One of President Donald Trump’s oft-repeated points is how large the crowds at his rallies are. Many of his supporters have repeated the talking point – and some of them have done so with false pictures.
That was the case with the unofficial Twitter account of Tennessee Republicans, which boasts about 145,000 followers. The account tweeted last night – and subsequently deleted – two tweets about the size of the crowd waiting to see Trump speak in Phoenix Tuesday night.
One tweet showed an aerial shot of a massive crowd with the caption: “Massive crowd waiting outside the Trump rally in Phoenix! But...but...media says everyone hates Trump.. I’m confused. #PhoenixRally”
The other tweet showed photos side-by-side, one with a smattering of people from the ground and another with the same photo of a huge group seen from above.
“Anti-Trump crowd vs. pro Trump crowd #PhoenixRally #TrumpinPhx,” the account tweeted.
But the picture of the huge group used in both tweets was not in Phoenix, or even a pro-Trump crowd. As the tweets racked up more than 1,000 likes and hundreds of retweets, according to the Arizona Republic, several on Twitter pointed out the photo was actually of a crowd in Cleveland taken in 2016, in a parade celebrating the Cavaliers championship win. The account deleted both tweets.
The Twitter account offered a somewhat sarcastic apology for the false information in the tweets Wednesday morning, saying “this was a lesson for me” but mocking the people who had pointed out the mistake.
It’s not the first time Trump supporters have misrepresented a Cleveland championship parade photo, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. In August 2016, the conservative website Breitbart used a different photo from the parade and said it was crowd for a Trump rally in Jacksonville, Florida.
Only 30 percent of Cuyahoga County, the county containing Cleveland, voted for Trump in 2016.