Trump Campaign Rejects Claim That TikTok, K-Pop Fans Sabotaged Tulsa Rally

Tulsa Fire Department says 6,200 people attended rally
June 21, 2020 Updated: June 21, 2020

President Donald Trump’s campaign said that media organizations are spreading false narratives about Trump’s rally in Oklahoma on Saturday after a smaller-than-expected crowd of people turned up, saying that the CCP virus and protesters were the reason why fewer attended.

“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,” campaign manager Brad Parscale told Fox News on Sunday. “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.”

Parscale continued, “Registering for a rally means you’ve RSVPed 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. These 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.”

It came after Twitter users claimed they sabotaged Trump’s rally by allegedly reserving scores of tickets online before failing to show up. The claims were highlighted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who said that teens on the Chinese social media app TikTok and fans of K-pop were responsible for the lower turnout.

Trump rally Tulsa
resident Donald Trump points at the crowd as he enters his first re-election campaign rally in several months in the midst of the CCP virus outbreak, at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., on June 20, 2020. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Media outlets repeatedly highlighted the attendance by publishing photos of empty seats at the top of the auditorium.

The Tulsa Fire Department confirmed to Forbes that about 6,200 people attended the rally at the BOK Center. The Trump campaign said that about 4 million people, including 2.5 million who viewed the pre-show, saw the rally online.

Parscale, in the interview, noted that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic was partially responsible.

“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.”

Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh also claimed that large numbers of protesters gathered outside the Tulsa arena and blocked people from entering.