President Trump took a shot at his potential 2020 opponent at a campaign rally in El Paso, Texas, Monday night, mocking the size of former Democratic congressman Beto O’Rourke’s crowd at a nearby counter-rally.
“He has 200 people, 300 people, not too good,” Trump claimed.
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) February 12, 2019
“A young man who’s got very little going for himself — except he’s got a great first name — he challenged us,” Trump continued. “He challenged us. So we have, let’s say, 35,000 people tonight and he has 200 people, 300 people, not too good. What I would say is that may be the end of his presidential bid, but he did challenge us.”
The Associated Press fact-checked Trump’s claim, noting the number Trump gave was off and said O’Rourke’s crowd was in the thousands.
Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Epstein tweeted far larger numbers: “El Paso police estimate a crowd of 10,000 to 15,000 for the anti-Trump, anti-wall, pro-O’Rourke march and rally tonight.”
El Paso police estimate a crowd of 10,000 to 15,000 for the anti-Trump, anti-wall, pro-O’Rourke march and rally tonight.
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) February 12, 2019
When his rally got underway, the president told the crowd that “69,000 signed up to be here. The arena holds about 8,000.”
Trump thanked the fire department for getting 10,000 people in the El Paso County Coliseum, before noting the crowd that gathered outside for his rally.
“Tens of thousands of people are watching the screens outside,” Trump bragged.
“However, a fire department spokesman said 6,500 people were inside the venue and denied any special accommodations were made,” The El Paso Times reported.
El Paso Fire Department just told us that Trump's statement about them allowing 10,000 people inside is incorrect. Spokesman says coliseum holds 6,500 and that is how many were allowed in building. #TrumpElPaso
— Zahira Torres (@zahiratorres) February 12, 2019
An unofficial estimate of Trump’s crowd size puts the number at 6,500 inside the arena and between 10,000-12,000 outside, according to MSNBC.