President Donald Trump wasn’t angry that there were a number of empty seats at his first campaign rally in months over the weekend, said the White House press secretary on Monday.
“He was in a great mood,” Kayleigh McEnany said in an interview. “It was a great night and there was a lot to celebrate.”
She dismissed reports citing anonymous sources that Trump was furious with the empty seats at the BOK Arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Trump “wasn’t angry at all” and “was quite energized,” she told Fox News.
The president “is in his best mood when he gets to speak directly to the American people because that’s what he loves,” McEnany said.
Her comments came after news outlets such as MSNBC and CNN highlighted the partially empty arena. The Trump campaign had announced beforehand that the arena was likely going to be filled.
“I was with him after the rally, it was a huge success,” McEnany added to the broadcaster. “His speech got rave reviews.”
The Trump campaign downplayed reports that teenage activists on Chinese-owned social media app TikTok and Twitter tried to sabotage the rally by registering to attend it but didn’t show up.
A spokesperson for the Tulsa Fire Department told news outlets on Sunday that over 6,000 people attended the rally. The arena has a capacity of about 19,000. “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,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said 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 added: “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.”
Trump is scheduled to make appearances Tuesday in Arizona and Thursday in Wisconsin, which are both considered major general election battlegrounds.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat and Trump critic, said she “would think very seriously about” trying to block Trump from hosting a rally in the state, according to The Associated Press.