Courtesy of Axios:
Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace grilled Trump campaign adviser Mercedes Schlapp on why the president’s Saturday rally in Tulsa saw lower-than-expected attendance, despite claims by Trump last week that 1 million people had requested tickets.
As Wallace pointed out, the president frequently touts crowd sizes at his rallies as an indicator of enthusiasm and support. The Trump campaign planned for a massive crowd by setting up an outdoor overflow section for supporters who were shut out of the city’s BOK Center, which has a total capacity of 19,200.
The attendance ended up clocking at just under 6,200, according to the Tulsa Fire Department, and the campaign canceled the outdoor portion of the event.
Schlapp blamed the underwhelming turnout on “protesters,” claiming that supporters who wanted to attend were “worried about the protesters who were coming in.” Tulsa World reported that police only arrested one protester for trespassing in a secure area.
SCHLAPP: “I’d love to see a Joe Biden rally. Let’s bring it on, because there is no comparison. The phenomenon of the rally came because of President Trump, and people came out. Those people that knew that they wanted to be there physically present with the president. They joined us, and they’re family-oriented individuals who wanted to come out and be with us.” *CROSSTALK*
WALLACE: “Mercedes, please don’t filibuster. We’re showing pictures here and it shows big, empty areas. Frankly, it makes you guys look silly when you deny the reality of what happened.”
Mercedes Schlapp can spin this as much as she wants, but Trump’s return to Washington did not appear to be that of a conquering hero.
Remember when aides said they were eagerly awaiting tonight’s rally because it would help lift @realDonaldTrump’s mood? This walk of shame shows how well that worked out.#TrumpRallyFailpic.twitter.com/UhLoFSZJdc
— Andrew Wortman (@AmoneyResists) June 21, 2020
Yeah, that’s not a happy guy.
Now there are reports that Trump is blaming his campaign manager Brad Parscale.
Courtesy of The Guardian:
At the BOK Center in the Oklahoma city on Saturday night, as the president took the stage to give his first campaign speech since the Covid-19 pandemic put large parts of America under lockdown, vast banks of empty seats could be seen.
The Tulsa fire department said 6,200 people attended. The Trump campaign claimed 12,000. The arena holds 19,000.
The campaign had built an “overflow” stage outside the BOK Center, to host brief remarks by Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence. Those speeches were cancelled.
Trump’s demeanour on returning to Washington was widely scrutinised. He was initially quiet on Twitter on Sunday but the president was reported to be “furious” at the “underwhelming” event, which followed a week of controversy about whether it should even be held. According to NBC, the president was “particularly angry that before he even left DC, aides made public that six members of team in Tulsa tested positive for Covid-19”.
CNN reported that the president’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, were “pissed” that Parscale had promised huge crowds. Trump also claimed this week that more than a million people wanted to attend his rally.
In a statement, Parscale blamed the low attendance on “a week’s worth of the fake news media warning people away from the rally because of Covid and protesters”, which he said “coupled with recent images of American cities on fire, had a real impact on people bringing their families and children to the rally”.
He then appeared to threaten to rescind accreditation for journalists critical of the Trump campaign.
I told you it was going to be a shit show and guess what, that was a shit show.
And just wait until we find out how many new cases of the Coronavirus are linked to that rally.
If Trump thinks he looks like a failure now, things may be about to get much worse.