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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.

Confirmed Cases: 35419

Reported Deaths: 1230
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds290851
DeSoto190019
Madison144638
Jones120349
Harrison113616
Rankin108715
Neshoba104577
Forrest99343
Lauderdale96381
Scott81915
Jackson77519
Washington72213
Copiah65315
Leake63520
Lee61222
Oktibbeha61128
Grenada5949
Warren59421
Holmes58641
Wayne56218
Yazoo5536
Lowndes54813
Lamar5347
Leflore53156
Lincoln52935
Pike49920
Lafayette4974
Sunflower4778
Monroe45635
Panola4486
Covington4355
Bolivar40518
Simpson3933
Attala38424
Newton37510
Tate35213
Adams35120
Pontotoc3466
Marion32712
Claiborne30111
Chickasaw29719
Winston29511
Pearl River28832
Noxubee2788
Jasper2776
Marshall2773
Walthall2627
Clay25811
Union25211
Smith24612
Clarke22325
Coahoma2226
Lawrence2092
Yalobusha2079
Tallahatchie1954
Kemper18414
Carroll18111
Montgomery1713
Calhoun1645
Humphreys16310
Itawamba1468
Tippah14511
Hancock14413
Webster13411
Jefferson1263
Tunica1233
Jefferson Davis1204
Prentiss1204
George1163
Greene11310
Amite1103
Alcorn1002
Quitman991
Wilkinson989
Tishomingo971
Perry874
Choctaw754
Stone742
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton460
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6433170
Mobile4753139
Montgomery4430112
Tuscaloosa263253
Madison21199
Marshall192611
Shelby164225
Lee157237
Morgan12695
Baldwin120711
Walker106131
Elmore102920
Dallas9969
Etowah95114
DeKalb9417
Franklin93216
Autauga67614
Russell6750
Chambers67427
Unassigned65328
Butler65129
Tallapoosa62869
Limestone6223
Houston5857
Cullman5716
Lauderdale5686
St. Clair5133
Colbert4956
Calhoun4905
Lowndes48122
Escambia4808
Pike4725
Coffee4244
Jackson4182
Covington41412
Barbour3942
Dale3911
Talladega3897
Bullock37710
Marengo35211
Hale34823
Chilton3232
Clarke3126
Wilcox3038
Blount2961
Winston2965
Sumter29113
Marion27514
Pickens2696
Randolph2589
Monroe2553
Perry2362
Conecuh2308
Bibb2211
Macon2159
Choctaw21212
Greene1959
Henry1533
Washington1418
Crenshaw1273
Lawrence1250
Cherokee1237
Geneva960
Lamar871
Clay852
Fayette821
Coosa651
Cleburne421
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