Former Republican President Donald Trump announced he would campaign for the White House in 2024—to a literally captive audience.
Video footage of the event—which took place at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort club—showed security guards blocked people from leaving the room before Trump finished.
A video was uploaded to Twitter by ABC News journalist Olivia Rubin, who noted a crowd had formed "by the exit of the ballroom" but security blocked the exits as Trump rambled on and on.
You can see the video below.
The video prompted many to point out the experience of audience members locked in the room offers a perfect metaphor for the state of American politics since Trump entered the scene.
Trump's speech lasted more than an hour and was described as "incredibly low energy" by ABC News journalist Jonathan Karl, who reported that he "saw people trying to leave and people leaving early even before he was done" but that security guards, perhaps concerned that the ballroom would empty out before Trump had finished, "actually started preventing people from leaving."
Trump's announcement came after the midterm elections did not result in the "red wave" Republican legislators and pollsters had counted on, and many candidates who had backed Trump's false narrative about election fraud were repudiated at the ballot box.
Despite their influence, this year's midterm elections were seen as a referendum on how much sway Trump and his rhetoric still have over the American electorate. The lack of a "red wave" indicates that many voters have repudiated his lies and blatant attempts to subvert the democratic process.
The New York Times this week reported that Trump's announcement—which has been largely discouraged by GOP insiders who have urged senior leadership to break from Trump following the GOP's disappointing midterm election performance—is largely an attempt to "inject uncertainty" into ongoing Justice Department investigations into his alleged criminality.