Here’s How Everyone Is Spinning Tulsa Trump Rally’s Lower-Than-Expected Turnout

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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President Donald Trump’s Tulsa campaign rally didn’t quite deliver on the promised turnout, prompting allies and critics alike to put their own spin on the matter.

The Saturday event was Trump’s first campaign rally since the coronavirus pandemic began, and the president’s team spent the week leading up to it touting the huge number of RSVPs for tickets to the event.

President Trump himself criticized his presumptive opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, for failing to pack even a few socially-distanced folding chairs.

But when Saturday came around, the arena was not as packed as many had expected it to be.

Trump critics were quick to point to a social media campaign, fueled by a TikTok video made by a woman named Mary Jo Laupp, which had encouraged them to sign up for tickets and then not attend.

Laupp explained her video to CNN’s Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources.”


Laupp explained that her video had gotten picked up by K-Pop fans, which had resulted in it going viral.

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez credited that video with hoodwinking the Trump campaign.

Trump campaign Senior Adviser Mercedes Schlapp said that some of the lowered turnout was due to the threat of protests in the area, telling Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” that even members of her own family had voiced concerns about that. (RELATED: ‘Please Don’t Filibuster’: Chris Wallace Accuses Mercedes Schlapp Of Denying Empty Seats At Trump Rally)


“I’m telling you there were people — people who couldn’t bring their children because of concerns of the protesters,” Schlapp said.

Several people shared video of Black Lives Matter protesters blocking off streets and even the main entrance to the rally at one point, although attendees were still able to get into the arena through other entrances.

But the most likely explanation appeared to be that there were multiple factors influencing the number of people who ultimately attended Saturday’s rally — as journalist Yashar Ali explained.