There was support, criticism and “no comment” from local GOP officeholders and candidates in the hours following President Donald Trump’s controversial statements in Helsinki.
Congressman Darrell Issa, who is not running for re-election, told CNN it was “appropriate” for the President “to cast doubt” on the accuracy of information generated by U.S. intelligence agencies.
“[He can] cast doubt on any number of things,” Issa said of President Trump. “That’s fair.”
But Issa also told CNN that Vladimir Putin is an “evil man who has killed many people in his own country,” and he denounced Russia as an “adverse enemy.”
Trump's comments -- and his effort Tuesday to contain the outrage -- could be an issue in the November elections in San Diego County.
Former District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, a Republican running for CountySupervisor against Democrat Nathan Fletcher, lashed out at the President.
“I think he’s putting the country at risk by meeting with an adversary and giving him so much credibility and time, and treating him not as an adversary, but as a friend,” Dumanis told NBC 7.
Dumanis also said her colleagues in the local law enforcement community are very upset that the president undermined U.S. intelligence and federal law enforcement agencies.
“I’ve heard a lot [from] different law enforcement folks [who] feel undermined, that they have been disrespected and dismissed,” Dumanis said.
Local Republican John Cox, who is running for governor, did not respond to questions posed by NBC 7. Through a spokesman, Cox declined to either criticize or support President Trump.
A spokesperson for Cox’s opponent, Democrat Gavin Newsom took the opportunity to criticize Cox’s nonstatement.
“...vocal support for Donald Trump and his disastrous agenda — both at home and abroad (which) continues to be a key difference between the two candidates.”
Republican Diane Harkey, who faces strong Democratic opposition in her run for the 49th Congressional District seat vacated by Issa, told NBC 7 “there is no moral equivalency between the United States and Russia, and based on his history, Putin cannot be trusted."