As his fans reportedly flocked to Mar-a-Lago on Saturday to protest his potential upcoming indictment, former President Donald Trump meanwhile received a standing ovation when he arrived at the NCAA Wrestling Championships being held at the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa.
The crowd of wrestling fans cheered as he held up a defiant fist and waved back at them.
The former president then walked through the crowds signing autographs and allowing others to snap photos of him.
President Trump is greeted with applause from standing crowd at the NCAA Wrestling Championship in Tulsa. pic.twitter.com/vlnhH4pOkR
— I Meme Therefore I Am (@ImMeme0) March 19, 2023
Amazingly, there were no “protests or issues during the visit,” according to local station KOTV. Instead, it was all love and celebration, and this no thanks to security.
Tulsa World notes that during the 18 months that officials spent planning the event, they never conceived that Trump would show up at the last minute.
“Tulsa police knew to expect weekend sellout crowds of nearly 19,000, along with heavy foot traffic downtown and at the casinos. They knew to expect a busier-than-usual St. Patrick’s Day at the downtown bars. Security would be required also at the Cox Business Convention Center, the site of an impressive NCAA Fan Experience and OSU Fan Fest,” according to Tulsa World.
“Both within and outside of the arena, the OSU, NCAA and Tulsa Police Department planners believed they had checked every box and that their level of preparedness was maxed at 100%. There was, however, a curveball — a variable no one thought to consider. Trump,” the local newspaper reported Saturday.
The former president reportedly attended the event as a guest of Oklahoma Sen. Markwayne Mullin, a Republican.
Trump on eve of reported imminent arrest, gets huge ovation from crowd of 16k at NCAA Wrestling Championship in Tulsa. pic.twitter.com/oCqtrfPoLU
— JoHn HANraHAN (@privatetraining) March 19, 2023
Former President Donald Trump is in attendance at the NCAA Wrestling Championships Finals at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.
The crowd here is quite receptive to him being here pic.twitter.com/rFbVKo6R5q
— Dominic Campbell (@DOMISMONEY) March 18, 2023
Former President Donald Trump received a standing ovation from the crowd as he entered the arena.
He is not expected to make any public statements at the event. #OkPol pic.twitter.com/jM3qv4iGIA
— Reese Gorman (@reesejgorman) March 18, 2023
Trump’s visit to the BOK Center came amid the uproar over reports that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is mulling indicting and arresting him as early as next Tuesday.
Fox News’ John Roberts broke the indictment story Friday.
“We are learning that the Manhattan DA’s office has asked for a meeting with law enforcement ahead of a potential Trump indictment. This is coming to Fox News from a source in the courts. The meeting, which was requested yesterday and has not been set yet, is to discuss logistics for sometime next week, which would mean that they are anticipating an indictment next week,” he said.
“The same sources familiar with the planning said they will go over security preparations in and around the courtroom in lower Manhattan. Secret Service will take the lead in what they will allow or will not allow, the source cautioned, mentioning for instance that the decision to handcuff the former president or not. They will set the tone and escort him into the court room. There will be coordination between all of us, the source said, but we will defer to the Secret Service,” he continued.
Roberts added that, according to Fox News sources, Trump “will still have to be fingerprinted and processed like every other defendant.”
Following the report, Trump took to Truth Social to cry foul and call for his supporters to protest the possible indictment — and evidently, some of them complied:
Trump: “Protest, protest, protest!” Three Trump supporters outside Mar-a-Lago today…three on a boat…and one on the beach. pic.twitter.com/ROl3i47WII
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) March 18, 2023
According to The Daily Beast, more protests are in the works.
“[F]ar-right forums have overflowed with ideas on how to keep Trump out of the clink—with one person suggesting Trump supporters should create a ‘Patriot moat’ around the former president’s estate at Mar-a-Lago in South Florida so law enforcement can’t enter,” the left-wing site reported.
“Surround Mar-a-Lago or wherever he currently is and prevent ‘law enforcement’ from entering,” one online commenter reportedly wrote.
“What if they use choppers to circumvent the Patriot moat?” another added.
That being said, Trump has reportedly walked back some of his Truth Social post calling for protests.
“The Trump campaign now walking back a Truth Social post from the former president saying that he’ll be arrested on Tuesday. A Trump spokesperson is now saying there has been no notification of forthcoming charges beyond what they are calling ‘illegal leaks to the media.’ The Manhattan DA has declined to comment,” a Fox News anchor reported late Saturday.
Trump walking back comments on Truth Social that he will be arrested Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/q7hB37EKoM
— D. Scott @eclipsethis2003 (@eclipsethis2003) March 18, 2023
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