On Sunday, President Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, issued a statement responding to the emerging idea that the lower-than-expected numbers at the Tulsa rally on Saturday were due in part to a campaign by young TikTok pranksters falsely registered with no intention of attending.
“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,” reads the statement.
Parscale then claimed that the team “constantly” raked out “bogus numbers” for the rally, adding that such “phony ticket requests never factor into our thinking.”
“What makes this lame attempt at hacking our events even more foolish is the fact that every rally is general admission – entry is on a first-come-first-served basis and prior registration is not required,” the statement continued.
Parscale then blamed the low attendance numbers at the Tulsa rally on “fake news media warning people away from the rally because of COVID and protestors, coupled with recent images of American cities on fire.”
The campaign manager also alleged that “MSNBC was among outlets reporting that protesters even blocked entrances to the rally at times.”
He concluded by calling out the media for their alleged manufacturing of “fear,” and wondered why media are credentialed at these events “when they don’t do their full jobs as professionals.”
“According to a spokesman for the Tulsa Fire Department on Sunday, the fire marshal counted 6,200 scanned tickets of attendees,” according to The New York Times. “That number would not include staff, media or those in box suites.”
Following the Tulsa rally on Saturday evening, which was supposed to be a major kick-off event for President Trump’s fall campaign, various reports emerged regarding a campaign by an unknown number of TikTok users who allegedly registered for large numbers of tickets with no intent of showing up at the rally.
This alleged social media prank, some have claimed, was why entire sections of the arena with a capacity for over 19,000 attendees were seen empty during the rally.
The New York Times spoke with YouTuber Elijah Daniel, who told them, “It spread mostly through Alt TikTok – we kept it on the quiet side where people do pranks and a lot of activism.”
Parscale’s dismissal of the TikTok prank claim was preceded by a tweet on Saturday evening saying that “radical protestors, fueled by a week of apocalyptic media coverage, interfered with @realDonaldTrump supporters at the rally. They even blocked access to the metal detectors, preventing people from entering.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) replied:
Actually you just got ROCKED by teens on TikTok who flooded the Trump campaign w/fake ticket reservations & tricked you into believing a million people wanted your white supremacist open mic enough to pack an arena during COVID. Shout out to Zoomers. Y’all make me so proud.
On Sunday, Trump senior campaign advisor Mercedes Schlapp appeared on “Fox News Sunday” where host Chris Wallace claimed that after watching the footage and hearing from a Fox News correspondent “on the ground,” Parscale’s excuse regarding protesters keeping people from the rally didn’t appear accurate.
WALLACE: The fact is, the president talks about the attendance at his events, as we all know. He made a big issue of the attendance at his inauguration, he talks about how he can fill an arena, and that Joe Biden can’t. He didn’t fill an arena last night, and you guys were so far off that you had planned an outdoor rally and there wasn’t an overflow crowd – and watching the coverage and talking to Mark Meredith on the ground today, protestors did not stop people from coming to that rally. The fact is, people didn’t show up.
SCHLAPP: Oh, absolutely they did. I’m telling you, there were people and families that didn’t want to – couldn’t bring their children because of concerns of the protesters.
Schlapp pivoted to Joe Biden’s socially-distanced event, and compared the enthusiasm over Trump with the alleged lack of enthusiasm for Biden. She added that “because we are in a virtual time,” there were millions who watched the rally online.
Wallace pushed back, asking Schlapp not to “filibuster,” as images of empty seats were displayed on-screen. “Frankly, it makes you guys look silly when you deny the reality of what happened.”
Schlapp replied, saying that the campaign wasn’t “denying the reality.”
The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.