Give President Donald Trump a chance.
That was the general consensus among readers contacted at random by The News-Review staff Tuesday about Trump’s recent visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. Trump received criticism from Democrats and some Republicans following the trip. Before defending himself today, he walked back those comments on Tuesday, saying he had misspoken and he does believe Russia meddled.
Some News-Review readers said Tuesday they thought Democrats were too critical of Trump following the visit, and that they trusted the president to do the right thing.
That’s not to say they trust Russia, though. Most of the readers we spoke to said they think Russia did try to influence the 2016 election, and some think they’ll try again.
Rex Domaschofsky, of Roseburg, pointed out people really don’t know what happened in the two-hour closed-door session between Trump and Putin that preceded the comments the press reported on. People said Trump should have been tougher on Russia, Domaschofsky said, but it may be the reason for that will come out later.
Domaschofsky said he trusts Trump “all the way.”
As for Putin, Domaschofsky said he’s a thug and a bully, and he’s sure Putin will try to play around with the next election too. But Domaschofsky thinks Trump has to be careful when dealing with countries like Russia or North Korea, which have the power to kill thousands of people at a time.
“You have to be tough, but you have to know when to back off or whatever. You can’t have a war, not now ... It would just be stupid,” he said.
Don Dixon, of Roseburg, said he was reading recently about Jesus, who hung out the with sinners rather than with the righteous people. That’s what Trump is trying to do, too, he said.
“(Trump’s) trying to get in a friendship with Putin. I don’t see anything wrong with that, unless he tries to take the ideas of Putin and run them into our philosophy,” Dixon said.
If that happens, Dixon said he might have to switch his political affiliation to the Democratic Party.
“As it stands now, I see nothing wrong with what he did,” he said.
Myrtle Creek resident Herbert Ables said people are making too much out of the weekend’s events.
“I think that maybe President Trump faltered, and the Democrats are jumping all over it to embarrass him,” Ables said.
He said the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election is based on politics. Like most readers we talked to, he doesn’t believe there was any collusion between the Russians and Trump.
“I don’t think Trump is doing any favors for Putin, and I don’t think he will,” Ables said.
Ables said the country is deeply divided by party lines.
“There’s a serious divide in the country between Democrats and Republicans, and I wish they could work together,” Ables said.
George Seonbuchner, of Oakland, said he thought Helskinki went well, and Trump came out ahead.
“I think he let Putin know where we stand,” he said.
Barbara Hartlerode of Sutherlin said she thinks it’s good for Trump to connect to Putin.
Hartlerode doesn’t believe there is any proof or evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“I’m getting so totally sick of hearing about Russia meddling in the election,” Hartlerode said.
Myrtle Creek resident Shellie Briggs said Trump’s business sense is carrying him through his good decisions.
She said she thought the meeting between Trump and Putin went well, because Trump was respectful and didn’t let Putin get away with anything.
“I think they’re very underhanded, and they’re used to being able to back-door things,” Briggs said of the Russians. “President Trump went in there with his eyes wide open understanding there was a way for it to be handled.”