On Friday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended President Donald Trump’s claim that he had popularized Juneteenth by pointing to a spike in Google searches for the term.
NBC News reporter Peter Alexander asked McEnany about whether or not the president would support making Juneteenth a federal holiday, and whether or not he had just learned about the holiday, as video of the press conference from Now This News shows.
“He did not just learn about Juneteenth this week,” McEnany said.
“This president has routinely commemorated Juneteenth,” she added. “There were a lot of people who did not know what Juneteenth was, and Google searches proved that.”
“You can see, I looked at the chart on Google searches on June 19th, and this year they went like this,” she said while making a gesture with her hand to indicate that searches had climbed. “And that’s thanks to President Trump.”
The press secretary didn’t explain how the White House knew that the increase in searches was due to Trump’s comments, rather than an increase in political awareness as many politicians call for the date to be recognized as a national holiday. Nor did she address whether the increase could be due to more interest as public attention has been focused on Black Lives Matter demonstrators protesting around the world.
Trump has taken heat this week after making comments suggesting that he was responsible for making the holiday “very famous,” as The Inquisitr previously reported.
The president also suggested that he had learned about the date after an African American Secret Service agent informed him, and no one in his inner circle knew about the holiday before he told them. He was later told by an aide that the White House had released a statement about the holiday the year before.
McEnany spoke about unemployment and promising treatments for coronavirus in Friday’s press conference before she read a prepared statement from Trump commemorating Juneteeth, which honors the day that the last slaves were freed in the U.S.
Toward the end of the statements, she took questions from the press.
During the question portion of the briefing, she also addressed concerns about the lack of updates from the White House coronavirus task force, which hasn’t made regular appearances recently, despite an increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 around the country. She said that there were no additional updates from the task force that she wasn’t giving during daily press briefings.
McEnany later addressed comments that Trump had made earlier in the day about potential protesters outside his rally tomorrow. She clarified that the president wouldn’t stand for rioting and anarchy, asserting that some of the demonstrations around the country had featured lawlessness and violence against law enforcement, which wouldn’t be tolerated at his Tulsa rally.