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Your Voice: Republicans react to Russia summit fallout

Your Voice: Republicans react to Russia summit fallout

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — President Donald Tump’s efforts to strengthen relations with Russia are drawing mixed reactions from lawmakers and voters.

Tuesday, he walked back the comments he made on Monday in Helsinki at his Russia-U.S. Summit following strong backlash from lawmakers on both sides.

“I think it forces a defining moment for the Republican Party and some very awkward questions,” said Rick Klein, ABC News political director. “This isn’t your typical political controversy where it’s just words; this has massive implications on the relationship with Russia, the integrity of the election, the integrity of democracy itself.”

Those questions were raised by the U.S. intelligence community as well.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats had been vocal about Russia’s threat to the U.S. ahead of the summit and was caught off guard Thursday by news of another meeting.

“Did I hear you?” said Director Coats. “Ok. That’s going to be special.”

“[I’m] definitely hearing the cries out there saying, ‘if you’re being disrespected like this, intelligence agencies being disrespected, you should leave the office, that’s his call,’” said Klein.

What call will voters make following this week?

Republican support in our area seems to still be there for the president.

Trump’s base in St. Joseph and Elkhart counties think he is on the right track.

“Overall I think he’s been handed a very difficult situation and he’s looking for new ways to solve very longstanding problems that are decades old, a couple of decades old,” said voter Dan Schaetzle.

“It is important that our leaders reach out to the other side, going back to Nixon opening the door with China, Obama talking to the Iranians, it’s always important,” said Dan Holtz, Elkhart County GOP chair.

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