Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump took credit for popularizing Juneteenth, the commemoration of the end of slavery in the U.S., in a wide-ranging interview with the Wall Street Journal Thursday, saying: "I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous."

Driving the news: The president claimed that "nobody had ever heard" of the June 19 celebration before he planned a rally in Tulsa on that day. His campaign ultimately changed the date of the rally to June 20 after receiving pushback from African American leaders around the country.

Between the lines: 47 states, plus D.C., recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday, but legislation to declare it a national holiday has repeatedly stalled in Congress, according to the Congressional Research Service.

  • The Trump administration put out statements on Juneteenth during each of his first three years, according to WSJ.
  • “Oh really? We put out a statement? The Trump White House put out a statement?” Trump said when presented with that information. “OK, oK. Good.”

The big picture: Trump told WSJ he believes that "there probably is some" systemic racism in United States," but that he thinks "it's very substantially less than it used to be."

  • Trump said he opposed renaming military assets named after Confederate generals who fought during the Civil War because he believes the names were a way to help unite the North and the South after the war.
  • Many military bases were named during a period that began in 1917 and stretched into the 1940s, more than 50 years after the end of the Civil War.
  • "And now you’re going to take them off? You're going to bring people apart," Trump said.
  • He explained that he does not regret sending a controversial tweet during the protests over the death of George Floyd in which he said, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" — a violent phrase with a racist history dating back to police brutality against African Americans in the 1960s.
  • Trump said the tweet was "a combination of both" a threat and a fact. Axios has reported that some of the president's most trusted aides were alarmed by his violent rhetoric and urged him to tone it down.

Go deeper: Trump calls coronavirus testing "overrated," says it "makes us look bad"

Go deeper

Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 11,288,094 — Total deaths: 531,244 — Total recoveries — 6,075,489Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 2,839,917 — Total deaths: 129,676 — Total recoveries: 894,325 — Total tested: 34,858,427Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.

Protester dies after car drives through closed highway in Seattle

Protesters gather on Interstate 5 on June 23, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

One person is dead and another is in serious condition after a car drove onto a closed freeway in Seattle early Saturday and into protesters against police brutality, AP reports.

  • "Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died in the evening at Harborview Medical Center, spokesperson Susan Gregg said."

Where it stands: The suspect, Dawit Kelete of Seattle, fled the scene after hitting the protesters, and was later put in custody after another protester chased him for about a mile. He was charged with two counts of vehicular assault. Officials told the AP they did not know whether it was a targeted attack, but the driver was not impaired.

Trump's failing culture wars

Data: Google; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

President Trump built his political brand by stoking the nation's culture wars, but search data is showing us how much harder it's been for him to replicate that success while running against another white man in his 70s — and while there's a coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: Google Trends data shows Trump's "Sleepy Joe" name-calling isn't generating nearly the buzz "Crooked Hillary" (or "Little Marco") did in 2016. Base voters who relished doubting President Obama's birth certificate aren't questioning Biden's.