Liberal journalists, Democrats bitterly seek to discredit Trump Bronx rally: 'Fake, made-up'

Liberal journalists, commentators and New York Democrats mocked the massive showing for former President Trump in the Bronx on Thursday as "fake" and contrived.

Liberal media commentators, journalists and New York Democrats complained about the massive crowd that showed up for former President Trump's campaign rally in deep-blue New York City, calling the showing "fake" and full of out-of-towners.

Trump rallied a crowd of what his campaign estimated to be 25,000 supporters at Crotona Park in the Bronx on Thursday, far more than the initial 3,500 it said were expected to attend. The crowd size even surprised a CNN reporter on site at the event. 

"Certainly a bigger crowd than I think Democrats would like to see, particularly given this is one of the bluest counties in the entire country," CNN correspondent Kristen Holmes said, noting that many attendees were from the Bronx.

Progressive Democrats and liberal commentators on MSNBC tried to discredit the rally before and after it occurred as a contrived stunt to win minority voters in the area.


"Well, I’ll tell you what won’t make a difference at all, Jake, and that’s for Donald Trump to be a ringleader and invite all his clowns to a place like the Bronx," New York Gov. Kathy Hochul told CNN's Jake Tapper as the former president's supporters were gathering. "New York will never, ever support Donald Trump for president."

"So if he wants to spend his time doing these made-up, fake rallies and pretending there’s support here, be my guest, because while you’re doing that, Donald Trump, Joe Biden’s out there on the other side making sure he’s delivering for all Americans," Hochul continued.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a fellow New York Democrat, dismissed the Trump rally as a stunt to pay his legal fees.

"He is broke. He needs to pay these legal funds. And bussing people in, in order to get those donations so that he can funnel them to his legal fees, is kind of his business right now," she told MSNBC's Chris Hayes on Wednesday.

Ocasio-Cortez doubled down on Thursday, accusing Trump of sending in supporters from outside states to "trick" her constituents.

"But I think the Bronx knows better," she told Spectrum News NY1

"We’ve seen a couple years ago when some of his supporters tried to shut down the Whitestone Bridge," Ocasio-Cortez said. "I think it’s important that we understand that there’s a lot of folks that may be at this park that are not from New York City, that may be from surrounding or different areas, and we just want to make sure that folks are staying safe given all of that ruckus that can come in."


A racially and religiously diverse group of thousands of people gathered at the Thursday event, Fox News Digital found. A number of attendees traveled from as far as Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut, but many said they were from the Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens.

Over on MSNBC, hosts Alex Wagner and Joy Reid also tried to downplay the rally on their Thursday night shows. Wagner called the surprise showing as a "fakey campaign stop" before asking her progressive guest to weigh in on Trump's attempt to woo Black voters. 

"You described that rally as fraught. I would describe that rally as fraud," Center for American Progress President Patrick Gaspard said. "It was AstroTurf. They imported a whole bunch of people into the Bronx. Let's be really clear here: Donald Trump ain't winning the Bronx."

Reid, on her show, questioned what "the point" of Trump going to the Bronx was and speaking to Black and Latino voters whom he's "not fond of" in a place "he can never win."

MSNBC political analyst Charles Blow agreed that Trump would never win New York and said rally attendees weren't really from the Bronx. He also weighed in on why the presumptive presidential nominee was rallying in an area with a heavy minority population.

"He’s trying to signal to other people, signal to people in swing states who are White, who don’t want to be thought of as voting for a racist to soften the ground and say, ‘maybe he’s not a racist’ and also to shave off a couple points among Blacks and Hispanic who say ‘I don’t want to vote for a racist,’ Blow said. "They say, ‘maybe he’s not as racist as they say he is.’ This is signaling to other people, has nothing to do with New York, has nothing to do with The Bronx."

The sour grapes attitude could also be seen on some New York Democrats' social media posts.


"The Boston Red Sox are more popular in the South Bronx than Donald Trump. Go home," House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries wrote on X.

Fellow New York Democratic Rep. Ritchie Torres also argued the rally was full of "transplants."

"Donald Trump’s rally may be IN the South Bronx but it is not OF the South Bronx. Bluntly put, the Trump transplants are much whiter than the locals of the South Bronx, which is almost entirely Latino and Black," he wrote on X.

Ahead of the rally, Torres on Thursday morning's "Morning Joe" downplayed Trump's attempt to reach voters in the deep blue area.

"Based on the polling data that I’ve seen among likely voters in the Bronx, Donald Trump is so unpopular as to be radioactive," he said. "He’s even less popular than arsenic in the Bronx," he said.

In response, co-host Mika Brzezinski questioned who would show up to the rally.  

"I wonder where this crowd is going to come from?" she asked.

During the rally, Trump vowed to bring back safety and better schools to the Big Apple.

"I'm here tonight to declare we are going to turn New York City around, and we are going to turn it around very, very quickly," Trump said. "We are going to make New York bigger, better and greater than ever before."


Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to actively campaign for the general election in New York City in decades, and, should he pull off what many expect to be an impossible feat, would be the first to win the Empire State in 40 years.

Trump won less than 10% of the vote in the Bronx in 2016. His support in the Bronx edged up to 16% in 2020, with Biden winning 83.5% of the vote, but current polls suggest the former president is making more gains with Black and Hispanic voters.

Fox News' Brandon Gillespie, Paul Steinhauser and Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.

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