In a well-publicized trip, former President Donald Trump, who’s hoping to reclaim that position as chief executive, recently visited a small town in South Carolina to be a featured speaker at a local celebration for July 4. During his remarks, he estimated the crowd was at 75,000 people… but shortly prior to his speech, which evidently took place around 1 p.m., a Secret Service agent provided a crowd size estimate that was way, way lower.
At 11 a.m., meaning a little before what would no doubt have been the last rush to get inside the speaking area, an agent told The Greenville News there were just 5,000 people already through the gates, with 10,000 in line. Even an estimate from a local law enforcement official, who in theory could have been more inclined to be outright favorable to Trump, put the crowd size at just two-thirds of what the former president had claimed. (That local police officer was Pickens Police Chief Randall Beach.) A big difference!
During the gathering, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — who represents that very state — got on stage to address the attendees… who loudly booed him around both the beginning and end of his remarks. At the end, he yelled “God bless America!” before making an extremely quick exit as the jeers swelled. Far-right accounts on Twitter claimed the crowd’s opposition to Graham stemmed from his general support for U.S. assistance given to the Ukrainian government amid that country’s attempts to beat back the ongoing Russian invasion. Other guests included Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).
Trump, of course, has a long history with misrepresenting the sizes of the crowds at his events. At a recent speech he gave at a conservative conference in D.C., he claimed space outside the evident dining room where he was speaking was packed, which photos from journalist Zachary Petrizzo showed wasn’t actually true. Trump has also recently spoken at the Philadelphia summit of Moms for Liberty, a conservative parents organization that has been involved in efforts to restrict the books available in schools.