Donald Trump made a big show of appealing to union autoworkers at a campaign event in Michigan, but it turns out that none may have even attended.
Trump opted to give a speech Wednesday night at Drake Enterprises, a nonunion factory, instead of participating in the Republican debate. Drake management had invited him to appear, and the United Auto Workers union—which is currently on strike—does not represent the Drake workforce. About 400 to 500 people attended the speech, even though Drake only employs about 150, The Detroit News reported.
It’s unclear how many union workers, or even autoworkers, attended Trump’s speech. One person held a sign that said “union members for Trump” but told reporter Craig Mauger she wasn’t in the union. Another person held a sign that said “auto workers for Trump” but admitted he wasn’t an autoworker.
Undeterred, Trump said he supports the ongoing UAW strike for fair wages but warned that the “current negotiations don’t mean as much as you think.”
The real danger, he insisted, is electric vehicles. He described the transition from gas engines to electric as “a transition to hell” and said the auto industry “is being assassinated.”
His speech stands in stark contrast to the approach of Joe Biden, who on Tuesday became the first sitting U.S. president to ever join a picket line.
Trump is no stranger to filling a room with fake supporters. Former Trump aide Corey Lewandowski admitted in 2021 that they had paid actors to attend Trump’s first campaign launch in 2015.