How the Trump Campaign Missed the Signals on Juneteenth

For a president whose guiding political philosophy has been to double down in the face of criticism, it was seen as a stunning reversal. But Mr. Trump was amenable to changing the date, multiple officials said, in part because it did not involve caving on something he had said or a theory he had promoted, but rather involved publicly overturning a decision made by his campaign aides.

As the campaign plans for a large indoor rally in the BOK Center, a 19,000-seat arena, the administration has been in damage control mode on two fronts. In registering, attendees must acknowledge the risk of exposure to Covid-19 at the rally and promise not to sue Mr. Trump’s campaign or the venue if they fall ill there. Mr. Parscale has ordered tens of thousands of masks to distribute, but does not plan to make wearing them mandatory.

Aides to Vice President Mike Pence have called Mr. Watts twice since Saturday to discuss the president’s rally. Mr. Watts said he still did not plan to attend, even though he was friendly with Mr. Pence when the two were colleagues in the House of Representatives.

White House officials, meanwhile, are working to put together an official event involving the president to commemorate Juneteenth, and announced Wednesday a long list of officials and lawmakers who would attend to show support, including virtually every black surrogate the campaign has, many of whom were given speaking roles ahead of the president.

As the rally approaches, tensions in Tulsa are boiling. On Friday night, the Rev. Al Sharpton is planning to discuss the state of race and policing in the country. Other activists said they were dreading the weekend.

“We’ve had several events take place over the last two weeks starting with the protests over George Floyd,” said Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, whose brother, Terence, was killed by the police in Tulsa in 2016, and who has worked on reforming policing procedures ever since. “Add Donald Trump to the mix, it’s a recipe for disaster. I think that would be the fuel to the fire.”

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