After Photos Show Many Empty Seats, Trump Claims His Florida Rally Was 'Packed to the Rafters'

Editor’s note: An earlier photo showed the Trump rally as the seats were filling up. Videos below show blocks of empty seats in the upper deck with only a few rally attendees standing at the rails.


President Donald Trump boasted of “packed to the rafters” crowds for his Friday night campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida. Photographic evidence from the arena venue for his speech tells a different tale, harkening back to inflated inauguration crowd claims.

Trump started the attendance debate by claiming a “big crowd expected today in Pensacola” in a Friday morning tweet. Trump followed that tweet with on claimingAlabama Democratic Party senate nominee Doug Jones is “bad on Crime, Life, Border, Vets, Guns and Military. Vote Roy Moore!”

Tuesday is the special election for the Alabama senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Early Saturday morning, President Trump returned to the subject of crowd sizes.

“Great evening last night in Pensacola, Florida. Arena was packed to the rafters, the crowd was loud, loving and really smart,” Trump claimed. “They definitely get what’s going on.”

The internet disagreed that the crowd was big, packed to the rafters and really smart.

UPDATE [12:45 PM Eastern, December 9, 2017]: The initial version of this story included two Tweets that have since been deleted by their authors. One picture included a green arrow that claimed to point to President Trump. Further video evidence show that it was not.

Additionally, we must clarify that further video evidence shows a larger crowd, though no photos have yet emerged showing a “packed” crowd.

To provide fuller context, we have included svideo below. The upper deck behind the stage is not full in any of the photos.

For instance, this video shows a fuller crowd, but still shows a largely empty upper seating section behind the stage.

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