NJ boat parade backing Trump re-election includes Rep. Chris Smith
A Barnegat Bay boat parade Saturday billed as "Law Enforcement Officers and Veterans Supporters of Trump" attracted upwards of 2,000 boats — and among participants was U.S. Rep. Chris Smith.
Smith — the only Republican member of New Jersey's Congressional delegation until he was joined by Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who switched affiliation this past winter — rode on a boat captained by Ocean County GOP chairman Frank Holman.
The Ocean County event was planned with the hope of possibly breaking the Guinness World Record for largest parade of boats, according to a blog post by one its organizers, Chris Molla.
Molla said in the same blog post that the bay event's "Primary focus is to bring awareness of the brutality on police officers and to honor veterans," and would not necessarily only involve President Donald Trump supporters.
He also said the event was expected to include "miles, and miles of Trump flags."
As reported by the NY Post, Molla said “The Trump Law and Order Parade" was a way to show support for military and law enforcement, “And the president supports them, so it goes hand in hand.”
The Ocean County event was among a number of similar weekend parades nationwide in support of the president's re-election campaign, just days after a story in The Atlantic accused Trump of repeatedly making remarks about wounded veterans and fallen military members as "losers" and "suckers."
The Associated Press reported late Thursday that it had confirmed some of the remarks, while Fox News National security correspondent Jennifer Griffin separately confirmed some of the comments, as reported on the Fox News Channel Friday, seen in a video clip below.
On Thursday night, Trump took to Twitter and said The Atlantic report was "Fake News" and denied that he ever called late U.S. Senator John McCain a loser.
As seen in video from a 2015 appearance at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa, Trump says after McCain lost his own campaign for president, "I never liked him as much after that, cause I don't like losers."
Along with a photo shared to Smith's re-election campaign Facebook page, a caption noted there was at least one estimate that 2,500 boats were out on the water for the Jersey Shore parade during Labor Day weekend.
Before this summer, the oldest world record verified for the longest boat parade was set in 2014, by 1,180 boats.
In August, a Florida flotilla to support Trump's re-election campaign aimed to break that record, as previously reported by Tampa Bay Times.
A request for comment from Congressman Smith's re-election campaign about his participation in Saturday's parade was not immediately returned Sunday.
A previous version of this story failed to denote Rep. Jeff Van Drew's political party affiliation, switched from Democrat to Republican in December.