- Advertisement -
Home News How Trump's triumphant return to the campaign trail went from bad to...

How Trump’s triumphant return to the campaign trail went from bad to worse

- Advertisement -

Still, a determined Trump was intent on breathing new life into his staggering campaign. He took off for Tulsa, convinced large swaths of his supporters would be waiting for him there.

Two hours before the rally was set to begin, people who had signed up for tickets received an urgent text message from the Trump campaign: “The Great American Comeback Celebration’s almost here!” it read. “There’s still space!”
When the President landed in Tulsa at 5:51 p.m. local time, the crowds his aides had promised him had failed to materialize. Air Force One flew over the arena, where Trump had been told thousands of supporters would be waiting to hear from him before he went inside, but saw nothing resembling the sea of people he’d been expecting.

While he was in the air, the campaign had canceled the outside appearance given the apparent lack of enthusiasm.

Once viewed inside the White House and Trump’s campaign as a reset button for a presidency beset by crises and self-inflicted wounds, Saturday evening’s campaign rally in Tulsa instead became plagued with pitfalls, a disappointing microcosm of the blindspots, denial and wishful thinking that have come to guide the President as he enters one of the most precarious moments of his first term.
By the time he strode out to the strains of Lee Greenwood on Saturday evening into a partially-full Bank of Oklahoma Center, the event had devolved from a triumphant return to the campaign trail after a 110-day pandemic-forced absence into something else altogether. The launch of a new assault on former Vice President Joe Biden fizzled, replaced by recycled grievances and race-baiting. The sparse crowd was a reminder that many Americans, even Trump’s supporters, remain cautious of a pandemic that continues to rage in places like Oklahoma, where cases are spiking, even if Trump is ready to move on.

Aides were anxiously awaiting his response to a less-than-stellar turnout, aware he has threatened to fire officials in the past when his rallies ended in disappointment.

“You are warriors. We had some very bad people outside. They were doing bad things. But I really do appreciate it,” Trump told his crowd, appearing to explain away the empty seats as a result of “thugs” outside the arena, even though CNN teams on the ground said they did not see violence or people blocking entrances.

After a nearly two-hour speech notable mainly for its discursiveness, Trump left Tulsa on Saturday night having spent around three hours in the city. The six advance staffers who had tested positive for coronavirus remained in their chain hotel rooms, quarantined for the foreseeable future.

Disappointment in the making

From nearly the moment the word “Tulsa” slipped from Trump’s mouth two Wednesdays ago, things seemed to start going south.

First there was the problem with the rally’s date, which the President changed begrudgingly after learning it coincided with Juneteenth — the holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. The new slot, he complained, would draw fewer viewers.
Then there was the location, which Trump did not view as a problem even though plenty of others around him were wary of riling a city with a violent racist history in the middle of a national racial reckoning.

The notion of packing supporters into a crowded arena amid a resurgence in coronavirus cases was always going to be an issue — but half-a-dozen staffers on the advance team testing positive was a wrinkle Trump had not anticipated when he insisted a rally be placed on his schedule.

By the middle of May, Trump had begun quizzing aides when he might be able to return to the campaign rallies that have long been one of the few aspects of being a politician he enjoys.

Confined to the White House for months amid a pandemic that had caused a once-hot economy to ice over, Trump repeatedly asked that a rally be put on the calendar, even as public health officials warned against large gatherings.

For weeks, Trump’s requests for a rally were put off or slow-walked, with the health warnings as rationale. While the administration’s top public health experts — including Doctors Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx — did not weigh in specifically on campaign rallies, their views of resuming large gatherings were well known among Trump’s staffers.
But as large protests began forming after the death of George Floyd, the Black man who died after a White police officer knelt on his neck, the arguments against convening a rally seemed harder to make — particularly to the President, who said if protesters could gather in large numbers, than so could his supporters.
With Trump more intent than ever on returning to the trail, his senior campaign team scrambled to identify a location that could both guarantee a large crowd and provide a cooperative governor and mayor who would allow a major gathering of people — potentially indoors — to proceed, despite continued warnings against such events by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tulsa appeared at first glance to fit the bill. Oklahoma had experienced relatively low numbers of coronavirus infections, and drawing a major crowd in the deep-red state did not seem like it would be an issue.

While many of the President’s allies believed he should focus only on those states that he won in 2016 but that he now appears at risk of losing in November — like Michigan, Arizona, Florida and several others — Oklahoma seemed a safer bet for a rally that was quickly assuming oversized importance, both in the West Wing and at campaign headquarters.

Though Trump formally launched his campaign one year ago in Orlando, he started telling people in recent weeks that the Tulsa event was the “real launch.” He reasoned that his abysmal poll numbers were only because of the coronavirus lockdowns, and posited on several occasions that he hasn’t been trying to run against Biden yet.
The rally came the same day the Trump campaign announced it had raised $74 million in May in conjunction with the Republican National Committee — $7 million less than what Biden and the Democratic National Committee raised.

Return to normal

For many advisers, particularly those who worked on the President’s 2016 campaign, the rally was regarded as a return to normal after what has been one of his roughest stretches of his presidency.

“The rally is a great signal to the rest of the country that it’s time to get things moving again,” Tim Murtaugh, Trump’s campaign communications director, told CNN last week. “Americans will now see the contrast between the President’s record of accomplishment versus the history of failure Biden brings to the table.”

But nearly as soon as Trump announced his rally from the White House Cabinet Room — “a beautiful, new venue — brand-new — and we’re looking forward to it,” he said — the problems began.

Joe Biden and DNC outraise Trump campaign operation in May

Upon advice from lawyers, the campaign applied a liability waiver to the online sign-up form for potential attendees, warning “you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.”

Neither Trump nor his campaign aides were aware that the date they’d selected coincided with Juneteenth. Even after the date was pointed out, some of Trump’s campaign aides and White House staffers downplayed any problems, insisting it wasn’t unusual to hold campaign events on holidays.

But this June 19 was not like past years. Amid a national outpouring of grief and anger following Floyd’s death, the holiday had assumed a special significance in highlighting the country’s racist history as millions continue to protest that history’s legacy and still-existent consequences.

After a Black Secret Service agent explained the significance to the President – and after Trump polled his orbit to find no one who had heard of Juneteenth — the President began to consider changing the date. He also heard directly from Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican, who told him a date-change would be wise.

Trump agreed, but told his campaign advisers to schedule the rally the day before Juneteenth, a Thursday, rather than move the rally a day later to Saturday. Trump explained that Saturday evenings were a television ratings void and that he wanted massive viewership of his first campaign foray in months.

Instead, Trump’s aides convinced him that a weekend would draw a larger crowd because potential attendees would not be at work. And the campaign announced it was scouting outdoor venues to accommodate an overflow audience unable to fit inside the 19,000-capacity BOK Center.


For the past week, the rally has consumed Trump’s attention, according to people familiar with the matter. The President invited Oklahoma’s governor to the White House on Thursday for a roundtable that was also a venue for Trump to hype his event.

“We’re going to be in Oklahoma. And it’s a crowd like, I guess, nobody’s seen before. We have tremendous, tremendous requests for tickets like, I think, probably has never happened politically before,” Trump said. Later, during the same event, Trump appeared to be idly scrolling through his phone while two women business owners detailed their experience during the pandemic.

On Friday, with no events on his schedule, Trump appeared to be focused on the next day’s rally. He threatened potential protesters on Twitter, saying they would not be afforded gentle treatment if they came to his event. Upon learning there would be a curfew in place on the three nights surrounding the rally, Trump phoned Tulsa’s mayor to protest. Trump tweeted afterward the mayor had agreed to rescind the curfew for his supporters who were camped outside.

By the time he awoke on Saturday, Trump was enthusiastic about the evening ahead. But he soured when he turned on his television to find coverage not of massive crowds but of Berman, whose dismissal Trump did not anticipate would generate controversy and whose refusal to leave impeded upon coverage of the President’s forthcoming rally.

Hours later — as Vice President Mike Pence was stalled on his way to Tulsa while thunderstorms rolled over Joint Base Andrews — Trump learned of the six staffers who had tested positive for coronavirus while they were advancing the President’s rally. The campaign had initially not planned to test staff beforehand unless it was expected they would come into contact with the President, Vice President or one of his children, and was not planning to reveal that several staffers had tested positive. But the news leaked, and several campaign staffers found out about the cases from media reports, one of those officials told CNN.

Trump was furious when it was reported that several staffers had tested positive, believing it — like Berman — was overshadowing his event, the person said. By the time he was departing the White House for Tulsa, the jubilant resumption of rallies was already turning to resentment.
Why it will be a tough climb to confirm anyone new to Berman's post before the November elections

If there was one glimmer of light, it was the crowd.

“The event in Oklahoma is unbelievable. The crowds are unbelievable. They haven’t seen anything like it,” Trump said as he departed the South Lawn in Washington, DC.

It was a different story in Tulsa. The wide avenue where a stage had been erected for an overflow crowd in the tens of thousands was virtually vacant, and planned speeches there by Trump and Pence were scrapped. Inside the arena, it was only partly full as the President was arriving.

Murtaugh asserted that the smaller-than-expected crowds were partially a result of interference by protesters, though none of the CNN reporters and producers on the ground in Tulsa saw any incident with protesters trying to block supporters from attending.

Ultimately, aides said Tulsa was about something far more important than mere politicking; after a dreary stretch, the event was meant to provide Trump the adulation he craves and to re-energize him after weeks spent wallowing in sagging poll numbers and critical media coverage.

Trump told staff he wanted all of his surrogates on-hand when he landed in Tulsa on Saturday night, so aides invited dozens and chartered a private plane to transport them all. Photos from the flight show none wearing masks.

“I guarantee you after Saturday, if everything goes well, he’s going to be in a much better mood,” a Trump political adviser said. “He believes that he needs to be out there fighting and he feeds off the energy of the crowds.”

After Trump finished speaking, a person familiar told CNN that two Secret Service agents had also tested positive for coronavirus.


- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected


Must Read

Is Amazon Actually Giving You the Best Price?

Before You Renew Amazon Prime, Read ThisIf you shop on Amazon under the impression that it has the best prices, then you may not...
- Advertisement -

Biden Counties Continue to Have Higher Vaccination Rates Compared to Trump Counties, As the Omicron Variant Surges Across the U.S.

An updated KFF analysis finds that counties that voted for Biden continue to have higher COVID-19 vaccination rates compared to counties that voted for...

Limited Time Offer: Get 50% Off Membership Plans


Related News

Is Amazon Actually Giving You the Best Price?

Before You Renew Amazon Prime, Read ThisIf you shop on Amazon under the impression that it has the best prices, then you may not...

Biden Counties Continue to Have Higher Vaccination Rates Compared to Trump Counties, As the Omicron Variant Surges Across the U.S.

An updated KFF analysis finds that counties that voted for Biden continue to have higher COVID-19 vaccination rates compared to counties that voted for...

Limited Time Offer: Get 50% Off Membership Plans


Medicaid: What to Watch in 2022

As 2022 kicks off, a number of issues are at play that could affect coverage and financing under Medicaid, the primary program providing comprehensive...
- Advertisement -


  1. My spouse and i were really joyful Michael could do his studies from the ideas he made through your blog. It’s not at all simplistic to just find yourself giving away strategies which often people today may have been selling. So we know we need the website owner to be grateful to for this. These explanations you have made, the easy web site navigation, the friendships you will make it easier to instill – it’s many overwhelming, and it’s aiding our son and us understand that subject matter is satisfying, and that’s rather pressing. Many thanks for all!

  2. 36356 477685My wife style of bogus body art were being quite unsafe. Mother worked with gun very first, soon after which they your lover snuck totally free upon an tattoo ink ink. I was sure the fact just about every need to not be epidermal, due to the tattoo ink could be attracted from the entire body. make an own temporary tattoo 831099

  3. I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be just what I’m
    looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write
    content to suit your needs? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or
    elaborating on a number of the subjects you write in relation to here.
    Again, awesome web log!

  4. My programmer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from
    PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on numerous websites for about a year
    and am worried about switching to another platform. I have heard very good things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content
    into it? Any help would be really appreciated!

  5. I have been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or blog
    posts on this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately
    stumbled upon this website. Studying this information So i’m happy to convey that
    I have an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I found out
    exactly what I needed. I most surely will make certain to do not overlook this web site and provides it
    a glance regularly.

  6. Hi! I simply would like to give you a big thumbs up for the excellent
    information you have got here on this post.
    I’ll be coming back to your web site for more soon.

  7. Hello, of course this piece of writing is genuinely nice and I have learned lot of things from it regarding blogging.

  8. Hey! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look
    forward to all your posts! Keep up the great work!

  9. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is great blog.
    An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

  10. Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa?
    My site goes over a lot of the same topics as yours and I think we could
    greatly benefit from each other. If you happen to be interested feel
    free to send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!
    Wonderful blog by the way!

  11. Howdy! I know this is somewhat off-topic but I had to ask.
    Does managing a well-established blog such as yours require a large amount of work?
    I’m brand new to writing a blog but I do write in my journal daily.
    I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my own experience
    and feelings online. Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips for new aspiring blog
    owners. Appreciate it!

  12. I’m not sure where you are getting your information, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.
    Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this info for my mission.

  13. Hello there! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward
    this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.
    Thank you for sharing!

  14. This design is wicked! You certainly know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to
    start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Fantastic job. I really enjoyed what you had
    to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

  15. It’s very easy to find out any topic on web as compared to books, as I found
    this article at this website.

  16. If you desire to increase your familiarity only keep visiting this website and be updated with the most recent gossip posted

  17. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your site.
    You have some really great posts and I believe I would be a good
    asset. If you ever want to take some of the load
    off, I’d love to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
    Please blast me an email if interested. Thanks!

  18. Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe that this website
    needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to
    see more, thanks for the info!

  19. I was suggested this web site via my cousin. I am now
    not sure whether or not this put up is written by way of him as no one else recognize such detailed about my
    difficulty. You are wonderful! Thank you!

  20. Magnificent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your web
    site, how can i subscribe for a weblog web site? The
    account helped me a applicable deal. I were tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered vivid clear idea

  21. After checking out a handful of the blog posts on your web page, I truly like
    your way of writing a blog. I saved it to my bookmark
    site list and will be checking back in the near future.
    Take a look at my website as well and let me know your opinion.

  22. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m inspired!
    Extremely helpful information particularly the closing part 🙂 I
    maintain such information much. I was seeking this certain info for a long time.
    Thanks and best of luck.

  23. Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar
    one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam remarks?
    If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything
    you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any assistance is
    very much appreciated.

  24. Link exchange is nothing else but it is just placing the other person’s blog link
    on your page at proper place and other person will also do similar for you.

  25. Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard
    work due to no backup. Do you have any methods to prevent hackers?

  26. Hi there very cool blog!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Wonderful ..
    I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally?
    I’m happy to search out numerous helpful information right
    here within the publish, we need work out extra strategies on this regard,
    thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  27. I’ve been browsing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  28. If some one wants to be updated with latest technologies therefore
    he must be pay a visit this web site and be up to date every day.

  29. Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum
    it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly
    enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new
    to everything. Do you have any suggestions for first-time blog writers?
    I’d definitely appreciate it.

  30. It is perfect time to make a few plans for the long run and it is time to be
    happy. I have learn this post and if I could I wish to counsel you some interesting
    issues or tips. Maybe you can write next articles
    relating to this article. I wish to read even more things approximately it!

  31. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your site.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for
    me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme?
    Superb work!

  32. Do you have a spam problem on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation;
    we have created some nice methods and we are looking to trade strategies with others, please
    shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  33. Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers?

    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any suggestions?

  34. Heya! I know this is kind of off-topic but I needed to ask.
    Does running a well-established blog like yours take a massive amount work?
    I’m brand new to blogging but I do write in my journal daily.

    I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my
    experience and thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips for new aspiring blog
    owners. Appreciate it!

  35. Today, I went to the beach front with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4
    year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her
    ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely
    off topic but I had to tell someone!

  36. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert
    that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Anyway I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

  37. It is not my first time to pay a visit this web site,
    i am browsing this web site dailly and obtain nice information from here everyday.

  38. I must thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog.
    I really hope to see the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well.
    In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get
    my own, personal site now 😉

  39. I just like the helpful information you supply for your articles.
    I will bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently.
    I’m somewhat sure I will be told many new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

  40. I like the helpful info you provide on your articles.
    I will bookmark your blog and take a look at once more here frequently.

    I am moderately sure I’ll learn a lot of new stuff proper right here!
    Best of luck for the following!

  41. Hi to every body, it’s my first pay a visit of this blog; this blog includes amazing
    and genuinely excellent stuff in support of visitors.

  42. Thank you for another magnificent post. The place else may anyone get
    that kind of info in such an ideal means of writing?
    I have a presentation next week, and I am on the
    look for such information.

  43. Nice post. I used to be checking constantly this weblog and I am inspired!
    Extremely useful info specifically the closing section 🙂 I care for such info a lot.
    I was seeking this particular information for a long time.
    Thanks and best of luck.

  44. Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay.
    I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to
    new updates.

  45. Simply wish to say your article is as astonishing. The clarity for your publish is simply excellent and i can suppose you’re knowledgeable on this subject.
    Well with your permission let me to snatch your RSS feed
    to keep up to date with coming near near post. Thank you 1,000,000 and please continue the enjoyable work.

  46. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish.

    nonetheless, you command get bought an shakiness over that you wish be delivering
    the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly
    again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this

  47. Hello it’s me, I am also visiting this web site regularly, this website is actually nice and the visitors are in fact sharing
    nice thoughts.

  48. Appreciating the hard work you put into your blog and detailed information you provide.
    It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information. Excellent read!
    I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  49. At this time it looks like Drupal is the top blogging platform available right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using
    on your blog?

  50. Thank you a lot for sharing this with all of
    us you really understand what you’re talking about! Bookmarked.
    Kindly additionally consult with my web site =).
    We may have a link change agreement among us

  51. Heya! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 4!
    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look
    forward to all your posts! Carry on the superb work!

  52. whoah this weblog is wonderful i like reading your articles. Stay up the good work! You realize, a lot of persons are searching round for this info, you could help them greatly. |


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here