US still divided over Trump 'links' to Russia
13 July 2017 world-news
There are two alternate realities in America at the moment.
Half of the people you speak to think Donald Trump’s ties to Russia are real and worrying.
The other half think the media is simply trying to bring him down.
In rural Virginia, those who are willing to publicly discuss politics at all fall firmly into one or other camp.
Reggie Dawson, a lifelong resident of wealthy and genteel Middleburg, says the media is ignoring far bigger scandals about other politicians and unfairly focusing on Trump.
“If they want to investigate Trump for collusion, they’ve been doing it now for almost a year and they have nothing on it.
“Nothing has been proved yet.”
Middleburg is a place where they like their traditions. The hunting, fishing and horse-riding world is not a place you would expect to love an untraditional president.
But, as you find across America, the President has strong support among some of the least likely communities.
Mark Metzger hears a lot of local opinion as the owner of Highcliffe Clothiers and says he feels that, on Russia, people are struggling with who and what to believe.
“It is very hard to read what’s going on. You have to go with whatever your gut instinct is. Usually gut instincts pay off.
“He still has a very strong fanbase in many pockets in the country.”
Jilann Brunett is a book shop owner and a Democrat. She has taken to interviewing her Trump supporting friends on whether they would vote for him again today and why.
She said: “I’ve only so far heard what the media is doing wrong. I still don’t have an answer about what Mr Trump is doing that they would support. It is what they’re hearing that they don’t like.”
There is no doubt that some Trump voters are having second thoughts about their choice but the overwhelming majority you speak to remain loyal.
Russia has not changed their minds yet.
“I don’t think there’s anything bad out there,” said a man strolling with his family.
“Any other world leader has skeletons in the closet too. Hopefully the connection will help our countries, help the world to be a little bit better of a place.”