Tulsa Trump rally coverage: First protester arrested in Tulsa tells her story; Did TikTok users and K-Pop fans inflate ticket numbers?

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Updated 11:57 p.m.: Did a successful prank inflate attendance expectations for President Trump’s rally in Tulsa? The New York Times is out with a story reporting that hundreds of teenage TikTok users and K-pop fans say they’re at least partially responsible.

The Tulsa World estimates that about 10,000 people were inside the BOK Center for today's rally for President Trump. Brad Parscale, the chairman of Trump’s 2020 campaign, said earlier in the week that there were more than 1 million ticket requests. 

Trump Rally

An attendee sits in their seat while listen to President Donald Trump speak during his campaign rally at The BOK Center in Tulsa on Saturday, June 20, 2020.IAN MAULE/Tulsa World

Updated 11:37 p.m.: At the request of the Donald Trump campaign, Tulsa police say they arrested a woman in an "I can't breathe" shirt after she wouldn't willingly leave a secure area for the event Saturday morning.


Tulsa Police officers arrest protester Sheila Buck at President Donald Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa. Police later said there was a request by Trump Campaign Staff to remove her from the secure area of the rally. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa Word

Updated 11:29 p.m.: President Donald Trump falsely told supporters Saturday night that Democratic rival Joe Biden apologized for opposing his restrictions on travel from China early in the coronavirus pandemic. Read more on this fact check.  

Updated 11:21 p.m.: The Tulsa World estimates that about 10,000 people were inside the BOK Center for today's rally for President Trump. 

Updated 10:33 p.m.: USGS just confirmed an earthquake at 10:15 p.m. that was felt by many in Tulsa. The quake registered 4.2 magnitude initially and then it was moved up to a 4.5 and then back down to 4.2. It was centered near Perry, which is about two hours west of Tulsa. 

It is the largest Oklahoma earthquake recorded by USGS since a 4.6 magnitude quake April 9, 2018, which also had an epicenter near Perry.

Updated 10:28 p.m.: #TulsaTrumpRally is the second highest trending topic on Twitter at this hour.  

Updated 10:24 p.m.: President Trump tweeted a number of videos of his speech in Tulsa. On one about Democratic candidate Joe Biden, Trump tweeted "Joe Biden’s record can be summed up as 4 decades of betrayal, calamity and failure — he NEVER did ANYTHING!"

On another one, he tweeted "Republicans are the party of LIBERTY, EQUALITY and JUSTICE for ALL. We are the Party of Abraham Lincoln and the party of LAW AND ORDER!" 

Updated 10:19 p.m.: Tulsa World Staff Photographer Mike Simons reports that Tulsa Police did fire pepper balls at protesters earlier as the rally let out confirming earlier reports.


Tulsa Police Officers arrive on Boulder Avenue on the perimeter of President Donald Trump's campaign rally at the BOK Center Saturday, June 20, 2020. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World

Updated 10:14 p.m.: Tom Petty's family tweeted that President Trump did not have permission to use the late rocker's song "I Won't Back Down" during the rally in Tulsa. 

"Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind."

Updated 10:02 p.m.: Memes using photos taken inside the BOK Center during the rally of a sparse upper deck are being shared. The arena's capacity is about 19,000 people. 

Trump Rally

Attendees watch as Vice President Mike Pence was he speaks during a campaign rally for President Donald Trump at The BOK Center in Tulsa on Saturday, June 20, 2020.IAN MAULE/Tulsa World

Updated 9:59 p.m.: A tweet by Trump's 2020 campaign manager about "radical protesters" is being disputed by members of the media. 

Updated 9:54 p.m.: A large crowd that had walked the streets of downtown are now in the Greenwood District and people are dancing to loud music being played. 

Updated 9:45 p.m.: Videos continue to be taken by Tulsa World staff who are in downtown Tulsa outside the arena. Go to the Tulsa World's Twitter account to see the latest scenes. 

See a gallery of photos from the Rally Against Hate at Tulsa's Veteran Park, less than a mile away from the BOK Center where President Trump spoke. 

Updated 9:34 p.m.: There are no signs of violence in downtown Tulsa as the participants of the rally spill into the streets.

From Third to Sixth street, traffic is at a standstill on Boulder Avenue in downtown Tulsa.

Fire trucks and law enforcement vehicles with lights flashing are in the area.

The Tulsa Police reported on social media that "There are multiple groups of demonstrators with varying viewpoints in the area adjacent to the rally. Overwhelmingly these encounters have been peaceful with everyone attempting to share their views."

A bus belonging to the National Guard is parked in the area but troopers have not exited it. 

Several people in the crowd have reported chemical irritants in the air in the area. Here is video of what it looks like at this time. 


This was taken on top of the Tulsa World building at Third Street and Boulder Avenue looking south. MIKE STRAIN/Tulsa World


A woman was transported non-emergency to a local hospital, with a medical issue unrelated to the rally or protesters, an EMSA spokesman said. BERNIE HELLER/Tulsa World

Updated 8:56 p.m.: President Trump is done with his speech. The Rolling Stone's song "You Can't Always Get What You Want" plays as he leaves the stage. Tulsa World Staff Writer Kelly Hines reports that Trump spoke for an hour and 42 minutes.

Updated 8:40 p.m.: Emotions were rising in downtown Tulsa as nightfall approached. Hundreds of protesters marched north down Boulder Avenue past an area where Trump supporters were gathered at Fourth Street.

The groups came together around 8 p.m. and began shouting back and forth. There were brief skirmishes on Boulder. Traffic was at a standstill as the crowds filled the street. The most common chant from the marchers was "Black lives matter" and the Trump supporters responded with chants of "USA, USA..." Watch the video here from Tulsa World Managing Editor Mike Strain.

Meanwhile, in Oklahoma City, between 150 and 200 protesters peacefully marched to the Governor's Mansion to deliver a double-barreled message. 

Updated 8:30 p.m.: "How does Oklahoma feel about being petroleum-free? Not good. ... Oklahoma, Texas, North Dakota and many others will all be out of business. I don't think that's going to work too well."

Outside the arena, chants of "hands up don't shoot" can be heard while protesters continue to march on Main Street between Third and Fourth streets. Tulsa Police issued a statement on social media that says these groups are causing traffic issues, "however they have been demonstrating peacefully."

Updated 8:21 p.m.: A person in the crowd on the floor of the arena needed medical attention causing the president to stop his speech. After less than a minute, he continued. 

Updated 8:12 p.m.: "The choice in 2020 is very simple. Do you want to bow before the left-wing mob, or do you want to stand tall and proud as Americans?" That got the president to start talking about the NFL. 

"I like the NFL. I like Roger Goodell, but I didn't like what he said a week ago. ... We will never kneel to our national anthem or our great American flag. We will stand proud and we will stand tall." Watch live.

Updated 8:05 p.m.: "Look at what happened tonight. Law enforcement said, 'Sir, they can't be outside. It's too dangerous.' We had a bunch of idiots come and sort of attack our city. The mayor and the governor did a great job." Watch live.

Tulsa World Staff Writer Samantha Vicent reports some arrests two blocks away from the BOK Center. 

Updated 8 p.m.: "We ought to come up with legislation that if you burn the American flag, you go to jail for one year."

Updated 7:52 p.m.: President Trump tossed a glass of water onto the stage after taking a drink from it while speaking behind the podium. He was talking about what the media mentioned when he used two hands to drink water at another recent speech. Watch live. 

Updated 7:33 p.m. The president said only one person under the age of 18 has died of COVI1-19.

"Kids are much stronger than us. Let’s open the schools please," he said.

Updated 7:10 p.m.: The president is introduced as the song "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood is played. 

In the first minute of his remarks, the president praised the crowd, criticized "really bad people outside" and the media. 

The BOK Center did not have a capacity crowd, as many had expected, and there were large swaths of empty seats in the upper level.

"I just want to thank you all. You are warriors," Trump told the cheering crowd. "I’ve been watching the fake news for weeks now, and everything is negative: ‘Don’t go. Don’t come. Don’t do anything today.’ … I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never seen anything like it.

“You are warriors, thank you. We had some very bad people outside. We had some very bad people outside, they were doing bad things.”

Trump went on to say in his opening that "we have just a tremendous group of people in Oklahoma. And I hear from your two great senators and your governor that we’re doing very well in Oklahoma. That’s the word." Watch live.     

Updated 7:05 p.m.: The Rolling Stone's "She's A Rainbow" is now playing as the crowd waits for the president to take the stage. 

Updated 6:59 p.m.: Pence came off the stage at the rally with the song "Only in America" by Brooks & Dunn playing inside the arena. Ronnie Dunn lived in Tulsa in the 1980s when he first started recording music.   

Updated 6:36 p.m.: Vice President Mike Pence is introduced and walking toward the stage at the rally. He said: "America needs four more years of Donald Trump in the White House." Watch live.

Earlier, Pence went to the Tulsa Dream Center and said "Tulsa can provide a backdrop for how we move our nation forward to a more perfect union which is the ongoing aspiration of the American people." Read more about his appearance

Pence Tulsa Visit

Congressman Markwayne Mullin and Vice President Mike Pence talk with Brody Best, of Sand Springs, as the stand in front of Mike Luke's home while they tour homes in the Town and Country neighborhood in Sand Springs on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World

Updated 6:32 p.m.: An encore of Elton John's "Saturday's Night's Alright for Fighting" is being played inside the BOK Center. There are some more people in the upper bowl of the arena but it, and the floor in front of the stage, is far from full. The capacity of the arena is about 19,000. Watch live.  

Trump Tulsa

President Donald Trump gestures at Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum while arriving at Tulsa International Airport on Saturday. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World

See all of today's photos from the Tulsa World staff in this gallery that started before gates opened this morning to the rally. 

Updated 6:16 p.m.: Tulsa County's sheriff, former Oklahoma Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon and others have taken the stage to speak to the crowd. Eric Trump is tossing MAGA hats to the crow. 

President Trump

Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado talks to the crowd as they wait for President Donald Trump to speak at the BOK Center at the first re-election rally in Tulsa, OK, June 20, 2020. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World

Updated 5:59 p.m.: Tulsa World Staff Writer Kelly Hines shows what the inside of the BOK Center looks like an hour and a half before the rally is supposed to start. All of the upper bowl of the arena is empty. 


Inside the BOK Center at 5:30 p.m. KELLY HINES/Tulsa World 

Updated 5:58 p.m.: If you are not at the rally and want to watch it, here is how to do that. 

Updated 5:54 p.m.: President Trump has landed at Tulsa International Airport. 

Air Force One

Air Force One is pictured at Tulsa International Airport on Saturday. COREY JONES/Tulsa World

Updated 5:42 p.m.: The Tulsa World Twitter account — @tulsaworld — is retweeting Tulsa World reporters and photographers who are at the airport, inside the BOK Center, outside the BOK Center, and in Greenwood as the president is set to arrive in Tulsa. Follow it for continuing coverage. 

Updated 5:34 p.m.: An aide to Mayor G.T. Bynum announced on Twitter that he had resigned today. It reads: "I appreciate the opportunities you have given me over the years, but my heart is telling me that I can no longer effectively support you and the decisions you make for Tulsa."

Tulsa World Staff Writer Stetson Payne interviewed Graham about the resignation.  

Updated 5:26 p.m.: Watch video inside the BOK Center as the crowd chants "four more years" ahead of President Trump's rally. 

Updated 5:15 p.m.: Eric Trump gets cheers as the crowd sees him inside the BOK Center.

President Trump

Eric Trump, son of President Trump, waves to people waiting for the president to speak at the BOK Center on Saturday. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World

Updated 5:08 p.m.: Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, Sen. James Lankford, Adjutant General of the Oklahoma National Guard Mike Thompson, Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum and Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin are at the airport in Tulsa awaiting President Trump's arrival by Air Force One, Tulsa World Staff Writer Corey Jones and Tulsa World Photographer Ian Maule report.

Trump Tulsa

Tulsa Police Chief Wendall Franklin and Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum wait for President Donald Trump to arrive at Tulsa International Airport on Saturday, June 20th, 2020. Ian Maule/Tulsa World

Updated 4:44 p.m.: Some of the music played inside the BOK Center before the rally starts includes Pink Floyd's "Brain Damage," Village People's "Y.M.C.A.," Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down," Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," Elton John's "Saturday's Night's Alright for Fighting," Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On," Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way," David Bowie's "Space Oddity," and Guns & Rose's version of "Knockin' On Heaven's Door." 

Update 4:41 p.m.: People have come from all over for President Trump's rally, turning downtown in a surreal Mayfest-like atmosphere with merchandise and food vendors, along with protesters. 

Update 3:22 p.m.: Video from inside the BOK Center show hundreds, if not thousands, of people already inside, hours before the scheduled 7 p.m. start.

Trump BOK

Crowds begin to fill the arena floor before a campaign rally for President Donald Trump at the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa, Okla., on Saturday, June 20, 2020. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World

Update 3:15 p.m.: Vice President Mike Pence has arrived at Tulsa International Airport. Pence was expected to possibly meet with black leaders in Tulsa.

Greenwood District community members have covered the Black Wall Street Memorial, which serves as an unofficial headstone for the hundreds of souls taken during the Tulsa Race Massacre, "for fear of the Trump administration using it for the backdrop of a photo op," the group said in a news release. Read

Signs that read, “THIS IS SCARED GROUND” and “THIS IS NOT A PHOTO OP, MR PRESIDENT” were taped to the famed Black Wall Street Mural.

Just outside the Greenwood Cultural Central, a monument dedicated to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre was covered in blue tarpaulin with messages that read “LOVE “WINS” and “BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL.”

Sarah Morice-Brubaker, who wrote a message on a sidewalk, said either Trump or Pence conducting what could be perceived as a photo-op would be “offensive and disrespectful.”

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Residents cover portions of the Black Wall Street mural with messages, saying it is on sacred ground and an inappropriate place for a political photo op. KENDRICK MARSHALL/Tulsa World

Air Force 2

Air Force 2 is pictured at Tulsa International Airport. COREY JONES/Tulsa World

Updated 2:49 p.m.: Tulsa police said numerous protesters are blocking traffic at Forth Street and Boulder Avenue. Police are asking people to avoid the area. Protesters with Black Lives Matter were walking south on Boulder Avenue, which was closed north of Sixth Street.


Scott Hilliard (left) argues with Black Lives Matter protester Eugene Smith ahead of President Donald Trump’s campaign rally Saturday. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa Word

BLM Trump protests

Black Lives Matter and pro-Trump individuals interact on Boulder Avenue on Saturday. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World

Updated 2:25 p.m.: Gov. Kevin Stitt said Saturday he does not anticipate an increase in COVID-19 deaths in Oklahoma as a result of President Donald Trump's campaign rally at the BOK Center.

Stitt met with reporters outside the Cox Convention Center a few hours before doors were scheduled to open for the rally. When asked if he believed Oklahoma would see an increased number of deaths as a result of the event, Stitt said: "I really don't.

“Some people predicted that we’d be having 5,000 people in the hospital in Tulsa County every four days. That was kind of the prediction early on. You have to remember we have 211 people in the hospital across the state of Oklahoma right now." Here's the full story from Kelly Hines.

Updated 2:14 p.m.: Artists took to buildings and the boards placed over windows downtown to paint murals ahead of President Trump's rally in Tulsa. 

Tulsa World Photo Editor John Clanton created this gallery of what he found. 

Trump Rally

Murals painted on the side of AHHA in Tulsa while crowds gather outside the BOK Center in Tulsa ahead of President Trump's planned rally on Saturday, June 20, 2020. JOHN CLANTON/Tulsa World

Updated 2 p.m.: A large inflatable Donald Trump — clad in a diaper and holding a cellphone — went up Saturday on top of The Shrine at 18th and Boston near downtown.

Tulsa World Staff Writer Corey Jones writes the story behind it.  

2020-06-21 ne-babytrump

A large inflatable "Baby" Donald Trump — clad in a diaper and holding a cellphone — went up Saturday on top of The Shrine at 18th and Boston near downtown before the President was to arrive in Tulsa for a campaign rally. COREY JONES/Tulsa World

Updated 1:54 p.m.: 6 staffers setting up for Trump rally in Tulsa test positive for COVID-19

Updated 1:33 p.m.: Tulsa Police released this statement about this morning's arrest of a protester on social media:

"This morning at 11:30 a.m. Tulsa Police were requested by Trump Campaign Staff to remove an individual from the secure area of the rally.

"Tulsa Police spoke to the arrestee, Ms. (Sheila) Buck, for several minutes trying to convince her to leave on her own accord. After several minutes requesting her to leave she continued to refuse to cooperate and was escorted out of the area and transported to booking for obstruction.

Updated 1:19 p.m.: Tulsa World Staff Writer Kyle Hinchey reports that journalists are not going to be allowed into the BOK Center until 3 p.m. because officials are still sweeping the building. Media members were initially told it would be an hour earlier. 

Hinchey reports that Gov. Kevin Stitt has arrived at the BOK Center. 

Trump BOK

Okla. Gov. Kevin Stitt (left) arrives at the Cox Business Center in downtown Tulsa ahead of a campaign rally for President Donald Trump on Saturday. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World

Updated 1:05 p.m.: President Trump retweeted a Breitbart News video titled "The perfect analogy for today's media." The tweet quotes from the video:"They are like that one girlfriend you had that's just an idiot that believes every lie some guy tells her at a bar."

The president also retweeted Saturday two of his own earlier tweets addressing the rally in Tulsa. One says: "Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!"


Updated 12:51 p.m.: Several Tulsa activists and community leaders made “one final plea” Saturday afternoon for Mayor G.T. Bynum to cancel the president’s rally later in the day.

“If him allowing Trump to come hasn’t divided this city, I don’t know what has,” said the Rev. Robert Turner, speaking in the historic Greenwood District, where he pastors Vernon AME church.

Tulsa World Staff Writer Michael Overall reports from the press conference.  

Updated 12:33 p.m.: OAN Chief White House Correspondent Chanel Rion is wearing an Oklahoma State University shirt as she reports on President Trump's rally in Tulsa. OSU's football coach Mike Gundy wore an OAN T-shirt recently that caused one of his players, the nation's leading rusher in college football, to call him out on social media. Gundy later apologized

Rion tweeted Saturday morning: "Ready for the Presidential rally in Tulsa, OK -@OANN T-shirts going fast in the home of @okstate!


OAN Chief White House Correspondent Chanel Rion is wearing an Oklahoma State University shirt as she reports on President Trump's rally in Tulsa. KELLY KERR/Courtesy

Updated 12:05 p.m.: Oklahoma surpasses 10,000 cases after 331 additional confirmed positives and 1 new death reported by the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Tulsa County — where the Trump rally is at — now has 772 active cases within the county. 

Updated 11:38 a.m.: Tulsa Police took a protester away from the safety barricade of President Donald Trump's campaign rally. The woman said she lives in downtown Tulsa, had a ticket to the event and was arrested on a complaint of trespassing. Police later said there was a request by Trump Campaign Staff to remove her from the secure area of the rally. We have updated the gallery from today with photos of the arrest


Tulsa Police officers arrest protester Sheila Buck at President Donald Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa. Police later said there was a request by Trump Campaign Staff to remove her from the secure area of the rally. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa Word

Members of our Special Operations Team are working in the event area today.

Part of our duties are to provide a safe environment for everyone in attendance.

Updated at 11 a.m.: Tulsa Police just posted this message on Facebook:

Good Morning Tulsa.

There are hundreds of officers working today, not only around the rally but all around Tulsa.

It's going to be a long and eventful day, please look out for one another and report anything that seems suspicious.

Also at this hour, this op-ed by Paris Dennard, a GOP political commentator, strategist, and senior communications advisor for Black Media Affairs at the Republican National Committee, is receiving the most social media interactions of any story on at 11 a.m.: 

Updated 10:25 a.m.: Tulsa World Staff Photographer Mike Simons turned in these photos to show the thousands of people lined up for President Trump's rally. 


People wait in downtown Tulsa Saturday morning to enter President Donald Trump's campaign rally. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa Word


Jacob Osborne and his son Phoenix, 3 weeks, enter as safety barricade gates are opened Saturday for supporters to enter President Donald Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa Word

Updated 10 a.m.: Other media outlets are pointing out the connection between folk singer Woody Guthrie and the Trump family. We have republished Columnist Ginnie Graham's story about the topic: 

Trump Lyrics

Woody Guthrie’s writings about his one-time landlord, Fred Trump, are on display at the Woody Guthrie Center in downtown Tulsa. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World

Updated 9:50 a.m.: One of our assistant editors talks with CBS News about the rally. 

Updated 9:45 a.m.: Read up on the coverage of the Trump rally from today's Tulsa World: 

Updated 9 a.m.: The Saturday edition of the Tulsa World includes a number of full-page ads about the president. 

One is about the rally paid for by the campaign.

It reads: "Let's show the world that the American people stand with President Trump and his America First agenda."

Two full-page ads were purchased by the alumni of Tulsa's Booker T. Washington High School, one of the top high schools in the country academically. 

It reads: Booker T. Washington Hornets United Against Hate. "We, alumni of Booker T. Washington High School from classes spanning over five decades, respect the humanity and dignity of all and stand together in unity to lift our voices against all forms of hate, racism and bigotry. Our diversity is our strength."

Another ad is paid for by Patients Rights Advocate. 

It reads: "Thank you President Trump for your tireless efforts to rally and relaunch our great economy."

The last one is paid for by QuikTrip founder and Tulsan Burt B. Holmes. 

It reads: "Mr. President, you are no John Hope Franklin. We are Tulsa. We are better than this." 

See all these ads are in today's Tulsa World e-edition or pick up the print edition at locations across Tulsa and northeast Oklahoma. 

Gallery: The scenes before and during President Trump's rally in Tulsa

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