McEnany says Juneteenth is a very 'meaningful' day to Trump

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE's decision to restart his campaign rallies next week in Tulsa, Okla., on Juneteenth, calling the holiday marking the emancipation of slaves very "meaningful" for him.

The president is slated to restart in-person rallies on June 19 after the coronavirus pandemic kept him from physically campaigning for more than three months.

“The African American community is very near and dear to his heart," McEnany told reporters, after being asked if it was appropriate for the president to be holding such a rally on Juneteenth. "At these rallies he often shares the great work he has done for minority communities."

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She also cited the president's work on prison reform and told the press that he was responsible for the "lowest African American unemployment numbers."

Trump's decision to hold a rally on Juneteenth has drawn ire from his critics, who have pointed not only to the significance of the day to black Americans, but to Tulsa's dark, racist history.

On May 31 and June 1, 1921, the city's Greenwood District — its main African American community — was attacked and looted by white rioters, leading to multiple deaths and the mass internment of the city's black population. 

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Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCuba spells trouble for Bass's VP hopes Biden should pick the best person for the job — not the best woman Trump adviser Jason Miller: Biden running mate pick 'his political living will' MORE (D-Calif.) blasted Trump for the scheduled rally on Twitter earlier Thursday:

Trump has been accused of racism at multiple points during his presidency, a record that has resurfaced amid his handling of nationwide protests and unrest following the police killing of George Floyd on May 25.

On Wednesday, Trump received criticism after he said that he wouldn't change the name of Army bases that bear the names of military leaders who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War.

McEnany, however, said that Trump is "working on rectifying injustices, injustices that go back to the very beginning of this country’s history."
 
"It’s a meaningful day to him," she said, referring to Juneteenth. "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.”