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In Iowa, News of Russia Investigation Falls Flat
Photographer Mark Peterson traveled to the Midwestern state to find out how Iowans think Donald Trump's presidency is progressing.
View of a farm field in Cedar Rapids, Iowa-- part of Iowa's 1st Congressional District, which also includes Dubuque. The area is 90 percent white and increasingly elderly, and also happens to have gone blue for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. In 2016, however, Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton lost the district to Trump by four points.
Elizabeth Bemer (left) and her daughter, Diana Bemer (right), sit on their steps as they talk about Trump.
"I can't say anything good about him. I would have voted for her but I would have liked to have voted for Bill again," Elizabeth said. To which Diana responded: "You always say you vote for who is the most beautiful, so that's why you would have voted for Bill again."
Vietnam War veteran Jim Wagner leans into the window of his 1941 international pick-up.
Wagner earned a Purple Heart for his service, and later founded the Veterans Freedom Center in Dubuque, Iowa. Asked about the Russia investigation, Wagner said, "People are making too much of it. I don't think there was really anything going on. I just wish [Trump] would shut everybody up and tell them instead of playing the game. I didn't vote for him, but if he can put it to bed, he ought to. Right now," Wagner added, "I'm more worried about the economy and that [the Trump administration] want[s] to take the VA and privatize it. That ain't gonna work."
Shaun Kelly fishes along the Cedar River. The 42 year-old said he took down the American flag hanging outside his house when Trump won the election. He said he is convinced that the president does not represent "little people who make the world go round."
"We all know he's in cahoots with them Russians," Kelly said. "I feel like he's a traitor to the country. He's not about us -- he's about money. He should never have been president."
Brothers Tom (right) and Gary (left)-- who declined to give their real names-- fish along the river. Talking about the president, Tom said the big problem is his inability to keep quiet.
"I think if he keeps going on the way he's going with his mouth that's going to be his downfall," he said. "Seriously, with this Russia stuff I hope that Trump just shuts his mouth and lets it be."
Meanwhile, Gary made the case that it's business Trump is interested in: "He's a businessman; he's not a politician," Gary said. "People need to understand that people in business will do whatever they can to make money. I'm not thinking he's trying to make this country Russian, but he's a businessman and he's had all kinds of dealings with different countries."
Donna Selk, of Anamosa, holds the uniform her husband wore as a child as she talks about how she thinks Trump's presidency is going so far. "If the liberals would leave him alone and give him a chance we would be better off. I think he's dong great his trip to Europe went great."