A pro-Trump Twitter account alleging to be the "unofficial Twitter of Tennessee Republicans" posted a fake photo of the crowd outside President Trump's Phoenix rally on Tuesday night. "Massive crowd waiting outside for the Trump rally in Phoenix!" the tweet, which has since been deleted, read. According to The Arizona Republic, the picture posted was in fact an aerial shot of throngs of people waiting for the Cleveland Cavalier's victory parade.
Inside the Phoenix Convention Center, likely unaware of the fake photo tweet — which garnered more than 800 retweets and more than 1,000 likes before it was deleted — Trump ranted about how the media is distorting his presidency and dividing the country. “I mean truly dishonest people in the media and the fake media, they make up stories,” Trump said, according to The Washington Post. “They don't report the facts."
He specifically condemned the media for not portraying his response to the violence in Charlottesville accurately. "Just like they don't want to report that I spoke out forcefully against hatred, bigotry and violence and strongly condemned the neo-Nazis, the white supremacists and the KKK," the president said.
According to The Washington Post, Trump spent 16 minutes recounting statements he had made about the Charlottesville incident, even noting which words were in all-caps. As he did, people in attendance reportedly began to trickle out the door.
While it remains unclear who is behind the fake photo tweet — the TEN_GOP account is not officially affiliated with the Tennessee Republican Party — it is certain that the account, with #MAGA in its bio and its supportive tweets, favors the president. "Trump destroys John McCain and Jeff Flake without even saying their names," the account tweeted last night, referring to the two Arizona senators who have distanced themselves from the president.
The account also posted pictures of anti-fascist protesters outside the Phoenix Convention Center, claiming that "Antifa terrorists" were attacking police. Police did release tear gas to disperse protesters, which according to law enforcement officials had become unruly.
“The media can attack me, but where I draw the line is when they attack you, which is what they do. When they attack the decency of our supporters,” Trump said in Phoenix, without referring to specifics. “You are honest, hard-working, taxpaying — and by the way, you're overtaxed, but we're going to get your taxes down.”
The unofficial Tennessee Twitter account has not responded on Twitter to reports of the inaccuracy of its supposed Phoenix photo.