Many empty seats were seen during a speech from former President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania on Saturday.
Footage of the scene was taken and shared by journalist Gabe Gutierrez, who’s with NBC News. Trump himself has long made crowd size a major issue at events featuring him, a trend that infamously extends all the way back to his inauguration as president in 2017. He has often been accused — with evidence assembled by those making these observations — of brazenly misrepresenting the size of the crowds that have gathered to listen to him. During a recent campaign swing through South Carolina, he gave an estimate for the crowd that was tens of thousands off from a number provided earlier in the day, not long before his speech began, by a Secret Service agent speaking to a local news publication.
Trump’s number was 75,000. The agent’s? 15,000, including people already checked in past the security perimeter and individuals waiting for entrance.
This time around, Trump’s appearance in Pennsylvania was taking place not long after new charges against him were delivered in a criminal case already brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith relating to his allegedly unlawful retention of highly sensitive government documents after leaving office. Donald now faces another count of allegedly unlawful retention and claims of involvement in a scheme to ultimately keep security footage from Mar-a-Lago from federal investigators. Mar-a-Lago, a southern Florida resort of the former president’s, was where many of the contested files were ultimately stored between Trump leaving office and federal authorities executing enforcement actions including the late 2022 raid.
Gutierrez captured footage of the Trump rally in Pennsylvania as the ex-president was claiming to attendees he was indicted “for you.” He remains under the threat of multiple additional criminal cases taking shape in the near future, with charges expected from Smith over Trump’s post-2020 election schemes soon. Check out Gutierrez’s clip below:
Wider view of the Trump rally in Erie pic.twitter.com/Otu2cGLeLP
— Gabe Gutierrez (@gabegutierrez) July 29, 2023