TSA 'choke points' kept Trump supporters off the Mall

Not only did anti-Trump professional protesters disrupt and block inaugural attendees, but security checkpoints also kept untold numbers of Trump supporters from getting through to the National Mall to witness the president take the oath of office.  

Media headlines like the AP's "Trump draws far smaller inaugural crowd than Obama" may seem plausible if you took pictures only of the Mall itself.  But out in the streets, the crowds told another story.

According to the Washington Post, 900,000 people were expected, and a security force of 28,000 was prepared to watch over "100 square blocks of prime downtown real estate."  But reports after the event are now saying "thin crowds" and only "hundreds of thousands" attended.

What the true numbers were, we'll never know, because so many people were inordinately delayed at security checkpoints overseen by the TSA.  At our checkpoint for general admission to the mall on Indiana Avenue at 7th Street NW, there were thousands of people waiting to be processed through a setup of five scanning machines.  We stood for three hours in that location until we got through and ran to the mall to see the president taking the oath of office on the JumboTron.

We were going to stay and view the parade, but that meant standing another two hours until it began, so we made our way back to Union Station past the same checkpoint we had gone through earlier.  Thousands were still waiting, packed shoulder to shoulder like rounded up cattle, sadly, unable to view history.

As we walked, we saw people streaming toward the parade venue, and many of them were in fancy clothes, just having come from near the Capitol in special seating.  Did they make it to the stands in time for the parade?  My guess is that they were stopped at the TSA "chokepoints" on their way down from special seating/standing areas closer to the Capitol, because live views of the parade later on showed the bleachers half empty.

An online search for information about the security checkpoints revealed the following:

Six hundred fifty thousand general admission attendees were expected with 12 TSA checkpoints along the parade route and the mall. Two hundred fifty thousand who had tickets were processed through separate checkpoints. The TSA said they could screen 1,500 people per hour.  So it would take 36 hours to process 18,000 per hour if crowds were evenly distributed throughout the day before the event.

Did the powers that be want to restrict access to Trump's inauguration so the media could claim that the crowds were much smaller than Obama's?  And how in the world did 2 million people make it onto the mall back in 2008 if these same restrictions were in place?

 

Not only did anti-Trump professional protesters disrupt and block inaugural attendees, but security checkpoints also kept untold numbers of Trump supporters from getting through to the National Mall to witness the president take the oath of office.  

Media headlines like the AP's "Trump draws far smaller inaugural crowd than Obama" may seem plausible if you took pictures only of the Mall itself.  But out in the streets, the crowds told another story.

According to the Washington Post, 900,000 people were expected, and a security force of 28,000 was prepared to watch over "100 square blocks of prime downtown real estate."  But reports after the event are now saying "thin crowds" and only "hundreds of thousands" attended.

What the true numbers were, we'll never know, because so many people were inordinately delayed at security checkpoints overseen by the TSA.  At our checkpoint for general admission to the mall on Indiana Avenue at 7th Street NW, there were thousands of people waiting to be processed through a setup of five scanning machines.  We stood for three hours in that location until we got through and ran to the mall to see the president taking the oath of office on the JumboTron.

We were going to stay and view the parade, but that meant standing another two hours until it began, so we made our way back to Union Station past the same checkpoint we had gone through earlier.  Thousands were still waiting, packed shoulder to shoulder like rounded up cattle, sadly, unable to view history.

As we walked, we saw people streaming toward the parade venue, and many of them were in fancy clothes, just having come from near the Capitol in special seating.  Did they make it to the stands in time for the parade?  My guess is that they were stopped at the TSA "chokepoints" on their way down from special seating/standing areas closer to the Capitol, because live views of the parade later on showed the bleachers half empty.

An online search for information about the security checkpoints revealed the following:

Six hundred fifty thousand general admission attendees were expected with 12 TSA checkpoints along the parade route and the mall. Two hundred fifty thousand who had tickets were processed through separate checkpoints. The TSA said they could screen 1,500 people per hour.  So it would take 36 hours to process 18,000 per hour if crowds were evenly distributed throughout the day before the event.

Did the powers that be want to restrict access to Trump's inauguration so the media could claim that the crowds were much smaller than Obama's?  And how in the world did 2 million people make it onto the mall back in 2008 if these same restrictions were in place?