As the president’s visit to Minneapolis drew near last week, a bevy of rumors, half-truths, and hoaxes sprung in his wake. Here’s a roundup of the fake news spread mostly by his followers, the very people who complain most:
A photo of people lining up to see Trump
Truth rating: Naw
On Thursday, a Twitter user put out a weirdly low-fi photo of people waiting in a queue, claiming there were “lines extending OUTSIDE OF THE PARKING lot” for the Trump rally.
“It’s a freakin’ rock concert,” he tweeted. “I’ve never seen anything like it!”
There are lines extending OUTSIDE OF THE PARKING lot for the #TrumpMinneapolis rally at the Target Center.— The Best American (@best_american) October 10, 2019
It’s a freakin’ rock concert. I’ve never seen anything like it! #KAG2020 #TRUMP2020 pic.twitter.com/5hqRy1edtB
That last part is actually true. The Best American never saw this happen. The photo was taken in Montana in 2017, according to a quick reverse image search, but locals could tell at a glance something was up. For one thing, it was drizzly and overcast in Minneapolis that day. For another, the wide blue horizon looked nothing like the setting of the rally venue in the heart of downtown.
“Minneapolis has buildings,” one commenter pointed out.
Later that day, The Best American followed up claiming it was all an elaborate joke.
“It’s funny how liberals don’t realize that I’m obviously trolling them for a laugh!” he said.
But most of the commenters didn’t quite buy that either.
“You’re very bad at this,” one said.
The same goes for this picture claiming to be folks waiting outside the Target Center, shared by the Far Right of Left Facebook account.
The rally had about 45,000 supporters in attendance
Truth rating: Probbo not
This rumor comes, in part, from Trump himself, who announced at the event that there were "20,000-plus” attendees inside, on top of “25,000 people we still love outside.”
“And close to 100,000 people wanted to come tonight.”
These figures were parroted across the internet. According to MPR, the Target Center can hold “roughly 20,000 people.” But photos of the rally showed swaths of empty seats in the upper deck.
“The president’s assertion that 25,000 people were left on the outside is dubious given that an overflow space wasn’t full and reporters on the outside of the arena saw nothing nearing that number,” MPR said.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey removed all the portable toilets from the rally
Truth rating: Naw
Various social media users accused Frey of some underhanded subterfuge. There was a rumor floating around online that Frey had removed all the porta johns near the rally, ostensibly to tamp down attendance. Missives like these were coming Frey’s way all day Thursday.
What happened to all the toilets, crybaby ?— ����Laura���� (@flasunshine929) October 11, 2019
The city eventually clarified things later that day, noting it's the event organizers’ job to provide toilets, not the mayor’s. Shortly afterward, organizers provided a row of port-a-potties for desperate Trump supporters stuck in line.
Frey banned reporters from interviewing Trump supporters
Truth rating: Nope
Minnesota Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan accused Frey of banning “tv cameras and media” from interviewing rally-goers in the skyways. Several outlets reporting from the skyway clearly disproved that. A city spokesperson told KARE 11 that most skyways are actually owned and controlled by businesses. For certain events, some skyway paths may be restricted for security reasons.
Still, Carnahan doubled down by saying the ban had been lifted because Frey realized “this isn’t Nodth [sic] Korea.”
“It’s not Nodth Korea,” a commenter replied. “It’s Minneonapolis.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar was among the masked protesters fighting with Trump supporters
Truth rating: Probbo not
Some Twitter users circulated photos and video claiming one of the people pictured – someone in a headscarf covering pretty much everything except for the forehead and eyes – was Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. They said she was there “to attack Trump supporters,” a claim spread around by conservative outlets like The Gateway Pundit.
CONFIRMED!... BREAKING: Ilhan Omar and Lover Tim Mynett Were Seen at the MN Trump Riots! PHOTOS AND VIDEO -- (Facial Recognition Confirmation) --- WE HAVE MORE EVIDENCE COMING!! https://t.co/WALnyUetQI via @gatewaypundit— Jim Hoft (@gatewaypundit) October 12, 2019
But Omar was in Morocco at the time, with a video of a street performer on her Twitter account to prove it:
There’s also media coverage and photos of her Morocco trip, but Omar’s critics are quick to point out that these were published on Tuesday, two days before the rally. Some are demanding a travel itinerary to prove her claims.
Nonetheless, the outlet still said it would soon post “definitive proof” that Omar was lying. There's no sign of it yet.