A tiny crowd of 4,200 diehard supporters showed up to the Phoenix Convention Center after President Trump pledged allegiance to the Charlottesville members of the
“alt-right” American Nazi movement in a rambling Trump Tower press conference.
Only four to five thousand supporters appeared at in the cavernous and mostly empty 7,500 maximum capacity Phoenix Convention Center space – as you can see in the video below – and certainly not the 15,000 supporters Trump bragged about on Twitter.
Before the rally even began, President Trump saw the TV monitors showing a half empty room, and took direct action the only way he knows how to solve a problem: He dispatched bodyguard Keith Schiller to fire the rally planner, George Gigicos.
Yes, that’s the same Trump lackey who delivered Trump’s infamous “you’re fired” letter to FBI headquarters while Director James Comey was out of town.
Ironically, President fired Gigicos before last week’s Arizona rally went horribly off the rails – which only happened because of what he later presented on the stage – even though only one of his previous seven rallies in Phoenix exceeded last week’s attendance. Bloomberg reports:
George Gigicos had staged the event in a large multipurpose room. The main floor space was bisected by a dividing wall, leaving part of the space empty. There were some bleachers off to the side, but otherwise the audience was standing — and the scene appeared flat, lacking the energy and enthusiasm of other rallies.
Gigicos organized all of Trump’s signature campaign events and his occasional rallies since entering office. He left his White House job as director of advance on July 31 to return to his consulting business. But he continued to work for Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee.
Although the crowd looked thin when Trump arrived at about 6:30 p.m., rallygoers filled in the space while Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Alveda King, Franklin Graham and Pence delivered introductory speeches.
Trump’s first words when he stepped to the microphone: “Wow, what a crowd, what a crowd.”
George Gigicos is a longtime member of Trump’s political inner circle responsible for two years of televised rallies that helped him win the electoral college. He was one of Trump’s four remaining senior staffers.
As you can see from the video below, there was cavernous space in the 7,500 capacity Convention Center room where Trump spoke to a tiny legion of bored fans, who later departed as his lengthy rant pierced the desert sky.
Police said that 5,000 people were outside Trump’s rally, most likely all protesters.
After last week’s rally, Trump bragged about the crowd size in Phoenix and tripled it, but that schtick only works once. When he was just an anti-Mexican racist Republican candidate in 2015, Trump also held a rally of similar size in Arizona, but back then only 100 protesters arrived. CNN covered him as a top Republican candidate, while Rachel Maddow busted him for telling the same exact crowd size lie.
Trump became a frequent visitor to Phoenix during the campaign, leading occasionally to ever larger protests, though the Arizona Republic began to ask last summer if his rallies had become stale as meager crowds of 5,000 appeared in 18,000 capacity venues.
By last October, Trump spent his seventh visit to Arizona slinging false allegations against Hillary Clinton and drew a record high 8,000 supporters to a rally in Phoenix without a significant protest presence late in the campaign. His supporters made headlines happily slurring Jewish people at that final event in Phoenix.
Now that Donald Trump is the President, he’s mindlessly lashing out at his closest staffers because his rally crowds have decreased to the same size as his earliest days as a politician, while his enemies and criminal investigations into his affairs have both multiplied tremendously.
Trump’s irrational reaction to last week’s Phoenix rally is a real barometer of his childishly thin skin and the sinking feeling he cannot escape, so it has become plain that he is determined to blame everyone near him, for any reason at all, until there is nobody is left to take the fall.
Here is a video showing the tiny size of Trump’s Arizona rally crowd:
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition