The right-leaning tabloid wholesale excised several paragraphs from the story without any editor’s note or update and the reporter’s name was removed and replaced with a generic “DailyMail.com Staff Reporter” byline. The headline was also completely changed to a more neutral framing of Trump’s event.
The Daily Mail did not respond to a request for comment.
The piece as originally published featured Daily Mail politics reporter Elizabeth Elkind’s in-person coverage of the Trump rally in Youngstown, where he stumped for GOP Senate hopeful J.D. Vance and several other candidates.
In the article, published Saturday evening and titled “Uncharacteristically thin crowd in Ohio an hour before Trump takes the stage for rally in support of Senate candidate JD Vance - just after saying most GOP candidates would LOSE without his endorsement,” Elkind noted that Trump had bragged hours before the event that it was “sold out” and he expected a “massive crowd”—only for the arena to be visibly less-than-full. The Daily Beast found the original text by searching cached versions in the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.
“While the crowd does not fill the entire 7,000-seat Covelli Centre, the Trump supporters who made it to Youngstown on Saturday were wildly excited,” Elkind originally wrote. “The former president boasted about the 'massive crowd,' but the stadium was uncharacteristically thin right up until the time when Trump took the stage,” she added.
Elkind, who traveled to Youngstown for the Mail to cover the rally, pointed out that the less-than-capacity crowd may have been the result of a “major college football game between Ohio State University and the University of Toledo” taking place at the same time. The reporter included several photos she took showing large swaths of empty seats throughout the venue, including one taken less than an hour before Trump took the stage revealing the arena was two-thirds full.
Trump, who is notoriously sensitive about his crowd size and television ratings, eventually took to his social-media platform Truth Social to blast the Daily Mail and Elkind for its rally coverage.
“Check out the pictures (on TRUTH SOCIAL) of the packed arena crowd in Youngstown, Ohio, not to mention the thousands of people outside the arena who couldn’t get in. Other reporters (and me) saw them all, loud and clear,” the twice-impeached ex-president blared just after midnight early Monday. “The place was ELECTRIC (more so than electric cars, which don’t have the same “stamina” as these incredible people)! Despite the obvious FACTS (TRUTH!), the Daily Mail’s obnoxious reporter said the crowd was ‘uncharacteristically thin,’ WRONG!!! How do you fight this Fake News?”
By Monday morning, the Daily Mail had completely altered the article and eventually removed Elkind’s name.
The headline of the piece now reads: “Donald Trump says most Republicans 'would lose' races without his backing as he visits Ohio rally to support US Senate candidate JD Vance.” All references to the crowd size being anything less than “massive”—including a number of Elkind’s photos—were deleted from the piece.
“The former president posted on Truth Social he had delivered 'massive crowds' for JD Vance and Dr Oz in Ohio and Pennsylvania after they asked him to,” the article now states at the outset.
Later on Monday, Trump continued to take issue with the Mail’s reporting that Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, whom the ex-president recently (and grudgingly) endorsed, was “notably absent” from the rally. Elkind noted that DeWine chalked up his absence to a conflicting sporting event involving his granddaughters. This portion of the article remained unchanged since publication, however.
“The Governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine, met me at the airport as I arrived for the big and very successful Youngstown Rally,” Trump grumbled on his social-media site on Monday night. “He had to fly in to do so. I suggested he go home and spend some time with his family, he has a very busy political life. The Daily Mail, Unfunded New York Times, and certain others, said that I was dissed by the Governor, no time in his schedule to meet (see picture!). They knew that wasn’t true, but wrote the story anyway. Just more Fake News - When will it end???”