Trump promises Tulsa rally will be a 'wild evening' after threatening 'lowlife' protesters with harsh policing on Twitter
President Donald Trump promised attendees of the much-disputed Tulsa rally on Saturday a "wild evening" after it got the go-ahead by Oklahoma's Supreme Court on Friday. Trump tweeted Friday what appears to be a threat of harsh treatment for people who might protest in Oklahoma, where he has a campaign rally planned for the weekend. When asked about whether his supporters are required to wear face coverings to the event, the president told Axios: "I recommend people do what they want." In response to the safety concerns, the Trump campaign said that they will do temperature checks and offer hand sanitizers and free masks at the event but that they won't be mandatory. The rally has faced much scrutiny, including outcry about it being held on Juneteenth weekend and in Tulsa, which saw one of the incidents of racial violence in US history.
Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
President Donald Trump promised his supporters were in for a "wild evening" on Saturday after the much-disputed Tulsa rally was given the all-clear by Oklahoma's Supreme Court. In an Axios interview released on Friday night, the president said that masks at the event wouldn't be mandatory, describing them as "a double-edged sword." When asked if he recommended people wear them at the event, he replied: "I recommend people do what they want. We're going to have a wild evening tomorrow night at Oklahoma." On Friday, Trump tweeted to protesters and "lowlifes" ahead of his Saturday rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, promising "a much different scene" to other hotspots of protest like New York, Seattle or Minneapolis. "Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!" he wrote. Speaking to Axios, Trump defended the tweet. He said: "That's got to be the least controversial of my tweets." Trump's tweet came on Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the freeing of Black slaves in the US. Trump's rally — his first within the coronavirus pandemic — had originally been planned for Juneteenth but was moved back one day after widespread criticism. Tulsa's mayor, GT Bynum, imposed a curfew around the venue on Thursday, citing recent "civil unrest." The city's curfew was lifted on Friday afternoon. The mayor said in a statement on Friday: "Last night, I enacted a curfew at the request of Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin, following consultation with the United States Secret Service based on intelligence they had received. Today, we were told the curfew is no longer necessary so I am rescinding it." "Enjoy yourselves - thank you to Mayor Bynum!" Trump wrote on Twitter, adding the mayor informed him of the change in plans. A high metal fence has since been erected to barricade the Trump rally venue. Trump's comments come amid fears that the Tulsa rally could become a coronavirus super spreading event. This week, the state saw its highest daily increase in cases, prompting Tulsa businesses and residents to file a lawsuit that argued social distancing measures and face coverings should be made mandatory at the event. The Oklahoma Supreme Court denied this request on Friday. The president's comments contradict recommendations made by White House top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who said people should wear masks at large gatherings and try to social distance as much as possible. When asked by Axios whether he was aware of Fauci's warnings, the president responded: "Fauci? I'm OK with that. If people want to wear masks I think that's great. I won't be. Not as a protest but I don't feel that I'm in danger."
The queue for the rally at the Bank of Oklahoma Center began forming earlier this week, with several Trump supporters choosing to camp outside. According to the Trump campaign, they received over 1 million ticket requests although the venue only seats 19,000 people.
Over 1M ticket requests for the @realDonaldTrump #MAGA Rally in Tulsa on Saturday.Before entering each guest will get:✅Temperature check✅Hand sanitizer✅MaskThere will be precautions for the heat and bottled water as well. — Brad Parscale (@parscale) June 15, 2020
In response to the safety concerns, the Trump campaign said that they will do temperature checks and offer hand sanitizers and free masks. However, people buying online tickets for the rally had to sign a waiver confirming they "voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19" and will not hold the campaign responsible for "any illness and injury," according to the BBC.
Read more: Facebook has now removed the Trump post featuring doctored video of a Black toddler and fake CNN graphics After 4 years of timidity, Facebook and Twitter are finally taking basic steps to curb Trump's worst instincts Manhattan US attorney says he has 'no intention' of resigning after AG Barr tried to force him out, adds that investigations will continue 'without fear or favor' Trump is the worst possible president for this moment Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Inside London during COVID-19 lockdown
More like this (3)
TikTok teens say they tanked Trump's comeback rally in Tulsa by reserving thousands of tickets then not showing up
President Donald Trump's big comeback rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday was a disappointment, with a...President Donald Trump's big comeback rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday was a disappointment, with a relatively small number of supporters attending and rows of empty seats. On social media, teenagers and K-pop fans are claiming victory. In recent days they've been signing up to tickets for the event - with no intention of attending. In a viral TikTok meme, teenagers have posted images of Trump rally reservation tickets while dancing to the "macarena" pop song. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. President Donald Trump's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Saturday, was billed as his big comeback from the crises that have beset his administration in recent months. But instead of a packed 19,000 capacity stadium of cheering supporters, the president was greeted on Saturday night by the sight of rows of empty seats. Attendance was so poor that the president had to scrap plans to make a speech outside the venue, where expected crowds of supporters who couldn't get into the stadium failed to show up. On Twitter, Trump's campaign manager, Brad Parscale, blamed "radical protestors, fueled by a week of apocalyptic media coverage," claiming they stopped Trump supporters getting into the venue. Reporters at the scene said the anti-Trump protests in the city were relatively small. No this is why https://t.co/fFVCigssZ4 — Brandon Levesque (@brandonlevek) June 21, 2020 This is what happened tonight. I’m dead serious when I say this. The teens of America have struck a savage blow against @realDonaldTrump. All across America teens ordered tickets to this event. The fools on the campaign bragged about a million tickets. lol. @ProjectLincoln. — Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) June 20, 2020 But the real reason for the poor showing maybe a viral campaign that's swept social media platforms TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter. On the platforms, teenagers have been reserving tickets for the rally - with no plans of actually showing up. Key to the campaign, reported The New York Times, is the huge online network of fans of Korean pop music — K-pop. In recent months, they have pivoted from celebrating their favorite groups and artists to political causes, such as swamping right-wing hashtags and raising millions for the Black Lives Matter movement. The Trump campaign had called for supporters to sign up for a free ticket to the rally using their mobile phone in a June 11 tweet, and K-pop fan accounts urged people to do so to prank the campaign. But it wasn't a teenager who played the key role in rallying support for the prank — but Mary Jo Laupp, a 51-year-old grandmother, living in Fort Dodge, Iowa. In a TikTok video that went viral, she urged people to take part, racking up hundreds of thousands of likes. Laup told CNN last week she had worked on Democrat Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign. It was Trump's initial decision to stage the rally on Juneteenth (a decision that he later reversed), the date marking the end of slavery, that inspired her to act. On TikTok a meme has been spreading, where users post a picture of their Trump rally reservation ticket, which they don't intend to use, and dance to 1993 pop hit the "Macarena." Parents on Twitter shared stories of their kids taking part in the viral campaign. i have three teenagers. two of them have a pair of tix each to @realDonaldTrump’s rally in tulsa; they registered to spoof POTUS & his campaign. one of them is sitting at dinner now, laughing and saying teens around the united states fooled the man. https://t.co/akLU9o8u3f — C.J. Chivers (@cjchivers) June 21, 2020 "The teens of America have struck a savage blow against @realDonaldTrump. All across America teens ordered tickets to this event. The fools on the campaign bragged about a million tickets. lol," tweeted veteran Republican strategist Steve Schmidt. Parscale had previously bragged of the huge turnout expected at the rally, tweeting on June 14 that the event was the "biggest data haul and rally signup of all time by 10x." The campaign uses data like mobile phone numbers used to sign up for tickets to target adverts and propaganda to supporters. But in videos, K-pop fans and teenagers had provided tips on registering for the tickets with mobile numbers that weren't the ones they regularly use, to avoid being spammed by the campaign. We may never know to what extent the viral campaign responsible for the Trump rally flop on Saturday. But it seems likely that a lot of that data haul Parscale boasted of won't be particularly useful to the Trump campaign. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Here's what it's like to travel during the coronavirus outbreak
President Trump’s attempt to revive his re-election bid sputtered badly as he traveled to Tulsa for...President Trump’s attempt to revive his re-election bid sputtered badly as he traveled to Tulsa for his first mass rally in months but found a small crowd and delivered a disjointed speech.