Donald Trump is holding his first major rally since the coronavirus pandemic began, but lower-than-expected crowd numbers mean he has cancelled plans to appear in an overflow area after the speech.

It’s his first major campaign rally since the coronavirus pandemic swept across America, and comes amid an unprecedented moment of protest against racial injustice in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.

Follow live updates from the rally, and from protests across Tulsa, below.

Live updatesJust nowSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 3:25am

By Peter Marsh

The President has been tweeting  

As he often does when he’s aboard Air Force One heading back to the White House after a rally. It’s mostly just clips of moments from the rally and a selection of photos from the night:



I’ll stay across his twitter feed and see if he offers up anything more.

10mminutes agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 3:15am

By Peter Marsh

Trump V BidenReuters


One thing I was looking out for in that speech tonight was how Donald Trump was going to set up his head-to-head with Joe Biden.

It’s impossible to talk about 2016 without talking about how effective Trump was at making “Crooked Hillary” stick in the minds of American voters.

He hasn’t really had the chance to frame the 2020 matchup yet, because the coronavirus pandemic pushed US politics to the side as soon as Biden became the nominee.

We got a glimpse of the 2020 strategy – tie Joe Biden with the progressive wing of the Democratic party. Trump tried to saddle Biden with “defund the police” (which Biden has explicitly said he does not support), the Green New Deal (also not part of Biden’s policy platform) and more.

How effective that strategy is could be the key to Trump winning re-election, or him being a one-term president.

18mminutes agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 3:07am

By Peter Marsh

More questions from youHas Biden or his camp reacted to Trump’s comments on this ‘testing slowdown’?

-Nick (White Choccy Lobby)

Indeed he has Nick. He kept it pretty short:



Also your tireless support of the White Choccy Lobby is noted and appreciated.   


Hello, do you think the low crowd numbers is a reflection of people worried about their health or a sign that Trump is on the way out? Too difficult to guess maybe.


It’s way too early to tell Debbie. Being a Trump supporter and not feeling comfortable being out and about in America right now are not mutually exclusive concepts. It’s possible plenty of his supporters were waiting to see how this rally played out before committing to heading along.


The reason we’re talking about the crowd size is because Trump’s campaign made it such a huge deal heading into this thing. I wouldn’t try to read the tea leaves too much about how it’ll affect his re-election chances.

29mminutes agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 2:57am

By Peter Marsh

How’s the presidential race looking?


It’s been a hot minute since we’ve checked in, huh?!


The TL;DR is that Joe Biden is comfortably ahead of Donald Trump in most national polls right now.


You don’t need to be a genius to understand why. The President’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and his response to nationwide protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd have put a serious dent in his standing in the eyes of American voters.


But it’s only June. Sure you’d rather be in Biden’s position than Trump’s. But it’s early — so early — and Trump has ample time and significant advantages to make his way back into this race.


And if you’re going to take anything away from 2020, it should be that this race (and the world) can be upended overnight in a way none of us can predict.

40mminutes agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 2:45am

By Emily Olson

So about that crowd size…Hello, do you think the low crowd numbers is a reflection of people worried about their health or a sign that Trump is on the way out? Too difficult to guess maybe.


I thought the Trumpers said 1million tickets had been sold



So I spoke to a woman at a peaceful counter-demonstration today, Elle Roots, who told me she requested tickets with the intent not to attend. 


“I thought it would annoy him,” she said. “I also believe that the less people who are there — hopefully the more distanced they can be. If they won’t listen to the experts, then at least we can do this.” 


 We’re hearing quite a few reports that Elle was not the only one who did this…. 


 Here’s what the Trump campaign is focusing on.

We don’t know the final numbers yet, and it was too scattered for me to give a solid estimate. But we’ll let you know what we hear. 

50mminutes agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 2:35am

By Peter Marsh

Trump’s rally, in picturesAP58mminutes agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 2:27am

By Emily Olson

There’s a crowd of protesters circling the streets

They’ve marched past my window three times now, and I’m going to estimate there’s about a thousand people. They’re chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace” and carrying all sorts of anti-Trump gear, including huge puppets. 


I can hear honking and sirens, but they haven’t stopped chanting so I assume they’re not clashing with those who are now leaving the Trump rally.  


We’ll keep an eye on it. This is the biggest anti-Trump group I’ve seen today. 

1hhour agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 2:23am

By Peter Marsh

Got questions?


With the president off the stage, we’ve got some more time to answer any questions you’ve got about the rally, or about the situation outside that Emily’s been watching all day, fire away!


Hit that big blue leave a comment button up there. You know you want to.

1hhour agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 2:20am

By Peter Marsh

Those testing comments are the talk of the town


Here they are in full:


“When you do testing to that extent you’re going to find more people,” Mr Trump said.

“You’re going to find more cases, so I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down please.’

“They test and they test and we got tests — people don’t know what’s going on. We got tests, ‘We got another one over here.'”

“I saved hundreds of thousands of lives.”

It’s probably the thing most media are chattering about in the immediate aftermath. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays in the coming days.

1hhour agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 2:13am

By Emily Olson

Key EventA few highlights from this speech

At one point during his story about the ramp, Trump said “I have good speeches and bad speeches. So far tonight, I’m average. I’ll be honest with you.”


Trump’s supporters love when he plays with false modesty, but I think “average” might be an accurate way to describe this speech. 


Don’t get me wrong — the setting and timing and controversy around this rally make it a standout. But as for the contents of his speech, nothing really stood out in the ways that made his 2016 rallies so famous. The lines that might offend those outside his base were mostly recycled. 


To my ear, he spent the most time talking about: 

His ramp story, with a hearty dose of humour thrown in (much to the delight of his supporters)The Black Lives Matter protests, but focused more on the Defund the Police movement and Seattle’s “autonomous zone”Coronavirus, though this was scattered throughoutHis enemies (especially Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and the Democrats as one entity)Immigration 1hhour agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 1:58am

By Peter Marsh

Key EventAnd Trump wraps up

He finishes with:


“We will make America great again.”      


Which gets a response and cheer from the crowd. Trump’s waving goodbye as “You Can’t Always Get What you Want” is playing.


So just a tick under two hours from the President. Stay tuned though, we’ll be back to wrap it up and to bring you more coverage from Tulsa.

1hhour agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 1:53am

By Emily Olson

This is long, but not out of character for Trump.

He started a little after 7 pm here in Tulsa (on time, which is rare for Trump rallies), and has spoken non-stop. It’s nearly 9 pm now.  


This President is known for his long speeches. His rally monologues can often last more than an hour, and he holds the record for the longest State of the Union. A big reason for this is that he likes to go off-script, which his supporters LOVE him for.


Yet it * sounds * like he’s wrapping up. Let’s see. 

1hhour agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 1:48am

By Peter Marsh

An announcement in the speech

Trump says he’ll be placing the John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park in Tulsa on the African American Civil Rights Network:   


The network is a series of properties, facilities and programs designed to tell the story of people, places and events associated with the African American Civil Rights movement in the US.

1hhour agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 1:43am

By Emily Olson

Trump has moved on to the Supreme Court

After a string of comments about the need to crack down on immigration, Trump transitioned into DACA. 


His administration tried to throw out an executive order penned by Barack Obama protecting the children of immigrants from deportation, but this week, the US Supreme Court ruled that Trump can’t really do that. Yeah, his administration CAN overturn DACA, but just not in the way they did. 


Trump has been vocally bitter about the decision, implying that the court should decide more clearly in his favour because two of the sitting justices were his picks. 


He got big applause from that sentiment tonight. 

1hhour agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 1:43am

By Peter Marsh

Coming back to Trump’s comments on coronavirus   

Trump used the racist term “Kung Flu” to describe the coronavirus earlier.


1hhour agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 1:34am

By Emily Olson

Nah, there aren’t guns at this rally 

Are the attendees allowed to take guns into the rally ? Appears americans cant go anywhere without a machine gun

-Tony miles


Well for the record, Tony, I’m an American travelling without a machine gun. But I see your point, and Trump just mentioned “Democrats want to revoke your second amendment rights,” so it’s a good time to talk about this.


Tulsa is open carry, meaning that you’re allowed to walk around with a gun, loaded or unloaded, licensed or unlicensed. And given that Trump seems to attract support from some paramilitary groups, I was prepared to see guns on the street today, but that wasn’t really the case. I probably saw two or three people with holstered handguns. And I’m pretty sure that even the police and National Guard were carrying paintball guns, though they may well have had disclosed firearms. 



You could chalk this up to the fact that guns were definitely not allowed inside the rally perimeter. Everyone had to walk through metal detectors, and get a bag check. There were HEAPS of top-level security forces at the entry point. And they were super strict — no liquids or signs. Secret Security isn’t going to take that chance with the US President. 



2hhours agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 1:21am

By Peter Marsh

It looks like someone in the front row has passed outCSPAN


Trump paused his speech as some security staff came and helped the man to his feet. He walked out, but was being helped by the staff.


I’ll keep an eye to see what might have happened.

2hhours agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 1:12am

By Peter Marsh

‘The choice in 2020 is very simple’AP


Trump asks if the crowd will bow to the “left-wing” or if they will “stand up” for American values.


“We will stand proud and we will stand tall,” he says.


And just like that, a lot of the crowd who were sitting down and tuned out are back on their feet and cheering. Like I said, he’s normally very attuned to the energy of the crowd.

2hhours agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 1:12am

By Emily Olson

Is Coronavirus a concern for this crowd? Does the crowd appear to be taking COVID precautions, such as distancing or wearing masks?


It’s a bit of a mixed bag, Bianca.


Walking around the venue today, I’d guess it was maybe a 30/70 split on masks/no masks. Social distancing was definitely not happening with these crowds. 


 But the entry to the rally was clearly COVID-conscious. The first thing I saw as I walked through the gate was a woman passing out masks to anyone who didn’t have one, but she also said “you’re not required to wear this”.


Then you had to walk through a maze of lines with squares for social distancing taped on the ground (clearly designed for more crowds. No one I saw had to wait long). There were also heaps of misters to take the edge off a scorching hot day. 

ABC News: Emily Olson
ABC News: Emily Olson


Then everyone had to receive a temperature check, and anyone who failed was cordoned off to a small side tent. I’m not exactly sure what happened in there, but the doctor who did my test said “the overwhelming majority” of people were passing anyway.


Then, in the (long) walk from the entry point to the entry of the actual convention centre, there were plenty of hand sanitiser stations, with pocket-sized bottles to keep. 

2hhours agoSunSunday 21 JunJune 2020 at 1:08am

By Peter Marsh

Trump’s talking about deals

He’s talking about the deals he’s made while in the Oval Office, from a new plane for Air Force One to dealing with Germany about reducing the numbers of US troops stationed there.


He’s been speaking for about an hour now, and the energy has gone out of the crowd a little bit. Trump’s normally very good at sensing this kind of thing and pivoting to bring the crowd back up. We’ll see what he does here.

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