President Trump to visit Pittsburgh Tuesday in wake of synagogue shooting
ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump will travel to Pennsylvania Tuesday in the wake of Saturday’s shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, the White House announced Monday.
“Tomorrow, the president and first lady will travel to Pennsylvania to express the support of the American people and grieve with the Pittsburgh community,” press secretary Sarah Sanders announced at the beginning of a White House press briefing, the second so far this month.
Sanders’ voice cracked with emotion as she talked about the president’s connections to the Jewish community within his own family, including the president’s daughter Ivanka and her family.
“The president cherishes the American-Jewish community for everything it stands for and contributes to our country. He adores Jewish-Americans as part of his own family. The president is the grandfather of several Jewish grandchildren. His daughter is a Jewish-American and his son-in-law is a descendant of Holocaust survivors.”
“This atrocity was a chilling act of mass murder,” Sanders said. “It was an act of hatred. Above all, it was an act of evil,” she said. “Anti-Semitism is a plague to humanity. We all have a duty to confront anti-Semitism in all its forms and everywhere an anywhere it appears. The American people reject hatred, bigotry, prejudice and violence.”
Questioned about the president’s rhetoric in the national discourse in the wake of Saturday’s attack and last week’s mail bomb scare, Sanders was defensive when questioned about whether there is any concern at the White House that a troubled individuals could take inspiration from the president’s harsh rhetoric against his opponents to take extreme actions.
“The very first thing that the president did was condemn the attacks both in Pittsburgh and in the pipe bombs. The very first thing the media did was blame the president and make him responsible for these ridiculous acts. That is outrageous that that would be the very first reaction of so many people across this country,” Sanders said.
While the president has blamed the news media for contributing to “great anger” in the country and attacked “The Fake News Media” as “the true Enemy of the People,” Sanders denied that the president is blaming the press and again defended the president.
“No, the president is not placing blame,” Sanders said. “The president is not responsible for these acts. Again, the very first action of the president was to condemn these heinous acts. The very first thing the media did was condemn the president and go after and try to place blame not just on the president but everybody that works in this administration.”
Sanders also denied in the briefing that the president was referring to the media broadly when he called the “Fake News Media … the enemy of the people” in a Monday morning tweet.
“The president is not referencing all media. He’s talking about the growing amount of fake news that exists in the country. The president’s calling that out,” Sanders said.
Pressed further, Sanders declined to specify individuals or outlets that the president is singling out but said: “I think those individuals probably know who they are.”
When asked whether the president would tone down his rhetoric in the final days before the midterms, Sanders offered no commitment that he would do so, saying he would “continue to draw contrasts” between the two parties on policy differences.
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