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Trump Inauguration Road Trip Revisted: Liberty University Student Remains Hopeful

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

This week, we're checking in with a couple of people I met about a hundred days ago when I took a road trip through the South on the eve of President Trump's inauguration. Earlier, we heard from a North Carolina pastor who opposes Trump. Today, Kayla Bailey, a student at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. When we met, she and other students were headed to Washington to watch Trump's swearing-in. She told me she hoped the new president would do something to help her home state of West Virginia.

KAYLA BAILEY: We've seen a really big decline in our economy, and a lot of people are addicted to drugs and just really have no hope anymore. And so I'd really like to see sort of my home state get better because, after eight years, I've just - it's been a really hard process to watch people suffer.

SHAPIRO: And Kayla Bailey is back with us now.

Hi, there.

BAILEY: Hi.

SHAPIRO: Well, let's start with your home state. You hoped that West Virginia would begin to turn around. Have you seen President Trump take steps that make you hopeful?

BAILEY: I do have some hope because Trump did sign an executive order that combats opioid addiction, which is a step in the right direction in my opinion. And I just hope that what comes out of that is that people get better. I think that's the main goal, for people to not be hurting and for people to really just have a life that is normal and not filled with drug addiction and all the different things that come with it.

SHAPIRO: What else has President Trump done that you've really cheered?

BAILEY: I wouldn't say cheered, but I respected what he did with the Syrian airstrikes. I think what happened was unjust and absolutely terrible. I mean, everyone saw the videos of the children that were just in such awful, awful pain. And I think what he did was a calculated and accurate response to what happened. I think that was a smart move for him.

Also, he spoke to Planned Parenthood and said that he would be fine keeping their funding if they would just stop giving abortions, which, of course, Planned Parenthood said that that's not possible, but at least he's starting a conversation. Because Planned Parenthood does provide contraceptives and cancer screenings and all the things that some people may not be able to afford, and I think that's great. But at what cost?

SHAPIRO: Are there areas where President Trump has disappointed you in his first a hundred days?

BAILEY: I think maybe some of his PR choices haven't been the best (laughter).

SHAPIRO: What do you mean by that?

BAILEY: Sometimes I think with the way he communicates may not be the most presidential thing I've ever seen in my life. I'm only 19, so I've only seen - well, I started out with Bush and then Obama and now Trump. And Obama and Bush were very presidential in the way that they spoke and the way that they handled themselves. And with his address to Congress, I think he did a great job with being a little bit more presidential. But since then, I think that might be - his communication skills, I'd say, maybe aren't the best.

SHAPIRO: I know you are an evangelical Christian. And...

BAILEY: I am.

SHAPIRO: ...You've been concerned about the travel ban and how that squares with Christian teachings.

BAILEY: Yes.

SHAPIRO: What are your thoughts there?

BAILEY: So predominantly throughout the Bible, it talks about how we should take care of those who are being persecuted. And that's exactly what the Syrian refugees are. I mean, they are literally running for their lives, and I think that's something that Christians can't ignore. We want to protect ourselves. We want to protect the freedom that America has given us. But also, I feel like, as Christians, it would go against our values to turn a blind eye to people in need.

SHAPIRO: Kayla Bailey is finishing up her freshman year at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. Thanks for taking a break from studying for finals to talk with us.

BAILEY: No problem.

(SOUNDBITE OF METRIXX'S "TUNNEL VISION") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.