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Viral Photo Misidentified as Trump Tulsa Crowd

Quick Take

Social media accounts supportive of President Donald Trump have been sharing a photo of a large outdoor crowd with the false claim that it shows the scene outside of Trump’s Tulsa rally. It actually shows the Rolling Thunder event near Washington, D.C. in 2019.

Full Story

Although President Donald Trump had expected to fill the 19,000-seat arena for his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma — with overflow crowds next door — there were whole sections of empty seats at the June 20 event.

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The Tulsa Fire Department reported that about 6,200 tickets were scanned for the event. The Trump campaign has disputed that number, saying that the attendance figure was actually closer to 12,000.

What’s not in dispute, though, is that the campaign canceled speeches that were planned for an outdoor overflow crowd when that crowd didn’t materialize.

But you wouldn’t know that by looking at Trump fan accounts on social media, which have been posting a picture of an outdoor crowd near Washington, D.C. in 2019 with the bogus claim that it shows the overflow crowd in Tulsa.

Many of the pictures were shared with a caption attached that claimed: “A small crowd has gathered for the Trump Rally in Tulsa

The Berks County Republican Committee’s Facebook page posted the picture the day after Trump’s rally with this claim: “SHARE THIS FAR AND WIDE AS THE LEFT IS TRYING TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE TRUMP SUPPORTERS DIDN’T SHOW UP FOR TRUMP!”

But the picture actually shows the start of an annual motorcycle ride through Washington, D.C. that highlights veterans’ issues and honors prisoners of war. It’s hosted by an organization called Rolling Thunder. The picture shows a crowd of participants gathered in the north parking lot of the Pentagon, where the ride began on May 26, 2019.

Other photos from that day, some of which were featured on the Facebook page for Rolling Thunder Washington, D.C., show a similar angle of the scene as is featured in the picture now being shared with the false information. The same white Jeep is visible in the foreground as is the black truck in the crowd and the white-topped tents.

Artie Muller, executive director of Rolling Thunder confirmed to FactCheck.org that the photo being shared on social media shows the event. “That’s how it always looks,” he said.

So, the picture shows a crowd near Washington, D.C. in 2019, not the crowd for Trump’s Tulsa rally.

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6 comments

  1. You failed to mention that approximately 11 million people watched the rally on TV. With the threat of disturbances from the left, it’s no wonder that the crowd was not as large as was hoped. Trump supporters and those individuals on the left who want a country, will make their feelings known in November.

    • Do you wrote this ignorant article to show not as many people showed as expected.
      You sound like a 12 year old.
      What you conveniently left out was the thousands outside that were being harrassed & attacked by the foul mouths, & vicious left groups.
      With all that is going on, not only in the USA, but other parts of the world, you proved to all that your not anyway near a real journalist, but a immature leftist punk. Grow up.

  2. Really? I think this is fake news as well. The crowd was not there because the tickets were taken by anti-trumpers to take it away from people who could not get it in. Try again and again to demean. It doesn’t work with people who know what really happened. I loved watching it on my TV.

  3. Funny I never seen the second photo nor the first! WHY ARE YOU SPOUTING FAKE NEWS!

  4. Fox news reported AN ALL-TIME HIGH viewership of 7.7 MILLION who watched it on TV to go with the 11 or 12 Million who watched online.
    Between the Lamestream media spouting that everyone who goes is going to be infected with Covid 19 and the constant threat of physical violence from the BLM mob. Did you really expect people to bring their families to this event?
    MORE FAKE NEWS.
    Nice try though…

  5. Between the Lamestream media spouting that everyone who goes is going to be infected with Covid 19 and the constant threat of physical violence from the BLM mob. Did you really expect people to bring their families to this event?
    Fox news reported AN ALL-TIME HIGH viewership of 7.7 MILLION who watched it on TV to go with the 11 or 12 Million who watched online.
    MORE FAKE NEWS.
    Nice try though…

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