Trump falsely claims police are preventing “thousands” of people from protesting his trial

With Donald Trump’s hush money trial now in its second week, the former president has been hoping for a crowd of supporters to show up in force outside the Manhattan courthouse. Instead, just a “handful” of people have showed up for the former president, outnumbered by detractors waving signs about Trump’s alleged encounter with adult film actress Stormy Daniels, according to The New York Times.

The poor turnout has not been for a lack of trying. Trump, who has framed his legal woes as a threat to America itself, often uses his Truth Social platform to mobilize followers. “GO OUT AND PEACEFULLY PROTEST. RALLY BEHIND MAGA. SAVE OUR COUNTRY!” he wrote on Truth Social early Wednesday morning.

Trump would have clearly seen the small number of supporters at the designated protest site across the street as he arrived at the courthouse. He has repeatedly blamed authorities for the tepid attendance, claiming in a string of Truth Social posts that “thousands of people were turned away from the Courthouse in Lower Manhattan by steel stanchions and police, literally blocks from the tiny side door from where I enter and leave.” He has contrasted the supposed restrictions with pro-Palestine protesters who he said, inaccurately, are “allowed to do whatever they want.”

Trump has also attacked those, such as New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who have commented on his anger over the lack of clear public support. She “falsely reported that I was disappointed with the crowds,” he wrote on Truth Social. “No, I’m disappointed with Maggot, and her lack of writing skill, and that some of these many police aren’t being sent to Columbia and NYU to keep the schools open and the students safe.”

The claim of police blockage does not match up eyewitness accounts and videos showing that the street, rather than being blocked off, remains open to traffic. Despite that, no more than a dozen open Trump supporters have ever been present outside the Manhattan courthouse.


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