An MSNBC reporter seemed reluctant to believe Ohio voters were not swayed against President Donald Trump after hearing Michael Cohen’s public testimony.
MSNBC’s Vaughn Hillyard spoke with voters in the swing state on Thursday about how Wednesday’s House Oversight Committee hearing with Trump’s former attorney made them feel about their past support of the president and moving ahead to the 2020 elections.
“Has this eroded your trust in President Trump?” Hillyard asked Tom Payne, a registered Democrat and resident of Dayton, a part of Montgomery County which Trump won by just under one percent in 2016.
“No. I’m a Democrat. Registered Democrat,” Payne replied.
“You voted for President Trump?” the reporter asked, getting a “yes” in response.
“Do you plan to vote for him again in 2020?” he pressed, as Payne emphatically replied “yes” again.
Tom Gray told Hillyard he didn’t have high expectations for Cohen given his past record before Congress.
“After lying to Congress, I wasn’t expecting much. I don’t think we got too much,” he said. “I just think it was a waste of time.”
Cohen, who has been disbarred, was sentenced in December to three years in prison for charges that include lying to Congress, campaign finance violations, tax evasion and bank fraud. His appearance before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday saw many moments of explosive testimony and allegations by the president’s former attorney as well as revealing that he spoke with several Democrats in preparation for the hearing.
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“He made some big allegations against the president,” Hillyard said to Joyce Hargenrather. “Did you vote for President Trump?”
Hargenrather confirmed that she had voted for Trump in 2016.
“Does this erode your confidence in him?” Hillyard asked.
“No, not at all,” she responded.
“What would it take for you to vote for a Democrat over President Trump in 2020?” the MSNBC reporter pressed.
“Oh my goodness. Never, never, never a Democrat,” Hargenrather reiterated.
Wrapping up the segment, Hillyard attempted to make sense of the support for Trump despite Cohen’s scathing allegations and the negative mainstream media coverage, which did little to report on the president’s efforts this week in negotiations in Vietnam with North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un.
“That question I was asking folks, does this erode your confidence in President Trump? What we consistently heard was no,” Hillyard said, while noting that people still believed parts of Cohen’s testimony.
But the reporter noted that the people he spoke with were not only okay with Trump being an “imperfect man,” they gave him plenty of credit for at least trying.
“Essentially folks were saying, hey, at least he’s trying on North Korea, at least he’s trying on China, at least the President is making an effort despite him being an imperfect man, as Michael Cohen outlined yesterday,” Hillyard said.
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