CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Critics of President Trump saw in his Thursday news conference a combative, thin-skinned chief executive who continues to blame the media for the controversies roiling his administration.

His supporters saw something else: A champion of Middle America who is taking on the establishment and making good on his campaign promises to put the country first.

The Associated Press contacted Trump supporters across the country to see how they viewed a news conference in which the president said his administration was running like “a fine-tuned machine” despite the resignation of his top national security adviser, a court setback on his immigration order, a defeat for his nominee as labor secretary and reports of internal divisions.

Here are views of some of those supporters:

Richelle Kirk of Logan, West Virginia, watched some of Trump’s news conference and didn’t see any head-scratching comments from the president.

“I back him 100 percent,” said the 42-year-old stay-at-home mom. “You either love it or get out, is my opinion.”

During President Obama’s presidency, her husband was laid off from his coal-mining job, a loss they blamed on Obama’s environmental policies. She said they lost a home and “everything we owned.”

Reporters, she said, “need to leave (Trump) alone. He’s just doing what he said he’s going to do.”

Regina Lenoir of Picayune, Mississippi, enjoyed watching Trump’s news conference and said the president “looked more relaxed.”

Lenoir, 69, said she was most interested in Trump’s comments about the alleged leaks that led to the resignation of Michael Flynn as national security adviser.

“We don’t know the conversation that happened between him and (Vice President Mike) Pence. Only they know. But the news media gets out there (and) says such and such with no corroboration,” she said.

Kevin Felty of Norfolk, Virginia, said it was the “most impressive presidential press conference” of his life.

“Largely because it was so unorthodox,” said Felty, 48, who works as a surgical assistant and sells life insurance. “It was hyper adversarial between the president and the press. And yet he was able to control the questioning and the tone and the mood in the room.”

Felty said the media needs to move on regarding Russia and Flynn. “There was nothing illegal that General Flynn had done at that time,” Felty said. “What he did do is make a mistake in not being accurate with the vice president.”

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