Trump Caught Lying About Crowd Size After Widespread Empty Seats


Donald Trump was apparently attuned to the size of the crowd that turned out this weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to see his headlining speech– and, it seemed, he predictably turned to lying about it.

“CPAC was packed for my speech, you couldn’t get into the building,” Trump claimed online this Monday. “A special thanks to the area Fire Department for making it work so well. Great job!” He’s thanking local members of the relevant fire department for something it doesn’t seem actually happened. And we’re supposed to trust this guy to be levelheaded enough to handle matters of national policy in areas like the economy and defense? This is the guy Republicans want us to accept — someone who is so detached from the basics of the documented reality in front of him that he’s lying about something this fundamental, a kind of lying that with Trump obviously goes back a long while.

Footage from his speech shows plenty of empty seats. Although the crowd was larger than the crowds who showed up for other speakers including Nikki Haley and Donald Trump Jr., a series of rows towards the back were still largely empty. Sources including ABC News documented the space left in the conference hall, which was at a resort in the D.C. area.

Notably, Trump’s speech was also disrupted at one juncture by a protester who started loudly broadcasting a recording of the hip-hop song “Fuck Donald Trump.” Members of the predictably pro-Trump crowd at the convention reacted antagonistically to this show of opposition, and police eventually escorted the demonstrator from the premises, although Trump didn’t react much, at least in the moment. A clip made available of the demonstrator exiting shows them doing so without much of an apparent fuss after making their point.

In his actual speech, Trump used the same kind of apocalyptic language that fueled the Capitol riot. You’d of course hope that security personnel would be better prepared for something like that show of support for Trump and opposition to what in reality were the basic processes of democracy should another instance of it threaten to unfold. “This is the final battle,” he told CPAC. “They know it. I know it, you know it, and everybody knows it, this is it. Either they win or we win. And if they win, we no longer have a country.” That’s not a great line of thinking to encourage among Trump’s fanatical followers!