County Party Chair Resigns After Trump-Putin Press Conference

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Former Belmont County GOP Chair Chris Gagin. (Courtesy Twitter)

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 said “something just snapped” as 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.”

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,” Gagin said. “But this really is not meant to destroy the party.”

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