During the week, Donald Trump’s campaign bragged that 1 million people had requested tickets to the president’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. On Sunday, the Tulsa Fire Department delivered a much lower final total on how many people actually attended.
Andrew Little, the Public Information Officer for the Tulsa Fire Department, told Forbes on Sunday that the fire marshal put the turnout at 6,200 people, less than 1 percent of the number of people the campaign had said asked for tickets and a fraction of the 19,200 that the arena could seat.
The Trump campaign bragged repeatedly throughout the week about the number of people they said had asked for tickets. The campaign opened up a portal on their website allowing people to sign up for tickets, though attendance inside the arena itself was not guaranteed.
Over 1M ticket requests for the @realDonaldTrump #MAGA Rally in Tulsa on Saturday.— Brad Parscale (@parscale) June 15, 2020
Before entering each guest will get:
There will be precautions for the heat and bottled water as well.
As The Inquisitr reported, some of the disparity between the expected attendance and the 6,200 who actually showed up to the rally may be due to an online campaign to troll the president. A group of teenagers took to social media to brag about registering for tickets they never intended to use, inflating the expected total and aiming to block actual Trump supporters from showing up.
The low attendance for the Tulsa rally became one of the biggest stories of the event, overshadowing the significance of Trump returning to the campaign trail and ignoring the requests of local officials that he cancel the event due to fears it could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases. Many reporters inside the arena shared pictures of large stretches of empty seats. Others noted that the campaign appeared to gather the largest part of the crowd behind Trump, making it appear to cameras as if there were more people there. Trump himself shared some close-cropped pictures from the event, focusing on areas of the arena where crowds were more tightly gathered.
The event had been billed by Trump’s campaign as something of a re-start after they had to cancel all in-person events due to restrictions from the coronavirus. Trump had not held a rally since early March, but reports indicated that he was eager to get out of the White House and attending events again.
As CNN reported, the Trump campaign said that the much smaller-than-expected crowd at Saturday’s rally was the result of protesters who interfered and prevented people from entering. But CNN noted that none of its reporters or producers on the ground in Tulsa saw this, and video taken outside the rally showed little in the way of large-scale protests.