One of the president’s most reliable media defenders wasn’t buying the spin from Team Trump on Monday morning, pushing back when White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tried to claim President Donald Trump wasn’t mad about his sparsely attended rally.
Interviewing McEnany on the president’s favorite morning program Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy brought up the underwhelming attendance at Saturday’s campaign rally in Tulsa, noting the estimated crowd size was only 6,200—roughly one-third the arena’s capacity.
“How angry was the president that there was just a sea of blue, empty chairs?” Doocy wondered aloud, adding that Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale blames the media and protesters for the poor showing.
“The president was not angry at all,” McEnany said. “The president was quite energized. I was with him after the rally. It was a huge success. His speech got rave reviews.”
Despite the infamous image of a downtrodden Trump shuffling off Marine One on Saturday night, McEnany insisted the president was in “good spirits” and a “great mood” on the trip back to Washington after the rally. Doocy, meanwhile, didn’t believe for a moment that the president wasn’t extremely upset.
“Kayleigh, you’re saying he was not furious?” Doocy deadpanned. “Because we’ve known Donald Trump. He was on this show every Monday for years. That guy, who used to be on our show, would have been furious that something went haywire.”
McEnany, sticking by her talking points, reiterated that Trump was in ”very good spirits” after the rally while once again claiming his speech—which included him saying he wanted coronavirus testing slowed down because it made him look bad—received “rave reviews.”
Multiple outlets reported the president was shocked and fuming that attendance was much smaller than expected, especially as his campaign had confidently predicted an overflow crowd for his first live rally in three-plus months. According to The New York Times, several White House officials called the rally a “disaster” and an “unforced error.” Parscale, meanwhile, is reportedly facing Trump’s “fury” over the embarrassing crowd size.