President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will no longer be giving a speech to the overflow crowd at the Bank of Oklahoma Center in Tusla, Oklahoma after the crowd at the 19,000-seat venue ended up being smaller than projected.
As ABC News reporter Will Steakin reported on Twitter, a campaign source said that the president had canceled his plants to deliver an address to the overflow crowd waiting outside the center.The Trump campaign had been saying that the president was giving two speeches at one rally for the first time. A stage was set up for the overflow crowd with a large podium and protective glass. However, after it became evident that the overflow crowd would be far smaller than expected, the speech was canceled.
Eventually, the entire overflow area was emptied prior to the beginning of the rally.
As images from the event show, the stadium appears to be well below capacity as Eric Trump amped the crowd up ahead of his father taking the stage.The Trump campaign reported that over a million people had signed up to get tickets to the rally and the campaign was reportedly looking into securing a second venue to accommodate the expected crowd, as CNN reported.
"I can tell you is it's all a work in progress and we've had such an overwhelming response that we're also looking at another venue. We're also looking at outside activities and I know the campaign team will keep people informed as that goes forward," Pence said.
Trump himself had said that the campaign might secure the nearby convention center, which could host 40,000 attendees.
"I think we're going to have a great time," Trump said.
"We expect to have -- you know, it's like a record-setting crowd. We've never had an empty seat."But as the rally began in Tulsa on Saturday evening, video footage from politics reporter at the New York Times, Astead Herndon, shows, the upper tier of the stadium is largely empty. The campaign released a statement confirming that the overflow speech was canceled, but that the Tusla rally featured thousands of "energetic supporters, a stark contrast to the sleepy campaign being run by Joe Biden from his basement in Delaware."
The statement goes on to claim that "radical protestors" prevented access to metal detectors and ultimately frightened off rally attendees.
"We are proud of the thousands who stuck it out," Tim Murtaugh, the campaign spokesman, said.
Coverage from the major news networks didn't show any protestors preventing access to the venue, but a woman wearing a shirt that read "I can't breathe" was arrested and removed from the event.