Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Trump to Visit Grieving Pittsburgh Congregation Amid Anger and Blame

The tide of hate and the man in the White House Pittsburgh synagogue shooting: Brothers and married couple among 11 victims
Charlie Simmons | 30 October, 2018, 06:05

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders battled CNN's Jim Acosta and other White House correspondents in sharp exchanges during Monday's media briefing, on whether political violence is caused by President Donald Trump's criticism of "fake news" as "the enemy of the people".

"The President cherishes the American Jewish community for everything it stands for and contributes to our country".

A gunman, who reportedly was shouting anti-Semitic rhetoric, killed 11 people and wounded six at a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday.

"Once again, I'll remind you that the very first thing the president did was condemn the attacker and the very first thing the media did was blame the president", Sanders told Jackson, adding, "You guys have a huge responsibility to play in the divisive nature of this country".

Some Pittsburgh faith leaders have said they don't want Trump to visit until he makes a full-throated condemnation of white nationalism, but Sanders said the president has already done so "on several occasions" and wants to comfort victims.

"Let's not forget that these same Democrats have repeatedly attacked the president", she said, name-checking remarks made by former Attorney General Eric Holder, who also was sent a bomb, as well as Clinton and Waters.

Just minutes before the synagogue attack, Bowers apparently took to social media to rage against HIAS, a Jewish organization that resettles refugees under contract with the US government. Trump has labeled a long list of media outlets "fake news" and often applies the moniker to stories he doesn't like.

If the president still decides to visit Pittsburgh without meeting the letter's demands, Friedman said he expects Trump will "only be met with derision".

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"My holy place has been defiled", he said.

Sanders also slammed the media for, in her view, instantly blamed Trump for motivating both men to act.

"[JSA Vice President of Outreach Courtney Cooperman] was probably the first person I called ... and pretty quickly, Courtney and I went to plan something", he said.

Sanders appeared especially incensed by some suggestions that some of the rhetoric and divisiveness coming out of the White House might be tied to some of the violence over the past week.

It is worth noting that this group does not represent the entire community of Pittsburgh, or even the entire Jewish community in Pittsburgh, but it does represent the feelings of many Jewish Americans all over the country.

"Would that include my outlet, which received a bomb last week?"

"We'll continue to do that; I'm doing it here today", she said. "Expressing support for the congressman who body-slammed a reporter, the neo-Nazis who killed a young woman in Charlottesville, his supporters at rallies who get violent with protesters, dictators around the world who murder their own citizens, and referring to the free press as the enemy of the people".

Rabbi Jonathan Perlman closed the door and pushed them into a large supply closet, he said. "I think that it outrageous".

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