"Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace grilled Trump campaign adviser Mercedes Schlapp on why the president's Saturday rally in Tulsa saw lower-than-expected attendance, despite claims by Trump last week that 1 million people had requested tickets.

The big picture: As Wallace pointed out, the president frequently touts crowd sizes at his rallies as an indicator of enthusiasm and support. The Trump campaign planned for a massive crowd by setting up an outdoor overflow section for supporters who were shut out of the city's BOK Center, which has a total capacity of 19,200.

  • The attendance ended up clocking at just under 6,200, according to the Tulsa Fire Department, and the campaign canceled the outdoor portion of the event.
  • Schlapp blamed the underwhelming turnout on "protesters," claiming that supporters who wanted to attend were "worried about the protesters who were coming in." Tulsa World reported that police only arrested one protester for trespassing in a secure area.

The exchange:

SCHLAPP: "I'd love to see a Joe Biden rally. Let's bring it on, because there is no comparison. The phenomenon of the rally came because of President Trump, and people came out. Those people that knew that they wanted to be there physically present with the president. They joined us, and they're family oriented individuals who wanted to come out and be with us." *CROSSTALK*
WALLACE: "Mercedes, please don't filibuster. We're showing pictures here and it shows big, empty areas. Frankly, it makes you guys look silly when you deny the reality of what happened."

What they're saying: Schlapp continued to deflect from the crowd size and attack Biden, calling him a "failed politician" and stating that Trump used the rally to "talk about the failed record of Joe Biden."

  • "Joe Biden has been a career politician that has done nothing but supported failed institutions."
  • "There were empty seats there," Wallace said. "You're shifting to a campaign speech which has nothing to do with the attendance of the rally."

Go deeper: Tulsa fire department says just under 6,200 people attended Trump rally

Go deeper

Trump campaign goes all in on Pennsylvania

Trump poster in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The president's campaign is placing more importance on Pennsylvania amid growing concern that his chances of clinching Wisconsin are slipping, Trump campaign sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, twice Wisconsin's number, actually has been trending higher in recent public and internal polling, a welcome development for the campaign.

Updated 2 hours ago - Science

Texas and Louisiana face fresh flood threat from Tropical Storm Beta

Tropical Storm Beta slowly approaching the Texas coast on Monday. Photo: National Weather Service/Twitter

Tropical Storm Beta was dumping heavy rains over Texas as it churned its way inland overnight, bringing the risk of "life-threatening storm surge" and flooding to parts of the state and Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center said.

What's happening: The slow-moving storm was causing coastal flooding along areas including the bays near Houston and Galveston in Texas Monday, per the National Weather Service. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) made a disaster declaration and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 31,328,238 — Total deaths: 964,839— Total recoveries: 21,503,496Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,857,967 — Total deaths: 199,884 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

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