While the Trump campaign continues to deny that the low turnout for their controversial Tulsa, OK rally was not affected by users of TikTok, there is no denying something was afoot. According to numerous news outlets, the 2020 Trump Presidential campaign has privately admitted that as many as 300,000 of the people who RSVP’d for Saturday’s event were fake.
The President and his campaign manager Brad Parscale bragged that one million tickets had been requested for the 19,000-seat BOK Center. But the turnout was only 6,200 according to the Fire Marshall, reportedly infuriating the President.
In a statement, the Trump campaign blamed the ‘fake news media’ for ‘warning people away from the rally’ over COVID-19 and protests against racial injustice around the country.
‘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 wrote.
Who was behind this dastardly deed? According to CNN, we have 51-year-old Mary Jo Laupp of Fort Dodge Iowa to thank (blame?). Dubbed “the grandmother of Tiktok,” Laupp apparently lit the fuse.
“All of those of us that want to see this 19,000 seat auditorium barely filled or completely empty go reserve tickets now and leave him standing alone there on the stage,” Laupp told her then-1,000 or so followers on TikTok. And then, alongside the choreographed dances, lip synching and challenges, the grandmother’s prompt became a challenge of its own.
ALSO READ: TikTok tops 2 billion downloads
Users began posting videos showing they too had registered for the event. Similar posts on Instagram and Twitter clocked up thousands of likes.
One video, with more than a quarter of a million views, called on fans of South Korean pop music in particular to join the trolling campaign. Fans of the music, which is known as K-pop, are a force on social media — they posted over 6 billion tweets last year alone. And they have a history of taking action for social justice causes.
Lincoln Project trolls Trump rally in new spot
Consider the TikTok stunt a “pregame” to the actual event. Next coms the After Party from Conservative political action committee The Lincoln Project.
The conservative group, founded by George Conway, the husband of President Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, has released a new spot which pokes fun at the rally on Saturday.
Titled, “Shrinking,” the spot starts off with scenes from the rally and an announcer says, “Hey Donald, your campaign manager told you a million fans wanted to come to your first big rally. Turnout in Tulsa? A dud. You’ve probably heard this before, but it was smaller than we expected.” The Reel 360 team always loves a good double entendre. This is no different.
Not to stop there, the spot shows a close-up of Trump’s hands and continues, “It sure wasn’t as big as you promised. Honestly, we’re not surprised. We’ve seen that you’re shaky, can’t keep your polls up, and it’s getting worse.” Watch below:
As Reel 360 has previously reported, The Lincoln Project launched in December with an op-ed in The New York Times headlined “We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated”
There are no further campaign rallies scheduled. President Trump had said his campaign was planning events in Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, and Texas – but nothing has been announced.
Subscribe: Sign up for our FREE e-lert here. Stay on top of the latest advertising, film, TV, entertainment and production news!
The president, who has no public events on his schedule for Monday, will be in Arizona on Tuesday to visit the border and address an assembly of youth. He’ll also travel to Wisconsin on Thursday to the Fincantieri Mariette Marine.