
St. Clair7651121
Talladega6309108
Walker5954174
Jackson586341
Colbert539873
Blount537683
Autauga525755
Coffee450456
Dale402981
Franklin369948
Russell340711
Chilton338966
Covington332668
Escambia326043
Dallas308896
Chambers293170
Clarke287833
Tallapoosa2641107
Pike255230
Marion248953
Lawrence246649
Winston229535
Bibb218847
Geneva205446
Marengo202829
Pickens197531
Hale179542
Barbour176036
Fayette172928
Butler170858
Cherokee161930
Henry156523
Monroe149818
Randolph142135
Washington139126
Clay127645
Crenshaw121544
Cleburne119023
Lamar119021
Macon118637
Lowndes112036
Wilcox105121
Bullock101128
Perry99019
Conecuh95720
Sumter89626
Greene76623
Coosa61015
Choctaw51624
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