Crowd size at political events seems to be a sensitive subject for President Donald Trump. On Sept. 16, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren held a rally in New York City's Washington Square Park, and her campaign reported that more than 20,000 people attended the event. But according to Politico, Trump told reporters that he didn't believe Warren had gotten that many people to attend her rally — and given his history with attendance at his own events, Trump's comments about Warren's crowd size are super petty.
Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, Trump reportedly said on Sept. 17 that “anybody” can attract crowds “standing in the middle of Manhattan in the most densely populated area of the country.”
"Certainly, if I went to Manhattan, if I went there — number one, she didn’t have 20,000 people and number two, I think anybody would get a good crowd there," Trump said, without providing any evidence for his claim. The White House did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for comment on his remarks. "I think you have a good crowd there if you don’t even go there, just say you’re going and how many people are in the park.”
Trump then went on to argue that he had gotten "large crowds in areas that nobody’s ever seen crowds before." Separately, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation told Elite Daily in an email that Washington Square Park's event capacity is 10,000, and that it could not corroborate the Warren campaign's estimated attendance of 20,000. The Warren campaign did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for comment on the size of the crowd.
Ever since his inauguration in January 2017, crowd size has been something of a sore subject for Trump. Following his inauguration, Trump claimed that at least 1 million people had descended on Washington D.C. to attend, going so far as to claim that Trump had attracted the largest inauguration audience in history. When photos of the crowd at Trump's inauguration surfaced on social media, many people speculated that Trump had overestimated how many people had attended the event. In January 2017, crowd scientists estimated that there were around 160,000 people on the National Mall in the hours leading up to Trump's inauguration, about one-third of the number of people who showed up for the inaugural Women's March in Washington D.C. the next day, per The New York Times. The White House did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for comment on previous claims about the crowd size at Trump's inauguration.
That was just the beginning of Trump's apparent obsession with crowd size as president. Since his inauguration, Trump has regularly boasted about the high attendance at his rallies and events, Vox reported, even in the aftermath of natural disasters and tragedies. After an August rally in New Hampshire, for example, Trump tweeted that the venue had been "maxed out." Although Vox reported that Trump did indeed break the arena's attendance record, his critics pointed out on social media that there were still some empty seats in the crowd, and even got the hashtag #EmptySeatMAGATour trending on Twitter.
Whether or not 20,000 people actually attended Warren's rally in Washington Square Park, Trump's comments to reporters indicate that crowd size is still very important to him. But with his disapproval rating hovering around 54%, per FiveThirtyEight, it's clear that he's in for a long fight for reelection in 2020, as a crowded field of Democrats seek to take his place in the White House.