The Trump administration is leaving office the same way it started: lying about crowd size.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who pointedly promised in May to “never” lie to Americans, falsely tweeted that Saturday’s “Million MAGA March” in support of the president lived up to its name.
The Washington Post estimates it is more likely a few thousand people attended.
Her comments were almost an exact replay of one of the Trump administration’s first acts in office, claiming in 2017 that “alternative facts” showed the president had the biggest inauguration crowd size ever, which wasn’t true.
Commenters online quickly took to roasting Ms McEnany’s dubious claims.
Other observers noted that the Women’s March on Washington DC in 2017, in parts a protest against the president, drew far more people, estimated at nearly 500,000.
Even the original Million Man March, a 1995 demonstration in Washington calling for Black unity, may not have drawn one million people, though estimates vary.
However many people attended, the event was notable for other reasons. The demonstrations are in support of the president’s continued, false claim that he won the election but for widespread Democratic fraud, and violent right-wing groups like the Proud Boys are among those in attendance. The president called the protests “heartwarming,” and drove by cheering supporters at the march on Saturday.
There have been isolated incidents of violence at the demonstrations so far, including a Trump supporter trying to gouge opposition demonstrators with a Trump flag, and another Trump fan hitting a protestor with her own sign. Clashes between demonstrators began on Friday, and at least two people have been arrested, one for threats to bodily harm, and another for assaulting an officer.
It’s the latest flare-up between groups as the president continues to not acknowledge president-elect Biden’s electoral victory, which his former chief of staff John Kelly has said is harming US security.
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