- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The New York Times issued a correction Wednesday about the crowd size at President Trump’s rally after the president challenged the paper’s mistake, acknowledging the audience in Nashville, Tennessee, was more than five times larger than The Times initially reported.

In its article online, The Times said an earlier version of the story “cited an incorrect figure for the number of people attending President Trump’s rally.”

“While no exact figure is available, the fire marshal’s office estimated that approximately 5,500 people attended the rally, not about 1,000 people,” the correction stated.

Mr. Trump had accused the Times Wednesday morning of lying about the crowd size at the arena where he was campaigning Tuesday night for GOP Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn.

“The Failing and Corrupt @nytimes estimated the crowd last night at “1000 people,” when in fact it was many times that number - and the arena was rockin’. This is the way they demean and disparage. They are very dishonest people who don’t ‘get’ me, and never did!” Mr. Trump tweeted.

Times’ reporter Julie Hirschfeld Davis, who wrote the article, said on Twitter that she made a mistake.

“President @realDonaldTrump is correct about his crowd last night,” she tweeted. “My estimate was way off, and we have corrected our story to reflect the fire marshal’s estimate of 5,500 people. When we get it wrong, we say so.”

The Tennessean newspaper quoted Bob Skoney, general manager of the Municipal Auditorium, as saying capacity for Tuesday’s event was 7,500 to 8,000. The arena normally holds more than 9,500 people, but some seats were blocked off due to staging for the president’s event.

The Trump campaign also jumped on the Times’ report, giving its own estimate of 8,000 people at the rally.

“President Trump hosted over 8,000 patriotic Americans at our rally in Nashville last night, but the New York Times wants to mislead and deceive its declining readership by claiming that we had an ‘audience of about 1,000,’” said campaign chief operating officer Michael Glassner. “This is yet another blatant attempt by the fake news media to deny the truth about President Trump’s success and diminish the reality of the Trump movement.”

At a fundraiser before the rally, Mr. Trump predicted there were about 12,000 people waiting to hear him speak.

“We can’t get them in … unless the fire marshal really treats us good,” the president said. “I will say that we do, we have over 12,000 people standing trying to get in and most of them are in now.”

Dave Boyer contributed to this story.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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