The NAACP said Friday night that it would hold a separate event in Mississippi after President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE announced he would attend a civil rights museum opening there this weekend.
NAACP head Derrick Johnson, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba (D) and Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonJan. 6 committee taps former Bush administration official as top lawyer Overnight Defense & National Security: US-Australian sub deal causes rift with France Jan. 6 panel says it is reviewing Milley actions MORE (D-Miss.) are set to hold a press conference in Jackson, Miss., on Saturday morning.
The civil rights advocates said their event was meant "to pay homage and recognition to those individuals who have dedicated their lives to the civil and human rights of Mississippians minus the presence of President Donald Trump."
Johnson and Rep. John LewisJohn LewisHarris, CBC put weight behind activist-led National Black Voter Day Budowsky: High stakes drama for Biden, Manchin, Sinema Stacey Abrams backs Senate Democrats' voting rights compromise MORE (D-Ga.) announced this week that they would not attend the opening event for the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum after Trump said he would go.
“It’s going to be very difficult for me to be there and be on the same platform with him," Lewis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I think his presence would make a mockery of everything that people tried to do to redeem the soul of America and to make this country better,” he added.
White House spokesman Raj Shah told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to a rally in Florida on Friday night that Trump's remarks at the museum will emphasize unity.
"These types of events really should be about bringing the nation together, and he’s going to deliver remarks that reflect that," Shah said.
"The civil rights movement is an amazing movement about fighting intolerance, hatred and bigotry. He’s going to honor the leaders of that movement."
The spokesman added that "it’s a little unfortunate that a moment like this that could be used for unification and for bringing people together, some folks are choosing to play politics."
The NAACP said its press conference on Saturday will be focused on honoring civil rights heroes.
“We take this stand out of respect for our heroes and ancestors who often at the cost of their lives, paved the way for the ending of segregation and racial discrimination in Mississippi,” Johnson said in a statement.
“They stood for what was right at a time not necessarily convenient to do so and we honor that legacy by speaking truth to power and calling out this administration’s divisive policies and its pull back from civil rights enforcement.”