Donald Trump's first post-inauguration rally attracts a crowd almost half the size of identical 2017 event

President claimed media would not show crowd size in broadcast footage, despite event being shown on several networks

Matt Broomfield@hashtagbroom
Sunday 19 February 2017 15:35
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Trump held an identical rally to his one in Florida last year. Guess which one had a bigger crowd

Donald Trump had staged his first post-inauguration rally - but saw the Florida gathering attract a far smaller crowd than a similar pre-election event in the same state.

A total of 9,000 people flocked to the rally in the small city of Melbourne, compared to 15,000 who reportedly turned up to see the businessman speak in September

Having arrived in Air Force One and walked directly onto the stage in an airport hanger on Saturday, Mr Trump asked those present: "Do you think that one media group, that one network back there will show this crowd? Not one."

Several television networks showed footage of Mr Trump arriving and addressing the crowd.

Crowd sizes have been a key point of conflict between Mr Trump and the media. His presidency began with fierce disagreements about the size of the crowd celebrating his inauguration in Washington.

He claimed "a million and a half people" attended his inauguration, while Press Secretary Sean Spicer used his first media briefing to launch a tirade at the press, which he accused of revising the figure downwards.

After these claims were scotched by crowd scientists and photographic evidence from the day of the rally, top aide Kellyanne Conway said the Trump administration was simply using "alternative facts" to the press.

During his Presidential campaign, Mr Trump repeatedly drew comparisons between his rallies and the smaller events put on by the Clinton campaign.

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