Earlier this week, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale took to Twitter to brag that more than 1 million people requested tickets for a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
On Saturday, as Donald Trump took the stage in a largely empty arena far below the 20,000-seat capacity, the campaign claimed it was “radical protesters” that kept the crowds away.
Trump’s rally in Tulsa was met with plenty of controversy throughout the week, with local officials and public health experts calling for him to cancel the event amid fears that it could lead to an outbreak of the coronavirus. Trump’s campaign held firm, pushing back not only against calls to have it canceled but also resisting any move to institute social distancing measures. Many at the rally did not wear face masks or maintain a distance of 6 feet — guidelines recommended by public health experts.
But as the rally kicked off on Saturday night, much of the attention was on the low attendance. After Parscale had continually bragged throughout the week about the large number of people registered for tickets, livestreaming video from the event showed that Trump was met with a largely empty arena, with many sections of seating empty. The picture was mostly the same outside, with sparse crowds of supporters and a nearly empty overflow area.
Parscale took to Twitter to explain that “radical” protesters prevented people from coming in, though there did not appear to be any reports of this actually happening.
“Radical protestors, fueled by a week of apocalyptic media coverage, interfered with @realDonaldTrump supporters at the rally,” he claimed on Twitter. “They even blocked access to the metal detectors, preventing people from entering. Thanks to the 1,000s who made it anyway!”
But video from outside the event showed little of what Parscale described, with mostly orderly protests and little crowds. As The Inquisitr reported, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence had to call off plans to address the crowd outside the arena due to low attendance. Trump has frequently bragged at his rallies that there are thousands of people who had to be turned away due to capacity issues, even when video evidence does not back up his claims.
CNN’s live shot of the “overflow” crowd at Trump’s campaign event in Tulsa. There’s literally no one there. pic.twitter.com/vlP6mr9LjA
— John Aravosis ????????????????????️???? (@aravosis) June 20, 2020
Trump made reference to the protesters as he addressed the cheering crowd, claiming they were doing “bad” things.
“We had some very bad people outside that were doing bad things,” Trump said at the start of the rally, prompting cheers from the crowd.