Trump holds rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma

By Melissa Macaya, Maegan Vazquez, Joe Ruiz and Kyle Blaine, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, June 21, 2020
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11:15 p.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Fact check: Did Biden apologize to Trump? 

From CNN's Holmes Lybrand

President Trump claimed in tonight's rally that Joe Biden apologized for criticizing Trump’s travel restrictions on China.

“When I took early and decisive action to ban travel from China and protect Americans from the virus,” Trump said. “Joe Biden opposed my decision and called it hysteria. Xenophobia. He doesn’t know what the word means. Xenophobia. And fear mongering. And then he apologized a month later. He said he was wrong. But he didn’t say it.”

Facts First: Biden's campaign announced in early April that he supports Trump's travel restrictions on China. But neither Biden nor his campaign apologized for any previous criticism of Trump. The campaign says that the Biden comments Trump has described as criticism of the China restrictions — in which Biden said Trump has a record of "hysterical xenophobia" and "fear mongering" — were not about the travel restrictions at all.

The campaign says Biden did not know about the China restrictions at the time of the January 31 speech in which he made these remarks, since his campaign event in Iowa started shortly after the briefing during which the China restrictions were revealed by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.  Given the timing of the Biden remarks, it's not unreasonable for the Trump campaign to infer that Biden was talking about the travel restrictions. 

But Biden never took an explicit position on the restrictions until his April declaration of support — and whether or not you accept his campaign's argument that the "xenophobia" claim was not about the restrictions, he certainly hasn't apologized.

11:28 p.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Fact check: Trump's claim on pre-existing conditions  

From CNN's Holmes Lybran

During tonight's rally, President Trump told the crowd that his administration would protect those with pre-existing health conditions.“We'll always protect patients with pre-existing conditions always, always,” Trump said.

Facts First: Trump's claim about protecting those with pre-existing conditions is misleading. Though Trump says he would do this, his administration has consistently taken steps to undermine the Affordable Care Act -- including joining a lawsuit aimed at striking down the law -- without presenting alternative plans that would offer similar benefits.

Read the full fact check here.

10:33 p.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Trump campaign claims they had "legitimate 300,000" sign-ups for rally, denies TikTok influence

From CNN's Dana Bash and Maeve Reston

A Trump campaign official is pushing back on reports that the number of RSVPs to tonight’s rally were artificially inflated by TikTok users.

“We had legitimate 300,000 signups of Republicans who voted in the last four elections. Those are not [TikTok] kids. It was fear of violent protests. This is obvious with the lack of families and children at the rally. We normally have thousands of families,” the official told CNN.

CNN previously reported that TikTok users were trying to troll Trump's campaign by reserving tickets for Tulsa rally they'll never use.

 The crowd for President Trump's rally was smaller than expected.
The crowd for President Trump's rally was smaller than expected. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Smaller-than-expected crowds: In the days leading up to Trump's Saturday rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he and his allies ginned up expectations for a massive crowd with campaign officials telling CNN that more than a million people had registered to attend, and one local official stating they expected 100,000 to show up near the arena.

But those crowds didn't appear as large as expected Saturday afternoon, leading to an abrupt change of plans by the campaign. A campaign source told CNN that the team was abandoning plans for the President to speak to an "overflow" area outside the arena in Tulsa where only a couple dozen people were standing near the outdoor stage less than two hours before the rally.

The campaign had been leaning toward canceling Trump's remarks to the overflow crowd for fear of angering the President if there aren't as many people there as he expected when he lands.

10:23 p.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Trump has finished his remarks

By Maegan Vazquez and Maeve Reston

Win McNamee/Getty Images
Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump has finished his remarks at a rally inside the BOK Center in Tulsa — his first rally since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the United States.

The President's remarks lasted over an hour and 40 minutes. In his speech, Trump touched on everything from the recent DACA Supreme Court decision to China's role in the pandemic to calling for the burning of the American flag to be illegal.

At one point in the rally, Trump also said he told administration officials to slow down Covid-19 testing because of the rising number of cases in the US, and used a racist term — "Kung Flu" — to describe the coronavirus.

After Trump made the comment about testing, an administration official told CNN that the president was "obviously kidding" when he said that he asked for a slowdown.

Attendance at the rally fell below the campaign's expectations, with Trump's speech at an overflow space outside the BOK Center being cancelled.

In the days leading up to President Trump's Saturday rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he and his allies ginned up expectations for a massive crowd with campaign officials telling CNN that more than a million people had registered to attend, and one local official stating they expected 100,000 to show up near the arena.

10:30 p.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Trump tells rally "we could get a few more" Supreme Court openings

From CNN's Lauren Koenig  and Eric Bradner

President Trump Saturday night, after touting the nomination and approval of his two Supreme Court nominees, said he might get the chance to pick more.

“So we have two justices of the Supreme Court, Justice (Neil) Gorsuch, Justice (Brett) Kavanaugh. They’re great. They are, They’re great. We have two and we could get a few more!” Trump said, which was then met with cheers. 

He also repeated his pledge, first made earlier this week, to soon announce a list of contenders if he has another opportunity to make a nomination to the nation’s High Court if there is a vacancy.

“I’ll be soon announcing a new list of exceptional candidates for the United States Supreme Court, and I will choose only from that list, 100%. Probably 25 incredible people – any one of which could be a great justice,” he told his re-election rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “I did it last time, and people loved when I did it. And I will only pick from that list.”

Earlier this week he said he would release the list by Sept. 1.

Some background: Trump, in the wake of two stinging losses at the Supreme Court, is returning to his 2016 campaign tactic of trying to rally Republicans with promises of conservative justices.

This time, though, Democrats argue that public sentiment on issues like immigration and LGBTQ rights has shifted so much that Trump's strategy could backfire, potentially alienating suburban moderates and helping former Vice President Joe Biden and down-ballot Democrats appeal to first-time voters.

Supreme Court and judicial appointments were elevated in the 2020 presidential race this week after the nation's high court dealt Trump's administration two major blows.

The court on Thursday blocked the Trump administration's attempt to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era program that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation. The ruling, in a 5-4 opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, came three days after a 6-3 opinion backed by a Trump appointee, Neil Gorsuch, in which the court said LGBTQ Americans are protected under the Civil Rights Act.

Trump reacted to the rulings with a string of tweets, saying on Thursday they were a "shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives."

10:08 p.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Large groups of peaceful demonstrators in downtown Tulsa, police say

From CNN's Keith Allen

Demonstrators march in downtown Tulsa on Saturday evening.
Demonstrators march in downtown Tulsa on Saturday evening. Charlie Riedel/AP

There are large groups of demonstrators walking around downtown Tulsa near where President Trump is holding his rally tonight, according to a tweet on the Tulsa Police Department’s Twitter account.

“These groups are causing traffic issues, however they have been demonstrating peacefully,” Tulsa police tweeted.

 Police are asking people to avoid the downtown Tulsa area, if possible.

Read the tweet:

10:03 p.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Trump claims victory on DACA, despite SCOTUS ruling blocking his attempts to end program

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

Activists hold a banner in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on June 18. In a 5-4 ruling Thursday, the Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration's attempt to end DACA.
Activists hold a banner in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on June 18. In a 5-4 ruling Thursday, the Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration's attempt to end DACA. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump claimed his administration actually won the Supreme Court’s ruling on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), despite the Supreme Court issuing a 5-4 decision against his administration’s attempt at ending the Obama-era program.

The President also said he will be refiling in the case, something he said he would do in a tweet after the ruling was handed down on Thursday.

“But we actually won on DACA yesterday. We actually won. Because they basically said you won, but you have to come back and redo it. It's almost like, gee come on back. Your paperwork was no good. But we are going to be refiling, but don’t let it get you, everything’s gonna work out really good, everything’s gonna work out,” Trump said at his campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday night. “They came back and they said we don't like what you did with your paperwork essentially. So we are refiling it. Most people would say oh we lost. We didn't lose. We are refiling it.”

In a 5-4 ruling Thursday, the Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration's attempt to end the program that protects undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children from deportation and allows them to work in the US.

The core question before the Supreme Court was how the administration ended the program, not its legality. Chief Justice John Roberts took issue with the manner in which Trump tried to terminate DACA but left open the possibility for the administration to take another swing at it.

On Friday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed the White House is looking for a way forward.

"We're looking at documents currently and we're going to move forward in a responsible way and cure some of the remedies and the unlawfulness that we see with the previous memo that brought DACA into place," she said.

10:05 p.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Who wore masks at Trump's rally?

By Maegan Vazquez, Ryan Nobles and DJ Judd

The Trump campaign has underscored that it's up to rally attendees to decide whether or not to wear a mask, and many have chosen not to wear one, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with other supporters of the President inside the BOK Center in Tulsa.

The Trump campaign confirmed earlier Saturday that six campaign staffers working the Tulsa event have tested positive for coronavirus and "quarantine procedures were immediately implemented."

Many of the Trump campaign surrogates tasked with being part of a show of force for Saturday's event were photographed sans-mask on a chartered plane ride to the rally.

President Trump and several speakers at the rally took the stage without a mask.

Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan was filmed mingling with rallygoers inside the arena without a mask. And Oklahoma GOP Sen. James Inhofe was seen in a seating section near the stage without a mask. One of the most prominent supporters of the Brexit movement, Nigel Farage, was seen inside the arena without a mask as well.

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale was spotted wearing a face mask at the rally site, but earlier Saturday, he was photographed with other Trump surrogates not wearing one. Oklahoma GOP Sen. James Lankford was also seen with a mask inside the arena. According to the White House press pool, Trump donor and oil tycoon Harold Hamm wore a mask at the rally site. 

9:45 p.m. ET, June 20, 2020

Fact check: Trump’s claim on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's statement

From CNN's Daniel Dale and Tara Subramaniam

Trump feigned confusion about the timing of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s June 5 video statement condemning racism, saying nobody was even asking for it.

Facts First: It's not true that nobody was asking Goodell to make such a statement; prominent NFL players, among others, had pressured him to do so. In fact, Goodell's statement included, word for word, two of the sentences that a group of players had said that they wanted to hear the NFL say: "We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people" and "We, the National Football League, believe that black lives matter."