Back in the fun, early days of Donald Trump’s presidency, the world was entertained with stories about Trump’s obsession with crowd sizes. Famously, Trump asked the acting director of the National Parks Service to find out who tweeted an image that accurately compared the crowd sizes at President Obama and Trump’s inaugurations (reminder: there were more people at Obama’s). Yes, the obsession with crowd sizes gave us both “alternative facts” as well as the first of many indignities that Reince Priebus would subject himself to in trying to defend the administration. While many thought that crowd sizes were a thing of the past, Trump is content to play the hits.
According to Bloomberg, Trump was so mad about the relatively small crowd at his Phoenix rally that he fired his longtime rally organizer. Per a source, Trump watched pre-rally TV coverage backstage and started fuming as the people on TV reported and showed that the Phoenix Convention Center was less than full. Even after the crowd size grew as the rally’s stated start time approached, it was too late:
As his surrogates warmed up the audience, the expanse of shiny concrete eventually filled in with cheering Trump fans. But it was too late for a longtime Trump aide, George Gigicos, the former White House director of advance who had organized the event as a contractor to the Republican National Committee. Trump later had his top security aide, Keith Schiller, inform Gigicos that he’d never manage a Trump rally again, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Bloomberg cites Trump’s anger about the turnout as one of the reasons Trump was so combative during the rally that touched on his Charlottesville comments, attacking Arizona’s sitting senators, as well as threatening to shut down the government if the border wall isn’t funded, among other things. According to a city of Phoenix spokeswoman, there were about 10,000 people in the crowd by the time Trump took the stage.
Gigicos organized all of Trump’s previous rallies and received praise or blame from the President depending on how things went. At a rally in Florida in January 2016, Trump’s microphone experienced some issues which led to Trump yelling, “The stupid mic keeps popping! Do you hear that, George? Don’t pay them! Don’t pay them!”
(We’re excited to see what Jared Kushner does with his sure-to-be-announced-soon new responsibilities.)
On a related note, Trump visited the hurricane-ravaged Corpus Christi today and said this: “What a crowd! What a turnout!”