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Trump Campaign Faces Reckoning After Falling Short in Tulsa

  • Re-election bid struggling to gain traction amid crises
  • Pandemic, Bolton book and protests over police shadow Trump
Donald Trump gestures a thumbs up as he leaves a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20.
Donald Trump gestures a thumbs up as he leaves a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20.Photographer: Go Nakamura/Bloomberg
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President Donald Trump had looked to his first rally in three months as a reset for his campaign. Instead, the sparsely attended event in Tulsa, Oklahoma is stirring fresh questions about both his strategy and the direction of his re-election bid.

The most evident shortfall from Saturday’s rally was attendance, far smaller than the overflow crowd that the president and campaign officials had promised. Yet, more significantly, in his return to the rally stage Trump struggled to escape the coronavirus pandemic and protests over police brutality, crises that are making it harder for him to focus his arguments on his Democratic opponent Joe Biden.