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In Ariz., Mormon Working Mom Explains Why She's Supporting Trump


And I'm David Greene at member station KJZZ in Phoenix for our project Divided States. We're meeting four voters this morning, and then we're going to bring them back tomorrow to hear what they thought about tonight's vice presidential debate. First, Eileen Eagar. She is a real estate broker, and she is supporting Donald Trump. And one thing we talked about was The New York Times report that Trump may not have paid taxes for 18 years. If that is true, she said, Trump is just taking advantage of legal loopholes.

EILEEN EAGAR: And I have done the same through the years. So there have been years when I did not pay taxes. However, I own several income properties. Trump owns multiples of properties. Think about the property taxes he pays. And people aren't aware of the fact, but actually your property taxes are the ones that pay for the schools. Your property taxes pay for the roads because those are county charges. He is probably paying more taxes, if you really looked into it, in that respect.

GREENE: OK. So more about Eileen Eagar. She is from Chicago. At one point, she was a single mom raising two kids, and I asked how tough that was.

EAGAR: Well, tough enough that, you know, occasionally had to go out on a date where I would order a big steak that I didn't even want to eat. And then I'd put it in a bag and take it home for the kids. (Laughter) So that's pretty darn tough. I worked at the steel mills. I was a secretary there, and as a matter of fact, that's where I met my husband.

GREENE: That was her second husband, and they moved to Tucson about 60 miles from the Mexican border. He is a Mormon, and so she converted. Now, many Mormons have serious concerns about the fact that Donald Trump has called for a temporary ban on Muslims but not Eileen.

EAGAR: I'm going to tell you something that maybe you don't know about the Mormons. So at one time, when the Mormon church first began, they would congregate naturally together just like the Muslim people do. And pretty soon someone would run for a public office. Well, then they would be chased out of that place because of the fact that the local people were concerned about the power of that Mormon group of people. They were chased clear across the country until they came to Utah. So in a way, I understand completely Trump saying he would ban the Muslims from coming here. But do you understand why he says that? Are you a little bit afraid that somebody might walk into your school where your children are because he wants to kill anyone who doesn't believe the same way that he does? See and that's the difference between the Mormons that were chased and the Muslims. The Mormons wanted to live peaceably amongst the people. The Muslims want to come here and change, many of them, what we're doing. If they believe in the Quran, that's what they want to do. And their goal, many of them, is to kill us.

GREENE: Now, you say many of them, their goal is to kill. Do you really believe that, that it's many? Because some have said that, you know, there are very isolated cases of extremist Muslims but that to suggest it's many would be, you know, basically, you know, discriminating against an entire religion.

EAGAR: Well, I think that we need to look at what's happening in the United States right now. These bombings and shootings that we are seeing, it's these radical Islamists that are coming in, and they are trying to frighten us. And it's a plan that has been in place for 10 years or longer. It's a caliphate. So what I want - I love these people. I have a couple that came to us. They spoke at our meeting last Tuesday.

GREENE: These are Muslims?

EAGAR: Well, I don't know. I don't know.


EAGAR: But I welcomed them into my home. They are from Iran. They are probably Muslim, but they say that they do not believe in it. But they were here in my home at my meeting, so I am not against them. I want them vetted. I am against the ones who are extremists and we cannot sort them out.

GREENE: I saw a few studies that suggested that the majority of mass killings in the United States are carried out by white men and not by Muslims. Does that - does that put your fears at ease at all?

EAGAR: No because I don't believe it.

GREENE: So do you think this debate is important, the vice presidential one?

EAGAR: I think it's important, but I don't know that other people even care about it at all.

GREENE: But you'll be watching it. And I'm very - what are you looking for? What do you hope to get out of it?

EAGAR: I'm hoping that Pence will say the things that Trump did not say because he was so concerned about being criticized for attacking Hillary. He had many things to attack her on, and he didn't do it because I'm sure that he was told that he had to kind of lay back a little bit because, you know, people will perceive that he is attacking a woman. I'm so tired of that woman stuff. I'm as strong as any man around. And most of the women I know are as strong or stronger than I am. And we don't do cutesy things that Hillary was doing in that debate where she was sitting there kind of flirting with the cameras and...

GREENE: Did you - you said flirting with the cameras?

EAGAR: Oh, my gosh, yes. You saw it. She was, like, shaking her head and kind of flirting with the camera and, you know, trying to pull the sweetsy (ph) card. We don't do that.

GREENE: OK. That was Eileen Eagar. She is a Donald Trump supporter near Tucson. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

David Greene
David Greene is an award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author. He is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, the most listened-to radio news program in the United States, and also of NPR's popular morning news podcast, Up First.