Trump campaign says fire marshal's count for Tulsa rally attendance was 'wrong'

Trump 2020 communications director Tim Murtaugh told “Outnumbered Overtime” on Monday that the fire marshal ’s count for attendance at Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla. was “wrong.”

Murtaugh made the statement after several media outlets, including CNN and MSNBC, were quick to point out that Trump failed to fill the arena, despite expectations of a packed house.

In advance of the Saturday event, Trump supporters had been lining up for days to secure their seats in an arena that holds just under 20,000, and the Trump campaign touted last week that they received over 1 million ticket requests. Still, on Saturday several seats were noticeably empty.

A spokesperson for the Tulsa Fire Department told Fox News on Sunday that fire marshal records show just under 6,200 scanned tickets were logged for the rally at the BOK Center. The figure doesn't include Trump team staff members or private suites, which were fully booked. The arena's capacity is 19,000.

Ken Farnaso, deputy press secretary for the Trump Campaign, told Fox News that tickets are not scanned at Trump rallies.

“Every rally is general admission – entry is on a first-come-first-served basis and prior registration is not required. There are no tickets to scan.”

Fox News’ Melissa Francis asked Murtaugh, “How can you have a million people RSVP’d that they are going to come, as the campaign said, and only 6,200 show up? How do you explain that disparity in numbers?”

“First we know how many people went through the magnetometers that are set up by the secret service and it was 12,000 so the fire marshal is wrong,” Murtaugh said in response.

He then noted that the Trump campaign “went through more than a week's worth of constant negative media coverage from cable news networks, mostly offensive, would be like say CNN and MSNBC, telling people that the most dangerous place in the world that they could be would be at a Trump rally, first because of the coronavirus and second because of the threat of dangerous protesters outside.”

Murtaugh said a Trump rally would normally include “a lot of families.”

“A lot of kids come to Trump rallies,” he said. “I’ve been to several dozen Trump rallies and there are always children in attendance.

OKLAHOMA SUPREME COURT ALLOWS TRUMP RALLY TO PROCEED AS PLANNED; TULSA MAYOR RESCINDS CURFEW

“In Tulsa there weren’t any children at all really, it’s because, we believe, they were frightened away by more than a week's worth of 24-hour a day negative coverage telling people that the Trump rally was a dangerous place to be,” he continued.

Murtaugh pointed out that the fact that “12,000 people still showed up, I think shows a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for the president.”

“The fire marshal estimate is wrong against this deluge of negative scare tactics by the media because they don't want President Trump back on the campaign trail,” he added. “They don't want him holding rallies and so they did everything that they possibly could to keep people away and now they say that the crowd wasn’t big enough.”

Francis then asked, “How many people do you think it is that go to a Trump rally who watch MSNBC or CNN?” She added that she doesn’t think a lot of people who watch those networks would show in person.

Murtaugh responded by saying that every cable news outlet, “all of the newspapers,” and all the “news media websites” were responsible for the “negative coverage.”

“It’s undeniable that for more than a week the entire national news media was dead set on discouraging people from going to President Trump's rallies because Democrats and the mainstream media don't want President Trump on the campaign trail,” he said.

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“Let me tell you, we had 12,000 people in the BOK Center and that’s approximately 11,990 more people than attended Joe Biden's last event,” he continued.

“There is a gigantic enthusiasm gap between President Trump and Joe Biden. It is real and it is wide.”

Fox News’ Tyler Olson, Gregg Re and The Associated Press contributed to this report.