Donald Trump visited victims of the El Paso shooting at a local Walmart on Wednesday, and while there, he was recorded bragging about the size of his rally in the city earlier this year and knocking the district’s Representative Beto O’Rourke.
According to a video tweeted by local channel Fox 14, the president was being given a tour around the hospital facility at University Medical Center of El Paso. Trump begins by praising the work by the surgeons, doctors, nurses, and hospital staff before launching into a speech about his campaign rally earlier this year in February, compared to Beto O’Rourke’s.
After meeting a man wearing Trump campaign socks who was at the rally in February, he began reminiscing about his event.
“That was some crowd,” Trump bragged. “And we had twice the number outside. And then you had this crazy Beto. Beto had 400 people in a parking lot. They said his crowd was wonderful.”
In the video, which offers an unfiltered look at the president’s visit to the mourning city, Trump goes on to joke with the supporter that he shouldn’t tell the press, which wasn’t allowed to attend the meetings at the hospital, about his excitement to see the president because “they won’t even believe it.”
He went on to say that the media only believes things when they see it “on voting day” and they wonder “what happened.”
The president visited El Paso in February to goose support for his wall along the United States’ southern border following the 35-day government shutdown, insisting that a new wall would reduce crime and save local jobs. According to CNN, Trump still owes the city over $500,000 for costs associated with the visit.
The city of El Paso billed trump $470,417, plus 21 percent interest if the balance wasn’t paid within 30 days. It wasn’t, and now the campaign owes the city $569,204.
Meanwhile, O’Rourke, an El Paso native, held a counter-rally that was attended by thousands.
The White House said that press wouldn’t be allowed into the hospital during the president’s visit because the event wasn’t meant to be a photo-op, according to WCBS 880. But the administration later released photos and videos of its own showing Trump in a positive light, prompting critics to say that the White House was filtering the message.
White House aide Dan Scavino tweeted, according to The Washington Post, that Trump “was treated like a Rock Star inside the hospital.” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said that the victims were happy to see the president and staffed lined the halls to see him, contradicting reports that some people refused to see the president during his visit.
— Carol Leonnig (@CarolLeonnig) August 8, 2019