In case you’re just waking up to the news, Tuesday night’s Trump rally in Phoenix went … well, about as well as anyone could have expected or imagined from the off-script, unhinged president. In what CNN’s Don Lemon later called a “total eclipse of the facts,” Trump’s speech only served to further pick at the festering wounds he’s inflicted upon our nation by addressing Charlottesville only in so much as how he handled the situation as commander-in-chief. (“You can’t do much better!”)
While he was at it, Trump also attacked Antifa protesters and his favorite target, the “fake news” media, while continuing to side with the Nazis and claiming that the removal of confederate statues is an effort to “take away our history and heritage.”
In other words, the whole thing was more or less a shitshow, and naturally Trump supporters and the alt-right are furiously attempting to spin it in any way they can, including the size of the crowd that showed up in support of the president. As others have pointed out, the Phoenix Civic Center, where the event was held, was filled more to capacity when Bernie Sanders held a July 2015 there.
Additionally, the unofficial Twitter account of the Tennessee Republicans also tweeted out a (now deleted) photo of the crowd size outside of the venue, which in fact was actually from the 2016 Cleveland Cavs parade. Despite the fact that it’s not even the right city, the photo quickly began getting picked up by other Trump supporters and bots — as many on Twitter are making sure to point out.
Meanwhile, Trump is congratulating himself for the “beautiful” turnout of 15,000 people for the rally. Whether or not that number includes the protesters who showed up is anyone’s best guess.