Politico reporter Tara Palmeri suggested Friday that former President Donald Trump has gained political clout since leaving office, contrary to assumptions made by the Washington D.C. establishment and the mainstream media.
While covering an anti-Liz Cheney rally led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., in Wyoming, Palmeri spoke with locals about Cheney’s vote to impeach Trump and concluded that there is now a “crusade” being waged on behalf of the former president, since he’s “way more popular” in the state than the congresswoman.
“I actually went out of my way to try to find someone who would defend her and I really could not,” Palmeri told MSNBC. “She didn’t have that much name recognition, considering she’s a Cheney … I mean, I said her name at a hardware store, and someone shouted a threat.”
Palmeri said that the “overwhelming” consensus she heard from voters was that Cheney’s vote for impeachment was “not a vote for Wyoming” and “therefore she has to go.”
She then described an apparent disconnect between what’s perceived as truth in D.C. and what’s perceived as truth in Cheyenne. Palmeri mentioned locals not wearing masks, expressing distrust of the coronavirus vaccine, claiming both that the number of reported deaths from the pandemic are “inflated,” believing the 2020 presidential election wasn’t legitimate, and that the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill was “staged” by Antifa.
“I hate that they’re so distrustful,” Palmeri said. “It feels like another world but that’s what’s on the ground and I don’t think that we can ignore it and I’m really happy that I went out there and saw it because I think that there’s a huge disconnect between Washington and the rest of the country.”
“People don’t want to hear anything against Trump,” she continued. “Actually, the more he stays out of the media, the more that he becomes this martyr, this looming figure over the GOP. A lot of people said they aren’t really Republicans, that, like, they’re for Trump. That’s it … I think the base is getting stronger, truly. I think an impeachment would make him even more powerful — a conviction, is what I mean.”