Throughout last week, everyone was led to believe there was so much interest in President Donald Trump’s Saturday rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma that an overflow space was likely to be needed.
When the president failed to fill the Bank of Oklahoma Center, however, critics on the left were quick to attribute the low attendance to a teen prank conducted on social media site TikTok. But according to The Hill, the Trump campaign is now pushing to end that narrative by confirming rumors of an alternative explanation for the turnout in Tulsa.
Rally numbers fall short
The Tulsa rally was supposed to mark the official re-start of Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign following the halt on large events brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Campaign manager Brad Parscale repeatedly boasted during the preceding days about the large numbers of online registrations received for the rally, stating that by week’s end, there had been more than one million ticket requests made by Trump supporters.
Eager attendees started to queue up for the event days in advance, with lines starting to grow in earnest by Thursday afternoon.
After thousands of fans were already in place, an emergency curfew was enacted by local authorities, and everyone was sent home.
Supporters lined up again on Friday, but momentum had clearly been lost, some of which was attributed to the threats of protestors bent on disrupting the event.
By the time the rally was over, it was reported that just 6,200 people were in attendance inside the arena, even though the Trump campaign claimed that more than 12,000 people went through metal detectors at security checkpoints, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
As the disappointing turnout became apparent, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) thought she had figured it all out, stating that a group of teenage pranksters succeeded in trolling the Trump campaign by ordering tickets with no intention of going to the rally.
Parscale addressed this theory when discussing the unexpectedly low turnout, asserting, “Leftists and online trolls doing a victory lap, thinking they somehow impacted rally attendance, don’t know what they’re talking about or how our rallies work.”
The Trump campaign manager went on to attribute the attendance figures to a “week’s worth of fake news media” attempting to stir up fears of coronavirus spread among many who might have otherwise turned out for the event.
Democrats can continue to gloat if they wish, but if they took the time to consider how many Americans tuned in to the rally on Fox News — 7.7 million, which is a Saturday night record for the network — they may want to keep the cork in that champagne bottle for just a bit longer.