President Trump on Friday issued a stern warning to any protester or anarchist who is intent on disrupting his long-awaited Tulsa rally.
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“Please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis,” he tweeted. “It will be a much different scene!”
Kayleigh McEnany, the White House spokeswoman, said that the president was referring to “violent protesters, anarchists, looters, the kind of lawlessness that we saw play out before President Trump came out with the National Guard and calmed our streets with law enforcement.”
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The cities Trump mentioned have been vandalized and—at times—overcome by violent protests and looting. Seattle still has a six-block “cop-free” zone that has become a protest encampment.
Trump made the announcement after the Tulsa World newspaper reported that the city’s mayor, G.T. Bynum, a Republican, announced a curfew in the area carved out around the Saturday night rally. He also declared a civil emergency in the anticipation of civil unrest.
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“I have received information from the Tulsa Police Department and other law enforcement agencies that shows that individuals from organized groups who have been involved in destructive and violent behavior in other States are planning to travel to the city of Tulsa for purposes of causing unrest in and around the rally,” Bynum wrote in the executive order.
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The rally has been the source of intense scrutiny in the press due to the coronavirus pandemic and warnings from health officials about the risks of those who attend. Many Trump supports pushed back on the warnings and point to the protests that have emerged across the country over police brutality.
Earlier this week, Liz Harrington, the national spokesperson for the Republican National Committee, told the “Todd Starnes Radio Show” that the Trump campaign was stunned by the popularity of the event, and crossed one million RSVPs.
The BOK Center has 19,000 seats and there have already been reports of supporters lining up outside the building since Monday.
“It’s incredible,” she said. “It has broken all records. This is coming off from the weekend, where we had a record, one-day fundraising haul where we raised $14 million in small-dollar donations to celebrate President Trump’s birthday.”