Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender, who spent two years embedded at former president Donald Trump's rallies, says people are drawn to the events in part because "many of them are estranged from their families."
"They found a sense of community there," Bender said Tuesday morning on CNN's New Day during an interview about his new book, "Frankly, We Did Win This Election."
"People who have time to go to 20-30 rallies are estranged from their families, don't have families themselves, and they found their own little family here, which in a way, Trump enriched their lives," Bender added. "It's important to understand them in order to understand what happened on Jan. 6 and why thousands of people keep showing up to his rallies."
Host John Berman, a Grateful Dead fan, compared Trump rally-goers to "deadheads."
"It's people who go from show to show to show, except they're not holding up a finger saying, 'I need a miracle,'" Berman said. "They're trying to get tickets to all these Trump events and following him like he's a prophet."
Berman read an excerpt from Bender's book detailing how he stayed in touch with a woman from Trump's rallies who later attended the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
"We're all on the edge of our seats waiting to hear about the next event," the woman named Sandra says in the book. "Now we're like an Army, and it's like boots on the ground. Tell us where we need to go. Tell us where we need to be. Nobody cares about if they have to work. Nobody cares about anything."
"For a lot of Trump supporters, he gave voice to a lot of their insecurities, their grievances – and draws a lot of people into politics for the first time," Bender said.
Berman concluded the segment by saying, "When he lies to them, many of these people are buying it, and when the people inside the White House know better and don't publicly stand up to him, it's allowing it to happen."
Michael Bender on CNN's New Day www.youtube.com