Ocasio-Cortez: Trump rally sabotaged by ‘teens on TikTok’
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) credited “teens on TikTok” for the lower than expected turnout at President Trump’s rally on Saturday night in Tulsa, Okla., his first since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Responding to a tweet by Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale blaming “radical protestors” for intimidating people at the event, the progressive first-term lawmaker wrote, “Actually you just got ROCKED by teens on TikTok who flooded the Trump campaign w/ fake ticket reservations & tricked you into believing a million people wanted your white supremacist open mic enough to pack an arena during COVID.”
“Shout out to Zoomers. Y’all make me so proud,” Ocasio-Cortez added.
She also thanked “KPop allies” for their “contributions in the fight for justice” in a follow-up tweet.
KPop allies, we see and appreciate your contributions in the fight for justice too
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 21, 2020
Fans of the Korean pop music genre reportedly submitted thousands of fake registrations for the rally and have claimed credit for the turnout.
“It spread mostly through Alt TikTok — we kept it on the quiet side where people do pranks and a lot of activism,” Elijah Daniel, a YouTube personality who helped organize the campaign, told The New York Times. “K-pop Twitter and Alt TikTok have a good alliance where they spread information amongst each other very quickly. They all know the algorithms and how they can boost videos to get where they want.”
In a statement, the Trump campaign denied the efforts had any effect on rally attendance.
“Reporters who wrote gleefully about TikTok and K-Pop fans – without contacting the campaign for comment – behaved unprofessionally and were willing dupes to the charade,” it said. “Registering for a rally means you’ve RSVPed with a cell phone number and we constantly weed out bogus numbers, as we did with tens of thousands at the Tulsa rally, in calculating our possible attendee pool. These phony ticket requests never factor into our thinking.”
Critics of the president highlighted the contrast between images of empty seats at the rally and the campaign’s announcement that it received more than 1 million ticket requests ahead of the rally, with Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) comparing it to the fraudulent 2017 Fyre Festival.
–This report was updated at 12:15 p.m.