President Trump joked about his rally crowd sizes video obtained by CBS affiliate KDBC. Speaking to medical professionals at a hospital were victims were being treated, Mr. Trump compared the crowd size at an El Paso rally in February to that of presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke.in El Paso, Texas, according to a
Mr. Trump praised the medical officials treating the victims, telling them "they're talking about you all over the world." He then pivoted to boasting about the attendance at his February rally and mocking the relatively small size of the counter-rally held by O'Rourke.
"I was here three months ago," Mr. Trump said. "That place was packed ... That was some crowd. And we had twice the number outside. And then you had this crazy Beto. Beto had like 400 people in a parking lot, they said his crowd was wonderful."
Members of the press were not permitted to visit the hospital with Mr. Trump due to concerns from the administration about making the visit seem like a "photo op."
"Having a group of 20 press inside patient rooms or in hallways filled with working doctors and nurses was not feasible for the sake of a photo op, and could have been quite overwhelming for the patients, their families, and the staff," White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement Wednesday. "The visits to the hospital were about meeting with victims and their families, and thanking medical staff and law enforcement for their heroic efforts."
In a tweet, O'Rourke responded to Mr. Trump's boasts about crowd size.
"This community is focused on healing. Not hatred. Not racism. Certainly not crowd sizes," he said. "Our community — and our country — will not be defined by @realdonaldtrump's smallness. We will be defined by the love, compassion, and strength of El Paso."