Donald Trump was reportedly left furious at top aides over his disappointing Tulsa rally on Saturday, and one Democratic strategist said that Trump is planning to fire someone “big” in response to the event.
Saturday’s rally in Tulsa was reportedly meant to kick-start Trump’s campaign after being largely shuttered for three months. It had been since early March that Trump held a live rally, with the nationwide shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak also leading Trump to take the show off the road. Reports indicated that top Trump campaign officials looked at Saturday as a chance to start over with a big event.
The Trump campaign bragged throughout the week that as many as 1 million people requested tickets to the event, but Trump arrived in Tulsa on Saturday to sparse crowds. The campaign had to scrap plans to have Trump and Vice President Mike Pence speak to a crowd at an overflow area outside the arena, as there were only a handful of people there. Inside, there were large sections of empty seats. The Tulsa fire marshal put the total attendance at 6,200 — less than one percent of what the campaign had bragged about requesting tickets.
NBC News reported on Sunday that Trump was “furious” at the underwhelming crowd and was left “fuming” at top aides on Saturday, even before the rally began, when news leaked that six campaign aides had tested positive for coronavirus.
“Trump asked those around him why the information was exposed and expressed annoyance that the coverage ahead of his mega-rally was dominated by the revelation.”
There are indications that some top members of Trump’s campaign could be on the chopping block afterward. Scott Dworkin, a Democratic strategist and MSNBC contributor, tweeted on Saturday that Trump was planning to make a major move in response to the disappointing rally.
Just was told Trump is firing someone “big” today over the low rally turnout.— Scott Dworkin (@funder) June 21, 2020
Trump had not made any firings as of late on Sunday evening, but many believed that campaign manager Brad Parscale could be in trouble. It was Parscale who took to Twitter throughout the week to brag about hundreds of thousands of people registered to attend the event, raising expectations and leading many in Trump’s circle to expect overflowing crowds at the event.
Parscale has pushed back against the criticism, saying that protesters prevented many of the Trump supporters from entering — a claim that was refuted by many reporters on the ground in Tulsa. He also appeared to hint at removing credentials from reporters who “celebrate” the low attendance.