Donald Trump’s campaign has privately admitted that as many as 300,000 of the people who signed up for Saturday’s rally in Tulsa were online tricksters as the president’s fury mounts over the lack of attendance.
Trump and his campaign manager Brad Parscale bragged that one million tickets had been requested, only for the 19,000-seat BOK Center to have 6,200 people in it, according to Tulsa officials.
The high number of requests led the campaign to plan for an outdoor event to handle the expected overflow crowd – only have to cancel it at the last minute when people did not show up.
After going through the signups, the campaign determined that around 300,000 were fake,
The worst case scenario was that 60,000 people would show up.
Their estimates were off by thousands and a furious Trump yelled at his staff backstage at the BOK Center before he went out to address the supporters who did show up.
Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican Party, argued on Monday that the 6,200 attendance number was wrong and that the number of people in the arena was at least doubled that.
‘I talked of the campaign this morning, and they said it was double that at least,’ she told Fox News. ‘I do think there was a little chaos in Tulsa and they disperse the crowds early that people in the front row who were camping out were forced to leave early.’
She attributed the low attendance to Sunday being Father’s Day.
‘You had it being on Father’s Day weekend, people who were scared about violence and coronavirus but people showed up and having 11 million people watch online shows that enthusiasm exists,’ she said.
And t White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump wasn’t angry at the crowd size.
‘The president was not angry at all, the president was quite energized, I was with him after the rally, it was a huge success, his speech got rave reviews. He was in great spirits on Marine One,’ she told Fox News Monday morning.
‘He was in very good spirits,’ she added.
Furious President Donald Trump yelled at staff backstage over the low turnout at his much-hyped rally in Tulsa on Saturday before he went out to address supporters
The President tees off at the Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Virginia, Sunday
President Trump’s campaign denies claims that teens on social media and K-pop fans reserved the bulk of tickets for the rally in Tulsa on Saturday. The upper section of the BOK Center is partially empty during the event (above)
President Trump (left) was reportedly ‘furious’ at the ‘underwhelming’ crowd size in Tulsa on Saturday, though it appears that campaign manager Brad Parscale’s (right) job is safe for now
But, on Saturday night, Looking at row after row of empty blue seats, Trump was stunned and vented his frustration to his aides, reported, although Parscale was not present for the tongue-lashing.
There are no further campaign rallies scheduled. President Trump had said his campaign was planning events in Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, and Texas – but nothing has been announced.
The president, who has no public events on his schedule for Monday, will be in Arizona on Tuesday to visit the border and address an assembly of youth. He’ll also travel to Wisconsin on Thursday to the Fincantieri Mariette Marine.
In a statement, the Trump campaign blamed the ‘fake news media’ for ‘warning people away from the rally’ over COVID-19 and protests against racial injustice around the country.
‘Leftists and online trolls doing a victory lap, thinking they somehow impacted rally attendance, don´t know what they’re talking about or how our rallies work,’ Parscale wrote.
‘Reporters who wrote gleefully about TikTok and K-Pop fans – without contacting the campaign for comment – behaved unprofessionally and were willing dupes to the charade.’
Tim Murtaugh, the communications director for the Trump campaign, tweeted on Sunday: ‘Trolls thinking they hacked rally tix don’t know how this works.
‘Lame trick tried many times. We weed out bogus RSVPs with fake phone#s. All rallies are general admission. Real factor was media-stoked fear. Most media didn’t bother to ask us anyway.’
On Sunday, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign was grilled on by host Chris Wallace, who said ‘you guys look silly’ by ‘denying the reality of what happened’ in Tulsa.
‘[Trump] talks about how he can fill an arena, and he didn’t fill an arena last night,’ the Fox News Sunday host told Mercedes Schlapp, a former White House official who moved over to work for the campaign.
‘You guys were so far off that you had planned an outdoor rally and there wasn’t an overflow crowd. Protesters did not stop people from coming to that rally. The fact is, people did not show up.’
Fox News host Chris Wallace grilled Mercedes Schlapp (above), an adviser to the Trump campaign, over claims that protesters prevented people from reaching the rally in Tulsa on Saturday
In response, Schlapp tried to change the subject to Trump’s opponent in November, Democrat Joe Biden.
‘Joe Biden has been a failed politician that has done nothing but support failed institutions,‘ Schlapp said.
‘This is in contrast with President Trump who has a strong record and is rebuilding this economy.’
Wallace then told Schlapp that she was ‘shifting to a campaign speech’ to avoid answering the question.
‘Mercedes, please don’t filibuster,’ Wallace said in the on-air exchange.
‘Frankly, it makes you guys look silly when you deny the reality of what happened.’
Schlapp maintained, however, that the combination of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter protesters deterred people from the rally.
‘When it comes to understanding how the rallies work, 카지노사이트 it’s a first-come, first-served basis,’ Schlapp said.
She said it was ‘important to understand – and I had this with my own personal family who lives not far away from Tulsa, that they were concerned.
‘There were factors involved, like they were concerned about the protesters who were coming in.’
Trump looked fatigued as he returned to the White House early Sunday following the rally.
Trump was seen stepping off Marine One onto the South Lawn of the White House early in the morning with his red tie undone – a rare sight for the president – and a red ‘Make America Great Again’ cap clutched in his hand.
In his Saturday night speech Trump praised the supporters who showed up saying, ‘Thank you warriors. Thank you.’
The president claimed ‘thugs’ blocked his supporters from filling the noticeably vacant seats at his speech.
But reporters outside the arena saw no evidence of protesters blocking any of the three entrances into the BOK Center.
The presidents’ daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner, who is also a top White House aide, are reportedly ‘p****d’ at Parscale for the low turnout,
The network quoted a campaign official as saying that Trump’s family is unhappy with Parscale for overestimating the number of people that were going to attend the rally.
‘Jared and Ivanka are p****d at Brad over promising on crowd size,’ the source said.
A top aide to Kushner, Avi Berkowitz, denied the story.
‘This is false,’ Berkowitz tweeted.
Saturday night marked Trump’s first rally since campaigning was sidelined by the coronavirus crisis and since Joe Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Polls show Biden leading Trump in their match up as voters give the president low marks for his handling of the pandemic and for his response to race relations after the death of George Floyd.
The rally in Tulsa was painted as the event that would reset the Trump campaign, bring the president back up in the polls, and let Trump enjoy the cheers of supporters – the kind of energy he craves and thrives off of.
But the BOK Center was marked by row after row of empty seats and a scheduled stop for the president for the outside overflow area had to be canceled after the expected crowds didn’t appear.
The Trump campaign’s chief spokesperson blamed ‘media-stoked fear’ for the poor attendance at the rally
‘There’s still space!’ the campaign texted supporters before Trump took the stage. After the rally was over the campaign argued that four million people watched it online, calling it an audience Biden ‘can only dream of.’
The president and his team had a variety of reasons for the lack of a crowd, including media reports on the rising number of coronavirus cases in Oklahoma and protesters outside of arena, claiming they blocked the security lines so people could not get inside.
‘I have been watching the fake news for weeks now. And everything is negative,’ Trump said in his remarks.
‘We had some very bad people outside. They were doing bad things. But I really do appreciate it,’ he told those who showed up.
‘You saw these thugs that came along,’ Trump complained of the peaceful demonstrators outside the BOK Center, many of whom wore ‘Black Lives Matters’ t-shirts.
In his speech that lasted one hour and 41 minutes, Trump railed against his rival ‘Sleepy Joe’ and claimed he was controlled by the ‘radical left.’ His speech painted a fearful picture of life in America under a President Joe Biden, where people wouldn’t be able to own a gun or go to church, and where mob rule would be a way of life.
His speech also contained the kind of political red meat his supporters like to hear: his support for a strong military, his criticism of protesters tearing down statues of Confederate Army officers, his demand that other nations stop ‘ripping off’ the United States, and his call for people who burn the American flag to serve one year in jail.
Parscale was ridiculed on social media on Saturday as Trump critics delighted in pointing out that at least one-third of the 19,000-seat BOK Center in Tulsa was empty.
Earlier this week, Parscale tweeted that more than a million people requested tickets for the rally through Trump’s campaign website. ‘Over 1M ticket requests for the @realDonaldTrump #MAGA Rally in Tulsa,’ Parscale tweeted about a week before the event.
Tulsa Fire Department spokesperson Andy Little said the city fire marshal’s office reported a crowd of just less than 6,200 in the arena.
City officials had expected a crowd of 100,000 people or more in downtown Tulsa, but that never materialized.
The president and vice president both canceled planned speeches that they were expecting to give to a large overflow crowd just outside of the arena.
After it became apparent that just a few dozen people had showed up, campaign organizers folded up the stage which was already outfitted with protective glass that Trump was supposed to have stood behind while giving his address.
Meanwhile, several news reports indicate that Trump and his top aides are angry over the sparsely attended rally.
In late April it was reported that Trump threatened to sue Parscale during a furious phone call in the wake of his poll numbers plummeting and re-election chances diminishing.
CNN and The New York Times reported on the back-and-forth on April 29, noting that Parscale and Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel had told the president to quit it with his daily coronavirus press briefings, as they were hurting him with swing-state voters.
On the call – one of a series of such calls with aides – Trump tore into Parscale for the cratering polls, shouting ‘I’m not f***ing losing to Joe Biden,’ during a conversation peppered with profanity, the Associated Press reported.
The campaign chief shot back, ‘I love you, too,’ according to The Times. Jared Kushner was also present for the expletive-filled confrontations.
The president himself was also ‘furious’ at the ‘underwhelming’ crowd in Tulsa, where a large turnout was expected for the first campaign event in three months, according to .
Even before the rally on Saturday, Trump was reportedly venting to his top aides about news that six members of his staff, among them at least two Secret Service agents, had tested positive for COVID-19.
The president was said to be upset that the information leaked to the press. He reportedly was angry that news stories about the positive cases were making headlines and marring coverage of the rally.
According to NBC News, while many blame Parscale for the low turnout at the rally, his job is safe for now.
Nonetheless, associates of the president were not impressed.
‘This was a major failure,’ an outside adviser to Trump told NBC News.
Political strategist Steve Schmidt, an outspoken critic of Trump, tweeted on Saturday night: ‘My 16 year old daughter and her friends in Park City Utah have hundreds of tickets. You have been rolled by America’s teens.
‘@realDonaldTrump you have been failed by your team. You have been deserted by your faithful. No one likes to root for the losing team.’
He then added: ‘This is what happened tonight. I’m dead serious when I say this. The teens of America have struck a savage blow against @realDonaldTrump. All across America teens ordered tickets to this event. The fools on the campaign bragged about a million tickets. lol.’
US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised the Zoomers and K-pop allies involved in reserving tickets.
The Oklahoma rally was intended to be the largest indoor gathering in the world during the coronavirus pandemic that has killed almost 120,000 Americans, put 40 million more out of work and upended Trump’s reelection bid.