The US President had been pushing for his re-election campaign to resume to major pushback from state leaders. The US has seen the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths, at 2.278,588 and 119,959 respectively.
Despite initial reports the rally would host 100,000 people, the actual turn out as reported by Tulsa Fire Department was 6,500.
The Trump campaign blamed the “fake news media” for “warning people away from the rally” over COVID-19 and protests against racial injustice around the country in a statement.
Campaign manager Brad Parscale said: “Leftists and online trolls doing a victory lap, thinking they somehow impacted rally attendance, don´t know what they’re talking about or how our rallies work.
“Reporters who wrote gleefully about TikTok and K-Pop fans – without contacting the campaign for comment – behaved unprofessionally and were willing dupes to the charade.”
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It was reported by American outlets that the reason for the shocking low turnout was a coordinated effort by TikTok users and K-Pop fan accounts to reserve tickets with no intention of attending the rally.
The plan to sabotage the rally quickly went viral and videos telling viewers to reserve tickets and then not show up to began racking up millions of views.
In one video, a TikTok user says sarcastically: “Oh no, I signed up for a Trump rally and I can’t go,
According to NBC News, President Trump though the crowd was “underwhelming” compared to hopes for a large turnout.
Trump was allegedly venting to his top aides about news that six members of his staff, among them at least two Secret Service agents, had tested positive for COVID-19.
The president is said to be upset that the sensitive information was leaked to the press.
He also was reportedly angry that news stories about the positive cases were making headlines and damaging coverage of the rally.
The blame for the event’s failure to deliver on its promised crowd has reportedly fallen on Parscale.
Earlier this week, Parscale tweeted that more than a million people requested tickets for the rally through Trump’s campaign website.
In late April, Trump allegedly threatened to sue Parscale over the phone, due to Democrat Joe Biden’s substantial lead over Trump in election polls.
But despite the Tulsa fiasco, NBC News reports that Parscale’s job is still safe for the time being.