After promising a thousand Philadelphia Eagles fans at a White House event, Trump was reduced to using his own staffers to fill in the crowd.
The White House used staffers and other stand-ins at a hastily organized event after Trump disinvited the Philadelphia Eagles.
In a press release, Trump claimed “the 1,000 fans” planning to attend the originally scheduled to honor the Eagles’ Super Bowl win “are still invited to the White House.”
But reporters revealed that after the cancellation, there was a scramble on to fill in the crowd.
Reporting from those in attendance indicates that instead of Eagles fans, many in attendance were simply White House staffers, and others that were questioned were most assuredly not Eagles fans.
Katherine Faulders of ABC News reported that the “White House blasted an email to all staffers this morning inviting them to attend the event.”
Another ABC report indicated that many supposed “fans” at the event “had WH badges tucked into jackets & shirts.”
Bloomberg’s Justin Sink reported on “a lot of blank stares” when reporters asked those in attendance if they had traveled from Philadelphia to the White House.
Most damning, of six people asked by NBC Philadelphia reporter Tim Furlong who the quarterback for the Eagles during the Super Bowl was, “not one person knew.”
Furlong also noted that of those in attendance who knew the name, “a lot of them were Pennsylvania GOP members who were down for a pro-Trump event and it happened to be an Eagles event.”
Who were the fans on the White House lawn for Tuesday’s replacement “celebration” in lieu of the @Eagles event? @TFurlong didn’t find many underdogs there. #FlyEaglesFly
More coverage: https://t.co/8H4cPe5yr3 pic.twitter.com/ah0MhxYfTf
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) June 5, 2018
If any real Eagles fans had been in attendance, they would have seen Trump try — and fail — to sing the national anthem.
The event is highly reminiscent of Trump’s initial campaign announcement in 2015, where he offered actors $50 to come to Trump Tower and cheer him on.
Trump turned a championship celebration into another moment for him to attack black players fighting against racial injustice.
He was clearly unable to get Eagles fans to attend his spectacle, so he was forced to pick staffers and other Republicans to attend. Trump’s event was all about protecting his fragile ego, and everyday football fans didn’t want to come to Washington for that.