Stephen Colbert’s Late Show crew appears to have caught President Donald Trump grossly inflating the size of the crowd that attended his 2020 re-election kickoff rally on Tuesday night in Orlando, Florida.
“In the run-up to this thing, Trump and his folks kept saying that this thing was oversold,” Colbert explained to his audience. “Something like 100,000 tickets or 120,000— something like that— for only 25,000 seats in the arena. That’s why they said they had to have that ’45 Fest’ out in the parking lot for the overflow crowd of 75,000 people who couldn’t get in. That is impressive.”
“That is also a lie,” Colbert added. “And I know that’s a lie, because we sent a camera crew down there, with Jim Anchorton and Jill Newslady from ‘Real News Tonight,’ and this is footage they brought back from outside during the speech of that supposed overflow crowd.”
Colbert then played actual footage his team shot outside the Orlando Amway Center just minutes before the rally began, showing a vast expanse of empty grass and “abandoned lawn furniture.”
“It’s no one,” Colbert said, to laughter. “Just garbage and abandoned lawn furniture. And that was right before the rally started. You can see the rally on the screen in the background right there. There it is, for the crowd that is supposed to be watching the screen that is not there.”
“But maybe they went home without any of their chairs because they couldn’t get into that sold-out arena?” Colbert mockingly asked. “Again, no. Because our team got their press credentials denied at the last minute — and this is true — so they just went online and got tickets and walked in. They just walked in to take any one of the many, many empty seats in the arena.
“Wow, I knew Trump’s voters were old. I didn’t know they were ghosts,” he joked, before setting up a punchline that recalls this White House’s first public claim after Trump was sworn in — lying about the crowd that attended his inauguration. “Still, it’s the perfect relaunch of Trump’s campaign, because it fulfills his core campaign promise: ‘I will lie to you about anything.’”
Watch the segment, below: