Trump Blames Minnesota Democrats As COVID Rules Cut Rally Crowd From '25,000' to 250

Donald Trump has criticized Minnesota's Governor Tim Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison as COVID-19 restrictions in the state have forced the Trump campaign to downsize a rally due to be held on Friday.

The president's rally was originally planned for Rochester Airport, but reports on Thursday indicated that the campaign had moved the event to the property of two businesses in the city of Dodge Center.

However, after some confusion, it was later announced that the rally would take place at the airport and that entry would be restricted to the first 250 people to arrive.

John Stiles, a spokesperson for Ellison, told Minnesota's KSTP that the business owners had been asked to produce their COVID preparedness plan, which the state currently requires, but it was not forthcoming.

The attorney general's office said it did not have the authority to cancel events and cited the rising number of COVID cases as the reason for seeking the preparedness plans.

On Thursday, there were a record 2,872 new cases there and 32 new deaths, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

In response to the last-minute rally change, Trump blamed the "free speech-stifling dictates" of the governor and the attorney general, KSTP's Tom Hauser reported.

Trump later wrote on Twitter: "We were planning for as many as 25,000 people in Minnesota. Now the Governor, at the last moment, will only allow the first 250 people to attend. Riots plus Omar = WIN!"

"Omar" is a reference to Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a Democrat and member of the progressive "Squad." The president has often criticized Omar in public.

Though Trump had claimed his Dodge Center rally could see up to 25,000 people, local media reported that the Secret Service told the businesses to prepare for 6,000 people.

"Without question, Minnesota Democrats had hoped that the President would simply cancel the event, but he will not allow partisan politicians to deprive people of their First Amendment rights to gather peacefully to hear directly from the President of the United States," the Trump campaign said in a statement.

FiveThirtyEight's poll tracker suggests Biden is leading Trump by an average of 8.2 percent in Minnesota

Hillary Clinton won the state by a margin of 1.5 percent in 2016, becoming the 11th consecutive Democratic presidential candidate to do so. Winning Minnesota would be a major victory for the president but it is not essential for his re-election.

Trump at a Rally in Tampa, Florida
President Donald Trump arrives to give a campaign speech just four days before Election Day outside of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on October 29, 2020. With less than a week until Election Day, Trump and his opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, are campaigning across the country. Trump will hold a rally in Minnesota on Friday. Octavio Jones/Getty Images