“It was a bridge too far for me,” said Chris Gagin, trial attorney and chairman of the Belmont County Republican Party.
Gagin said he watched Monday’s news conference live, on two computer monitors in his office.
He recalls hearing a reporter ask President Trump, regarding the Russian election-hacking allegations, if the president believed the American intelligence community or Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Gagin said, to his deep disappointment, Trump seemed to praise Putin, saying Putin had strongly and forcefully denied he had done so.
“That was a ‘bridge too far’ for me,” Gagin said. “I don’t believe that there’s any more fundamental duty that a President of the United States has than to defend American interests in the face of a tyrant on foreign soil. And therefore my conscience would not allow me to serve as chairman of the Republican Party in Belmont County.”
He said he has no doubt that some people will refuse to speak to him now.
He said it’s an unfortunate sign of the current political climate that everyone has become tribal, believing that those who have differing views are the enemy, rather than simply people who disagree.
Gagin, who had only 101 Twitter followers the day before, now has millions.
He said he didn’t do it to be a media sensation.
He said he just couldn’t follow the President anymore.
He said he remains a Republican and a conservative.