President Trump’s campaign is disputing top Democrats’ claims that the President’s Tulsa rally was sabotaged by teenage leftists, suggesting a much more notable culprit may be to blame for the less than packed Saturday rally.
After Democrats were bragging about teenage activists supposedly targeting Trump’s rally in an effort to hinder the event’s turnout, the campaign fired back by pointing out that media organizations and protestors were the real reason for the subdued turnout.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez specifically asserted that teenagers allegedly reserved scores of tickets for the Tulsa event online – then failed to show up, thus preventing others from being able to attend.
“Actually you just got ROCKED by teens on TikTok,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote to Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, referring to a popular Chinese video-sharing social media application.
If the claims of TikTok sabotage praised by Ocasio-Cortez were true, they would represent unprecedented foreign-based election interference that Democrats would ordinarily claim to oppose.
TikTok is owned by the Beijing-based technology company ByteDance.
“One of the tactics used by Russia to meddle was the use of social media to manipulate public perception,” wrote Tim Pool. “This is a Chinese app facilitating the largest most impactful election meddling we have seen yet, assuming its true How much of Trump’s campaign was flooded with bunk data?”
Parscale, however, countered this claim on Sunday 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.”
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.”
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.”
Tim Murtaugh, a Trump 2020 campaign spokesman, reiterated Parscale’s claim of protester interference, noting that large groups had gathered outside the arena and created a threatening atmosphere.
Despite media reports, including a heavily opinionated piece at The New York Times, there is no clear evidence that social media users affected the rally.
“The article doesn’t even provide any evidence, it just says a bunch of teenagers said they ruined the rally and the reporter/editors at the Times took their word for it,” said The Washington Examiner’s Joe Gabriel Simonson, referring to the Times’ front-page piece on the rally. “Diminishing standards.”