President Trump visits Pittsburgh after synagogue shooting
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump have arrived at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the scene of Saturday’s mass shooting.
They will enter the vestibule of the building because the synagogue is still a crime scene, according to pool reports. The President and first lady will then light a candle with the rabbis and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer for the 11 victims.
They will then walk outside and lay stones from the White House, a traditional custom in Judaism, and white roses at each of the stars for the victims. A rabbi will accompany them and lead them in a prayer.
Protesters gathered in Pittsburgh ahead of President Trump and first lady Melania Trump's visit.
The President and first lady are visiting today to pay their respects to the victims of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue. But some residents and officials said the President should allow people to heal before visiting the community.
Kathy Wolfe lives across the street from the Tree of Life Synagogue and is preparing a sign of protest in case the President or anyone from the White House shows up.
"Words have consequences that you can't preach hate and then be surprised when people — irrational people, take your hatred to heart and act on it," she told CNN. "Your words — if you're the President of the United States, your words have consequences."
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump have arrived in Pittsburgh to pay their respect to the victims of Saturday's shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue.
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who are orthodox Jews, followed shortly behind, walking hand in hand and both wearing black.
The four boarded the motorcade, the first lady waving from the window as it began rolling.
Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin, who is also Jewish, is also traveling with the group, and deplaned behind them.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump departed from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. They're on their way to Pittsburgh to offer condolences following a shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue.
Eleven worshippers were killed during Shabbat services on Saturday.
Funeral services were held today for three victims -- Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz and brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal.
About 100 members of the Pittsburgh Steelers organization attended the brothers' funeral service. The brothers' sister, Michelle Rosenthal, was a former community relations manager for the Steelers organization.
President Trump invited Congressional leadership on both sides of the aisle to join him and first lady Melania Trump in Pittsburgh today, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.
She added that the President's visit is not a political event.
“The President and first lady are traveling to Pittsburgh today to show their respect, honor the lives of those lost, and offer prayers and condolences to a grieving community," Sanders said. "The horrific tragedy in Pittsburgh is not a political event and out of respect, the President extended a bipartisan invitation to Congressional Leadership to travel with him to Pennsylvania. Understandably, the members had prior commitments or wanted to show their respect in a private way."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Minority Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were all invited by the White House to visit Pittsburgh in the wake of this weekend’s shooting, according to two congressional sources familiar with the discussions. All four declined the White House’s invitation.
Earlier today, the communications director for Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, said the senator was not invited to travel with the President.
A primary care physician loved by his community. Two devoted and welcoming brothers. A "vibrant" 97-year-old with "a lot of years left."
All were among the 11 people whose lives abruptly ended on Saturday at the mass shooting.
Here are the victims of the Pittsburgh shooting:
- Melvin Wax, 88: His sister, Bonnie Wax, told CNN affiliate WTAE that he was a wonderful person, "always in a good mood, always full of jokes."
- Irving Younger, 69: The charismatic 69-year-old was a greeter at Tree of Life synagogue, which he had been frequenting for at least 10 years, said his pal and former Tree of Life president Barton Schachter.
- Jerry Rabinowitz, 66: He came from Edgewood Borough, Pennsylvania, and was a primary care physician in the area for many years.
- Rose Mallinger, 97: She was the "sweetest, lovely lady," said Robin Friedman, who added that Mallinger was a secretary in her school's office growing up.
- Daniel Stein, 71: The retired resident of Squirrel Hill was "a great guy" loved by everyone, said his nephew.
- Joyce Fienberg, 75: She was a former research specialist at the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh.
- Richard Gottfried, 65: He opened a dental practice together with his wife, Peg Durachko, in 1984.
- Bernice and Sylvan Simon, 84 and 86: The couple, died together in the same synagogue where they wed more than 60 years ago.
- Cecil and David Rosenthal, 59 and 54: The brothers were familiar faces at Tree of Life. They always sat in the back of the temple and greeted people as they came in to worship and passed out books, said Suzan Hauptman, who grew up at the synagogue.
Six people — four of whom were police officers who responded to the scene — were injured as a result of Saturday's shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue.
Two officers remain hospitalized Tuesday, said Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert.
"We are hoping one of them will be released either tonight or tomorrow. Things keep changing on that. The other one, he still has surgeries to go. Their spirits are good. We are very thankful all four of them are still with us. They still have a long road ahead recovering from their wounds, but we're going to be here for them and the community is going to be here for them," the chief said.
In the immediate aftermath of the mass shooting that left 11 dead, Trump tweeted his condolences to those affected and condemned the attack as "evil" and "anti-semitic."
During remarks later Saturday at a convention, Trump again condemned the shooting, asserting that "There must be no tolerance for anti-Semitism in America or for any form of religious or racial hatred or prejudice."
He also noted that the US should strengthen its laws on the death penalty, saying, "Anybody that does a thing like this to innocent people that are in temple or in church ... they should be suffering the ultimate price, they should pay the ultimate price."
When asked if the shooting indicated a need to revisit gun laws, Trump replied that the shooting "has little to do with it" and that an armed guard might have been able to stop the gunman "immediately."
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President Trump and first lady Melania Trump are heading to Pittsburgh today to mourn the 11 people killed in this weekend's synagogue shooting.
Meanwhile, several Pittsburgh leaders have said they won't appear with the President, as they focus on their community. And some national leaders have declined White House invitations to visit.
Here's who we won't see during today's visit:
- The Pittsburgh mayor: A spokesman said that Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto will not appear with President Trump during the first family’s visit today. “Mayor Peduto’s sole focus today is on the funerals and supporting the families," communications director Tim McNulty told CNN.
- The Pittsburgh county executive: Rich Fitzgerald tells CNN he will not be meeting with the President on Tuesday. “I will not be meeting with the President. If the President wishes to come next week, or the next, that’s something we can look at," he told CNN.
- Pennsylvania's senators: An aide for GOP Sen. Pat Toomey said the senator has a "previous commitment" and declined an invite from the White House. Democrats Sen. Bob Casey was not invited on the trip, his office said.
- Congressional leaders: Senate Majority Leader McConnell, House Speaker Ryan, Senate Minority Schumer, and House Minority Leader Pelosi were all invited by the White House to visit Pittsburgh in the wake of this weekend’s shooting, according to two congressional sources familiar with the discussions. All four declined the White House’s invitation.