Did Mar-a-Lago Crowd Try to Leave While Trump Was Speaking?

Former President Donald Trump was criticized for having uncharacteristically "low energy" during his 2024 presidential announcement and one reporter posted on Twitter that some of his supporters tried to leave before he finished speaking.

On Tuesday night, Trump spent about an hour speaking before a crowd of supporters at Mar-a-Lago to announce his 2024 presidential campaign. He spent much of the speech repeating the same lines from his rallies—chiding President Joe Biden's approach, championing his own economic record, and calling for voting reform.

Olivia Rubin, reporter with ABC News, posted a video on Twitter of the crowd at Mar-a-Lago. She commented that a crowd "formed by the exit" of the ballroom and people were trying to leave before Trump finished his speech. She added that "security won't let them".

Jon Karl, ABC News chief Washington correspondent, also said that he saw people trying to go early and that they were not allowed to leave the hall. He speculated that it might have been because there were concerns that if a few people left, the hall would start to empty out.

Brennan Murphy, producer at The Recount, commented that it was the "most bored Trump crowd" he's ever seen. Others, including Meghan McCain, also criticized Trump for the "boring" speech. Kumar Rao, a lecturer at Columbia University Law School, questioned if Trump was sick or "just weathered now." Rao added that his "voice, demeanor, [and] cadence [are] all low energy as hell."

However, Michael Bender, reporter for The New York Times, had a different take on the audience's reaction to Trump's announcement. He posted on Twitter that Trump had his crowd's attention for the entirety of the 63-minute speech. He noted in his tweet that there were "some murmurs" of side conversations taking place in the back of the room, but said overall "most people were cheering and chanting."

"Few, if anyone left early," Bender said.

trump crowd leave mar a lago 2024
Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday night officially launches his 2024 presidential campaign from his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Trump has been teasing a presidential run since leaving the White House in January 2021, when he told a crowd that he would "be back in some form." Trump has since said that he feels compelled to run because of the state of the country and that the only thing that would keep him from running would be if his health didn't allow it.

Unlike in 2020, when many rallied behind Trump for his reelection campaign, his newest bid for the Oval Office has been met with mixed reactions. Republicans urged Trump to not pursue the nomination or at the very least delay the announcement until after the Georgia runoff, out of fears it could negatively impact Herschel Walker's Senate bid.

During Trump's speech, several networks cut back and forth between his remarks and their own commentary. Fox News' Laura Ingraham said when they cut away that they'd return to the speech when there was something newsworthy.

Others, however, have fully embraced Trump's bid for office. Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene endorsed Trump ahead of his announcement and Florida Representative Matt Gaetz encouraged Trump to announce his candidacy earlier.

Newsweek has reached out to Trump's spokeswoman Liz Harrington for comment.