White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has been roasted on social media after she claimed that a million people had turned up to a rally in support of US President Donald Trump.
The march, held on Saturday US time in Washington DC, is known under various names including the Million MAGA March (MAGA being Mr Trump’s slogan of “Make America Great Again”), “March for Trump” and “Stop the Steal”.
The protest has brought together thousands of Trump voters, many of who are claiming the election was rigged and votes weren’t counted. Those claims, which emanate from the Trump camp, have not been proven.
While some of those protesting are everyday Trump supporters there are also some less savoury elements to the rally including neo-Nazis and extremist far-right group The Proud Boys.
Footage has emerged of violence breaking out with some Trump supporters being assaulted and abused as night fell. Arrests have been made.
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Earlier in the day, Ms McEnany appeared to take the Million MAGA March name literally.
As the crowd gathered, Ms McEnany tweeted screen grabs from Fox News and said the march was “AMAZING!”
“More than one MILLION marchers for President Trump descend on swamp in support.”
While there was certainly a crowd over one or two city blocks, it seemed to be a lot fewer people than a million. Some media have reported the crowd as being around 10,000 strong.
Ms McEnany’s throwaway “million” line led to some ribbing.
“Big Sean Spicer energy here,” said Sawyer Hackett who was a staffer in the Obama administration referring to one of Ms McEnany’s predecessors who falsely said Mr Trump’s 2017 inauguration attracted the biggest crowd of such an event in history.
Others pointed out that when you zoomed out the crowd thinned out.
Journalist Max Burns said “The inability to tell the difference between a Thousand MAGA March and a Million MAGA March is another reason Trump lost the counts in GA, PA, MI, AZ, NV and WI.”
CNN said there were not “remotely” one million people at the Million MAGA March.
Mr Trump himself railed at suggestions the march wasn’t massive.
He tweeted out a snap from Dan Scavino, the White House Deputy Communications Director, showing what appeared to me a much fuller crowd.
“FoxNews and the Fake News Networks aren’t showing these massive gatherings. Instead they have their reporters standing in almost empty streets. We now have SUPPRESSION BY THE PRESS. MAGA!”
To be fair to Fox News, the station has actually said the crowds at the march are “huge”
The network said “tens of thousands” of people were in attendance.
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Indeed, most TV stations have said the protest is large and has attracted “thousands”.
With the President largely shunning public appearances, Ms McEnany has been in the spotlight since the election enthusiastically boosting Mr Trump’s claims of voting irregularities. But it hasn’t all been plain sailing.
On Tuesday Fox News cut away from a briefing being held by Ms McEnany after she made unsubstantiated claims relating to illegal voting. On Friday, when asked if Mr Trump would attend Mr Biden’s inauguration, she somewhat perplexingly told Fox Business that “I think the president will attend his own inauguration because he’s getting a second term“.