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For hard-core Trump supporters latest indictment doesn't raise doubts

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

So how are some voters reacting to the latest indictment of former President Trump? NPR's Brian Mann spoke with people in a region of upstate New York that backed Trump in 2016 and 2020. Here's Brian.

BRIAN MANN, BYLINE: On a beautiful summer evening, Carmen Glass stopped in at a convenience store in Port Henry, N.Y., to buy ice cream. Asked about former President Donald Trump, she bristles and says he's gotten a raw deal.

CARMEN GLASS: Definitely, definitely blocked him (laughter).

MANN: They blocked him, she says. Glass believes Democrats and corrupt forces in American society conspired against Trump, and she thinks these latest indictments stemming from the 2020 election are more of the same.

GLASS: I don't think he should be indicted. I don't think he should be. It was them, not him.

MANN: As we're talking, Alec Young comes out of the shop on his way home after a day's work. He says he's troubled by this latest legal threat to Trump.

ALEC YOUNG: I mean, I hope it's not true. I hope he doesn't get convicted.

MANN: They both say they plan to vote for Trump again next year. Nothing in these latest indictments gives them pause.

YOUNG: If he gets reelected, if he goes again, I think he could turn this country right around, you know?

MANN: Many of the little towns in this part of far northern New York lean heavily Republican. A lot of people here get their information about Trump from Fox News or conservative talk radio. Many view Trump as someone they like and trust.

DOUG TERBEEK: The fact that he was not of the establishment, I believe, is why - one of the reasons why he has had so much pushback.

MANN: Doug Terbeek lives a few miles down the road in Crown Point, N.Y. I find him and his wife, Wendy, doing chores in their gorgeous front flower garden. Doug says he doesn't think Trump is perfect, but he believes this indictment is driven by politics.

D TERBEEK: The system has not treated him fairly compared to others.

MANN: Wendy, who works at the local library, chimes in more bluntly.

WENDY TERBEEK: I think he was shafted.

MANN: The Terbeeks say Trump was a great president, working to pull American society back toward more conservative values. They think the 2020 election was stolen despite overwhelming evidence and dozens of court rulings showing that it wasn't. Wendy says the January 6 insurrection and Trump's role in it have been overblown.

W TERBEEK: I don't think that what happened on January 6 was his fault. And I do believe that there were plants in the crowds. You could see...

MANN: These theories, too, have all been examined and discounted, including by many Republicans. But for these voters who will help decide the GOP presidential primary, the latest indictments don't raise troubling doubts about Trump and his alleged efforts to overturn America's democratic system. Instead, this moment adds to their belief the political system is rigged against Trump and against their values.

Brian Mann, NPR News, in Crown Point, N.Y. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Leila Fadel is a national correspondent for NPR based in Los Angeles, covering issues of culture, diversity, and race.
Brian Mann is NPR's first national addiction correspondent. He also covers breaking news in the U.S. and around the world.