Former President Donald Trump returns to Tulsa for NCAA wrestling championship

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TULSA, Okla. — Former President Donald Trump was in Tulsa Saturday for the NCAA wrestling championship at the BOK Center.

Among the wresters and fans, Trump and Senator Markwayne Mullin watched the championship not as politicians, but more as old friends.

Mullin invited Trump to be his personal guest. He and Governor Kevin Stitt welcomed him to the BOK center Saturday.

“The presidents coming here because he’s a big fan of wrestling, he’s always said that, I don’t know if you guys know this or not, but he wrestled a little bit himself and he wants to come here have a good night and leave politics out of it,” Mullin said.

Stitt and Mullin said it was all play and no work but were glad all eyes were on Tulsa, where Trump has visited more than any other president.

“Having a president or a former president show up here in Tulsa is just a great deal for our state, President Biden’s been here, I mean there’s 50 states the Presidents can’t be everywhere at once and so for us to have this type of activity in just a short period of time I think just speaks volumes for our state, what we’re doing for our economy, so just exciting things happening,” Stitt said.

This is the first time the tournament has been in Tulsa and nearly 17,000 fans were at the event on Saturday.

“The economic impact here for the City of Tulsa for the State of Oklahoma, having the NCAAs here is unbelievable,” Stitt said.

On the sidelines, Trump seemed to be popular as lots of fans tried to get a picture with him.

And just as wrestlers battled it out on the mat, Trump could have fight of his own soon. Earlier Saturday on his social media site, Truth Social, he posted that he expected to be arrested on Tuesday.

Mullin said it’s a witch-hunt.

“They’ve constantly been coming after the president, you know, and it’s shameful because that’s not what we do in this country, we had opportunities to go after Hillary, we had opportunities to go after other people if we were really going to say that, but we didn’t because that’s not what this country does and it’s shameful that that one event is taking away from what this is for Oklahoma,” Mullin said.

With the first presidential primaries nearly a year away, Trump is looking for a potential running mate, but Stitt ruled himself out.

“I’m an Oklahoman, love Oklahoma, love serving my state, got a young family just moved from Tulsa to Oklahoma City it feels like just a couple of years ago, so love Oklahoma City and I’m going to serve out my term that’s my plan,” Stitt said.

Mulin said his sons asked Trump if he wanted to come to the NCAAs.

Mullin also said it’s been in the works since 2019 when a trip to the NCAAs in Minnesota got cancelled because of COVID.

Stitt and Mullin said having Trump visit Tulsa was a big honor.

Mullin said Trump’s only request was to have diet Coke.

“We didn’t come from the political world so I think a couple of times we have to pinch ourselves and say, is this really happening, how is it that two country boys from Oklahoma have the privilege to sit by a former President of the United States and then do it in our own backyard,” Mullin said.