The Trump campaign rejected a claim alleging that President Donald Trump’s Saturday rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma was trolled by an army of TikTok users.
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale denied the allegation in a statement Sunday and attacked the media for pushing the story, according to Politico.
“Leftists and online trolls doing a victory lap, thinking they somehow impacted rally attendance, don’t know what they’re talking about or how our rallies work,” said Parscale, according to Politico.
Users of the social media platform TikTok coordinated an effort to get people who didn’t intend on going to the event to sign up for it, CNN reported. One TikTok post urging K-pop fans to sign up for the rally received over 100,000 likes.
“All of those of us that want to see this 19,000 seat auditorium barely filled or completely empty go reserve tickets now and leave him standing alone there on the stage,” Mary Jo Laupp, a 51-year-old Iowa grandmother, said in a TikTok video posted two weeks ago.
Laupp’s video encouraging people to register for free tickets to the rally has garnered over 2 million views.
News outlets who reported on the attempted troll “behaved unprofessionally and were willing dupes to the charade,” said Parscale according to Politico.
Trump’s rally had lower attendance than originally expected. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence canceled planned speeches to an overflow crowd because of the low turnout.
The Trump campaign blamed the media’s negative coverage of the event and protesters for the low attendance.
“Radical protesters, coupled with a relentless onslaught from the media, attempted to frighten off the President’s supporters. We are proud of the thousands who stuck it out,” campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said in a statement.
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