Jun 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump aides argue for overture to African Americans at Tulsa rally

A man waves a huge American flag with President Trump's face on it outside the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Trump supporters at his upcoming rally site in Tulsa. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Some advisers to President Trump are urging him to lean into Juneteenth during his rally in Tulsa tomorrow.

Why it matters: Aides have been looking for ways to give Trump opportunities to hype the policies he believes have helped African Americans during his presidency — including criminal justice reform, support for historically black colleges and universities, and opportunity zones.

The context: Between the pandemic and nationwide protests, Trump is hurting with swing voters who like his policies but hate how he behaves.

  • His handling of the protests and their aftermath — including the incendiary tweet "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" — have damaged his standing with these key voters.

Go deeper: Trump claims he made Juneteenth "very famous"

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