KSNV: Trump's Summit '180': Our D.C. lawmakers are not buying it

Jul 18, 2018
In The News

LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — It is Monday in Helsinki. The President is facing a crowd of journalists, standing next to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“He just said it is not Russia. I will say this: I do not see any reason why it would be,” Trump said, reacting to a question on whether Russia was the culprit meddling in America’s 2016 election.

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“I realize that there is a need for some clarification,” the President said in the Cabinet Room. “I said the word 'would' instead of would not.”

And with that, President Trump walked back what appeared to be hesitation in Helsinki to accept the overwhelming conclusion of America’s intelligence agencies that Russia did in fact meddle.

This switch is not selling with Congresswoman Dina Titus, D-Nevada, who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"After 24 hours, this is the best excuse they can come up with for the president's total subservience to Vladimir Putin?" asks the Las Vegas Democrat, Tuesday in a statement. "How stupid does he think we are," she says.

Since he went wheels up in Helsinki, the president got a bi-partisan bashing.

Even Trump-friendly Fox News was critical he was not tough enough on Russia, especially when Vladimir Putin stood only feet away at a press conference watched around the world.

About today's switch, "it is a sad day when the criticism of 'Fox and friends' is the only thing that can get this president to admit shame," Nevada Democrat, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, said Tuesday.

However, Trump has support. In Henderson, one gentleman I met says the summit went just fine.

“I thought he did a great job,” said Doug Magnant, whom I met outside the Paseo Verde Library. He gives Trump high marks for, in his view, bucking the establishment.

“And those are the guys that couldn’t predict the WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction) in Iraq, they could not predict the fall of the Soviet Union. They could not predict 9/11, and yet they are convinced what he is doing is incorrect. I do not believe that," Magnant says.

Does he buy the charges of Russian meddling?

“I think it is BS,” he told me.

Tell that to Sharon York, whom I met in the same spot at the same library just minutes later. Her assessment of Helsinki?

“I thought it was embarrassing and a disgrace to the country and I am angry,” she told me. “I am angry with Trump. I am angry with the Republican Party. I think the Congress is mediocre and I can honestly say, based on everything the Congress has done, this President has done, I would never vote for a Republican again.”

Over on conservative talk radio, they are standing by their man.

Former Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman was on the Kevin Wall Show and offered me her summit summation.

“He is a businessman, not a politician, and he absolutely met with him to discuss diplomatic relations, and I am very proud of our president,” Seaman says.

Contacted Tuesday, Sen. Dean Heller’s office says the Senator’s Monday statement still stands, in light of the President’s summit reversal.

“I trust our intelligence community’s assessment on Russian interference, not Vladimir Putin’s. He is no friend of the United States and I do not trust him,” the Nevada Republican said yesterday.

Also contacted today for updated comment, Rep. Jacky Rosen’s office referred me to her Monday comments. “The President failed to hold Russia accountable when it mattered most,” said the Democrat yesterday.