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Trump changed the date of his Juneteenth Tulsa rally after a Black Secret Service agent told him it was 'very offensive,' book says

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Business Insider
Business Insider
 2021-06-19

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Former President Donald Trump.

The Trump campaign team changed the date of the controversial Tulsa rally after a Black Secret Service member told the former president that holding it on Juneteenth was "very offensive" to him, according to a forthcoming book by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender.

The reported detail was revealed in an excerpt of the book, "Frankly We Did Win This Election': The Inside Story of How Donald Trump Lost," which was published in Politico on Friday .

According to Bender, Trump's team - including former campaign manager Brad Parscale - was unaware of the date's significance in America when they selected the date and location for the ex-president's first rally since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Read more: Democrats want some of them gone, but these 9 Trump-era officials are still holding high-level positions in the Biden administration

"No one on Parscale's team flagged that day - or that combination of time and place - as potentially problematic," the journalist wrote, according to The Hill.

The former president said in an interview last year that it was a Black Secret Service agent who had informed him about the history of Juneteenth, although Bender has now revealed more details about that conversation.

"Yes, I know what it is," the unnamed agent said to Trump when he asked him about the day, according to Bender. "And it's very offensive to me that you're having this rally on Juneteenth."

Several hours later, Trump tweeted that he wished to change the date of his rally.

Juneteenth - celebrated on June 19 - marks the day in 1865 when Union soldiers went to Galveston, Texas, to tell the last remaining enslaved Black Americans that they were free.

President Joe Biden this week signed a bill passed by both chambers of Congress to make Juneteenth a federal holiday starting in 2021.

Additionally, Tulsa, Oklahoma - the location that Parscale selected for the rally - was the scene of one of the worst massacres of Black Americans in US history.

As many as 300 Black residents of Tulsa were killed by a mob of white locals, who looted and destroyed countless businesses and homes in 1921.

The riot also displaced thousands of Black Tulsans, with the Red Cross estimating that over 1,200 homes in the area were burned down and hundreds more looted.

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