As part of the BOK Center’s security plan for the June 20 rally, the arena’s management had purchased 12,000 non-sit stickers with the intention of keeping people separate by leaving open seats among attendees, according to the Post.
Then on the day of the rally, when event staff had already placed the decals on almost any other seat in the 19,000-seat arena, the Trump campaign told event management to stop, and then began removing the stickers, according to a person familiar with the event who spoke to the Washington Post on condition of anonymity to discuss internal affairs.
Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for the Trump campaign, did not address the sticker removal incident, but instead promoted the health precautions taken for the event in a statement to CNN.
“The rally met local requirements. In addition, all rally attendees received a temperature check prior to admission, were given a face mask, and were given wide access to the hand sanitizer,” Murtaugh said Saturday. .
The stickers were removed in the sand before the event, according to pool reporters, who noted that the stickers that once appeared on the seats hours earlier had almost disappeared by mid-afternoon on Saturday. The stickers were removed before the public could enter the arena, according to reports from the pool.
Meanwhile, in a video clip obtained by the Post, two men can be seen, one wearing a suit and the other wearing a badge and face mask, removing decals from seats in a section of the arena. The identities of the men are not clear.
After most of the stickers were in place, a member of the Trump campaign radioed staff in the war room of the event where arena management was monitoring the preparations and told them to stop, according to the person familiar with the event who spoke to the Post. Event staff were told to continue applying the stickers. Later, the campaign began to carry them out, the person said.
When Trump took the stage in the arena, it was seen that the attendees did not meet the guidelines of social distancing, but instead grouped themselves without empty seats among themselves. You cannot see stickers on the seats either.
A group of local lawyers, in the days leading up to the rally, sued to prevent the event from happening unless organizers agreed to take steps to adhere to the administration’s own recommendations for social distancing to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Lawyers for his lawsuit noted that statistics from the Tulsa health department showed that the highest count of coronavirus cases was recorded the Monday before the rally planned for Saturday.
Neither Trump nor the White House asked for the stickers to be removed, a senior White House official told the Washington Post.
CNN’s DJ Judd and Ryan Nobles contributed to this story.