On Tuesday night, Former President Donald Trump formally announced he would run for president once again, making it three straight election cycles that he’s declared himself a candidate for the nation’s highest office.
As Trump gave his speech at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, dozens of people in attendance who tried to leave in the middle of it were stopped from doing so by Trump’s staff.
Trump’s speech announcing his presidential run in 2024 was described by many as being “low energy” in its delivery. That was perhaps a conscious decision by Trump’s advisers, as appearing too jubilant just a week after Republicans had a lackluster showing in the 2022 midterms (which many in the GOP blame on Trump himself) could have been viewed negatively.
The speech itself was riddled with numerous lies, including the soundly discredited claim that the 2020 presidential election that he lost to President Joe Biden was rife with fraud. Trump also misstated the facts around the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation into his removal and transfer of highly classified government documents from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago estate when he left office.
As the speech, which lasted for more than one hour, dragged on, attendees began to head toward the exits. Trump staffers, however, refused to let them leave.
“A crowd has formed by the exit of the ballroom as some try to leave Trump’s announcement speech before he has finished…. But security won’t let them,” ABC News reporter Olivia Rubin said on Twitter, sharing a video of the crowd being barred from leaving.
A crowd has formed by the exit of the ballroom as some try to leave Trump’s announcement speech before he has finished…. But security won’t let them. pic.twitter.com/O7C6QJfYgK
— Olivia Rubin (@OliviaRubinABC) November 16, 2022
The announcement was also notable for the absence of some high-profile Trump supporters — especially two of Trump’s adult children.
Donald Trump Jr., who posts outlandish memes on various social media websites on a daily basis lambasting his father’s political adversaries, was not at Mar-a-Lago to witness his father’s announcement. According to sources speaking to The Daily Beast, Trump Jr. was on a hunting trip in the western U.S. and couldn’t make any flights back in time due to bad weather.
Meanwhile, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, who served in the former president’s administration as one of his top advisers, said in a statement that she wouldn’t be attending this or any future political events hosted by her father.
“I love my father very much. This time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family,” Ivanka Trump said. “I do not plan to be involved in politics.”
Trump allegedly begged his daughter to attend the event, sources with knowledge of his conversations with Ivanka said, reportedly taking time out of his daughter Tiffany’s wedding in order to do so. Although Ivanka Trump’s husband, former Trump adviser Jared Kushner, did attend Trump’s announcement, Ivanka Trump held firm to her statement and did not.