The 2020 Trump re-election campaign is shuffling up some of their leadership just ten days after a rally in Tulsa only drew 6,200 attendees.
The Bank of Oklahoma Center venue was expected to sell-out at 18,000-19,000 people and the Trump campaign announced more than 1 million people had signed up to attend the event online. In the aftermath of the event, Trump supporters criticized the campaign for the low turnout.
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told Fox News the campaign changes were not connected to the event but pre-planned moves.
Michael Glassner, who organized the president’s rallies, has been reassigned elsewhere in the campaign and Jeff DeWit, the Arizona chairman of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, has joined the 2020 team as chief operating officer.
“This is not a reaction to Tulsa,” Murtaugh said. “Michael Glassner is moving into the long-term role of navigating the many legal courses we face, including suits against major media outlets, some of which will likely extend beyond the end of the campaign.”
He continued: “He is one of the founding members of Team Trump and his dedication to the success of the president is unmatched.”
Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale is also remaining at the helm of the campaign.
Fox News reports the Tulsa event was likely influenced by the coronavirus and a social media campaign effort to sabotage the event:
The local fire marshal estimated the turnout at the 19,000-seat BOK Center arena at about 6,200, but Murtaugh – during an appearance June 22 on Fox News’ “Outnumbered Overtime” – disputed that estimate, asserting that Secret Service personnel counted about 12,000 people going through the turnstiles.
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Both Parscale and Murtaugh also claimed that, in addition to concerns about the coronavirus, turnout was likely affected by more than a week of negative advance coverage on cable news networks, speculating that protesters and rioters might show up at the event. Campaign officials claimed such reports likely scared off many families who had hoped to attend.
Parscale also pushed back against claims that anti-Trump pranksters using TikTok may have sabotaged the turnout by making phony ticket reservations.
“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 June 21. “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.”