Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh on Sunday accused the media of causing the embarrassingly low turnout at President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma the day before.
“The fact is that a week’s worth of the fake news media warning people away from the rally because of COVID and protestors, coupled with recent images of American cities on fire, had a real impact on people bringing their families and children to the rally,” Parscale said in a statement.
He pushed back against K-pop fans and TikTok users’ claims that they had artificially inflated the campaign’s prospective attendee count by registering for tickets by the thousands and then not showing up.
“Registering for a rally means you’ve RSVPed with a cell phone number and we constantly weed out bogus numbers, as we did with tens of thousands at the Tulsa rally, in calculating our possible attendee pool,” Parscale said. “These phony ticket requests never factor into our thinking.”
Murtaugh echoed the campaign manager’s claims.
“Real factor was media-stoked fear,” Murtaugh tweeted.
Prior to the rally, Parscale had boasted that more than a million people had registered for the event despite the fact that arena where the rally would be held has only about 19,000 seats. The campaign’s confidence that the event would be overflowing with supporters led campaign staffers to set up an outdoor rally for those who couldn’t make the cutoff inside.
However, fewer than 6,200 people showed up at the main event, reportedly infuriating the President.