Conditions are ripe for a toxic Trump campaign rally in Tulsa

First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
Image: Tulsa, Oklahoma Prepares To Host Trump Rally On Saturday
Supporters wave a giant Trump flag Thursday outside BOK Center, site of President Donald Trump's first political rally since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, in Tulsa, Okla.Win McNamee / Getty Images

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Carrie Dann and Melissa Holzberg

WASHINGTON — A wounded president heading into a combustible (and possibly contagious) situation could very well produce a spectacle unlike any political rally we’ve ever seen before.

If it still happens.

That’s the setting for President Trump’s upcoming indoor rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday, which comes after:

“I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous,” told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it.”

Trump has certainly spent a lot of political capital for a rally in Oklahoma — a state that’ not a battleground in 2020 and where many of his diehard supporters could get sick.

Why Juneteenth matters

The New York Times’ Jamelle Bouie writes that Juneteenth “commemorates June 19, 1865, when Gen. Gordon Granger entered Galveston, Texas, to lead the Union occupation force and delivered the news of the Emancipation Proclamation to enslaved people in the region.”

But Bouie adds, “Emancipation wasn’t a gift bestowed on the slaves; it was something they took for themselves, the culmination of their long struggle for freedom, which began as soon as chattel slavery was established in the 17th century, and gained even greater steam with the Revolution and the birth of a country committed, at least rhetorically, to freedom and equality. In fighting that struggle, black Americans would open up new vistas of democratic possibility for the entire country.”

Data Download: The numbers you need to know today

2,205,800: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 27,295 more than yesterday morning.)

119,187: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far. (That’s 746 more than yesterday morning).

25.40 million: The number of coronavirus tests that have been administered in the United States so far, according to researchers at The COVID Tracking Project.

157,015: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in California, where officials have announced a requirement that residents wear face masks in public.

Less than 25 percent: The share of available ICU beds in Florida.

11 percent: The share of African Americans who say they were very close with someone who has died from Covid-19, compared with just 5 percent of Americans overall.

12 percentage points: Joe Biden’s lead over Donald Trump in the most recent FOX News poll.

Tweet of the day

2020 Vision: Klobuchar bows out from VP consideration

Amy Klobuchar on Thursday removed herself from consideration as Joe Biden’s VP pick — and said she encouraged Biden to select a woman of color as his running mate.

“After what I have seen in my state, what I have seen across the country — this is a historic moment and America must seize on this moment. And I truly believe, as I actually told the vice president last night when I called him, that I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket, and there are so many incredibly qualified women,” Klobuchar told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell on his program.

Just asking, but is the VP race coming down to these two women: Kamala Harris vs. Val Demings?

Republican senators split on Supreme Court’s DACA decision

When the U.S. Supreme Court announced in a 5-4 decision that DACA would be upheld based on how the Trump administration went about ending the program, Senate Republicans had decidedly different responses:

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas: "DACA recipients must have a permanent legislative solution. They deserve nothing less."

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas: “This decision today was lawless. It was gamesmanship. And it was contrary to the judicial oath that each of the nine justices has taken."

Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz.: “Today’s DACA ruling gives the White House and Congress the opportunity to do what is right and solve this issue with thoughtful legislation.”

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.: “The Court continues to fashion one set of review standards under the Administrative Procedure Act for Democrat administrations and another for Republicans.”

It’s worth noting that before the administration tried to end the DACA program, President Trump was presented with a deal from congressional Democrats: If he gave them DACA, they’d give funding for his border wall. The deal ended up falling through after disagreements in what a “wall” would look like, and how many immigrants would be given a pathway to citizenship.

The Lid: Decisions, decisions

Don’t miss the pod from yesterday, when we looked at the Supreme Court’s two big rulings against the Trump administration.

Shameless plug: ‘The Long Road to Freedom’

In a special Dateline NBC airing this Friday at 10pm ET/9pm CT, NBC News’ Craig Melvin will report on two Tulsa, Oklahoma brothers fighting for more than 20 years to prove their innocence after they were wrongfully convicted for separate murders. The one-hour broadcast, The Long Road to Freedom, is part of NBC News’ network-wide series, “Inequality in America.”

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

Don’t miss what Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor had to say in her own writings about the DACA decision.

The court’s recent decisions are bringing justices back to the fore as a presidential voting issue.

Israeli settlers in the West Bank aren’t happy with the Trump administration’s latest plans for the region.

A top State Department official has resigned in protest of the president’s handling of racial issues.

Several bills are in the works to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Twitter is labeling a video that the president tweeted from his account as “manipulated media.”

Facebook has removed some Trump campaign ads that featured a symbol once used by Nazis.

Educators are weighing in about the American history that isn’t taught in schools.

Australia faced a cyberattack from what its prime minister called “a state-based actor.”