President Trump is “furious” at the “underwhelming” crowd at his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday evening, according to multiple people close to the White House.
While Trump and his re-election effort boasted that it would easily fill Tulsa’s BOK Center, which seats more than 19,000 people, only 6,200 supporters ultimately occupied the general admission sections, the Tulsa fire marshal told NBC News.
“The president was fuming at his top political aides Saturday even before the rally began after his campaign revealed that six members of the advance team on the ground in Tulsa had tested positive for COVID-19, including Secret Service personnel, a person familiar with the discussions said,” reports NBC News. “Trump asked those around him why the information was exposed and expressed annoyance that the coverage ahead of his mega-rally was dominated by the revelation.”
— Stephen Rodrick (@stephenrodrick) June 20, 2020
According to the New York Times, Trump and several “staff members stood backstage and gazed at the empty Bank of Oklahoma Center in horror.”
“Trump and Vice President Mike Pence had canceled plans at the last minute to speak at an outdoor overflow rally that was almost entirely empty, despite claims of nearly one million people registering for tickets to attend the event in Tulsa, Okla., and the president’s false boast of never having an empty seat at one of his events,” the Times reported.
“The president, who had been warned aboard Air Force One that the crowds at the arena were smaller than expected, was stunned, and he yelled at aides backstage while looking at the endless rows of empty blue seats in the upper bowl of the stadium, according to four people familiar with what took place. Brad Parscale, the campaign manager who had put the event together, was not present,” the newspaper added.
“By the end of the rally, Mr. Trump’s mood had improved, advisers said. But after he left the stage, the fight seemed to have left him, at least temporarily. Leaving the arena, he wasn’t yelling. Instead, he was mostly muted,” according to the Times. “When he landed back at the White House and walked off Marine One, his tie hung untied around his neck. He waved to reporters, with a defeated expression on his face, holding a crumpled red campaign hat in one hand.”
Several White House officials called the rally “a disaster,” and “an unforced error that heightened tensions among some of the president’s government advisers and his campaign aides.”
I’m💀 🤣😂 Trump Returning home after his disappointing Rally! Cover, Foreigner – 'I Want To Know What Love Is' pic.twitter.com/5j02WruNuH
— Just Vent (@JustVent6) June 21, 2020
MOMENTS AGO: President Trump returns to Joint Base Andrews from Tulsa. He is holding a 'Make America Great Again' hat. pic.twitter.com/CfWLO1VsfU
— The Hill (@thehill) June 21, 2020
This picture of #Trump at Andrews after the #Tulsa disaster is unlike any we’ve ever seen. Ever the dime-store dramaturg, he’s undone his tie and put on the look of a defeated man. He thinks he’s crafting a new script as a Comeback Kid. He doesn’t realize that he really HAS lost. pic.twitter.com/GO4y3D7QIZ
— howardfineman (@howardfineman) June 21, 2020