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Ribbon-cutting held at civil rights museum after Trump visit

President Donald Trump gets a tour of the newly-opened Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Miss., Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, left, joins the president on the tour. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Civil rights leaders, politicians, and business leaders attended the ribbon-cutting for the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Miss. on Saturday.

President Donald Trump spoke briefly at a private event beforehand, praising civil rights heroes Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King Jr. and calling the museum "a tribute to our nation at the highest level."

"The civil rights museum records the oppression, cruelty and injustice inflicted on the African-American community, the fight to bring down Jim Crow and end segregation, to gain the right to vote and to achieve the sacred birthright of equality. And it's big stuff. That's big stuff."

He added, "Those are very big phrases, very big words. Here we memorialize the brave men and women who struggled to sacrifice and sacrifice so much so that others might live in freedom."

In addition to delivering remarks, Trump toured the new museum, joined by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and Reuben Anderson, the state's first African-American Supreme Court justice.

Some civil rights pioneers, including two members of Congress who declined invitations to the opening, have criticized Trump’s attendance of the event due to his history of controversial statements on racial issues.

The NAACP had urged Trump to cancel his visit to the site.

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