FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show Donald Trump’s Aug. 21 Rally In Alabama?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows empty seats at former President Donald Trump’s Aug. 21 “Save America” rally.

Verdict: False

The image is a composite of two separate photos, neither of which was taken at the recent rally in Cullman. Thousands of people attended the Aug. 21 rally.

Fact Check:

Trump on Aug. 21 held a “Save America” rally in Cullman, Alabama, in which he, among other things, criticized President Joe Biden’s handling of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and repeated false claims about the 2020 election, WBHM News reported.

The Aug. 22 Facebook post claims to show an image of numerous empty seats at that Aug. 21 rally in Alabama, alleging “nobody” attended the rally and urging users to “look at all those empty seats.” The picture includes Trump embracing conservative social media personalities Diamond and Silk.

However, the image is actually a composite of two separate photos taken nearly a year apart from one another. Neither of the pictures within the composite image was taken at Trump’s rally in Cullman on Aug. 21. (RELATED: Did Steve Harvey Author This Pro-Trump Statement?)

A reverse image search traced the background picture of seats in what appears to be an arena back to Getty Images. It was taken by photographer Win McNamee before the start of Trump’s June 20, 2020 campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to its caption.

“Supporters wait for the start of a campaign rally for U.S. President Donald Trump at the BOK Center, June 20, 2020 in Tulsa, Oklahoma,” reads the Getty Images caption. “Trump is holding his first political rally since the start of the coronavirus pandemic at the BOK Center on Saturday while infection rates in the state of Oklahoma continue to rise.”

Diamond and Silk posted the picture of them and Trump on Facebook in July 2019. A similar image of Trump embracing the pair can be found in a 2019 Washington Post article, where the caption states it was taken at a July 11 “summit” that year. Trump hosted a “social media summit” at the White House on July 11, 2019, that Diamond and Silk attended, according to The Washington Post.

While Diamond and Silk did share a livestream of the Cullman rally on Facebook and Twitter and retweeted a Newsmax tweet about it, Check Your Fact didn’t find any indication in national or local news reporting that they spoke or appeared onstage at the event. Footage available on C-SPAN also doesn’t show Diamond or Silk on the stage.

Thousands of people attended the Aug. 21 rally in Cullman, according to Business Insider.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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