Is This a Photograph of the Trump/Cruz Political Rally in Texas?

An all-purpose crowd shot can seemingly represent any number of different events in different places.

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A photograph shows thousands of people gathered for a political rally featuring Senator Ted Cruz and President Donald Trump in Texas.


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President Donald Trump traveled to Houston, Texas, on 22 October 2018 for a rally in support of Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, who was up for re-election in that year’s midterms. President Trump, as is his wont, bragged about the size of the crowd he had attracted as he took the stage and claimed that “50,000 people outside who we love” were watching the rally on big screens set up to accommodate an overflow crowd.

A photograph supposedly showing the massive crowd outside of the rally soon started to circulate on social media:

But this is not a photograph of the crowd in Houston outside of President Trump and Senator Cruz’s rally, nor was this picture even snapped in that city. This photograph was actually taken by Bruce Bishop and Matt Mishak via a drone for the Chronicle-Telegram and captures a parade held in honor of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ winning the NBA Championship in 2016.

This is at least the second time that this photograph of the Cavs Championship parade has been shared as if it showed a political rally for President Trump. In 2017, this same image appeared on the web site of Laura Ingraham with the false statement that it showed Trump supporters gathered in Phoenix. At that time, the web site corrected the recorded and reported the exact location shown in the picture: “The aerial photo shows thousands of people crowded around the intersection of East Ninth Street and St. Clair Avenue, waiting for the parade to start.”

President Trump’s rally in Texas for Senator Ted Cruz did draw a fairly large crowd, but it was nowhere near as large as the crowd shown in the above-displayed photograph. (An estimated 1.3 million people showed up for the Cleveland Cavaliers 2016 Championship Parade.)

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo posted on Twitter that about 20,000 people attended the Trump/Cruz rally at the Toyota Center, while another 3,000 or so people showed up to take in the event outside of the arena:

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Dator, James.   “1.3 Million People Are in Cleveland for the Cavs Parade, And the City Can’t Handle it.”
    SB Nation.   22 June 2016.

Pinckard, Cliff.   “Trump Supporters Faked Out by Photo of 2016 Cavs Victory Parade.”   22 August 2017.

Hutzler, Alexandra.   “Donald Trump Is Still Lying About His Crowd Sizes Almost 2 Years Into His Presidency.”
    Newsweek.   23 October 2018.

Bowden, John.   “Laura Ingraham Website Incorrectly Labels NBA Parade Photo as Trump Supporters.”
    The Hill.   24 August 2017.