NATIONAL HARBOR, MD—A few minutes into his CPAC speech Friday, esteemed and honest president Donald J. Trump said people were so excited to hear him speak that, “There are lines that go back six blocks. I tell you that because you won’t read about it.”
In a sense, he’s right. You won’t read about it, because they don’t exist.
There are at least three entrances to the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center, where the annual CPAC conference is held; a quick visual check revealed no lines or crowds waiting outside.
Because the CPAC event is private, only guests with room keys, CPAC ticket holders and credentialed media were allowed inside the hotel today and CPAC volunteers were stationed outside the main doors to do visual checks before people were allowed in. I asked one woman who said she’d been posted there since the early morning if she’d seen any crowds. She said there were “spurts” of crowds of people who came to the event together by bus, but when I told her what the president had said about six-block lines, she laughed in disbelief and said, “No! Six blocks?”
Another CPAC volunteer standing next to her insisted there were people lined up to get in, but admitted it was because they didn’t have passes or needed to show an email confirmation in lieu of a pass. “I personally turned away a couple hundred people,” she said. “I felt sorry for this one guy he stood there for an hour trying to get a ticket.”
I asked her what time this happened, because there was no line around 8:30 am when Jezebel reporter Prachi Gupta and I entered the building. “I don’t know, it has been so busy the time has just flown for me,” she said.
Nearby, two Prince George’s County police officers stood on duty. Maybe they had seen the crowds?
“Today?” one of the officers asked incredulously.
“Yesterday was a lot of people,” the other officer offered.
For what it’s worth, National Harbor isn’t six blocks wide or long: