President Donald Trump on Friday, June 12, announced that he would push back his planned rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by one day to avoid overlapping with Juneteenth.
“We had previously scheduled our #MAGA Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for June—a big deal. Unfortunately, however, this would fall on the Juneteenth Holiday,” the president tweeted late Friday night.
“Many of my African American friends and supporters have reached out to suggest that we consider changing the date out of respect for this Holiday, and in observance of this important occasion and all that it represents,” he continued. “I have therefore decided to move our rally to Saturday, June 20th, in order to honor their requests.”
…of respect for this Holiday, and in observance of this important occasion and all that it represents. I have therefore decided to move our rally to Saturday, June 20th, in order to honor their requests…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2020
The president’s original decision to hold the rally on June 19, a holiday marking the end of slavery in Tulsa, had drawn criticism from Democrats who called it “the worst act of racial violence to date.”
“This was a massacre of innocent black inhabitants by white supremacists in a span of 24 hours,” Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus said in a statement to NBC News.
“And yet this is the place that the president, who has pursued nothing but a hostile and oppressive agenda for black people since his inauguration, has chosen to celebrate,” she added.
Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), a member of the caucus, said that a Trump campaign rally with “rebel flags” on Juneteenth is “more than a slap in the face to African Americans.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany pushed back the criticism, saying, “It’s a day where he wants to share some of the progress that’s been made as we look forward at more that needs to be done, especially as we’re looking at this police reform.”
“The African American community is very near and dear to his heart,” she said.
Question: “Is it appropriate for him to be holding a rally on Juneteenth?”
Kayleigh McEnany: “Look, President Trump is — the African American community is very near and dear to his heart.” pic.twitter.com/jvQKrVh69E
— The Hill (@thehill) June 11, 2020
President Trump added that his campaign has received more than 200,000 requests for the event.
“We have already had ticket requests in excess of 200,000 people. I look forward to seeing everyone in Oklahoma!” he said.
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale on Friday announced that around 300,000 people have applied for tickets.
Correction now 300,000! Going to be epic! https://t.co/36wBjA7duT
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) June 12, 2020