“This was a major failure,” one outside adviser said.
President Donald Trump is “furious” at the “underwhelming” crowd at his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday evening, a major disappointment for what was expected to be a raucous return to the campaign trail after a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to multiple people close to the White House.
The president was fuming at his top political aides on Saturday even before the rally began, after his campaign revealed that six members of the advance team on the ground in Tulsa had tested positive for COVID-19, including Secret Service personnel, a person familiar with the discussions said.
Trump asked those around him why that information was exposed and expressed annoyance that the coverage ahead of his mega-rally was dominated by that revelation.
While the Trump re-election effort boasted it would fill the BOK Center that seats more than 19,000 people, only 6,200 supporters ultimately filled the general admission sections of the enclosed arena, the Tulsa fire marshal told NBC News.
There are growing concerns among Trump campaign officials that neither the president nor the 2020 team have a coherent message for why he should serve a second term. Saturday evening’s meandering, nearly two-hour rally speech, is the latest evidence of a lack of a targeted strategy to attack Biden, with less than five months to go until the general election.