On Saturday, anti-Semite Robert Bowers killed 11 members of a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump and three of his family members visited the Tree of Life Synagogue, the place where the heinous act occurred, and was greeted by thousands of protesters.


Trump, along with his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, arrived at Pittsburgh on Tuesday afternoon to pay their respects to the lives lost over the weekend. Many living in the community did not welcome their presence, however – roughly 2,000 people, many of whom were Jewish, gathered to protest, chanting, “Words have meaning.” Many people also brought signs, one reading, “We build bridges not walls.”


“He wanted today to be about showing respect for the families and the friends of the victims as well as for Jewish Americans,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. Nevertheless, many felt Trump’s visit was a bad idea, citing the divisive rhetoric Trump has used during his presidential campaign and presidency. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto also believed Trump visiting on Tuesday would be ill-timed, asking to keep the focus on the victims and their loved ones.

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Upon arriving at the synagogue yesterday, Trump and his party were greeted by Rabbi Jeffrey Myers. He led Trump and the first lady inside so the couple could light yahrzeit candles in honor of the congregants. They exited the temple about 18 minutes afterwards. At this point, Melania gently placed a flower while the president placed stones on markers in memory of the deceased. After departing from the synagogue, the president and first lady visited three police officers who were recovering in a nearby hospital.

According to Sanders, Trump also met the 65-year-old wife of one of the victims, Richard Gottfried. According to Sanders, “She said she wanted to meet the president to let him know that they wanted him there.”

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