Crowd booed protester, not Trump, at US conservative forum

A video shared on social media appears to show a crowd booing former US president Donald Trump at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in March 2023. This is false; the full footage reveals the heckling was directed at a protester who disrupted Trump's speech capping off the convention.

"Not only did Trump give the worst speech ever at CPAC, but he was also booed while talking, this will never get old," says a March 5, 2023 tweet sharing a video viewed more than 47,000 times.

Screenshot from Twitter taken March 6, 2023

In the 20-second snippet taken from TikTok, Trump condemns "perverts who use the names of Washington and Lincoln to buy millions of dollars in ads to say bad, libelous and incorrect things about us." The crowd boos in the background.

The former president spoke for one hour and 45 minutes on March 4 to close out the four-day gathering of conservatives, rehashing voter fraud conspiracy theories as he made his case for another term in the White House in 2024.

But despite what the posts suggest, Trump was not met with jeers in National Harbor, Maryland.

A complete recording from C-SPAN shows a zoomed-out picture of the crowd as people start booing more than 20 minutes into Trump's speech. The footage indicates the target of their ire was a demonstrator whom security ushered out of the venue after disrupting the remarks.

A Trump campaign aide confirmed to AFP that the booing was aimed at a protester.

"The booing was clearly not directed at President Trump," the aide, who attended the speech, said in an email. "A little into the speech there was a disturbance with someone bringing in loud music. People booed that person and then began chanting 'USA' in support of President Trump. It was over very quickly."

An AFP journalist at the event also did not hear the crowd boo Trump.

The protester

Others present at the convention shared videos of the protester on Twitter. Several indicated the individual was playing "FDT," an anti-Trump anthem that American rappers YG and the late Nipsey Hussle released in 2016.

Using keywords for the event and the song, AFP found Instagram posts from a self-described pop-up DJ in New York City in which he claimed responsibility for crashing Trump's speech.

Naveh Halperin, known as "Subway DJ," confirmed to AFP in an Instagram direct message that he was the protester whom the crowd booed. Halperin's videos -- one of which shows him rolling his signature stereo on wheels into the venue before being escorted out by security -- back that up.

"I just interrupted trump's CPAC speech with some @nipseyhussle - 'F*** Donald Trump' chorus on repeat," he said in a March 4 Instagram post. "Needless to say the MAGA were not happy about it."

Another video post published days later says: "Gave trump and his supporters a little surprise "f*** donald trump" interruption courtesy of @yg and @nipseyhussle. Was chased away by security before the verse could start but at least his supporters had fun."

Screenshot from Instagram taken March 7, 2023

Screenshot from Instagram taken March 7, 2023



Halperin's activities in New York City have been the subject of several reports from local and national news outlets.

AFP contacted CPAC for comment, but no response was forthcoming.

AFP has fact-checked other claims about Trump here.