In Southeastern Virginia, Trump Supporters Weigh Recent Scandals

May 18, 2017
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We're going to hear now from Trump supporters to get their thoughts on this week in Washington. Now, the president's base is devoted, and that helped him survive campaign gaffes last year that would have almost certainly doomed other politicians. NPR's Sarah McCammon has our story from southeast Virginia.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: On weekday mornings, Waffletown USA in Virginia Beach is a popular spot to get a cup of coffee or, as you might guess, a waffle. Trump supporter Jay Oubre was there having breakfast this morning.

JAY OUBRE: Everything, all this political stuff that they're going on - excuse my French. It's crap.

MCCAMMON: Oubre is 69 and retired from both the Navy and a career as a safety engineer. He sees the investigation into possible ties between Trump's campaign and Russia as a politically motivated distraction. Even though the newly appointed special prosecutor was named by Trump's own Justice Department, Oubre worries the ultimate goal is to derail Trump's agenda.

OUBRE: Where's the proof? There has been no proof. So you know, he's getting a raw deal out of the thing.

MCCAMMON: Isn't that the point, though, of a special prosecutor - to find out if there is any evidence?

OUBRE: (Unintelligible) If that's what he's going to do. That's if that's what he's going to do and doesn't side on the Democratic side like Comey did.

MCCAMMON: Oubre says Trump was right to fire former FBI Director James Comey, something he says should have happened months ago. And he thinks it's time for Trump's opponents in both parties to move on. Another retiree, 78-year-old Don Morris, also voted for Trump, but he welcomes the special prosecutor.

DON MORRIS: I hope the truth comes out, and I don't care which way it falls.

MCCAMMON: Morris says he'd like to see Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller investigate far beyond the president and dig up dirt on politicians from both parties whom he refers to as the rats in D.C.

MORRIS: They're all liars and thieves and slicksters. There is no such thing as the truth in Washington anymore.

MCCAMMON: Across the room, Frances Hall said she hopes the truth will come out in Trump's favor.

FRANCES HALL: That's a good thing if they can prove that Donald Trump's innocent. Yeah, that's a very good thing.

MCCAMMON: Hall lives in a small town nearby. At 67, she still drives a school bus, as she has for decades. Even if the investigation reveals wrongdoing by the president, Hall says that might not change her support for him.

HALL: Mostly everybody in Washington are crooked one way or the other. They don't worry about us little poor people. They don't. So no, it wouldn't bother me.

MCCAMMON: Hall says she's a little overwhelmed by all the news coming out of Washington and doesn't know what will happen next. Whatever happens, she's not expecting her life here to change anytime soon. Sarah McCammon, NPR News, Virginia Beach. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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