It seems that conservative organizations outside of the United States that support Donald Trump are just as likely to use misleading or downright false information as the Trump administration itself. A recent demonstration that occurred in the Canadian capitol of Ottawa was organized by Mike Waine, a Canadian Trump supporter who feels the American president is a ‘smart man’. The demonstration was called the “Million Canadian Deplorables March”, and Waine hoped the event would help ‘wake up’ the Canadian public who he feels are being misled by ‘fake news’, a general allegation that first manifested from Trump himself.
It turns out that the name for the event was a bit misleading in itself. According to Ottawa police, who were providing security for the events around the capitol, the number of people attending the Trump rally was much lower than the organizers estimated, and it was much lower than the numbers that were publicly claimed to be in attendance by those who spurred the event in the first place. There are multiple protests and demonstrations every day in Ottawa, much like there are in Washington, D.C., and the police force in the city claimed that the Trump march was one of the smallest they’d ever seen.
The Ottawa Police don’t actually provide any legitimate crowd estimation services, but the officers made it clear that it only required basic common sense and vision to see that the numbers were significantly lower than what is being said about the event. One officer claimed there were fewer than 100 people at the original gathering spot for the rally located in Confederation Park.
The Parliamentary Protection Service released a statement that estimated the total number of attendees at the Trump rally to be somewhere between 300 and 400 individuals. The rally was not only meant to support Donald Trump but to also criticize and protest against Justin Trudeau, one of the most progressive and level-headed world-leaders in office. It’s unclear whether the scant attendees were actually present to show support for Trump or simply to protest decisions by the Canadian Prime Minister with which they disagree.
Unsurprisingly, Breitbart news was one of the guilty parties in terms of their blatant lies about the turnout of the rally, which isn’t surprising considering that news organization was once led by Steve Bannon, who is now the national security advisor under Trump. The Trump administration famously lied and continues to lie about the size of their inauguration day crowd, so it should come as no surprise that they would be willing to lie about an event that didn’t even occur in the United States.
The Breitbart headline in question claimed that over 5,000 Canadians came out to the rally in order to show support for Trump, but it fails to explain how they knew the false attendees were there specifically for Trump and not to denounce Trudeau. According to the Facebook page for the event, a total of 504 people sent an RSVP for the event. How anyone could be expected to believe that number grew by tenfold in just a few days is ludicrous.
Beyond the issue with the inauguration crowd size that occurred when Trump was sworn into office, the Breitbart organization has already exhibited a pattern of exaggerating the numbers of attendees at events that are meant to support Trump. During Trump’s campaign last year, the news organization published a photo that it claimed represented 15,000 attendees at a Jacksonville Trump rally. In reality, the photo that was connected to the rally was actually an image of the NBA Championship parade for the Cleveland Cavaliers.