Did the Mar-a-Lago crowd try to leave while Trump was speaking?

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Former President Donald Trump was criticized for being unusually “low on energy” during his 2024 presidential announcement and a reporter posted on Twitter that some of his supporters tried to leave before he finished speaking.

On Tuesday evening, Trump spoke to a crowd of supporters in Mar-a-Lago for about an hour to announce his 2024 presidential campaign. He spent much of the speech repeating the same lines from his rallies — rebuking President Joe Biden’s approach, defending his own economic record and calling for voting reform.

TBEN News reporter Olivia Rubin posted a video on Twitter of the crowd at Mar-a-Lago. She noted that a crowd “formed by the exit” of the ballroom and people tried to leave before Trump finished his speech. She added that “security won’t let them leave”.

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Also Jon Karl, chief correspondent of TBEN News in Washington said that he saw people trying to leave the speech early and that people were not allowed to leave the room. He speculated that it might be because there were concerns if a few people left that the venue would empty.

Brennan Murphy, producer at The Recount, commented that it was the “most bored Trump crowd” he’s ever seen. Others, including Meghan McCain, also criticized Trump for the “boring” speech. Kumar Rao, a lecturer at Columbia University’s law school, questioned whether Trump was sick or “just weathered now.” Rao added that his “voice, attitude, [and] cadence [are] all low energy as hell.”

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However, Michael Bender, reporter for The New York Times, took a different view of the public’s reaction to Trump’s announcement. He posted on Twitter that Trump had his audience’s attention throughout the entire 63-minute speech. He noted in his tweet that there was “some murmuring” of side talk going on in the back of the room, but overall said “most people were cheering and singing”.

“Little, if someone left early,” Bender said.

Former President Donald Trump officially launched his 2024 presidential campaign Tuesday night from his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Trump has been teasing a presidential run since he left the White House in January 2021, when he told a crowd he would “be back in some form.” Trump has since said he feels compelled to flee because of the state of the country and that the only thing that would prevent him from running would be if his health did not allow it.

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Unlike in 2020, when many rallied behind Trump for his re-election campaign, his latest bid for the Oval Office received mixed reactions. Republicans urged Trump not to pursue the nomination or at least delay the announcement until after Georgia’s second round, fearing it could negatively affect Herschel Walker’s Senate bid . During Trump’s speech, several networks switched back and forth between his remarks and their own commentary and TBEN News’ Laura Ingraham said as she cut away that they would return to the speech if there was anything newsworthy.

However, others have fully embraced Trump’s bid for the office. Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene endorsed Trump ahead of his announcement and Florida Representative Matt Gaetz encouraged Trump to announce his candidacy earlier.

News week has reached out to Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington for comment.