President Donald Trump‘s supporters waited roughly two hours for shuttle buses to transport them back to their cars on Saturday night, following an evening campaign rally that took place at an airport in Butler, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh.
The rally marked Trump’s penultimate campaign outing in Pennsylvania on Saturday—the third of four engagements, as the president pushes for a win in what is considered one of this election season’s most important battleground states—and second campaign event to see significant transportation issues over the past week.
Ryan Nobles, a Washington correspondent at CNN who covered the Butler rally, called its aftermath a “massive logistical nightmare,” as thousands of attendees lingered at the outdoor site in 41-degree weather. The circumstances were reminiscent of those that played out following Trump’s reelection event in Omaha, Nebraska, last Tuesday, when hundreds of attendees braced freezing temperatures while waiting for shuttles to take them to distant parking lots where they’d left their vehicles.
The weather in Omaha that night was less forgiving than it was in Butler on Saturday, and at least seven attendees were hospitalized as a result of prolonged exposure to the cold. At the time, Samantha Zager, the deputy national secretary at Trump’s campaign, said road closures surrounding the Nebraska rally delayed shuttles’ arrival, in a statement reported by multiple news outlets, including the Associated Press.
Speaking to Anderson Cooper during the broadcast anchor’s evening news program, Nobles said many supporters made the trek back to their vehicles on foot after organized transportation failed to arrive. The reporter and fellow CNN crew members were among those who decided to walk, although their designated parking area was closer to the airport than others. Through the windshield of his car, Nobles photographed a group of individuals walking in the road several miles away from where the rally took place.
“We walked roughly a mile to the media parking lot and found our car and were able to begin driving out,” Nobles wrote on Twitter around 8:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, alongside a photo that saw three people walking in the dark just a few yards ahead.
“We drove close to 3 miles away from the airport and we’re still spotting people walking to their cars in the middle of a busy road,” his tweet continued.
Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s communications director, addressed reports of stranded crowds in Butler around 10:30 p.m. ET on Saturday night. In a message shared to Twitter, Murtaugh called CNN’s reporting “fake news” and said all attendees were transported from the western Pennsylvania airport within two hours of the president’s departure.
“After the rally in Butler, PA, @CNN tossed a #FakeNews bomb about the crowd & shuttle buses. We had 47 buses, heating tents & hand warmers for those waiting,” Murtaugh wrote. “Buses ran smoothly, all 15k attendees were cleared in <2 hours.”
Newsweek reached out to the Trump campaign for comment, but did not receive a reply in time for publication.