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Trump threatens 'protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes' the day before his Tulsa rally

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Nicholas Winford (L) debates a group of Trump supporters on the racial policies of U.S. President Donald Trump outside the BOK Center June 18, 2020 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Win McNamee | Getty Images

President Donald Trump warned Friday that anyone coming to Oklahoma to protest against his campaign rally in Tulsa “will not be treated” like they have been in other areas of the country.

“It will be a much different scene!” Trump said in a tweet.

The president’s threat, which lumped protesters in with “anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes,” came a day before he plans to return to the campaign trail with a massive in-person rally. The gatherings, once a hallmark of Trump’s campaign style, have not been held for months out of concerns about spreading the coronavirus.

The kickoff event to reboot Trump’s reelection campaign has been hugely controversial. Public health experts – even some within the Trump administration, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci – have warned that the event could spread the deadly disease. 

The rally, which comes amid a nationwide protest movement against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death, is also expected to draw virtual and in-person opposition from activists and demonstrators.

The city of Tulsa announced a 10 p.m. curfew that will take effect on Friday and Saturday night, The Washington Post reported. The last-minute step was taken after local law enforcement informed the city’s mayor that people from violence-causing groups were traveling to Tulsa to foment unrest around Trump’s rally, according to the Post.

The White House declined to comment on Trump’s tweet.

Trump has taken an aggressive stance against the protests, at times blurring the distinction between the thousands of peaceful participants and those who have committed acts of violence or theft during the events.

The president has been eager to get out of the White House, where he has spent most of the last three months as the government worked to combat the pandemic. 

This is developing news. Please check back for updates.

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