President Trump condemned the deadly mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue this weekend as a “wicked act of pure evil and anti-Semitic,” expressing dismay that a deadly shooting would happen “at a sacred house of worship on the holy day of Sabbath.”
Trump also said that “there must be no tolerance for anti-Semitism” and vowed to hold the shooter accountable, including advocating for the death penalty.
Over the weekend, Trump said Americans could come together without appearing weak.
“We must all rise above the hate, move past our divisions and embrace our common destiny as Americans,” Trump said. “It doesn’t mean that we can’t fight hard and be strong and say what’s on our mind, but we have to always remember those elements, we have to remember the elements of love and dignity and respect and so many others.”
Despite the denunciation by Trump, the Washington Post ran an article with commenters blaming the president for the shooting allegedly committed by Robert Bowers, a 46-year-old Pittsburgh resident, charged of entering Tree of Life synagogue with a semiautomatic assault-style rifle, killing 11 and wounding six. He has been charged with 29 federal counts, including hate-crime and firearm offenses.
Bowers allegedly made anti-Semitic remarks during a gunfire battle with police, and he also reportedly used a site, Gab.com, to express hatred for Jews. Bowers also reportedly posted criticism of Trump — who he implied was too accommodating of Jewish influence. President Trump has been a clear defender of Israel and the Jewish people, and his daughter, son-in-law and Kushner grandchildren are Jewish.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was understandably upset at the Washington Post coverage, responding to a tweet about the Post from Eric Lipton of The New York Times “WashPost front page points at Trump in both of the week’s terror attacks.”
Is there any tragedy the Washington Post won’t exploit to attack President @realDonaldTrump? The evil act of anti-Semitism in Pittsburg was committed by a coward who hated President Trump because @POTUS is such an unapologetic defender of the Jewish community and state of Israel. https://t.co/0tCNpepC9k
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) October 28, 2018
Sanders replied: “Is there any tragedy the Washington Post won’t exploit to attack President @realDonaldTrump? The evil act of anti-Semitism in Pittsburg[h] was committed by a coward who hated President Trump because @POTUS is such an unapologetic defender of the Jewish community and state of Israel.”