President Trump said Wednesday that he and First Lady Melania Trump were welcomed “warmly” in Pittsburgh on Tuesday and that reports of numerous protesters were “fake news.”
Melania and I were treated very nicely yesterday in Pittsburgh. The Office of the President was shown great respect on a very sad & solemn day. We were treated so warmly. Small protest was not seen by us, staged far away. The Fake News stories were just the opposite-Disgraceful! pic.twitter.com/9B9HgCF1G9
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2018
Trump and the first lady visited Pittsburgh to mourn with residents and offer support after a gunman opened fire on the Tree of Life synagogue during three Sabbath services Saturday morning, killing eleven and injuring six. The alleged shooter, 45-year-old Robert Bowers, was armed with an AR-15 and two pistols. Bowers is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and faces 29 federal counts related to the massacre. He had a habit of posting anti-Semitic content online and is said to have shouted, “All Jews must die” during the shooting.
A group of Jewish leaders wrote an open letter to Trump partially blaming his heated political rhetoric for the shooting.
“You are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism” and “stop targeting and endangering all minorities,” read the letter, signed by over 35,000 people.
Pittsburgh’s Democratic mayor, Bill Peduto, declined to meet with Trump and asked him not to visit until after burials, a plea the president ignored.
“The mayor’s sole focus is on the funerals that started today for victims, and on supporting their families,” a spokesman said.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, who are Jewish, also visited Pittsburgh in the shooting’s aftermath.