Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Sunday pressed Trump campaign adviser Mercedes Schlapp about the underwhelming turnout at President Donald Trump’s rally in Oklahoma and shot down her attempts to “deny the reality of what happened” with spin.
In an interview with Schlapp on “Fox News Sunday,” Wallace noted Trump’s claim that one million people requested tickets for his Tulsa campaign event, and pointed out that the campaign planned for massive turnout by establishing an outdoor overflow section at the city’s 19,200 capacity BOK Center. The Tulsa Fire Department estimated roughly 6,200 people ultimately attended the event, and Trump’s planned remarks at the outdoor area were canceled at the last minute when the space went mostly unused.
Schlapp, echoing talking points pushed by Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh and manager Brad Parscale, sought to pin the blame on protesters for the lackluster turnout, claiming they blocked pathways. Journalists at the event denied seeing any attendees blocked from entering the venue.
“The fact is, the president talks about the attendance at his events … how he can fill an arena, and that Joe Biden can’t. He didn’t fill an arena last night,” Wallace interjected. “And you guys were so far off that you had planned an outdoor rally and there wasn’t an overflow crowd.”
“Protesters did not stop people from coming to that rally. The fact is, people did not show up.”
Schlapp doubled down, claiming protesters “absolutely” affected turnout and that millions watched the event online.
She continued: “I’d love to see a Joe Biden rally. Let’s bring it on because there is no comparison.”
“Those people that knew that they wanted to be there physically present with the president,” she added. “They joined us, and they’re family-oriented individuals who wanted to come out and be with us.”
“Mercedes, please don’t filibuster,” Wallace interrupted. “We’re showing pictures here, and it shows big, empty areas. Frankly, it makes you guys look silly when you deny the reality of what happened.”