Trump to meet Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting victims: White House

By Lalit K Jha

Washington, Oct 30 (PTI) US President Donald Trump, along with First Lady Melania, would travel to Pittsburgh on Tuesday to meet the victims of the synagogue shooting, the White House has said.

In the deadliest attack on Jews in the history of America, a 46-year-old heavily-armed white man, spewing anti-Semitic threats, stormed a prominent synagogue and massacred 11 worshippers in the US city of Pittsburgh on Saturday.

"Tomorrow Trump and the First Lady will travel to meet with victims' families of the Pittsburgh shooting," the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters during her daily news conference on Monday.

She said that heinous killing of 11 Jewish-Americans at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Saturday "was a chilling act of mass murder."

It was an act of hatred, and above all, it was an act of evil, she added.

"Anti-Semitism is a plague to humanity, and it is responsible for many of the worst horrors in human history. We all have a duty to confront anti-Semitism in all its forms, and everywhere and anywhere it appears. The American people reject hatred, bigotry, prejudice and violence, Sanders said.

The White House Press Secretary said that America, today, was grieving for the precious lives that were cruelly stolen.

"Our hearts ache for every person who lost a loved one. The 11 Jewish-Americans who were horribly murdered represented the very best of our nation. They were brothers and sisters who looked out for each other," she said with her moist eyes.

"They were doctors who cared for citizens in need. They were proud grandparents who taught their grandchildren to value faith, family and country, and they were the religious heart of the Tree of Life community. Our nation mourns the loss of these extraordinary Americans, and we also pray for those who were wounded," Sanders said.

She said that our hearts are with the four brave police officers who were shot and injured while trying to stop the attack.

"We thank God for these officers, and for every member of law enforcement who responded swiftly and bravely, she said.

"In the wake of the attack, we have witnessed Americans of every faith and tradition coming together to mourn with their fellow citizens, to support one another and to stand in solidarity with America's Jewish community," Sanders said.

President Trump, she said 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 descendent of Holocaust survivors," Sanders said.

"Tomorrow, the president and first lady will travel to Pennsylvania to express the support of the American people and grieve with the Pittsburgh community," Sanders said.

Responding to questions, she said president wants to find ways to bring the country together.

"And we've seen him do exactly that. However, the president is going to continue to draw contrasts, particularly as we go into the final days of an election, the differences between the two parties, particularly on policy differences. You'll continue to see him make that contrast, she said.

"But he has certainly, I think, found those moments to bring our country together, and certainly focus on some of the things that all of us can support, and all of us can condemn, as well," the White House Press Secretary said.

"The United Nations is a nation that believes in religious liberty, tolerance and respect. And we are a people who cherish the dignity of every human life," Sanders added.

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