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 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. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
Tulsa Police take Sheila Buck into custody a security checkpoint entrance on June 20. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
Oklahoma National Guard at the BOK Center on June 20 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
People wait to attend Trump's rally on June 20. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
People wait to attend Trump's rally on June 20. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
Rally-goers in a waiting area outside a rally entrance on June 20 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Photo: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images
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.

Go deeper

Jul 10, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump's outdoor New Hampshire rally postponed due to weather

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump's outdoor campaign rally in Portsmouth, N.H., slated to take place on Saturday, was postponed on Friday due to weather from Tropical Storm Fay, a senior White House official confirmed to Axios.

The state of play: Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters on Air Force One that the event would take place in "a week or two" instead. The outdoor rally — which had encouraged the use of face masks — was scheduled after sparse attendance at Trump's indoor comeback to the campaign trail in Tulsa.

Tulsa health official: Trump rally "likely contributed" to coronavirus spike

President Trump speaks at his campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla. on June 20, 2020. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump's campaign rally and related protests in Tulsa in late June "more than likely" contributed to the area's recent surge in confirmed coronavirus cases, Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart said Wednesday.

Why it matters: Public health officials, including Dart himself, had urged the campaign to postpone the rally, fearing that a large indoor gathering with few people wearing masks could accelerate the spread of the virus.

Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.