The Columbus Division of Fire is fighting back against Donald Trump‘s accusations that marshals were playing politics by limiting crowd size at his rally — saying that Trump’s people agreed to the capacity of the venue.
Trump made a similar claim in Colorado Springs on Friday, where he accused the marshal of being a Clinton supporter and Democrat.
The chief public information officer for the Columbus Division of Fire says that the Trump campaign was aware of the 1,000 person limit of the space they booked at the Greater Columbus Convention Center when they reserved it last Friday.
“That was the plan all along,” Battalion Chief Steve Martin told ABC News in a phone interview Monday.
“We feel disappointed that Mr. Trump wasn’t aware of how that number was reached and that it was agreed to by his own people,” Martin said.
Martin further defended the Columbus Division of Fire against claims of political motivation by noting that positions at the division are not politically appointed jobs.
The only reason for the limited crowd size, Martin maintains, was fire code.
“Life safety is always paramount no matter what the event is,” he said. “The code is in place for a reason.”
Trump called a last-minute gaggle with reporters prior to the start of his Columbus event on Monday to complain about the limited crowd size, telling reporters that there were “thousands of people outside” who were turned away from the space that he claimed could have accommodated “four-, five-, six-thousand people.”
“It’s a disgrace,” Trump said. “For political reason, they were turned away…the fire marshal said he’s not allowed to allow anymore even though the building hold many thousands of people.”
Martin told ABC News that while the building where the campaign event was held is capable of accommodating more than 1,000 people, the space that the Trump campaign had booked is limited to 1,000.