Trump's insecurity about his crowd size is infamous — and it's not getting any better.
Trump is notoriously obsessed with the size of his crowds, often exaggerating his numbers and falsely claiming to break records when his crowds do nothing of the sort.
So when an image of empty seats at Trump's MAGA rally in New Hampshire last week went viral — along with the hashtag#EmptySeatMAGATour — Trump didn't take it well. Several days later, he is still insisting his crowd was the biggest ever, while raging against the "Fake and Corrupt News" for not reporting on his supposedly massive turnout.
"Massive overflow crowds in New Hampshire last week," he tweeted Monday. "Couldn’t get into packed SNHU Arena. Fake and Corrupt News would like you to believe otherwise. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"
It was the fourth time since the rally that Trump tweeted about his crowd, each time insisting there was "tremendous overflow" at the "packed arena" and that "thousands" more gathered outside but could not get into the "maxed out" arena.
It's the kind of claim Trump regularly makes about his crowds, regardless of facts. In February, Trump claimed his rally in El Paso had 35,000 people in attendance. He made this claim while insulting former Rep. Beto O'Rouke, who was also holding a rally in El Paso at the same time. Trump scoffed that O'Rouke only had a few hundred people at best.
The city's fire department, however, destroyed Trump's lie. A spokesperson for the fire department said the venue of Trump's rally held 6,500 people, and that's how many were allowed inside. O'Rouke's rally, on the other hand, was estimated to have 10,000 to 15,000 people.
That kind of fact-checking, though, hasn't in any way dissuaded Trump from boasting about his crowd sizes. He even bragged about his El Paso rally crowd size when he was there earlier this month, ostensibly to comfort a city grieving the loss of 22 people who were gunned down in a mass shooting by a white supremacist.
Trump is so insecure about the size of his crowds that he triggered an investigation by the inspector general of the Interior Department to determine whether the crowd at his inauguration was larger than the one at President Barack Obama's inauguration. Trump's crowd was much smaller, but that didn't stop his first White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, from baselessly insisting, on his first day on the job back in 2017, that Trump's "was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period."
Now, thanks to a silly trending hashtag and a photograph of empty chairs, Trump is desperately trying to convince the world of his latest crowd size, while lashing out at one of his favorite targets — the free press — for letting anyone think otherwise.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.