Note: This article contained a number of false claims and has been retracted. According to a local media source, “By the time Trump spoke, the Bay Center appeared to be crowded, with several hundred people left outside because they arrived after the doors were locked.”
President Donald Trump boasted of “packed to the rafters” crowds for his Friday night campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida. Photographic evidence from the arena venue for his speech tells a different tale, harkening back to inflated inauguration crowd claims.
Trump started the attendance debate by claiming a “big crowd expected today in Pensacola” in a Friday morning tweet. Trump followed that tweet with on claiming Alabama Democratic Party senate nominee Doug Jones is “bad on Crime, Life, Border, Vets, Guns and Military. Vote Roy Moore!”
Tuesday is the special election for the Alabama senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Early Saturday morning, President Trump returned to the subject of crowd sizes.
“Great evening last night in Pensacola, Florida. Arena was packed to the rafters, the crowd was loud, loving and really smart,” Trump claimed. “They definitely get what’s going on.”
The internet disagreed that the crowd was big, packed to the rafters and really smart.
Thoughts and Prayers to @realDonaldTrump: That you couldn't draw a crowd at the Tree Lighting in DC is one thing, but if you can't draw a crowd in #Pensacola, the heart of the Redneck Riveria, means it's time for you to pack your bathrobe and dentures. hun. You are over. Bye! pic.twitter.com/L1D0Wihyi8
— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) December 9, 2017
The rafters in this arena are built into the floor.
— Mitch Kanter (@mknymn) December 9, 2017
— Jerry Jordan (@Jerry_Jordan) December 9, 2017
UPDATE [12:45 PM Eastern, December 9, 2017]: The initial version of this story included two Tweets that have since been deleted by their authors. One picture included a green arrow that claimed to point to President Trump. Further video evidence show that it was not.
Additionally, we must clarify that further video evidence shows a larger crowd, though no photos have yet emerged showing a “packed” crowd.
To provide fuller context, we have included video below. The upper deck behind the stage is not full in any of the photos.
.@POTUS @FoxNews @TuckerCarlson @seanhannity @jessebwatters SO FULL they had to turn ppl away. People were still pouring in when I video taped this piece. 🇺🇸🇺🇸👍👍 #MAGA #He’sDaBomb pic.twitter.com/PSHgHgHpsJ
— Cl_USARocks 🇺🇸 (@usarocks_c) December 9, 2017
For instance, this video shows a fuller crowd, but still shows a largely empty upper seating section behind the stage.
— Matthew mckinnon (@Blueneptune180) December 9, 2017