Washington, Jun 22 (efe-epa).- Saturday was not Donald Trump’s day: his meeting in Tulsa (Oklahoma) did not go as planned. Where he expected to see a crowd of followers he found an auditorium with less than a third of the capacity; a “feat” for which TikTok users and followers of South Korean pop (K-pop) say they are partly responsible, although it is difficult to attribute.
Some point to a campaign instigated by an American high school teacher on the social network TikTok, in which he encouraged people to register in advance and then not attend, as a possible culprit of that half-empty audience.
However, the truth is that the Trump campaign never set a limit to the number of people who could register to attend the rally at the BOK Center in Tulsa, with a capacity of 19,000 people, although in the end it was only filled with 6,000.
In addition, to do so, those interested had to give their phone number, very useful for the database of Trump’s electoral team.
According to local press, the “trolling” of the Trump rally began with the call of Mary Jo Laupp, a 51-year-old Institute teacher, on her social media channel TikTok, whose majority audience is teenagers.
“All those who want to see that 19,000-seat auditorium barely full or completely empty reserve tickets now and leave (Trump) alone on stage,” Laupp said in a video posted last week.
Now the video has more than 700,000 views and is believed to have been the trigger of a campaign that also spread on Facebook and Twitter, as well as among the community of K-Pop followers.
The initiative intended that all those who wanted to take advantage of it register to attend the meeting with their phone number, demand two tickets – the maximum allowed by the system – and then not attend the event.
However, it is unlikely that this TikTok campaign was to blame for the stands at the BOK Center looking more empty than those of an already lowered soccer team, having not set any limits to sign up.
In fact, the Trump campaign only emphasized that those who arrived later at the rally risked running out of seats.
This was not the first time trying to apply a similar ploy: In September 2018, the Kansas City Star already reported a similar attempt at a President’s event in Topeka, Kansas that had little success, like other subsequent attempts.
In fact, the Trump campaign team was aware of the initiative on networks.
The deputy director of Communications for the Trump campaign, Erin Perrine, told CNN before the rally that “leftists do this all the time. They think that if they register to (obtain) tickets they will leave seats free. This is not the case in Absolute. There are always more ticket requests than free seats at a rally. ”
“All they are doing is giving us access to their contact information,” he said.
After the rally and away from self-criticism, Trump campaign chief Brad Parscale, organizer of the event in Tulsa, pointed out in a statement as guilty to the media of “false news for driving people away from the rally for the COVID-19 and the protests.”
Parscale even went further and on Sunday shared on Twitter an article from The Gate Away Pundit accusing “the Black Lives Matter mob” (black lives matter), the movement behind the US racial protests, of attacking the president’s supporters around the Tulsa pavilion.
A stripped-down, tired-looking, weary Donald Trump emerged from the presidential helicopter on his way back from Tulsa on Saturday night in an image that quickly went viral on social media.
As he got off the phone, the President only waved shyly at the reporters waiting for him in Washington D.C.
A silence, which according to The New York Times, was adopted as soon as he left the stage.
Something very different from what this same newspaper assures that it was lived in the previous moments of the rally, in which after taking a look at the audience, Trump would have vehemently bellowed some members of his campaign.