Trump Just Claimed That He ‘Made Juneteenth Famous’ Following Backlash Over His Tulsa Rally

Following the uproar surrounding the Trump campaign’s scheduling of a Tulsa rally on Juneteenth, President Trump is claiming responsibility for bringing attention to the holiday. In an exclusive interview with the Wall Street Journal published the day before Juneteenth, Trump claimed that the awareness of the holiday is due to the media coverage of his upcoming rally. 

“I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous,” Trump told reporters. “It’s actually an important event, an important time, but nobody had ever heard of it.”

The holiday, observed on June 19, celebrates slavery emancipation in the United States. On that date in 1865, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger led Union soldiers to Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War was over and that the enslaved were now free. 

Despite his claim that nobody had heard of Juneteenth prior to the past week’s media cycle, 47 out of the 50 states recognize the occasion as either a state holiday or ceremonial holiday and day of observance. The three states that do not are North Dakota, South Dakota and Hawaii. In addition, Trump’s own administration released statements in 2017, 2018 and 2019 about the holiday.  

When this fact was presented to him during his WSJ interview, Trump reacted with surprise, apparently ignorant of the statement’s release. “Oh really? We put out a statement? The Trump White House put out a statement?” he responded. “OK, OK. Good.” 

These comments come while Americans are still embroiled in the reckoning on racism in the country, with protests continuing in the streets and justice being sought for unjust Black deaths.