“Losing his grip”: Trump brags about ratings for Ohio trip even though “it wasn’t covered on TV”

Former President Donald Trump took to Truth Social on Thursday to share an internal “viewership report,” which told him that despite receiving no major network coverage for his visit to East Palestine, Ohio, “your numbers this Wednesday were off the charts.”

CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News all ignored Trump’s live remarks from the site of the major train derailment, while Newsmax and OAN, more conservative networks that are not available on all providers, aired his speech and had analysis after. 

The report Trump shared online claimed that “outlets like Fox News are woefully derelict” in their lack of reporting on his trip. He visited the small town to garner attention on the ongoing clean-up following the release of toxic chemicals due to the train derailment. He delivered his speech from a fire station and spent the majority of his remarks rebuking President Joe Biden for ignoring a “red state.”

Trump, who is known to be obsessed with his media coverage, touted his would-be ratings despite no clear source or method for the claim that 178,052,414 people saw the coverage through social and traditional media. 

“The visit meant a lot for the people of East Palestine and the surrounding communities,” said the report, which addresses Trump specifically. “The trip gave them hope and raised the awareness needed to combat the incompetence of the Biden Administration. As you will see a sharp spike in the positive sentiments as well.”

“Specifically, when the announcement was made last week there was a bump of coverage reaching about 2 million on social channels and 10 million on other channels,” the report states, citing no sources for its data.

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and his team on Friday’s “Morning Joe” mocked the former president’s “bizarre” post about ratings.

“Trump continues to treat the disaster like a TV show with more statements that are all about him,” said co-host Mika Brzezinski

“He talked about his ratings. He said ‘the TV ratings for the coverage while I was here, this place where these people are suffering were massive,'” Scarborough said. “Well, of course, it wasn’t covered on TV, so I don’t know what imaginary world he’s living in this week, but just bizarre, more bizarre, bizarre statements from this guy.”

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“More bizarre and also at the scene and the site of such a tragedy to immediately go to the ratings and Trump water and handing out the hats at the McDonald’s and all of that,” co-anchor Willie Geist responded, referring to Trump handing out his own branded water at the station. 

“He’s losing his grip a little bit when he says that just because it wasn’t taken live, there were no ratings, as if that mattered to this,” Geist continued. “But since he brought it up, there were no ratings for his appearance in East Palestine, Ohio.

“So the guy goes there and he’s handing out bottles of water and talking about Trump Water. Trump water. Trump water. He’s handing out campaign hats again for a community he absolutely devastated, Scarborough noted. “He uses it as a branding exercise? I mean, again, that’s the bizarreness of Donald Trump. And then he decides to lie about ratings. ‘Oh I went there and my ratings were high. They were they were massive.'”

“There were no ratings,” Scarborough concluded. “Nobody covered it.”

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