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Trump Defends Empty Seats at Rally in Lengthy Tirade to Reporters: ‘You Had a Big Flag’

President Donald Trump complained about coverage of his rally latest rally during a gaggle with reporters on Sunday, insisting the venue was “packed” and arguing that the empty seats at the top of the stadium were the result of supporters descending closer to the stage.

“You guys were in New Hampshire, Maggie was there,” Trump said, pointing at to New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman. “You saw that room was packed. And they had thousands — Maggie — they had thousands of people outside.”

“And actually there was a massive flag,” Trump said. He went on to address photos that went viral on Twitter showing empty seats in the arena, stating, “those people came down to be on the floor.”

“Plus you had a big flag,” Trump added.

The president claimed he was told that 17,000 people outside the arena were not let in, as the event was at capacity, and that he “broke Elton John’s record” at the venue. Trump continued to explain that his supporters left seats open in the arena because they came down to the floor, and categorized Haberman’s reporting as “very fair.”

Trump has been fixated on coverage of his New Hampshire rally crowd in recent days. Late Friday night, he blasted out a series of tweets complaining that the media was downplaying the crowd size.

“Biggest crowd EVER, according to Arena people. Thousands outside trying to get in. Place was packed!” Trump wrote in one tweet. “Radical Left Dems & their Partner, LameStream Media, saying Arena empty. Check out pictures. Fake News. The Enemy of the People!”

Watch above, via CNN.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: aidan@mediaite.com. Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin