In a state that played a key part in sending Donald Trump to the White House, the president's Ohio supporters have shrugged their shoulders and moved on from his decision to share highly classified information with a top Russian officials.
“A lot of the whirlwinds that surround him are just not true," said Mansfield resident John Calhoun, 74, a Trump voter who said he would vote for him again. "I think some of them are generated by Democrats."
On social media and in interviews, many Trump supporters told The Enquirer they either didn't believe the charges or didn't find them that important. Trump won Ohio last November by eight percentage points over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
"Since presidents can decide what info is secret, no crime was committed," said Bob Smith, a 66-year-old retiree from the Cincinnati suburb of West Chester.
"People are sick of 'Russia, Russia, Russia' cries all the time," said Rocky Boiman, who hosts a weeknight call-in show on 700 WLW-AM in Cincinnati.
Boiman, a Trump supporter, came to the conclusion people are simply "numb" after the Washington Post's report on Monday that Trump last week shared sensitive intelligence information about ISIS with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador.
"I gotta admit," Boiman added, "I thought the Russian ambassador scandal would be big news (Monday) night, but hardly any calls."
Political science professor David Niven isn't at all surprised by that.
“If ever a group has shown themselves to be resistant to re-calculating their conclusions, it’s been Trump supporters," said Niven, who teaches at the University of Cincinnati. "For his supporters, there’s this basic sense, he must have a reason for doing this -- that there is a larger, grander plan behind why he does everything the opposite of everyone else.”
Meanwhile, Trump's critics were outraged a day after the Post's report, "but I think the nonsupporters will eventually grow numb to it if nothing happens," said Dennis Colbert, a New Albany, Indiana, resident who voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
As he sat at a table on Fountain Square waiting to meet a friend, Colbert, 39, added: "I don't know if anything's going to happen. He's been invincible so far."
Politics shouldn't matter in this instance, Elizabeth Stockton of Cincinnati's North Avondale neighborhood told The Enquirer in an email.
"His unpredictable and dangerous behaviors require condemnation from both sides of the aisle," said Stockton, 43, a small business owner. "I'm genuinely fearful for our country, and I hope that Congressional leadership has the courage to not only speak out, but to do something to protect the people."
Clinton won Cincinnati's Hamilton County, but Greater Cincinnati went overwhelmingly for Trump.
That split was evident on social media in Cincinnati, where discussions got heated at times in separate Facebook groups focused on suburban West Chester and Mason, as well as in the Greater Cincinnati Politics Facebook Group.
• "This is fake news," wrote Paul Hillman in a suburban Cincinnati neighborhood Facebook group. He said reporters should be investigating the "illegal leaks" out of the White House.
• "Countries, whether they are allies or adversaries, should unite to fight terrorism," wrote Jay Lewis in a comment on The Enquirer's Facebook page. Russia warned the U.S. about the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, for example. "Good for Trump for being proactive. The Trump Derangement Syndrome is real. Haters going to hate regardless."
• "It's constant pick, pick, pick...I don't believe anything I read anymore. It's like the media is just trying to get dirt on Trump no matter how far they have to reach!" said Carol Westerfeld, 62, a retiree from Mason, Ohio.
• "I don't think he meant to leak classified intelligence. I'm sure he just didn't understand what he was disclosing and the ramifications of disclosing it. The problem is, with his level of narcissism, he is unable to learn from his mistakes, so it will likely happen again.blames everyone else for his missteps. Unfortunately I think that more serious lapses in judgement are just inevitable," said Christie Wilt Riggsby, a 46-year-old office manager from Mason.
On Monday, The Washington Post reported that President Trump discussed intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in a way the Russian diplomats could have identified secret sources and methods. The information — provided by another, as-yet-unnamed country — dealt with plans by the Islamic State to use laptop computers as weapons, and was so sensitive it had been withheld from allies and under close hold within the U.S. government as well.
Notably, neither Trump nor his advisers have explicitly denied the president shared classified intelligence.
Trump himself defended his right to share "facts" about terrorism and airline safety as part of a joint counterterrorism effort to fight the Islamic State.
"As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety," Trump said in a pair of tweets. "Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism."
Reporter Courtney McNaull and USA TODAY contributed.