The Tulsa fiasco is the gift that keeps giving

I must admit, I am wallowing in schadenfreude over the Trump Tulsa debacle. There is something delightful about seeing a malignant narcissist not get the praise and adoration he so desperately craves and expected. The Tulsa fire department is now saying that there were only 6,200 people in attendance, one third of the capacity in the 19,000 seat stadium, and half of even what the Trump campaign conceded of 12,000, a truly pathetic turnout.

Trump is, unsurprisingly, furious about being so humiliated and is lashing out.

Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, was under pressure on Sunday after claiming hundreds of thousands of people had applied for tickets to the president’s return to the campaign trail in Tulsa, only for the rally to attract a sparse crowd.

Trump’s demeanour on returning to Washington was widely scrutinised. He was initially quiet on Twitter on Sunday but the president was reported to be “furious” at the “underwhelming” event, which followed a week of controversy about whether it should even be held. According to NBC, Trump was “particularly angry that before he even left DC, aides made public that six members of team in Tulsa tested positive for Covid-19”.

CNN reported that the president’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, were “pissed” that Parscale had promised huge crowds. Trump also claimed this week that more than a million people wanted to attend his rally.

Rick Wilson, a bestselling author, former Republican consultant and co-founder of the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump super pac, was critical of Parscale’s approach.

“Brad broke the first rule of American politics: under promise and over deliver,” he told the Guardian. “Brad’s survival now depends on the good offices of his patrons inside the Trump camp, and [Ivanka and Kushner] are already signaling their displeasure to the media.

“The only X factor is whether anyone else in Trump’s crew of skells [and] grifters … has offered to keep the scam running.”

Trump surrogate Meredith Merecedes Schlapp tried to filibuster and lie her way through this interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News as he pressed her as to why the attendance was so pathetically bad, and also why so many high-level Trump appointees were slamming him as incompetent and self-serving.

The Trump campaign is trying to combat the narrative that their rally was upended by young people using TikTok who flooded their site with applications for tickets to the rally they had no intention of attending.

Parscale, on Sunday, countered by explaining the campaign’s process for screening out false ticket requests, which was implemented after activists made similar efforts to derail previous rallies.

“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,” Parscale said. “Reporters who wrote gleefully about TikTok and K-Pop [Korean pop music] fans — without contacting the campaign for comment — behaved unprofessionally and were willing dupes to the charade.”

The real reason for the unusually depressed turnout was apparent, the campaign said, noting that a high number of people viewed the rally online.

“The fact is that a week’s worth of the fake news media warning people away from the rally because of COVID and protesters, 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. “MSNBC was among outlets reporting that protesters even blocked entrances to the rally at times. For the media to now celebrate the fear that they helped create is disgusting, but typical. And it makes us wonder why we bother credentialing media for events when they don’t do their full jobs as professionals.”

This explanation for the poor turnout may save Parscale and his team from being seen as having been outsmarted by an informal network of youthful social media users. But it puts Trump supporters, whom Trump lavishes praise on a ‘warriors’ who are not scared of no stinkin’ coronavirus or protestors, in a bad light as being fearful people. So Parscale may need to watch what he says. His boss may not be pleased with his attempt to shift blame on to Trump supporters.


  1. Matt G says

    Another lose-lose for them, not that the hardcore supporters care. If you got tricked by children, that’s embarrassing. If attendance was genuinely low, that’s also embarrassing.

  2. blf says

    Even if it were true there were significant problems at the entrances to the venue, that still doesn’t begin to explain the very modest pro-nazi crowd in Tulsa, including those who did not go to the venue.

  3. Jean says

    If they couldn’t get even 1% of the number they claimed were interested in going then they need to come up with better explanations than media scare and invisible protester blockade..

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