Party activists gathered in Georgia react to former president’s latest legal woes with unflinching support but some doubts about his chances to win back the White House
COLUMBUS, Ga. — Laurie Wood was in the hotel elevator when she saw the text alert on her phone: Donald Trump had been indicted. “Here we go again,” she thought.
In town as a first-time delegate to the Georgia GOP convention here, Wood stepped out onto a terrace for a cigar party grateful to be spending this historic night with fellow conservatives. State committee members gathered amid the smoke and mosquitoes were already anticipating Trump’s speech to the convention on Saturday, and now many were just finding out and beginning to reckon with the latest political earthquake.
“Game on,” said John Fredericks, a pro-Trump talk radio host popular in Georgia and Virginia, when a reporter read him Trump’s social media posts announcing the charges. “Indict away. Every indictment we get more emboldened, we get stronger, we get more votes, because working people in this country are on to their game. Trump will be the nominee, and he will win an overwhelming victory regardless of the number of witch-hunt indictments that the communists and the liberals try to push on him.”
The cigar party’s host, Republican National Committee member Jason Thompson, was quick to dismiss the indictment, which remains sealed but is said to arise from Trump’s handling of classified materials after leaving the White House. “Honestly that’s probably the weakest case — I’m a lawyer, I would know,” Thompson said between puffs. “All the presidents take documents with them, and they’re trying to make something out of it because it’s Trump.”
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