— NBC4 Columbus (@nbc4i) August 1, 2016
Again today (Monday), Donald Trump criticized the work of fire marshals for limiting the number of people at one of his events. At an afternoon rally in Columbus, Ohio Trump called it “politics at its lowest’ after fire marshals wouldn’t let anyone else into the Greater Columbus Convention Center. But the general manager of the convention center told a reporter, “The agreed upon capacity was 1,000 and that was understood before the contract was signed Friday.”
In his remarks Trump also blames the mayor of Columbus for limiting the crowd.
Trump, the Republican nominee, told reporters before his event in Columbus that it’s “a disgrace” that more people were not allowed to attend.
He added that the move is “for purely political reasons they were turned away.”
He said officials capped attendance at 1,000 people and that several thousand more people were unjustly denied entry.
“Community safety comes first,” said Rebecca Diehm, spokeswoman for the Columbus Fire Department.
John Page, general manager of the Greater Columbus Convention Center, said that because of construction and another event moving out, the capacity for Trump’s event in Exhibit Hall E was set at 1,000 by the fire marshal.
Convention officials, however, stressed that Trump’s campaign knew of the 1,000-person capacity since Friday.
“The agreed upon capacity was 1,000 and that was understood before the contract was signed Friday. Initially, (campaign officials) suggested it would be by invitation only,” said Jennifer David, spokeswoman for the convention center.
This is at least the fifth time this year and the fourth occasion in less than a month where Trump has focused on the work of fire marshals at his events. The strongest rebuke came on Friday when the Republican nominee for president called Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) Fire Marshal Brett Lacey “disgraceful” and questioned Lacey’s competence. The criticism came 90-minutes after Trump was rescued from a stuck elevator by CSFD firefighters. This afternoon the IAFF local for Columbus firefighters tweeted support for Fire Marshal Lacey’s actions.
— Mark Treglio (@IAFFTreg) August 1, 2016
In a tweets July 12 Trump praised Phoenix officials for allowing at least three times the rated capacity of the venue into the event. This prompted the Phoenix Fire Department to issue a statement denying that occurred.