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What Her Love of Trump Has Cost Her: Her Grandson

Ben Bradlee Jr. profiles Trump super-fan Lynette Villano
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2018 9:40 AM CDT
President Trump speaks during a news conference on trade among the United States, Canada, and Mexico, as well as on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden of the White...   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – When Ben Bradlee Jr. refers to "Mrs. Trump," he's not talking about Melania. Rather, it's a nickname that was bestowed upon Lynette Villano, 72, a die-hard Trump supporter living in Luzerne County, Pa. In a lengthy excerpt of The Forgotten published by Politico, Bradlee explains that in his new book he seeks to uncover "why this traditionally Democratic area, a pivotal county in a crucial swing state, surged for Trump in 2016." He ended up profiling 12 Trump voters living there, and of them, Villano stands out. She's actually a longtime Republican, but one so enamored by Donald Trump she ran to be a Trump delegate to the Republican National Convention. He found her "total, unconditional, and unshakeable" in her support for the president.

"These are the people Trump was talking about when he said he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone without losing any voters," Bradlee writes. But it's come at a great personal cost. Her relationship with her daughter has been damaged; her grandson, Connor, returned the Christmas gifts she sent and declined to invite her to his college graduation over her support of the president. (Bradlee reprints a lengthy exchange of fiery texts the two sent each other the day after the election; Villano found her grandson's approach disrespectful.) Bradlee asks Villano about a slew of "Trump brush fires": the Access Hollywood tape, the female accusers, his comments on John McCain. Read her answers, and more about her dogged support, here. (Read more Longform stories.)

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