President Donald Trump says no previous presidential candidate has seen crowds at rallies in the way he has, giving him confidence the support generated over the mass gatherings will get him over the line in the US election.
“I think you're going to see some tremendous results,” he told reporters.
“We had rallies. There was love at those rallies. There's never been rallies like that.”
A confident Trump went as far as to dare the media to fact check his claims – a potential nod to the scrutiny he has repeatedly faced from sections of the media, notably in a 60 Minutes interview with Lesley Stahl where he accused her of “bias and hatred”.
“There's never been anything like we just had... crowds we’ve never seen before,” he reiterated.
“Nobody's ever had it before so I think that translates into a lot of votes.”
Trump said the rallies alongside the debates, particularly the second, meant his campaign “took off”.
Trump embarked on a rally blitz over the last few days, culminating in five across four states on Monday as he targets a poll-defying second election victory.
Rallies have led to 700 deaths, research says
However, Trump’s rallies amid a global pandemic that has seen the US record over a million more coronavirus cases than any country have proved contentious.
They’ve repeatedly been branded super-spreader events.
Stanford University research suggests the rallies have resulted in a further 30,000 infections and a subsequent 700 deaths.
In recent months, Trump has held several dozen rallies in states such as Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Wisconsin, where coronavirus infection rates were already on the rise.
At each event, several thousand people were estimated to have participated.
While most of the rallies were held outdoors, video footage show that participants gathered in close proximity and many were not wearing masks, creating a risk of spreading the virus as they cheered their candidate on.
Mr Trump’s latest remarks prompted a wave of anger online over his perception of the rallies.
“He is not capable of understanding most sane people look at his super-spreader events in disdain,” one person wrote on Twitter.
Others questioned his claims, pointing to an Obama rally in 2008 where Minneapolis’s 20,000-seater Target Centre was at capacity.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.