Updated Jun 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

In photos: Trump holds first campaign rally since start of coronavirus pandemic

President Donald Trump arrives at a campaign rally at the BOK Center, June 20, 2020 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
President Trump arrives at a campaign rally at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump addressed thousands who gathered for his smaller-than-expected rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday, calling the crowd "warriors."

Driving the news: The event was originally billed as a massive gathering that could attract tens of thousands outside as well as inside the 19,000-capacity arena. But the larger crowds didn't materialize and Trump and Vice President Mike Pence canceled plans for outdoor speeches.

  • Tim Murtaugh, a campaign spokesperson, blamed protesters for interrupting the plans and attempting to "frighten off" Trump supporters. "Sadly, protesters interfered with supporters, even blocking access to the metal detectors, which prevented people from entering the rally," he said.

The big picture: Trump told the Wall Street Journal before the rally that he saw the event as the real start of his 2020 campaigning. Oklahoma has seen a 91% jump in its coronavirus cases over the past week. The highest concentration of the state's infections are in Tulsa county, per the state's health department.

Background: A peaceful protester, demonstrating by silently sitting and wearing an "I Can't Breathe" shirt in a secure outdoor area for rally-goers, was arrested Saturday afternoon at the request of the Trump campaign, the Tulsa police department confirmed. The protester was in a section of the event accessible only to ticket holders, the police department said.

 Eric Trump attends a campaign rally for his father U.S. President Donald Trump at the BOK Center, June 20, 2020 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Eric Trump attends the campaign rally for his father. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
A security checkpoint outside of the BOK Center on June 20 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
A security checkpoint outside of the BOK Center on June 20 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
A woman wearing an "I can't breathe" shirt is carried by police wearing face masks
Tulsa Police take Sheila Buck into custody a security checkpoint entrance on June 20. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
National guard soldiers stand in a line
Oklahoma National Guard at the BOK Center on June 20 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
A crowd of people wearing a lot of American flag apparel
People wait to attend Trump's rally on June 20. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
A man wearing a MAGA face masks holds a phone in front of a crowd of people
People wait to attend Trump's rally on June 20. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
A man holds an American flag above a crowd
Rally-goers in a waiting area outside a rally entrance on June 20 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Photo: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images
Eric Trump stands in front of a large crowd
Eric Trump does an interview at the BOK Center on June 20 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Go deeper: Trump returns to the campaign circuit: "So far tonight I’m average"

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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