President visits Pittsburgh synagogue victims site

President Trump traveled to Pittsburgh yesterday (October 30th) to pay tribute to the 11 people killed in Saturday's attack on a synagogue in the worst act of anti-Semitic violence in U.S. history. Trump, accompaned by First Lady Melania Trump and his daughter and son-in-law and senior advisers Ivanka and Jared Kushner, who are Jewish, went to the Tree of Life synagogue and laid a rosebud and a stone, which is a Jewish burial tradition, for each victim at Stars of David that had been posted outside for each person killed at a makeshift memorial. They were accompanied by Rabbi Jeffey Myers, who'd been conducting a service when the gunfire began. However, the community was divided about Trump's visit, and some protesters shouted nearby that he wasn't welcome. The Trumps later went to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where some of the victims are recovering, and visited with wounded police officers and the widow of Dr. Richard Gottfried, one of the victims. The president did not speak publicly. Trump's visit came as the first funerals were held, with two brothers and a phsyician buried yesterday.

Neither Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto nor Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, who are both Democrats, greeted or met with Trump. Peduto had asked that Trump not come while the funerals were going on because it would stretch their security forces, and also suggested the president should consult with families to see if they wanted him to come. Wolf's spokesman said he stayed away because victims' families told him they didn't want Trump to be there on the day their loved ones were being buried. The White House invited the top four congressional leaders to join him, but they all declined. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he already had events in his home state of Kentucky, and Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said he couldn't attend on short notice. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declined the invitation.

 

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