Officials in Tulsa, Okla., on Friday rescinded a curfew initially put in place in the area around the arena where President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma venue management asks Trump campaign for health plan ahead of rally Pompeo slams Bolton account as spreading ‘lies,’ ‘fully-spun half-truths’ and ‘falsehoods’ Twitter flags Trump tweet featuring fake CNN chyron as ‘manipulated media’ MORE is set to hold a campaign rally Saturday evening.
The decision marked a reversal, apparently at the president’s urging, from less than 24 hours earlier when the mayor declared a civil emergency and imposed a curfew for Friday and Saturday night near the BOK Center, the rally venue, in an effort to deter unruly protests.
A spokeswoman for Mayor G.T. Bynum (R) said in an emailed statement Friday that the curfew had been rescinded.
“I just spoke to the highly respected Mayor of Tulsa, G.T. Bynum, who informed me there will be no curfew tonight or tomorrow for our many supporters attending the #MAGA Rally,” Trump tweeted on Friday. “Enjoy yourselves – thank you to Mayor Bynum!”
The shift comes as many Trump supporters have camped out near the arena in hopes of getting prime seats for Saturday’s rally, which will be the president’s first in more than three months.
Bynum announced the curfew late Thursday and said it would only affect the immediate area surrounding the arena where Trump is set to speak. The curfew would have been in effect from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for Friday and from the conclusion of the rally on Saturday until 6 a.m. on Sunday.
Trump’s return to the campaign trail has been marred by controversy. The event is taking place amid the coronavirus pandemic, and infections have increased in recent days in Oklahoma and other states.
The campaign has required attendees to sign a waiver agreeing not to sue if they contract the virus at the rally, which is the type of indoor event public health experts have urged the public to avoid.
The rally was originally scheduled for Friday, which is Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery. Trump moved the event back one day in the face of intense criticism for the overlap, but reignited controversy again this week when he claimed “nobody had heard” of the annual event.
“I did something good,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal. “I made it famous. I made Juneteenth very famous.”