Trump fumed that it was the ‘biggest fucking mistake’ to hold a campaign rally after a TikTok prank resulted in thousands of empty seats: book

Donald Trump speaking at a lectern with the presidential seal in an arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during his first re-election campaign rally in several months in the midst of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S., June 20, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis
  • Trump ranted last year that it was the “biggest fucking mistake” to hold a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a new book says.
  • He initially gloated that more than 1 million people had requested tickets and tens of thousands would show up.
  • But fewer than 6,500 people showed, prompting Trump to erupt at his campaign manager and demote him, per the book.
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President Donald was furious after TikTok users played a prank that resulted in thousands of empty seats at a campaign rally in Oklahoma last year, and ranted that holding the rally was the “biggest fucking mistake,” a new book says.

About half the stadium was empty, and Trump “erupted” at his campaign manager Brad Parscale afterward, according to “Peril,” by The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, an early copy of which was obtained by Insider.

“Biggest fucking mistake,” the president is quoted as saying at an Oval Office meeting after the June 2020 rally in Tulsa. “I shouldn’t have ever done that fucking, fucking rally.” He also called Parscale a “fucking moron,” the book said. Trump fired Parscale as campaign manager less than a month later.

A few days before the Tulsa rally, Trump boasted that nearly one million people had requested tickets. He also told Woodward the day before the rally that “over 1.2 million have signed up” and that he was expecting tens of thousands to show up. “But think of that,” he told Woodward. “Nobody ever had rallies like that.”

In the end, turnout proved dismal at the rally, drawing just 6,200 people at a stadium that had a 19,000-seat capacity. Trump was faced with rows of empty seats, and the president had to nix plans to speak outside the venue, where the campaign initially anticipated hosting throngs of supporters who couldn’t get into the stadium because it was expected to be packed.

After the rally, a wave of K-pop fans and other social media users claimed responsibility for the lack of showing, saying they reserved thousands of tickets for the event with no plans to actually attend.

A 51-year-old Iowa woman played a significant role in the spoof gaining steam with a video explaining how to register for the rally, racking up more than 725,00 likes.

Trump attracted sharp scrutiny for holding the event in the first place given that COVID-19 cases in the city were on the rise and public health experts were urging Americans not to gather in large crowds and to follow social-distancing recommendations. Medical professionals also warned the rally could become a superspreader event.

Cases spiked in and around Tulsa following the rally, leading the city-county health department director to conclude the arena crowd and protests outside “likely contributed” to the outbreak. Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, who spoke at the Trump rally, also died of COVID-19 less than two weeks later.

The rally also fell on Juneteenth in 2020, drawing intense backlash from the Black community in Tulsa and Black Lives Matter supporters nationwide who pointed to the rally also falling near the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre on Black Wall Street.