Trump campaign denies low turnout manipulation claim

Trump campaign denies low turnout manipulation claim
Elijah Daniel was part of a social media campaign that called on users to register for tickets, then not turn up.
3 Min Read

Daily US Times: President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has rejected claims that a social media campaign by K-Pop fans and Tik-Tok users was behind lowe turnout for Saturday night’s Tulsa rally.

Teenagers are said to have booked tickets without intending to turn up so as to produce empty seats, but the Trump campaign said it had weeded out bogus reservations.

President Trump had said he expected one million to come.

The event took place at Bank of Oklahoma Center in Tulsa, which has 19,000 seats. It was also planned to extend outside, though that part of it was cancelled.

The Tulsa fire brigade is quoted as saying more than 6,000 attended, but the Trump campaign denied the low turnout and suggested the figure was much higher.

In a statement, the campaign director said that “phony ticket requests never factor into our thinking” as entry to rallies is on a first-come first-served basis. Brad Parscale blamed the protesters and media for dissuading families from attending.

Mr 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.”

Tulsa rally did not meet expectations. Source: Getty Images

“Registering for a rally means you’ve RSVPed [confirmed attendance] with a cellphone 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.”

Experts were warning about the rally as resurgence of coronavirus in Oklahoma. so, some believes also played role in low turnout.

Steve Schmidt, former Republican strategist and a critic of Mr Trump, said teenagers across the US had ordered tickets without intending to turn up.

He said his 16-year-old daughter and her friends had requested “hundreds” of tickets.

A number of parents responded to Mr Schmidt’s post saying that their children had done the same.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, A leading progressive figure, praised the K-pop fans and young people she said had “flooded the Trump campaign w/ fake ticket reservations”.

It is unclear how many of the hundreds of thousands of ticket reservations touted by the Trump campaign were fake, but one TikTok video from 12 June encouraging people to sign up for free tickets to ensure there would be empty seats at the arena. The video has received more than 700,000 likes.

The video was posted after the original rally date was announced for 19 June, also known as Juneteenth.

The date placement sparked angry reaction because Juneteenth is the celebration of the end of US slavery. The location of the event, Tulsa, was also controversial, as it was the site of one of the worst racial massacres in US history.

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