The NAACP announced Friday night it would hold a separate event in Mississippi Saturday while President Donald Trump goes to the opening of a civil rights museum.
NAACP head Derrick Johnson, Jackson's Democratic Mayor Chokwe Lumumba and Rep. Bernie Thompson, D-Miss., plan to hold a news conference Saturday morning in Jackson ahead of the president's museum visit, The Hill reported.
The civil rights advocates said their event was meant "to pay homage and recognition to those individuals who have dedicated their lives to the civil and human rights of Mississippians minus the presence of President Donald Trump," The Hill reported.
Johnson and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., have already said they'd skip the opening event for the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum after Trump said he'd attend.
"It's going to be very difficult for me to be there and be on the same platform with him," Lewis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"I think his presence would make a mockery of everything that people tried to do to redeem the soul of America and to make this country better," he said.
White House spokesman Raj Shah told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to a campaign rally in Florida on Friday night that Trump's remarks at the museum will emphasize unity.
"These types of events really should be about bringing the nation together, and he's going to deliver remarks that reflect that," Shah said.
"The civil rights movement is an amazing movement about fighting intolerance, hatred and bigotry. He's going to honor the leaders of that movement."
Shah called it "a little unfortunate that a moment like this that could be used for unification and for bringing people together" that "some folks are choosing to play politics."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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