Donald Trump is obsessed with crowd sizes. Many people who’ve followed news about the now former president for any length of time probably know that… and amid his obsession, he’s still flopping, with brazen misrepresentations about his audiences’ actual sizes.
“Speaking at the Faith and Freedom conference in DC, Trump said that it’s “packed” outside of the dining room, but that’s not true,” journalist Zachary Petrizzo posted on Twitter this weekend. Petrizzo’s post included a pair of images showing almost entirely empty hallways. Inside, it wasn’t going stupendously for Trump, either, as the journalist also shared an image of Mike Huckabee (the former governor of Arkansas) seemingly falling asleep while Trump was speaking, though that obviously wasn’t confirmed.
During the actual remarks, Trump also hit some familiarly absurd descriptions of the law, claiming that outgoing presidents have effectively absolute control over records from their administrations, a point of contention which is especially relevant to him considering the criminal case he faces for his allegedly willful retention of sensitive government docs. He is flatly inaccurate in his description of the law. The Presidential Records Act outlines a system by which control over presidential records — not personal records of the president related either simply to his personal life or electoral ambitions but presidential records — generally fall under the custody of the federal agency known as the National Archives.
That agency has publicly provided extensive fact-checks for Trump’s false remarks, including a rebuttal of the idea Obama took records with him. That former president, who preceded Trump, did not harbor presidential records after leaving office.
“The PRA makes clear that, upon the conclusion of the President’s term in office, NARA assumes responsibility for the custody, control, preservation of, and access to the records of a President,” the agency said more broadly, referring to that federal law. Many of Trump’s assertions about classified documents that were found with other officeholders, like Mike Pence and Joe Biden, have also been incorrect. There is no apparent evidence of intent underlying either of the other men’s cases, and Trump’s description of Biden supposedly hiding 1,850 boxes of records from federal scrutiny is also false. They were stored at a university and made available for federal teams.
Speaking at the Faith and Freedom conference in DC, Trump said that it’s “packed” outside of the dining room, but that’s not true. pic.twitter.com/ugCgU67g8b
— Zachary Petrizzo (@ZTPetrizzo) June 25, 2023