Trump returns to White House after claiming ‘thugs’ stopped thousands from attending his Tulsa comeback rally, praises ‘warriors’ in the arena who braved the virus and calls Joe Biden’s career ‘four decades of calamity’

Sunday, June 21, 2020
By Paul Martin

President Trump thanked supporters who showed up for his Tulsa rally and told them they were ‘warriors’
He attacked rival Joe Biden and said Black Lives Matters protesters were radical Democrats
He also defended defended his handling of the pandemic which has killed almost 120,000 people in the US
Polls show him trailing Biden, and Trump’s approval rating tanked due in part to his handling of the pandemic and race relations
The rally was the first for Trump since Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee
His speech painted a fearful picture of life in American under Biden, where people could not own a gun or go to church, and where the mob would rule
A smaller than expected crowd awaited Trump with empty seats seen inside arena
Trump’s campaign canceled scheduled speech to outdoor overflow crowd after supporters failed to appear
Trump campaign blamed ‘radical protesters’ for lack of attendance

By EMILY GOODIN, SENIOR U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER
DAILYMAIL.COM
21 June 2020

President Donald Trump looked fatigued as he returned to the White House early Sunday following his first campaign rally in nearly four months, where he claimed ‘thugs’ blocked his supporters from filling the noticeably vacant seats at his speech.

Trump was seen stepping off Marine One onto the South Lawn of the White House early in the morning with his red tie undone – a rare sight for the president – and a red ‘Make America Great Again’ cap clutched in his hand.

He shared a small wave upon returning from the rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where cameras showed scores of empty blue seats available in the 19,000-seat BOK Center.

In his Saturday night speech Trump praised the supporters who showed up saying, ‘Thank you warriors. Thank you.’

Saturday night marked Trump’s first rally since campaigning was sidelined by the coronavirus crisis and since Joe Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Polls show Biden leading Trump in their match up as voters give the president low marks for his handling of the pandemic and for his response to race relations after the death of George Floyd.

The rally in Tulsa was painted as the event that would reset the Trump campaign, bring the president back up in the polls, and let Trump enjoy the cheers of supporters – the kind of energy he craves and thrives off of.

But the BOK Center was marked by row after row of empty seats and a scheduled stop for the president for the outside overflow area had to be canceled after the expected crowds didn’t appear.

‘There’s still space!’ the campaign texted supporters before Trump took the stage. After the rally was over the campaign argued that 4 million people watched it online, calling it an audience Biden ‘can only dream of.’

The president and his team had a variety of reasons for the lack of a crowd, including media reports on the rising number of coronavirus cases in Oklahoma and protesters outside of arena, claiming they blocked the security lines so people could not get inside.

‘I have been watching the fake news for weeks now. And everything is negative,’ Trump said in his remarks.

‘We had some very bad people outside. They were doing bad things. But I really do appreciate it,’ he told those who showed up.

‘You saw these thugs that came along,’ Trump complained of the peaceful demonstrators outside the BOK Center, many of whom wore ‘Black Lives Matters’ t-shirts.

In his nearly 1 hour and 41 minute speech, Trump railed against his rival ‘Sleepy Joe’ and claimed he was controlled by the ‘radical left.’ His speech painted a fearful picture of life in America under a President Joe Biden, where people wouldn’t be able to own a gun or go to church, and where mob rule would be a way of life.

His speech also contained the kind of political red meat his supporters like to hear: his support for a strong military, his criticism of protesters tearing down statues of Confederate Army officers, his demand that other nations stop ‘ripping off’ the United States, and his call for people who burn the American flag to serve one year in jail.

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