AP’s Jonathan Lemire: Trump Campaign ‘Knew’ About Juneteenth, Underestimated Blowback for Scheduling Rally That Day


Associated Press White House reporter Jonathan Lemire says Donald Trump was aware of Juneteenth’s history when that date was initially chosen for the day the president would resume campaign rallies.

Lemire joined Morning Joe on Monday to talk about Trump’s plan to hold rallies in spite of ongoing public health concerns in connection with the coronavirus pandemic. As the show discussed the social distancing implications surrounding the event, Lemire offered up his latest reporting on why it was supposed to happen on June 19th, the anniversary of when slavery ended in the United States.

“Just to be clear, campaign officials very much knew that it was Juneteenth when they selected that date,” Lemire said. “They expected some blowback, they were caught off guard by the intensity of it. The president eventually bowed to pressure and moved it from the 19th to the 20th, Saturday.”

Trump drew criticism over the timing of his rally when it was first announced, not only because of America’s continued unrest over racial justice but also because of his plan to hold it in Tulsa shortly after the city’s 99th anniversary of their infamous racist riot. The president claimed he did not pick that date on purpose, but as Lemire said, it was postponed for the 20th.

Watch above, via MSNBC.

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