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Nevada Trump Supporters React To Election Results

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And back to U.S. politics now. The state of Nevada was called for Joe Biden earlier today, but it was a close race there. NPR's Leila Fadel is in Las Vegas, and she is with us now. Leila, welcome. Thanks for joining us.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Thank you.

MARTIN: So I understand that you were at a rally of Trump supporters earlier. What did you see there? Tell us what - tell us about the scene.

FADEL: Right. I mean, the crowd was relatively small, probably a couple dozen people, not the bigger crowds we've seen in other parts of the country. There were men with military-style guns, one wearing the signature Hawaiian shirt that the anti-government anti-police extremist Boogaloo movement's known for. And the people gathered were really convinced that this election is being stolen. One man I spoke to, Courtney Meek (ph) - he's 35, from Las Vegas - laid out a conspiracy theory that I frankly couldn't follow quite well. And then he said he would not accept a President Biden.

COURTNEY MEEK: I'm willing to do whatever it takes. I would die for this country. I would die supporting Donald Trump. I will not live in a communist country.

FADEL: So when I asked him about the evidence and why he believed that, you know, he didn't believe the courts. He didn't believe the press. He didn't believe anyone. And he believes the election's stolen. So it really speaks, frankly, to the success of the disinformation out there with some people and the president's strategy to repeat unfounded and baseless claims of a rigged election. It's also the first time I've been to rallies where supporters of this president condemned Fox News, which, as we've seen in the past, is seen as friendly and sometimes a mouthpiece. But the fact that the news channel called the election for Joe Biden made them the enemy at this rally.

MARTIN: Were there any Biden supporters there as well? Have you seen them?

FADEL: Yeah. I mean, there were no counterprotesters there. They're going to have a rally on the Strip later. But a few cars were driving by, screaming expletives out the window as they taunted the protesters and repeated that Biden is president. I'll let you listen in.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: Biden's president.

Wait till Monday. We'll go to court.

Biden.

We're going to court.

Biden.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: Who's president now?

Oh, my God.

FADEL: You can hear how ugly it is. But like I said, this was a small group. It was peaceful. And, frankly, most Las Vegans supporters of Biden or Trump were at home, not in the streets yelling at each other. But the exchange speaks to the deep and angry divisions that exist right now and the challenge that may pose to a President Biden.

MARTIN: And to that end, though, the sense of - you've heard the president-elect, the former Vice President Joe Biden talk about, repeatedly, in recent days the need to lower the temperature, that - to be the president of all people and not - he says he ran as a Democrat. He's going to govern as an American president.

FADEL: Yeah.

MARTIN: And despite that, there has been this kind of undertone of tension and fears of actual confrontations beyond just words. Have you seen anything like that there, even given that you said that you've got somebody wearing kind of the usual gear of somebody associated with that anti-government sort of Proud Boys movement? What are law enforcement sources telling you? What have you seen about that?

FADEL: Right, no. I mean, Election Day was peaceful here and really across the country. In Nevada, the protests have been peaceful. There have been some issues in other parts of the country. But I think the worry is more in the now. Will the president's more diehard supporters accept these results? And if they don't, what does that mean? So there's a lot of tension and concern more about the days to come.

MARTIN: That is NPR's Leila Fadel in Las Vegas. Leila, thank you.

FADEL: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.