On the same day, Nov. 14, that Fox News, CNN and other news outlets said President-elect Joseph Biden won 306 electoral votes, matching President Donald Trump’s numbers from four years ago, more than 15,000 Trump supporters held rallies in Washington, D.C.
They gathered to contest the 2020 election results and back the president’s allegations that many ballots in several battleground states were invalid due to widespread voter fraud — although no such compelling evidence has been presented by the Trump team.
The “Million MAGA March” and “Stop the Steal” rallies started in Freedom Plaza at Pennsylvania Avenue and 14th Street NW. Supporters stood on the steps of the Wilson Building — home to the Office of the Mayor and the D.C. Council — holding their Trump flags and sporting MAGA hats and shirts. On any other day, no one would be seen with a MAGA hat on those same steps.
Condemning the media along with other perceived anti-Trump elements, speakers at the plaza shouted “Four more years!” to the crowd. More than 10,000 appeared to be in the plaza and along Pennsylvania Avenue. (The National Park Service estimates that the plaza can hold 13,000 persons.) About half of the crowd was not wearing masks.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted — hyperbolically, of course — “More than one MILLION marchers for President @realDonaldTrump descend on the swamp in support.”
Held in the heart of the nation’s capital, the pro-Trump rally came exactly one week after deep-blue D.C. saw an outburst of joy on streets upon the announcement that called the presidential election for Biden. To have witnessed both events was to see the divisions of the United States before one’s very eyes — and an alternative reality.
Saturday’s largely peaceful crowd was mostly made up of white men, women and children. It was as much as a love fest for Donald Trump as a protest against Democrats, liberals, socialists and others.
Around 10 a.m., before the rally officially kicked off at noon, Trump traveled in his motorcade along the plaza to wave to delighted supporters on his way to play golf in Virginia.
Near the soon-to-open World War I Memorial across from Freedom Plaza, QAnon supporters wore Q shirts, some displaying the words: “Stand Back, Stand By.” There were a couple of hundred Proud Boys wearing their paramilitary gear and PB emblems. They looked a tad smaller without their customary assault weapons.
Quietly watching was the Metropolitan Police Department, having closed streets for about five blocks in every direction around the main event and ready to step in between any belligerent protesters.
Later, some of the marchers gathered outside the Supreme Court, where they were met by Antifa protesters.
After dark and after the official march, there were a few fights between Trump supporters and opponents, with one man getting stabbed in the back. Stopping the altercations, police arrested 20 people.
Georgetowner senior correspondent Peggy Sands and photographer Bill Starrels assisted in this report.