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Thunderstorms predicted for Trump Tulsa rally as supporters camp out

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Tulsa on Friday prepared for President Trump's upcoming rally, with the city lifting the planned curfew at the request of the Secret Service. Mr. Trump's Saturday rally is his first since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic

At Tulsa's BOK Center, where enthusiastic supporters mounted tents and lawn chairs in a single-file line for the entire week leading up to the rally, people have been pushed back beyond a widening security perimeter into part of a residential block.   

Mr. Trump tweeted Friday that he had spoken to Tulsa Mayor G. T. Bynum and there would be no curfew. "There will be no curfew tonight or tomorrow for our many supporters attending the #MAGA Rally. Enjoy yourselves - thank you to Mayor Bynum!" the president tweeted.

According to a Friday afternoon press release, the Secret Service requested the city implement the curfew around the Federal Exclusion Zone near the BOK Center where Mr. Trump's rally will be held — but then reversed course the next day.  

"On Thursday, the Secret Service asked the City of Tulsa and the Tulsa Police Department to put in place a curfew for the Federal  Exclusion Zone near the BOK Center," the city said in a press release. "Today, the Secret Service asked the City to lift the curfew order this weekend. In compliance with this request, the City has rescinded the order."

Teri Bruner (C) waits to sell memorabilia as people gather near an entrance point for tomorrow's rally with US President Donald Trump in Tulsa. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Thunderstorms are predicted in the area for Saturday, throwing a wrench in plans for a day-long outside festival in the run up to Mr. Trump's arrival. Mr. Trump's 2020 campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told CBS Tulsa affiliate KOTV that the president intended to personally address the overflow crowd.

"At every Trump rally there is always an overflow and there's a giant screen where people can watch the speech from outside, but I don't recall a time where the president actually in person spoke at both locations," said Murtaugh. 

At least three counter-protests are planned for Saturday, including one by Black Lives Matter Tulsa. Mr. Trump on Friday tweeted a threat to anyone planning to demonstrate. "Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!" Mr. Trump wrote. 

Local health officials, Trump campaign surrogates and Oklahoma Senator James Lankford have all urged seniors and people in high-risk health groups to stay home. 

"We're going to provide hand sanitizer," Marc Lotter, the Trump campaign's director of strategic communications, told CBS News. "We're going to provide temperature checks. But we would encourage that if you're worried about being in a high-risk group or someone in your household is of a high-risk factor, then maybe pass on this rally and come to another one later down the road." 

Mr. Trump praised Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt in a visit to the White House on Thursday. "One of the reasons we chose your state, Kevin, is you have done so well with the COVID," Mr. Trump told him. "You have handled it incredibly well." New cases of COVID-19 have skyrocketed in Oklahoma this week. 

A total of 450 new infections were found statewide Thursday, exceeding the state's previous record of 259 that was reported Wednesday. Tulsa reported 82 new cases on Thursday and the state's total rose to 9,354. The president and governor made no public mention on Thursday of Oklahoma's COVID-19 surge.

"I would love for some other city to have tried this first," Bynum said at a press conference Wednesday. "But the president chose this city, and so it falls on us to set that standard moving forward." 

Thousands celebrated Juneteenth in Tulsa's historic Greenwood District on Friday. Festivities and demonstrations occurred throughout the day, and Reverend Al Sharpton gave the keynote address, CBS Tulsa affiliate KOTV reports.  

Sharpton addressed Mr. Trump's presence, telling the crowd, "When I hear people walking around and talking about Make America Great Again, give me the date America was great for everybody?... We are the ones, you that are marching in Selma, you that are marching all over America, you are the ones who are making America great for the first time." 

The sentiment was shared by one demonstrator who walked through the festivities saying "you ain't making America great again until you make Black Wall Street great again," according to KOTV. In 1921, the prosperous Greenwood area was known as "Black Wall Street" until white Tulsans attacked their neighbors in one of the worst race massacres in American history. More than 300 people were killed and the neighborhood was burned to the ground.

Nicole Sganga contributed to this report from Tulsa. Audrey McNamara, Musadiq Bidar and Eleanor Watson also contributed to this report.

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