A group of anti-Donald Trump Republicans, The Lincoln Project, dragged the president by tweeting out a picture from the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, showing plenty of empty seats just minutes before the start of the campaign rally.
The group, which is an American political action committee that formed in late 2019 to prevent Donald Trump’s reelection, shared the president’s tweet from earlier this week that said nearly 1 million tickets had been requested to his Tulsa event. It also included a picture from inside the downtown arena, which seats 19,000 people, showing what appeared to be a sparse crowd. The blue seats of the upper area were almost empty. Meanwhile, the seats on the lower level were full in some sections and partially filled in others. Hundreds of people also milled around on the floor. The image’s angle was an off-center view from one end of the arena facing the other end, and it may have shown between a third and a bit less than half of the available seating.
The photo’s caption, the group noted that it was 40 minutes until the rally was supposed to start. Vice President Mike Pence was slated to speak first with President Trump speaking later in the evening.
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) June 20, 2020
The photograph received quite a bit of attention as the eyes of the country appeared to be on the president’s first campaign rally since much of the United States shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic to slow the spread of the novel virus. In minutes, more than 9,500 Twitter users hit the like button, and almost 4,000 accounts retweeted the photo. At least 1,500 accounts left a reply about the situation.
In the comments, The Lincoln Project shared a cropped version of the picture that showed the almost empty upper-level seats with the caption “yikes.”
Several replies noted that the crowd did not appear to be 1 million strong, and others shared pictures of Donald Trump’s inauguration. At least one Twitter user shared a photo with stick figures drawn in and suggested that the president might use a sharpie to show a more substantial crowd later. There were also pictures and videos of CNN’s report showing the live feed of the rally’s overflow area, which was mostly empty, and the president’s second speech for the overflow was canceled. Some of those who replied noted that the rally hadn’t started yet and that there could be some late arrivals, which would leave the arena full.
Ahead of Trump’s arrival in Tulsa, The Inquisitr reported that the president was incensed that news of six campaign staffers who helped organize the event tested positive for COVID-19 was made public. Ahead of the rally, health officials in Tulsa warned that the indoor gathering could lead to a spike of coronavirus cases in the State of Oklahoma, which had already seen its numbers rising throughout June.