President Donald Trump’s campaign rally had lower than expected turnout Saturday, leading the campaign to cancel both his and Vice President Mike Pence’s plans to address crowds in the outdoor overflow area before the rally.
Trump was planned to deliver the speech an hour before his full address at the 8 p.m. rally, with video and photos of the event showing a half-empty rally venue.
This was the scene at about 630 eastern. The overflow crowd appeared sparse compared to past Trump event sites. pic.twitter.com/YnIOz5O3U7
— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) June 20, 2020
Trump Campaign says both Pres and VP scrubbing remarks to the outdoor overflow crowd at BOK Center. Campaign blames interference by protesters keeping supporters from getting into the event. They’ll both address the rally crowd inside. pic.twitter.com/fjZB4qN0Fm
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) June 20, 2020
The Trump campaign blamed the low turnout on interference from protesters, as well as critical coverage from the media. (RELATED: REPORT: Trump Campaign Pushing For 4 Live Debates Against Joe Biden)
“President Trump is rallying in Tulsa with thousands of energetic supporters, a stark contrast to the sleepy campaign being run by Joe Biden from his basement in Delaware. Sadly, protestors interfered with supporters, even blocking access to the metal detectors, which prevented people from entering the rally. Radical protesters, coupled with a relentless onslaught from the media, attempted to frighten off the President’s supporters. We are proud of the thousands who stuck it out,” Tim Murtaugh, a campaign spokesman, said in a statement to reporters.
Trump’s decision to hold the June 20 rally was met with widespread criticism over the dangers posed by coronavirus. The Trump campaign took some precautions to protect attendees, including requiring temperature checks and offering masks and hand sanitizer before allowing people in.
The rally came just hours after news that six of Trump’s campaign staffers in Tulsa tested positive for COVID-19.