WASHINGTON, D.C. – The picture painted day-in and day-out of President Donald Trump’s administration by most major media sources has been grim. Scandals, shrinking approval ratings, allegations of collusion with Russia during the campaign could leave some with the impression that he has lost support in the middle of the country where he was elected as well.
But speaking with Missouri’s Republican Congressional delegation, the sun still shines on Trump in the Show-Me State, even if he hasn’t proven popular on the coasts.
“Travel around southeast and south central Missouri, visit with the farmers, families and small business owners who call that their home, they’ll tell you that President Trump is making a difference in their lives,” Congressman Jason Smith of Southeast Missouri said in a statement to The Missouri Times.
Smith’s comments come just a months after Trump received the most votes for president of any candidate in Missouri history (nearly 1.6 million), winning by a massively large 57 percent to 38 percent over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. He also had a sizable electoral college win, even if he did not win the national popular vote.
Yet Trump has also proven to be one of the most divisive presidents in modern history. His base has an intense amount of admiration for him thus far, and the large portion of the state still seems to respect the fact that he represents something different in Washington, D.C. and, perhaps most importantly, that he’s not his predecessor.
“Whether it is repealing Obama-era rules that tried to regulate every drop of water on a farm or were holding back our economy, renegotiating trade interests to put the American worker first or taking the steps necessary to keep families safe at home, folks can feel that President Trump is making a difference and truly working to protect America’s best interests,” Smith continued.
That said, testimony from former FBI Director James Comey last week did not paint Trump in the most flattering light. Comey told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee that he felt uncomfortable when Trump asked him for a loyalty pledge, despite being independent of the president’s office. Though Trump also noted he felt vindicated because Comey said Trump was not under investigation for possibly colluding with the Russian government during the election.
Some Democrats, however, feel Trump attempted to obstruct the investigation into the Russian election involvement when he fired Comey unexpectedly.
“In the words of former Nixon staffer and Watergate investigation star witness John Dean: ‘Today we saw the tip of the iceberg,’ “ Congressman William Lacy Clay posted on Facebook. “The whole truth is coming closer… Special Counsel Mueller will reveal the rest. Two obvious conclusions from Director Comey’s testimony. Trump lied, and he attempted to obstruct justice.”
Missouri’s Congressional Republicans disputed that conclusion. Congresswoman Ann Wagner said she believed her constituents were “tired of…this witch hunt dealing with Russia.”
“No one has produced any indication that Russia had somehow openly influenced our elections,” Wagner said June 1 on the Mark Cox Show. “Until someone goes in and proves to me they messed with a voting box, I’m going to have a hard time believing any of this.”
“Every time I go back to the district the vast majority of my constituents express support for President Trump and his policies,” Congressman Billy Long added. “All the recent noise surrounding the Trump administration is just political theater on steroids. President Trump ran on the promise of putting Americans first and he has kept that promise.”