- President Trump scrapped a planned speech to the overflow crowd outside the arena at his Saturday night rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma after the event saw lower than expected turnout with no big overflow.
- Members of the media at the event reported that thousands of people were in attendance inside the arena, but the crowd was still far smaller than expected.
- Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale blamed the low turnout on “radical protestors, fueled by a week of apocalyptic media coverage” who had purportedly blocked the entrance.
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President Donald Trump canceled a planned speech to the overflow crowd outside the arena at his Saturday night rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma after only dozens of people appeared to show up.
Both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were set to speak to a planned overflow crowd outside Tulsa’s BOK Center. Members of the media at the event reported that the crowd inside the arena was sizeable but still far smaller than expected.
Trump’s campaign boasted that over a million people had requested tickets to the rally. But photos and videos on the ground showed that many sections were empty.
“President Trump is rallying in Tulsa with thousands of energetic supporters, a stark contrast to the sleepy campaign being run by Joe Biden from his basement in Delaware,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtagh said in a statement.
He further claimed that “radical protestors, coupled with a relentless onslaught from the media, attempted to frighten off the President’s supporters, adding, “we are proud of the thousands who stuck it out.”
—Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) June 20, 2020
—Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) June 20, 2020
—Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) June 21, 2020
—Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) June 20, 2020
In a tweet, Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale blamed the low turnout on “radical protestors, fueled by a week of apocalyptic media coverage, interfered with @realDonaldTrump supporters at the rally.”
“They even blocked access to the metal detectors, preventing people from entering,” he wrote, and linked to a Washington Times article about the rally.
But as the Washington Times’ story itself noted, “areas outside the arena appeared to be sparsely populated about an hour before the president’s arrival.” And a pool report from Washington Examiner report Rob Crilly said that there was no sign of protesters or supporters on Trump’s motorcade’s route to the arena.
Trump’s appearance at the BOK Center in Tulsa was the first of his 2020 re-election campaign rallies since the COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States.
Trump wants to declare victory over the novel coronavirus pandemic as cases, positive test rates, and hospitalizations from COVID-19 rise in several states, including Oklahoma.