Opponents of President Donald Trump celebrated the fact that his rally at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday night was only half-full, claiming credit for a TikTok prank that flooded the Trump campaign’s website with fake RSVPs.
Trump supporters had camped out for several days in Tulsa, hoping to secure a place inside the 19,000-seat venue, after the campaign reported that over one million people had signed up for tickets. Campaign manager Brad Parscale touted the large numbers as a data-mining success, and an outdoor stage was set up for the president and vice president to address an expected overflow crowd.
However, while thousands of Trump supporters did show up, braving public health warnings about coronavirus and boisterous demonstrations by anti-Trump protesters, the stadium was only half full for the main event.
Parscale blamed protesters, whom he said had deterred Trump supporters at several entrances to the venue.
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.
Thanks to the 1,000s who made it anyway!https://t.co/eM2nohMEy6
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) June 20, 2020
But Twitter wasn’t having it:
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. ☺️ https://t.co/jGrp5bSZ9T
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 21, 2020
My 16 year old daughter and her friends in Park City Utah have hundreds of tickets. You have been rolled by America’s teens. @realDonaldTrump you have been failed by your team. You have been deserted by your faithful. No one likes to root for the losing team. @ProjectLincoln https://t.co/VM5elZ57Qp
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) June 20, 2020
There were anecdotal reports that some Trump supporters who would have otherwise shown up to the rally were deterred because they did not receive tickets.
Meanwhile, Democrats boasted online that they had secured hundreds of tickets that they had no intention of using.
The prank by TikTok users and K-pop fans came after the Trump campaign tweeted to ask the President’s supporters to register for the free tickets earlier this month.
The plan quickly went viral and videos telling viewers to reserve tickets and then not show up to the rally began racking up millions of views.
Many of the videos were then deleted in an attempt to keep the plan a secret, although in one which is still live, the TikTok user says sarcastically: ‘Oh no, I signed up for a Trump rally and I can’t go, I’m sick.’
The plan then spread across multiple social media platforms.
TikTok is a Chinese company whose video-sharing platform has become popular among American teenagers.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.