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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Trump fans scoff at Putin hacking controversy

On sale at Trump's Thank you rally in Orlando

Adam Smith

On sale at Trump's Thank you rally in Orlando



ORLANDO -- As Vladimir Putin's apparent efforts to influence the presidential election in Washington stirred growing concern, it seemed like a non-issue among the thousands of Floridians who turned out to cheer the president-elect Friday night.

"Their computers should have been more secure. It's their own fault," said Yvonne Knight of Deltona. "And Obama tried to influence the Israeli election, sending his whole political team to get Netanyahu out of there, so it's tit for tat."

Carol Pugh, a beautician from Bartow, said she simply did not believe the Russians were behind it, and noted that the FBI saw no evidence. When told several news outlets reported Friday that the FBI concurred with the CIA's assessment, she shrugged.

"I believe our government did it. Maybe it came from a disgruntled Democrat. I don't believe anything that comes out of the media's mouth. I do my own research," she said. 

"What we found out is what we should have known anyway about Hillary Clinton, and it was all true."

Hours before Trump showed up, amid thousands of cars streaming in and vendors hawking "Proud to be deplorable" t-shirts," Oscar Torres tailgated with several friends who drove two hours from Palm Bay. They all scoffed at the reports of Russian involvement.

"I'm Cuban-American," he said, Miller lite in hand. "The communists, the socialists have always wanted the Democratic party to win. Now all of a sudden they want a Republican? Come on, give me a break. It's all garbage."

[Last modified: Friday, December 16, 2016 8:26pm]


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