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Pro-Trump rally in New York ‘outnumbered five to one by journalists’

Poorly-attended protest follows former president’s social media post warning of potentially imminent arrest

Joe Sommerlad
Tuesday 21 March 2023 12:46 GMT
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Related: Trump's lawyer claims rich people pay people 'to go away'

A rally in support of embattled former president Donald Trump in New York on Monday afternoon was so sparsely attended that one reporter at the scene estimated the ratio of journalists to protesters was five to one.

Mr Trump is under investigation by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg over a $130,000 hush money payment allegedly made to porn star Stormy Daniels on his behalf in 2016 to stay silent about a sexual encounter the pair allegedly had a decade earlier.

The Republican luxury property tycoon has denied the affair and insisted the money was paid to his estranged former attorney Michael Cohen to cover unrelated legal expenses and was not intended to pay off Ms Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford).

She, however, extensively documented her side of the story in a 2018 memoir entitled Full Disclosure, which contradicts Mr Trump’s version of events.

Mr Trump posted on his own media platform Truth Social on Saturday that he expected to be arrested this week and called on his supporters to “PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK”, prompting the New York Young Republican Club to leap into action and organise a demonstration outside of Mr Bragg’s office.

NBC reporter Ben Collins attended the event and wrote in a Twitter thread: “Not a joke, there are more reporters here than Trump supporters.This was supposed to be the big one.

“It’s just a bunch of cameras taking pictures of a guy who is putting on a rat suit next to a guitar with the words Hang Fauci on it.

“The ratio of press to actual protesters at this pro-Trump rally in New York is probably 5:1. Maybe more than that.”

Jaded by experience, Mr Collins noticed a passerby yelling “F*** Trump” and being filmed by aggrieved pro-Trump YouTubers, and observed: “I’ve been to a zillion of these and every time it’s the same thing. Surround the one counter-protestor and make gristle for the right wing content mines. So dumb. Anyway, it’s completely dead here.”

Offering a similar perspective was Huffington Post reporter Christopher Matthias, who tweeted: “Media far outnumbers protesters at this point.”

Mr Matthias interviewed the man noticed by Mr Collins playing an out-of-tune guitar bearing stickers saying “Hang Fauci and Gates” (in reference to Dr Anthony Fauci and Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates) and “Plandemic” who refused to give his name but did say he not only hoped to see Dr Fauci murdered but also tortured.

“We want to torture him for three years first,” he said, adding: “Poke his eyes out, let him live with one eye and, like, bleed.”

Gavin Wax, president of the New York Young Republican Club, meanwhile declined to be embarrassed about the poor turnout for his event, insisting: “We purposefully kept it small.”

He continued: “Everyone can make fun of however many people are here, but we’re in lower Manhattan, I mean, this is not Tennessee, this is not Alabama.

“Someone like Trump has no problem getting crowds.”

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