How Trump’s Most Loyal Supporters Are Responding to the Verdict

Richard Steele, 82, a pastor and retired building contractor in Dalton, Ga., which is in the district of Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a far-right House member and Trump loyalist, praised the former president as a “gentleman” who does not flaunt his wealth, and an “honest man” — despite the thousands of documented lies or misleading claims he has made over the years. Mr. Trump, he said, was cloaked in “Godly armor.”

“I figured they’d get him for something,” Mr. Steele said, referring to the Democrats. “He’ll come out on top. He’s smarter than they are. Seriously.”

Wayne Wolf, 67, a retired stockbroker who was having breakfast in Dalton, said that the verdict made a mockery of democracy. Part of his suspicion stemmed from the fact that the charges seemed so difficult to explain in plain language.

“Can you actually tell me what he got convicted of?” he said. “Can anybody tell me that?”

Debbie Puryear, 63, a colon hydrotherapist at a business in Dalton that also offers massage therapy, vitamins and CBD products, said that she had given $30 to Mr. Trump’s campaign on Thursday night, soon after the verdicts were announced.

But the only real redress for people like her, she said, was to go to the polls in November. “Well, we’re definitely going to have to vote, and quit being scared that it’s going to be rigged,” she said, referencing Mr. Trump’s baseless claims that Democrats manipulated the voting system to keep him from winning in 2020 and will try to do so again.

She added: “I don’t think they’re going to succeed this time. Too many people woke up to what’s going on.”

Emily Cochrane, Nicole Danna, J. David Goodman, Shawn Hubler, Jenna Russell Edgar Sandoval and Jonathan Wolfe contributed reporting.


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