NASHVILLE, Tennessee–The crowd of more than 8,000 supporters here at the Municipal Auditorium on Tuesday night absolutely loved Donald Trump.
The president was at the top of his game at this rally held to support Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s (R-TN-07) 2018 U.S. Senate bid. Blackburn spoke for about two minutes at the beginning of the evening, and the crowd cheered her on.
But the star of the evening–which lasted an hour and ten minutes–was clearly President Donald J. Trump.
The energy and emotion in support of the president was palpable within the auditorium. Syndicated radio host Mark Levin, who watched the rally on television during the breaks in his live radio broadcast, called Trump’s performance “invigorating.”
The only faces in the audience without enthusiastic smiles were among members of the media, isolated in rafters in the back of the auditorium. Their expressions turned especially sour when President Trump derided them as fake news, and the audience booed loudly in their direction.
Breitbart News interviewed four members of the audience about their reasons for attending the rally, and here’s what they had to say:
Sarah Johnson Vayne, a veteran with ten years of service in the Army, traveled all the way from Henderson in Jackson County, a distance of about 130 miles, to hear the president.
“Trump is my hero, and I’m here to see him and support him,” Vayne said.
Another woman, Marliss, drove all the way from Illinois with her daughter and son to attend the rally.
Marliss told Breitbart News she drove so far “because it’s the closest rally that I noticed that we could drive to within my work schedule.”
She added that she was motivated to come to the rally by “the opportunity to hear in person what our president has to say to the public.”
A man from Hendersonville, Tennessee told Breitbart News he attended the rally to support President Trump and Rep. Marsha Blackburn.
He added that he likes “everything he’s [President Trump’s] done since he’s been in office, everything he says he’s done since he’s been in office, and he’s done just a great job as far as I’m concerned.”
Asked about the Mueller probe, the Hendersonville resident said, “I think it’s hogwash.”
“They need to let the Russian thing go. It’s obvious that there’s no corruption, there’s no corruption at all. They should let it go and let our president move forward with the country,” he concluded.
Jeff Wright, from Arrington, Tennessee, told Breitbart News he came to the rally “to support America. We have to make this place great again. That’s why I’m here.”
Wright said he voted for Trump in 2016 and planned to vote for him again in 2020.
As for the Mueller probe, Wright said, “Let the media play this thing out. It’s all about the media.”
He added that the Mueller probe is not a legitimate investigation, said Donald Trump will be re-elected in 2020, and that Trump will win Tennessee by an even larger margin in 2020 than he did in 2016.
[Note on crowd size estimate: The reserved seating capacity of Municipal Auditorium is 9,654. At the Trump rally on Tuesday, the reserved seating was about two-thirds full, which means about 6,400 people were in the reserved area. In addition, at least 2,000 audience members were standing on the floor of the auditorium, which gives a crowd size estimate of at least 8,400.]