Donald Trump's campaign returned to rallies on Saturday night, promising heavy crowds and one million email requests for tickets. However, when the time came for the rally to start, the crowds were far smaller than expected by the campaign. Due to this, the Trump campaign canceled a planned "outdoor experience" for those who couldn't go inside for the main event.
A release by his campaign tried to spin the situation and blame it on "violent people" and protesters who allegedly disrupted the event and blocked people from entering the arena. This was refuted by several reporters and eyewitnesses on the scene but later repeated by Trump during his speech.
Both Trump and Pence have scrapped plans to speak at this outdoor "overflow" location. https://t.co/zJiLvRLIzQ— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) June 20, 2020
"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, protesters 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," Trump's campaign said in a statement.
Despite these claims made by the campaign, photos from outside and inside the rally show crowd sizes were not prohibited and were far below expectations. There were also the growing concerns over the spiking coronavirus numbers across the nation, including Oklahoma in the weeks preceding the rally.
Update: outdoor area has completely emptied out. pic.twitter.com/XS8M0IJRFc— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) June 20, 2020
Trump's rally itself was a string of falsehoods and repeated phrases that have highlighted his public comments and social media posts in past months. Since he couldn't have a rally since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, everything Trump had pent up inside was brought out on the stage in some form or another. The president went on for over an hour about every topic in the name of winning the election this November.
Not addressed during the rally were any of the concerns and issues shared by protesters on the streets or the over 100,000 dead from COVID-19. Trump did spend a large amount of his speech discussing his West Point speech and how he walked down a ramp.