Ballgowns pile up on DC store shelves because no one is attending Donald Trump’s inauguration

Donald Trump is such a pariah that no one famous is willing to perform at his inauguration, after a who’s who turned him down. It’s turned into such a punchline that even the always affable Jimmy Fallon found himself lampooning Trump last night for inability to book anyone. Now Trump is pushing back, claiming that so many people are attending his inaugural, no one can even find a ballgown in Washington DC stores. But some quick detective work reveals the precise opposite.

For reasons known only to him, Donald Trump told the New York Times on Monday that “all the dress shops are sold out in Washington” because so many people are grabbing them up for his inauguration. But the NY Times quickly checked with some prominent local Washington DC stores would have the dresses in question, and confirmed that none of them are close to being sold out.

People Magazine did its own checking and concluded that there is virtually no demand in DC for ballgowns, with one shop owner flatly saying that “There’s never been less demand.” Salon did some checking as well, and it turns out the lack of demand for ballgowns appears to be such a sore spot that one store tossed the reporter out just for asking how weak demand was.

So why would Donald Trump go and say something so blatantly and verifiably false in the first place? Was he simply lying in the hope of covering for the fact that his inaugural is set to be historically poorly attended? Has his staff lied to him and told him dresses are flying off the shelves in an attempt at keeping up his spirits? In any case, he unwittingly handed the media a negative story about him that it might not have otherwise thought to chase down. And it’s only Monday.

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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report