FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show A Massive Crowd On The DC National Mall In Early January 2021?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a massive crowd on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5.

Verdict: False

The photo actually shows crowds gathered for the Washington Prayer March that took place in September 2020.

Fact Check:

Thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump traveled to the nation’s capital in the days leading up to Jan. 6, the day of Congress meeting to count the Electoral College votes and certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, according to USA Today. Some Trump supporters gathered to protest against the presidential election results on Tuesday, ahead of the larger rally that occurred on Wednesday.

The Jan. 5 Facebook post attempts to suggest that a photo of large crowds around the Reflecting Pool and at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial depicts a scene in “Washington DC right now!” That is, however, not the case.

Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found the photo in religious news reports about the Washington Prayer March, an event attended by tens of thousands of people on Sept. 26 last year. Christian evangelist Rev. Franklin Graham shared the photo on Sept. 26, 2020, in a tweet related to the Prayer March.

Fox News also captured similar images in its live Facebook video coverage of the Washington Prayer March in late September 2020. (RELATED: Does This Image Show A Pro-Trump Caravan Driving From California To DC In January?)

Graham led prayers at the event, which, according to The Associated Press, was held shortly before Trump was set to announce his nominee to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death. Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the Prayer March, Newsweek reported.

The Prayer March spanned from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol, according to the Washington Post.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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