Local GOP leader in Ohio resigns over Trump-Putin summit


The chairman of an Ohio county Republican Party resigned in protest on Monday after President TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn’t dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: ‘Do you know which team you play for?’ MORE ‘s Helsinki, Finland, meeting and press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Chris Gagin said he cannot serve as the Belmont County GOP chairman any longer “as a matter of conscience.”

I remain a proud conservative and Republican, but I resigned today as Belmont Co Ohio GOP Chairman. I did so as a matter of conscience, and my sense of duty.

– Chris Gagin (@cgagin) July 16, 2018

Gagin specifically cited Trump’s “policy differences” as a reason he resigned after the Putin summit.

The President is entitled to GOP party leaders, at all levels, fully committed to his views and agenda. Following today’s press conference with Pres. Putin, as well as certain policy differences, most especially on trade, I could no longer fulfill that duty. Thus, I resigned.

– Chris Gagin (@cgagin) July 16, 2018

Ohio news site Cleveland.com reported that Gagin had held the position in Southeast Ohio since April 2016 and would not return their requests for additional comment.

The organization also noted that Gagin is the former staffer of ex-Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson, who switched parties in 2013.

People from both sides of the aisle have been criticizing Trump for defending Putin during the summit and failing to condemn Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, appearing to side with Moscow’s claim that it played no such role.

The summit came days after Trump’s Justice Department indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for their alleged role in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.