Connect with us


Trump campaign and media tussle over Tulsa rally turnout



“In an increasingly globalised online world, the world’s youth have started getting involved in the narrative for this November’s US Presidential election.”

In the days leading up to Saturday night’s election rally for US President Donald Trump – his first since March – the campaign management were touting figures suggesting that as many as 1 million people had signed up to attend. But the crowds, both inside and outside Oklahoma’s BOK Centre in Tulsa, didn’t emerge. In the wake of the event the reasons being touted vary from threats of protesters, fears of Covid-19, hacks from K-Pop and TikTok users, and poor management by Trumps’ re-election team.

There were large sections of seating left empty in the 19,000 seat venue, and plans for an additional Presidential speech in an outdoor overflow area were cancelled when few attendees filled the spaces made available. The President spoke to his enthusiastic crowd of supporters for around 90 minutes.

Tulsa Fire Marshal’s Office claimed that there were just under 6,200 people in the arena on the Saturday night event. But Trump campaign adviser Mercedes Schlapp, during an interview on “Fox News Sunday,”  claimed that turnout was lower than expected because Mr. Trump’s supporters were afraid of protests outside the venue turning violent.

“People were concerned about the demonstrations, so we saw that have an impact in terms of people coming to the rally. There were people and families that couldn’t bring their children because of concerns of the protesters.”

But media reports from the venue didn’t report any major protests or disruption although one group of protesters blocked one of the venue’s three entrances for about 15 minutes after most people had already entered the arena.

Flexing their online muscle, K-Pop and TikTok social media users bombarded the event’s website reserving seats for the event but never turned up. In an increasingly globalised online world, the world’s youth have started getting involved in the narrative for this November’s US Presidential election. But Mr. Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, said that the campaign had weeded out “tens of thousands” of bogus mobile phone numbers ahead of the rally.

“The fact is that a week’s worth of the fake news media warning people away from the rally because of Covid-19 and protestors, coupled with recent images of American cities on fire, had a real impact on people bringing their families and children to the rally.”

By the time President Trump made his way onto the stage, there had been some tense verbal confrontations outside the arena but no reports of violence. With event attendees and protesters ever-ready with their phones to capture any fracas, all they captured were civilians carrying military-style rifles and pistols wandering amid the crowds claiming they wanted to keep people safe. Tulsa police and US National Guard troops kept opposing sides apart.

Media reports today that, on the flight to Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mr. Trump was “unhappy with television images of the sparse crowds and vacant seats”. He had complained that his campaign aides should have known about the efforts to embarrass him, and argued that potential attendees were further scared away by his campaign’s public confirmation that six members of the advance team tested positive for Covid-19.

Democrats yesterday criticised the Trump campaign’s decision to hold the rally at all, amid the escalation of coronavirus cases in the US. Last week it was publicised that the sign-up page for the rally contained a disclaimer that attendees… “voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to Covid-19” and agree not to hold the campaign or venue liable should they get sick.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court last week denied a request that everyone attending the indoor rally at the BOK Centre wear a mask – few at Saturday’s event appeared to be wearing them.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World57 mins ago

UPDATE: Rushdie is talking again, attacker pleads not guilty

Crime3 hours ago

Thief caught after showing off on TikTok the money he “earned”

Road deaths15 hours ago

Singaporean car driver dead, 7 injured in Phuket crash with bus

Thailand15 hours ago

FDA says Thailand unaffected by contaminated Haagen-Dazs

Crime17 hours ago

Foreign parrotfisher in Krabi says he’s sorry

Chon Buri18 hours ago

17 year old the 18th victim of Mountain B fire, 27 still in hospital

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Economy18 hours ago

After poor South Koreans die in flooded basement home, will there be change?

Thailand19 hours ago

10 Unique Superstitions of Thai People

Weather19 hours ago

Tropical storm ‘Mulan’ makes a splash in the north of Thailand

Patong20 hours ago

Fire breaks out at Patong bar

Politics22 hours ago

Exiled Sri Lanka President warned to stay in his hotel in Bangkok

World22 hours ago

UPDATE: Salman Rushdie on ventilator, details on stabber emerge

Thailand24 hours ago

Campaign to get international training for Thai teen declared record sprinter

Crime24 hours ago

Royal birthdays bring over 100,000 royal prison pardons

Video24 hours ago

The Voice Behind the World’s Top Brands ft. Krit Tone Sukawat | Thaiger Podcast Ep.2

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11